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Confessions of an A-list personal trainer: Forget steamy spin classes and crowded changing rooms – the world’s wealthiest prefer to feel the burn in bespoke private workouts. One elite instructor spills the beans 

There are no shortcuts to physical fitness even if you do have millions in the bank. 

The difference, says our man in the expensive gym shorts, is that mega-moneyed clients – his one-per-centers include musicians, models, actors, entrepreneurs and oligarchs – expect you to go that extra mile to meet their specific needs.

Our anonymous insider shares his worst-case scenarios.

I was almost scammed by the tinder swindler

A potential client once paid for my girlfriend and me to fly to the Amalfi Coast and meet him on his yacht.

 He didn’t show up for two days but, after a sudden commotion, there he was. He said, ‘I’ll give you £400,000 a year to travel with me for four years’ – that’s £1.6 million! – ‘and I can pay you the first two years in advance.’ 

He got ten grand out of the safe on the boat. I was supposed to be impressed, but something didn’t add up. 

Mega-moneyed clients – his one-per-centers include musicians, models, actors, entrepreneurs and oligarchs – expect you to go that extra mile to meet their specific needs (stock image) Mega-moneyed clients – his one-per-centers include musicians, models, actors, entrepreneurs and oligarchs – expect you to go that extra mile to meet their specific needs (stock image)

Mega-moneyed clients – his one-per-centers include musicians, models, actors, entrepreneurs and oligarchs – expect you to go that extra mile to meet their specific needs (stock image)

Here he was, flashing cash, flaunting designer clothes – yet his security guards were in suits with holes and frayed sleeves. 

After I’d rejected the job, I found out he was the infamous ‘Tinder Swindler’ [Shimon Hayut, a convicted fraudster who used dating apps to meet women then took loans in their names, leaving them to pay the bills].

I’ve been asked to strip naked

I once had to take my clothes off on entering the house of an A-list actress who I’d met for the first time when she was in the thick of the phone-hacking scandal. 

She was terrified that her house was bugged so I had to pull down my trousers and empty my pockets to show her I had nothing to hide. 

She even asked me to leave the door open when I used the toilet. I was there to talk about taking her on as a client, but then she got pregnant and moved to America, so I got strip-searched for nothing!

I’ve had to train in complete silence

One client, a Russian billionaire, comes to me at 3am several times a week with two security guards. He is so paranoid about being poisoned that he trains in plastic gloves, doesn’t drink the water and will never shower at the gym. 

I’m not allowed to touch him; in fact, sometimes we don’t speak for the whole session, because he’ll be on the phone talking through his earphones the whole time. He doesn’t say hello or goodbye. 

People would call him rude, but I don’t think that’s his intention, and he pays me well. I’ve been training him for seven years, and when we first met it was clear money was no object – he said he’d pay me £1,000 a session if we could train whenever he wanted. In reality, I charge him £300 each time.

I’ve witnessed explosive tantrums

I have a client who pays for a suite at a top London hotel all year round, even though he splits his time between here and Los Angeles. 

I ONCE HAD TO TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF ON ENTERING THE HOUSE OF A FAMOUS ACTRESS 

We set up a small gym in the suite, and one day he asked me to meet him to go and train there. When we arrived, we discovered that the hotel had rented out his suite. 

It was pretty outrageous given that he pays for the space year-round – it must be hundreds of thousands – and he went completely berserk in the lobby, shouting at the receptionist and pushing things off the front desk. I got out of there sharpish!

I’ve had massive rows about money

I reckon 99 per cent of my clients have no idea what they pay me – I simply send invoices to their managers, assistants and accountants, who sort out the fee. 

However, I have an extraordinarily wealthy regular in the countryside – she lives in a mansion with 120 giant Diptyque candles burning all day, every day. 

She’d been on the same rate for five years and it was ridiculously low – half of what other clients pay me – so I told her I was raising the fee slightly. 

I've had to struggle with celebrity egos: Transforming your body is hard, and many big-name clients complain that they're not losing weight (stock image) I've had to struggle with celebrity egos: Transforming your body is hard, and many big-name clients complain that they're not losing weight (stock image)

I’ve had to struggle with celebrity egos: Transforming your body is hard, and many big-name clients complain that they’re not losing weight (stock image)

She messaged me saying, ‘I think you’re charging me based on how wealthy I am,’ and we ended up arguing back and forth until I told her she was no longer welcome and transferred back her remaining balance – clients pay for up to 20 sessions in advance to secure my services, as I only take on newcomers by word of mouth.

I was upset because she knew me very well by that point, and she knew too that I hadn’t gone into personal training for the money – in fact, when I began, I never expected to get rich being a PT. 

However, the whole thing was turned around when her husband then came to my gym and asked, ‘What’s the highest rate you charge anybody anywhere?’ 

I told him how much, which was £100 more per session than what I’d been charging his wife, and he said, ‘OK, we’d both like to train with you on that rate going forward’. She is still my client today.

I’ve been asked to go beyond my professional duties

. Unfortunately, while I was driving down the M1, I aquaplaned and ended up driving it into a barrier. It was completely written off (stock image) . Unfortunately, while I was driving down the M1, I aquaplaned and ended up driving it into a barrier. It was completely written off (stock image)

. Unfortunately, while I was driving down the M1, I aquaplaned and ended up driving it into a barrier. It was completely written off (stock image)

People end up asking me to do a lot of things that aren’t my actual job. I had one client who I got on with well, and he rang me while he was abroad saying, 

‘I’ve got this brand-new Ferrari, and I want you to go and pick it up. My wife’s at home, so please just drop it off.’ 

I thought it was a bit strange, but I went and got the car. Unfortunately, while I was driving down the M1, I aquaplaned and ended up driving it into a barrier. It was completely written off.

I cringe about it to this day, particularly when I’m on the M1 – even though the client was surprisingly chilled when I told him.

I’ve learnt that riches and fame do not bring you happiness

Many of the famous people I’ve come across are quite unstable. I was once brought in by a record company to work with a massive artist who had a serious drinking problem. 

They wanted me to train with her twice a day, sit around and have tea with her – basically, anything that would keep her busy and away from doing bad things.

Another record label decided one of their musicians looked fat in a photo shoot, so they set me up to meet him. 

I explained, ‘This person must genuinely want to train,’ and they assured me he did, but when we met, he had no clue who I was or why we were meeting – it was very awkward. 

That was more than ten years ago and luckily such a thing would never happen now – record labels have a better duty of care these days.

I’ve had to struggle with celebrity egos

Transforming your body is hard, and many big-name clients complain that they’re not losing weight. 

I explain that it’s because they’re not working to a calorie deficit. I work with lots of actors, for example, and they train but then have this hedonistic lifestyle, drinking heavily and eating badly.

Even when I explain the simple science of it, they can’t accept it and have a huge tantrum. 

I totally understand that it can be very frustrating, but people need to think of it more as a process than a quick fix. 

Yes, you can do two hours of cardio a day and cut out all carbs, but if you keep consuming the wrong things you’ll be back to square one. It’s a recipe for disaster.

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