Male

ADAM STEELE

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I joined the gym to try and get fit because I had an important fitness test coming up, and was very unfit. I could barely run half a mile without blowing out of my arse and my legs killing me. I didn’t look unfit, but I was!

Having joined the gym, I quickly realised I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. I was too apprehensive to use any of the lifting equipment in fear I would make a meal of it in front of everyone. I noticed the advert for personal trainers in the gym, and someone mentioned the “new guy” (Andy) who I should speak to. Not long after I got in touch, Andy asked me what my goals were, and gave me a little “taster” session so I knew what to expect before investing the money. So I turned up for the taster session to find Andy had already drafted up a plan of how I was going to meet these goals. I think it is fair to say after the session, I was hooked.

I met up with Andy for a coffee a couple of days later, where he talked through what we would do etc. to reassure me before spending my hard earned cash. The same day, I signed up for a block of sessions and the training got under way.

What were you expecting?

I didn’t have a clue what to expect. I had never used gym equipment before and didn’t know where to start. Having done a taster session, I was excited to get going though!

How has Andy helped you?

I’ve gone from not having a clue how to use any equipment in the gym, to comfortably being able to use anything. Occasionally I need a wee reminder on technique but it’s miles away from where I used to be.  He’s certainly given me the confidence to train on my own (though it’s definitely not as fun) and I never felt like he was simply trying to take my money. He educated and enabled me as opposed to making me reliant upon him.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

Ultimately, I smashed the fitness test, so that has to be the favourite thing. I remember the very first session where Andy had me doing some air squats holding a massive 8kg weight… I didn’t last long. By the last session, I managed 100kg on the bar squat at 65kg bodyweight. It’s not massive weight, but I’d never done anything like it before starting training so I was pretty chuffed.

Would you recommend Andy?

Absolutely. If I could afford to train 3 days a week with Andy, I 100% would. We’ve had some random sessions now and then to make sure my technique is all good, and I always end them pondering if I should sign up for more…

Recently I’ve started Andy’s online training, where each month he plans out my exercises for me. Dissertation induced chaos at the moment means I haven’t been to the Gym in a good while, but I can’t wait to get into the studio for a few sessions and get myself going again.

ANDY HEYWOOD

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

Because I knew – both from having met him in the gym, and from other trainers – that he was a legit powerlifter, which was exactly what I was looking for in a trainer.

He was also very forthcoming with advice and technique pointers around the gym.

What were you expecting?

Technique coaching and programming help.

How has Andy helped you?

Transformed my deadlift and bench, and put me through a size-gain program that really taught me how important training volume is.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

My technique on the big 3 lifts feels on-point, plus I now have trouble fitting through some doors.

Would you recommend Andy?

All day long.

Prog Pic AH
The Evolution of the Wife Beater selfie. Bottom row is 5 months of #thesmithmethod

ETIENNE LA

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I starting training with Andy last year, after progress have been stalling for months. I was keen on trying out Power Lifting, and looking at Andy’s impressive resume, he sounded like the right choice.

What were you expecting?

I was expecting quite a lot, based on how much Andy said he would be able to improve my lifts, purely based on tweaking my technique. Admittedly, I was sceptical I would achieve the goal Andy set, as I thought he set the bar quite high. Needless to say, I was amazed I could achieve my goals after only 4 sessions within 4 weeks, as promised!

How has Andy helped you?

Mostly by improving my technique, and changing the way I train. I got a few ideas on how to train differently (Through assistance work). I put on 4-5Kg in the next few months, and my lifts have been steadily improving.

Would you recommend Andy?

Without a doubt! Andy sets the bar very high in terms of Personal Trainer. I cannot speak highly enough of him – He sets the bar high for your goals, which makes it even more amazing when you reach them. He clearly knows his stuff and there’s no doubt he is passionate about fitness. He is a really nice guy and fun to train with on top of that!

FERGUS CRAWLEY

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

He approached me after seeing I had red adiPowers on, and within minutes I knew he would be a great help to my training. I trained with him the next day and haven’t ran a programme since without his knowledge underpinning it.

What were you expecting?

A more specific and experienced approach to my training, with another pair of eyes to help tweak things here or there to make my training as effective as possible.

How has Andy helped you?

As an Team GB powerlifter, my progress is gauged on 3 lifts: the Squat, Bench and Deadlift. Before training with Andy my 1rms were: 170 Squat, 105 Bench, and 200 Deadlift. My lifts now are as follows: 230 Squat, 145 Bench, and 230 Deadlift. Moreover, he has helped me broaden my knowledge in terms of training and programming, and has been a constant source of help if I ever needed support with developing my lifts.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

Andy and I both competed at the GPC World Championships in Las Vegas in 2015, where I became World Champion (82.5kg under 20s) and totalled 567.5kg at 19 years old.

