If you are considering our shape off programme, please read Marisa’s experience below.  There are no limiting factors to training at Better Body Group;


I have been going to the Better Body Group for almost 7 years now; I started with a  “shape off” ahead of a school reunion in 2016. My family life (I have 4 daughters aged 13-19) and a busy job mean that I don’t always make time for exercising, and I have had several knee surgeries over the last few years after a bad skiing fall. Back in the autumn of last year, I was having weekly rehab PT following ACL surgery in July and 6 weeks on crutches afterwards. I’d also put on some weight over the last couple of years; a combination of “lockdown lard”(!) plus what seems to be a fairly common tendency to gain weight around the middle as you get older/peri-menopausal (I am 50 next year). My lovely PT encouraged me to sign up for the shape-off starting in January 2022 as a goal for me to work towards; at the time I was still in rehab mode and couldn’t envisage being able to take part fully in classes etc. But we worked hard on my knee strength/mobility in the weeks leading up to it and come January I was looking forward to getting started – especially after all the Christmas excesses!

The initial “before” 3D scan/photos were a little scary and a good motivator! We set my daily calorie and step goals and I promised to reduce my red wine intake (probably harder than sticking to the calorie goals for me!). As well as two PT sessions a week, we had 7/8 classes a week scheduled specially for those doing the shape-off; and I booked them all into my diary in advance and made myself go to at least 4 a week. I love the 1:1 PT sessions but the classes were my favourite – we were in small teams each assigned to a PT and it got VERY competitive as each team was competing for points given out for attending and performing well in the classes. It was incredibly motivating to cheer each other on for the class finishers when we’d have to see how far we could row as a team in x minutes, or see which team could first hit 100 calories in the assault bikes for example. It was really supportive and I know made us all work that little bit harder in classes. I also started to increase my step count daily by walking to and from the BBG, often doing work calls on the way, and was really surprised and happy at how quickly my fitness and strength improved in the first couple of weeks.

Around week 4 it starts to get hard; I found fitting in so much exercise and coming up with interesting healthy things to eat a challenge. Our team PT was great at sending us little WhatsApp videos encouraging us and sharing recipe ideas which definitely helped and the fact that its “only” 5 weeks duration is just long enough to have a real impact but just short enough that most of us can manage to keep going for that time period. The classes of the last week or so were also a great help, by then we’d gotten to know each other a little better and there was lots of banter and teasing each other (and whichever PT was taking the sessions). The PT’s made a real effort to keep the classes varied, interesting and fun – although by the end of the 5 weeks I would happily have thrown an assault bike at any of them who incorporated it into the class finishers!!

The “after” scans and photos were really pleasing. I’d lost around 4kg of weight but more importantly I’d noticed a big change to my shape and tone, especially round my middle – and some of pre-lockdown work dresses fitted for the first time in a couple of years! It was a great kick-start to the year; I’ve continued with my PT sessions and lots of walking, and have not only kept the weight off but lost a little bit by continuing a more healthy eating plan. What’s also nice is that whenever I am at BBG now, I almost always see one of the other people who did the shape-off too; it seems we’ve all been inspired to continue to exercise. We were a very varied group as well – ranging in age from late teens to an amazing woman in her late 60’s who was stronger than the women (and men) half her age!

I really recommend the shape-offs for anyone wanting to kick start getting fitter/leaner. They are a great fun way to really see great results in a very short time, in an environment which is very supportive and encouraging.