Personal Training

Looking for a personal trainer in London within zones 1-3?

Contact Dominic and book a £30.00 taster session: text 07900 188194 or contact me here

Happy New Year everyone. I'm Dominic, a personal trainer in London with 14 years' strong track record of helping my London clients (see testimonials below) to achieve their fitness goals in the privacy of your own home or garden, within London tube zones 1-3 and Wanstead E11. I look forward to helping you get into the best shape of your life, and it will be a lot of fun along the way. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, improve your cardiovascular fitness, reduce stress levels, sleep better, or just feel healthier and full of energy, I have plenty of experience helping clients achieve all these worthy goals and more.

For a mobile-friendly version of my personal training site, see

Life is short, and too many people waste it away with procrastination and excuses. Resolve now to get fit and improve your physique for this summer and the rest of your life. I can help you do this.

Check out this blog post if you need to lose a lot of weight: Personal Trainer for Obese Clients in London. I have a lot of experience helping obese clients lose a lot of excess fat safely and effectively. Forget weight loss surgery, lose the weight healthily and become fitter and stronger in the process. Weight loss surgery is the worst possible route you could take. Contact me and I'll explain.

If you're looking for a personal trainer in Knightsbridge, click on the link now to find out more and get in touch.

If you're searching for the cheapest personal trainer in London, please look elsewhere! I have never competed on price and never will. There are plenty of personal trainers in London just starting out in their PT career who charge less than me, but you won't get the benefit of my experience. My fees are £60.00 pay-as-you-go, or £500.00 for 10 sessions paid up-front. The all-important nutrition advice is included at no extra charge.

Beware Sarcopenia

If you're in your 50's or over, there's a little-known condition that most people in the UK suffer from, but it's totally preventible. It's called sarcopenia, or age-related muscle-loss. It's one of the biggest reasons why the NHS is in such crisis right now, but the media seldom focuses on the real causes of the current NHS crisis.

If you don't exercise your muscles at this age, they start to wither away, leaving you weaker and more susceptible to a whole range of injuries and age-related conditions. It's a major reason why so many elderly people are in care homes.  Hire me as your personal trainer and I will make sure your muscles get stronger, while most of your peers get steadily weaker.

The big myth here in the UK is that it's normal for people in their 70's and 80's to struggle to get out of a chair, or to have regular falls, or to have problems walking unaided. This is why the NHS bill for elderly care is at record levels. However, it's entirely preventible if you continue to exercise regularly in your 50's and beyond. The problem is, most people don't. Why not take control right now and hire a me to get you active with a strength programme that will see you fit and strong into your old age.

Read these Testimonials from Satisfied Clients

I had 20 sessions with Dom and noticed a huge improvement. I decreased my percentage of body fat, and increased my strength and stamina. I was training to get strong for a ski season and it worked - I didn't get any injuries!

Dom was really encouraging and very well informed on nutrition and fitness. Most of all he was friendly and fun to work out with. I would highly recommend him to anyone, whatever their goal or fitness level (I was a complete beginner).

Lizzie B. (Tufnell Park, London N7)


"So far I have lost nearly 5 stone training with Dominic, and I can now compete more effectively in badminton and football."

Dean Wallman (Operations Director, Woodford, London E18))


"His supportive commitment to getting me into shape and fit has been second to none."

James Hogan (Publisher, Oberon Books, Islington, London N7)


"As a partner in a City law firm, I don't have time to go to a gym with all the hassle of driving there, finding a place to park, and driving home again. Because Dominic trains me at home, these time problems are solved and I have no excuse not to keep fit. Even if I did have more time, I'm not keen on the idea of training in a gym, so Dominic's friendly approach and individually designed programme at home works well for me."

Anne Waltham (Solicitor, Hampstead, London NW3)


"I can't recommend Dominic enough. I started training with him back in July 2005 when I was severely overweight.  A pupil had taken a photo of me abroad and I was shocked when I saw how big I'd become. The weight had crept on gradually and I realised I'd been fooling myself for years. I signed up initially for just 5 sessions, and after those 5 sessions my partner was already noticing improvements in my physique. I started to run at the same time, although my extra weight did hamper me.

