Alison A

On 27th Sept 2014 I first met Ondie at a book signing in Leigh. Following an introduction we chatted about medical conditions affecting physical mobility, energy levels and well being.

From the beginning of 2014 I had been suffering from joint problems bilaterally toes, feet, ankles, knees, fingers, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Even though tests were inconclusive a Rheumatologist was of the view that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and should immediately start medication with potentially severe side effects. Instead I chose to try homeopathic remedies, a different diet, and exercises to reduce the stiffness in my joints.

My joints continued to deteriorate rapidly and I couldn’t even get down or up from the floor unassisted. Rising from a chair was extremely difficult. I could only lift a small saucepan of water with both hands and could only walk short distances! Every night I would wake up with pain in my joints.

My joints felt stiff and swollen and began to look disfigured.I was 53 years old but had the agility of an 80 year old!

Late Oct 2014 I sought a second opinion and was advised to take the medication or I would be disabled within a year. I succumbed and also had a 3 month course of steroids to allow time for the medication to work. In January 2015 he also advised me to get a Specialist Personal Trainer to start an exercise programme.

I needed a Specialist Personal Trainer who was highly qualified and understood my medical condition. My immediate thoughts turned to Ondie. I had an initial and thorough consultation during which Ondie wanted to know my medical history, medications, lifestyle, diet and what motivates me. My response to the last question was achieving results! The rest is history up to the current time.

I could not have found a better, more qualified, dedicated and intuitive Specialist Personal Trainer than Ondie, to have helped and supported me in physically and mentally achieving what I am able to do today. Gradually over the 18 last months Ondie and transformed me through her training and advice including diet. From having very little mobility, strength and flexibility to being stronger and more flexible than I have been for a considerable number of years. Through Ondie’s mentoring I have learned to exercise all parts of my body, improve my posture, core and muscle strength thereby alleviating straining all my joints and heightened my awareness of what I can do to manage my RA which is currently in remission.

I think my favourite exercise tailored to my individual programme, has to be the Pike on the Swiss ball (as shown in the video below). This exercises many muscle groups, including core, shows control strength and grace in movement and makes me feel an immense sense of achievement.

To think that before my training journey I couldn’t put either hand down on the floor and now with the assistance of the ball I can practically stand on my hands. What a fantastic result! Thank-you very much Ondie for all your hard work, dedication and support, for which I will be eternally grateful.

Alison ALegal Professional Leigh On Sea
Lynda J Horner

Ondie did much more than help me shape up after hip replacement surgery.

She introduced me to a new improved lifestyle with a high level of support, both personal and psychological, expert knowledge and a personalised gym plan progressing month by month which I was able to follow at home.

Ondie has encouraged me to try positions I never thought possible and often pushed me past my comfort level whilst keeping track of my progress which in itself I found motivating as my body shape changed. Her sessions are always friendly, encouraging, hard work and fun. I enjoyed receiving the encouraging weekly text support and always felt that Ondie was motivated by my success as much as I was.

Now, after nearly a year of fitness training with Ondie and having lost weight I feel fitter, healthier and stronger with improved confidence where my whole attitude to regular exercise has changed. Quite a revelation.

Ondie is a great trainer and makes getting fit and keeping that way fun and exciting.

Lynda J HornerRN. BSc. MSc.
Gary Lockett

Ondie Woods Total Fitness – OWTF! If you have had the privilege of being trained by Ondie, either individually or in a group you will certainly understand the above letters, but more importantly you will obtain results.

Ondie uses a mix of disciplines that will not be found in a conventional gym or class. Cardio-vascular work, pilates, martial arts, ballet and many more skills are combined to give a full, but enjoyable workout.

No two Personal Training sessions are ever the same and no matter what your ability / fitness level her cheeky smile always encourages that extra rep or final push.

If you want to have fun in getting fit, I would recommend Ondie to you whatever your final goal.

