A personal trainer credited with whipping celebrities into shape has revealed why she gets A-listers to lift heavy weights when they need quick results – and how it’s the key to achieving a leaner physique.
Fans of Sarah Lindsay 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 cross trainer in sight.
She explains how heavy weights can be more beneficial than cardio and help anyone achieve their dream body in as little as 12 weeks.
Gossip Girl meets Roar Fitness girl: Actor Ed Westwick recently signed up 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 working with the Olympian
Made in Chelsea stars Sophie Hermann (left) and Hugo Taylor (right) working up a sweat
Sarah and Vogue Williams put off working out at Roar Fitness
Sarah’s FIVE Best Weightlifting Exercises
The body moves in a few different planes of motion, so you should try to keep all these bases covered
1: ‘PUSH’ EXERCISES
A chest press, press-up or bench press
2: ‘PULL’ EXERCISES
I like a deadlift because it has a huge crossover to everything else in your life
You can also do a pull up on the bars, or a row of some kind
You need some kind of hold variation – I like unilateral single leg movements
Try an elevated split squat, a walking lunge or a reverse split squat – which are usually a bit easier on the knees
4: OVERHEAD PRESSURE
You need an overhead press, like a dumbbell shoulder press
It is always good to hold a core exercise. With a lot of these exercises, you get a core just by doing them – but to support that, I might stick a plank in there
Sarah, who specializes in body transformations, said: ‘Strength training can result in a higher metabolic rate.
‘If you manage to gain muscle, even a few kilos, it will increase your metabolism, making it easier to get, and then stay, slim – which of course is what most people want.
‘Strength is easier to maintain than results from a cardio workout, so weight training will benefit you in the long term.’
But she told FEMAIL why clients – especially women – often think lifting weights will only make them ‘bigger’.
She added: ‘At the end of the day it’s very difficult to add muscle and therefore get ‘bigger’ – people will spend years trying to build a physique.
‘It’s just not easy, there are certain elements you need to be able to gain muscle.
‘You need to lift enough weight to challenge and stimulate the muscle enough to grow.
‘Then you have to eat enough of the right things at the right time to help the muscle recover and help it grow – so to gain muscle you have to be intentional.
‘You’re not going to do it by accident.
‘You have to do very intensive training several times a week for weeks – if not months – so it has to be deliberate, it won’t happen by mistake.’
But she says that lifting heavy weights the right way can actually make clients slimmer.
Instead of forcing people to do burpees, her PTs instead focus on form and lifting weights—the heavier, the better.
Carbohydrates and sugars are not prohibited, but clients are encouraged to follow a protein-rich diet with all their macros worked out.
Sarah added: ‘Food plays a huge part in our contribution to our own health as it is something we have control over.
Working out in a sweat or posing? 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 eating out and encourage celebrities to do the same.
‘Customers still enjoy all the good stuff – pasta, desserts, champagne, but in moderation with portion control.
‘When you have a big social life, you can’t always control what you eat, but you can control how much.’
Made in Chelsea star Sophie Hermann told MailOnline: ‘Training 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 nothing comes close to my personal Lara Croft and her precisely tailored sessions.
‘I’ve seen results after just weeks with her, which motivates me so much more than dragging myself to trainers or classes where I see a hint of six months from now.’
Designer Henry Holland worked with Sarah and her team for this transformation, which took 11 weeks
Graham Norton said he ‘feels better than ever’ after following the programme, while Nick Grimshaw said weight training was now ‘a key part of his life’.
The former Radio One DJ added: ‘They’ve made me feel stronger, healthier and more focused than ever.’
Fashion designer Henry Holland, who completed the Roar program before and after lockdown, credited the gym with improving his physical and mental health.
Singer Paloma Faith spoke to PT shortly after giving birth last year
Celebrity friends: Her clientele includes football legend John Terry and presenter Vogue Williams
The Roar gang: Lindsay, centre, with her team of Roar trainers
Sarah was a skater who represented Great Britain three times at the Olympics (pictured left, front and right, in Vancouver in 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 about turning up.
‘Our health is everything and I always think about longevity. My nanny was almost 101 when she died recently, but she worked out with me in the garden at 97.’