So I carried on for regular weekly training sessions with Dominic. The weight dropped off quite dramatically when I started taking Dominic's nutrition advice, and I was becoming more toned too. I set myself two goals - to go back to the exact same spot in France and have the same photo retaken that initially shocked me into action, and to run the London Marathon. I achieved the first goal and felt fantastic. The second goal - the London Marathon - I achieved this April 2007 and it was the hottest Marathon ever. By now my fitness was at its peak. I did suffer with the heat, but managed to finish the race and felt encouraged when Dominic texted me as I ran. Dominic gave me a sports massage the next day to help the muscles recover.

Throughout my training, Dominic took a close interest in how I felt at each stage, and gave me constant encouragement. Because of him I have adopted a radically different lifestyle and I know the massive weight loss will stay off. I now eat more sensibly, drink less and have incorporated a fitness regime into my everyday life. In fact, the first thing I pack when I go away is my gym kit."

Alan Cox (Teacher, Barking, East London)


"I lost 4 stone training with Dominic, using a challenging and varied routine of dumbbells, core training, cardio-boxing, and mat work for legs and glutes. I recommend Dominic if you're prepared to work hard!

Simon Scarborough (Wapping, London E1)


"When I started training with Dom I was 13 stone 4 pounds, and my body-fat was 28%, not ideal stats for a 5 foot 7" guy.

After a wide variety of training in the local park with dumbbells, pushups, squats, core-training, running and cardio boxing (not to mention the evil medicine ball slams) I'm now down to 12 stone 7 pounds, and my body fat is down to 19% (from the original 28%).

Dom trains me hard but keeps it varied and fun. He's encouraged me to make healthy changes to my diet too. I now feel fitter, stronger and more energetic. People comment on how good I look now!"

James (Primary School Teacher, East London)


Dom is a dedicated and inspiring 'slave-driver'. He is also a really good laugh which made the 3 sets of planks he regularly slipped into my session strangely enjoyable. With his help I can now do 20 proper pressups (I couldn't even do a single 'girly' one before I started training with him). I would highly recommend him.

Liz (East London)


I have been training with Dominic for just over  a year now, and I have seen a marked improvement in my general fitness and core strength as a result. Dominic has dealt skilfully and knowledgably with the issues arising from the shoulder surgery which I underwent a year prior to starting my training with him, ensuring that my fitness programme has focused on flexibility as well as strength.

Dominic is a good motivator and has an enthusiastic and encouraging style. He takes a holistic approach to fitness and emphasises the importance of diet, as well as providing detailed and tailored weight training sessions.

Jonathan Stott (SE11)


Personal training locations in London

Please read this before contacting me, to save your time and mine. I don't have (or need!) a personal training studio in London, I train clients in the privacy of their own home, and outdoors too. Many people still ring me after reading this page, and ask where my personal training studio is.When I come to you for a session, I bring resistance bands, boxing gloves/pads, yoga mat, ankle weights, and I encourage my clients to buy some dumbbells for their exercise homework between our sessions. Lots of people also ring to ask how much I charge: £30.00 taster session, then it's £500 for 10 sessions paid up-front, or £60 pay-as-you-go. No further disounts available. You get nutrition advice included in the price.

Once you have checked to make sure you're happy with my prices and cancellation policy (see below), and you're ready to get started, feel free to get in touch with me and we'll begin your health & fitness transformation. I look forward to helping you reach your fitness goals. You'll make faster, more effective (and safer) progress with a personal trainer than if you go it alone. I'll give you challenging and fun workouts, with homework inbetween.

How should you go about choosing a personal trainer in London?  Scroll down below for some tips. I think the number one tip is this: hire one with proper qualifications and plenty of experience, and don't be afraid to ask to see their qualification certificates, first aid certification, and public liability insurance details.

Over the last 12 years (the time has flown) I've helped my clients to  lose weight, build muscle, sleep better, become more flexible, improve posture, relieve back pain, improve eating habits, run faster, play their favourite sport better, and boost energy levels. I've also helped them reduce their risk of illness and certain diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related medical conditions. In these 12 years I've built up plenty of experience of what works and what doesn't. I'm also trained to give nutrition advice. Good nutrition is a key element to achieving your fitness goals.

Do you suffer from a bad back? Here's some posture advice for the tens of thousands of London professionals who sit at a desk all day staring at the computer screen (or in a car, plane travel etc). Poor posture pulls your body out of its natural alignment and puts strain on your muscles, joints, and spine. It also accellerates the ageing process. So my PT sessions include exercises and stretches to restore good posture and optimum muscle/joint alignment. I do a great neck & shoulder massage too.

