Paula, Thornbury

I have been training with Russell for the last seven years. He is an excellent personal trainer who always brings out the best in me! And no matter how I am feeling after a long day at work he always finds me a programme to suit the day! If you are looking for someone who understands you and your needs look no further!

Malcolm R

I’ve been with Russell and his team for nearly six months now and they are a great bunch to work with: energetic, engaging, supportive and challenging in turn. And they really are a team, it doesn’t matter which of Russell, Alex or Jack you work with, they have the same approach and the handover from one to another when necessary to fit my ever-changing schedule is seamless.

My initial health assessment threw up a health issue of which I would have remained ignorant without their attention to detail. It’s now back under control – thanks to Russell’s professional approach.

I went to them on personal recommendation when finally I could no longer escape from my increasing girth, decreasing flexibility – and the comments of a frustratingly naturally thin wife! As a sixty-something (no need to go into more detail) who had never explicitly exercised in his life (I’d even bunked off games at school) I was daunted at the prospect of setting foot in a gym to be faced by ultra-fit youngsters attacking frightening looking equipment with excessive gusto. Russell’s calm and pragmatic approach has worked for me. I have more energy, more stamina and more enthusiasm than I’ve had for years. A lot of the old aches and pains that I thought were just signs of aging have gone – and I can now take the stairs instead of the escalator without fear, or breathlessness.

Dave Price, Thornbury

Russell is an excellent Personal Trainer. He listened to what my goals were upon induction and devised the appropriate workouts in order to achieve my goals.Having been at the gym and enthusiastic about the gym for 7 months I have now lost 5 and a half stone which from 17 and a half stone had made me feel much fitter and I now feel like a new man. I am very grateful to Russell and his team in helping me achieve this along with my new diet which Russell has helped me with.

Sue, Thornbury

I first met Russell 18 months ago when my fitness was so low I could only manage 10 minutes on the treadmill, but slowly with a lot of encouragement and patience from Russell, I am now able to complete a half hour session. Russell understands that when I have a bad day medically, I can only exercise for a short time. There is no pressure from him to complete the half hour.

He manages to work towards keeping me on track, without making me feel uncomfortable, that I cannot complete the session. We have over the months worked towards completing a marathon on the treadmill and an Ironman triathlon by using the cycles, treadmill and rowing. I certainly will be carrying on when this block of sessions has finished, as my confidence has grown along with weight loss, as an added bonus.

James Marchant, Thornbury

I was recommended to Russell Knight by my chiropracter just before Christmas 2014. I had an ongoing problem with my lower back which was not only painful but also restricted my movement and ability to participate in regular sport. I was also unhappy with my weight and general level of fitness so decided to take the plunge and sign up for an initial course with a personal trainer which I have never experienced before.

Russ and his team are an extremely friendly and supportive group and this gave me the confidence to sign up for a training program.I have been working with Jack now for a number of months. Within a matter of only a few weeks my back condition was much improved due to the stretching exercises that are built into my exercise program. My range of movement has improved significantly and I am virtually pain free. I have also been able to play badminton and cricket which I was struggling to do before starting to work with Jack. In addition to this I have lost 8lbs in weight and whilst I haven’t reached my target yet, I am confident that with Jack’s help I will do so in the next few months.

In summary, working with a personal trainer keeps me focused. I have two sessions every week and these have become part of my weekly routine. I am delighted with the results I have achieved so far and can’t recommend Russell and his team highly enough to anyone who wants to get fit, recover from an injury or a combination of both.

James Marchant, 45 – Director of Sovereign Independent Financial Advisers Ltd, Thornbury

Sue and Mark, Tytherington

After muttering to my partner Mark that I really should try and get a bit fitter and slimmer, I was horrified when he bought me a ‘present’ of gym membership plus personal trainer as it was only a throw-away comment! I have tried every diet going over the years, and whilst successful short term it all crept on again.

When I first met Russ I was really impressed that he talked to me at length about my day-to-day life, what I wanted to realistically achieve and how I could do this, and most importantly he explained how going on another diet with a bit of Zumba thrown in was not going to work, and that a ‘lifestyle change’ was needed. I had a goal in mind as we had a big family holiday planned in 5-months time.

