Stories that inspire

Personal Training

“One year ago I was bordering on obesity and loathed the way that I looked.

I was convinced I could lose the weight at any time if I really applied myself but I had been yo-yoing with the same 5 lbs for months.

I couldn't get ANY results until I met Gav"

- Hilary -


“One year ago I was bordering on obesity and loathed the way that I looked.



I was convinced I could lose the weight at any time if I really applied myself but I had been yo-yoing with the same 5 lbs for months.

 During the week, I’d lose 5 lbs through counting calories and running, then blow it on the weekend when I went to the pub.

By Monday, all 5 lbs would be back.

I knew I needed a new strategy and some motivational help, so a friend recommended me to Gav & Tom.

At the start of my first training session, I told Gavin I was in pretty good shape and he didn’t need to go easy on me.  Running had never prepared me to work so many muscles so intensely in such a short period of time. I could run 10 miles but I could barely make it to the end of my first 30 min session.

One month into training, I got engaged and had 7 months to lose 25 lbs before the wedding.  I battled through my training sessions with everything I could give, and hit the gym on my own 2-3 days per week.

I sort-of followed Gavin’s advice on nutrition and the weight slowly started to disappear, but I continued to put the emphasis on training and continued my weekends of blow outs at the pub.

With 3 months to go before the wedding, I tried on my dress and I wasn’t happy with how I looked. I had chosen a fitted dress as motivation to lose the weight but it barely zipped up and I felt frumpy and self-conscious.  I decided that I couldn’t allow myself to feel that way on my wedding day and it was time to really pay attention to Gavin’s nutritional advice.

Three weeks before the wedding, I had my next dress fitting where the tailor would decide if I needed to fork out a fortune to make the dress bigger. I was so nervous that I brought two good friends along for moral support just in case.

The tailor zipped up the dress, took one look at me and started applauding.  It not only fit, he needed to take it in!

My wedding day was March 21st and not only did folks compliment me on how great I looked, they pointed out how amazing my arms looked too!  I’d never had toned arms before and my bingo wings were finally gone!  


Instead of hiding from the camera on my wedding day, I never once thought about my weight or how I looked.


This peace of mind was the greatest gift Gavin could have given me.

I lost 23 lbs in total but more importantly, I learned that the number on the scale means nothing.

It may not be the lowest weight I’ve ever been but I am in the smallest dress size I’ve ever worn and have never felt stronger or had more ease running up the tube escalators.

Gav has completely changed my relationship with food and saved me from hours and hours of running on treadmills.  Now that the honeymoon is over, I can’t wait to hit the gym again”

Hilary – London



Late last summer, my new fiancé and I did a butchery course at the Ginger Pig and it was there that I met Gav & Tom.



I could see Gav sizing me up as a future project and talking to him over cote de boeuf, dauphinoise potatoes and red wine (!!), I admitted what I had secretly known for some time … I was heading towards contented middle age and with the Big 50 looming and a wedding to plan for in March, I knew I had somehow slipped into what was probably the worst shape of my life.

I didn’t want to be Fat & 50 and of course wanted to look great in my wedding photos…. But could I be bothered to change at this stage in my life?

How could I fit in training …. and more importantly a radical change to my eating and drinking habits when it was such an integral part of my everyday existence?

I decided to start with the 14 day fat furnace programme (instant gratification being much more my style than a long hard slog!)  My partner Ian and I did it together  and although it was really tough, we got great results and were really delighted. But I still wasn’t ready to commit to the regular PT sessions, so thought I would try the online coaching… But another chat with Gav persuaded me to give it a go and six months on, here I am feeling in the BEST shape of my adult life.

Although I have only lost about 6kg in weight, my body shape is completely transformed and the clothes that had become uncomfortably tight / unwearable are now all hanging off me / in the bin (I shall be sending Gav the bill for the entire new wardrobe I have had to buy!)