Prices and Terms & Conditions, including cancellation policy

Taster session just £30.00 on condition you complete and return the Initial Consultation questionnaire first! This weeds out the timewasters, and it gives me the information I need to train you safely and effectively.

Pay-as-you-go (at the end of each personal training session): £60.00 per hour session
Pre-paid block of 10 x 1 hour personal training sessions: £500.00 (Please note: there are no further discounts available)

Ongoing nutrition advice and exercise homework between sessions is included at no extra charge. This will be the secret to your success.

Payment by cheque, cash, or bank transfer. I don't take credit cards, foreign banknotes, or vouchers (one client offered to pay me in book tokens!)

Face to face personal training in London is conducted through my DomFitness business, so make cheques payable to 'Dominic Londesborough T/A DomFitness' please.
Cancellation policy: full fee due if you cancel with under 24 hours notice.

Hire me as your personal trainer, and I'll give you tailor-made free exercise homework to do in-between our weekly sessions, and ongoing nutrition advice too, all included in the standard rates (see below). This will speed you towards your goals faster than if you're left to your own devices between sessions. Most people book blocks of 10 sessions to get the discount (£500 for 10 sessions prepaid, rather than £60 pay as you go).

You'll find most of the information you need right here on this page. When you're ready to ring or message me to get started (or just to find out more), I look forward to hearing from you. If I don't answer straight away, I'm probably training a client, (or stuck underground in the tube!) so leave a text (07900 188194) or message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.


I train clients on weekdays (first client 7am, last client 7.30pm), and saturday/sunday mornings (1st client starts 7am; & last client session on weekends is 12-1pm). I can also train you 7.30am rather than 7am, if you need that extra half hour to wake up and get some fruit and yoghurt digested!

If you have a major goal to achieve, (for example - you need to lose 5 stone in weight), I'll break down the year into four 3 month phases, and set a goal for each phase. And I'll encourage you to have several goals that complement each other. For example, not just weight loss, but also to achieve a specific body fat percentage, and also some specific goals for increased strength (such as being able to do 20 pushups, or 10 pullups, or run 5K in under 30 minutes), and greater flexibility.

Beware procrastination

You're about to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to achieving your fitness goals  - procrastination. It's that self-destructive voice inside you that says "I'm too busy to train" or "I'll wait till the weather is warmer", or "I'll hire a personal trainer next month". There's never going to be a perfect time to get fit, and the best time to take action is now. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll achieve your goals. Once you get into the habit of fitting exercise into your weekly routine, you'll find that procrastination no longer has any power over you.

Who is the best personal trainer in London?

Who is the best personal trainer in London?  There are certainly some world class personal trainers in London, and I like to think that I rank fairly high up, but that's for you to judge! I am certainly not the most expensive personal trainer in London, but then again I don't operate out of an expensive studio, I come to your home or train outdoors.

According to Tatler Magazine (see Tatler Gym Awards 2014) the best personal trainer in London is Stephen Price at 3 Jubilee Place. Bear in mind that I charge one third of his rates (if you pay for 10 sessions with me in advance) and I come to your home to train you, which saves you the time and hassle of travelling to a studio.

Two weeks online nutrition coaching

If you can't afford personal training face to face, but still need some nutrition advice, try my 2 week Online Nutrition Coaching for a one-off payment of just £50.00. This includes food diary analysis, which you will find very revealing. You don't realise exactly how much you eat each day, until you put it all down on paper. To begin the coaching, you fill in a detailed questionnaire which asks about your medical history, health & fitness goals, your past attempts to achieve these goals, the history of your weight fluctuations over the last 5 years, and your eating habits. Click the link and I'll email you the questionnaire. I warn you, it's quite long and detailed, but the more i know, the more I can help you. And I challenge you to find another nutritionist in London who gives you such detailed and thorough nutrition coaching for just £50.00.nutrition coach in London

Massage therapy

I also do massage therapy in London, so if you have a massage couch at home, I can come and give you Swedish massage or sports massage: £60.00 per hour. Go on, pamper yourself! Great for relaxation, and getting rid of muscle-knots in the shoulders and back after hours spent hunched over your desk at work. Once you've had one massage, you'll be back for more.

What does a personal training session involve?