Gary Lockett C.E.O Southend United Football Club, Personal Training Client
Chris Knight

I am an infant school teacher, Ondie comes to our school once a week to run a fitness class for staff. I had been going for three years , when in November 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

To say my world came crashing down on myself and my family would have been an understatement. I began the round of tests, examinations and unbearable waiting for results. I had an operation in late November 2010, followed by radiotherapy treatment in January/February 2011, as well as beginning a five year course of Tamoxifen. On my return to school in March 2011, after a four month absence, various associated health issues plagued me. Eventually I March 2012, after an ‘all clear’ mammogram result, I felt that maybe I could begin the fitness classes again.

That first day when I walked into the hall after so long, was a scary experience. My body had let me down, I was still feeling vulnerable and in many ways unsure of myself. Ondie was pleased to see me and after a big hug I told her of my worries. Ondie spent some time talking to me and finally said “Chris you can do it!” Those words meant a lot to me and for the first time I believed I could. By the end of the class I felt amazing. The encouragement and sensitivity I received meant that although I came in with my head bowed, when I had finished my head was held high. Ondie told me that my body language had changed, I had a smile on my face and I was walking tall again!

This was the beginning of my road back to feeling fit. Each week since then Ondie has been attentive, motivating and even tailored some of the exercises to help aid my recovery. Each week I have felt stronger and more determined. In early April 2012 I began attending Ondie’s Aerobics/ boxercise class on a Monday night as well. Again Ondie has been full of encouragement and praise while pushing me just that little bit more. She has recently told me that she thinks I am more fit than I was before I was diagnosed. I honestly feel she is right.

Ondie has been fantastic and it has meant a lot to me that she cares so much and believes in me. Ondie told me I can do it, and I can.

Chris Knight Infant School Teacher
Shelley Howard

In June 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45. Everything happened rather quickly and I had a successful lumpectomy and then a course of radiotherapy. I consider myself very lucky how well everything has gone. However I was unprepared for the impact the operation would have on the movement of my arm and its strength. This is where Beat-it has really helped. On my first visit I was like a little wounded bird gingerly moving my arm around. (Convinced I would come undone). Ondie keeps a firm but friendly eye on everyone, making sure you push yourself when needed, or rein yourself in, if getting carried away.

It is time for me to return to my pre-cancer life as though this was some sort of weird four month break I know without this wonderful class I would not have managed to do so well. It’s really good to meet other people in the same boat and share their experiences. So a big thank you to Ondie, Miranda and my class mates, I think Beat-it should be country-wide.

Shelley Howard

I sought Ondie a short time after finishing treatment for breast cancer. I had just endured eight months of turmoil, physically & emotionally. Two surgical operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and ongoing medication for the next five years. I had always been an active person, a dancer and teacher, I walk and cycle regularly, have practiced Pilates for many years and I think my general fitness helped me deal with the rigours of the treatment. However, I was unprepared for how ‘beat up’ my body felt afterwards. Specifically with concern for the dysfunction of my arm following total lymph node clearance.

I knew that exercise would help me but was frankly scared as to how to proceed without hurting myself. Ondie trained me one to one for several weeks and showed me carefully and with expert knowledge that I could regain strength, mobility and functionality. She takes enormous care to completely understand an individuals physical problems and works with flawless technique and expertise.

Best of all – despite it sometimes being really hard – it is fantastic fun! Ondie has a great sense of humour and I’m completely hooked on the challenge of pushing myself to a level of fitness I thought unattainable.

I will be forever grateful to Ondie for helping me. It is a privilege to know and train with her.

Beverly L

This year was a bit tough for me. Early in February I had spinal surgery and was very fearful of not getting my mobility and strength back. I need not have worried. I have known Ondie for many years, so I contacted her to arrange a series of one-to-one training sessions to help get my fitness back.

Following a consultation, my programme started. Each week Ondie took me through a combination of exercises to develop my strength, balance, coordination and core stability. Not only did she help me get my strength back but she gave me back my confidence and help me build on my self-esteem.

This lady doesn’t take any prisoners, but gets results. Her knowledge and skills are second to none and in my opinion there is no one better!

Beverly L Deputy Manager Occupational Therapy Southend Hospital (Personal Training client)
Sheila B

I wanted to write a testimonial for Ondie Woods, as I find her fitness training amazing.

