11 of the best personal trainers and fitness instructors

Whether in London, New York or further afield, these are the personal trainers and instructors that tastemakers turn to

The Zalla Pilates studio in New York
The Zalla Pilates studio in New York

Anicka Yi

Pilates instructor Jessie Zalla has taught me how important the feet are; they are all-connecting – the legs, the back, the neck, the head. We do amazing foot exercises.” New York, zallapilates.com

Alvaro Maggini

“I’m currently living between three cities – Milan, Geneva and Megève – and I have a personal trainer in each one. Going to the gym relieves stress, improves my memory, helps me sleep better and gives my mood and body an overall boost. I have Francesco Russo in Milan, Gabriel Stevens in Geneva – for Pilates and yoga – and Clement Makiello in Megève. I try to do a minimum of one hour every day.” Geneva, ptr-training.ch. Megeve, mgv-coaching.com. Milan, francescorussopt.com.

Clement Makiello – Alvaro Maggini’s personal trainer in Megève
Clement Makiello – Alvaro Maggini’s personal trainer in Megève

Jessica McCormack

“I go to Pete Liggins at west London’s Box Clever for a gruelling but awesome workout. I’ve trained with him for eight years – it’s a real Rocky gym – and have just got back into it seriously, as I’m doing a mountain-climb thing.” London, boxcleversports.com.

Gabriela Hearst

“I’m not big on exercise – I tried a personal trainer and it wasn’t for me – but my yoga instructor Ivy Askew’s approach is about relaxing tension; it works, so I look forward to it.” New York, ivyaskewyoga.com.


Matthew Hilton

“The person I rely on for wellbeing is my personal trainer Annamaria Credenzone, who I see once a week. She was a professional fighter and British Thai boxing champion.” London, vitruvianpt.com.

Lyn Harris

“I swear by Pilates sessions with Gina John, who’s also an osteopath, at The Osprey Clinic. I get back problems if I don’t see her.” London, theospreyclinic.co.uk.

Box Clever in west London
Box Clever in west London

Amanda Wakeley

“I rely on my trainer, Jason Progl – we do ballet, deep stretch and interval training and no two workouts are ever the same; I’ve broken my body so many times and he’s always put me back together.” London, 020 7627 2308. 

Isabel Ettedgui

The person I rely on for wellbeing is Natalie Harris, who has been my trainer and friend for over 25 years; she keeps me sane. Twice a week we walk all around Hyde Park – whatever the weather, it’s just magical – and she’s been trying for all those years to get me to move faster.” London, natalieh50@hotmail.co.uk.


Ben Evans

“I rely on my Pilates teacher Merry Holden and yoga instructor Sonja Perreten. When my doctor told me I needed to be more flexible following a bout of sciatica seven years ago, I booked some private sessions. It was only supposed to be until I was good enough not to embarrass myself at a group class but, of course, I’ve become addicted to the bespoke experience. They come to the house three times a week and it works. I no longer have a bad back and I sleep better too.” London, merryholdenpilates.co.uk and yogawithsonia.com.

Alex Eagle

“When I come out of a yoga class with Esther Lim, I’m so stretched out and refreshed I feel amazing. Although she pushes me, she makes it such fun that the class goes in a flash.” London, estherlim@me.com.

Sara Prentice

“My personal trainer Matt Grimshaw is very considerate of my limitations but able to give me routines that work – and I’ve found a new love for exercise.” Kent, sisu-fit.co.uk.

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