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Alecia Ridout Garfield

In January last year I started looking for a trainer.  I was recommended to Darren by a few people who attend his Fitfun group training sessions in Streatham Common. First a little about me. I really don’t like exercising. I’ll do it because I have to but I’m not one of those people that looks forward to it. I’m inherently lazy but Darren really challenged me. I supplemented personal training sessions with the group sessions he runs to keep costs low.

Darren suggested small changes to my diet that were manageable and that have now become completely normal to me. At the time I was in between dress sizes and I was finding it difficult to find clothes that fitted me properly so I wanted to lose some weight and more importantly tone up in time for our wedding.

Darren helped me do exactly that. I got married in Cape Town and in the run up to the wedding we were on the beach and out in the sunshine. I felt confident enough with my body to just be in my bikini. My wedding day was perfect and as soon as I got back from honeymoon I started training with Darren again.

Can’t recommend him enough as a trainer!

October 2015

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Jill Phillips

I have always been self-conscious about my weight generally and specifically my arms – I’ve never liked looking at photos of myself wearing sleeveless tops because I have always thought my arms were too big.  In January this year with my wedding 6 months away I decided I needed to do something about it because I didn’t want to have the same feelings when looking at my wedding photos.

I have been going to the Fit Fun Boot Camp and Boxing classes since May 2013 so I knew Darren from those and I decided to approach him to see if he could help me get in shape for the wedding.  He has been brilliant from the start, taking on board all of my aims and tailoring each of my sessions to both help achieve those goals and also give me plenty of tips on how I could continue working out between sessions.  I also like the fact that he offers support between sessions – sending occasional text messages to ask how my week is going and offering encouragement.  In addition to help with training, Darren has given me lots of great nutritional advice.  I have lost weight in the past but through exercise rather than any focus on good nutrition.  This time my weight loss really feels sustainable because I have also changed my eating habits and I am feeling much better for it.

I will admit that I have always been a bit unsure about whether personal training would have much to offer me – I don’t have any problems motivating myself to go running or to boot camp.  However, I’m now wishing I had tried personal training before as it has so much to offer.   I love the fact that Darren tailors the sessions specifically for me and he really challenges me each session, encouraging me to do my best.  The sessions have also given me the opportunity to ask lots of questions and come to understand why I’m doing the different exercises and how they help.

I am absolutely delighted to have achieved all of my fitness goals with time to spare before the wedding and I really can’t thank Darren enough for making that possible.  Importantly, I have enjoyed each and every session and rather than it being a chore, I really look forward to personal training sessions with Darren.  I now feel more confident than ever before and happily I’m no longer afraid to be photographed wearing sleeveless tops!



July 2014

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If you are anything like me and find it hard to maintain a gym routine or regularly attend exercise classes, personal training with Darren is the ideal solution for getting into shape and staying there. I found Darren via the internet so I didn’t know what to expect. Just 4 months on and still in total disbelief, I now have the body I always wanted, and this has a knock-on effect of increased confidence, as well as many more modeling jobs that I may not have been offered if I still had the body of old.

Darren tailors each session specifically to my needs taking into consideration a balance between my likes and dislikes, and his professional opinion of areas that need more / less focus. He devises workouts for me to complete outside the sessions to supplement my training and often surprises me with periodical ‘check up’ texts and calls- very supportive. There is nothing generic about the exercise programs I’ve been given and he takes the time to clearly explain his working methods every step of the way. He always pushes me further than I’d go on my own, but never too far; a training principle of his I’ve come to learn very well known as ‘Progressive Overload’. His one-on-one approach means that the work I’m doing is a lot more focused, efficient and effective than if I was simply left to my own devices.

Having Darren’s guidance keeps me motivated beyond the exercise sessions. His principles surrounding nutrition are very accessible and thus extremely effective. His knowledge is second to none, a true professional and I recommend him.

It’s worked for me. I’m happy

October 2013

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Leo Martin

In January this year, I made a decision to lose weight. It wasn’t just the New Year that prompted my decision: in September 2012 I stopped smoking. I gained a few pounds, but these were added to pounds (a stone) that I was already unhappy with. I knew I wanted to do something about it and take the healthier/ non-smoking lifestyle further by losing the excess weight and try and get fit.

