Megan Barnet blog

Megan Barnet

staff member

Trainer: John

2019 lifestyle goals:

  • Become stronger, more toned and flexible
  • Improve my diet plan


Progress so far:

Day 1:
One of my reasons when applying for Xercise factor was to become stronger and confident with using weight equipment – I tend to stay safe with the treadmill and cardio machines I’m familiar with. I met with John at lunchtime and we agreed a programme and tested out some of the machines; I learnt that I really need to relax my shoulders otherwise could hurt myself and remember to not hold my breath – both things I wouldn’t have noticed alone. I even returned to the gym after work although only for a short while on the treadmill: 20 mins / 2.85km.

Day 2:
3 x sets of 12 leg extension: 2@ 7.5kg, 1 @ 10kg
3 x sets of 12 leg curl: 3 @ 20kg
3 x sets of 12 leg press: 1 @ 30kg, 2 @ 40kg
1 x set of 12 squats normal, 2 x sets of 12 squats with 8kg dumbbell, 2 x sets of 12 squats with 5kg powerbag
500km rowing machine

Day 3:
We booked a court in one of the small halls but ended up having the entire hall as no one else had booked courts, so jogged round a couple of times to warm up including high knees, kicking our bums and  sideways. We then went on to 20 mins of pad drills which took a lot of concentration, followed by 20 mins of circuits. O-m-g circuits were:
10 x sit ups, run width of court and back
10 x star jumps, run width of court and back,
10 x press ups, run width of court and back (I did box ones as am not quite strong enough yet)
20 x mountain climbers, run width of court and back,
down to 9 times, 8 times, 7 times, 6 times, 5 times, 4 times, 3 times, 2 times, 1 times….
From around 5 downwards I wasn’t sure I would finish it but somehow pushed through thanks to John’s encouragement

Day 4:
I was told to keep moving to avoid muscles becoming stiff after the circuits Friday, so did a 30 Minute run, 4.42km – 342 cals

Day 5:
Went into London for one of my friend’s birthdays and had a bottomless brunch followed by darts @ The Flight Club 🙂 had definitely earned it from the week…

Day 6:
I woke up early to come in for Express Yoga @ 8am however the class had been cancelled, I did a 20 minute run on the treadmill instead / 2.57km and Express LBT @ lunch time.

Day 7:
10 minutes on the cross trainer / 1.55km
3 x sets of 12 Chest press @ 10kg
3 x sets of 12 row – 2 @ 15kg, 1 @ 20kg
3 x sets of lat pull down – 1 @ 10kg, 2 @ 25kg
1 more of each of above (1 x 12 chest press @ 15kg, 1 x 12 row @ 20kg, 1 x lat pull down @ 25kg)
3 x sets of 12 bench press per arm @ 6kg
Tricep dip thing with 6kg in the middle behind the head x 12 up and down
Bicep curl thing with 6kg in the middle of stomach with both arms and up and down?

Day 8:
I met with John at lunchtime and he had arranged another circuit:
Skipping ropes in one corner
Hula hoop in another corner
Hopscotch in another corner
Air punching in another corner
In the middle of the room was a matt with cards, I had to do 2 minutes in each corner but in between each exercise go to the middle of the room, flip over the card and do a set of whichever exercise was on the card. It was hard but good fun – the skipping was the hardest and hula hooping the easiest. Luckily there was no running as we were in the squash court.

Day 9:
10 minutes on the bike / 4.47km
Ab machine crunch – 2 x 12 @ 20kg, x 2 times
Leg abduction: 3 sets of 12 x 20 kg
1 minute plank x 3 times
20 x crunches
10 x leg raises
20 x heel taps
20 x Russian twists

Day 10:
I met with John and this was BY FAR the hardest work out so far:
Jogged around Hall 3 to warm up
10 x burpees
10 x crunches
10 x squats
10 x push ups
10 x back raises
10 x squat thrusts
Jog around the hall
then sets of 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, jogging around the hall in between each.
I was absolutely exhausted from above, however John managed to push me to run from each side of the hall tapping the white line and back, then the next white line and back, all white lines in the 4 badminton courts and back.

