How SWEAT 1000’s Motivations Turned Into My Exercise Mantras

Article by Danielle Weakley for Women’s Health Magazine

I came, I listened, I conquered… Danielle Weakley pulled on her lycra, threw herself into SWEAT 1000 repeaters and onto treadmills and came out fitter, faster, stronger.

“Summer Is Commmmming”

You know the expression summer bodies are made in winter? Well, smug arses, this year so do I! I have a stupid relationship with exercise. I blame it on my stubborn streak. I like exercising and I want to exercise but, hell, I can cheat a move! Burpees, you say? Ooooh, I’ll go real slow. Running, is it? I’ll keep my speed consistent.

Now many of you fine folk reading this should be thinking: why is she paying someone so that she can cheat? Just do it yourself in a gym and do what you want to do.

Ha! Never! If I am left in charge of my own exercise programme, I cheat so much I barely do a thing. I think back fondly to running on a slow treadmill at my local Virgin Active to The B52s “Rock Lobster” – arguably the world’s longest song. When that song wrapped its catchy riff, I hopped off my treadmill and onto the next thing.

“If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You”

I need all the motivation I can get – and this year, I got it at SWEAT 1000. Many of you have probably not had the enormous pleasure of coming face to face with SWEAT founders Andrew and Paul Rothschild. When they fix you in their sights and say: “Dani, this year your #WHGetsFit Staff Fitness Challenge has to be SWEAT 1000” there is little room for arguing. This is partly because they’re much too nice to argue with and, obvs, I’m way too cool to sob: “Nooooo, I’ll never make it!”

I knew it would be good for me, good for my fitness and great for the Staff Challenge. I just didn’t imagine that I would love it as much as I do. Disclaimer: I write this with the post-SWEAT endorphins still coursing through my system.

It’s a workout that, quite simply, pits you against you… And it’s something the SWEAT 1000 trainers will tell you again and again – “It’s you against you” they’ll yell into their Madonna mics. But it’s entirely true! It’s your brain telling you that you can’t versus your body knowing that it can. It’s what you did last week versus how you’re doing today. It’s how you make it through the sprints and the inclines. And it’s why you sashay out the door at the end feeling like you aced it – because you absolutely did.

“You Can Do Anything For 30 Seconds”

In three months I’ve learnt this: I am stronger and faster than I thought I was. But also: I am stronger and faster than when I started this challenge. The workout is 60 minutes long – without the stretch afterwards, people – and no two days are the same.

You kick off on the treadmill – and there are three pace settings so you can choose your speed, but you’ll be challenged at every level. Between treadmill bouts that keep the cardio up, you’ll be on a mat on the floor working compound body moves, core exercises and weights. And all this is set to pumping music – often with a live DJ – and a semi dark studio.

Yes, semi dark – as in no one knows nor cares what you’re doing, how you’re coping or how much you’re sweating. In fact, all they care about – and all you will care about – is the joy at the end of the sesh when you hear your instructor say these words: “Hands to the sides, feet to the sides and give yourself a round of applause before you switch off your treadmills.”

Bloody brilliant!