Five months have now passed and over this period I have lost the 1.5 stone in weight that I was aiming for (without being on a diet!) and have totally changed my eating habits and attitude towards health and fitness. I found every session with Russ worthwhile, motivating, and felt a huge sense of achievement at the end of each session. He will always tailor a programme to suit you personally, and will vary this as needed.

My partner Mark also signed up with Russell and is due to run a half-marathon soon, having achieved brilliant fitness results in only 5-months. We can now go away on our holiday slimmer and fitter than we have been for years, and this is all down to Russ who has been an inspiration to us. We are already booked in to carry on when we get back, and looking forward to seeing what the next 5-months will bring! We would highly recommend Russ to anyone, and whatever level of fitness, size or shape you are we guarantee Russ will be able to help you.

Simon Hunt

Without question, I would not have improved as much on my own in the gym. Russ takes time to understand what you want to achieve and gets you there. His help has benefited all areas of my life and physical health. Weight is down, heart rate has improved, fat percentage is down – general fitness has improved.

I have booked Russ for 2 Platinum packages and an ABS package – it has been worth every penny. If I could have a personal trainer for the rest of my life, I would pick Russ every time. I have already lined up another Platinum package for next year, and I am sure it won’t be the last.

Thank you for all your help Russ, it is appreciated.

Simon – Simon Hunt Photography

Annie M, Alveston

As a PT – he’s good. I thoroughly recommend him! He helped me return to fitness after surgery and chemotherapy for breast cancer. He does not use “pseudo-science” but as a professional, bases his fitness programmes around evidence based research which of course is much safer and produces good results.

Here I am way down the line and why do I keep going … I like his style! He keeps me fit, sets realistic and achievable goals, varies the sessions and is flexible particularly when life and work get in the way. He has a quietly confident and encouraging manner. Most of all he smiles through and takes absolutely no notice of my endless whingeing and STILL I improve. Great technique.

I never thought that at 61 yrs old I would ever use the phrase “shan’t be long, just going for a run” Russell has helped me achieve that; well done Russell.

Heather - Thornbury

“It’s never too late!”

“I am in my early fifties and was unhappy at how my body was changning. I started going to the gym in Thornbury on my own but for me this was not enough. I did not push myself and certainly did not appreciate what I was capable of achieving.

Then I met Russell; everything changed! He encouraged me to use different equipment which included some weights in interesting and varied routines. Without realising it I had soon found myself motivated to do a little more each time and Russell was always there to guide me. My body shape has changed, I am more toned, I have lost body fat and feel much better for it. Initially I found hour long sessions challenging to complete but Russell was flexible and allowed me to split my hour into two 30 minute sessions which I found more beneficial.

Thanks to Russell I am a lot happier, look and feel so much better and could not have done it without his support and encouragement.”

Heather, Thornbury

Rachael Arrivabene - Bradley Stoke

“Russell Knight was recommended to me by a friend who had had Personal Training Sessions with him and achieved excellent results. At the point of contacting Russell, I was not exercising at all and after having two children found myself to be overweight and unfit. Clothes shopping was an unhappy, nightmare experience – often resulting in my not wanting to go on nights out with friends and swimming was avoided at all costs!!

Russell and I discussed what I wanted to achieve from our sessions, he took in to account my lifestyle and planned sessions with me that were enjoyable. He offered encouragement and challenged me when required.

When I first started our Personal Training Sessions, I disliked running and actually was so unfit that I couldn’t run for more than a minute or two. Last week I signed up for the Bristol Half Marathon – something I never imagined doing, but it’s going to be one of my biggest achievements and there is no way I’d be doing it if it wasn’t for my Personal Training Sessions with Russell.

I have continued my sessions for two years and am still improving my fitness every single week. I no longer need to lose weight, clothes shopping is no longer a source of misery and I am very much looking forward to my summer holiday (and bikini) this year!

I genuinely couldn’t recommend anybody higher than Russell.”

