At Disability Training we like to hear from our clients when we’ve delivered a good service. Below are some of the case studies and testimonials from clients with a wide range of disabilities. I’ve used the personal training skills I possess and modified them in ways which allow the clients to see improvements in fitness, health, wellbeing and general functional skills.
Pearl, Berkshire (Guillain Barré)
The nightmare started in July 2008, when I contracted Guillian Barre Syndrome, a condition of the peripheral nervous system, causing paralysis from the neck down and leaving me in hospital for 7 x months, initially in ICU and then into a rehab unit.
I of course, received a lot of great physio, which continued when I finally got to go home. On one of my follow up appointments with my neuro consultants, he told me, that he thought I should be doing more exercise. I was really upset and angry, here I was doing all this physio only to be told it was not enough! My carer at the time, suggested I look for a Personal Trainer and that is how I found Dom online. He was the only Trainer who mentioned any experience working with disabled clients.
I was in a wheelchair – still am – but we started working together, initially at home, then boxing in the park and finally, thanks to his contacts, I was able to join the gym at London South Bank University. All of this changed everything for me.
Instead of feeling down, tired, my muscles wasting away, I was back! Exercise makes you feel good, really good about yourself, not only in body but just as important in mind as well. I did not feel like a second class citizen any more. Dom treated me – most of the time – like all his able bodied clients, no soft regime for me. That made me feel normal. We also laughed a lot, so important when the going is tough.
I moved out from London a few years ago, but I am still seeing a Personal Trainer, swimming and going to a gym. My body is really strong – I can leg press 60K – toned – no bingo wings for me and I feel really good about myself. If you are disabled in any way, it’s so important to keep moving. Dom showed me what was possible, and I would recommend him 100% to do the same for you!
Pearl was one of my very first clients and despite moving away from London and finding a new trainer, she’s become a very good friend who I’ll keep in touch with forever.
I’m pleased to see that she has kept up the training since moving away and has made steady progress ever since. Although she’s not fully recovered, and may never be, she still enjoys the training and from what I hear, she’s being pushed pretty hard by her new trainer.
Gabrielle, Wandsworth (Multiple Sclerosis)
Gabrielle has been training with me for almost 20 weeks now and she’s learnt a lot. She now understands what makes her body change for the better, as opposed to the passive exercises which we was previously doing.
Zubee, Shepherd’s Bush (Cerebral Palsy)
As a disabled person it can be difficult to keep an active lifestyle. I have Cerebral Palsy, which affects my mobility and balance. I decided to try out a local gym for the first time to experience what it would be like in trying to use the equipment. I found a lot of the equipment was not accessible. I thought there must be a motivating way to do it with someone because I don’t feel motivated to do exercise on my own. I did some research online and came across Dom at Disability Training.
Dom has a way of adapting the exercises to work around my disability. I had difficulty doing squats because of my balance. He suggested I hold on to something, it could be a chair, handrails or bed and then do them, it. I found doing sit ups really difficult because I have weak stomach muscles and my feet have a tendency to slide. Instead of having to rely on someone holding my feet in place I asked Dom if there was something I could buy to keep my feet from sliding, he advised using a sit up bar which attaches to the door and your feet are secure in place, this made doing the exercise easier. Dom’s method of teaching is unique and I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants some personal training.
Later I saw an ad for the UK’s first fully inclusive mass participation event. I was considering my options as to how I could take part. I could either wheel myself in my wheelchair or walk using my crutches doing a shorter distance. I do not have enough strength in my arms to wheel myself and walking on crutches in a crowd of people can be a bit tricky, so I thought why not attempt the 10k distance on a tricycle and challenge myself to see if I can actually do it, as it was my first time.
I asked if I could use a tricycle and they said no as it would be a health and safety risk. I told Dom about the event and he was impressed that such and event was being organised and equally disappointed to hear my situation so, he very kindly offered to investigate the matter further on by behalf. He made a few calls and thanks to Dom, they agreed to allow me to use a tricycle. On the day it was great to see other disabled people on trikes!
I am delighted to say that I successfully completed my 10k challenge! Without Dom’s help this would not have been possible.
Disability Training Client, Swiss Cottage (Progressive Aphasia)
I met 91 year old “Mr D” when his carers got in touch with me because they felt he needed to become more active. He had recovered from a severe bout of pneumonia and could only stand with a frame and support from another person. The challenge here is communication, as Mr D can no longer speak, and can barely understand spoken word or read.
Consequently there’s no testimonial from him however he’s recently renewed for the 6th time so he must be happy. I’ve focused mainly on seated exercises and stretching to keep him as mobile as possible and to ensure that his circulation is maintained. This helps avoid swelling caused by long periods in a seated position. I also spend time giving him small dexterity challenges like picking up a ball and balancing it on a cone. This keeps his muscles active and helps maintain what little strength he has. It’s difficult to say how much progress he’s made but when I asked his wife if I could use this photo she wrote “Yes, you really have helped him. Thank you.” so I guess it’s working.
