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This week I took a trip to KBC9 fitness classes to see if I could get fitter. Tired of hiding my body in oversized tees and slouchy jumpers for fear of revealing an extra few inches, and with the party dress season around the corner, I know it’s time to start thinking about streamlining my shape. And what better way to kick start my motivation levels than with a focused eight week Fat Loss Package at the KBC9 studio of trainer t Martin Lake AKA 'Fatlossguy'. The main goals of the training package are to decrease body fat percentage, improve fitness and your waist to hip ratio. Using a mixture of resistance training, high intensity interval training, metabolic circuits and intense core training the programme promises to delivers unlike no other.

Does KBC9 sound daunting? It doesn’t get more drastic than signing on with a trainer three times a week when you’ve always preferred the anonymity of a class to the intimacy of one-to-one. Don’t get me wrong, I am not exactly a stranger to the gym and I think the potential to be a weirdo about exercise is there. As a Bookings Editor who sees models on a daily basis, I’m fascinated by their accounts of pre-Fashion Week body-sculpting – tales of 4am starts, brutal diets, two hour long weight and cardio training sessions. I’m even a little envious. But as someone with practically no muscle definition and zero experience of lunges, squats and sit ups I am a little nervous as I make my way to an initial fitness assessment at the Matt Roberts KBC9 branch.

However, at KBC9 I’m immediately put as ease by lovely fitness trainer Laura Hagan as we take initial measurements; BMI, body fat percentage, waist to hip ratio, muscle mass and even hydration levels are recorded. We then move into the gym, which resembles a stylish underground bunker – all dimmed lighting, cool metal tones and mirrors. I am introduced to their ‘Functional Movement Screen’, which identifies exercises that will best restore proper movement and build strength.

Matt Roberts

My results in the KBC9 test reveal a normal BMI but a very high body fat percentage so there is serious work to be done. Our plan is: eight weeks, three sessions per week, followed by a couple of cardio sessions outside of my usual PT hours. I’ve chosen to lose my evenings to the programme and am having a little difficulty in bidding farewell to box set nights in and fun nights out in favour of goblet squats and reverse lunges.

No one forces you to exercise as an adult – there’s no obligatory netball, cross country running or hockey lessons, nor compulsory bleep tests every new term. We don’t push ourselves because, well, pushing ourselves can be painful. There’s lactic acid, muscle pain and sweat, and the feeling you might even throw up. Which is why the training package at Matt Roberts works. While it’s not exactly a breezy stroll in the sunshine, nothing is scary and everything is explained with just the right encouragement and pressure from my great personal trainers Laura and Alan. The programme is tailor made to you and you learn how to do the exercises correctly and take them home with you.

Each KBC9 session starts with a warm up on a foam roller (imagine a soft rolling pin kneading your muscles), which breaks down the lactic acid that builds up in the muscles and causes subsequent aches and tension. And with my muscles aching after the first few sessions, I look forward to hopping on the mat and rolling out any residual soreness.


KBC9 Five Fat Loss Tips

It’s simple right?

Create a ‘calorie deficit’ whereby you burn more calories (through exercise and basic body function) than you consume.


1. Increase your LPA (Lifestyle Physical Activity)

Throughout your day, simply do more! Start to enjoy the feeling of raising your heart and breathing rate by taking the stairs, not the escalators, wash your own car, not through a car wash and for those at work, use the loo or photocopier on the floor above you! Every little really does help!


2. Book it in!

Use a diary every week to plan and ‘book in’ your exercise. View these as appointments and be sure not to double book! Aim for at least five 1 hour sessions per week, which raise the heart and breathing rates; these can consist of gym workouts, walks in the park or countryside, exercise classes, swimming or even some tough gardening! Make a note about how you felt after the exercise too; this will help to continuously remind yourself of that positive post exercise feeling!


3. Cardio doesn’t have to be boring!

Instead of long slow (some may say boring!) cardio work lasting 20 minutes or more, try interval training. This is where you work for 20s high intensity followed by 40s rest (double the time!) and repeat 5 times.  Do 5 minutes of interval training on the treadmill, x-trainer or rowing machine as a finisher for a workout including big compound moves like squats and lunges. 


4. Write it down!

For 5 days write down everything that you eat and drink. This will no doubt motivate you to eat better in the first place but suddenly the areas of improvement will become clear. Try having a fruit tea instead of traditional tea or coffee…the temptation to also have a biscuit or cake (often at least 100 kcal, which could make all the difference) is massively diminished! Small and gradual changes are the key for maintenance and changing habits of a lifetime! Aim to balance your diet using a wide variety of foods and remember that treats should stick to being treats and not everyday habits!


