I’m in the middle of reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography Total Recall. You get a real insight into the guy’s incredible drive and determination to succeed. His ability to set and achieve his bodybuilding and Hollywood goals was based on his vision, which “became so clear in my mind that I felt like it had to happen.”
If you live in east London, you’ll be interested to hear that back in 1966, Arnie lived above Wag and Dianne Bennett’s gym on Romford Road, Forest Gate, London E7, when he was just setting out on his bodybuilding career. Wag died a few years back and the gym closed down, but I was lucky enough to meet him shortly before he died.
So who are the best personal trainers in London for aspiring bodybuilders and anyone who wants to pack on serious muscle and size? I’ve compiled a list of six of the best. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list, so feel free to have your say in the comments section below.
Sam is a former professional rugby player for England and Saracens. He holds a BSc in Strength & Conditioning, and trains clients at Fitness First Liverpool Street (located opposite platform 17 under the station concourse, at the Bishopsgate end).
Peter trains his clients at Muscle Limit Gym in north London (Abbey Works, Lockfield Avenue, Enfield EN3 7PY). He’s a former competitive bodybuilder: he won the INBF Heavyweight World Championships in 2005, and Natural Mr Universe in 2006.
From an overweight teenager who reached 18 stone, to a competitive bodybuilder with a YMCA personal training qualification, Mitch knows from personal experience the transforming effects of weight-training on your physique. In his teens he was inspired by the bodybuilder Tom Platz.
On his website he describes his likes as “Being challenged by people’s goals”, his dislikes as “Excuses”, and his motto is “Don’t wish for it, work for it.”
Dave trains his clients at Genesis Gym in Wembley. He’s a former Royal Marine Commando, and a world champion powerlifter. He says, “I enjoy training anyone at any level as long as they are prepared to show commitment and enthusiasm.”
Nash is director of training at Muscleworks Gym (with branches in Bethnal Green, Stoke Newington, and Enfield).
He says, “I transform people’s lives. I don’t care about gimmicky diets, cookie-cutter strategies or even being your friend; all I care about is how much I can help you.”
Plamen is a competitive bodybuilder, who became Natural Bodybuilding World Champion 2012. He trains his clients at Pumping Iron Gym in north London (31 Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1LD).
Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London and founder of Fitness4London.com.