Rachael Arrivabene, 25, Bradley Stoke

Janne Priess

“I’ve never been a runner and was very unfit before I started Personal Training with Russell, but he got me into shape very fast, took me through the difficult process of gradually improving my fitness, and best of all – I learned to love running. I completed the Bristol 10K after only 4 months of training with Russell, and am now looking forward to running the half marathon in the near future. I have no doubt that I would never have been able to achieve this on my own.”

Janne Priess – Director – Consol, Your Walk in Spa

Karen & Jim Gusterson, Thornbury

“I went to Russell Knight last year after many failed attempts to get and stay fit – seeking some new motivation but a little wary as to what to expect. After a full assessment we started to find out what I could do and Russell focused me on making small improvements each week. It wasn’t very long before I began to see real gains and after several months it was great to see how much more I could do compared to when I started.

I enjoyed the Personal Training Sessions so much that my husband (a previous gym-phobic) decided to start seeing Russell for Personal Training sessions himself, which he also has found really suited him. Russell is always keen to keep the focus on improving and switches around the routines so we don’t get bored. Both of us work full time and Russell has been really flexible in making changes to our times when work commitments mean we’re not available for a particular session. Because of this, despite our busy lives, we’ve still managed to maintain two sessions each week.

The benefits of our sessions have extended in to all aspects of our lives with our 13 year old daughter – we’ve all become so much more active. I’ve dropped a dress size without dieting and am looking forward to my new running challenges. My husband has re-gained flexibility in his legs and shoulder he thought he’d lost forever. We are both in our mid-forties but feel healthier and fitter now than we did in our thirties … maybe even our twenties! I would recommend Russell’s Personal Training Sessions to anyone – give it a go and you’ll be surprised how great you feel.”

Ian Curtis - Olveston

“I have been training with Russell Knight for a while now, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Russell has not only been a fantastic Personal Trainer, but has become someone who I would be proud to call a friend. With Russell, you will find someone who is very knowledgeable, very courteous, very friendly and very very good at what he does!

The key thing with Russell for me, is that he listens to what you as a client wants, then puts 100% into trying to achieve your goals. He doesn’t only concentrate on the fitness side of things either, he is willing to listen to other issues you may have and offer advice about them too. All in all you get the whole package! I would have no hesitation in recommending Russell Knight as a Personal Trainer to anyone!”

Ian Curtis, 38, Olveston

Janine - Thornbury

“I have learnt that I need exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy in my busy life. The difficulty is remaining disciplined which is where Russell’s Personal Training is the answer for me. It keeps me committed to going to the gym in Thornbury regularly and ensures I maximize the time spent there.

I have a reoccurring neck problem and Russell is able to tailor my program to ensure I do not aggravate this along with his support to do all the exercises correctly.”

Janine, Thornbury

Elaine - Bradley Stoke

“Being invited to go on a holiday with a great deal of sight seeing and walking last November, I knew it was time to get fit. I had broken my leg a few years ago and decided that was no longer an excuse. My friend Anne was already seeing Russell as a Personal Trainer and introduced me. Russell asked me my requirements, I wanted to build up my stamina, drop a dress size, feel and look fitter. With Russell’s gentle encouragement this is happening.

On my weekly sessions, Russell puts me through my paces. Each week I am improving on the last. My shape is changing, (confirmed by my friends), I have more energy, feel and look fitter and my stamina has increased. What a result in less than 6 months. Hooray.”

Elaine, Bradley Stoke – Elaine Stinchcombe Therapies

Mark - Bristol

“I had been thinking of trying to up my training for sometime but not done anything about it. However, after an excessive holiday and an impending wedding looming 5 months later I knew that this was the time to give it a shot!

Russ helped in setting goals, which with a weekly session at the gym in Thornbury and some ‘homework’ were achieved every week. This provided me with confidence and determination to push myself every session to not let myself or Russ down and continue setting new boundaries.

The Personal Training sessions which Russ devised were different every week and imaginative, in all fairness I am the type of person who needs to be and enjoys to be pushed in training sessions and therefore these were of great benefit.

I also have an old injury which Russ took into consideration when setting exercises and if ever there was a niggle or a twinge, the session was adapted to suit.