I blend a wide range of exercises into each PT session, depending on the client's goals: resistance training with resistance bands/dumbbells/5 lb ankle-weights/bodyweight exercises, core training (including my favourite exercise,the plank, and its many variations), running, cardio boxing, and stretching (don't underestimate the importance of stretching). I design sessions to match your goals, then I monitor your progress, and make necessary adjustments along the way to keep your sessions challenging, fresh, and effective. I've been doing this for over 10 years, so you'll benefit from a wealth of experience.

Don't worry if you're totally unfit and haven't done any exercise since you were forced to do pushups in the mud by that sadistic PE teacher at school. You're in safe hands with me, I'll build up your fitness incrementally, and you'll have fun along the way. One of my clients could barely run when he started with me, and now he runs marathons (no record-breaking times, but he still completes them, without injury too).

By the way, if you hate running, I'm not going to force you! There are many other ways to get fit, so I'll find alternatives that you'll find fun and effective, such as cardio boxing, which we can do in your living room or outdoors. It's very easy to get the hang of, and is surprisingly effective to get you out of breath. Great stress reliever too, just imagine you're punching your number one enemy.

Personal training throughout London

If you need a personal trainer in London W8 on Monday mornings (Holland Park, Kensington, Notting Hill), let me know, as I now have an available time of 8am-9am on Mondays. I also train clients in their own homes throughout London (within tube zones 1-3). And on Thursday & Friday afternoons, if you need a personal trainer in London SW7 (Knightsbridge and South Kensington) I'm available in the afternoons/evenings after 3pm. Lots more times available if you're looking for a personal trainer in central London, just ask.

If you're looking for a personal trainer in Highbury Fields area, I have an increasing number of clients here. Perhaps people in London N5 are particularly health conscious! If you need a personal trainer in Clissold Park, I train clients here too. There's a gorgeous lake run round, and so much space to train in.

I'm also in Wanstead E11 a lot these days, as my tennis club is there (Aldersbrook Tennis Club), and I have some great personal training clients in this part of north east London. And I'm quite near Canary Wharf, so if you're in Westferry Road area and need a personal trainer in Canary Wharf, look no further. Some of the apartment blocks in Canary Wharf/Isle of Dogs have great gyms available to the residents, and outside personal trainers are allowed to train residents. If you're looking for a personal trainer in east London or Essex, I cover as far east as Woodford, South Woodford, Chigwell too.

And if you need a personal trainer in Gospel Oak, London NW5, I'm just a short London Overground train ride away, so I can get to you within 30 mins.

If I can't train you myself at the times you want, I know several personal trainers in London who might be able to, in NW1 (Marylebone, Regents Park, Camden), NW3 (Hampstead, Chalk Farm, Frognal), N6 (Highgate), W8 (Kensington, Holland Park), SW1 (Westminster, Pimlico, Belgravia), SW3 (Chelsea, Brompton) and SW7 (South Kensington, Knightsbridge).

I can also put you on a waiting list for the days and times that suit you, and I'll let you know as soon as these times become available, as clients go abroad or finish their block of 10 sessions, which frees up new spaces in my schedule. Ring me for a chat (07900 188194) and we'll find a mutually convenient time to train.

Common myths about personal training

Before you hire a personal trainer there are 3 myths you need to banish from your mind right now:

1. Myth: If you're exercising with a personal trainer, you can get away with eating whatever you want and still see results. Myth!

2. Myth: You don't have to do any exercise or activity in the days between your personal training sessions. (You do! And I'll give you homework, some of which you can incorporate into your daily life, so however busy you are, you can become more active throughout the week).

3. Myth: You can eat whatever you like, on the basis that your personal training sessions will burn off all your excesses. Sadly, this is not true. You can never out-train a bad diet. I'll give you a nutrition plan to help you achieve your fitness and physique goals.

Think of your personal training sessions as one piece in a jigsaw, where you provide most of the pieces yourself (exercise and general activity between sessions, eat healthily, get plenty of sleep, manage your stress levels, and so on).

To get the most out of your personal training session, you need to be mentally prepared and fully focused (ie- no distractions). If you train in the early morning, get up at least 30 minutes before your session, and make sure you've had some fruit and water to give you energy for your workout. And whatever time of day you train, make sure you've fully digested your last meal.

