SOF Story: Helen and Michael Whelan

Michael, Helen and their 21-year-old son Conor walked through our doors to get on top of their health. Since day one, they have maintained a solid commitment to their journey and have had huge breakthroughs in their fitness. We caught up with Helen who has kindly shared with us more details of their inspiring story, check it out below.

Just to clarify - we are not gym people, never have been.

Four years ago, our 21-year-old autistic son, Connor, was obsessed with playing rugby (and still is).  Unfortunately, his physical challenges of low muscle tone and kyphosis made it difficult for him to play. Despite years of physiotherapy, pilates and home exercise regimes, he struggled. We were looking for answers and received a recommendation from a friend of a friend, to check out Science of Fitness. We were put into the care of Rory Maguire, a trainer at SOF who could see Connor’s passion for rugby and why he wasn’t achieving his physical goals. He took Connor under his wing and made all the training rugby based - the drills, the exercises and of course, the banter. Connor quickly became a part of the SOF family and was loving his sessions. The physical and cognitive gains were extraordinary. We were in awe and thought to ourselves - who are these people we have stumbled across?


Staring down the barrel of turning 60, along with a history of hypertension and depression I booked into some one-on-one sessions with SOF’s Exercise Physiologist, Frankie. I started to get to know my body better and became more confident. I then started Move classes at the Platinum studio. They are small, intimate and the team are very knowledgeable and supportive. I loved it so much I also started some one-on-one conditioning sessions. I would come home, and Michael would comment on the changes he saw in me - “You are so much more confident, your body shape is changing, you are standing really tall, you are so much happier!”.


I knew he was sceptical of gyms, but I would always tell him - “You’ve got to come to SOF, it’s not what you think!” Eventually I got Michael along to a session with Frankie and now, he hasn’t looked back. He is losing weight, his posture has changed significantly, he has so much more energy, and he is happier.


I have suffered from depression for over 20 years and medication is an everyday part of life.  It keeps me well. I just didn’t know how well I could feel until I added SOF classes to the mix - the best medicine anyone could prescribe. I have also lost weight; I am much stronger physically which means I do more active things in my spare time and mentally I couldn’t be better!


SOF is a community of people from all walks of life. Even better, SOF is neurodivergent inclusive - at SOF our son is one of the boys. They are like family.


SOF, we both were apprehensive and dreading a “gym experience”, thinking it would be young, good looking, tan, fit people everywhere with lots of machines and bad music.


How wrong we were… you are a game changer and thanks to you we are leading our best lives! Connor is also playing rugby like a champ and loving it. Thank you for changing all our lives.

Helen and Michael Whelan