The help of keeping a food diary for Russ to comment upon was great and Russ was also able to provide tips and advice on all forms of dietary and fitness questions which I found useful and have passed on to numerous Friend and Family members.

I have and continue to recommend Russell’s services to any Friend or Family member looking for a Personal Trainer or if they need their training “spiced up” to push themselves that little bit further.”

Mark, 33, Bristol

Shelley Bateman

“I have been Personal Training with Russell at the gym in Thornbury for almost 1 year now and the results have been amazing. Whilst my weight has not reduced greatly my body shape has changed considerably. My muscle tone, particularly in my problem areas (tum, bum & thighs) has improved significantly and I now feel relaxed and comfortable in my clothes.

On a recent shopping trip to Cabot Circus I was pleasantly surprised by my reflection in the changing-room mirrors (the ones that generally manage to accentuate all your flaws!). For once I actually enjoyed trying on dresses and trousers and feeling that my body did them justice; needless to say it was an expensive trip!

The worst thing I did was stop my Personal Training Sessions for 6 weeks over Christmas. Rather than feel like I was treating myself by skiving my sessions, I felt sluggish, tired, unmotivated and was much more prone to head to the biscuit tin. I was also convinced that even over such a short break the change in my muscle tone & fitness level was noticeable. I was relieved to get back into it in the New Year.

Several months ago, my mum commented that my hourly session with a Personal Trainer was an extravagant luxury, to which I replied, “Mum, I work harder in 1 hour a week with Russell than I would ever workout under my own steam, it’s completely different, you push your body to the limit and that is how you get results – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! My Mum recently signed up with Russ for some Personal Training and now thanks me she goes every week. 10 weeks in she is starting to reap the benefits and is surprised by the change in her shape and by how much more energised she feels. She’s 25 years my senior, but is as fit as fiddle!

I cannot recommend Russell highly enough, he pushes you without making you feel uncomfortable and happily adapts the workout to suit your needs. The packages are flexible, comprehensive and worth every penny. If I could find the time, I would definitely go more frequently.”

Shelley Bateman, Company Director – Rio Pools, Wotton Under Edge

Shelley helps to run a multi award winning family business specialising in the installation, renovation and maintenance of indoor and outdoor swimming pools and sales/service of outdoor hot tubs. Chemicals, equipment and accessories are available from our shop /showroom in Wotton Under Edge.

Claire - Elberton


“I have been Personal Training with Russell in Thornbury for over a year now. So far it has been a very successful and rewarding experience. I found that Russell listened carefully when we first met. Through assessing my lifestyle, including a food analysis, he has helped me find a manageable way to achieve my goals. He has managed to find the right level of encouragement at all times and I never feel embarrassed. He has used his knowledge and experience creatively to keep me interested in the next challenge.”

Claire, 44, Elberton

Claire Jaggard - Thornbury

“Never in a million years did I think I would find myself using a Personal Trainer. I don’t even like exercise; however, the extra weight I blame on two babies is refusing to disappear all by itself, so when Russell challenged me to two months of training, I couldn’t think of a good enough excuse not to. When he suggested we aim for a four mile run, I began to wonder if I’d done the right thing. It was at my first session that I realised the target of a four mile run wasn’t going to be something theoretical that might happen at the end of two months. Russell actually intended me to take part in the Oldbury Fun Run, just four weeks away. I hadn’t run in public since school, and was quite sure he had lost his marbles.

There were many days when, left to my own devices, I would never have made it to the gym in Thornbury. It’s so easy to come up with excuses, but when you’ve made an appointment, you force yourself to go, and once I’d started the session, I was always glad I’d made the effort. An hour Personal Training with Russell goes much faster than an hour on your own, and you feel terribly virtuous when it’s over. Russell didn’t push me further than I wanted or was able to go, it was simply that stubbornness kicks in when there’s someone recording your progress. His feedback and encouragement, showing me the progress I was making, was a big incentive too. When you know you’re getting better, and the numbers show it, you do want to carry on.