Personal trainers in London for marathon running training

If you want a personal trainer in London to train for marathon running or advanced bodybuilding, I can recommend other personal trainers who specialise in these areas. And if you're after a pilates instructor in London with specialised pilates equipment, I can recommend some great pilates teachers in London who have a good track record.

What are your fitness goals?personal trainer in london

Imagine your ideal physique. What shape would you like to be? How muscular? What weight would make you feel happy with yourself?  Some people want to bulk up and have a muscular physique, while others prefer a more slim and toned body (like an athlete or swimmer's body). Some want big biceps, or a six pack, or broad shoulders, while others might want muscular legs, or simply to be able to touch their toes without pain. What do you want? Write it down in detail.

Now think about what activities you want to get involved in. Is your goal to run faster, boost your endurance, get stronger, have more energy through the day, become more flexible, boost your sports performance? With a clear picture of your goal in your mind, and with a burning desire to achieve it, you're much more likely to turn your hopes into reality. See the mind power page for goalsetting strategies.

Now ask yourself the crucial question 'Why?' Why do you want to achieve these goals? The more reasons you have, the more emotionally empowered you become, and the more likely you are to succeed. If you have a strong enough 'why' you can endure any 'how'.

When I lived in north London I had a personal trainer who taught me the following motivational technique to great effect. He came from an Eastern European country where the values of self-reliance, desire to succeed (and willingness to make sacrifices in order to achieve a goal) are much stronger than here in the UK. He told me to grab a piece of paper and write down 10 reasons why you want to reach your goal. Don't just do this once, do it regularly every week. The act of writing down your motivations will have a powerful reinforcing effect, and you will find that your reasons evolve over time.

With a personal trainer at your side, you'll get a far better return on your investment of time, effort and money than if you try to go it alone.

Frustrated by your lack of progress in your fitness training, or just bored with your current routine? Have you tried and given up in the past? Are you desperate to build muscle fast, lose weight fast, get rid of your beer belly or bingo wings or double chin or skinny/fat body, tone up a particular body part, get fitter, eat more healthily, have more energy? Do you find you make progress for a while, then hit a training plateau?

It's hardly surprising that most people get confused by conflicting advice, contradictory media reports, and become sceptical about the latest fads and expert recommendations. If you're looking to gain weight, how can you build muscle without piling on excess fat too? Or if you want to lose weight, how can you avoid losing muscle mass? Does exercise leave you feeling drained, when you've been told it helps boost your energy levels? I have the answers to all these questions.

So many people get stuck in a rut of the same old exercises, month in month out, and wonder why they're not making any progress. You need to keep your workouts fresh and varied, as well as increasing the intensity and resistance (progressive overload), to keep challenging your body. This way, your body is stimulated into making steady progress over time. Variety is crucial (but not enough in itself).

There are many elements of technique that make the critical difference between a poor workout and an effective workout. That's why you make faster progress with a personal trainer, who will constantly refine your technique and correct your errors quickly.

If you perform an exercise too quickly (or too slowly), with too light a weight (or too heavy), with poor body-position (which risks injury as well as failing to exercise the muscles you intend to exercise), with too much rest between sets, or with a poor combination of exercises, or a good combination done in the wrong order, you'll be compromising your whole workout.

And if your nutrition programme does not meet the demands of your training, you'll thwart your efforts still further. With a personal trainer to monitor your eating habits you'll get a far better return on your investment of time, effort and money.

Is it better to exercise at the gym or at home?

Are you one of thousands of people who sees the gym is just too daunting, or too crowded, or too dirty, or too inconvenient to get to?

What if the gym came to you? Would you be more likely to exercise if a personal trainer knocked on your door once or twice a week and gave you an energetic and effective home workout? You can then make your personal training sessions the cornerstone of your weekly fitness regime. Yes, you need to do some exercise in between your personal training sessions too, if you're to make real progress! Train with me and I'll give you workouts to do between our sessions.

I only provide face to face personal training in London within tube zones 1-4, but I provide online fitness/nutrition coaching wherever you live in the UK. Currently most of my personal training clients are in London SW1, SW3, SW7, E11, EC1, W8, W9, W14, N5, N6 and NW3, but I can travel to all postcodes within tube zones 1-4. Some personal trainers stick to just one small part of London. I'm London-wide.

