People trying to lose weight should swerve treadmills, start lifting heavy weights and drink coffee before hitting the gym, according to a top celebrity trainer.
Former Olympic speed skater Sarah Lindsay says you should hit the weights rack if you want to burn fat and drop a dress size, or even train for a marathon.
The PT specialises in body transformations and stars including Pixie Lott, Paloma Faith and Vogue Williams have all turned to Sarah to help whip them into shape.
Sarah told MailOnline the average client has gained 10kg since the start of the Covid pandemic – but says fad fasting diets, too much cardio and undereating will never get results.
She also says that mastering just five exercises is enough to transform your body.
Here, she reveals why fasting is not the answer and why coffee can help fat loss – but warns drinking it post-workout is, ‘one of the worst things you can do for yourself.’
Training hard: Model and presenter Vogue Williams (left) and Sarah Lindsay
Singer Paloma Faith turned to the PT after giving birth earlier this year
The former Olympic speed skater (pictured) says people should hit the weights rack, regardless of their goal
The fitness guru is a devotee to weight lifting – and eating the food you enjoy
Why coffee is great before the gym – but never after
‘If you’re not able to eat first thing and breakfast makes you feel sick, then you shouldn’t eat it.
‘Coffee on a completely empty stomach will give you energy and that caffeine kick to help you perform.
‘Coffee is a stimulant and makes cortisol spike – which you can use before the workout.
‘But it must always be before a workout, never after. It is one of the worst things you can do for yourself.
‘You shouldn’t make your body more acidic and you don’t want your body to be stimulated after a workout.’
Sarah says if you have gained weight in the wake of multiple lockdowns, you can use it to your advantage in the gym.
She said: ‘Most people coming into me have gained ten kilos since lockdown.
‘Everyone exercised at the beginning but got bored after a year and a half.
‘That level of weight gain will have an impact on your health in a negative way.
‘But the positive about it is if your heavier, you are stronger – so use the extra weight you have to your advantage.
‘People think you should cardio first then tone up – but no – weight train first.
‘Jogging when you are heavier only feels worse because of the impact on your joints.
‘Weight training is the best form of exercise for you – use it to your advantage.’
When it comes to diet, while coffee can aid your performance in the gym, she says there is no secret ingredient to help fat loss.
‘No food aids fat loss – there is nothing in any food that makes you lose weight.
‘I don’t like demonising foods, but suggest people get into better practises – eat for your health, eat for your performance, eat for energy and to recover.’
‘Weight training is key for every fitness goal – the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism’
Sarah says everyone should be lifting weights – whether you are looking to drop a dress size, or train for a marathon. She also says rest is vital for helping you achieve your goals.
The FIVE moves you need to blast fat fast
Master these five moves to target every muscle in the body, for an all-over workout.
Any kind of squat – single leg squat, wide split squat – will really target the legs and glutes
3. Chest press
4. Overhead press
There are several variations of rowing movements – single arm row, bent over row, pulldown
‘Everything is covered with these five moves; you flex at the hip, push and pull, press above your head, bend at your knees – you’ll be strong all over and target the whole body.
‘Learn how to do these five things, get good form, enjoy it, then start to load the bar up, put more weight on and challenge yourself.
‘You will get the body ready to really start training.’
‘If you increase your muscle, you increase your metabolism – the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn at rest.
‘Cardio is the last piece of the puzzle. A lot of people just want to do more and they do lots of cardio then make themselves too tired to lift properly – you’re then not able to increase intensity in your training.
‘You don’t need to do more, to lose. Not eating enough isn’t a fun way to live.’
She adds: ‘I firmly believe that everyone should weight train – lots of people will disagree because they like running or whatever, but you should do it, regardless of your goal.
‘If you want to do a marathon, you should weight train beforehand to make sure your body is strong and ensure you don’t get injured.
‘Being stronger crosses over into everyday life – it will benefit any activity. Body weight will only work for so long, your body gets used to it quickly. You have to add weights.
‘Most people are intimidated by the weights section in the gym and that’s the number one reason we started Roar Metal.
‘Even people like me – I know what I’m doing, I’m an Olympian – but when I go to a new gym, even I just want to find my comfort zone, I still feel a bit uncomfortable by a new environment.
‘But I want to help people become familiar with using weights, get stronger, and feel more confident. Our workouts can be used by people on their phone in the gym, when their weights at home are no longer heavy enough.
‘You need to stimulate the muscle, the aim is to progressively lift heavier all the time, and improve. Try and lift more weight every time you go to the gym.
‘You should need to take the rest so you work harder in sessions. Rest in-between sets and reps. You should also take rest and recovery days.
‘But for a lot of people, it doesn’t feel institutive to rest when they’re trying to reach a goal.’
Dame Kelly Holmes and Sarah Lindsay at the launch of Roar Metal last week
The ex-Olympian says everyone should be lifting weights – and says rest is vital for helping you achieve your goals
The Roar diet: ‘Chicken and rice doesn’t have to be boring fitness food’
Sweet treats: Sarah’s dessert is made up of hot sweet potato with coconut yogurt, peanut butter and frozen blueberries
Ideal for vegans: Baked yuzu tofu, cauliflower, coleslaw, sundried tomato, chilli and whole pickled garlic cloves
Sarah and Vogue Williams putting off the workout at Roar Fitness
‘People use fasting as a way to starve – not eating enough isn’t a fun way to live’
Sarah suggests that fasting has proven scientific benefits – including for cancer patients and people serious about losing weight.
People seeking help for weight loss are now 5lbs heavier than before the pandemic
A study has warned the average person seeking help for weight loss is now 5lbs (2.2kg) heavier than before the pandemic – meaning people are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, compared the weight of people who enrolled on the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme both before and during the pandemic.
While the average difference in starting weight was 5lbs (2.2kg), those under the age of 40 were worst hit with an average increase of 8lbs (3.6kg).
It is estimated that weight gain of 2.2lbs (1kg) can increase someone’s risk of diabetes by around 8 per cent.
But she says it can be a dangerous weight loss method if people don’t do their research properly.
She told MailOnline: ‘The problem with fasting is people don’t know why they are doing it.
‘You need to know what you’re doing, know the purpose and the science behind it – it can be good for you. But a lot of people simply use fasting as a way to not eat breakfast.
‘So many people try to not eat and do more exercise, which is a very unhealthy approach.
‘You just might not have an appetite in the morning, so it is easy to skip breakfast. You’re then shortening the window in which you have time to eat, so ultimately you eat less calories and lose weight in the short-term.
‘It is a lot easier for people not to do something. If you don’t bother eating, you’ll lose weight – but will it help your performance? How many high performance athletes fast?
‘Everyone is different, has different goals and different things they’re trying to achieve, but with any nutritional plan you should eat for optimal health – it should be the number one focus.
‘You simply cannot sacrifice your health for any results.
‘You should be eating to perform and recover in training sessions so that you get the most out of it.
‘You can then tailor your diet and eat for whatever your aesthetic goal might be.’
Sarah Lindsay is the founder of Roar Metal
Nick Grimshaw and the PT at Roar Fitness in Kensington, west London
Model Nell McAndrew (pictured last week), is another Roar devotee