Amazing results in just 12 weeks? Charlotte Harding finds out more.
Growing up Sue Saunders never considered herself to be particularly sporty.
“I was always pretty strong but when you are a young girl in school strong isn’t desirable,” reveals Sue.
“I was short and stocky with an athletic build but at the time I wanted to be slim and long limbed.”
As she grew up she came to realise that being strong and fit was a good thing, which saw her sign up for training with fitness and strength coach Claude Abrams.
“Claude is a guru,” enthuses Sue, from Chichester.
“He has so much integrity and is good at getting the best out of people.”
After injuring her shoulder saw her unable to get back into training, once she was on the road to recovery she started to look at ways to get her fitness levels up.
“I found out about Amazing 12 through Claude,” she says.
“At first he didn’t think my shoulder would be strong enough so I had to do a number of tests before to make sure I could cope.”
Amazing 12 is a body transformation programme, which over 12 weeks educates in healthy, clean eating and exercise.
“CrossFit you do in a big group and everyone does the same thing,” explains Claude.
“But Amazing 12 can be more tailored and is done in groups no bigger than four.
“It is about changing the way you think about food and working out.
“Once they have done it people know it works so will do it and come back again and again if they need to.”
Before embarking on the training Sue talked to her dad about it.
“I ran everything past him,” she recalls.
“He never got my obsession with fitness but he loved mountains and climbing so I said to him ‘dad, this is my Everest’.
“He just told me to go for it. He passed away in November 2015 and I just thought why not. “He told me if it was something I wanted to do I should do it.”
Sue started in April last year and finished in June.
As part of the programme you train five times a week.
“Some people like HIIT or interval training as it is quick to get out and do at lunch,” says Sue.
“I found with Amazing 12 it is quite a slow process. At first I couldn’t feel anything but it builds and builds, you can’t just go in at the top weights.”
Sue reveals she can now dead lift about 102 kilos, bench press 60 kilos and do chin ups with weighs around her waist of about 14 kilos.
“People think you will get bulky but you won’t necessarily,” adds Sue.
“I knew I would get muscly but that’s not why I did it.
“I am a photographer by trade and I took photos of my transformation. I had taken one after 18 months of training with Claude and then before my Amazing 12 program after my shoulder injury.
“After three months of the training I was at the same level as I was after 18 months, I didn’t expect to see the results as quickly as I did.”
Along with the physical benefits Claude and Sue both agree it is also about building confidence.
“If you look good you feel good,” explains Claude, who just does Amazing 12 and no longer coaches or does CrossFit.
“It’s been tried and tested hundreds of times over on men and women of different shapes, sizes and ages.
“I value quality above all else and the Amazing 12 gives me the opportunity to instruct people on how to safely get strong, using good technique, to empower themselves and learn about eating and nutrition without the use of artificial ingredients.
“It’s challenging - the most valuable experience in life always are - but, in my opinion it is worth it.”
Important to Sue is not just the impact Amazing 12 has had on her but also on her family.
“My children were so keen for me to do it but I did feel guilty at first that I was being selfish,” she reveals.
“I have a young daughter and I want her to be proud of her body as she grows up. She recognises that she is strong and she sees that as a positive thing.
“She calls me ‘wonder woman’ and always says to me that I can do anything, which is something I want to instil in her.”
For more information on Claude and the Amazing 12 program visit www.intelligentstrength.co.uk
This first appeared in the March edition of etc Magazine, pick up your copy now.