WEEK seven of my training started stiffly, as a five-mile run two days earlier, my first for about six weeks, was still showing its effects.

As I hobbled into Paragon Strength and Conditioning Centre, it was great to hear it was going to be a lower-body session to get the week underway.

We started with some split squats to get warmed up - no weights to start with, then with 4kg and 6kg dumbbells.

After this it was onto the glute-ham machine alternated with a 50kg leg-press (15 reps on each, three times through).

The session finished with step-ups off a high box. I am really bad at these, and find them really hard work. I’m not sure whether it’s a balance thing, a flexibility thing, or a plain old strength issue, but either way, I seem to struggle and can really feel them working my quads.

Session two of the week started with 5kg dumbbell arms presses, then 7.5kg, before moving onto 10kg – the maximum I can manage at the moment.

We alternated arms presses with seated arm pulls, then swapped to fly lifts alternated with rowing chest pulls.

I thought my last two exercises were going to be face pulls and a new one – a Cuban barbell press.

This found some new muscles, and involves standing while holding the bar down with straight arms, lifting it up to your chest, then rolling it up above your head while keeping your elbows high, finishing with straightening your arms until they are locked.

The rotation really worked my shoulders and upper arms – when I managed to do it right by keeping my wrists straight.

I thought this was it for the week, but trainer Stephen McLean had other ideas and my last exercise was my new favourite (!) a tabata.

I’m sure he’d whacked the resistance up much higher than last time, as it was much harder than I remembered – and it was pretty torturous the first time.

While I was recovering from this enough to trust my legs to actually carry me to the changing rooms, I was treated to the sight of the gym’s two resident celebrities, Steve Howey and Les Langley, doing a conditioning session.

I think it’s probably bad work-out etiquette to watch other people training, but they were doing an exercise they call a “spiderpig” and I was curious to see what it was.

Well, I’m still not exactly sure, but it seems to involve a sort-of horizontal crawl up and down the astro-strip, where you have to stretch out and twist at the hips without letting any part of your body other than your feet and hands touch the floor.

Hard to put into words, but I tried it in my kitchen when I got home and managed precisely twice through before collapsing on the floor.

Respect to the lads for completing that one.