James’ Superstar Client #1: Anna

February 10th 2018 was an important day for me. It was the first day I took on personal clients for training.

Yes I had done PT for a couple of years, but that was for gyms I had worked in. It wasn’t until last year that I made the step into working for myself.

That very first session was with Anna. I was wrecked with nerves. What if it didn’t work out? What if this new client didn’t like me? I too can get completely irrational when it comes to things like that.

I had nothing to fear. I couldn’t asked for a better start.

For those that don’t know Anna (trust me if you’ve met her once you know what she’s like!), there’s never a dull moment. Rest periods are mostly filled with laughter from her stories! That was from day one which made it all the easier! 

I’ve been training Anna ever since then. Her progress in that time has been crazy. I remember during that first session she was unable to perform a body weight squat.

She has taken like a duck to water to strength training. Her work rate is second to none, even if she does think I’m mad getting her to lift some of the weights I give her. She does it none the less.

Anna can now squat with 40kg on her back, bench press 12 kg DB’s and do hip thrusts with over 100kg! Strong AF, with the added bonus of losing weight and inches.

As impressive as those accomplishments are I think the change I am most proud of is her attitude and mind-set towards the gym.

I can clearly remember how nervous she was before going to the gym on her own for the first time. Nothing would stop her that day though. She said ‘f@#k it’ (her words not mine) and shoved the men to the side and lifted some heavy things!

Ladies like Anna are the reason I love this job. Women that thought they’d never dare enter a gym to do weights become confident and stroll in with ease. She’s become part of the furniture at Train and Gain, getting in at least three times per week.

Anna is an inspiration for women that are thinking about starting strength training. On more than a few occasions she has offered to come in and train alongside some of my other clients to make them feel at ease during their first ‘solo’ visit. These are women that she’s never even had a conversation with and she’s willing to do that!

Anna knows what the first solo session feels like. She too was nervous and uneasy, yet she also understands the payoff.

She mightn’t thank me for the following but she also offered up her services as a model for a few promotional pictures! I’ll say no more (but do see below).


All in all I’d just like to thank Anna for everything over the past year or so. I couldn’t have asked for a better first client. I’m excited for her future and look forward to lots more laughs!

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If you’re interested in taking part in a program with me why not send me an email to jamesmcdowellhealth@gmail.com

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