Get 2 Weeks FREE at David Lloyd Gym!

Having slacked and over indulged for almost a year, without exercising and rarely eating healthy, I decided it was time to get my super-toned body back. So when David Lloyd Gym offered me a trial membership, I jumped at the chance. It was a sign!

As I Live in Earls Court, David Lloyd Fulham is walking distance from my flat and has everything one would want at a gym; very spacious exercise areas and locker rooms, private showers, plenty of latest gym equipment, a swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, a cafe and large lounge area, lots of classes (all included in your membership) and a brilliant team of personal trainers and coaches, friendly and attentive staff (attractive and charming by the way.. I wonder if “looks” are taken into consideration during job interviews!).

My initial consultation was with Sarah Hodgson, a personal trainer highly recommended to me by the sports manager himself. She is the first female personal trainer I have worked with and she is absolutely brilliant. Rather than being pushy or aggressive, Sarah believes in encouraging her clients to break through the brick wall they tailors a workout plan to suit their pace, needs and ability. She has also given me lots of advice on DOs and DONT’s, hints and tips, diet (simple yet effective).


“If what you eat has to be cooked or pulled out of the earth, then it is surely a good thing,” she says, “but avoid ready cooked meals and try not to have food-on-the go from shops and supermarkets all the time.”

A charming lady, she also used some techniques and tricks I have never seen before when showing me how to work on my abs. It was interesting and totally different from the standard sit ups and stomach crunches, which to me, are quite boring. We also did weight training which was quite fun to be honest. I never thought I’d enjoy it in the first place!

Sarah likes to make her clients do a combination of exercises that are not only fun but effective and help them achieve the results they want, over a reasonable amount of time. Make sure you stick to eating healthy as well, and stay away from vices such as drinking alcohol (do it in moderation but only during weekends, Sarah recommends) and if you are a smoker, it is best you quit, or at least cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke on a daily basis, and then stop completely. That is what worked for me.

I absolutely enjoyed the exercise regime; upper body on one day and lower body the next day. You can do a class on the third day. That’s the routine I like to stick to, but you can always alternate to suit your needs and mood and as you may already know, a combination of exercises would make your gym routine much more interesting. And besides, you might want to work out every other day, or even a few days a week to start with, depending on your own ability and how long you have not been exercising.

Click Here to have a look at all the classes they have on offer. When you’re not working with your personal trainer on your regular exercise regime, it helps to work out with a group of people in a class as it can be both motivational and engaging than working out on your own.

You can also get 2 weeks FREE (Induction and All Classes included, except “Learn to Swim”) at David Lloyd, Fulham. If you do not live or work in or near the area, then you can still contact them and ask if the same offer can be transferred to your closest David Lloyd gym.

Interested? Then please contact Reham Habashy on  0207 386 2217  or  and quote “Emmanuel Ray” to get this special offer which is being advertised for my audience and readers only!

David Lloyd are also offering an initial 3 Month Membership, followed by a Rolling Contract (which you can cancel at any time if you want to leave, but why anyone would want to leave such an amazing gym is beyond me!) which I think is a really good deal.

I would highly recommend this gym to all Londoners who are looking for a decent, classy and spacious gym. Good value for money and it is certainly the BEST gym I have been to in London. And trust me, I’ve tried quite a few during my 10 years in this city.

As for my personal trainer Sarah Hodgson, I can’t sing her praises louder enough! I only started a week ago and can already see a change in my metabolism, energy levels and overall well being. My body is getting more toned and I have been religiously following everything she has told me. The recommended diet has also been amazing and I feel so much better not smoking or drinking alcohol (although I enjoy a glass of fine red wine with dinner on a Saturday and Sunday).

She recommends a protein based breakfast as it is the best way to start the day. If you work out in the morning, leave about an hour between eating and exercising however, if you are exercising very early in the morning, you may want to have something small such as a piece or fruit when you wake up and save your proper breakfast for after your workout.

