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.
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 was a pleasure to work with as he really followed my suggested programme to a T. I had to create a weight loss programme which he could easily implement and an advanced balance and stability programme for his lower body. This was not only to improve his balance and stability, but also to build strength, future-proof his lower body and minimise progression of his condition.
He’s since then moved away but continues to train and maintain good health.
Betul, Surrey (Lupus, hypermobility, fibromyalgia, POTs, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis)
I have struggled for many years to find the right exercise plan to match my health problems despite my efforts of joining the gym, signing up for classes and even booking one on one yoga classes at home. I suffer from Lupus, hypermobility, fibromyalgia, POTs, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis of the spine and hips as well as disc issues of the spine. I didn’t know what to do, as I wanted to exercise primarily to help with my conditions and strengthen my muscles as well as feel good about my body as a whole.
I was about to give up, until a couple of months ago when I luckily typed in something different into google while searching for exercises, ‘Disability Training’. Straight away Dom’s page popped up and I started reading his story and the people he has helped with similar conditions to mine.
Since working with Dom, I can honestly say I am so grateful I found him! From the very first meeting he seemed to understand my struggles and appreciate the difficulties I faced and asked questions to learn more. Doctors were always advising me to exercise but they could never offer me any solutions or examples to what these might be and fitness trainers were either not interested or too intimidated by my conditions. Dom has been able to provide me with an exercise program consisting of weight training that has helped make me stronger week by week, but more importantly not made any of my conditions worse due to his in-depth knowledge of how the body functions.
In addition to this, there have been times I have been unable to do certain exercises because I wasn’t feeling well or when I had injured my knee, but Dom was swiftly able to modify the exercises so that I was able to complete them with no further harm. I also wanted to lose some weight so Dom created a food planner for me that was healthy and sustainable. I am now not only physically stronger but I have lost weight and now have the tools to keep this up.
I would highly recommend Dom to anyone who wants to be healthier and stronger, specifically to people who feel that they can’t because of their conditions or that there is no one who can provide the tailored help needed. I have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and the self-gratification that has come along with it and cannot thank him enough for all he has done.
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.