A personal trainer who’s been whipping celebrities into shape has revealed why she gets A-listers to lift heavy weights when they need quick results — and why it’s the key to a leaner physique.
Sarah Lindsay’s fans include Strictly Come Dancing pro Katya Jones, model Amy Jackson, presenters Nick Grimshaw, Vogue Williams and Graham Norton, singers Mel C and Paloma Faith, and Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick.
A former British Speed Skating Champion and three-time Olympian, Lindsay owns gyms in London and Dubai – but you won’t find a single treadmill or elliptical machine in sight.
She explains how heavy weights can be more beneficial than cardio and help anyone achieve their dream body in just 12 weeks.
Gossip Girl meets Roar Fitness Girl: Actor Ed Westwick recently signed on to work out with Lindsay
British actress and model and former Miss Teen World Amy Jackson with Lindsay
Chat show legend Graham Norton is another A-lister to work with the Olympian
Made in Chelsea stars Sophie Hermann (left) and Hugo Taylor (right) work up a sweat
Sarah and Vogue Williams are postponing training at Roar Fitness
Sarah’s top five weightlifting exercises
The body moves in a few different planes of motion, so try to cover all of those basics
1: “PUSH” EXERCISES
Chest press, push-up, or bench press
2: “PULL” EXERCISES
I like deadlifts because it has a lot of overlap with everything else in your life
You can also do pull-ups on the bars or some sort of rowing
They need some kind of team variation – I like unilateral single leg movements
Try a forefoot elevated split squat, walking lunge, or reverse split squat—which are usually a little easier on the knees
4: OVERHEAD PRESS
You need an overhead press, like a dumbbell shoulder press
It’s always good to do a core exercise. A lot of these exercises give you a core just by doing them – but to help with that I might stick a plank in there
Sarah, who specializes in body transformations, said: “Strength training can lead to a higher metabolic rate.
“If you can manage to gain muscle, even a few pounds, it will boost your metabolism, which will make it easier to get lean and then stay lean – which is obviously what most people want.
“Strength is easier to maintain than the results of cardio, so you will benefit from weight training in the long run.”
But she told FEMAIL why clients — especially women — often think lifting weights only makes them “bigger.”
She added: “Ultimately, it’s very difficult to build muscle and thus get taller – people are going to spend years building a physique.
“It’s just not easy, there are certain elements that you need to be able to build muscle.
“You have to lift enough weight to challenge and stimulate the muscle enough to make it grow.
“Then you need to eat enough of the right things at the right time to help the muscle recover and help it grow – so building muscle has to be done consciously.
“You won’t do it by accident.
“You have to do very intense training several times a week for weeks – if not months – so it has to be intentional, it’s not going to be accidental.”
But she says lifting heavy weights the right way can actually make clients slimmer.
Instead of forcing people to do burpees, their PTs instead focus on form and lifting weights – the heavier the better.
Carbs and sugar are not banned, but customers are encouraged to stick to a high-protein diet with all of their macros worked out.
Sarah added: “Food plays a huge role in our contribution to our own health as it is something we have control over.
Work up a sweat or pose? TV presenter and ex-Radio One star Nick Grimshaw
MiC star Sophie Hermann trains with Sarah
“I try to eat as naturally as possible and cook my own food unless I’m going out and encourage celebrities to do the same.
“Customers are still enjoying all the good stuff – pasta, desserts, champagne, but in moderation with portion control.
“When you have a large social life, you can’t always control what you eat, but you can control how much.”
Made in Chelsea star Sophie Hermann told Web: “Working out with Sarah is like going from ready-to-wear to haute couture.
“It’s another level. I’ve been training for 10 years – PTs and classes – but nobody comes close to my personal Lara Croft and her precisely tailored sessions.
“I’ve seen results after just a few weeks with her, which motivates me so much more than dragging myself to coaches or classes where I see a hint of in six months.”
Designer Henry Holland worked with Sarah and her team on this transformation, which took 11 weeks
Graham Norton said he feels fitter than ever after following the programme, while Nick Grimshaw said strength training is now “an important part of his life”.
The ex-Radio One DJ added, “They make me feel stronger, healthier and more focused than ever.”
Fashion designer Henry Holland, who completed the Roar scheme before and after lockdown, credited the gym with improving his physical and mental health.
Singer Paloma Faith turned to the PT shortly after giving birth last year
Celebrity Friends: Her clientele includes football legend John Terry and presenter Vogue Williams, right
The Roar Gang: Lindsay, center, with her coaching team at Roar
Sarah was a speed skater and represented Great Britain three times at the Olympics (pictured left, front and right at Vancouver 2010).
Lindsay added: “You don’t always have to be motivated and it’s unrealistic to expect that of yourself, but consistency is key – so you have to be disciplined when you show up.
“Our health is everything and I always think about longevity. My grandma was almost 101 when she recently died, but she was training with me in the garden when she was 97.”