“I never really knew how to train”

I joined Muscleyard back in Feb 2020 after struggling to be consistent with a gym routine, I never really knew how to train and I quickly found that killing yourself with hill sprints on a treadmill on your own kind of sucks!

To say my time at the yard has had it’s bumps in the road would be an understatement! The start of my time here was quickly disrupted by COVID-19 lockdowns and not being able to get into the gym to train, Rob to all his credit handled the situation fantastically, lending out all the gym equipment to members and holding zoom sessions daily to allow all members to still be able to train, not something many gyms did for their members, especially someone like myself that had only been there for a matter of weeks!

After finding similar challenges during the lockdowns my journey really started in the summer of 2020, getting back into the gym that July really gave me my first taste of the community that CrossFit and Muscle Yard provides. Getting in a great workout every session and having fun with the people around you is exactly what I was after and I’d finally found it! The coaches at MY have been brilliant along the way, making sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew but also pushing you to better yourself in every session, I can’t thank all the coaches enough for the time put in with me since the day I walked through the door to get me to where I am today!

The game completely changed for me when I started to utilize the Gemma Atkinson and her nutrition expertise. Since starting to work with Gemma in April 2021 the transformation has been something I would never have imagined, I’ve currently dropped around 15kg and I wouldn’t have managed to do that without her ongoing support and helping me understand what to eat to help me achieve my goals.
The community that Rob has formed is nothing short of amazing and I couldn’t recommend Muscle Yard enough to anyone who was looking for somewhere to train.


“Can not recommend enough”

I have taken part in sport since I was a young child, mostly as a track athlete in the 400m hurdles. Due to ‘old’ age and a long term back condition I was forced to find a new form of sport…..I really wish I had found CrossFit and in particular CrossFit MuscleYard earlier!

From the first foundation session with Rob I was made to feel welcome and part of the ‘group’. Everyone at CF Muscle Yard are so supportive and encouraging, getting the most out of every session and pushing you to reach new goals.

Rob and his coaching team are fantastic, their knowledge of breaking down the movements enable you to train at your level but give you the encouragement to improve and push your boundaries to try new skills.

Not only have I found a new love of training and sport, I have found new friends who share that passion. It’s never been so easy getting up for the 6am class!! Can not recommend CrossFit Muscle Yard enough!


“I was 58 when I joined”

I joined CFMY in June 2018. Having been at a regular gym for over 20 years, my first concern was whether I would be able to cope at all with the CrossFit workouts! The Foundation Course was a fantastic way for me to ease in gently, make sure I knew the basic movements, and let coach Rob Barber assess whether I was ready to join a class. Fortunately he said yes!!

I expected to find classes that would give me a great workout and challenge me; I was not disappointed! Fortunately the genius of CrossFit is that everything can be scaled to suit your fitness level and ability: modified movements, reducing the weight or the number of reps etc.

I hoped I would find good coaches who would motivate me and make sure I was doing the movements correctly and safely; my expectations were surpassed! The coaches are all amazing, inspirational and focus all the time on getting the correct form – even when you think they are not watching!

What I didn’t expect to find was such an amazing, supportive fitness community/family! I will never forget my first workout which ended up with three people (who had finished quicker than me) gathered around my rowing machine encouraging me to finish the workout! What a lift! Everyone was so friendly and it didn’t matter whether you were new or one of the most experienced, everyone encouraged and supported everyone else. These people have become my friends!

I was 58 when I joined CFMY. My goal was/is to be as fit as possible and as strong as possible for as long as possible. I have definitely got both fitter and stronger and even learnt some new skills! I literally cannot wait to get to the next workout! Every one is different and challenging in its own way and the people just make it fun (as well as hard work)!

If I had one tip for anyone thinking of starting CFMY, it would be to just try it!. Don’t be put off by videos of the elite athletes that you find on YouTube. They are amazing, but at CFMY awesome athletes train alongside “ordinary” people like me in a way that is mutually supportive and encouraging! See you at the “Box” soon I hope!


“I’d heard of CrossFit but had no clue what it was”

So I used to be a regular gym go-er and have 4 PT sessions a week, after the Christmas period and an amazing 2 week holiday I wanted to get back into shape but just couldn’t, I had completely lost my MoJo and hated the gym and also didn’t enjoy my PT sessions anymore.

I’d heard of CrossFit but had no clue what it was so I enquired at CFMY, Rob called me to explain more and I signed up to the fundamental course. Straight away I knew this was the sport for me, Rob & the other coaches made me feel really welcome, also everyone at the gym were really friendly and welcoming which is just what you need especially as someone brand new to the sport.

They explained the movements throughout the course and I loved it, so I became a member and attended 3 sessions a week, the workouts are tough but equally just as fun. Unfortunately Covid-19 hit after 3 weeks of joining the box, luckily Rob managed to move his sessions to home workouts which have been amazing, again the coaches and other attendees/members have all been helpful & friendly. If anyone says you can’t work out at home they haven’t tried these workouts!

