Get Personal With Melanie’s Personal Trainer
Sarah Lindsay is the founder of Roar fitness, A three-time Olympian and a personal trainer like no other. A European gold medalist, 2x world silver medalist and 10x British speed skating champion, Sarah is an inspiration to anyone looking to reach their full potential.
Passionate about health and fitness, Sarah truly practices what she preaches and has a unique ability to inspire, empowering her clients to take control of their lives.
Alongside her own athletic experience Sarah was also the strength and condition coach for several Team GB Figure Skaters, taking two of her Athletes to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
After finally retiring as an athlete in 2010, Sarah made the transition into full time coaching and crossed over into the personal training industry. She has steadily become one of London’s most recognised female personal trainers, and the incredible results she achieves with clients are a reflection of her innate ability to inspire people to achieving their own personal best.
I have been training with her for the past 6 mths and she has made my body much, leaner and stronger than I ever thought I could be. She really is poster girl for what she preaches, her physique is insane which is inspiring and positive outlook is infectious!
Melanie – Were you always sporty as a child, and what did you excel at?
Sarah – Yes I was extremely hyperactive so my parents took me to every sports club before and after school every day to run off some energy and to probably give them a couple of hours rest!
I excelled at anything athletic. I was confident and fast and naturally strong but no good at team sports.
When you were little what did you imagine yourself doing as an adult, and how did you get into speed skating?
I always knew I’d go to the Olympics. It was all I ever wanted to do and I never doubted that it would happen. Nothing else mattered to me.
I was 8 years old when I was talent spotted whilst figure skating at Richmond ice rink. I instantly preferred the races over the dancing so gave up the figure skating and her looked back.
Are your family sporty, and who were your mentors?
My grandad was a sports journalist his entire career so my mum always did lots of sport. My younger brother and sister both skated for GB- copycats.
My boyfriend from 17-23 was an Olympic Medalist and later became the GB coach so he was a huge influence and remained so for the rest of my sporting career. I owe him a lot as I would never have learnt how to be a real professional without his guidance.
How were your family about your choices?
I’m so lucky with my family. My parents drove me all over UK and Europe to compete in as many international competitions as possible. They must have used every penny for this and I remember them going without and sacrificing a lot to make sure we could go. My mum told me I could do anything if I put my mind to it and gave me so much confidence and my dad always made it fun and told me it didn’t matter whether I won or lost.
Tell us about qualifying competing and eventually representing your country?
There was one year that was make or break for me. I qualified according to the criteria to compete for GB. I was so happy but the coach still didn’t select me because he said I didn’t deserve it and didn’t train hard enough. I was so angry for ages but actually he was right. I was a teenager and lazy and had been getting away with my talent for a long time. I decided to train 100% and prove him wrong even though qualification wasn’t for another year. The following year I won the national trials, broke all my records, the coach selected me and I raced for GB from that day on.
What is the olympic experience like? It’s not glamorous is it – other athletes, the environment?
My first Olympics blew my mind. There’s no event like it. Ten’s of thousands in the stadium, multi sports, opening ceremony etc but the Olympic Village was wild! Seeing hero in the food halls, music concerts, games houses, beauty salons, lots of press but most of all the atmosphere that Team GB creates. You’re part of this elite army with unlimited support which is really something quite special.
Did you suffer with nerves? How do you prepare mentally for the event?
Of course I did. I had a very very patient psychologist! Read Bounce by Matthew Syed – there’s a chapter about my first race prep. Wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.
Have you had any accidents and injures?
Every speed skater has had a few broken bones and a few stitches. You can’t hit the barrier at 35 miles an hour on a regular basic and not suffer the odd crack.
Tell us about your recovery?
I suffered a bad back injury which stopped me training for 15 months in total. That was a real test of mental strength. I came back and skated faster than I ever had before. Sometimes you need to have your dreams taken away to realise quite what you’re prepared to do to get them back.
How would you describe your physique ?
I was naturally very skinny but the combination of my strength, knowledge and ability to really put food away has left me lean and muscular even in my late 30’s.
What are your thoughts on body image and women specifically? You want women to be strong and healthy?
Of course! We punish ourselves so much. So many women see training as punishment for what the ate yesterday but we should be celebrating what we are capable of. Eat to perform and recover and strength train as hard as you can and an athletic body will follow.
Tell us about Rich, where you met and when the gym idea happened. What is the gyms ethos?
Ah my Rich. We met at the gym (so cliche) and we soon realised that we had very similar goals and views and created our vision of the perfect personal training gym. We knew what the industry was missing and knew we could bring something very special to the table. Commercial gyms might have good equipment but are overcrowded so you can never execute your training programme properly or you have private PT gyms which are small and under equipped with poor service. We wanted to create a real strength training facility that I would have been happy with as a pro athlete but that was also a bit posh with real customer service. We have a team of experts taking care of the clients every need. Physio, nutritionist and trainer all coming together in the way I was spoilt as an athlete.
Your transformations are amazing, its not just the aesthetic is it its the change of life style?
Thank you! Most people come in because they want to look better but they soon realise the added benefits of being strong and healthy and confident. It’s amazing to see people’s personalities grow and their confidence goes through the roof after a few weeks of training and eating well, especially if they came in feeling very down with low self esteem. At the end they can’t wait to book a holiday and show off their new body as they should. This is without doubt the best bit of the job!
What is your ethos?
Obviously I advocate weight training to get in shape. I believe it’s so important to be strong for your confidence as much as your body. Regardless of your goal, being strong will help you get there as it has an enormous crossover to every other area of your fitness.
I hate exercise being seen as a punishment for what you ate yesterday. You should eat to perform on the gym floor and recover from training and the workout should feel like a celebration of and a journey to find out what your body is really capable of. I’m so girl power haha. Clients have actually nick named me ‘The Truth’ I won’t compromise what I believe in and I won’t just go along with the latest craze so that I am more popular to the masses. I won’t tell you that you can eat cup cakes or drink alcohol if you want to get a 6 pack because you can’t. I won’t tell you that doing burpees in your living room or a 15 min home HIIT workout will make you look like an athlete just because that what you want to hear because it’s not true. I want to show everyone even complete beginners that they DO belong in the free weights area, that weight training is not at all dangerous (in fact it should be extremely controlled) and give people the knowledge and confidence to lift weights and improve their body’s long term. Everyone has to start somewhere!
What are your future goals ?
The exact mission statement I wrote with my psych when I was an athlete was ‘To make ROAR Fitness the most successful personal training enterprise in the UK’ I have changed a lot as a person since those days but I’d be lying if I said this dream had changed much at all. ROAR is my new Gold Medal and I will always give 100%