5. Brighten up your plate and taste the rainbow!

Aim for at least 4 bright colours on your dinner plate, consisting of protein, plenty of veg and wholegrain carbs. Also, try early evening eating not late night feasting; this will avoid heavy meals sitting in the stomach just before bedtime!

We then start with a circuit that works on everything from legs and bum, to upper body and the abdominal muscles. Within seconds, I am sweating and red faced from seemingly simple leg rises. I twist from left to right holding a medicine ball, use TRX straps to pull my body through my hands, squat holding a heavy weight - always taking the weight in the heels, attempt incline press ups and finish with an intensive five minutes of interval training on the cross trainer, before the glorious last five minutes of stretching - heaven!

I have to admit, the first week hurts and I feel muscle pain in places where I didn’t even know muscles existed. Sensing I am in trouble, I buy every Radox muscle soak on the market. Yet, after just week one, I already feel stronger, motivated and even though I ache, I feel a little more energised. 

'No one forces you to exercise as an adult – there’s no obligatory netball, cross country running or hockey lessons, nor compulsory bleep tests every new term'

After three initial tough weeks on the KBC9 Fat Loss training package at Matt Roberts I’m beginning to make progress. I feel at ease with trainers Laura and Alan and they push me in a way that makes me feel positive. However, as friendly as they are, there’s always one more glute raise to be done and an extra ten seconds giving 100% on the spin bike. After I cheerfully keep a conversation going while pulling a weighted cable row, I catch a note being made on my file to increase the weights next time. Apparently, if you can chat away, then you have spare capacity.

You’re constantly challenged as your body adapts. Repetitions of weighted step ups, planks, hamstring curls, dumbbell chest presses and reverse lunges have all been added to the routine, and levels have been increased on the dreaded interval training cardio machines. Interval training is definitely encouraged, as Laura says; “your body uses more calories and oxygen after high-intensity interval training than after steady-state aerobic exercise.” And when the goal is fat loss, short bouts of high intensity exercise are essential and leave the body able to work harder for longer periods of time.

The initial stiffness and fatigue from the first sessions is starting to fade and other than a few late nights doing laundry (I underestimate the sartorial demands of constant exercise and have to stock up on gym leggings and sports socks) I am starting to look forward to frequent exercise. I am certainly starting to discover why people keep going back for more, after all the blood, sweat and tears: exercise can easily become addictive, for many reasons beyond the body-shaping benefits.

After five weeks of training sessions at Matt Roberts, something is happening, the repetitions are gradually becoming easier (muscle memory develops) and knowing exactly what I have to put myself through to burn off the calories, sugary cupcakes and biscuits that regularly – and unhelpfully – orbit the fashion desk are now ignored and avoided. And the thought of having to exercise on a hangover means alcohol is ruled out too. I’m starting to feel cleaner and leaner. Nervous I would stumble during a weeklong work trip in New York (the land of fries, burgers and cotton candy), I receive a sweet email from my trainer with tips on what I could do in the hotel gym to help me stay on track.  I return ready and raring to go for the last few weeks.

The post-sweat dopamine high – though perhaps not as fun as some other highs – is very real - as is the evidence of the toning and tightening of my body. On a recent shopping trip, the sales assistant in the changing room tells me the dress looks too large and I should opt for a size down (and yes, I almost kissed him!) The experience is making me more convinced of the importance of exercise, and I know we are capable of more than we do.

Diet is admittedly still a battle (a lifetime of chips and Wotsits is hard to kick) but with the aid of a food diary and nutritionist advice, the Fat Loss Training Package is more than just personal training – it’s a full service. Clients are advised to follow the food pyramid (see picture) with fibre, pulls, protein and good fats being the sound base of a healthy diet. You can view Matt Roberts recipes here.




Get fit fads and new-fangled routines are all very well but when it comes to exercise – and especially sweating – most of us want one thing: Results. And the results from the Matt Roberts Fat Loss Package are undeniable.

I have lost 12lbs, 5% of my total body fat, two inches from my waist and four inches from my hips. Even more excitingly my body really does look different – leaner and lither. My waist and hips are noticeably smaller. I feel fitter, stronger and more aware of my body. I stand taller.

Thanks to KBC9 and my trainer Laura Hagan’s varied programme, I have also learned a whole book’s worth of exercises I can do at home and am now armed with weaponry to continue the fight outside the KBC9 studio. I now want to exercise on a regular basis, a big step up from my previous haphazard fitness routine of an exercise class here and there. It’s this change that is perhaps most surprising to my family, friends and myself - a change that no measuring tape can track. My trainer tells me that fat burning starts speeding up more - as your body gets leaner; the fat burns off quicker. I need no more convincing: I’ve signed up for a second course.on, visit mattroberts.co.uk or call 0207 626 0888


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