I get married on Saturday ( 28th March 2015) and can’t wait to see Ian’s face when he sees me in my slinky wedding gown (which I bought when I still had a LONG way to go!) It was incredibly hard to start with – especially with what felt like the deprivation in the early stages – and I fell off the wagon / cheated numerous times – and still do! But I feel I have now made a genuine and permanent change to the way I eat and think about food, gained a real commitment out working out and feeling healthy and I’m determined not to slip back into my old ways. Most importantly I feel really HEALTHY and full of energy , rather than being constantly tired.

Thanks Gav.  Will send you a pic of me in the dress on Saturday!




“I have been training with Gavin off and on for the past few years with no ultimate goal apart from keeping fit and not getting too large.


In my job the potential to put on weight and get carried away with work is massive so a couple of sessions a week with Gav kept me to a reasonable level of fitness and size.Then last summer a good friend of mine decided he wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and my siblings decided they wanted us all to run the London Marathon.

I told Gav all of this and we started on a proper training plan. The first hurdle was Kilimanjaro so Gav got me doing a lot of leg work which was also key to getting my legs strong for the marathon. I climbed Kilimanjaro at the end of January and then had 10 weeks to really concentrate on the marathon. Post Kilimanjaro we worked on my core and legs to help keep me injury free as a stepped up my running and had to endure all those long weekend runs. Come April 13th and the big day I wasn’t sure what to expect.

But I can say that I definitely enjoyed both Kilimanjaro and the marathon a lot more because of Gavin’s training and tips along the way. The goals were achievable but because I was prepared for them properly I had the energy and belief in myself thanks to Gavin”

– Pete –

Alex O’Hanlon

Alex came to me in a totally untrained state and we got some amazing results very quickly.

alex-transformation-450x450When Alex said to me “I want a six pack”, she was actually talking the truth. I told her what was needed, the commitment to training, the nutrition and the restrictions around her hectic social life.

She said “lets do it”

And that is the reason she got such amazing and dramatic results. She listened to everything I taught her and followed the plan 100% with no deviations.

I just want to make it clear that her results are not typical or even desirable for most ladies…BUT its totally possible for anyone if that is the desired look and the motivation is there to take it to another level.

Well done Alex

“I’m very happy with the results that I achieved when training with Gav. His knowledge about nutrition and training is second to none and I think my pictures speak for themselves. I never imagined I could achieve this type of condition”

For anyone looking to compete in a fitness/bodybuilding show, please contact Gav as he seriously knows what he is doing :)”



“If you’re serious about getting in shape, I 100% recommend training with Gav.”


I used to be in the gym 5-6 times a week working my bum off at gym classes, constantly on the treadmill/cross-trainer and eating what I thought was healthy but never got the results I wanted, until I started training with Gav who’s taught me more about getting in shape in the past few months, than years of going to the gym.

His passion for health and fitness is contagious, and the results are obvious! My body has never looked better, and I have Gav to thank for it!

Anna Murray

“I signed up to the competition with hopes it would give me the extra pressure I needed to make significant changes in my fitness and shape… and it did! I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive or knowledgeable PT than Gav, he was there all the way encouraging me on.


I finished this challenge with results I didn’t think I could reach, not only that it has spurred me on to want to achieve even bigger goals.

Gav has such a passion and it is contagious, not only that, the amount I have learnt both about training and health is almost overwhelming. The competition was worth every penny, the effort and training has really paid off.

I highly recommend Gavin and Eighty20Lifestyle for anyone wishing to achieve their best results yet!”



Mark V

“I met Tom for the first time during my initial assessment, where we discussed lifestyle, diet, exercise regime etc. It became pretty clear to me that he knew what he was talking about and I got very excited about the whole thing.”

mark-6-weeks“I was following Eighty20Lifestyle’s outstanding blog and informative newsletter for a few months when I received an email with the option to participate in their competition. I was hitting the gym about 2-3 times a week for the last 5 years, and was pretty comfortable with my fitness level and overall health. Nevertheless I felt like I needed a change. It was the perfect timing: I was getting married in the Maldives exactly in 6 weeks time and wanted to look my best for a beach wedding!

I met Tom for the first time during my initial assessment, where we discussed lifestyle, diet, exercise regime etc. It became pretty clear to me that he knew what he was talking about and I got very excited about the whole thing.