Although I’m new to the gym I’m really missing the box and can’t wait to get back and see what I can achieve. Rob has been great and helped whenever I’ve needed it when I’ve had questions about CrossFit trainers, weight loss questions etc. The team really are great and I’d recommend CFMY to anyone looking to get involved and try something new!


“Second home with an amazing atmosphere”

“I was at a commercial gym under the instruction of a personal trainer, paying the earth, not seeing much result in fitness/body shape. So when I heard of Crossfit I thought I would give it a go. I am happy with what I have achieved so far. Joining Crossfit Muscle Yard I didn’t expect the added advantages of a second home with an amazing atmosphere & awesome family”


“Fitter than I have ever been”

One year ago I entered the building of CrossFit Muscle Yard in Rayleigh and they haven’t let me get out since! Trust me I have been trying, but it is hard. They are like mafia.

The people were so nice and welcoming when I started. I remember joining the 6 am crew and they were on me straight away. I didn’t even get a chance to stand by myself uncomfortably while waiting for the session to start and they didn’t even mind that I was not as fit as them. They scaled every workout down to the level I could manage and taught me how to do movements properly. But once I started to feel I wanted to give up during a workout, they didn’t let me.

How could I stop when I had JK standing next to me screaming his lungs out for me not to give up? I also heard others I barely knew to shout my name encouraging me to finish what I started. Great feeling!

That is the difference between crossfit and regular gym, where people (not all of them of course) usually quietly do a few sets; no sweat; earphones on; in their own bubble; occasional brief look in the mirror and after one year not much changed.

So what changed for me in one year doing crossfit? I lost 14kg
(over two stones) and I am way fitter than I’ve ever been in my life. That is due to programming that Rob does for us and due to all the coaches and other friends, who push us to the limit while maintaining the good technique.

Its like having personal trainer every day in the gym but much cheaper of course. But this is not the biggest benefit for me. It’s the mental game you play every session. Its that mental toughness you train when you grinding through a tough workout, and that transfers to the life outside where I can easily dive into the difficult situation with familiar pre-workout feeling whilst knowing I will come out at the other end no matter what.

I love it! We all do! Its like mafia I’m telling you. Once you’re in there’s no way out. Thank god for that!


“Losing 22lbs is a great feeling”

I met Rob in June 2016. Like many, I had been plugging away at exercise regimes and not making much progress with losing body fat and gaining muscle.

Rob was great at the start, exploring my existing diet and exercise and encouraging simple changes that were really easy to follow and fitted around my busy work and parenting life. The weight came off pretty consistently for the initial 12-week period. When I plateaued, I would discuss with Rob what I’d been doing and eating that week and he advised on how to push on to the next target.

The training sessions each week are great. A brilliant mixture of discipline, challenge, variety and a social! I’ve really seen results in how I look and feel and losing 22lbs is a great feeling. Perhaps most importantly these are all sustainable. I’ve signed up with Rob for another 3 months and I’m really looking forward to it.

I can’t recommend Rob highly enough, in the gym he’s a great motivator and trainer – and this continues during the week with his emails, Facebook posts and podcasts. A real 24/7 coach!


“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up”

Before starting training with Rob, I was bored with my same routine workouts at the gym and struggling to fit it in with a long workday. I’d tried other things, attending different classes, but felt it was a restrictive way to train when I didn’t have the equipment at home to continue on my own. I was feeling more and more out of shape and I needed to find a new way to fit it in with my schedule.

Straight away, having met with Rob and talking things over with him, I felt positive about the simple changes I could make to achieve my goals. I wasn’t exactly overweight but wanted to get fitter and healthier – he told me what I’d been doing wrong with regards to my diet and training and set about providing workouts for me to do at home along with a food plan to follow.

Prior to the first one-to-one session I must admit I was a little apprehensive. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with what was set or even do some of it. All of those feelings went away very quickly though due to Rob being so friendly, helpful and encouraging. Nearly all of what I was doing was new to me and Rob was very patient in explaining how to do everything correctly and the benefits of each exercise/movement.

After a couple of weeks (once I’d overcome the continuous DOMS from each workout!) I started to feel a difference. Moreover, I was enjoying the whole experience, which for me is essential to the success. The most important factor in it all though was that I was learning so much – Rob opened my eyes to mistakes that so many of us make in our day-to-day diets and how we train. This has been a complete lifestyle change, rather than just a fad diet.

I’ve come out of it with a new outlook on my diet and a completely new way of working out.


“I started seeing results straight away”

I had been going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week for over a year. I had been following my own routine, which I thought had a bit of structure and I was eating what I thought was right. How wrong I was.

