LOOKING back at my last blog entry, after a three-week hiatus in training while I nursed a bad cold, I realised the sudden lack of updates gives the impression that my last session had finished me off for good.

Given that it ended on a Tabata, perhaps that’s understandable.

Happily though, the Tabata wasn’t the end of me. Just when I was starting to see the benefits, galloping up and down the hockey pitch like a spring chicken, my cold stopped me in my tracks.

Advised by Paragon's Stephen McLean not to train while under the weather, the only exercise I did for three weeks was weeding the garden, and a night out dancing in sunny Bridlington.

So back in the gym, and Stephen eased me in gently with split squats – no weights at first before introducing 6kg then 8kg dumbbells.

After this a new thing – banded hip thrusts: laid on the floor with my knees bent, back resting on a bench and a thick rubber band across my hips, this involved pushing my hips up as far as possible to work my hamstrings and glutes. And it really does. I can feel that burn.

We alternated this with the glute-ham machine, doing my reps holding two different weights across my chest, heaviest first, then lightest.

So far so good, but then my old friend the sled drag did me in. Up and down with 100kg on, alternated with another new thing, one-footed step ups off a high box.

I just-to-say managed twice through, although there was a real danger of seeing my breakfast again by the time I’d finished.

I was happy to have survived, but in my three-week break, I’d forgotten about the pain the next day always brings. Ah, that old familiar feeling of needing something solid for leverage every time you need to stand up or sit down.

Two days later and it’s time for my second session of the week. I’m in slightly later than usual and Paragon is busier than I’ve seen it before, mainly with people doing their own training.

As well as personal training, the centre offers general membership and among the customers using the facilities are a chap doing a spot of Olympic weightlifting (this blows my mind), a couple doing some incredibly athletic stretching and a father showing his young rugby-playing son a few fitness basics.

We were focusing on upper body strength for my session, and started with seated dumbbell lifts of 5kg then 7.5kg alternated with seated arm pulls.

This was followed by fly lifts – laid back and bringing the dumbbells out to the side – combined with rowing chest pulls.

My 45 minute session concluded with face pulls – a standing exercise in which you pull a weighted rope back to your ears, keeping your elbows high.

This is all designed, Stephen tells me, to correct the leant-forward, hunched position I spend most of my time in on the hockey pitch - or sat at my desk, or driving my car.

I can tell over the next couple of days that I’ve worked some new muscles, but when I lace-up my running trainers and head out for a five-mile jog, and then the next day, dust off my push bike for a spin out in the spring sunshine, I feel a lot fitter than I had anticipated - albeit stiff as a plank of wood.