Before we started with the gym workouts Tom advised me to change my diet.  I was already on a pretty good diet but had to cut out all the sandwiches I was eating each day plus the occasional dinner’s of either pasta, white rice, or potatoes had to go. I thought I was going to struggle with low carbs but actually I was used to it from day 1.

He really knows his stuff and is focussed on doing the exercise right before moving to heavier weights.

After 2-3 weeks my fiancé started giving me compliments on my muscle definition and six-pack. I was really surprised with that as we had only done 1 abdominal exercise in the first 3 weeks! That just shows you how great the exercises were.

As the weeks went on I could see the difference in the mirror myself and was amazed how my body changed. In the last 2 weeks I could really see a difference in my muscle definition and feel a difference the way my clothes fit; I was losing inches around my waist.

After the 6 week competition I flew straight to the Maldives and posted my first beach picture on Facebook. The replies I got from people were amazing! People were asking me if I had a personal trainer and where I had been hiding my body for the last years. They just could not believe it and to be honest neither could I. I felt great, looked great and was really happy with myself.

I was hoping for a good result in the competition but I never thought I would end up winning it. I am really proud and I will continue working with Tom to get myself to the next level. Without him it would not have been possible!

Finally I just want to say that I had a great wedding and I never looked better. Thanks again to everyone at Eighty20Lifestyle and Tom in particular!”

Ania N


“I met Gavin a year and a half ago in the gym while trying to sweat off some weight on one of these useless, horrible cross-trainers.

Back then I was convinced I really don’t need a personal trainer to lose weight. I was always a sporty type.

I trained horse-jumping as a teenager, I was a part of my high school’s volleyball team. Then I went to university and was busy with “studying”  and I slowly started to lose control over the way I looked ….and it continued when I came to London 3 years ago. I was very busy for the first two years doing my master’s degree and working full time.

It was hard at times and thus very easy to get my diet wrong…junk food, sandwiches and chocolate to survive another lecture.

Things were getting out of control and I was gradually gaining kilos and losing self-confidence as I was frustrated about the way I looked…so…I decided to do something about it and I signed up for the gym.

Though in my busy lifetime was not much time left (so I thought at least) there was always a good excuse to skip the gym.

And when I finally went there, already tired after uni and work, like many other poor creatures, I spent there one hour and a half (thinking that was the least a proper workout should last) sweating aimlessly on those bloody cardio machines and proudly reaching for the 4kg dumbbells (never more because I didn’t want to bulk up, of course! ).

Exhausted, a bit discouraged (as the results were not as expected) I was looking for yet another excuse not to go to the gym and was getting more frustrated about my looks.

And then I met Gavin but, as I mentioned, I was sure I don’t need a personal trainer to get lean.

I did, however, sign up for newsletters from Eighty20Lifestyle and I started reading articles Tom & Gav posted there……

It took me a while to convince myself to it as the idea of eating protein breakfast was simply putting me off (by the way…I only eat protein breakfast now and there is no way I will go back to eating bread or those sugar-packed, “healthy” Special K for breakfast).

The results were amazing after just two weeks.

I lost 5 kg and gained motivation and faith that actually I can change the way I look and feel.

In the end of August I signed up for bootcamps once per week and then decided to swap bootcamp for 1 x 30 min PT session with Gavin in October.

“I lost 13 kg in 4 months and it was great to go back home for Christmas and see everyone’s reaction”

They were amazed to see what I achieved in such a short amount of time and they were even more amazed when I told them that all I did was weight-lifting once a week combined with tabatas and sprints.

No more one and a half an hour, boring workouts! And of course everyone asked: “What is the secret to this magic transformation?” and the answer was simple: “follow the plan!”.

I think the key to success in my case is that I trust Gavin and I listen to what he says and I follow it, that’s it! This process requires some hard work, no doubt about it, but it is nothing in comparison to how you feel when you finally look great and you start to like yourself again!

And one more thing…train like a man and you will look like a woman! That’s for sure!

When I was in Poland for Christmas and I told everybody that I do squats carrying 80 kg on my shoulders, they couldn’t believe it.

