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The Coach Hall of Fame

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Since day 1 Coach has made a simple request of its readers – “Do Something”. And many of you have. Here are 10 great stories of how Coach has made a difference to your lives. All these tremendous individuals win an Under Armour T-shirt, but the winner of the full Under Armour rig, as voted for by the Coach staff, is…

Tom Hill, 25, London

Tom Hill

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Shortly after it first came out, I began picking up Coach on my commute and quickly started looking forward to grabbing my copy every Wednesday. It was nice to read a magazine that focused not just on getting that six-pack, but also introduced me to a great array of challenges, adventures and impressive athletes that had gone out and done it all already.

I started incorporating exercises from the magazine into my workout and find the variety keeps me on my toes, as well as giving me benchmarks to work towards (I want to be busting out human flags by the end of the year).

The best bit about Coach for me though is the “Upcoming Challenges” feature. I moved to London from a small village last autumn and found the lack of a local community atmosphere the hardest thing to adjust to. Through this feature, though, I now feel a part of the London fitness community! I’ve found out about and entered loads of events, including the City of London Mile and the Serpentine Swim, and met some great people through that. I’ve even managed to get 10 people from my office to enter a 5km race, so am hopefully spreading the “Do Something” ethos!

Max Lassandro, 30, London

Reading Coach has really inspired me to do something and become fitter. Fitness is now part of my everyday life and has definitely made me a happier person.

Since the first issue I’ve pulled together a running club at work – my highlights and most epic moments were, without a doubt, the Great South Run in Portsmouth in October 2015, the North London Half Marathon in March 2016 and the Welsh Castles Relay in June 2016. I also had great fun participating in the Santa Run and the Winter Run – both suggested by Coach – where I got to run alongside thousands of Santas and hug a dancing polar bear.

One of my favourite features of Coach is undoubtedly “Life In Doughnuts”. If it weren’t for this section of the magazine I’d never have known that a spoonful of mayonnaise is as calorific as half a doughnut and banned both of them from my diet.

Chloe Trigg, 25, London

The piece with Sean Conway [who ran, cycled and swam the length of Britain in his own personal extreme triathlon] inspired me to finally compete in an Ironman. I had always toyed with the idea of doing one, but had been put off as I thought I’d need to be a sponsored athlete. But reading this piece and him saying that he wanted to show that you don’t need those fancy gizmos/sponsorship flicked my switch and made me go “Fuck it! Why not? Might as well try.” He’s an inspiration and I’m so glad you feature people like him, relatable to a wider community of us “average-joes”.

Gary Kirwan, 57, London

In 2015 after months of knee pain, I found out that I had two torn menisci in my right knee. The advice from doctors was to give up running, minimise impact on the knee and rethink my gym routines. At the age of 56 I thought that was that, I may as well give up the gym and settle for a more relaxed lifestyle.

However, a couple of issues of Coach changed my approach; first reintroducing me to the plank, secondly introducing me to resistance band exercises [cheap and easy], and I learnt new techniques with kettle weights and started going back to the gym. I was able to take part in a fundraising walk earlier this year and continue to exercise. Thanks to Coach I was able to stay fit.

Adam O’Brien, 45, Liverpool

I remember picking up an issue late last year and was immediately drawn to the feature about the price you pay for sustained liquid enjoyment [about what happens to your body if you drink heavily on consecutive days]. It struck a chord with me – as a teetotaller since turning 40, it gave credence to a lot of the related conversations I’d had with my mates – all veterans of the Britpop era, who from time to time will overdo it then complain about how rubbish they feel.

I shared the copy of Coach and urged them to read it. The way that issue was presented really had an impact. How often these days do you keep hold of a magazine to pass on and recommend others read it? One of the lads who was notorious for his excesses starting training seriously for Ride London with me after Christmas. He actually managed to top the 100-mile course with an additional 10 miles by splintering off in the Surrey hills to bypass congestion.

Another of the chaps did a half marathon in Liverpool this year with his brother and is due to be involved in a full 26-mile event in Warsaw next month.