So the day of the Oldbury Fun Run arrived and I was more nervous than I had expected but Russell was there to reassure me and I prepared myself mentally for the rather daunting task ahead of me. It wasn’t until I crossed the final mile marker that I realised there was a chance I might actually complete this, and began to relax and enjoy myself. Crossing the line was a huge surprise and relief. Just a few weeks previously I had thought this would be impossible, but here I was, and it was all credit to Russell. I started to feel the benefits of Russell’s workouts in my daily life too; little things that had been challenging before, such as the uphill bike ride to our local shop, were suddenly much easier.”

Read Claire’s full account of her experience with me on her website MyThornbury.com

Claire Jaggard, Thornbury, Editor – MyThornbury.com

Sue Evans - Thornbury

“I first met Russell over two years ago when I felt I needed to do something for myself after an attempt to live in France which didn’t work out! After the first few Personal Training Sessions with Russell, I dropped a dress size, even though I hadn’t lost any weight. I was not exercising to lose weight, but to get fit. I had to give up having Personal Training Sessions for two years, and recently decided to go back and get fit once more.

Now with having Russell as my Personal Trainer at the gym in Thornbury for the past three months, I have never felt so good and my muscles have really toned up, so much so that I’m beginning to like my body, and I’m constantly being told that I look like I’ve lost weight. I’m starting another three month block of sessions in a week’s time and I can’t wait to see what difference that will make!”

Sue Evans, Thornbury

Alison Makepeace - Thornbury

“Starting a regular training programme was very daunting and difficult to fit into a busy lifestyle, but Russell has made a real difference to my fitness and motivation. He has devised a realistic training programme and monitors me to work harder each session but is also happy to make adjustments to keep my interest. He is well-organised, professional and encouraging. ‘No pain, no gain’, but with Russell the pain does result in improved overall fitness and strength, good motivation to exercise and assists in losing weight! Thank you.”

Alison Makepeace, Thornbury

Nicky - Bradley Stoke

“I have what I consider a job that does not allow me to go to the gym under my own discipline. So when someone suggested Russell as my Personal Trainer I thought long and hard about taking this on. Initially I had visions of someone who would expect miracles and push me by any means with aggression and bullying, once I met and started working with Russell the reality was far from my original thoughts. I have found that Russell gets the most out of me without any aggression and has improved my fitness and weight problems through a programme which he controls and regulates as he sees best. If anyone were to ask me about a Personal Trainer I would without doubt recommend this man due to his commitment and the trust I have in him.”

Nicky, 42, Bradley Stoke

Jenny Lambert - Thornbury

“I have been a regular gym member for years, but recently I had lost interest and motivation. I asked Russell for help and booked a course of Personal Training sessions. Russell has got me back on track with an assortment of programmes that I can do on my own and he has set me goals that are achievable. Having a session once a week, means that Russell pushes me that bit extra and keeps tabs on my progress. He is also able to pinpoint my downfalls. I would not hesitate to recommend Russell to anyone.”

Jenny Lambert, 53, Thornbury

Miss Walker - Bradley Stoke

“Since using Russell as my Personal Trainer, I have lost 2 stones in weight and have increased my fitness levels beyond what I ever thought possible. I have never been a sporty person or enjoyed exercise at all, but he has really motivated me to work hard and better myself. He is always extremely flexible and and endeavours to fit his sessions around me, and has tailored our time together to incorporate exercises which I find interesting, as well as encouraging me to take part in ever ambitious events – something I would never do on my own. Two of my friends are now seeing him after seeing the results I have achieved and I would absolutely recommend him to anybody.”

Miss Walker, 21, Bradley Stoke

Mike Rowen - Westbury-on-Trym,

“Following years of playing sport and suffering numerous injuries, I found it very difficult to get and keep fit on my own. I had been a member of various gyms over the years but had not made best use of them so when Russell suggested an initial session I was sceptical that this different approach would solve the problem …”

“…and I was right – he’s pushed me further than any gym membership would have, he’s made me sweat gallons over the past 3 years, he’s made me throw up, he’s prolonged a cricket career which I never really enjoyed and has made it necessary for me to buy quite a lot of new clothes as lots of my old pairs of jeans, suits etc no longer fit me, and he’s also made it possible for me to spend more time with ‘the other half’ as I can now join her on bike rides …”

“Oh, and he’s even nearly got me running the Bristol Half Marathon! So if you want him to change your life, ruin your spare time, cost you loads of money in new clothes and make it possible to get involved in new hobbies which seemed impossible before, book some sessions!!”