On reading through the testimonials on her web-site, I totally agree with everything that has been said.

But what to add? What hasn’t already been written? Well here goes…

I am lucky enough to have had Ondie personal train me for the last 18 months (and many more hopefully). My fitness is at its best, even my friends have noticed my improved body shape.

I have used personal trainers through the years – (I’m in my sixties) and I know that I have a trainer that has that something special. I find Ondie seems to just “get” you – can’t explain how she does it, but she picks up on your mood. If you are down she picks you right up and makes you feel good about yourself.

Ondie goes beyond fitness, she says thats the way it should be. Lucky us!

If you are looking for a personal trainer or for fitness classes, Ondie is the one to go for. Like me you might find its the best choice you have made.

Sheila B Ex-Broker and Estate Agent Personal Training Client

After reading all the testimonials, I can honestly say that everything written in them is absolutely true.

Ondie is the best fitness teacher ever, for all the reasons stated. All I can add is this – coming from a professional dance training background, I recognise the excellent quality of Ondie’s classes.

There are no gimmicks, no quick fixes, just careful training based on her many years of experience. You are in safe hands and will achieve levels of fitness that greatly improve your day to day living and sense of well being.

Best of all – the classes are great fun!

CaroleRetired Ballet teacher – L.I.S.T.D
Linda Weston Manager

I love Ondie’s classes! Since Christmas I have been attending regularly three to four times a week and am amazed at the difference it has made. I feel fitter, stronger and my body shape has changed.

Ondie’s classes are the best I have tried – and I have tried them all!

She is a great teacher and motivator. Her classes are fun and I always feel great afterwards. She takes time to show you exactly how to do each exercise properly and encourages everyone to give 100% effort and it shows! Thanks Ondie.

Linda Weston ManagerOutpatients Department, Southend University Hospital
Mary Britton

Ondie is quite simply the best fitness teacher I have ever had – and no, she’s not the only one I’ve worked with! She is reliable, motivating and able seamlessly to differentiate all exercises for the various needs of class members and all with a dash of humour. Ondie quickly gets to know all her pupils by name, their strengths, weaknesses and individual problems.

Classes are varied and challenge you to just the right degree to gain steady improvement in fitness levels without injury. Ondie is extremely hot on correct technique but that doesn’t mean that the classes run at slow speed. It’s quite the opposite as classes start with a warm up, finish with a stretch out and in between exercise is continuous apart from short explanations of technique or time to grab weights, a mat or a drink.

This web site tells you that the classes are “No Gimmicks – Just Training” and this is true – there is no space for posers – just for men and women with a common aim of fitness through a safe exercise regime. I have attended twice weekly for about six years and not only feel fitter despite the inevitable ageing process but have improved my understanding of the way my muscles and joints work and the importance of a balance between strength, suppleness and cardio-vascular fitness.

If you are reading this perhaps you are looking for a local class to join; give Ondie’s classes a go whatever your age, gender and current level of fitness. You’ll be made welcome and Ondie doesn’t pick on you – well not until you’ve been attending for a few years. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed – it’s more likely you’ll be hooked!

Mary Britton Phlebotomist, Southend University Hospital
Rosemary Wright

I totally recommend this professional feisty part Irish, sense of humoured woman. Her inspiration draws me to to her class every Wednesday morning at St Barnabus Church Hall at 9.30am for more punishment! The class incorporates Royal Ballet posture, Pilates, Self-defence and integral fitness. The classes are based on strengthening the mind, body and soul.

Every person in the class is treated as an individual and I certainly respect her! God forbid any one who would confront her in combat!!

Rosemary Wright
Ingrid and Alex Moon

My husband and I have known Ondie on a professional basis for seven years, having trained both of us.

I first met Ondie after being diagnosed with a chronic illness (myasthenia gravis) and had undergone major chest surgery. On the advice of my consultant I started attending one of her exercise classes in order to rehabilitate my fitness. Despite a large class, Ondie always ensured personal attention to all her clients during the class and was always aware of any special attention anyone required for particular injuries etc.

