Rosie & Gym: Working out with a PT

I’ve come to love working out and manage to make it to the gym 5-6 times a week, but my downfall is being too scared to try new things by myself for fear of doing it wrong and looking stupid, or worse, hurting myself. So when Brighton-based personal trainer David Staffell asked if I’d like to review a couple of PT sessions with him, I jumped at the opportunity to learn some new exercises, try something new and push my limits.

David has his own company, DS FIT, where he and his team of trainers work across South-West London, Bristol and of course Brighton & Hove. David himself lives in Brighton, and we met up in Preston Park one lovely sunny afternoon for some training.

He quickly assessed my fitness levels and understood my goals, so we could get straight to work, starting off with some cardio circuits. This involved things like toe taps on a step, bunny hops over the step, squats and shoulder presses with a weighted sandbag, and body weight exercises like press ups, walking planks, crunches and so on. Then we got the boxing gloves and pads out (my favourite part!) and worked on some high intensity boxing combinations with sprints in between.

The next session was probably my favourite session of the three, partly because it was a glorious sunny morning and we found a spot in the park under a tree with blossoms all over the ground - very picturesque! I also loved that I got to try out something totally new that I’d never done before – using a TRX suspension trainer. I’d always wanted to use the one in my gym, but never really knew what to do with it. As it turns out, there are endless exercises you can do on a suspension trainer, depending on which part of your body you want to target and it’s great for building strength by using your own body weight. 

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I did a full body workout on the TRX, working my legs with squats and lunges, my arms with standing press ups, and my core by putting my feet in the TRX handles and doing suspended press ups (REALLY BLOODY HARD). Then we did a bit more core work (crunches, leg lifts, Russian twists) split up with some kettle bell sprints.

In my final training session, David set up a five station circuit using some simple equipment – a step, a bosu ball (aka - half a Pilates ball), some dumbbells and the boxing gloves/pads. This time I worked round the circuits for the whole session, doing 40 seconds on each exercise with 10 seconds rest between each one.

As my last session was after a couple of weeks of eating, drinking and lazing around on holiday, I found it a real struggle. But David pushed me to work as hard as I had done before and helped me to break through that barrier of getting back into my normal routine, which was great!

Although David’s prices are really reasonable, having a Personal Trainer is not something that many people can afford permanently. However, I think that booking out a block of three to five training sessions when you need a little extra help is a great idea. Whether it’s for a bit of motivation, to train specifically for an event, or to break through a plateau – sometimes a bit of professional support is just what you need. 



  1. This sounds fab and girl you look trim!

    Sophie x

  2. I had a free personal training session when I joined a gym before and loved it! It's such a great way to stay motivation and push yourself to limits. But most personal trainers do have a large price to pay which isn't easy being a student! You look fabulous! Keep at it girl xx

    Abi |


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