Training to be Tough at PureGym: my first two weeks

Training to be tough is a lot harder than the montages in the ‘Rocky’ films might lead you to believe.

I’m two weeks into my fitness programme at PureGym in Skimpot Lane with personal trainer Adam Stevens, who is helping me prepare for 12-mile endurance race Tough Mudder.

Before I started having twice-weekly ‘high intensity’ sessions, I was of decidedly average fitness for a man in his mid-20s – I walked a couple of miles to work every day and played 5-a-side football once a week.

Now, since adding Adam and PureGym to my ‘regime’, I have a resting heartbeat of 50 and can bash out Turkish lifts like a real Turk – I’m edging closer and closer to Tough Mudder readiness.

But the sessions aren’t easy – it’s not a case of turning up and going through the motions – I’ve been pushed until my legs hum and I’m blinded by sweat.

As extra circuits are added to our sessions, and ‘one minute’ turns to ‘two minutes’, it would be easy to scream for mercy. But for me there’s no turning back now.

Away from my time in the gym I still play football, but have added a couple of 5km runs a week as well as homework set by Adam.

Every day I’m required to do 10 press-ups, 10 squats, 10 sit-ups, nine press-ups, nine sit-ups, nine squats (and so on, all the way to one – without stopping), in two weeks I’ve slashed my time from 6mins to 3mins 37secs.

I’m finding some things easier than others: cutting down on alcohol is frustrating because after a big work-out I really fancy a pint of Guinness.

But I have to admit it’s the chin-ups I’m finding the most difficult, despite making a 300 per cent improvement already (that sounds far better than saying I can now do three).

Adam tailors the work-out to match the types of obstacles we will face when we tackle Tough Mudder together on May 4.

As the full details of the obstacles are not revealed until a matter of days before the event, Adam is taking no chances – he’s making sure we’re prepared for everything.

That means leaving the gym on my hands and knees with the floor flooded with sweat, but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Rocky had Apollo Creed; I’ve got Tough Mudder. The difference is that I will beat Tough Mudder on the first time of asking*.

To find out more about Tough Mudder, which will be held in Kettering on May 4 and 5, visit

To find out more about the shiny new PureGym in Skimpot Lane, Dunstable, visit

To find out more about Adam, search ‘Adam Phoenix-pt Stevens’ on Facebook.

Also, please, please donate towards my Tough Mudder cause – Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital – at

*I’m not sorry about the spoiler. Come on, you should have seen Rocky by now.