Ondie is the ultimate professional and in her own time researched my rare illness in order to get up to date knowledge just in case I encountered any problems in her class. I then went to employ Ondie as a personal trainer in my own home, and with her expertise, motivation and enthusiasm she made my training both successful and enjoyable.

Three years ago, we again called on Ondie for her help when my husband was diagnosed with an illness. Having spoken to his consultant at King’s Hospital London, the local specialist nurse and our local GP, Alex is now trained at home by Ondie twice a week.

Again Ondie, the ever professional has researched the illness and contacted the experts at Southend Hospital (where she teaches fitness classes) in order to train Alex effectively and safely. She trains Alex using all muscle groups in order to maintain and improve his mobility where ever possible. We are in absolutely no doubt whatsoever that without Ondie’s help and expertise his deterioration would have been more profound. She has adapted to his needs as the disease has changed – originally using pieces of equipment and now largely in his wheelchair but with some exercises standing at a bar. We are extremely reliant on Ondie’s twice weekly visits and cannot thank her enough for her attention and commitment.

Ondie is the consummate professional, highly qualified, reliable, enthusiastic and patient and an immense source of knowledge and encouragement and we would highly recommend her to anyone.

Ingrid and Alex Moon Leigh-on-Sea

I am a lady of mature years (52) and have been attending two classes per week run by Ondie Woods for the last 4-5 years; one Monday ladies Aerobic/Boxercise class and one Thursday Ladies & Gents Fit-ball class.

This is the longest time that I have ever continuously attended any kind of fitness class and the reason for that is Ondie herself. She makes the classes varied and fun and people who attend are able to ‘keep-fit’ at their own personal level.

Being as qualified, medically as she is, she is extremely aware of which exercise restrictions a person with a injury can or cannot do and is very attentive and caring in that way.

People who attend Ondie’s classes seem to stay and we all ‘grow fit’ together. From a personal level, my husband is certainly enjoying the results!

Sheree Leigh-on-Sea
Lauren Rule

I have been going to Ondie’s classes at Southend Hospital for about 10 years. Through all that time I have always known her to be highly professional. She puts very high emphasis on posture and technique as being fundamental to any training in order to achieve the best results and avoid injuries. She brings her wonderful sense of humour which puts everyone at ease, whilst encouraging and motivating each member of the class to work to the best of their ability.

We frequently have new people coming to the class and Ondie always makes a point of making them feel welcome. She will demonstrate basic techniques and encourage them to join in without compromising the training for the more experienced members. She has an amazing capacity to treat each class member as an individual, she notices if anyone is struggling and offers encouragement or will adapt an exercise, and equally will push individuals who have greater strength and ability to achieve their maximum potential. Through Ondie’s teaching and with her encouragement I have gained so much, not just in strength but in confidence.

Lauren Rule Occupational Therapist – Southend University Hospital
Jill and Paul Gibbinson

Excellent classes for all ages and fitness levels – it’s hard work, but great fun and well worth it.

Far better and more worthwhile than any gym or aerobics class we have ever been to. Ondie makes you work, but she looks after you too.

We have been with Ondie since 2002 – she’s like the Mafia – you never leave!

Jill and Paul Gibbinson Teacher, Customs and Excise
Michelle Kemp

I have known Ondie for almost 20 years. We first met whilst we were training at a karate club at Rayleigh. Our friendship grew and I was in training for my first Dan when Ondie suggested I go along to her aerobic class to get really fit for it.

Well I was a bit sceptical, as all I knew about aerobic classes was a lot of posing by the teachers and the people taking the class, you know the types, tight shorts, leotards so tight as to almost cut off the circulation to the legs and jumping around with no control or coordination.

That however was not so with Ondie’s class, I was made to feel welcome by everyone (and not a tight leotard to be seen). From the start of the class Ondie was always asking for better posture, stronger punches, lighter feet and the ideas I had about aerobic classes went out of the window. I have been to other classes but none that I have found compare with the quality and care the Ondie shows to all who come to her classes no matter their age or fitness.

