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Fitness Insider: Beach Confidence

Fitness Insider: Beach Confidence

David Valentine-Jones knows better than most what it takes to get yourself into shape. He’s the founder of Sculpt Health and Fitness, an exclusive fitness consultancy manned by trainers and nutritionists who know how to get results. In his role as head personal trainer, he and the rest of his team have helped thousands of clients improve their health, strength and wellbeing. If you booked a holiday four months ago and have failed to prepare in any way, shape or form for the bodily exposure it entails, then he’s got the answers for you. By exercising discipline, having some determination, and cutting out the booze (at least for a bit), you could be well on your way to getting that fit, lean, athletic physique you’ve been coveting. Here, David talks us through how it’s done. Get ready to make some gains.


There’s simply no more efficient way to sculpt an athletic physique than regular resistance training. Aim to intensively train your entire body three times every week.

It’s an old saying but you really can’t out-train a bad diet. Eat lots of quality lean protein and green vegetables, some healthy fats and remember that carbohydrate intake should be based on your energy expenditure. Sugar and alcohol aren't a great idea if you’re trying to get lean quickly!

High Intensity Interval Training is scientifically proven to burn more fat than long aerobic cardio training. Add 10 minutes to the end of your weights sessions or do one or two 20 minute sessions a week on the days you’re not weight training for best results.

Write your training sessions into your diary and don’t let anything interrupt them. Plan your weekly meals in advance so you never end up hungry with an empty fridge as that is a recipe for disaster.

If you find motivation difficult, train with a friend or a group, join a sports team or enter an event to keep yourself focussed all year around.

Talk us through your journey to founding one of London's most in-demand personal training programmes.
I grew up as a competitive swimmer and have been training and competing at a high level for most of my life. When I retired from competition ten years ago I moved to London and wanted to pursue a career that combined my love of fitness with my desire to work with people. I founded Sculpt in 2007 and as the focus has always been on providing the very best level of service to our clients, we have grown to a team of eight personal trainers.

What is your personal ethos for maintaining a healthy body and mind?
I see looking after my body as a form of self respect and understand that although many things in this life are transient, our health is not.

What is the biggest challenge a man faces when getting himself fit, lean and healthy, and how can he overcome it?
The problem we see cropping up time and time again when we meet new clients is the lack of a structured plan (training and diet) and a lack of consistency in their approach. The key to success is not to treat this as something you do for six weeks every year before your holiday, but something that you can maintain all year round as a sustainable lifestyle.

How do you continue to make ‘good choices’ even when on holiday?
If you can’t enjoy an ice cream on the beach is it really a holiday? I personally don’t worry too much about sticking to a rigid diet when on vacation. My top tip to counterbalance the inevitable excesses we all enjoy when travelling is to stay as active as possible; walk everywhere, go swimming in the ocean, do some beach sprints, rent bikes - it also makes getting back into your exercise routine that much easier when you get home.