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Gemma Atkinson’s Training Blog: Weight Training Shapes My Curves

The amazing thing about lifting weights is you can really shape your body the way you want it.

Training with weights helps you lose fat, but you can tone and shape your muscles too.

I can see the results of my hard work in the gym at Ultimate Performance in the mirror every day.

My goals are always changing too – and that’s something my trainers are helping me with on my 12-week body transformation at Ultimate Performance.

I told my trainer, Steve, I wanted to activate my glutes more; every girl’s fear is just having a back with a crack, so I said to him ‘I want to have a nice peachy bum’.


I don’t want to go too Kardashian – but a nice peach would be good for me.

Also, having strong glutes is better for your back. I have problems with my back being sat down for long periods at the radio station at work.

So to help develop my glutes the guys have put a programme together with glute bridges, and walking lunges. We’ve also started the ski machine (which I hate!) but it’s great for short bursts of high-intensity cardio, because I’m not a fan of long duration cardio – I prefer to just get in and get it done and dusted.

It’s getting my heart rate up at the end of each session – and I’ve been doing 15 minutes on the Watt Bike at the end of each session to work my legs off (and make it even harder to walk to my car).

This week we changed my training where we upped the weights, but slowed down the tempo of the reps, but decreased the number of those reps.

So we did eight reps of a heavier weight with a really slow tempo.

And those body squats at the end were the most horrendous thing that I’ve done since I’ve been in the gym.


You would never think that with just a bodyweight squat with no weight.

It’s a finisher off the back of a full leg circuit – that’s what makes it so hard, plus the tempo was so slow. I was shaking severely on that.

It’s all made a real difference to my legs. It’s amazing. They’ve definitely got leaner.

My nickname at school was ‘Thunderthighs’ – it’s something my friends used to call me and it’s stuck.

It’s because I’ve always had strong legs. One of the guys I used to work with at Casualty, Matt, used to say I had legs like a cart horse!

Me, my sister and my mum have all got big legs in our family. I’m like an NFL player. It’s good that I feel strong with them – it’s weird because they’re my strongest body part, but physically they’re the hardest part for me to lose weight from.

Apparently, that’s a hormonal thing; women carry weight around the top of their hips and thighs.

It’s something I’ve learned to accept. I used to hate my legs. I used to think they were too muscly and too big; that’s why a lot of the time I’m always in jeans and trousers.

But now I’m like ‘these legs are amazing. I’ve just done a 90kg hip thrust and PB’d on the split squat.’

Now I’m learning to embrace them and just think ‘you’ve got them, just get on with it! Learn to love yourself.’

I’m always shaky and achy after training my legs, but they’re in good nick. I feel like they’re the best they’ve looked in a long time.

That’s the great think about UP. You can come in with whatever goals you want, and the trainers here will create something personal for you to help you achieve them.

It’s never a one-size-fits-all programme because everyone’s body is different and everyone’s goals are different, and that’s why I love it here.

Catch up with Gemma’s Week 1 blog and how she lost 5lbs in just seven days weight training at UP. 

Steve and Mark are always asking how I’m feeling, is there anything I want to change or that I’m not happy with.

Although I’ve said I don’t like the pendulum, we still go ahead and do it, but they will work around how I’m feeling on that day.

No programme is the same for each person; you do feel like it’s your session, your journey and your floor for the time you’re in here.

It’s nice because you feel valued. You feel like they’ve got your back through everything and it’s a nice feeling.

If you’re inspired by Gemma’s journey and want to start your own body transformation, talk to us about our Personal Training Plans or BOOK A CONSULT NOW!

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