Would you recommend Andy?

More than anyone else I can think of.

JONNY VAL

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I was unable to get past the chronic pain in my right knee and left hip and Andy gave me a bit of advice that started to work so I decided to continue with him.

What were you expecting?

Improve my form and increase how much I can lift in the big compound movements. I had knee pain when squatting when started out and wanted that fixed.

How has Andy helped you?

Showed me the correct way to do exercises without injuring myself and motivated me to push myself harder. The pain in my hip and knee has gone, I’ve gained muscle size, strength and got leaner whilst eating more food!

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

My first ever 100kg squat with no knee pain.

Would you recommend Andy?

Yes, definitely! He’s a fantastic trainer, knowledgeable with rehab and good fun to be around.

JORDAN REID

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I started training with Andy because I wanted to get bigger and stronger. His credentials spoke for themselves – record holding powerlifter and with an MSc in Strength and Conditioning – so I knew he was the right person for it.

What were you expecting?

I was expecting someone to look at my form and give corrections, and give advice about programming and diet.

How has Andy helped you?

Andy has helped by observing me lift, figured out what my weak-points are, and then written training personalised for me to combat these weak-points. The right training and diet advice has helped me gain size and strength far more quickly than I could have managed alone.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

Benching 100kg! Or just gaining 15kg of bodyweight.

Would you recommend Andy?

Definitely.

Jordan Reid
Jordan 2 Stone heavier

KEEN THAMMATHATAREE

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

Back in school I was training to improve my sports performance and functionality, however when I started University I was in a limbo between continuing with team sports or trying to focus on my own pursuits with strength and conditioning training. By luck, I met Andy when I was deadlifting, he gave me some amazing cues and that instantly improved my lift by 20 kilos (I’ve worked many trainers and coaches prior to meeting him) at that moment I knew that to optimise my abilities I needed to get him to coach me.

What were you expecting?

Even though Andy is a record-breaking powerlifter and generally a fantastic athlete overall, I only expected him to coach me so I could do a powerlifting competition and not embarrass myself, however after doing my first competition I couldn’t be more wrong.

How has Andy helped you?

Andy has helped me in countless ways; in all honesty without exaggerating I could write a dissertation on this.  On a physical level, he has helped me take my strength to a level I could only dream of when I started. Mentally, he has given me a much stronger mind set, furthermore he’s taught me so much self-discipline.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

I view my relationship under Andy’s coaching as a continuous association; therefore I think it’s a little unfair pinpoint a single achievement. Even though we’ve medalled in all my previous competitions, my favourite thing would be squatting the Scottish Record squat in training. I’m certain that under his care and guidance this is just the start of a beautiful relationship

Would you recommend Andy?

Definitely! Many people cite influential figures, as the person who changed their life. Personally for me Andy is one of those people.

KEEN
Keen doing his thing

LEWIS KAYE

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

After chatting with Andy in the gym I quickly realised he knew exactly what he was talking about after giving me pointers on my deadlift technique, since then I’ve turned to him for all my training needs. That as well as the fact that he’s a genuinely good guy and have gained a good friend.

What were you expecting?

I was expecting it to be tough and a lot of hard work, and it has been so far. I look forward to putting more time into my training to up my lifts.

How has Andy helped you?

Some weeks I don’t have much time to train due to being too busy with work, with this in mind I still see results purely because Andy knew exactly the type of training I needed to pursue to fit around my lifestyle. This is exactly what I needed!

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

My 190kg deadlift, after being my worst lift compared to my bench and squat, this is what I have progressed the most in and can’t wait to hit that 200kg mark.

Would you recommend Andy?

Yes. 100% yes.

MARK RITCHIE

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I always enjoyed strength training, but never had a clear training goal and found that my strength had plateaued after several years of training.  He gave me a few tips that were instantly beneficial so I thought I’d try and do a full program with him.

What were you expecting?

I knew Andy was a top level strength athlete and that I’d benefit from his knowledge, I wasn’t sure to what extent though as I felt I had a reasonably sound knowledge already.

How has Andy helped you?

Andy has been great, he has designed a program that suits my goals, my lifestyle and that type of training I actually enjoy rather than producing a generic program.  He’s also explained how to cycle programs between strength and muscle building and how to prepare for a competition.  Obviously, he’s improved my technique considerably too, to the extent that I’m no longer at risk of getting injured.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

I think the main things is that I have a real purpose and direction to training now and I look forward to every session I do and feel a sense of satisfaction after each session.  Also, comfortably deadlifting over 200kg for reps is a nice feeling, when for years I failed to get that weight off the ground!

Would you recommend Andy?

I’d recommend Andy to anyone that has any kind of fitness goals, even to those that are sceptical about personal training.  As Andy says himself, I have enough knowledge that I don’t need him now, but I still want to train with him!

