Lifestyle

Why this personal trainer will never tell you to 'detox'

Personal trainer who got David Beckham in shape shares the three things she will never say to clients – and the diet trend she hates the most

  • Elite gymnast Shona Vertue shared the three things she doesn’t say to clients
  • The PT who looked after David Beckham never tells clients to ‘detox’ their diets
  • She is not a fan of telling people to ‘stop being lazy’ when they are working hard
  • Shona shared her tips for getting a good body, including focusing on what’s hard

The Australian personal trainer credited with getting footballer David Beckham into yoga has revealed the three things she would never say to a client at the gym if they’re looking for results.

Elite gymnast Shona Vertue, who is from Sydney but lives in London, said she sees too many fitness coaches telling the people they are training that they need to ‘earn their food’, ‘detox’ or ‘stop being lazy’.

These phrases are all harmful and detrimental to success.

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The Australian personal trainer credited with getting footballer David Beckham into yoga has revealed the three things she would never say to a client at the gym (Shona Vertue pictured)

1. Never say ‘earn your food’

The first thing Shona said she’ll never say to someone is that they need to ‘earn their food’ in the gym.

‘The truth is that being alive is earning food,’ she said on Instagram. 

‘However, even more than that, when we make associations with food and exercise this way we are literally asking for a disordered relationship with food and exercise.’ 

Shona said the idea that you need to earn any carbohydrates you eat is a complete myth, and you’re far better off focusing on what you can include in your diet rather than what you need to cut out.

She recommends enjoying a diet that is full of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fruit and veg and the odd sweet treat here and there ‘if your soul needs nourishment’.


Shona (pictured) said the idea that you need to earn any carbohydrates you eat is a complete myth, and you’re far better off focusing on what you can include in your diet rather than what you need to cut out

2. Never say ‘detox’

The PT also rubbished the idea of ‘detoxing’, which has become a popular dietary concept in recent years.

‘The truth is that your body is intelligently “detoxing” every second of every minute and if it didn’t do that then we would likely die,’ Shona said.

‘Usually, when someone mentions a detox, they are referring to something that’s going to give you diarrhea.’

Instead of telling clients to ‘detox’ – which Shona said encourages people to think of certain foods as ‘good’ and others as ‘bad’ – Shona has a bigger overall look at people’s diets and suggests small improvements.

‘You might need to make sure your fibre intake is adequate,’ she said.

Alternatively, she might look to boost the amount of protein in someone’s diet, which will help to keep them full without wanting to reach for the snack product.

Shona said one of the best things you can do is ‘progressive overload’, whereby workout moves get subtly harder over time

3. Never say ‘stop being lazy’

Finally, Shona explained she despises it when she hears that someone has told a client to ‘stop being lazy’.

‘The reason being is that laziness is often a symptom of something a lot deeper that requires a gentle coaxing to the surface – not a brutal shaming of outward behaviours,’ she said. 

Instead, she prefers to motivate clients with encouragement and also embraces ‘progressive overload’ with clients.

This means that workouts have to subtly get harder over time, so the client is getting stronger.

Shona (pictured working out) said you should as much as possible view food as fuel, and think of what will best ‘nourish your body for the day ahead of you’

Previously, Shona revealed her top tips for getting a good body – and it all starts with focusing on the things you’re not good at.

Many people fall into the trap of working on the things they’re good at and neglecting the things their body really needs,’ she told FEMAIL.

‘I’ve met numerous people that can run marathons but could barely get through an easy weight lifting session. Likewise, I’ve met bodybuilders who are strong, but have no agility and can hardly move.’

Shona recommends viewing ‘food as fuel’, and thinking about what is ‘going to best nourish your body, mind and soul for the day ahead of you’: 

‘Most of the time, this might come from a massive plate of vegetables, with some protein – however, on other times – when the soul needs some nourishment – you might need a warm pain au chocolat or an Old Fashioned,’ she said.

But we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of things when we need them, because if ‘we don’t let ourselves have those soul nourishing moments, they build up and then end up in the binge and restrict cycle’.

Shona’s own gym routine involves daily meditation before she has a coffee, weight lifting four times a week, high intensity cardio twice a week and a short sequence of yoga or gymnastics each night before bed. 

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