Despite the sweltering heat, our Fit Factor Active 8 have lost another 77lbs of fat. KIM CARMICHAEL and KAREN WILSON spoke to the contestants, who’ve this week been playing Cardio Tennis
HE was so astounded by his amazing weight loss, this week’s super slimmer Ian Gibson couldn’t believe the scales.
Our eight contestants have continued in their fight back to fitness, taking their total fat loss to just under 25 stone in total.
But it was Port of Tyne director Ian Gibson that really wowed at this week’s weigh-in.
The 46-year-old, of Wardley, Gateshead, has shed 22lb of fat in the past two weeks alone.
“I was gobsmacked,” he says. “I nearly asked to check if the scales were working properly. I’ve been doing a lot of extra training sessions and sticking to the healthy eating religiously as always but I was shocked.
“Last time I lost 12lbs so I was absolutely stunned. I feel brilliant.”
On Sunday the group tried Cardio Tennis – an all body tennis-based workout with drills and games to upbeat dance music.
Instructor Andy Burns, who sets up programmes for school children in his role as tennis activator for Durham County Council, says a one-hour session of Cardio Tennis can burn between 300 to 500 calories for women and 500 to 1,000 calories for men.
“It’s suitable for all shapes and sizes and ideal for people who want to try something a little bit different,” he says who was assisted by coach Gareth Haley and young volunteer Rachel Burgess. “You don’t need to have any specific tennis skills to take part either. It doesn’t matter if the ball goes in or out, it’s about working hard and hitting lots of balls. It’s very fast paced. Even when they’re picking up the tennis balls, they’re still working hard and still have to stay on their toes.”
Despite the hot weather Andy says our Fit Factor challengers had great fun. “They worked hard throughout the session and I was really impressed by their tennis skills,” he says. “Although they all did fantastically well the two who really stood out were Emma Roberts and Daniel Henderson. They really put everything into it. Hopefully some of them will come back down.”
The group’s mentor David Fairlamb was equally impressed. “They never stopped moving,” he says. “Even between shots they had to run on the spot or do squats – so it was a full-on workout.”
Emma Roberts, 22, from South Shields, learned she’d lost 8.7lb in this week’s weigh-in and put her success down to trying new activities like Cardio Tennis.
“I was over the moon with the weigh-in,” says Emma. “I’ve been doing much more activity so I think that’s what helped. The Cardio Tennis was good fun. I like anything sporty so I enjoyed it and I think I’d do it again. I also did a 5K run the other night.”
Business manager Claire Hancock, 40, from Billingham, says the Cardio Tennis was her favourite activity so far. “It was really good fun and we all had a good giggle so you didn’t actually realise how much you were doing,” she explains. “I’ve really enjoyed exercising out in the sun, as normally I wouldn’t be outside much. We’re going through gallons of water, which is no bad thing, and I’m loving it.”
She’s also been spurred on by her shrinking waistline. “It’s a bizarre feeling looking at myself and thinking ‘oh my god, I don’t look like me any more’,” she adds.