Imran’s Story

Learn how I helped Imran with personal training

Why did you sign up for Andy’s Academy?

In my mid-40’s and after 15 years of yo-yo dieting and my weight creeping back up to over 100kg I knew that something different was needed if I was ever to achieve my goal of a long-term improvement in my diet, health and wellbeing.

A few years ago, I left a highly-pressured clinical management job to work independently and hadn’t taken advantage of the opportunities that were available, both to improve my health but also to take my career to the next level.

Problems with my back, as well as an issue with my shoulder, impacted on my ability to train solo so I started looking for a PT.

I’d had a procedure carried out on my shoulder, which helped the pain but was left with weakness that affected my ability to train my upper body.

As a doctor, I knew that any trainer I worked with would have to have good knowledge of anatomy and the mechanics of joint function (I’ve also had operations on my hips when I was younger).

After a few online chats with Andy and a face to face meeting, where we discussed in detail where I was at and what I was looking for, it became clear that he had in-depth knowledge in these areas.

We also spoke a lot about my life outside of work and the ways that health impacts work and vice-versa, so I knew that Andy was providing the holistic approach I had been looking for.

The internet is full of PTs that promise ‘12 week body transformations’ and I’d read enough to know that the reality of these rarely matches what’s suggested – Andy’s explicit statement on his website that this is NOT what he offers gave him credibility.

Andy’s way of working was a big factor in my decision to sign-up.

I don’t mind training in a regular gym environment, but the idea of 1-1 training in a personal gym sounded appealing as there are no distractions or waiting around for equipment.

The fact that one of his business partners is a doctor was also something that made me choose Andy over other trainers I had been looking at.

What other exercise programmes & diets had you tried before and what success did you have?

There’s quite a list when it comes to diets I have followed previously! Atkins, Dukan, new Atkins, 5:2, Paleo, and the blood sugar diet to name a few.

They all worked…short-term.

On every occasion, at some point the restrictive eating patterns became unsustainable and invariably the weight would creep back up again, more often than not back up to where it had been.

Exercise-wise I’d trained very effectively with an excellent PT for many years in my 30’s, but never quite got to my goal weight, body shape or fitness level.

I also trained for a short time a few years ago with a PT in my local gym – at the time I had back pain and the problem with my shoulder, so we never really got off the ground as I was struggling with a lot of the exercises (I remember multiple attempts at barbell squats – we eventually gave up as I just couldn’t get the hang of them).

What issues were holding you back before you signed up?

Prior to meeting with Andy, I’d spoken to a few other PTs and hadn’t found one who REALLY understood my particular situation and what I was looking for.

I’d also experienced the hard-sell of ‘sign up today, now or never, special offer if you book right now’ and there’s nothing that puts me off more.

There was none of this with Andy – we met, discussed my goals and what he could offer and I had time to make the decision to go ahead with regular face to face training sessions.

What were the main lessons you learned working with Andy?

  • It’s crucial to start with the building blocks for each exercise.

At first, I thought my progress should have been more rapid, but I soon realised that building the solid foundation blocks meant that when it came to increasing the intensity or upping the load, I knew precisely what to do and how the exercise should feel.

Once this was established there were incremental increases and we began to push harder in some way at every single session.

  • The meal diary is a powerful tool – I’d used MyFitnessPal previously to record calorie and macronutrient intake, but nothing beats seeing pictures of meals on the Dashboard.

Being accountable, both to Andy and the rest of his community, really kept me motivated.

Sharing pictures of meals with the group was invaluable and I got loads of healthy meal ideas from others.

  • Your body doesn’t know’ – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard Andy say this!!
  • That I actually can squat!

How would you describe the service you’ve received from a value for money stand point?

Value for money means different things to different people – for me it’s not just about the cost per session, it’s the entire package.

There are undoubtedly PTs out there who offer sessions at lower rates, but when you factor in all the additional input from Andy, be it feedback on your meal diary, checking in before and after a 1-1 session, and group chats on the WhatsApp group – hour for hour his rate is probably not much more than the dozens of regular PTs out there.

I look at what I achieve during a 1-1 session at Andy’s gym and feel that it’s worth every penny to have someone like him focus 100% on what I’m doing.

Where every minute of our time together is utilised effectively without distraction or downtime waiting for a machine to be free.

When I compare sessions with Andy to previous trainers I’ve worked with, there’s no checking his phone for messages, chatting to other clients or gym staff, or gazing out of the window – he’s ALWAYS watching what I’m doing, checking my form, and making little adjustments to get the most of the exercise.

There’s no rigid programme where you have to fit the exercise – every part of the workout is tailored to what works best for me.

Andy has this uncanny ability of knowing (sometimes before I do!) when I’m approaching the last rep I can manage or when I’m feeling an exercise in a part of the body I shouldn’t.

How are you different now after working with Andy?

Physically, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been before and I am doing exercises at weights and intensities I’d have never thought I was capable of.

My body shape is changing and I can see that the target weight Andy had mentioned when we started training together is achievable in the very near future.

I actually look forward to the 1-1 training sessions – don’t get me wrong, they are intense and challenging – but at the same time it’s really rewarding to see how much further I can push myself as the weeks go by.

Preparing meals has also become much easier since I started using the meal templates – there’s much less stressing about what to buy, or looking at carb or fat levels and counting calories.

I’ve found that it’s easy to eat well by following a few simple guidelines.

What words would you use to describe your experience working with Andy?

Motivating – tracking progress and goals at monthly reviews with Andy really keeps me motivated, as does seeing incremental improvements week on week

Challenging – there’s a noticeable progression with every workout so I don’t get bored

Focused – we’re always focused on my goals and how we get there.

Confidence building – in more ways than one.

I can push my body harder without fear of doing harm as I have confidence in Andy’s expertise.

There’s also self-confidence as my body shape gets closer towards the goals we’d set at the start of my training programme.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about signing up to work with Andy?

If you’re thinking about signing up then you’re most of the way there!

Get in touch with Andy, speak to him and you’ll soon know if he’s the right fit for you.

Compare what he’s able to offer to other PTs out there and crucially, do they have the 10+ years of experience that he has?

I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for, and in this case what you get is an expert who, if you put in the work, will help you to achieve your goals.


Doctor, Glasgow