I started working with Darren in mid-January. I was really apprehensive – I was out of shape and very self conscious about it, I hadn’t been in a gym in nearly 20 years so I’d no idea what half the equipment was and I had never worked one-to-one with a trainer. But it was soon clear to me that Darren understood all these anxieties from the word go. He worked hard to build my confidence and to gain my trust, and to work one-to-one in his studio instead of a gym really helped to quickly dispel the anxieties I had.

Darren has always been really encouraging so when in the early days, I had my moments when I had no self belief and I would want to give up on a particular exercise, Darren would work with me to help me give it my all. He knew exactly what I could and couldn’t do, so very quickly he made me stop underestimating myself and as a result, my confidence grew, I got stronger and I relished the challenges he set.

Now, eight months on, I train with Darren, or go to his FitFun Bootcamp or run, or play tennis – if I don’t, I miss it. I am a bit of an exercise bore I am sure, but I love it. Each Bootcamp or personal training session is different, they are all fun, but they are all challenging in a really rewarding sense, and I have definitely rediscovered my competitive streak! Gone are the days when I think I can’t do it, I know Darren knows my limits and I trust him, so if ‘the gauntlet’s down’ I give it a go, and then if I really can’t do something we move on and go back to it in a few weeks, but he doesn’t ever let me ever ‘give up’ (despite my profanities, again the joy of a private studio!)

Looking back at the last eight months, (and these things aren’t easy to write), personally it’s been an incredible ‘journey’ for me – this time last year I was out of shape, couldn’t run up the stairs and smoked heavily – now I relish a run or a workout and I can’t imagine smoking even though it was a major feature of my whole adult life. Possibly I have replaced one addiction with another (!), but definitely this one pays real dividends and is a million percent more enjoyable. As for my goals, I quickly lost the quitting smoking weight (and a whole load more), I am fitter and  leaner than I have ever been, I have more energy, I feel better in every way, I know I look better and I have rediscovered clothes shopping after 10 years of avoiding it, it’s now a joy. (OK, the shopping wasn’t a goal, but it’s a bonus!)

I am not saying that the ‘journey’ was a walk in the park, it wasn’t, we have worked bloody hard, but I have always enjoyed it, and we’ve a way to go yet, but for now, thanks Darren (and sorry for the bad names I have, very very occasionally, called you) .

Leo Martin July 2013

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Andrew Jackson (*11 stone weight loss) Before & After

Before I started the personal training sessions with Darren I was very doubtful and thought of them as a waste of money. However, I can now honestly say that my experience with Darren has left me recommending them too all my friends. What impressed me about Darren was his ability to vary and keep all my lessons enjoyable and his depth of knowledge. One of the most impressive things that he did was work around my disability. In fact while having lessons I didn’t even think about my knees.

I am 47 years old and have been overweight all my adult life. I used to consider myself ‘fit’ until I reached about 40 and then my life went ‘downhill’, I had 3 major illnesses and crippling knee arthritis from which I became registered disabled. In early 2009 I became very ill and needed several operations. When I started to recover I had lost about * 5 stone in weight  which I felt was an indirect but good kick start and made me think about going to the gym which is where I met Darren.  While working with Darren I lost another *5 stone (144lbs 11 stone in total) resulting in me being fit enough to not only have my knees replaced but too have them replaced on the same day something that is very rare. I now feel good about the way my body looks. The improved stamina and health benefits I have acquired are what I tell everybody are priceless.

The only thing I feel I would like to add in terms of considering hiring a personal trainer is that they should do some research. I was very lucky to find Darren. He gives 100 % of himself too his clients and even provides advice and an individual programme for when training alone that catered for my specific needs. I very often noticed him helping people who are not his clients, he seems to always enjoy his work and I would recommend him to anyone.

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*Causes for being overweight vary from one individual to another. In addition food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary in different people. This means weight loss results will also differ from person to person. No individual result should be seen as archetypal.


Vashali Patel (*6 stone weight loss)

Before starting personal training sessions with Darren, I was that person who tried all her life to lose weight but failed (miserably).  Even when I signed up for the personal training sessions with Darren, I didn’t hold out much hope in me achieving this elusive goal.  How wrong was I! 6 months on and still in total disbelief, I’ve managed to conquer my nemesis and have so far managed to lose *34.5kg / 76lbs (5 Ѕ Stone)!!!  So what’s the secret you’re asking…whilst yes, I did have to put in a lot of hard work, I think the secret for me finally achieving my goal was down to the sheer support, motivation and the belief Darren instilled in me that I could actually attain my weight loss goals.

