Andrew Sims

"4 years ago I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. I have a bicuspid aortic valve and a weakened aorta which has expanded to the point where it needs surgical repair. The operation is serious, although routine.

Prior to the diagnosis, I did a lot of endurance cycling such as Lands End to John O'groats , London to Nice, big rides in the Alps and countless big days on the bike where I'd ride more than a hundred miles in a day. The medical advice was that I could keep riding but at a lower intensity in order to protect myself. I was also placed on beta blockers which had the effect of reducing my max heart rate by 25 bpm.

In mid 2021 it was decided that the risk of surgery was less than the risk of waiting. At this point, the effects of lockdown and the restrictions to my training had conspired to ruin my motivation to keep fit and I'd lost fitness, strength but gain gained some weight. So, although I told myself that I needed to get in the best shape that I could before my operation, I struggled to get back into training. This is where Steve came in. Following introductions from my partner I met Steve and we agreed that we'd work together for the 6 weeks prior to the operation. The idea was to tone up, improve my posture, regain some cardio fitness and lose a little weight, all within the constraints set out by my cardiologist. Steve designed a mix of cardio work & weight training which really helped. By the end of the period, I was standing taller, feeling stronger and my cardio system had improved. What was particularly interesting (for a data geek like me) was to see the difference in how my heart rate responded in week 6 compared to week 1. My performance at a given heart rate had improved, and recovery times reduced enormously. My resting heart rate also reduced. I also felt like, I had a little more control over my destiny.

I can't recommend him enough."