Day 11:
I went to my friends for the weekend however was still cautious to do some exercises, I had planned to go to her gym and do some cardio (30 min on the treadmill) however her fob didn’t work so did a circuit in the flat:
10 x crunch / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2
10 x leg raises / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2
20 x heel taps / 16 / 12 / 8 / 4
1 min plank / 45 secs / 30 secs / 15 secs x 2
10 back raises / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2
10 x leg and hip thrusts from floor / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2

10 x donkey kicks per leg / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2
10 x side lifts per leg / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2
10 x side leg raises per leg / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2
10 x side leg raises per leg with both legs off the floor / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2

Day 12:
No exercises today as resting

Day 13:
Express LBT @ lunchtime

Day 14:
10 min cross trainer
3 x sets of 15 Chest press @ 15kg
3 x sets of 15 Row @ 20kg
2 x sets of 15 lifting weight bag @ 5kg
3 x sets of 15 lifting weight bag @ 10kg
3 x sets of 15 tricep pull @ 15kg

Day 15:
I met with John who had prepped another hard circuit… week 1 had 4 x exercises, shuttle runs we then moved up to 6 exercises with laps of the hall, this week:

1 x press up, squat, sit up, burpee, back curl, squat thrust, sand lizard, Russian twist, back raise

Followed by running round hall 3 bouncing a ball, each time increased to 2,3,r,5,6,7,8,9 and finally 10 with a run round in between.

Initially I thought no way as it was increasing numbers each time it would be much more difficult but the ball was a distraction from the cardio! Struggled with the squat thrusts and burpees.

Day 16:

Power Pilates @ lunchtime

Day 17:

So today John brought his deck of cards…

Spade = sit up

Club = press up

Diamond = burpee with 180 twist

Heart = squat jump touch toes

Whichever card John drew I had to do that many of each exercise.

Every 5 cards I had to bear crawl the length of the hall, then crab back the length of the hall

Joker = 2 mins spinning / 2nd Joker = 2 mins hula hooping (2 hoops!)

We didn’t make it through the whole deck of cards but it was incredibly challenging – especially the bear crawl length of the hall

Days 18 – 22

I was on annual leave moving flats and travelling down from Scotland so no fixed time working out just a lot of lifting and carrying heavy boxes!

Day 23:

10 mins cross trainer followed by arm and core workout, increased routine to sets of 20/30 rather than 10/20 as I had been away and felt I needed to make up for it, core workout:
20 x crunch

15 x leg raises
30 x heel tap

1 minute plank
20 x back raises
20 x hip thrusts
Set x 3

Day 24:

John and I met and after having decided if we got through to the next stage we would set a new goal for handstand and possibility of walking on hands (crazy), we used a Swiss ball in the gym to improve my balance and core using the following exercises:

10 x roll ball out on knees and hold using core

10 x press ups on the ball

10 x sit ups with feet on the ball

10 x hip thrusts with feet on the ball

2 minutes balancing on the ball on knees

10 x jacknives with ball under shins

10 x single leg squat with knee on ball per leg
It was challenging but I decided to blow up my ball at home to carry on the exercises in the evenings

Day 25:

15 mins treadmill 165call 2.16km

5 mins row 1026metres

Chest press @ 10kg x 15, x 10, x 5

Lat pull down 15 @ 25kg, 10 @ 30kg, 2 @ 35kg, 5 @ 30kg

Bicep curls 15 @ 2kg x 3 sets

Hammer curls 15 @ 2kg x 3 sets

Crunches x 10, x 8

Leg raises x 10, x 8

Heel taps x 20, x 16

Plank x 1 minute, x 45 seconds

Back raises x 10, x 10

Hip thrusts x 10, x 10

Donkey kicks x 15 each leg

Side left lifts x 15 each leg

Leg side raises x 15 each leg

Day 26:

Rest day!

Day 27:

Express LBT @ lunchtime

Day 28:

Arm and core work out in the gym

10 mins cross trainer 1.42km
Row / Chest press / Lat pull down
Rowing machine x 5 minutes 1049metres

Day 29:

I met with John and we worked on more circuit training including the Swiss ball,

John is an amazing trainer! He is really creative with the workouts and always checked they were suitable and that I was happy with them, and if there were any other areas I wanted to focus on. He was incredibly motivating throughout and had the answers to any questions I had. I have really enjoyed the experience so far and learnt so much from John.

