Ex-paratrooper getting Sunderland fighting fit

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A FORMER army paratrooper is helping Wearside fight the flab with regimental precision.

Military Motivator Andrew Harrison is using his experience in the Royal Army physical training corps and Parachute Regiment to whip young and old across the city into shape.

Biggest Exercise class in North East at Olympian Gym

Biggest Exercise class in North East at Olympian Gym

Andrew, who had help designing the workout from former Commonwealth Games Champion Ray Williams, is now taking his training technique into schools.

The move comes as the chief medical officer for England called for a tax on sugar to help curb the growing obesity problem in the UK.

Dame Sally Davies said she believed “research will find sugar is addictive”.

Speaking to the health select committee, Dame Sally said: “We have a generation of children who, because they’re overweight and their lack of activity, may well not live as long as my generation.

Biggest Exercise class in North East at Olympian Gym Helen Trueman (front left)

Biggest Exercise class in North East at Olympian Gym Helen Trueman (front left)

“They will be the first generation that live less, and that is of great concern.”

Figures show that more than two thirds of people in Sunderland are classed as overweight or obese.

Data released by public health chiefs has revealed 68.9 per cent of Wearsiders are carrying an unhealthy amount of fat according to their Body Mass Index (BMI) - the national average is 63.8 per cent.

Andrew, who was chief instructor at the pre-parachute selection company, started his exercise class Body HIIT six months ago.

Since then the combination high intensity and endurance training has grown in popularity, with about 200 people a week attending classes.

Andrew, who is hoping is in the process of turning his business into a community interest company, also intends to launch a Junior Spartans programme for eight to 16 year old’s this month.

He said: “We pride ourselves on total motivation and results, and we have had unprecedented results over the past year.

“We don’t promote unhealthy, extreme dieting, as our research has produced conclusive evidence that training more frequently will change a person’s habits towards unhealthy food. I’m happy about how it is taking off.

“The results we are seeing are changing lives.”

PE teacher at St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, Nick Jones, asked the Military Motivator to train sixth form students last year, and he is now helping to get a group of level two sport BTEC pupils involved in exercise.

Nick said: “It’s a brilliant way for the lads to learn a new way to exercise and it’s something different for them rather than just going and lifting big, heavy weights.

“He gets every person working and you wouldn’t get that in a school.”

The pupils will learn a different type of exercise, such as boxing, and functional exercises, each week, for six weeks.

Fifty two people attended a class at the Olympian Gym, Ryhope, on Friday to launch the six-week BTEC programme.

Mum-of-two Helen Trueman gave the teenage boys in attendance a run for their money.

“I cancelled my membership when I started coming to these classes,” said the 33-year-old from Farringdon.

“I only started coming in December and I have lost eight inches off my waist, and three off each leg, and I’ve lost half a stone, and four per cent body fat.

“I’m eating a lot cleaner, and that’s feeding into my family, so it’s promoting a healthier lifestyle.”

For more information on the Military Motivator, call 659 4258, 07453 299 337 or visit www.themilitarymotivator.com.