I have now been training, (that’s what I call it because with Ondie it is) for seventeen years, I do her Monday Aerobics / Boxersice class, Tuesdays Outdoor Training – not for the faint hearted and her Thursday Fit-Ball – Core Stability class. I couldn’t tell you which I prefer because they all challenge you in different ways. The one thing I do know is that at 48 I am probably fitter than when I was in my 20’s.

Michelle Kemp Karate Instructor, Genki-Justu
Amanda Johnson

Since meeting Ondie in 2004 I have not only changed my body shape but my attitude to exercise. I have gained confidence in myself as well as a new group of friends at every class that I do. I have suffered with painful knee joints over the years and Ondie has always ensured that the exercise I do strengthens but protects them. She gives a personal service in a class environment and I really wouldn’t want to go anywhere else!

Amanda Johnson
Irene Bond

I first met Ondie three years ago when I was at my lowest ebb. Having had two children in quick succession I had gained weight and with it lost much of my self confidence.

Having been recommended to Ondie I gave her a call, (which I can still remember to this day). Full of expectation, my needs, I felt at the time would be quite simple. All I wanted to do was lose weight in the prescribed time of ‘three months’. Of course what I envisaged was the ‘quick fix’ we have all grown accustomed to in the celebrity magazines.

The process of losing the weight is slow and steady, but I now realise how necessary it is to adjust gradually to achieve lasting results. I had never really accepted this concept before I met Ondie.

Ondie was and still is a straight talking, straight to the point kind of lady and was quick to put me into focus on her approach to fitness – which is as is her company name sake ‘Total Fitness’. With her tutorage I have completely changed my views. Health is now my goal (which I owe, primarily to myself, and to the greater good of my children and my family).

The time I have spent working with Ondie has taught me about focus and application, (of course along the way life creates reasons to falter and lose heart), but Ondie has always been a good listener, allowing to speak openly and honestly about distractive influences and allowing me to re-focus on the job in hand.

Those of us who know, love and respect Ondie, we know her to be driven and hard working, and are always energised by her never ending oomph.I am on the other hand the type that moans about the discomfort that comes with pushing yourself just a little harder. Ondie has always had the empathy to coax me out of this.

With Ondie the focus is as much about going through the pain barrier, as it is to challenge and stretch your own self-belief (even today I can’t believe how far I have come).

I have grown in many ways since meeting Ondie, and her strict corrective posture techniques and personal development emphasis to her teaching mean that I stand far taller than I would ever have dared before I met her. Her extensive knowledge in her field means that there is never a moment to get bored (just sweat).

Ondie has become much a trusted friend, and am happy to recommend her approach to achieving ‘Total Fitness’ and well being.

Irene Bond Leigh-on-Sea (Personal Training Client)
Sue Gunn

I have attended Ondie’s classes at Southend Hospital twice a week for three years and can highly recommend her. Ondie is a brilliant trainer, skilled and qualified in many disciplines. Her classes are always innovative and fun, and have given me a better fitness level than I have ever had.

She always keeps a close eye on attendee’s techniques’ to ensure they are doing the exercises correctly, in a way in which they will benefit and in a way that they will not injure themselves. The music is varied, inspiring and ever changing, helping to motivate.

Classes are always tweaked according to the skill level of the participants and Ondie’s sense of humour is always in evidence.

Sue Gunn Secretary – Palliative Care, Southend University Hospital
Sally Garvey

I have been attending Ondie’s clases for approximately 10 years, twice a week, Wednesday’s, general fitness and Thursday’s ball class. I am 61 years of age and have never felt fitter which I am sure is mainly due to Ondie’s drive, enthusiasm and hard work she puts into these classes.

I had a back problem a few years ago and with Ondie’s help and guidance as to the appropriate exercises and core strength, it is now fully recovered with no further problems.

Ondie is so knowledgable in her field and has endless patience in her strive to teach all abilities. I cannot begin to express how much I enjoy her classes and how highly she is thought of, both professionally and as a friend.

Sally Garvey Southend University Hospital, Pathology, Phlebotomy