We all exercise for different reasons. For me, I exercise because I want to be strong and I want that strength and fitness to be transferable for every day life… and whatever life may throw at me. I’m nowhere near ready-for-a-zombie-apocalypse strong, but I’d like to be.. because y’know, the way this world is heading you never know what you’re going to need to be prepared for! Anyway, I’ve just spent 8 week trialling Mycoach School and testing out their 8 week summer challenge so in this post we’ll be discussing all things Mycoach School, my history with fitness and my thoughts on the 8 Week Challenge.
To disclose, I was given free access to the My Coach School Premium membership giving me access to the 8-week challenge in return for the honest review that ensues...
My History With Fitness and Working Out
Throughout my teenage and young adult years, I was conscious about my weight… like most teenagers are, I suppose. I was tremendously aware of my small skeletal frame, mainly because it was the height of conversation and small-talk amongst family, friends and even strangers. All of whom felt it was within their best interest to comment on how skinny I was or tell me to go and eat a burger. Team that with teenage hormones and not being able to fit into size 6 clothes like all my other friends and, at age 14, you’ve got one self-conscious, terribly unconfident teenage girl on your hands.
As a result of this low confidence, I spent the ages of 12 – 19 years old avoiding any kind of physical activity and the gym. Instead, I’d continuously eat my body weight in junk food in desperation to gain weight. It took me a long time (too long…) to realise that the gym is not the enemy and surprinsigly, eating lots of junk food won’t help me gain weight.
At 20 years old, I discovered the gym and weights. As I learnt more about fitness and weightlifting my confidence grew and I started to feel happier in my skin. I was still that ‘skinny-need-to-eat-a-burger’ girl that I was when I was 14 years old, except I had grown to accept that was how I looked and I was happy with that. I have a naturally slim frame but over the past few years with some fairly consistent training, I’ve managed to gain some muscle. Oh, and with the joys of aging, my metabolism has also slowed meaning I’ve put on some fat on the past year or so too!
Six years have passed since I first discovered the gym but my love for fitness remains. With recent changes in my career and daily life, my visits to the gym started to dwindle last year. I fell out of routine and being away from the gym started to impact my levels of happiness. It’s funny how not having a consistent fitness routine or the endorphins released from those workouts can really take it’s toll on your emotional state.
After changing jobs, I started settling into a new routine where I could finally start making time for the gym again. So, when the opportunity to take part in the 8-week challenge came along, I was beyond thrilled to get stuck into something that would help me get back into the gym, fuel my motivation and give me some goals to strive towards.
Introducing My Coach School
Before we getting into the ins and outs of the 8 week challenge, I first wanted to introduce My Coach School and talk through some of the features of the platform. MyCoach School is essentially like the Netflix of the fitness world. It’s an online training academy filled with workout programmes, recipes, coaching tutorials, challenges and a progress tracker. All of these features work together to help users reach their fitness goals, be it weight loss, muscle gain, increased gym confidence or whatever else you may be striving for!
MyCoach School is ran by fitness power couple, Ben Haldon and Lucy Davis, and their team behind the scenes. If you’re an avid Gymshark fan you may already be familiar with Ben and Lucy as they are part of the Gymshark Athletes family… and rightly so! Ben and Lucy work ridiculously hard to put a heap load of educational, informative and fun content out there for gymgoers to follow.
With their fun, relaxed and not-so-serious yet brutally honest approach to both the fitness industry and everyday life, Ben and Lucy are taking the industry by storm and I’m confident that this is only the beginning of what they have in store for us.
Without futher ado, let’s get into the different membership tiers of Mycoach School
What are the MyCoach School Membership Tiers?