MIKE MCQUAID

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I wanted to improve my squat, deadlift and bench technique.

What were you expecting?

I expected he’d be able to help with my technique so I’d be able to lift a little heavier. I thought he’d ban me from doing spin class and put me on a weird diet. He didn’t!

How has Andy helped you?

As well as massively improving my technique Andy’s program has got me working a lot harder in the gym and made some pretty massive gains. Lifting heavy weights feels hard but a lot more natural and stable than before.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

Big increase in strength and muscle size without any change in diet. My technique is so much more solid and I achieved my first 140kg (3 plates) deadlift after months of being in a plateau!

Would you recommend Andy?

Definitely.

MO AL-HARTHY

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

Initially I was looking to boost my strength and fitness as I was playing for a football team. Once I stopped playing competitively, I aimed to improved my weightlifting skills and other primary lifts such as squats, deadlifts and bench press.

What were you expecting?

With doing two different sports at the start (football & weightlifting) I expected the results to come slow as I was committed towards both equally, but with the right program given and the experience coaching I expected the results of improvement to appear eventually.

How has Andy helped you?

Spent lots of hours working on the basics of everything with Andy, from the proper way to Squat to the right way gripping for a Snatch. Andy has guided me towards achieving my goals, setting proper programs to confront my weaknesses as well as nutrition plans and how to stay healthy & fit.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

Breaking a Scottish Powerlifting Record can possibly be one of my favourite things I ever achieved. However, winning my first ever weightlifting competition and getting 3 white lights (perfect technical execution of the lift) from the judges on every  lift is the most satisfying thing I have ever achieved. To top that, 4 months prior to the competition, Andy set out targets that I should be able to lift in the competition (80kg Snatch/ 100kg C+J) which I thought were impossible as I was only Snatching 60kg at that time. With commitment and proper training and support I managed to achieve it.

Would you recommend Andy?

Definitely, working with Andy has certainly changed my life, I feel stronger, more confident, more lively & positive and surely feel everything is achievable. I’ve seen results and achieved my goals through his training programs.

 

RICHARD HARE/JAMIE LANNISTER

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I wanted to get a solid foundation in powerlifting techniques, so I could confidently perform these exercises at the gym independently. I also wanted to work on specific strength training for my legs prior to and following an ACL surgery that I had last year.

What were you expecting?

Andy already came recommended so I knew I could expect expert, educated training geared towards making me confident and capable in the gym and tailored towards my personal goals.

How has Andy helped you?

Andy has taught me or helped me refine my technique for pretty much every lift or other form of exercise I routinely do at the gym. He’s also helped with my rehab following my knee surgery last year.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

I am proud of the progress I have been making in various ways, but, right now, I’m particularly pleased with getting up to 100kg on my bench in my 40s and I look forward to smashing that in the near future!

Would you recommend Andy?

I would strongly recommend Andy to anyone who is interested in expert personal training whether they are a relative newcomer or are otherwise looking to take their training to the next level.

Rich Hare
Handsome and Benches 100kg. Doesn’t seem fair.

SAM MORRIS

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I started training with Andy after watching the weightlifting at the Commonwealth games and thinking “that looks fun” (it’s not, its hell on earth) and he was the only PT at virgin that could teach me. He also had a BSc in Sports Therapy and an MSc Strength and Conditioning which made it an easy choice out of everyone that worked at the gym I trained in.

What were you expecting?

I really didn’t know what to expect, to learn how to Olympic lift?

How has Andy helped you?

How has he not?

Let’s split this into sections:

Technique: In a town far far away there was a boy whose squat depth was the same as his knee bend when he aggressively sneezed and now he can olympic lift. His guidance and overall patience has been fantastic which was needed as my ineptness of doing anything with any kind of speed or power was actually impressive. It took me over a year to confidently back squat and at no point did I feel his overall love of training me drop (I was probably a nice project for him). As we have progressed with weight lifting his cues and guidance have been invaluable.

Food: WHERE’s THE PIZZA. Everywhere, all of the time. When I first started training with Andy I weighed 106kg and never had much energy. I would like to think there was some muscle in that but it was probably just well placed mini chicken kiev’s. Following his advice and nutrition plan I now weigh 90kg, have lots of energy and it is so simple to manage without depriving myself!

Overall training knowledge: I now know that anything where I need to do 8 reps is horrifying.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

I landed a snatch once. That was quite nice. On a serious note I cleaned 100kg and snatched 70kg and I know there is so much more to come.

Would you recommend Andy?

Massively. He might be a vertically challenged but he’s great at what he does, Incredibly enthusiastic (he actually jumped on me in front of the entire gym and cheered so loudly after I cleaned 100kg for the first time, I was quite embarrassed but the pride he had for me was amazing and a bit overwhelming) and really driven to make you a better athlete. All in all 10/10 and would bang.

