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Deciding to step into a gym can be a little daunting for some.

Not knowing what to expect, worrying that everyone will be so much fitter than you, not knowing anyone, wondering what to bring with you and even thinking you won’t get through a whole class without collapsing in a sweaty heap halfway through.

Well worry no more as MSF is a little more supportive than that! We like to foster an environment where everyone is respected and treated as individuals. Whether you are visiting simply for nutritional support, taking the first steps into fitness or you are a seasoned athlete – MSF offer the support and guidance to ensure you get what you want from your visit.

Even though we are a Pay As You Go fitness studio with no membership fees, our regular ‘members’ all get to know each other in the classes and have a great fun, social experience whilst getting fit! With plenty of support from the instructors and each other! The fun, social element is something which is very important to us having been members of large gym chains in the past and never got to know many people as everyone was wandering around with headphones in! During classes, support is always given to ensure you are getting the most from your session with us.

We make a point of trying to maintain a professional but friendly environment  where booking systems are in place which enable all those who attend to be given equal opportunity. We have several flexible payment options to suit everyone’s preference.

So if you were thinking of coming along but are still not sure, why not book in for a free 30min consultation.  It’s a great opportunity to see what we are able to offer.

And just to let someone else blow our trumpet, take a read of this Personal Training clients review to get a little idea of what we could do for you!

“MSF is a great place to be – no pressure but loads of support, together with Mark working through lots of conditioning and learning how to hit the off switch on negative thoughts when hurting, Mark is a great coach that allows you to grow whilst pushing you just enough to get the most out of the time you spend with him. Been working with him for 8 weeks now and it is now an essential part of my training. Currently focusing on a good base and have already seen the results with more power on the bike, more speed on the run and generally feeling more focused. Wish I’d found MSF earlier – give them a go, it’s a brilliant set up and a fantastic place to reach your potential”.

And the clients results speak for themselves:

“A solid PB at Market Drayton 10k this weekend by 5 minutes – the only extra I’ve added to my training regime is a weekly PT session with Mark – this has improved my running (and cycling) no end.  Since the PT sessions have kicked in, I’m consistently hitting sub 7 minute miles for my runs (before the PT sessions 7.40 was a good mile pace for me). Looking forward to seeing what it has done to my tri times at Slateman this weekend. Thank you Mark.”

So why not book in for a chat and see what we can offer you…the best investment you can make is with yourself.



Last Chance Sunday - The Sufferfest
Last Chance Sunday – The Sufferfest

Wattbike drop-in sessions are available from 7-10pm every Tuesday.
This is not an instructed class – do your own workout or follow a workout card. Great for those not wanting to take part in a group class or for those wishing to complete their own specific training session. Also great for beginners who just want to get used to using the bikes.
Hot drinks and shower available.

What’s it all about…?



MSF Fitness is proud to welcome clients from all kinds of fitness backgrounds – be it a complete beginner looking to start out on the fitness trail or a serious athlete with big goals and dreams in mind.

Dreams.  Now there’s a thing.

Some people may only look into MSF Fitness from the outside – via social media like this blog, Facebook and Twitter.  But do they get to see the whole picture? Do they see what MSF Fitness is really all about? It’s easy to think it is all about the Wattbike. Riding to power zones to get fitter and faster on the bike outside.  And it’s easy to assume that everyone who comes to the studio is a cyclist.  And a competitive one at that.

But that is not what MSF is about.  Not exclusively anyway!

MSF has two studios – a Wattbike studio and a Personal Training/Group exercise/Strength & Conditioning studio.  Our classes cover everything from circuits and TRX suspension training, indoor bike, a mix of bike and circuits, pilates and performance coaching (where participants are given a set bike workout bespoke to them – be it for rowing, cycling, running, triathlon or sportives).

Within the Wattbike studio, there are over 18 indoor bike classes taking place every week.  Only one of these classes is filled exclusively with cyclists – not intentionally.  That’s just how it is at the moment! All of these classes are taught to the RPE scale (Rate of Perceived Effort) with one aim – getting those attending to be fitter and stronger.

So what type of members are taking part in these bike classes? Is it all about performance and getting faster on a bike outside?  Is everyone really fit* and is it too hard for a ‘normal’ person to do?  In a word – NO!   *Obviously those who have been coming regularly are getting REALLY fit!

In any one class, we have a varied mix of members from runners, cyclists, rowers and triathletes to ‘normal’ gym goers – you know, those who are quietly getting fitter and stronger, losing weight and enjoying every minute of it.  Which brings me back to those dreams.

EVERYONE has a dream. No matter how big or small those dreams may be.  We all have aspirations to be better at something or to improve something or to push ourselves in some way.  We all have something we are aiming for.  If you can dream it, you can do it – so dream BIG!

Some of our members want to complete an Ironman. Others want to run a marathon.  Some want to complete a 5km Parkrun. And others just want to be sociable whilst getting fit.