Day 30:

I went to the gym at lunch and did a leg workout:

10 mins cross trainer
Stand up leg press machine, 12 res increasing by 5 kg up to 20kg, in between lunges of different types including curtsey lunges taught by a colleague, finished with a climb to the empire state building on the stairmaster!

Day 31:

We reattempted the card challenge in one of the squash courts, the distance for doing the bear crawls and crabs was much shorter and with a few adjustments we made it through the pack of cards!! John taught me to use something the size of a fist under my stomach as a guide for how low to go when doing press ups as I concentrate too much on how close my face is going to the floor meaning I haven’t been going down low enough and have really struggled – I managed the press ups MUCH better than previously and will use this method moving forward till I am more confident.

Day 32:
I booked a court to play Badminton Saturday morning and did some circuit exercises at the end including sand lizards, sit ups and jumping jacks.

Day 33:
Rest day!

Day 34:

Express LBT @ lunchtime

Day 35:
Lat pull down / Tricep / Row
Chest press 3 x sets of 12 @ 10kg

Bicep curls, hammer curls, side lifts @ 3kg x 12 each x 2 sets

Day 36:

Met with John in the gym, I warmed up on the Rowing machine and lasted much longer than I thought – I have always gone on the rowing machine and worked quickly only lasting a few minutes (up to 5 maybe), going slower and with the weight/level down (6) I realised I could last so much longer than I thought. Wil be using this to warm up/ for cardio more in future.
10 minutes – 1739 metres. We then did circuit routine and went on the weight machines at the end; we used a different Chest Press machine where I lay horizontally and increased by 1 bar/level each time, managed to flick over 5bars which was 20kg.

Day 37:

I played hockey at lunch time! I haven’t played hockey for at least 11 years since I was at school – it was so much fun and I really felt it over the weekend!

Day 38:


I spent 30 minutes on one of the stationary bikes in the Reception area in the morning and cycled 12.6miles! Considering I don’t cycle too much I was happy with this. I then joined the Hula Hoop Class later in the afternoon which really focused on core strength – was such a fun class with challenges including lunges while hooping, kneeling and hooping and spinning in the hoop while keeping the hoop going!

Day 39:

I was busy from first thing Saturday morning in London over the weekend so although I didn’t focus any time on exercises I did a lot more walking than normal and could feel my muscles needed a rest from the last few days

Day 40:

Rest Day

Day 41:

As I hadn’t done any hard work over the weekend I went to LBT at lunch as normal and then went to the gym again after work where I ran for 20 minutes (2.85km / 220 cal) and did some dumbbell weight exercises:
Bicep curl @ 3kg x 12 x 3 sets
Hammer curl @ 3kg x 12 x 3 sets
Arm lifts sideways up @ 3kg x 12 x 3 sets
Tricep lift @ 6kg (1 dumbbell) x 10 x 2 (struggled hurt my elbow)
Used the weighted bag to do squats @ 10kg x 12 x 3 sets


Day 42:

Gym after work Tuesday as we had an office lunch:
20 minutes run (3.13km / 242 call)
*I had forgotten my earphones and didn’t think I’d run more than 5 minutes without music/ getting bored but used John’s tactics of reciting timetables which made the time pass quickly*
10 minutes on the rowing machine (1819 metres)
20 x Sit ups

15 x Hip thrusts
1 minute plank

Day 43:
2nd to last session with John:

Warm up on the cross trainer

Walking lunges with 2 x 6kg kettlebell – length of gym and back

20 x sit-ups with 5kg medicine ball stretch above head each time sat up

Bear Crawl – 3 x steps forward, 2 x step backward – length of gym blue area

1 minute wall sit squat

10 x inverted press up using step (!)