Being serious for a bit, he’s been amazing. Before training with Andy i couldn’t back squat to depth (it took around a year to learn how to do that, I was that bad) and within 2 years of training with him I’m now at a point where i am looking to compete in an olympic weightlifting competition.

SHAUN ROWSELL

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

It was 2013 and I was trying to implement squats into my program, but had no idea how to do them. Andy came over to me when he saw I wasn’t even hitting parallel and helped me right then and there. He then offered to meet up with me for a consultation and talk about my goals, etc.

What were you expecting?

I was expecting to gain a good amount of strength, size, and to learn more about lifting in general. All of which were achieved and more faster than I thought possible!

How has Andy helped you?

I think the true measure of a good coach is someone who empowers the client over time with their own confidence in their own abilities; to not only do what they’re told, but to understand the reasoning behind everything and to be able to do these things themselves, outside of the coaching environment (ie, working out on your own). I wouldn’t even think of running a programme now without deadlifts, squats, and bench, whereas before meeting Andy, I did not understand the significance of these exercises. Andy has helped me with my form, my strength, helped me bulk up, and gain a great deal of knowledge about training.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

The best thing I achieved while working with Andy was going from 135 lbs and never doing a deadlift in my life (not even knowing what they were), to 155 lbs while still maintaining my abs over 5 months and deadlifting 125 kg for 5 reps, which was a massive deal for me.

Would you recommend Andy?

I would absolutely recommend Andy, no question

Prog Shaun Rowsell
Shaun after 4 months work

STEVEN KERMACK

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I wanted to increase my level of fitness, change my body shape and he came highly recommended to me through a friend who was already using Andy.

What were you expecting?

To be given a personal fitness programme specific to how to achieve the above.

How has Andy helped you?

He has helped me with rehab to a knee injury. He’s helped me understand the muscle groups structure and best way to optimise muscle growth and endurance.  He has taken me right through the nutrition and food groups also, to help me understand the biology and physiology aspects.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

I can’t pick just one. My body shape, muscle tone and muscle growth have changed beyond belief.  I have gone from struggling to lift my own bodyweight to benching 100kg for 2 reps, 25 bodyweight dips, 12 chin ups and am able to squat again after my knee injury. All this and I’m nearly 50 years old!

Would you recommend Andy?

Yes, and I have already recommended him and will continue to recommend him to others

SUJAY LAMA

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I was sumo deadlifting and he helped me with my form, I was pretty surprised myself as not many people pulled a sumo deadlift in my gym then. I wanted to get into powerlifting at the time and with his knowledge and experiences as a powerlifter I knew he would be a great coach.

What were you expecting?

I was expecting an efficient and effecting programme I could fit around my schedule .

How has Andy helped you?

As a powerlifter my training was based around squats bench and deadlift. Before training with Andy my numbers were 100kg Squat, 60kg bench and 140kg deadlift. My lifts now are 170kg squat, 112.5 bench and 200kg deadlift. I managed to get these numbers up in less than a year. I’ve also learned a lot about food and nutrition in the time I trained with him.

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

I’m now jacked and tanned, also coming third in my first powerlifting competition was a very good experience, I wasn’t expecting much but to podium was incredible!

Would you recommend Andy?

110% yes especially if you want to get jacked and tanned.

SUJAY
So Peachy. Much Booty.

ANONYMOUS

Why did you start personal training with Andy?

I started training with Andy not only as he is a cool easy going guy, but his credentials in powerlifting and university made it clear to me that he knew exactly what he was talking about and could help me achieve my fitness goals. He was approachable whenever I had questions and always helped me out and gave me tips for free. After noticing great results I decided to invest and started on his training program for real. The rest is history.

What were you expecting?

I wasn’t sure what to expect, although from the small tips and pieces of advice he gave me I had already started to notice great results, so in the back of my mind I knew I was gonna achieve great things with his knowledge and training.

How has Andy helped you?

Andy had helped me gain considerable mass, increasing weight from 72kg (ish) to over 80kg. My strength has also increased considerably with my adding 20kgs to my bench and around 40kg to my squat, whilst building muscle and looking more and more aesthetic (my main focus and goal).

What is your favourite thing you have achieved?

I have made many achievements whilst training with Andy included building a better physique, becoming MUCH stronger, feeling healthier, more focused, more functional and feeling more confident in myself.

Would you recommend Andy?

I would absolutely recommend anyone with any fitness goal to get in contact and train under Andy. The fact he is a power lifter yet helps me train for more of a bodybuilding style not only shows his varied expertise and knowledge but also shows he is willing to help anyone with any goal. He’s a cool dude to chat with, always listens to my questions and is happy to tweak my training where needed. If you want results, get in touch with Andy!