Advantages of working with a personal trainer

Perhaps your sessions at the gym are stuck in the kind of rut described above, and you're not seeing any new gains. Or maybe you can't seem to discipline yourself to eat healthily and avoid all the temptations of junk food and ready meals. Or however much cardio you do at the gym, that spare tyre (or big bum, or bat wings, or for guys the dreaded man boobs) will not shift. (clue: cardio exercise on its own is not sufficient for fat loss).

The majority of people who exercise tend to sell themselves short by not training effectively, as outlined above. Most people are capable of doing more than they think they can. Is this you?

If you live in London and you have a burning desire to get fit, why not take action now and hire me as your personal trainer - you'll start to see and feel the benefits very quickly. I will help you achieve your fitness goals safely, effectively and enjoyably. And I'll design for you a healthy eating plan that you can stick to and enjoy. You can't out-train a bad diet, which is why I include nutrition advice as standard, otherwise your training efforts will be sabotaged by poor nutrition.

I have over 9 years experience, and a Premier Training Diploma under my belt (I came top of the class in the personal training Diploma exams), so I'm well qualified to give you great value for money. I'm a member of the National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT), fully insured for Public Liability, and trained for first aid.

You can either have one to one personal training sessions, or do some personal training sessions with a friend or partner, for just £10 more.

If you're looking for a personal trainer in London, click on the link right now and take that first step towards looking and feeling the best you've ever been. The link will take you to my other site Sessions are £60/hour or £500 for a block of 10 sessions. If you want a London personal trainer for muscle growth click this link. And if you're specifically after a male personal trainer in London, you've found one! Please note I have a 24 hour cancellation policy.

You generally get what you pay for in terms of personal training. Although I'm not the most expensive personal trainer in London, I charge a little above the average rate, but in return I strive to deliver excellent value for money. Am I the best personal trainer in London? That's for you to judge.

Personal Trainer in London for Obese Clients

I have trained many clients with obesity, and helped get them out of the danger zone. If you are obese, now is the time to do something about it, and a block of sessions with a personal trainer will set you on the fast track to winning back your health in as little time as safely possible. It's important that you lose weight at a steady rate, not too fast, and with methods that do not harm your health. I have helped several clients lose over 4 stone, by transforming their eating habits, daily exercise habits, lifestyle habits, their beliefs about exercise and eating, and their whole outlook on life.

Obesity is no laughing matter. If you are suffer from obesity and you're reading this now, please call me and lets get started on your road to fitness. Over the years I've had personal training clients in London who I'm proud to say are now at much less risk of suffering diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and a range of other conditions. It's worth the investment of as many personal training sessions as it takes to make the changes necessary to get your weight within healthy range as fast as safely possible. What could be more important than your health and wellbeing?

Online Personal Trainer - Workout Plan and Nutrition Plan

If your budget won't stretch to weekly face-to-face personal training sessions, why not try my 14 day online personal training for a one-off payment of £50.00. You'll get an exercise plan and a nutrition plan to match your needs. I'll also get you to fill in some food diaries, to focus your mind on exactly what you're eating, how much, and when. Then I'll analyse these diaries and suggest some practical improvements in your eating habits. This exercise/nutrition package is great value for money, and gives you a decisive kick-start towards a healthier way of life. You don't have to live in London to take advantage of this online coaching.

My online coaching clients say it helps to know that someone will be monitoring what they eat, and this food diary system starts to change their eating habits almost immediately. Contact me to get started.

Who are my Role Models?

I draw inspiration from top personal trainers, physiotherapists and nutritionists from all over the world, particularly the USA and Canada. It's ironic that the USA has the most obese people of any country in the world, and also the most super-fit people. It truly is a nation of extremes.

For strength and size, personal trainer Zach Even-Esh is a fantastic role model, with his Underground Strength Gym in the States. He encourages people to improvise with rocks, sandbags, ropes, tyres, pullup bars, hill sprints. I guess you could say he's a 'no excuses' hard-core strength trainer, with an incredible work ethic. He's a personal trainer to college wrestlers and athletes/sportsmen of all disciplines. His motto is "transforming ordinary athletes into beasts."

For sheer thoroughness of instruction and great communication skills, LA personal trainer and founder of Holistic Fitness, Gregory Joujon-Roche is hard to beat. Just check out his YouTube video clips and you'll see what I mean. Greg was Brad Pitt's personal trainer in the run-up to the film Troy. Six personal training sessions a week for 6 months gave Brad Pitt the awesome physique you see in the film.