There are three membership levels within My Coach School – Basic, Premium and VIP. These three tiers vary in regards to how much content they provide you with access to and range from £0 to £40 per month ensuring that they have something available for everyone, regardless of budget.
|Membership Level||Monthly Cost|
Basic MyCoach School Membership
As you would expect, the Basic My Coach School Membership tier offers the most limited amount of access. But with that said, it still offers an incredible amount of free content to help you on your fitness journey. Within the Basic My Coach School Membership you will find:
- Access to the Coaching Group on Facebook
- Supplements advice
- Male and Female workouts
- Starter coaching videos
- Recipe videos
- E-books for Fat Loss & more
Premium MyCoach School Membership
The premium membership is the level of access that I had to the My Coach School and if, like me, you sometimes find it hard to motivate yourself in the gym or if you are in need of some inspiration for your next workout program, then the premium Mycoach School is a life-saver. For £15 a month you can get access to an incredible database filled with knowledge without it being too much of an additional monthly cost on top of your current gym membership. In the Premium membership tier, you will get:
- all of the above and…
- calorie and macro tracker
- progress tracker (weight and image version)
- weekly check-in
- 8 week challenges
VIP MyCoach School Membership
The VIP version of MyCoach School has only just launched and it brings with it a ton of new features to keep you on your A game in the gym. With the VIP membership you get:
- all of the above and…
- workout training
- 12 week training program
- personalised diet plan
- advanced coaching videos
- ability to add workout plan to calendar
- PB and step count tracker
Because I haven’t tried to VIP membership yet, I caught up with someone who has! Becca was kind enough to share with me her honest thoughts after trying the VIP MyCoach School program and here’s what she had to say:
“My initial reaction was just literally wow, I cannot believe how many new features the VIP membership has compared to the Premium memberhip. From individual single exercise videos, requesting a personalised meal plan, a new progress tracker that enables you to set new goals, input new pbs met and add your steps that you have taken for the day. The VIP membership also includes a new 12 week training programme, which can be added to a weeky planner, so you can keep track on what workouts you have done for that week on a daily basis”
Out of all the new features that she tried in the VIP programme, Becca said that she most liked the single exercise videos, as on the Premium membership the workout videos show numerous exercises in one longer video, which Becca found slightly time-consuming. Becca also really liked the new progress tracker features, as these really help you to hold yourself accountable and helps to motivate you to keep working toawrds your goals, as well as being anble to document your newly met PBs… something that Becca, and many other people taking part in the 8 week challenge (myself included!), managed to achieve a lot over that 8 week period.
Finally, Becca explained how she feels that My Coach school needs more recognition in general, as since becoming a member in April 2019, she feels like it has transformed both her body and mind.
Since joining My Coach School, Becca feels like it has helped educate on the importance of incorporating a well balanced diet into her life and how to fuel her body to meet her goals. As you can probably tell, she’s a fan of MyCoach School and definitely recommends you consider the VIP programme if you do decide to join the academy!
The 8 Week Fitness Challenge by My Coach School
When I started My Coach School’s summer 8 week fitness challenge my goals were to maintain weight whilst improving my strength, muscle mass and general fitness levels. Of course, everyone involved in their challenge all had their own goals. Whether those fitness goals were weight-loss oriented or focused on gaining muscle-mass, the 8 week challenge was perfect in helping each and every person involved getting closer their own specific goal.
Reaching your fitness goals isn’t something that happens over night, it takes patience, discipline and time… things that the 8 week challenge helps with, perfectly!
The 8 week challenge is open to males and females, with Ben and Lucy each offering programmes to follow. The inclusivity is amazing and I love that the challenge is something everyone can get involved in, regardless of gender or desired goals. And of course, because it is a challenge, there’s a prize at the end of it all! For this challenge, the prize was a trip for 2 to Croatia and the winner was chosen based on progress made compared to their initial goal.
The winner of the 8-week challenge this time around was Leighton who absolutely smashed his goal to gain muscle mass and lean up over the 8 week period. Leightons before and after photos are genuine proof of what amazing results you can achieve by signing up to the Mycoach School fitness challenges… and his trip to Croatia is well deserved!
