THINGS ARE getting serious with the gym machines.

The New Year resolution to get fitter is now an old promise to myself, but actually getting down to making it happen is now upon me.

It is with trepidation I meet Tom my personal trainer again at Tavistock’s Meadowlands Leisure Centre.

He has previously patiently shown me round the training equipment and shown me how to use them through demonstrations.

The latest session involves me actually exercising on some of the machines by following his jottings on a piece of paper. The jottings look like a secret code with numbers, words and what looks like maths. However, it’s no secret, about the number of times I repeat an exercise which involves a certain number of pushes and pulls or duration and effort.

The strange words — squats, band row, elevated lunges, shoulder press, leg curl and incline chest press cause me to shudder in anticipation.

I try and remember what he told me the last session about how to work each machine and what it does for me.

Luckily the first piece of kit is a cross trainer (like a running machine but with gigantic pedals and handles which measure heart rate), which is inside my comfort zone.

Tom says this is a warm-up as he chooses ten minutes of a pre-programmed video game type route through a virtual rocky mountain valley path.

This allows me to briefly enjoy the view of the Tavistock Meadows and to check out other gym users. Only one seems to be like me — a non-gym addict. I still feel self-conscious surrounded by fashionable well-toned gym fans.

The first exercises are squats, involving bending at the knees holding a weight across my shoulders. My upper body strength is not great, little effort ever goes into that.

Next is a band row, where I stand, lean back and pull and relax a yellow giant rubber band twisted round the weight rack.

Each exercise is done ten times and repeated three times.

Elevated lunges are next, involving kneeling and raising each leg, with one foot resting on a raised block as I hold a weight in each hand.

The shoulder press has me lifting a weight overhead while standing and resting on the chest. The leg curl sees me sitting on a machine with out-stretched legs pushing down and up.

The hardest was an incline chest press. Lying on a bench and lifting dumbells — good for my little worked upper body.

Once finished I feel my leg muscles burning and tight chest. Tom says I’ve put in a good effort — which is good for my morale.

Meanwhile, outside I see the Tavistock Primary Schools’ cross country underway and I’m suddenly jealous of their outdoor freedom. But I’m back here next week!