How did it work?  He devised a program, which was tailored to my needs and goals, rather than a generic program. He always pushed me further than I’d go on my own, but never too far; always within my limits, this was the key to me sticking with this program. Plus throw into the mix his enthusiasm, positive attitude and his desire for me to succeed and there you have it, the winning formula for a first rate Trainer. I could go on but I won’t, as the proof of how good he is, is evident in my results.

*Causes for being overweight vary from one individual to another. In addition food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary in different people. This means weight loss results will also differ from person to person. No individual result should be seen as archetypal.


Lorna Brown (*3 stone weight loss & recovery from injury)

I started working with Darren after recovering from a long period of illness. Before the illness, I was satisfied with my weight and fitness level, but after seven months of not exercising and eating all the wrong foods, my weight gain was substantial and my energy levels were low.

When I returned to the gym, I was struggling to lose the weight and I just could not find the motivation or the self belief that I could return back to my previous shape and fitness levels. Furthermore, my self confidence in me had completely depleted. I found it quite hard to use the weights area and the exercise machines. I would see men and women all focused and to me, they seemed unapproachable to ask for help. Consequently I would always shy away from these areas.

I approached Darren for help.

His knowledge, enthusiasm, motivation, perseverance, discipline and desire to see positive results were everything that I needed to move me in the right direction.

His sessions were varied and challenging. They were hard work but enjoyable. I always felt a sense of accomplishment at the end of every session. Outside of the workouts, Darren provided invaluable advice on how to eat the right way in order to support the work we were doing together in the gym.

Darren has given me the confidence to do just as I saw everyone else doing. I am now self motivated and have no apprehension going into the gym to use the machines, weights etc.

After training with Darren, I surpassed my expectation on what I believe I could achieve in weight loss and fitness. I’m fitter and stronger than ever before; more insightful about eating the right way; and more importantly, I now carry a positive attitude about how I look and feel.

I’m in the best shape of my life since and I have a completely different approach to exercise. I enjoy training and whether it be a class or gym work, I always look forward to the next session.

*Causes for being overweight vary from one individual to another. In addition food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary in different people. This means weight loss results will also differ from person to person. No individual result should be seen as archetypal.



Ingrid’s Story

At the beginning of this year, at the age of 56 and hating those extra kilos which had piled on over the years and which refused to budge, coupled with a higher dress size, I realised that I had to do more than change my eating habits to lose the weight.  But how could I contemplate an exercise programme when I knew from my earlier school days that I simply hated exercise?

This is when I was introduced to Darren and with some trepidation signed up for a 10 week training session in his studio. The first session was so easy for me – no exercise but an in depth insight in to my life style and eating habits!  As week 2 approached I was feeling apprehensive.  But to my absolute total amazement I found myself enjoying the training session and left looking forward to the next session, and the next.

The reason for this change of heart, was purely and simply down to Darren. With his bespoke training programme he is 100% committed to bringing the best out of you.  He is deeply motivational, gives heaps of encouragement, sets challenges, and at times, pushes you hard, but the rewards are immense. His focus very much becomes your focus.

Over the past months I have steadily lost *6 kilos, and am continuing to work with Darren to lose a few more.  Each session is different, you don’t know what to expect and it is fun, albeit at times challenging.  But that is what it is all about, the challenge to become fitter, healthier and as a result happier.  With Darren’s hard work and enthusiasm I feel so much better in myself.  And, for me also what is absolutely amazing is the fact that I do now actually enjoy exercising.  Something I would never have thought possible at the start of the year.

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*Causes for being overweight vary from one individual to another. In addition food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary in different people. This means weight loss results will also differ from person to person. No individual result should be seen as archetypal.


I couldn’t recommend Darren highly enough. When I first went to his studios, I hadn’t exercised regularly since school and was quite reluctant to start. But his energised, focused and expert approach soon turned that around. As well being an excellent mentor and coach, consistently varying your exercise so that it stays effective and interesting, he also targets nutrition in a way that allows you to make sensible dietary changes that have a long-term effect. Over the first few months of training with Darren I lost between *10 and 11 kilograms and have remained consistently at my new weight ever since. I believe that it is Darren’s holistic approach that has allowed this to happen. He’s always available for advice and is continually thinking of new ways to challenge and inspire you. He has truly made a significant difference to my lifestyle and I’m extremely grateful for his tireless efforts.


*Causes for being overweight vary from one individual to another. In addition food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary in different people. This means weight loss results will also differ from person to person. No individual result should be seen as archetypal.