Joyce attends 2 bike classes and a TRX Suspension Training class every week.  When Joyce started coming to MSF 18 months ago, she was 11 stone.  She is now 8.5 stone. She completed her first 10,000m EVOLVE Wattbike Challenge in just under 20 minutes.  And she can plank for around 5 minutes. Oh, and she’s 61 years young.

And that’s what MSF is about.  It’s about making fitness accessible to all.  It’s about goals. It’s about helping you to achieve those goals. It’s about support.  It’s about pushing you out of your comfort zones.  It’s about being better than you were yesterday. It’s about choices. It’s about doing what you want to do to get to where to where you want to be.  It’s about rehab.  It’s about nutrition. It’s about a new you. It’s about a fitter and stronger you.  It’s about fun. It’s about friendship.

It’s all there for the taking. You just have to believe in yourself and trust in the choices you make. Fitness isn’t about being better than anyone else.  It’s about being better than who you used to be.  It’s your choice, no one else’s.

Live your dreams*.

* except for that one about being eaten by the giant spider!



Mark Fenn is the lead trainer within MSF Fitness Ltd and has over 18 years of experience working and training within the fitness industry.

MSF Fitness began as a 1:1 Personal Training Studio and 18 months ago, moved into its current premises on Stafford Park, Telford.   As we head into 2015, Mark gives a summary of the last year through his eyes.

“The studio is hard to sum up because it’s like a landscape – it’s always changing and the only people that will ever understand this are those that pass through it.”


2014 has been an interesting year from both a working perspective and with training. My fell running is now non-existent but hopefully that will change in 2015. I aim to get out on the hills whenever I can. My cycling went better than expected on only 3hrs per week training (all on Wattbike). I managed a 23’ 10 mile TT and I went under the hour for a 25 mile TT. The 50 took 2hrs 03min and I completed the 100 in 4hrs 19min. At the back end of the season, I entered my first crit race of the year with the aim of finishing. In the end, I raced hard and did what I do best – disrupted the field and made them work. Then with 1 lap to go, I eased to the back to roll in, avoiding the carnage of the finish. Some find this bizarre but I don’t race to win. I race to take part and be in the race from the off, not just wait for 1 lap to go for it.

My average working week is 100hrs. For many people, that seems stupid but these people don’t know me very well! This is my job and my living. It’s what keeps a roof over my head, but it’s also more than a job. It’s my life (there’s a song in there somewhere!). Those that know me well will never question it. Those that question what I do, don’t know me.

My clients have all had a bumpy journey throughout 2014 but let’s face it, that’s fitness and the reason so many unfortunately give up. I feel that what makes me different is I don’t give up on any one. I support, encourage and understand their battle. The frustrating part of being an Instructor-Coach-Personal Trainer is getting clients to understand the importance of trusting the system they are using. There is no quick fix, it is a 24-7 / 85%/15% rule. Social media is great but at the same time, people easily get dragged in and jump from one fad to another, without research or commitment. That’s where I have to step in! I think it’s great when clients ask what I think because it shows they value my opinion. But at the same time, don’t ask me a question that you don’t want to know the truthful answer to!

All my clients have done well to achieve what they have achieved. For many, it’s about being consistent with their training and nutrition. For others, its rehab and improved health.  And for some, its performance based.


December saw the re-launch of the sports and social club which is based within MSF Fitness – EVOLVE.  This club is for all regular users of MSF Fitness, making it a social club as well as being a sports club which is affiliated to British Cycling, SCCA and CTT.  It offers something for everyone, from those who enter cycling races, triathlons and other events as part of EVOLVE to those who don’t cycle outside but enjoy running, walking and socialising with like-minded people.  Beginning in January, there will be a monthly social event for all Evolve members.


The studio doesn’t run itself and we want to keep it moving forward while maintaining the personal approach. MSF has expanded from having just the one studio where we held Wattbike classes, circuits and Personal Training. We took on the room next door, Studio 2. It’s bigger and we now have a great Personal Training and Group Exercise Studio, Consultation Room, Performance Centre area and Treatment Room.


We have teamed up with Borders Physio and Sports Injury Centre, and now offer physiotherapy, rehab and running screening. This is alongside Supple Fitness which offers sports massage and Pilates. The team is growing stronger and getting closer to being a studio which really does offer everything.

In December we added a second Wattbike Studio in Shrewsbury within Stan’s Cycles and this adds another link to our chain. This will be launched in January, making Telford our Headquarters.


We are also welcoming a nutrition and weight management company on board – Purition. This will be launching in the new year.


Delivering the high quality I expect is not easy and is often frustrating as I know what I want but don’t always have the knowledge or the skills to get it done! This has always been a battle for me, but while I feel this way, I know I’m still focused and determined to succeed.

I am very much looking forward to the challenges and the changes that 2015 will bring.


Body Blitz Finale – the 12 week reveal


The first MSF Body Blitz began on 4th October 2014. Eight participants signed up to the 12 week programme. All had different goals: weight loss for a wedding; tone up and weight management; building muscle; improving core stability and strength; getting fitter; understanding nutrition.

