Here are just a few of our clients that we’ve worked with over the years
All our testimonials are on this page, please scroll down the page to find our individual case studies
Dr Mark Gorman
As a doctor who has always taken my sport and fitness seriously, I was looking for someone who understood weight training from its 1st principles in terms of nutrition, physiology and anatomy. After hearing of Paul’s reputation (he lectured nutrition at Hallam university) I started training with him a year ago.
Having come across a lot of trainers and coaches who clearly don’t understand the biology and biochemistry of fitness it was a breath of fresh air to be taught be someone who did. Through many interesting discussions while training I managed to clear up much of the confusion I had and Paul has confirmed many of the myths that I suspected, given my medical background, to indeed be false (purported to be true by many less knowledgeable and not to be named/shamed trainers!).
While training with Paul I have made consistent gains, reached the fitness goals I wanted to achieve and made a friend who is always available for free advice and tips outside of scheduled sessions.
Dr Mark Gorman
Del Galloway: NPA British & European champion
I have been training on and off with weights for a number of years, and like many others I have had some varying degrees of success. Over the years my weight and body fat percentage have headed in the wrong direction and for the past three years I have trained with one goal in mind, to lose weight. During this time I became a little less than focused on the daily grind of the gym and needed something else to keep me training. In 2005 I attended a Natural Bodybuilding contest at Holmfirth and the physiques that were presented on stage were the inspiration that I was seeking and I wanted to compete against them. Having set this goal I now needed to plan how I was going to achieve it? I found a number of people willing to give advice, some good, some bad and some people holding on to knowledge like a closely guarded government secret. Through my contest preparation I found some constants and one of those was Paul Lonsdale and Anne Hirst who own and run Get Physical on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. I was told about Get Physical by a friend at work and have been getting advice on nutrition and training from Paul Lonsdale for the past three years.
Through Paul’s knowledge of supplements and foods he constructed a diet plan to enable me to shed pounds and maintain muscle mass. On June the 4th at Holmfirth Civic Hall I competed in the Yorkshire NPA Natural Bodybuilding contest, placed first in the novice category against ten other competitors and was awarded a trophy for the best first timer on stage. During the preparation for the contest Paul’s advice was invaluable to me and I am sure that my condition would not have been what it was without Paul’s advice. I will now compete again in October in the NPA British Finals. Once again I will be relying on Paul’s advice and support to improve on thedel holmfirth
condition that enabled me to achieve my personal weight loss goals and win the Yorkshire NPA title. If you, like me and many others need advice and support that you can rely on I call in to see Paul or Anne at get Physical on Eccallsall Road in Sheffield. You will find friendly, honest and reliable advice that will enable you to achieve your goals as I did mine.
Yorkshire NPA Novice Champion.
Jonathan Hall – Olympic GB Wheelchair Basketball Team
My name is Jonathan Hall. I am a member of the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Team, former Captain of the Gold Medallist under 23 team and a level 2 gym instructor.
Paul and Ann have both been a massive help to me reaching my goals. Their knowledge of different types of training from weights, cardio and also boxing has been a major part of my success, especially in the early stages of my career. Although I regularly have to train at the English Institute of Sport facility, I still come to them to do boxing, fitness and weight training sessions whenever I can. I sometimes just call in to have a chat, where I always ending up learning something new – a new exercise, supplement or nutritional advice.
Over the years I have learned so much from them. I am sure that any future clients of theirs will be able to reach any goals they have set with the help of the best two trainers possible.
Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Team
Just a note from us: congratulations on a fantastic performance in the 2012 Paralympics – pipped at the post for bronze but you did us all proud!
I have been training with Ann Hirst at Get Physical for about 8 years. I have a very stressful job and a weight issue to match. I didn’t get this weight issue overnight; nor do I now expect to solve it overnight. That was not always the case and it’s a radical change of habit I owe to Ann. What training with Ann is helping me to do is to tackle the issue far more realistically and ultimately, more effectively. What training with Ann has also helped me to do is to be far less tortured about the whole issue of stress, comfort eating and weight management; because that is what training at Get Physical is for me: not a magic answer, not a miracle, but a realistic way of managing both the physical and the emotional aspects of fitness and weight loss.
Ann and her partner Paul Lonsdale are an unusual pair: I say that sadly, because there should be more of them in their industry, but in my own considerable experience, there are not. They are not just immensely experienced and knowledgeable but they both have advanced qualifications from the ‘university of life’. Both these qualities put them streets ahead in my experience of the more usual type of gyms and trainers. They are also exceptionally good at the nutritional angle – if you want them to be. They are also open to clients who, like me, are engaging with other weight loss tools, at the same time. Really, they are open to any way in which a client wishes to set and achieve their goals, and in my view this is probably because they have a confidence borne of the kind of skill and expertise that you can only get by spending the two lifetimes in the industry that they jointly have.
