Last week, while on one of my regular strolls though the gym to mug people off, I stopped to heckle one of our members. After coming out with something extremely witty, I’m sure, one of our regular members Andy approached me and put his hand on my shoulder and exclaimed “I’m so glad you opened this place, it has genuinely saved my life”.

What do you say to that?!!!

When Faye and I opened the gym, we wanted to create a community, a support network of likeminded people, where everybody is accepted and encouraged.

A day or so after Andy had said this to me I asked him to explain himself. Was this something he’d said in the moment, or was it something he genuinely believed to be the case?

And this is what he sent me:

“Champion strength and conditioning – oh how this place has turned my life around. Suffering from anxiety and depression I found myself seemingly trying to help it by spending an hour or so every other day at a commercial gym. The type of place egotistical lifters go and are more concerned with the reflection in the mirror than what they are doing. You see them out the corner of your eye watching you every rep you do, judging you and all you can think to yourself is why is he watching me? What am I doing wrong? Is he laughing at me? I could never seem to find any decent rhythm I wanted to follow or know what my end goal was purely down to the fact there was so many different types of people in the gym, none of them friendly and no-one wanted to help anyone.

I knew my strength was increasing, but was stuck in the same old rut. Google search time. “Strongman gym in Milton Keynes

At my shock and disbelief directly over the road from my commercial hell hole was Champion Strength and Conditioning. It was 8:30pm and I drove there and was greeted by Eleiko the dog first, then Andy Champ and Faye Jordan doing some PT for someone. I saw all types of bars, atlas stones, yokes, trap bars – everything I’d grown up watching Pudzianowski and Samuelsson doing. It didn’t take long for me to make up my mind. This was the place I needed to be, no mirrors, lots of heavy weights and loads of friendly people.

Since joining my life has completely changed. My working life, relationships with people and family life has all approved and made everyone and everything happier. As far as the gym goes, I no longer mind people watching me lift, because if they are it’s for 1 of 2 reasons. 1) They are going to say good lifting or 2) Good lifting, however you could improve it by doing this. Nothing negative at all. Everyone enjoys the same level of banter and overall it is amazing. I am a lot more confident in my general life now, gone from a size Medium to an Extra Large in t-shirts (some might see this as a bad thing but I certainly don’t). My physical strength has gone through the roof. I am happier with my appearance but at the same time I no longer give a shit what other people think. You could have the worst day ever, and go to the gym and you can either let it out on the weights, or people will listen to you because the chances are whatever issues you have, someone else has had them and will always offer a friendly ear. All in all I have made some life-long friends, have a fantastic coach in Faye and I now have a goal, of which I know thanks to the owners and members of Champion Strength; and the gym itself I have no doubt I will achieve. It will be a long journey, but definitely one I am happy about and willing to put every drop of blood, sweat and tears into achieving it. Thank you Champion Strength. “ Andy Curtis.

I am so so proud of what Faye and I have created. It’s everything, and more, that we wanted it to be. The people we have around us have made a very stressful year well worth it, and to know that we have had such an impact on peoples lives leaves me very emotional and humbled. Thank you Andy.

Stay strong people,




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