I wanted to bulk up but I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. I had been stuck at the same weight and size and I felt I had hit a bit of a wall. I got a recommendation to see Rob and I thought I would give a 12-week course with him a go. Upon meeting him for the first time it was obvious he knew his stuff. He was very friendly very easy to talk to and extremely helpful from the off.

I told Rob my aim was to bulk up but I wanted to do this with gaining minimal fat. Rob put me on a new gym programme and told me what to eat, when to eat it  and how much. Straight away I felt confident he was pointing me in the right direction.

I started seeing results straight away. I was lifting more each week, my friends were commenting that I was looking bigger and I was feeling better and stronger each week. Every session Rob pushed me just enough, which is what I needed. I learned something new every single session. He takes the time to listen and helped me understand a lot of things I was doing wrong.

I can honestly say it’s the best money I have ever spent. The way I see it is that most people with a gym membership spend over 8-10 hours in the gym every week for years and years. So why waste your time year after year doing it wrong when you could be doing it completely right? Rob has educated me to actually know what I am doing now. Considering I haven’t eaten what I should have eaten on many occasions, I’ve had a summer holiday which meant I was eating and drinking the wrong things, I can’t believe the improvements and results – and that is all down to Rob. I also know it could have been even better would I have been more strict with my diet as Rob had guided me.

I wish I had booked a programme with him a long time ago. He is very professional and constantly showing an interest in how I was getting on, what I had been eating and how my training was going. You can see quite clearly how passionate he is about what he does and that he really cares about your results and goals.

In my opinion one of Rob’s best traits is his helpfulness and that he will go out of his way to guide you to reach your goals. I have even at times been down the gym and messaged him to check I was doing the right thing and to my surprise he replied instantly, even on a weekend. I really am grateful for all of his hard work and efforts in helping me to reach my goals. I can’t recommend him enough am looking forward to booking up my next programme with him.

Thank you Rob. You are what all good PTs should strive to be.


“I’m very grateful for everything Rob has helped me to achieve”

I’ve been having personal training with Rob for a year now. My aim was to improve my overall strength and fitness, and change my shape. The progress I’ve made in a short space of time has been brilliant.

I’m amazed at what I can lift, push, pull and press, and I’m really happy with my change in shape. I absolutely love my training sessions, I work really hard and Rob is very encouraging, knowledgeable, patient and supportive. Rob is a great guy and he makes you feel comfortable and at ease.

My confidence has improved and I have more self-belief. I’m very grateful for everything that Rob has helped me achieve.


“Couldn’t have asked for a better coach”

After a number of years of thinking I was eating healthier and trying to exercise to control the expanding waistline, I finally concluded that no matter what I did it just wasn’t working and I needed to get professional help. I have also suffered with back problems and was always being told to improve core strength. So I sought out the help of  Rob “waist-shrinking” Barber.

With his help, drive, expertise, professionalism and 12 weeks of hard graft, I can honestly say that I am over the moon with the results. It’s never been about actual weight but feeling fitter, stronger, getting into clothes again and improving my quality of life. Bad backs and kids certainly don’t mix!

I have lost nearly 5 inches off my waist, strengthened and learned how to eat healthily – plus I now have knowledge of quality exercises that fit my busy work/kids lifestyle.

Throughout the last 12 weeks it hasn’t been a case of work, exercise and no fun as the programme Rob tailored for me even incorporated a boozy snowboard trip and a couple of 40th celebrations. However, you certainly get out what you put in to the programme and if you’re prepared to put it in, Rob will support you all the way.


“I can fit his workouts in around my job and children”

Over the last 12 weeks I have seen a huge change in my body shape plus I have lost 1.8 stone. I am a mum of three and used to find it really hard to find the time to exercise, but with Robs programme I could fit in the workouts around my busy lifestyle.

I enjoy training with Rob as it’s a mixture of exercises, intense but enjoyable, not the boring same old stuff that you would do in a gym! I have noticed the difference in my clothes and I feel a lot more fitter in myself. On my down days Rob always helps me regain my positive frame of mind and is always there for support. The best thing about training with Rob is I can fit his workouts in around my job and children.


“Massive improvement in my health, body shape, strength and stamina”

After years of training at gyms I decided to give a PT a try. My girlfriend recommended Rob  as she was training with him and getting good results. so I went ahead with it. My view in life is you get what you pay for!

I tried some PT a few years back, the bloke was cheap but didn’t really care about me getting results and just seemed to want the money. I would text for advice and get no answer so I stop after a few weeks.

So I went to Rob with an open mind and probably thinking that all PTs are the same but – OMG! – was I wrong. Rob was brilliant from day one. I felt he really wanted to help me in so many ways, teaching me the right techniques of training, my diet, my lifestyle, what not to do and what I can. I am even a good cook now because of him.