Mike Rowen (37), Westbury-on-Trym, Company Director – Wylde Interior Architects

Amanda Sherwood - Almondsbury

“I rather foolishly signed up for the Bristol Half Marathon and was aware that if I was to achieve this I needed some help! Russell had been recommended to me so I signed up for a series of Personal Training sessions. I soon realised that I was not particularly fit and that I had some serious work to do, but Russell has helped me tremendously in a sympathetic and encouraging manner. If I was to sum up Russell’s qualities in a few words they would be Professional, Knowledgeable, Organised, Reliable and Enthusiastic. So there’s no excuse now, it’s just down to me to turn up and do it!”

“Thank you Russell.”

Amanda Sherwood, Almondsbury

Jon Pullin

“Over the years trying to motivate myself to attend the gym has resulted in many failures. Having begun working with Russell on a weekly basis I have not missed a Personal Training Session for nearly 3 years. The sessions are interesting, challenging and suited to your personal needs and goals. I am fitter as a result of the sessions and now look forward to attending. Russell works hard to make you achieve greater standards at every session.”

Jon Pullin, 36, Falfield, Company Director – Voyce Pullin

Julie Derham - Thornbury.

“Before Russell became my Personal Trainer I had been going to the gym in Thornbury for about eight months. Whilst I felt I was improving my fitness in reality I was only managing a ‘gentle’ workout on only the equipment that I found easy and I rarely got out of my comfort zone. Since I started working with Russell he has helped me achieve a greatly improved fitness level and made me believe that I can achieve my goals. With Russell’s motivation most weeks I am able to improve my levels of performance in the gym. I no longer wander aimlessly around the gym and now leave each session with a huge feeling of achievement. The benefit to my health and well being makes all the pain worthwhile! Thanks Russell.”

Julie Derham, 43, Thornbury.

Anne Tucker - Thornbury

“I have tried many forms of exercise classes over the years, including using gyms. I have never been able to keep these going more than a couple of months. With Russell as my Personal Trainer I have found the recipe for success. Being able to exercise in the privacy of my own home, with Russell recording my progress and encouraging me I have been able to stick with it for over 3 years now. If I get bored, Russell always comes up with a new routine to keep the interest level high. At 47 I feel healthier, more flexible and younger than I have felt for years. I would recommend Russell whole heartedly!”

Anne Tucker, 47, Thornbury

Mrs Clarke - Thornbury

“Over the years I have been to various gyms, but with limited success. From the start Russell has made a real difference, and I have been seeing him now for over 3 years. He devised a realistic Personal Training programme taking into account my age, general fitness and personal goals. He has always kept the programme interesting by monitoring my progress and making adjustments. This has resulted for the first time in a definite improvement in my overall fitness levels. I have always found him to be well-organised, conscientious and motivational.”

Mrs Clarke, 53, Thornbury

Mr Pearson - Pilning

“I recently decided to join a gym but with no set programme and little knowledge, I saw very few results. Being a keen football player and with a holiday in the sun around the corner I decided I wanted to bulk up in the shortest possible time. I had always thought personal trainers were for developing fitness rather than muscle mass but I was quickly proven wrong. With a set regime to suit my current levels of fitness and with realistic targets developed around my current lifestyle I was soon able me to make the most out of the time I spend at the gym in Thornbury. With great nutritional, information and advice on techniques, the programmes never get boring. This personal approach has really helped me to become motivated and for once actually start seeing results.”

Mr Pearson, 18, Pilning

David Jeckells - Olveston

“I have had Russell as my Personal Trainer for over 3 years now & the results have been excellent, he manages to motivate & keep me going, gradually improving my fitness level & also assisting in my weight loss programme. I would not hesitate in recommending him, the personal training touch certainly brings the desired results!”

David Jeckells, Olveston