Kickstart your wellness journey at a Virgin Active gym near you

Kickstart your wellness journey at a Virgin Active gym near you
BY Virgin Active South Africa
Posted On 28 May, 2024

Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, or improved mobility, you can kickstart your journey to wellness in just 30 days. Take inspiration from Natalie Clarke, a dedicated member of Virgin Active.

Unfit and unhappy, Natalie Clarke was forced to confront her unhealthy lifestyle when her parents’ inactivity resulted in serious health issues. Quitting her job in the UK, Natalie moved back home to look after her folks and decided that if she were going to care for her parents properly, she’d need to look after herself first. “After registering at Virgin Active Hillcrest, Bronwyn showed me around and convinced me this was just what I needed. She introduced me to a Personal Trainer, Mandisi, who set up a programme for me, showed me how the equipment worked and even videoed himself doing each exercise so that I could watch him when I trained. Mandisi’s patience, encouragement and sense of humour have helped kickstart my fitness journey.”


Aqua Classes
The community that Natalie found inside the pool has kept her coming back for more “Aqua classes attract a mix of abilities, ages, sizes and personalities, and everyone can participate at their own level. A mix of equipment, including noodles, balls, frisbees and foam dumbbells, helps us work different muscle groups and flabby bits. And it’s not just the physical. Following the sequence of moves activates the gray matter, sometimes with much added hilarity. The Aqua staff – Candice, Charmaine, Khanya and Patrick – are just so wonderful with their encouragement, enthusiasm and commitment.”


More Than Just Exercise
At the time of the interview, Natalie has lost 18kg and gone down three dress sizes and while she’s happy to lose, she’s far more thrilled at what she’s gained. “I’ve made friends for life, and after exercising together, our group, The Sardines, always stays on for a coffee together. More than exercise, we’re working on our mental health and emotional well-being and have supported one another through operations, cancer, loneliness, depression and even death.”

Natalie’s wellness routine now includes regular support sessions with The Sardines, Aqua classes, Stretch classes (“Vicky has really helped me with tight calf muscles, hamstrings and Achilles tendons.”), Dance classes (“My daughters are aghast that I’m jumping around, twerking, but Khanya’s classes bring so much joy.”), Personal Trainer sessions and regular physio (“Josh is a godsend to have at our fingertips. Or should I say his.”).

At times, caring for her parents can feel overwhelming, but Natalie has risen to the challenge with a renewed confidence that she’s found through fitness. “Virgin Active has helped me get fitter, healthier and happier. Plus, I’ve made wonderful friends with fellow members and staff. My soul is full.”

Getting Started With the Kickstart Gym Programme
We know it’s hard to know where or even how to start, so we’ve come up with Kickstart. Kickstart your wellness journey with balanced, scientific and varied programmes delivered straight to your phone via WhatsApp.
After a complimentary consultation with a Personal Trainer to help ease you into your exercise regime, you’ll get an exercise programme that includes video guides, nutritional info and helpful hints and tips shared with you weekly over 30 days.


Start With a Goal
Simply choose your goal. Getting off to a strong start makes all the difference when it comes to building a lifestyle that aligns with your health and fitness goals. Our goal is to help you reach yours. Choose from the three goals, and we’ll be on this journey with you every step of the way.

Lose Weight: Reach and maintain your ideal weight, while also improving your fitness.
Get Fit: Boost your fitness levels, endurance, speed and focus.
Get Strong & Toned: Build lean muscle and sculpt the body of your dreams.


Your Journey To Success
Everyone is different. That’s why we will start you with a consultation with one of our fitness professionals. They’ll get an understanding of who you are, what works for you and what your challenges are, and then tailor the programme to ensure that we’re setting you up for success. Each week, you will receive a WhatsApp message detailing your programme. Download your training programme PDFs and click through to Virgin Active online, which has everything you need for a successful week.

In the meantime, here are some quick exercise tips for mobility, strength, and cardio if you think you are ready. Whether you are just starting or are further along your fitness journey, we have you covered.


Best Exercise Routine For Beginners?
Your routine should include mobility, strength and cardiovascular fitness.

  • Mobility: Full-body stretches such as sit-and-reach.
  • Strength: Ensure that all muscle groups are covered. A simple routine would be leg presses, chest presses, low rows, and crunches. Start with three sets of each and do 15 reps. If the weight is too heavy to reach 15 on the first set, go lighter.
  • Cardio: Walking or cycling for 20 minutes is enough.


Best Intermediate Exercise Routine?

  • Mobility: Leg high kicks.
  • Strength: Push-ups, squats, high rows, 30 seconds plank.
  • Cardio: Cycling at RPE of 7.


Best Elite Exercise Routine

  • Strength: Chest press with Olympic bar, chin-ups, walking lunges with weight, dynamic side planks.
  • Cardio: 10 burpees and 40m sprint.

It’s All About Convenience
You can choose where you do your training. You can use the videos we’ve selected for you in your Virgin Active club, at home, or a combination of both. It’s your journey; you choose how you will commit to fit.

Do you want to live an active lifestyle? Join a Virgin Active gym near you today and enjoy the free Kickstart programme.