“I started my Erg personal training with Sam in September 2023 with an aim to improve my strength, speed and conditioning on the erg as well as my time in the testing pieces and the major competitions I have coming up in the season ahead.

Sam not only has so much knowledge and experience in indoor rowing training but also the mental conditioning that is also a vital component of the sport.

Sam has taken the time, and as our training journey continues, to understand my sport, my goals, my ambitions, and has develops a comprehensive and structured plan that aims to meet my goal but most importantly holds me accountable to myself and my progress.

I look forward to my sessions Sam, he pushes and encourages me to my full potential every time. He takes the time to analyze my results, understand my weekly schedule and capabilities week on week and adapt my sessions to maximize and get the best of my performance.

Sam is always mindful to respect my current sport training commitments and he compliments my sessions with him to maximize my full potential but also reduce any stress and injury.

One of the important aspects of having Sam as a coach is the huge impact he has made on my outlook on the erg and my approach to indoor rowing, the erg. I look forward and enjoy the motivational and pragmatic conversations we have during our sessions that cover the realistic expectations but most importantly my mental outlook at which I should approach my pieces, sessions and testing. My confidence has and continues to grow with having Sam as my coach. He understands my vulnerabilities and the psychological hurdles that are part and parcel of any performance sport and week on week he works with me by showing empathy and real understanding of the mental challenges as well the physical challenges that encompass my sport. He works with me to break down these barriers and focus on achieving what we set out to do. Sam’s experience and wisdom around the psychological challenges that come with rowing is invaluable and the manner in which he approaches this with me is helping me learn and grow as an athlete.

Since training with Sam, I have gained so much confidence, strength, athleticism, power and speed. I have grown and continue to grow as an athlete. My approach to my training sessions and outlook on my sport is now focused, realistic and I am consistently making improvements. These are all a culmination of the brilliant, focused coaching by Sam.

Above all his invaluable rowing experience and knowledge, Sam is a lovely coach. He is friendly, realistic and motivational and I look forward to my sessions with him every week.

I am so excited to continue to work with Sam for the year ahead to achieve and surpass my goals and ambitions. Thank you Sam :)”

“I’m a 47 year old man and I had been trying seriously to go sub-7 for 2k for the past 3 years without success. I had put in a lot of work and had come close, but I just could not shave off the 10 seconds or so that would get me there. The doubt that I would ever achieve my aim was creeping in. I felt like age was starting to catch up with me and I had got into a bad habit of quitting on the machine. I felt like I had one last throw of the dice to go sub-7: if it didn’t work I would just have to admit that it was beyond me. I had followed various free internet plans before, but I needed something more. Something that would be tailored to my goal and training availability. Something that would take my feedback into account when setting the training plan.

After a Google search I found Fitness Matters. Sam’s rowing resume is super impressive, so I decided to take the plunge. Following an initial consultation, I opted to go for the direct coaching plan. Sam explained that he would send me a plan to follow each week. My end of the deal is to complete each session, send him a picture of the result and let him know how it felt.

Six months later and I can say that this is the best fitness decision I have ever made. We started with some very intense months of 5 and then 6 sessions a week. All sessions were focused on building me to a sub-7. I could feel myself getting stronger every week and I finally achieved my goal 3 months after starting the plan. After that I throttled down to 4 sessions a week which is sustainable in the long term for me and allows me to do some weight training. During the 6 months I have broken my previous 1k, 2k, 5k and 30 minute records. A nice by product is that my physique has improved noticeably. Sam’s plan is great, I have not missed a single session.

Sam would be the first to say that it takes dedication, consistency, hard work and time but if you really want to improve your rowing, I guarantee this plan will work.”

Andy Newland

I have competed in a number of triathlons over the last number of years, though lost my enthusiasm for training, through training with Sam Blythe at Fitness Matters for the last number of months I find that I am energised and enjoying exercise again.

At work I am more alert, more focused, and can concentrate for longer during the day.

The advice, support, and encouragement given in each session is testament to the level of preparation and professionalism that Sam effortlessly inputs to each workout.