Some people admired it, some told me to stop in order not to look like a man. I didn’t listen to those sceptics, of course.

I came back to Poland in June, this time to get married and looking even leaner than in winter. My mum had tears in her eyes when she saw how I look and feel about myself and those who were scared I was going to look like a man…well they had nothing to say anymore.

I would like to thank Gav and Tom one more time for everything.

The moment I started training with Eighty20Lifestyle my life has changed and it is not only about the lost kilograms but also about the gained confidence and respect for myself.

I never looked so good in my life and it is because I learned so much about healthy dieting and exercising.

Even though I was doing sports before, going to cardio classes 6 times a week I couldn’t get so lean and now I know that it’s because of my diet (“healthy” Special K was a part of it). What is even more amazing, I became an inspiration to many of my friends who decided to change their lifestyles after observing my story.

And my story continues…I carry on training, eating well, feeling good. And I admit, I love it “


An amazing story from Ania I’m sure you would all agree.

This is what we do at Eighty20Lifestyle. We give you the answers to all the questions and teach you EXACTLY what works and what doesn’t work, despite what the media tells you. We cut through the crap and help you achieve the best results possible, whatever your goals!



So I woke up one day and realised that despite the fact that I cycled 80-90 miles a week to and from work I didn’t really like what I saw – I was middle aged and really looked it!!

I was still eating anything and everything I wanted and couldn’t work out why, despite the cycling, I was still spreading! At about the same time some enlightened soul at work invited Tom to give a talk to anyone who would listen on strength, fitness, diet, sleep, water and a few other things as well.

To cut to the chase I was hooked.

I started training with Tom, listened and absorbed what he had to say – I took it all on board and have acted on most of it but not necessarily all at the same time. I’m loving the “journey” and do see it very much as that.

I work out in the gym with Tom and try to fit in exercise routines at home that work my whole body. I mix it up with weights, sprints, kettle bells, callisthenics and CrossFit – about a year ago I completed my first proper pull-up and can now do 12 – not bad for 52 years old (in my humble opinion)?!

Early on I did the  “Fat Furnace” – really stuck to it for 14 days and lost 9 pounds. I now understand why they say that “Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym” and that “You can’t out train a bad diet”.

Whilst I’d love to eat perfectly all the time I appreciate it’s not realistic – I work for a living in the City and my three teenage children can eat pasta all day every day and it not affect their shape. During the week my diet is pretty spot on – low carbs, high protein and lots of green veg (and I enjoy it). We won’t talk about the occasional morning croissant and the odd bowl of pasta for supper!

I take fish oil daily and my knees have stopped aching.

I had a full DEXA body scan recently. In my head I was desperate to come in at under 20% body fat – I just scraped it at 19.9% (excluding the fat in my head apparently?!) and only 4% of their sample of men of my age have a lower body fat percentage.
I don’t usually do this type of testimonial but Tom is more than just a Personal Trainer – lifestyle coach and fitness guru is a better description and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone who wants to make a change to their life.




I have always struggled with my weight since I was a teenager, never really knowing how to shift it effectively. I discovered Eighty20Lifestyle and started training with Gavin twice a week. I lost about  a stone initially but seemed to plateau after that. Gavin has always been going on about taking protein shakes and fish oil but to be honest I was always very skeptical thinking that protein would bulk me up. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

With me being vegetarian it has always been difficult trying to make my suggested daily protein intake that Gavin suggested but by having two protein shakes EVERY day I can do that and easily. This plus 2 table spoons of Aliment fish oil every day has seen me lose another 16lbs in just 8 weeks! This was on top of my normal meals, which I ensured were healthy and full of veg.

I also read Gav & Tom’s newsletter every time and have recommended this to several friends and work colleagues.

Losing this weight has made a massive positive impact on my life and I just went out and bought new gym clothes 2 sizes smaller than before.

Thank you Gav & Tom, you guys are fantastic.


Rob H


I started training with Tom back in December 2014.  I have been a yo-yo trainer since I was 16.