My Experience with the MyCoach School 8 Week Challenge
In short, I absolutely loved it! I followed Lucy’s guide for the 8 week challenge and the night before starting, I opened up the guide and wrote all of the workouts for the upcoming 8 weeks into a little notepad that I could take to the gym every day to refer to. Throughout the 8 weeks, you also check in weekly with 3 photos (front, side, back) and your current weight. You can then look at these weekly check-ins and see how far you’ve come since you started.
The level of detail that has gone into creating the 8 week challenge is incredible! Most programs that I have tried offer a limited variety of exercises and, in my opinion, don’t put enough focus on each muscle group. This is where the Mycoach School program differs. The 8 week challenge had 5 workout days per week, with each day focusing on a different muscle group i.e. hamstrings, pull (back and biceps), push (chest, shoulders and triceps), quads and glutes. Then over the 8-week period, instead of recycling the same exercises for each muscle group, every week was different. The compound movements were always the same but new exercises, or exercises you may not have done for a couple of weeks, would be added in to really challenge you. This was perfect for helping me to build muscle and increase my PBs.
A 5 day split may sound pretty heavy-going for some people but it worked perfectly for me. I swapped the suggested rest days so that these fell on the weekend and made it so that my workouts were Monday – Friday after week, leaving me gym-free at the weekend. It didn’t take long to get into the habit of going to the gym each day after work and it soon became something I looked forward to each day.
The only downside to the workouts being a 5 day split is that I felt like it didn’t leave me much time to do any cardio. Some of the days did include a HIIT session but in general, I felt as though I could have done more cardio.
But then again, that’s not entirely down to the 8-week challenge. If I really wanted to do cardio, I could have got up an hour earlier, gone on the weekend or just stayed 40 minutes later after my gym session to squeeze in a run.
The other great thing about the 8 week challenge is that if you don’t feel like the 5-day split fits in with your weekly routine, you can use the advice and coaching given on the Mycoach School website to figure out ways to change the challenge and make it fit your routine. There’s also the Mycoach School facebook group where you can post your thoughts and questions and reach a ton of amazing advice, help and recommendations from other members of the Mycoach School.
I’m always dubious of gimmicky Facebook groups but honestly, the Mycoach School group is brilliant. Everyone is lovely… it’s like having your own group of cheerleaders spurring you on throughout the 8-week challenge. Seeing everyone progress and get excited over hitting new PBs or smashing mini-goals really does fill you with motivation to push yourself harder and strive towards reaching your own goals.
Results From The 8 Week Exercise Challenge
I did it! I won’t lie to you, I even shocked myself that I stuck to the 8 week challenge. Before starting, I was worried that I would start to falter or lose motivation partway through but it never happened… not even once! In fact, when it was all over, I actually felt sad.
As I said before, I loved taking part in the 8 week challenge and I’m already thinking about the next one. From week 1 to weight 8, my weight stayed fairly consistent as I hoped. However, the weekly check-in photos showed a clear reduction in fat and an increase in muscle mass.
I’m shocked at how much my quads have grown in those 8 weeks! I always used to will my quads to grow, but it turns out consistent training, a dedicated quad-day each week and giving it 100% each day is all I needed to do to grow my little quads! Who’d have thought it?
I’m still waiting for my abs to make an appearance but I wasn’t strict with my diet and didn’t incorporate any cardio into my 8-week challenge… so I can’t expect miracles to happen! With that said, other people taking part in the challenge smashed their weight-loss goals and had clear definition.
Would I take part in another 8 week challenge by Mycoach School? Absolutely! In fact, they have another 8 week challenge starting in the next couple of weeks and I already have my eye on it.
So, if you fancy taking part in an 8 week challenge and being in the chance of winning an amazing holiday at the end of it all, then I urge you to head on over to the MyCoach School and signing yourself up for the Premium membership. If you are looking to mix up your current workout plan or need a push in achieving your workout goals, you absolutely won’t regret signing up for the next 8-week challenge!