For a fresh approach to exercise routines and nutrition, I get a lot of value from following Craig Ballentyne, a personal trainer in Toronto, Canada. Craig is the founder of Turbulence Training, a range of simple workouts  (including a lot of HIT - high intensity training) that you can do in your lounge at home (and outdoors) without fancy equipment, and without tedious and monotonous cardio routines. He also advocates plenty of raw vegetables and nuts and seeds as the cornerstone of your diet.

For technical excellence, Charles Poliquin is hard to beat when it comes to size and strength. Just read his book The Poliquin Principles: Successful Methods for Strength & Mass Development. Charles, Canadian born, set up Poliquin Performance in Arizona, USA, in 2001. Then in 2009 he moved to new headquarters in Rhode Island, the Poliquin Strength Institute, where he is the personal trainer to world class Olympic athletes, and teacher to personal trainers from all over the world. His unique training protocols, and his nutritional Biosignature Method, have earned him a reputation as one of the best personal trainers in the world. For bodybuilders, Charles Poliquin is one of the world's leading authorities.

How would you define a good personal trainer?

I asked a range of people what they look for in a personal trainer, and these were some of the responses below. Notice how different qualities are important to different people. When you choose a personal trainer, look for the qualities that are most important to you. The comments below should give you some idea of what to look out for:

"I need someone to motivate me, so my ideal personal trainer would be someone with a strong personality who is able to make me work hard even if I don't feel like it (which is most of the time). Also I want to see my PT demonstrate the exercises rather than just stand there and tell me what to do. Even if he demonstrates moves I can't do yet, it's good to know what to aim for, something to work towards, like a full pushup for instance."

"A personal trainer who practises what he preaches. I had a personal trainer once who was rugby build, but verging on fat, and when he bent over I saw a big stomach. This was disconcerting, as I wanted to get rid of my own belly, and seeing my personal trainer with a belly made me think that if he wasn't able to keep the fat at bay himself, he might not be the best person to help me lose my own belly fat!"

"I expect my personal trainer to have good qualifications and good knowledge, and ideally several years' experience. Although I guess the more experience they have the more they'll charge. You get what you pay for probably."

"I want someone with a friendly and encouraging personality so that at least I enjoy the sessions. A sergeant major type who just barks instructions at me would just scare me off and remind me of school gym sessions in the freezing cold. I want a personal trainer with the personal touch. And one who explains how each exercise will help me reach my stated goals, so I can be confident that my workout is tailored specifically to my needs."

"No single thing springs to mind, rather it's a whole range of things like being on time, smart and well presented, a good communicator, good motivator, listens to what my goals are, pushes me but not too hard, keeps it varied and interesting, monitors my progress."

"For me the best PT is someone with a holistic approach to health and fitness. Not just endless pressups, but focus also on stretching, sleep and relaxation, healthy lifestyle advice, nutrition advice. Someone who can address problems like food cravings, poor sleep patterns, that kind of thing. Living in London, it's hard to avoid all the temptations the city has to offer (fat filled sandwiches at lunch, junk food, ready meals, drinks with friends in bars), but having a personal trainer to remind you why you're making the sacrafices sure helps."

"I want a personal trainer who suprises me every session with something new, exercises I wouldn't have thought of myself. Or a combination of exercises put together in a fun and interesting way. Keep me guessing with lots of variety. I know the body adapts and gets used to the same thing and you can reach plateaus after a while, so a varied exercise routine that always keeps me on my toes from one session to the next would be the hallmark of a good personal trainer in my eyes. In short, a personal trainer who exceeds my expectations."

"You can have the best personal trainer in the world, but at the end of the day the key to achieving your goal is what you do between your personal training sessions. If you have a 1 hour session with your trainer per week, you have the remaining 167 hours per week to make or break the benefits of that 1 hour session. So for me, a good personal trainer is one who monitors my exercise and eating habits between sessions, and gives homework and guidance and motivation for the rest of the week."

"A personal trainer with the guts to tell me the truth about how badly out of shape I am, and make crystal clear to me the full extent of the mountain I have to climb in order to get fit and healthy. I find it hard to push myself, so I need someone who will make me work harder than I would on my own."

"Someone who will ask that I switch my mobile phone off, put the dog and kids in another room, and focus 100% on my personal training session."

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