Definitely no stranger to gyms and very used to being in that environment.  The yo-yoing is seasonally driven now that I no longer play competitive sport….you get older and stuff starts falling off you – I’m 48 now.  I try and workout hard from February to about September then the willpower goes and a thin layer of insulation returns over the colder months.

You get the picture!

So my brief to Tom was, “Im going on my annual trip to Marbella in June,  I want to be in single digit body fat by then and maintain my current weight – around 90kgs”.  “Oh and while I am prepared to work hard on my diet and training , Ive tried being a Monk and didn’t like it so we will need to work with the slightly more than the occasional cheat days. “  He accepted this without blinking an eye.  A good start I thought,  no lecture!  I was around 22% body fat when we started.

Over the years I’ve found that its getting harder and harder to shed that winter coat.  I knew that my cavalier attitude to my friend beer was going to have to change.  We got stuck into a higher protein, lower carb meal plan than I was used to.

This worked really well and actually I have enjoyed it and am still following the guidelines.  On some excellent advice from Tom,  who clearly knows his nutrition and I did kick my good friend beer and replaced him with a Gin and low cal tonic…Fevertree if you want to know,  its all natural .

All in moderation of course!

So training, we focused on resistance and weight training which I enjoy anyway.

We progressed steadily over the weeks,  the body fat dropped off and the muscle appeared.  So I think I can pat myself on the back for working hard during my sessions but I have still enjoyed myself at the same time.  I’ve seen my strength increase significantly and achieved my body fat goal in time for my trip. I dropped over 3 inches from my waist line which was a real shocker as I slipped into a pair of 32” waist trousers for the first time in…well a lot of years!

What I needed was a knowledgeable and empathetic trainer.  Tom clearly lives what he preaches but in a way that’s realistic and achievable – remember my monk comment.  Toms style naturally takes him on the journey with you which was important for me as I don’t respond well to being ordered what to do.

Usually my focus tails off once the goals achieved but we’re now starting the next phase of the process and I’m now looking forward to see what else I can achieve.”

Rob – London

Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo, centre, in I Can't Singcynthia-1-450x450

“When I went to Gavin, I had an idea of what I wanted for myself and my body!

I wanted real muscle definition and a change of shape. Gavin very quickly discovered what I needed. Because of my body type I tend to gain muscle very quickly so to achieve my goal, we had to adapt my training.

We ended up doing exactly the opposite of what most ladies do. He had a challenge with me, and he rose to it!! Gavin has focused my journey through fitness and body sculpting. I know what I need to get results!

Right now I can safely say I am in the best shape of my life! Body fat is down, shape is much trimmer and I have more energy than I know what to do with. I feel great.

Thanks Gav ”

Paul & Stuart

“We took a look at ourselves in July and weren’t that keen on what we saw in the mirror.

We exercised regularly but the Pump classes we’d been doing for years weren’t making much headway against the gin & tonics we knew we were drinking too often. We both carried a few too many kilos.

Was this the start of the slide into middle age?

A high blood pressure diagnosis and a trip to Australia in November, where swimsuits would be involved, were the prompts for ‘something’s got to change’.

We did some research, met Gav from Eighty20Lifestyle and decided we’d ask him to help us get back on track in the four months until our trip.

We liked his approach. We said ‘Don’t tell us to join the steamed broccoli and chicken brigade – we like food with flavour’.

He assured us we ’d have plenty to eat but that we’d earn it – and we did.

Gav’s plan is simple – do these exercises; eat this; don’t eat that.

Simple but not necessarily easy. Press-ups, pull-ups, burpees, lunges, mountain climbers…

 The key to the diet was to plan ahead.  Think today about what you’re going to eat tomorrow and make sure there’s always something on-plan to eat when you get hungry.

We followed the eating plan to the letter and it was so satisfying to see the kilos starting to drop off within days.

It’s true – abs really are made in the kitchen as much as they are in the gym.

^^How amazing do they look?

The gym sessions are great. We wondered whether you can really get results from half-hour sessions?

Yes, you can! Straight in, 100% of the time working on the programme, no messing around. Half an hour means there’s no need to spend the entire evening in the gym.

When it’s been a tough day in the office and you don’t feel like it, well, you stick it for half an hour, can’t you?