20 x Squat with high knees

15 x hip thrusts

Above x 3 times(!)
Cool down on the cross trainer

Day 44:
Row x 10 minutes (1900metres)
Lunges with 5kg dumbbell in each hand x 20 x 3 sets

Sit ups with 5kg medicine ball reach overhead x 10 x 2 sets
Russian twists with 5 kg medicine ball x 20 (10 each side) x 2 sets
Sit ups x 10 x 2 sets

Hip thrusts x 10 x 2 sets
Bicep curl x 10 Arm raises x 10, Hammer curl x 10 with 4kg dumbbells

Step master x 5 minutes

Day 45:
Last session L with John:
Jogging/side steps / high knees / kicks to warm up
Skip x 1 minute

Press up and pass block to John x 10
Reverse curl and pass foam block x 10

Bear crawl x 2 badminton courts

Wall sit x 1 minute

Tricep dip off step x 10

Sit up and stand x 10
Hula hoop x 1 minute
Above x 3 sets, increased difficulty by raising 1 leg with tricep dips and doing 10 per leg / increasing sit up and stand to 20 for last set, press up and high five for second two sets, hula hooping 2 mins and lunging/ going down to knees and back up maintaining hoop spinning
Jog / Stretch


From Megan’s trainer, John:

“Megan’s Xercise Factor journey, so far…!

During Megan’s Initial Fitness Consultation (IFC) I established what she wanted to get out of the Xercise Factor experience and gained an understanding of where Megan currently saw herself in terms of her fitness levels. During the IFC process, Megan set herself two goals:

Goal 1) To increase her confidence in the gym by having a better understanding of how the various exercise machines work, and how to use them safely.

Goal 2) To gain strength.

I suggested to Megan that during her first training session with me, she should have a gym induction to familiarise herself with the exercise machines, and I would write up a training programme that she would be able to follow independently. We also agreed to meet twice a week for a 1-2-1 training session.

Since starting her journey, Megan has worked tirelessly towards achieving her goals. She has been to the gym several times a week working on her programme, and blogging her progress. During our 1-2-1 sessions I have pushed Megan to her limits, and she has responded positively with a ‘can do’ attitude. Megan has truly entered into the spirit of the Xercise Factor competition. Her self confidence in the gym has increased, along with her strength. She has gone from  four circuit stations with shuttle runs, to 9 circuit stations and laps around the perimeter of Hall 3 – whilst bouncing a basket ball. All this in just 2 1/2 weeks. Imagine what Megan will achieve if she moves on to the next stage of Xercise Factor.”


“Having successfully made it through to the next round of the Xercise Factor, Megan reflected on her original goals, and decided to add another goal to her quest!

Megan’s additional goal: To be able to walk on her hands (I think she is considering running away with the Circus)

Megan is still working hard towards her original goals, and attends the gym several times a week and participates in a number of classes too. To help her achieve her new goal, Megan and I had a 1-2-1 training session using a Swiss Ball. The exercises I prescribed to Megan were designed to build core strength and improve balance – two key components needed for walking on your hands. I also asked Megan to perform a Hand Stand against the wall. I wanted to see how well she could maintain good posture, and to see how comfortable she was in this inverted state. Megan, as always, attacked these exercises with total enthusiasm.

Megan still has a lot to do in terms of building up her upper body strength, however, her results to date, are very encouraging. In less than 5 weeks, Megan has gone from not being able to do a full press-up; to performing press-ups like a boss. Today, (Friday 8th March) Megan managed to do 11 continuous full press-ups! This girl is on fire, and I hope so much that Megan makes it through to the next stage of the Xercise Factor and that we continue to work together to achieve her goals – and any others she throws in….watch this space!”


“As the sun sets on this year’s Xercise Factor competition, a winner needs to be decided. So why should Megan be crowned the winner? Megan has been totally committed to the Xercise Factor process from the start. Goal setting and monitoring her own progress, 1-2-1 training sessions with me, blogging her own experience, independent training sessions in the gym, and attending fitness classes are all the components that have made up Megan’s Xercise Factor campaign. Along with the sweat and hard work, Megan has developed coping strategies to enable her to overcome mental blocks that were prohibiting her from performing certain exercises. These coping strategies help Megan to focus and believe in her own ability. Megan has accepted every challenge I have given her. From Bear Crawls across Hall 3, to running through the 12 times table whilst Hula Hooping. Even balancing on alternate legs and reciting the alphabet in reverse didn’t phase Megan. She has from start to finish given her all, and I am proud to have been her instructor for this journey. Megan already has my vote; now give her yours!”

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