Jess, Brixton (Multiple Sclerosis)
Dom is one of the best personal trainers/motivators I have encountered. He has continuously motivated me even during periods of illness. I suffer from multiple sclerosis and now a brain tumour, however he keeps me motivated and I’ve lost over 20kg following both his lifestyle tips and through training sessions with him. He also has helped me achieve my goal of actually being able to walk great distances and attend Notting Hill carnival on both days, despite my physical limitations. He is just generally an incredible motivator and pushes me that little bit further each time until I feel good in myself. I’ll continue using his services until…well forever, really, because I feel that not only have I gained a great motivator and confidant, it’s now got to the point where I want to get better and build my phsyique and my general health because that I can control, when compared to factors outside of my control much as my MS and brain tumor. With Dom’s help I am able to maintain control over my body and I’m now seeing the benefits as my clothes are starting be baggy and and I’m generally really pleased with the progress I’m making and will continue to make. He’s someone I can rely on to be honest with me and he often picks me up when I’m feeling down.
When Jess first contacted me she wasn’t having a very good time at all. She’d gained an incredible amount of weight in a short space of time, suffered from a loss in balance, strength and coordination due to her MS and had severe back ache which meant she constantly took painkillers and could barely walk due to the pain, let alone stand for long periods of time.
After 3 months she’s lost 20kg (around 3 stone), can walk for 5km with intermittent breaks, is far fitter in both strength and cardiovascular senses and seems to be far happier and more motivated.
She’s been a really dedicated client and has maintained discipline with her diet and her regime. If she keeps this ups she’ll keep progressing and improve her life on the whole.
Mr K, Lewisham (Parkinson’s Disorder)
What has Dom done for me? I have Parkinson’s disease which was diagnosed three years ago. By June this year I could barely walk 50m. I reached the point where either I had to give up on life or do something about it I decided to do the latter and had a good fortune to come across Dominic.
From day one his positive but yet understanding attitude encouraged me that I could improve my fitness and general well-being. So I could give you some numbers e.g. in the space of two months my 2000m rowing times have come down from 18 minutes to 10minutes or that the weights that I can lift have increased by 400% or that I have lost 6 kg in weight.
But through Doms fitness program he has enabled me to do things that I had given up on: I can go running with my daughter. I can play football with my son. I can go cycling with my wife.
So what has Dom done for me? He has improved the quality of my life immeasurably!
Mr K contact me to help him regain fitness after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disorder. He hoped that a specialist personal trainer could help him in spite of his condition.
I met him to discuss his goals, put together a 10 week programme involving regular solo workouts and a weekly one to one with me. I also looked into his diet and suggested ways he could change it in order to lose weight.
He’s consistently losing weight, despite a couple of slip-ups and has massively improved his fitness. He can do a set of 26 good press ups which is great to see. I simply told him what to do, and he’s had the commitment to make it work!
James, Wandsworth (Motor Neuron Disorder)
I suffer from a rare neurological condition that affects the strength of my muscles. The disease can be treated and I believe also helped significantly through exercise. With this in mind, I started looking for a trainer a couple of years ago, with specific experience of working with patients with similar issues and came across Dom. I took an immediate like to his approach (i.e. “what can” rather than “what can’t you do”) and trained with him on a regular basis for around 18 months.
I noticed a strong improvement in my overall fitness, strength, co-ordination and general well being over this period. Initially I focused on losing some weight – in my case, around 7 kilograms over a few months – and working on my cardiovascular fitness. This has since been extended to general core and leg strength, together with flexibility and balance. Dom has a talent for tailoring the training to the specific needs of the individual, setting targets that are a challenge whilst being reachable, and most importantly keeping the nature of the training varied enough that the sessions remain fun and interesting, and you always look forward to them. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough whatever your goals are.
James came to me with a weak left leg and a deterioration of his general physical health. He was regularly cycling which kept his cardiovascular system in check, but we needed to do something in order to improve his mobility and balance, whilst increasing his all over body strength.
We worked together on a weekly basis doing full body resistance programme with particular attention being paid to his legs in order to gain as much strength and coordination in the left leg, thus minimising the effect of his condition.
We had to factor in the frequency of his treatments (infusions) as this had a major affect on his performance. Timing was everything. With this in mind we were able to carry out regular sessions, work on his nutrition in order to lose fat but more importantly, maintain muscle mass and he made significant improvements during our time together.
Patrick, Elephant & Castle (Cerebral Palsy)
Patrick got in touch because he wanted to work on his upper body strength and reduce body fat around the torso.
This seems pretty simple at the outset but the challenge was to get him into the gym, using the machines and weights so that he could really benefit from the upper body strength gains. Sometimes he could do the exercises in his wheelchair but other exercises required a bit more thought as his legs didn’t like harmonising with the standardised pieces of gym equipment. A bit of problem solving on various bits of equipment plus a detailed nutrition plan has meant that he’s lost fat, increased strength and is starting to see his real upper body shape show through.
We’re onto our second bundle of sessions and he’s starting to become more confident in his ability to get to the gym on his own.
Barry, Wanstead (Multiple Sclerosis)
Barry came to me early on which means we’ve been able to minimise the effects of his multiple sclerosis. His goal was to shape up in general by losing a bit of weight and getting to grips with the gym.
He’s done well on the gym front, not so well on the nutrition side 😉 I say that, he has stopped gaining weight although the six pack hasn’t yet revealed itself. His confidence in the gym has increase hugely and he’s now really able to push himself to ensure that he gets the maximum benefit from the strength tarring, thus limiting the progression of his condition.
We’ve been working together for a year now, and his strength and ability has increased massively since we first started training.