Sarah also gave me 3 breakfast options and also shared with me the quick and easy ways to prepare them, saving time and effort. The Mushroom & Red Pepper Omelette with Avocado was deliciously healthy (I had it yesterday!), and the Breakfast Smoothie with whey protein, spinach and kale is packed full of nutrients, and is a rather clever recipe, I should say. She also recommended a variation of the latter, for those that yogurt, berries, nuts and coconut, which again, is surprisingly easy to make.

A good workout stresses the body and without adequate fuel your muscles won’t be able repair themselves. This may lead to them becoming weaker, not stronger and injuries will be more likely to occur.

Ideal foods to eat post-workout would be a small piece of fruit for some healthy carbs and a serving of protein such as grilled chicken, other lean meat or a couple of boiled eggs. She also recommends fish, which is great as I love seafood! Fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and sea food is what I have the most anyway.

You can contact Sarah Hodgson (for personal training on)  077 9228 9416  or  and quote “Emmanuel Ray.”

Please scroll down for some questions I asked Sarah during our last meeting, and her answers and advice on the topic of Health and Fitness.

What would be your advice to achieve an athletic or slim and toned body?

To achieve an athletic or slim and toned body you need to combine resistance training with cardiovascular exercise. I recommend 50% of your workout should be resistance based, 30% cardio and 20% warming up/cooling down.

Many people who come to me have little or no experience of using weights and don’t know where to start. If this applies to you, invest in the help of a personal trainer and they will teach you skills you’ll use for the rest of your gym days.
You will have to pay attention to what you eat. 70-80% of the results you will get will come from what you fuel your body with.

Consistency is key – plan your meals and schedule your gym sessions into your diary.

Try something new every week – a new food, a new exercise, a new class. Mixing it up will keep your body challenged and your brain engaged. There’s nothing worse than getting bored to make you fall off the wagon.

Any DOs and DON’Ts; before, during and after exercising?

DO vary your workouts.

DO come prepared with water and a snack for afterwards.

DO learn how to do resistance exercises properly – if you are ever unsure, ask a fitness coach for help.

DON’T forget to stretch after exercising!

DON’T spend hours and hours just doing cardio.

DON’T exercise on a completely empty stomach.

Any lifestyle changes one should make?

Achieving fitness or weightless goals takes time and effort. If you are serious about making changes to your body you’ll have to make it a priority. Many of my clients have very busy lives but ‘I have no time’ is not an excuse I accept!

My top three tips would be:

Eat clean – stick to meat, fish, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and plenty of water

Have a regular sleep pattern and sleep 7-8 hours per night

Plan your workout into your diary. The visual reminder will help you get into the habit of working out.

Would there be any specific tips for Men and Women?

There is no reason why men and women should train differently, especially when training for weight loss or for a slim, toned look. Women worry that they will bulk up as soon as they look at a dumbbell but there is absolutely no truth in this. Women have much lower levels of testosterone than men which makes it very difficult to increases muscle size. For both sexes, building some muscle will raise your body’s metabolic rate and therefore increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis which leads to fat loss.

Is it true that sex before exercising is bad? On the internet some say sportsmen who had sex before playing, performed well, while other studies suggest that sex before working out is bad as it uses up all your energy. What’s your opinion?

As you’ve said, there is research to argue both cases. I would say that for the average gym-goer sex before exercising will have little or no effect on their performance in the gym. It would only be at elite levels of training that this would need to be taken into consideration and it would be a case of finding out what works best for the individual.

CONTACTS at David Lloyd, Fulham

Reham Habashy (Memberships Manager)

0207 386 2217

Sarah Anne Hodgson (Personal trainer)

077 9228 9416

Balazs Kiss (Co ordinator for Swimming Lessons)

020 7386 2221

If you like this article and found it useful, then please feel free to add your comments below, and share this article on your social media profiles.

Thank you,

Emmanuel Ray

Nominee, Positive Role Model 2013 (National Diversity Awards, UK). Nominee, London Personality of the Year 2012 (London Lifestyle Awards). Winner, Fashion Icon of the Year 2011 (Fashions Finest Awards, UK).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *