Places Gym's longest-standing member, Chris, sits down for a Q&A

Chris, 77, is a long-standing & dedicated member of Places Gym Sheffield. Joining as a member of Sam Jones Gym back in 1999, Chris has seen multiple changes to her gym – from new staff, to refurbishments and ownership changes.

To celebrate National Fitness Day, Chris sat down with us for an interview to share why she loves all things fitness, is dedicated to Places Gym & her tips for leading a healthier lifestyle!

Q. So Chris, why have you stayed a member of the same gym for so long and through so many changes?

A. In all honesty, I love it here. There have been many changes, but it’s only ever changed for the better. Since it became Places Gym, the gym has become totally different. The reception team are great, they’re always so friendly and don’t mind standing to have a chat with me when I come in. Gemma, the manager, is lovely – she’s always so helpful, does so much and the PTs are all so helpful, I can’t rate them enough. There’s a great mix of people – staff and members – they’re all so sociable.

Q. You mentioned the gym has transformed since becoming Places Gym, is there anything in particular – aside from the staff members – which makes you think this?

A. Loads. I think the recent refurbishment has made a total difference – it’s brighter inside, there’s somehow more space and I like the '50 Shades of Grey' in the changing room! The class range is fantastic too – there is something for everyone. Even me, I attend a range of different classes because I don’t like doing the same thing all the time. The hard classes like Body Pump and Body Combat have been a great addition to the timetable, and really get you working hard. But then some days, I enjoy a bit of yoga. The instructors are what make the classes – they know what they’re doing, they get everyone involved and make it fun.

Q. Brilliant, we’re glad you enjoy the classes as well as the main gym! Do you tend to workout with friends then, or on your own?

A. Usually on my own. It’s great working out with others when I’m in a class, but other than that I do like to do my own thing. I will stop and have a chat with the person on the next machine to me though. It’s easy because we’re all a friendly bunch here.

Q. How often do you visit the gym – it sounds like you’re here a lot! Does it play a big part of your day to day life, such as a positive mental attitude?

A. I try to come at least 3 times a week, sometimes I will come 4 or 5 days out of the week. It does help me to keep active and healthy – and keeps me strong enough to keep walking 100 miles per month!

Q. What are your reasons for wanting to keep so fit? Typically, people stop or slow down their physical exercise when they reach a certain age, but you don’t seem to show any signs of slowing!

A. You’ve got to like to train, I think. I really enjoy it – my husband does too, so sometimes we will come down to the gym together, but sometimes we will do our own thing. It is good to have that support – but I’ll reach my 78th birthday put it that way. One year at a time!

Q. Such an inspiration. What is your favourite thing to do in the gym?

A. I like a mixed bag, I don’t think I have one thing. I’ll do sit ups, I like the treadmill and rower, all the cardio equipment. But also, box fit and intense classes. A while ago my husband bought me 6 PT sessions with Sam, for my birthday. I surprised myself, Sam once upped my weights to 8kg – I didn’t think I’d be able to lift it, but I did. I also never thought I’d be able to use the assisted pull-up machine, but I did that too! So now, I carry on!

Q. Okay, so we know you’re very fit and in great shape – are you also strict with your food like you are with exercise?

A. Yes – food is important! I don’t smoke, I don’t drink – but I eat lots of protein, snack on fruits, nuts and salads. I try to keep as healthy as possible – but I do still have a blowout, I am human, I do need to enjoy myself too!

Q. Of course you do! Do you have any advice for someone who might be a bit unsure of what to do in a gym, or who is just starting out on their fitness journey?

A. Come to Places! That’s it! If you don’t know what to do or you’re a bit nervous – speak with the staff and you will be okay. It is as simple as that!

Q. Wow, fantastic. But what about you, you’re a long-standing member and very popular here. Do you get any members coming to you for advice?

A. Sometimes. Do you know what, I was a lollipop lady at a local school for years and years. Even though I retired 20 something years ago, I sometimes see the kids in the gym! So they’ll come to me for a chat and sometimes ask for a bit of advice while they have my attention.

Q. You really are the face of Places Gym Sheffield, Chris. Final question, do you think there is anything we could improve on as a brand to make the gym experience better for all members – new and old?

A. Nothing. Nothing at all. All the members need to be able to do is enjoy training and mixing with different people. Places Gym is perfect as it is.

If you're feeling inspired to join Places Gym after reading Chris' interview, checkout our latest offers - or register for a free day pass!

You can also view our other articles on keeping healthy, workouts to keep active and how we at Places Gym celebrate fitness!