Celebrity personal trainer Sarah Lindsay shares weight lifting tips

Why lifting weights WON’T make you ‘bulky’: Celebrity personal trainer reveals how weight training is the secret to whipping the A-list into shape

  • Ex-Olympian Sarah Lindsay owns Roar Fitness gyms in London and Dubai
  • She trains Katya Jones, Vogue Williams, Graham Norton and Ed Westwick
  • Lindsay says weight lifting can have a better long term impact than cardio

A personal trainer credited with whipping celebrities into shape has revealed why she makes A-listers lift heavy weights when they need quick results – and how it is the key for 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 crosstrainer in sight. 

She reveals how heavy weights can help anybody achieve their dream body in as little as 12 weeks.  

Gossip Girl meets Roar Fitness girl: Actor Ed Westwick recently signed up to train 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), working up a sweat Roar

Sarah and Vogue Williams putting off the workout at Roar Fitness 

Sarah’s top FIVE weight lifting exercises

The body moves in a few different planes of movement so you should try and keep all of those bases covered


A chest press, press-up, or bench press 


I like a deadlift because it has a huge crossover into 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 squad variation – I like unilateral single leg movements

Try a front foot-elevated split squat, a walking lunge, or a reverse split squat – which are usually a little bit easier on the knees


You need an overhead press, like a dumbbell shoulder press


It’s always good to stick a core exercise. With a lot of these exercises you get a core by just doing them – but to support that I would maybe stick a plank in there

Sarah, who specialises in body transformations said: ‘Strength training can result in a higher metabolic rate.

‘If you manage to gain muscle, even a few pounds, it will increase your metabolism which makes it easier to get, and then stay, lean – which is obviously what most people want.

‘Strength is easier to maintain than results from a cardio workout so weight training will benefit you long term.’ 

But she told FEMAIL why clients – especially women – often think lifting weights will only make them ‘bigger’.

She added: ‘Ultimately, adding muscle and therefore getting ‘bigger’ is very difficult – 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 need to eat enough of the right things, at the right time, to help the muscle recover and help it grow – so to gain muscle has to be deliberate. 

‘You’re not going to do it by accident.

‘You have to be doing a very intensive workout several times a week for weeks – if not months – so it has to be deliberate, it won’t happen by mistake.’

But she says lifting heavy weights, in the right way, can actually make clients leaner.

Made in Chelsea star Sophie Hermann told MailOnline: ‘Training with Sarah is like switching from ready-to-wear to haute couture.

‘It’s another level. I’ve been training for 10 years – PT’s and classes – but no one comes close to my personal Lara Croft and her precisely tailored sessions.

‘I’ve seen results after only weeks with her, which motivates me so much more than schlepping myself to trainer or classes where I see a hint of in six months.’

Rather than force people into burpees, her PTs instead focus on form and lifting weights – the heavier, the better. 

Carbs and sugar aren’t banned, but clients are encouraged to follow a high-protein diet, with all their macros worked out.  

Sarah added: ‘Food plays a big part in our contribution to our own health as it’s something we have control over. 

‘I try to eat as naturally as possible and make my own food unless eating out, and encourage celebrities to do the same.

‘Clients 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.’

Working up a sweat or posing? TV presenter and ex-Radio One star Nick Grimshaw 

Designer Henry Holland worked with Sarah and her team for this transformation, which took 11 weeks

Graham Norton said he ‘feels fitter than ever’ after following the programme while Nick Grimshaw said weight training was now ‘a key part of his life.’ 

The ex-Radio One DJ added: ‘They’ve made me feel stronger, healthier and more focused than ever.’

Fashion designer Henry Holland, who completed the Roar programme 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 footballing legend John Terry and presenter Vogue Williams, right

The Roar gang: Lindsay, centre, with her team of coaches at Roar 

Sarah was a speed skater, representing Great Britain three times in 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 from yourself but consistency is key – so you do need to be disciplined with regards to showing up.

‘Our health is everything and I’m always thinking about longevity. My nan was nearly 101 when she died recently but she was exercising with me in the garden at 97.’

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