The gym for me has always a place I would avoid, as this to me was not enjoyment. Sam however through his unique approach and varied tailored coaching has made this environment fun, combined with the fantastic facility this has made it something that I look forward too, and take pleasure from, both during and after each session.

I would happily recommend Fitness Matters and Sam Blythe to anyone.

Malcolm Gigg

Director of ARA Architecture.


I engaged with Sam Blythe of Fitness Matters back in Early October 2013 asking him to assist in a training and healthy eating program for myself. I was a former Rugby player of 44 who after finishing playing at 36 did not do much if any physical exercise apart from the odd round of golf I needed some professional help and advice to put together a plan. The kick start for me was seeing a photograph of myself at a family party! I really hadn’t looked at how much weight I had put on over the years as it had slowly crept up on me, a combination of poor eating habits excessive drinking and no exercise was a bad combination resulting in this 6ft 5in middle aged man weighing in at 20.5 stones 287lbs 130kgs.......... Not a pretty picture.
After the initial consultation and honest description of my lifestyle Sam quickly put together a program. This program started with making “Small Sustainable” changes in my life like: Eating a healthy breakfast every day, Drinking 2 litres of water each day, Exercising 3 times a week, These 3 small changes were achievable in my mind and I set about implementing them immediately. There was a provision for a “Cheat” Day which was a welcome target and relief certainly in the early weeks which I still use now. The small changes that had been introduced to me soon became a way of life so more were added like: Eating less Sugar Salt Carbohydrates, exercising 4 times a week along with starting to understand how my body works.
The initial results were fantastic with the weight falling off and I felt the best I had felt in years, people were commenting on the weight loss and the exercise was making me feel amazing {well at least after it was!} There were dark moments when things went wrong like I would have a negative experience whilst training or I had eaten poorly for a few days or the weight loss had stopped but Sam was there at the drop of a hat to evaluate, encourage, reassure and get me back on track. Today some 11 months into my new way of life I row [Indoor] 4/5 times a week and weight train ½ per week my eating habits are so much better than they were but could always be better! and as a side effect has rubbed off on my family who also eat a lot better these days.
To date I have lost 51lbs [3.5stone 23kgs] in weight. I sleep so much better and I feel the best I have ever felt, I absolutely love my exercise program and genuinely look forward to most if not all my work outs. If you are considering improving your life style, losing a few pounds, changing your eating habits or a mixture of all of these I cannot speak highly enough of Sam Blythe and Fitness Matters. The professional approach, easy going nature, attention to detail that this guy brings makes changing your life for the better so much easier and achievable.

Lee Waddon

I started out as a fairly typical new client for Sam at Fitness Matters in February 2014. The demographic of the 'early 40's formerly fairly fit bloke who'd lost his way with exercise and diet' was apparently well represented as far as Sam's enquiries were concerned, so mine was not an unfamiliar story. Always fairly active, lots of football, running, Commando Challenges and military fitness classes had been curtailed by a torn achilles a couple of years earlier and subsequently, after recovery, the lethargy had kicked in, the shape started changing, fitness levels dropped and general enthusiasm for the sensible life all dissipated with a taste for the easy good life all too easily replacing it. After a consultation it was clear that Sam and I could work together and I can happily say it was the best decision I've made with regards to training and rediscovering my lust for fitness. Sam's personable character and clear love of his work shone through and made it easy to endure the first few weeks of the tough new regime he introduced me to. Knowing I had access to a rowing machine was music to Sam's ears and thus the 'rowing homework' two to three times a week was born! It's not just about the training though - Sam's nutrition and lifestyle advice was totally refreshing and has played a huge part in helping me achieve and surpass all of my goals in six months. I'll be forever grateful. I can now fit into my wedding suit and tight rock t-shirts and still enjoy a glass of red or two each weekend knowing I've got it nailed! I'm keen to test my self discipline by keeping this up and taking a sabbatical from Fitness Matters for a few months but rest assured I'll be back - whether I need to or not!

