FOR my second session, we're working on upper body strength.

I've always known I was a weakling when it came to my arms and shoulders, but just how much of a weakling came as a bit of a shock.

Stephen gave me the lightest weights bar to try - without any weights on - and it was still too heavy.

The next one I tried was more my going. Sadly it was the junior bar used by youngsters who come in to train.

Turns out I have the upper body strength of a ten-year-old. Still, at least there's plenty of room for improvement.

With two weights added, I lift them from chest height up above my head, until my arms are locked. The technique seems to be to lift them so you're almost brushing past the end of your nose, and then bring them slightly back behind your head.

We do three lots of 12 reps with a break in between to allow my muscles to recover.

Stephen tells me you get the best results from pushing the weights up as fast as you can, then bringing then down slowly.

This is probably stating the obvious to experienced gym-goers, but it's all news to me.

Never having done any sort of weights training before, I feel like an Eastern European champion competing in the Olympics and want to laugh, but I resist the urge and try to take it more seriously.

And as Stephen points out, I'm probably a way off the Olympics just yet.

We move onto seated arm pulls, pulling down and twisting to work the triceps, alternated with lifting single hand weights above my head from a sitting position. I find this the hardest of all today's exercises. Whether this is fatigue setting in, or just me being soft I'm not sure, but for the last couple of reps my wobbly arms won't straighten and Stephen has to help me out.

Again, it's three lots of 12 reps on each, before I try a rowing-type machine where, sat with an arched back and shoulders down, I pulled into my middle. I start to hunch up through habit, but Stephen makes sure I keep my shoulders down so that my trapezius muscles (I'm learning the lingo) are getting a work out.

This is alternated with lifting small hand weights out away from my body at a 45 degree angle while propped face forwards.

After this, and with arms like lead, it's back to the astro-strip and the Prowler. Today I manage my three turns up and down, but using only the easier vertical handles. I don't think I'd have got far with the lower, horizontal ones.

Once again, it leaves my legs like jelly, and my heart about to burst out of my chest. Sign of a good work out...