And so the journey began. The first session involved being weighed and measured – hips, thighs and waist. Then it was on to a fitness test. This was to be used to monitor cardio fitness and was repeated in sessions 6 and 12. The group then moved into the strength and conditioning studio and were introduced to a set of core stability exercises which they were to repeat at home several times a week. The exercises were simple to perfect and the intensity and adaptions were to be added throughout the programme as new exercises were learnt. Nutrition was discussed and all went away with a food diary sheet which was to be completed daily and handed in each week. They also went away with the challenge of giving up one thing they eat/drink regularly for the 12 week period.

Over the weeks, nutrition was discussed and monitored through analysing weekly food diaries. Initially the focus was on cutting down the sugars – processed foods etc. Having previously discussed the effects of too much sugar in our diets, the participants were each given a bag of sugar which visually demonstrated how much sugar was in a portion of their chosen foods from a particular day. Examples were a fruity ‘low fat’ yoghurt, energy bars, cereal bars, a days worth of tea with 1 sugar etc. All were particularly shocked at how much total sugars (including fruit sugars) there was in their diets. As a group, we discussed the alternatives and what we could have as healthy snacks without relying on fruits. We introduced healthier versions of flapjack recipes; gave snack ideas such as peanut butter and rice cakes or Greek yoghurt with honey and nuts and shared ideas and experiences amongst the group. Discussions then moved onto carbohydrates and fats – cutting down on refined carbs such as white rice, past and bread etc. Over the weeks, it was great to see the changes being put into practice, which highlighted that all participants were understanding their nutrition better.

As the exercises were becoming more challenging, so was the intensity. The group was learning about each exercise and the benefits it gave alongside learning how to complete them at the right intensity to see results e.g. number of reps, heavier weights, exercise adaptions etc. The cardio sessions – on the Wattbike and in Studio 2 – really started to push participants out of their comfort zone.

So as we came to the finale, it was time to see if the hard work and dedication had paid off. The final weigh-in was completed and measurements taken and recorded. The fitness test was carried out and the final strength and conditioning set was added at the end.

On compiling the data for each participant, it was clear that those who had remained consistent, determined and focused had achieved their desired results. The biggest loser was a 9kg weight loss (19.8lbs) with 6.5cm lost off the thighs. Most participants recorded weight loss (where desired) with a reduction in waist, hip and thigh measurements. Results and feedback will be emailed out to all as a record of their hard work and as motivation to keep on going with the lifestyle change that they have embarked on.

The key to their success was dedication, commitment and the support of their fellow participants. Amazing what you can achieve in 12 weeks. Great effort.


Trek Precision Bike Fit at Stan’s Cycles

Trek Precision Fit by Stan’s Cycles


Mark was kindly invited to Stan’s Cycles – a Shrewsbury based bike shop – to experience a precision bike fit. Stan’s have recently installed a Trek Precision Fit bike jig made by Purely Custom which is used by Trek Factory Racing.

The process can take between 3-4 hours, it starts with an interview and a nice cup of coffee (well it wouldn’t be a bike shop without coffee). The interview enables Darren to learn about you, your requirements and also any limitations which may affect the bike fit – past injuries, flexibility, posture – to name just a few.

After this initial consultation, the next aim was to get the jig ready for the start of the fit. I chose not to take my bike or any measurements as I wanted to experience the fit from scratch. Taking my bike would have been a big influence on my own mind, thinking ‘that’s how I have my bike set up’. This way, I kept an open mind and was open to change. After some measurements, the jig was set and on I got. The great part for me was the feeling that I was sat on a bike with what we thought was the correct saddle for me, the correct width handle bars and the levers to which I ride (Shimano). These are all easily changed accordingly.

The jig is adjustable while riding so as the position is changed you can feel the effects on the body immediately. Being able to see the data (which is similar to that on the Wattbike console) I could tell if I was riding efficiently or losing power due to being too low, too stretched etc.

If you’re about to buy a new bike, Stan’s Cycles really is the place to start and they will help you make the right choices on the best bike for you.

For those with bikes already, having a bike fit would give you confidence that the bike your riding is set up correctly. You may walk away not needing to make any changes, others may need to have a different stem or different width handle bars.

Are you confident your bike is set up correctly?

“I really enjoyed this experience and have learnt a lot. I will use the information on my own bikes but I will also pass what I have learnt onto my clients within the Wattbike studio.

Thanks to Darren and the team at Stan’s!”


Looking for a simple flapjack recipe that isn’t full of syrup and sugar? Try this!

2 large dessert spoons Peanut butter (all natural – any nut butter will work)
1 tbs honey
2 mashed bananas
Milk (add to keep mix moist)
Pumpkin seeds

Optional extras:
Cranberries (unsweetened) or
Chocolate chips

In a large pan, melt the peanut butter and honey. Add some milk and the mashed bananas. Then start adding the oats. Once the mixture won’t take any more (starts getting dry), transfer into a baking tray and bake at 180 for 20mins or until golden.

A quick and easy high energy snack without the sugar rush.