He is professional in so many ways and he has made me believe in the PT again. The results I have gained have been amazing and I am so pleased I went to Rob – he has changed my life for the best and was always there for me to contact him when I needed some advice or motivation. He would always reply and his emails offer great advice.

I would never say there is a 10/10 in this world, but I have to say Rob Barber is very close. Thanks Rob mate and cheers.


“I can’t believe the change physically in such a short time”

I have been training with Rob for five months now and I can’t believe the change physically in such a short time. My physique has changed with hard work and brilliant training from Rob that I look forward to every week.

Goals are easily achievable with hard work, but mainly with a brilliant personal trainer who dedicates their time to you. I have personal training with Rob once a week and his support and encouragement has got me to where I am today!


“Redundancy And Weightloss”

I decided that I needed to be lighter and fitter in October last year and Rob was great. He made me realise that there was hope and that he could help, guide, encourage and challenge me. It was one of the best decisions I made, and we started the 12-week journey together. It was hard at first; I thought he was trying to kill me!

It was tough as I’m a foodie and love cooking (ask Rob about my carrot cake!), and have become lazy and complacent. Rob encouraged, pushed, challenged, questioned and made me want to work harder and harder.

We had mutual interests and talked a lot, but not once did it deter us from the journey we started and the challenge ahead. I lost more than 6lb in the first week and 2lb in the second – amazing. The food plan and workouts were working.

Then a 2lb gain and then a further 7lb loss – so chuffed. Lots of dedication and encouragement from Rob – emails, text message, phone calls. He was amazing.
Then a hitch. I got made redundant after 10 years and the wheels fell off. A 7lb gain – but Rob never wavered, explained the reasons why stress can cause weight gain.

He encouraged, pushed, hurt and changed me. I started working harder and harder, done more than I was asked to do. When injuries arose (old shoulder injury and a bad back), Rob switched up the training and made adjustments to keep me working hard as best i could…

My target was 2 stone, and despite the setback, we got it down to 1.7 stone – and i say “we” got it down as it was certainly a team effort.

I can not recommend Rob highly enough, and have told many people about his work ethic, intelligence, focus and dedication. He has become a part of me and makes me think differently – think better.


“Challenging and very rewarding”

Since I’ve been training with Rob I can see a massive improvement in my health, body shape, strength and stamina. Rob is very supportive, encouraging and dedicated and I look forward to training every week. I could not rate Rob more highly. Nor could I fault his methods of training and motivation.

His humour, kindness and dedication makes sessions fun, challenging and very rewarding.


“Stopping Diabetes”

I am a 54-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes. I came to realise that I needed to do something in order to avoid going on to insulin and that this would have to involve a combination of a good diet and exercise.

I also decided to train for a 5k run, which took place at the end of May, and I needed some strengthening work and core exercises to “look good” as I crossed the line. My wife and I had a cruise to look forward to in August and I wanted to look my best

I signed up with Rob for a 12-week course.

The first thing that impressed me about Rob is that he is very personable and gets to know you to see what makes you tick and what your goals are. He also shares his experiences and the challenges he sometimes faces accepting that we are human and things don’t always go according to plan.

He also keeps his clients informed through sending regular emails to keep in touch and keep you motivated as provides training tips and advice.

I really enjoyed my training sessions  – each week we would concentrate on certain routines and build on them – core, legs, upper body, cardio etc. The sessions were hard but we also had a laugh as well.

Rob is also very knowledgable about diet even sending the odd recipe or two!

As the weeks progressed I noticed the change in my body and felt really good about myself. The programme coupled with my running enabled me to do a 5k run in 21 minutes (not bad for an old bloke of 54!). My work colleagues were impressed and I was very proud when I crossed the finishing line in Hyde Park.
Rob really believes in what he does and he inspires you.

Many thanks Rob you have been a great coach and mentor!


“Thank you Rob !”

We have been training with Rob since the end of August 2013 . We have both been beating our personal goals and working on new ones constantly . Without the support and encouragement from Rob we know that we would not have achieved these goals .

The training has helped on all levels of my life; raising my fitness levels and giving self confidence. I would have lost the faith in myself and given up without Rob’s support. I’m looking forward to the next challenges that are set. Thank you Rob.  Jayne Middleton


“I had never stepped foot in a gym”

I’ve been training now with Rob for the last six months. I can honestly say I had never stepped foot in a gym in my life and I was petrified. A few of my friends suggested I try training with Rob and I’m so glad I did I’ve never looked back.

I’ve worked so hard, and that goes for Rob too training me, but never would have done it without him. His support and expertise is second-to-none. I’ve achieved so much; I’ve lost weight, gained confidence and I’m becoming so fit which I’ve never been in my life.

I’ve had four kids and I felt totally out of shape. Rob has had his work cut out with me as I was an absolute beginner! I really thank him for his patience encouragement and motivation at every training session I have with him . Thank you.