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How I’m Building a Stronger Body: Gemma’s Blog Week 4

It’s so important to listen to your body and know your limits.

Why? Because if you don’t, it’s easy to do too much, burn out and then spend days away from the gym laid up in bed.

When you’re on a body transformation journey and training to get stronger this is the last thing you want.

This week was one of those times when I really had to listen to my body and know I needed time to recoup.

I caught a cold and I was really feeling it.

I spoke to the guys here at UP and they just said ‘if you can’t do it, don’t push yourself; you need to just rest up and recover.’

The trainers have been amazing because they altered my training. They dropped the weight and upped the repetitions, so I still got stuff done even though I was not 100%.

Gemma Atkinson Ultimate Performance


Thursday I came in and trained, but Friday I came in and even carrying my rucksack I was aching and out of breath.

I was just exhausted, and my body was just aching and I was coughing up lots of green mucus (lovely, I know!) so I didn’t train.

I thought there was no point in getting worse and going three or four steps back. Not when I could have rested for a day and then come back stronger, which is what I have done.

I came in the other day and I’ve progressed loads – I was 70.1kg and I have gone from 12.8% to 12.1% body fat. It’s the biggest drop I’ve had body fat-wise. 

I also did a PB on nearly every single exercise – I do feel stronger in that respect.

Although I do feel weaker after not having eaten from being ill (even if it has helped me drop some body fat) it hasn’t been good for me either physically or mentally.

So I am trying to get my food back in. I had to force myself to eat some sweet potato last night – and I’m never normally like that; normally I inhale it! But it took me about 40 minutes to finish it off so I must have been ill!

Now I’m just aiming to build my strength back up. I hate being ill and I don’t like being laid-up.

Gemma Atkinson Ultimate Performance


I’ve been having ginger shots that I’ve been making myself with ginger and half an apple – just necking those back every few hours and slowly trying to get my strength back.

The start of Week 4 was great too – I made some really good progress in the gym and I had shelved what had happened with my food and going off track with my diet in Week 3

It’s making me think now that maybe it was because my diet wasn’t on-point that I got ill.

I’ve been so good and so consistent with lots of veg intake then there were those two days when I didn’t eat great and didn’t sleep great and suddenly I get ill.

It just highlights that if you don’t take care of yourself then you do get struck down.

I think I sometimes need to learn to say ‘no’ to things outside of work and outside of my time in the gym.

Gemma Atkinson Ultimate Performance

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

I have constantly been going from one thing to another to another.

Sometimes you need to rest and look after your body. There’s no point in doing all this in the gym and then not resting when you get chance at home.

It’s important to find a balance in life. You don’t want your day-to-day life to suffer because you’re doing a program, but you don’t want your program to suffer because of your day-to-day life.

You’ve just got to be like a horse with side plates on its eyes and just keep focussed on your journey and just let everyone else do their own thing and prioritise and look after yourself.

Everyone is so busy with kids and partners and jobs, so of course you have to look after your kids and make sure you’re doing your best at work, but I don’t think you can do all that stuff to a high standard if you’re not right yourself. That’s the key factor; when you’re good, everything around you is good.

So I think that’s why it’s a priority to look after yourself sometimes.

The one thing that keeps me motivated and keeps me going every day is the results I am getting at UP.

Gemma Atkinson Ultimate Performance


When you see your progress pictures in front of you every week, it reminds you how far you’ve come.

In the first few days, I was struggling on rep 4 and 5 and now I’m still going at reps 10 and 12.

So every time you push that little bit harder and get that little bit more out of it, you give yourself that little mental pat on the back.

I don’t want it to end now. When I started I was like ‘I’m one week in, I’ve only got 11 weeks left’ but now I’m thinking ‘I want this to be my lifestyle now’. I love the way it makes me feel and I enjoy seeing my body change.

This morning I took two of my mates to the airport and I could lift their case out of the car myself and it was such a heavy case and they were like ‘bloomin’ heck!’ I thought ‘yes! I can lift this. It’s fine!’

It’s seeing small changes like that, it’s a nice feeling and it’s one I want to continue.

If you’re inspired by Gemma’s journey and want to start your own body transformation, talk to us about our Personal Training Plans. 

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