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I’m no workout queen and have no idea what to expect when I walk through the doors of the Synergy space in Hoole, located near Chester Train Station.

Synergy – the word seems an intense prospect.

It’s part of a shared space that also includes We Love Yoga (hot yoga) and a cute little cafe. Before we even get to the workout itself, this buzzing overlap of activity is friendly and inviting, and I start to relax.

Synergy offers group and one to one personal training sessions, so if you don’t fancy the pressure of one to one but still want an excellent workout, then go group (like I did).

I decided to give the RAW class a go – a bodyweight workout that develops control and strength.  I wanted to find out what to expect as a nervous newbie so I grabbed Tom (the owner) for a few minutes prior to the session. He was keen to retain the mystery and told me what he tells everyone, which was to dive in and get stuck into it. Everyone and anyone is entitled to sample a free session to see if it’s for them. No pressure or sign up fees so why not? I joined a welcoming group.

This is beyond your average class; with no more than 12 people at a time, don’t expect to hide away and slack in the corner.

My class was filled with around 10 people and the workout was broken down into three stages: a warm-up, a bodyweight group section and finally section working in teams of two completing a circuit style workout. In front of a wall full of mirrors (which I surprisingly didn’t mind), we set about perfecting our form, with an emphasis on technique – to ensure each exercise targeted the correct muscles groups and worked to maximum effectiveness. It was tough but isn’t that why you go? In the end, I felt sweaty, energised and thoroughly enjoyed the one to one time Tom offered every individual in the room. He was attentive and tailors each move to ability, for instance, if you have an injury or are pregnant you still get the maximum benefit. He also knew everyone in the room by name so no skiving or you’d be called out!

The session itself was over in a blink and I was keen to find out more about Tom himself – after all Synergy is his brainchild. With over seven years of experience in the industry, he wanted his own space. Synergy has now been running for two years and nine months. In his words, “I wanted to create a new kind of culture that I didn’t experience in other gyms, to create a welcoming, inclusive, supportive and fun atmosphere, whilst still providing a highly professional and effective service.”

He’s clearly achieving his goal; I was on a high when I’d finished the class and the group was so welcoming, they even invited me out for brunch afterwards. I felt like it was more than a gym; it was a social occasion and a community. I had a look around the website afterwards and found myself absorbed reading the blog for an afternoon, learning about how I can adjust my attitude towards my body through health and fitness. I won’t be an overnight sensation but I’m going to commit to some small changes and my wellbeing will slowly improve, that’s more important to me than body shape.

If you fancy giving it a go like I did or want to take advantage of the free workout – visit Synergy to book your free group session or enquire about personal training packages.