Jim Hughes

"Having a structured weekly fitness session with Kev was the difference last year in our promotion to National league. Whilst many of us were already fit, having such a professional approach, aimed at hockey specific fitness was a huge factor in our domination of our league. Not only did we all actually feel the difference, but people really started to enjoy the sessions. We are delighted to work with Kev again this year as we step up another level and the fitness demands become even greater. Thanks "Daddio"! "

Simon, ISCA Hockey Club

"I am just writing to say thank you for all the work you have put in with Tom over the last few years and also thanks to Oz for the more recent input. Your efforts with Tom have paid off for him as he has just been accepted onto the Rugby Academy Program at Bicton College. He is over the moon at this result and will work on his level 3 Btec in sports performance along side this with the view to going onto Uni at a latter date. Once again a big Thank you, from Tom, Mandy and myself for all the hard work from yourself and the futures Team. "

Chris Bottoms

During my time working with Sam he illustrated a very professional and dedicated approach to both fitness and nutrition. He brings a great deal of experience, knowledge, innovation and passion which are fundamental to helping you achieve your goals. I would have no hesitation in recommending Sam as a person who will motivate and inspire people to better their health and wellbeing.

Clive Stuart-Smith, England Saxons

Training with Sam takes the planning and worry out of training. My sessions are always challenging, never the same and without his motivation and knowledge I would probably do the same exercises every time! I always go home with a real sense of achievement and feel good factor, energizing me for my day!

Lucy Fulford

Over the four year period that I have worked with Sam he has developed a sound knowledge of strength and power training through all the Olympic Lifting principles. This compliments the rigorous fitness training programme that he has designed. Sam also demonstrates a thorough understanding of the concepts behind sports nutrition which he applies to his own nutrition plan.

Paddy Anson - Gloucester Rugby Strength and Conditioning Coach, former Exeter Chiefs Strength and Conditioning Coach

Having done a few half marathons and one full marathon in the past I thought I was in pretty decent shape before I started having sessions with Sam. However, he got me training at a greater intensity and with more variety and after just seven weeks I knocked a couple of minutes off my best half marathon time - set eight years earlier! There isn't much Sam doesn't know about fitness and his knowledge and tips that back up the training sessions are invaluable.

Nick Warren

Having worked with Sam for a short amount of time I have found my fitness has improved week after week and I have noticed a considerable difference in my performance and so have others. I enjoy working with Sam as he tailors a fitness plan around me and my weekly availability. He not only has a professional approach to his work he also is very passionate about it. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to others and I look forward to working with him in the future’.

Sara Cox

Innovative, structured and rewarding is the least I can say about the ‘one to one’ ‘personal Training’ sessions Sam Blythe and Fitness Mattters offers. Although I am a seasoned exerciser, Sam during the past months that I have trained with him has, through his knowledge and experience blended routines and exercises which have had a fantastic result on my fitness and strength. Combined with his knowledge of the benefits of ‘eating the right things’ which is essential if you want to make progress, has also been extremely valuable. I would recommend Sam and Fitness Matters if you simply want ‘real’ results.

Mark Evans-Martin

I have been training with Sam for about 6 months now. He quite simply has changed my outlook. Sam, although he will never readily admit it, goes far beyond the phyiscal aspects of personal training. Sam has a unique way of getting into a persons mind. He is inspirational, supportive and without doubt, a truly exceptional individual with an intuitive ability to get the heart of a problem and offer practical, no nonsense solutions. You will not only leave your sessions feeling physically supported but emotionally uplifted. It is of little wonder to me that the Exeter Chiefs have achieved such wonderous things. After all, with Sam in your corner, I defy anyone to fail!

Tessa H

Since training with Shane at Fitness Matters I have noticed a great improvement in both my physical appearance and significantly how I view myself. Like many other people I have always had low body confidence, however Shane has helped me to both improve my physique and also to view my appearance more positively. I feel stronger, fitter and healthier and significantly feel I have greater knowledge about both exercise and nutrition.
The personal training sessions with Shane are always varied and fun and so never boring. This means the sessions are enjoyable and so unlike when I used to go to the gym and feel it was a chore. I very much enjoy them. Shane goes beyond the training sessions and is always there should you need to ask a query or need an extra boost on days where you may be struggling. Thus since beginning my training path with Shane I have never felt I am doing the journey alone. I have 100% trust in Shane and his abilities and can’t thank him enough for helping me improve my lifestyle and helping me live a healthier, happier life.