Gav got us moving, kept us motivated and gave us a gym programme to follow 2-3 times a week in our own time. We worked hard but it was worth it.

After four months working out with Gav, we couldn’t be happier with the results. We’ve lost weight, gained strength and muscle, and feel great.

Three months into the programme, we converted our civil partnership to marriage.

Although ‘look good for the wedding photos’ hadn’t been one of our original goals, we were pleased that we did.

With the lifestyle change and weight loss, the blood pressure has come down. We feel a whole lot more comfortable in a swimsuit too.

We know we still have some work to do but when anyone asks how we’ve come so far in just four months, we always tell them – speak to Gavin at Eighty20Lifestyle

Thanks, Gav “


Ibiza Retreat, 2016











Ibiza Retreat, 2016

Susanne & Giles


324I really wanted to start with a massive thank you for an amazing week.

I feel like I have had my reset button pushed and really do feel like a new person which is never something I thought I would say.  Before I came away I was stuck in a bit of a rut, making excuses for why I couldn’t make time for exercise, eating pretty poorly and letting lots of things get on top of me. Having the week away with you guys gave me exactly what I needed in terms of the kick start.  I may not be getting up at 5am but I am getting up at 6am which is 45 minutes earlier than I used to.I am using that time to do some exercise- so far this week I went for a run Tuesday and Thursday, 15 mins of tabata on Monday and Wednesday and half an hour of Yoga today.

I have so much more energy for the day and I am using the rest of the extra time in the morning to be in less of a rush.  It’s amazing how having a leisurely breakfast and a drive in to work where I am not rushing sets me off on the right track rather than getting stressed and frustrated! I have also been loving the Yoga. I have bought myself a mat and now when I am home alone instead of watching some crap on TV between 9 &10pm and messing on my phone at the same time I follow a Yoga video. This has been perfect for relaxation and I feel great after it and ready to head straight to bed for a good sleep. I have also been looking at some evening classes nearby so will try to persuade Susanne to join me!

In terms of the eating I have been cutting a lot of the rubbish out.  Always difficult when you work in a Chocolate factory but making sure I have healthy snacks on my desk instead is working.

I am also trying to bring a few of the ideas and ingredients from the Ibiza kitchen into mine and we are definitely eating more fish and less red meat. The most important change I have seen is in my own positivity and outlook.  I look at challenges differently and more positively and I am actively making time for myself and setting objectives for what I want to do.  I am not yet keeping up with the journaling but as my attitude is changing I can see that I may take it up.

It has been amazing the changes people have seen in me.

My work colleagues keep on referring to me as the ‘new Giles’ as I am much more relaxed and positive and outside of work my friends keep saying how well I look.  I do feel a lot leaner and stronger which is exactly what I wanted as had felt this slip over the last few years.

Again a massive thanks to you both.  Not only did I have a fantastic time whilst out in Ibiza with lots of laughs, relaxation and fun, I also go so much more out of the week that will hopefully stay with me for a long time to come.

I do feel incredibly lucky to have got the opportunity to come on the trip so have a massive thanks for Susanne for booking in the first place and Andy for giving me the chance to take his place. It would never have been the type of thing I would have signed up for myself but am so glad the opportunity came along and I would definitely do it again.

Thanks again and hopefully see you again soon”

-Giles Naish-

melThe retreat was thoroughly executed.

Owen and I throughly enjoyed it – fantastic accommodation, great food, great workouts and great activities. If it could have been better we can’t imagine how. I hope you’ve given yourself a great big pat on the back for a job well done.

Thanks for the memories. Hugs and mush,

Melanie & Owen

329Dear Gav & Tom

Thanks so much for a truly wonderful week in Ibiza. I loved every moment, even the 5am club. It was a fantastic experience and one I will never forget. You did a fantastic job and out such a great effort into it all. I hope you both enjoyed it too? I miss everyone and I miss Bootcamp. Pete and I are trying to carry on with some the good habits and new ideas we learnt last week. The whole trip was such a positive one and I smile every time I think of it. A thousand thank you’s and I hope to see you again soon.

Lois & Pete


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