Both of them have clearly worked in the real world of competitive training and are passing that practical advantage on to their clients in addition to the normal diet of gym repetitions. They are also ‘no holds barred’ on nutrition; but realistic, to the point of wry humour, about their trainees’foibles. The personalised approach also extends to the fact that they only ever have two people training in the gym at any one time – one each – and the gym divides so it really is very private. You can look as rubbish or as glamorous as you want and say virtually anything you want without fear that other people are watching you or eavesdropping. This I think makes training more than just a physical workout but also ‘blows cobwebs away’ (as Ann never tires of saying) in other departments, too.
As with much in life, training and weight management is what the client makes it. I personally have had periods of conventional ‘success’ with Ann, and periods of plateau, damage limitation and occasionally extreme frustration; because training, like life, is not and never will be a simple matter. I have had patches where I haven’t wanted to know; and where all I wanted to know came with a double helping of Ben and Jerry’s; but Ann has helped me through all that, sometimes with the stick (‘look at my face – am I bothered ?’), more often with a quite amazing range of ‘carrot’. Ann does not give up on you, unless you really, really want her to ! She has coached me through a serious injury – coming round to my house at no extra charge for weeks to make sure I did my rehab and (thanks Ann) chasing me round the recreation ground to cries of ‘keep moving, give me that crutch, you can do it !’ Where Ann and Paul score, and where, in my book, they will keep my loyalty, is in taking the medium to long-term view. Boot camp is all very well; ditto short-term quick fixes. But come on, who really believes in all that stuff long-term ? And of course, ironically, because they are much more realistic about goals, I tend to stick with at least something, instead of running at everything like a bull at a gate and then giving up in disgust when all the frenetic activity grinds to a halt. That’s one of the biggest differences, for me, of the training I have maintained with Ann, compared to other activities I have undertaken. This training has lasted, and become part of my mindset. And that kind of habit is one that has stuck.
I have known for a long time that what I get with Ann Hirst is not just a personal workout but also a personal service – a tailor-made, intensely personalised programme – not just on a physical level, but on the psychological and emotional levels as well; and again, be realistic, how many of us got overweight or unfit purely for physical reasons ? The other great thing about Ann and Paul is that for different reasons they have, whilst overall being breathtakingly fit people, had their own human struggles and overcome them. They don’t judge you (although they do tell it straight !). Thinking of the way in which Paul shows people his own ‘before and after’ pictures is what enabled me after more than one absence to get back into the gym.
So if you want something very different from the usual fitness blah, superficial gym bunnies and the cheating low-fat, low-cal, high sugar dissatisfaction, I would thoroughly recommend them. And for those of you who think that a personal trainer is a luxury you can’t afford: ask yourself, would you rather spend a bit more money on something that will actually work in the medium-term, or effectively waste your money now, and again and again, on people who don’t actually know what they’re doing and have the false hope and empty promises to match ?
I came to Ann and Paul after years of injuries, back problems and inactivity. I was at the point of desperation, barely mobile, in chronic pain and in a very sorry state.
What can I say, they did not judge me or look at me as something to be pitied or ridiculed for being overweight and very unfit, they were great, especially at the point when I burst into tears at how bad things were.
I have had a few set backs along the way, the back problem got a lot worse before it got better. The spinal specialist said I would never improve beyond the point I was at 3 year ago! But once that started to improve, other old injuries surfaced but I can honestly say for the first time in years I am pain free. Unlike the Dr who had given up on me and was talking about ways to manage my condition and pain, Ann did not and would judge from the way I got out of my car and walked into the gym what level of training I needed that day, tailoring every session to my needs at that time, so sessions ranged from yoga stretches, resistance tube and weights, core strengthening workouts or aerobic circuits and boxing.
I have never been able to maintain a regular gym membership as most trainers as soon as you start having a few twingers or pains either won’t train you or tell you to work through it sticking to your routine, this can obviously have serious repercussions for anyone with a serious injury, however Ann’s years of experience and knowledge have allowed me to continue training throughout my long healing process using the best methods possible.
Ann and Paul offer far far more than a ‘gym facility’ they offer help, support and friendship to everyone that walks through their door but don’t get me wrong they will make you train and they will make you train hard, but not in any way that can be considered to be anything but healthy and supportive, there is no screaming or shouting at clients here. No matter what kind of week you have had Ann and Paul provide you with the means to deal with it, they are both great listeners and I like to think of our sessions as part training, part therapy. Boxing with Paul at the end of the week is such a great stress buster
I haven’t lost all the weight I would have wanted, it is hard to shift after years of problems and I enjoy my food a little too much but I am fit, pain free, mobile and can enjoy life. As I frequently say, I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them, let alone a house with a garden, 2 mad dogs who like long walks and plans for the future that do not include a mobility vehicle!
Ann and Paul offer a first rate service that can not be matched in the Sheffield area, I do not consider my gym sessions with them to be a luxury I think of them as a necessity and no matter what else comes and goes I always maintain my sessions. Whatever your needs Ann and Paul will be able to help you, they do not promise miracle cures or over night weight loss sensations, they do not need you to have the latest fashion wear, but they will offer you 100% common sense and support and a way to change your fitness and health levels for life.
Thanks for everything guys.