Dominic Rushby, 49, Surrey

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I have been an avid follower of Coach since issue one and I have religiously gathered every copy since. It has inspired me to do something and be someone different, having now shed more than seven stone since I began my own personal voyage.

Coach inspired me when I thought running was all I should be doing, so HIIT and weights, bodyweight exercises, biking, walking [even a holiday recently with my wife in this respect], have all given me new dimensions to keep me interested. Never been inside a gym yet and don’t need to as I just take a new idea from Coach when I see something which I feel is achievable and fun. Coach is the only must-have in my weekly reads.

Anthony Offen-James, 50, Stoke

In April I was sat in my GP’s surgery with him telling me to get myself to A&E ASAP as he thought I was in the prelude to a full-blown stroke. [I’d woken up the day before with no use of my left arm and no feeling on one side of my face.] After being discharged from hospital, I started to think, “Is this the shape of things to come?”

On the way home one afternoon soon after, I stopped at the local gym and picked up a copy of Coach. It was after reading the mag I decided to do something about being unfit and overweight. I signed up for the gym, going initially three times a week.

I also decided to look at my diet, and thanks to menu ideas from the magazine have moved onto a high-protein, low-fat diet, cut out 60% of my red meat, replacing it with chicken and fish, reducing alcohol intake and overall my calorie intake has fallen by 800 calories per day.

I started doing weights and cardio, and following advice in the mag rotated my routines regularly to stop injuries and boredom. After six weeks my wife was impressed enough with my progress that she signed up for the gym too and is now going four times a week. My 13-year-old daughter has since pestered us to get her a gym membership and now it is a family thing, with us all going together in the afternoons and at weekends. I feel fitter, stronger and more healthy than I have for years!

Adil Hussainm, 28, south-east London

I’ve been a personal trainer for almost a year; as far as my colleagues are concerned, I’m that guy. You know the type, the one in the kitchen with a mountain of Tupperware, fresh fruit and veg, almond milk, protein shakes… It’s safe to say I alienated most of them before I could even speak to them.

My saving grace came in the form of Coach, which came out of the blue, so full of easy-to-digest, exciting information, with tips, tricks, events and a whole bag of pre-workout energy.

I work for an organisation that has public health at its core, but the people who work here do not necessarily follow its message. Coach has given me the platform to help influence almost an entire office, ranging from 18 to 65, and I honestly think that some of these changes are here to stay. These guys come to me now quoting calories in terms of doughnut rather than numbers, and can’t wait to tell me about the next obstacle race or fun run. You’ve made an impact here and I hope that you’ll be around for years to come.

Adam Roberts, 25, Penarth

I am a type 1 diabetic and have found that the fitter I am, the better my glucose control. Looking after my diabetes is always a priority for me, so, since starting my training in 2011, I have seen my control improve massively. I read Coach magazine on the way to work to pick up tips on how to enhance my training and better my training knowledge. Your article about artificial pancreases controlling glucose levels in the future turned a glum rainy day in Cardiff to a day full of hope!

Marc Gadian, 45, London, Coach managing editor

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A year ago, my only flirting with anything remotely health and fitness-related was using an old copy of Men’s Fitness to stabilise a wonky kitchen table. Armchair football was my only regular exercise and a couple of cold beers at the end of a hard week’s graft my only idea of hydration. BMI was somewhere you bought cheap flat-pack furniture and surely with its salad connotations, mayonnaise was good for you?

A year working at Coach later, I’ve had a personal one-to-one HIIT session with The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, and jogged on Hampstead Heath with world heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua. I ran a 10km and recently participated in the Bloomberg Square Mile relay. I’ve lost almost two stone in weight, find I have much more energy and sleep much better. Proof positive of the Coach Effect.

I now exercise four times a week during my lunch hour, which forces me to leave my desk so has the added bonus of giving me a mental break as well. And now, with the help of Lucozade, I find myself preparing for the London Marathon in 2017!

Of course, it hasn’t been all plain sailing. I’ve had to make sacrifices like cutting down alcohol and takeaways, and you try giving up your favourite sugary treats and see how easy to live with you are. But it all started with one small step – your own personal “Do Something”. And here’s mine to you, free of charge: mayonnaise is the Devil.

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