Laura C

Joining Fitness Matters was the best investment I could have made for my athletic ability. My confidence and performance has improved rapidly thanks to the knowledge and motivating attitude of my trainer. Every session pushes me towards my potential through a variety of exercises aimed at my specific needs and personal goals. This is backed up by a weekly regime and frequent communication with my trainer which keeps me focused and continuing with my progress.

Sabine M

I used to hate going to the gym, but Shane Kingsland has changed all that. He provides a good balance between pushing you to improve and supporting you when you need it. He is very focused on the individual's needs and limitations and he does it all in good humour. Recommend? Certainly.

Brian A

Never did I think I would be the type of person to have a PT, now I just wished I had done it year ago - but then I wouldn't have met Sam and Shane. I have been working with Shane now for 6 weeks, wow I just love it. I now really look forward to Saturday's not just because it's the weekend but because I get to be put through my paces by Shane. No two weeks are the same and doesn't matter how hard he pushes me i can't stop smiling - I so enjoy it and it sets me up for the weekend. My eating and drinking habits have changed and I have started to not just loose weight but tone up as well, I feel so much better. Thanks guys - a great set up.

Sharon A

I've been training with Sam for less than a month and already I'm noticing positive changes. My weight is falling, strength and stamina improving and an overall feel good factor. I've joined gyms In the past and not really used them from one month to the next. Spend clever and call Fitness Matters. Ive always thought I could not find the time for an hour a week......within 2 weeks I had signed up for 2 sessions a week. If I can do it, you can!! Sam is professional, supportive and highly motivated. No silly diets involved, just sensible eating mixed with fun gym sessions = great results.

Richard A

I would recommend Fitness Matters to anyone and everyone. The atmosphere created is so relaxed and comfortable yet you always push to achieve your session goals. The gyms are very clean and the trainers friendly. Joining Fitness Matters has definitley changed my life for the better.

Steve J

I started traning at Fitness Matters with Shane in July 2011, during that time he has shown me how to understand values of good health and fitness, along with better knowledge of nutrition. I have seen a vast improvement in my personal fitness levels, body strength and self awareness and most importantly good weight loss. Shane uses lots of variety with every training session being interesting, informative and testing. I find cardio and strength testing on a the concept rowing machine of great interest but was finding it difficult to improve on my results. Shane has shown me how to improve my method of rowing and current results are very rewarding with faster times and greater distances. I now see Shane as a friend and an experienced trainer. Thank you for your continued professional support.

Dave W

Mark has motivated me to work hard and move forward with my inch loss targets. Each session has been made to be fun and the time passes by with relative ease. Needless to say the sessions are not easy but if you want results it has to come from within.

Helen l

I have had Mark as my personal trainer for 11 months. He is a very experienced and knowledgeable trainer knowing his apparatus and the science behind it, translating this into his sessions very well . He has also has been a great support and inspiration to me during some difficult times. I would recommend Mark and Fitness Matters to anyone ready to committ to him and his training.

Penny R

A unique setting with one on one training. Fresh spacious setting with a trainer that is friendly, knowledgeable and can inspire, motivate and push to achieve.

Mike A

I have always maintained a good level of fitness throughout my life and now, aged 44, I am the fittest I have ever been thanks to Fitness Matters. Give these guys a go and kick start your training.

Anthony G

I have been going to Sam every week for 18 months. No two weeks are the same. Sam changes the session on a weekly basis so that you never know what you are going to do. Therefore this makes every week a new exciting challenge, but each week is structured so that it is achieveable. Sam knows when to up your routine, he is a very good listener and motivator and helps not just on fitness, but on diet and lifestyle. When I tell friends and people I know that I go to a personal trainer, I am proud to say that it is Sam Blythe and have no hesistation in recommending him for fitness and lifestyle training.

Graham T

Well pleased in 2 weeks after joining Fitness Matters for Personal Training and Diet and Nutrition I'm proud to announce I have lost over a Stone !!! It's a lot of weight to lose in a short space of time but I'm like tigger bouncing around everywhere I have bundles of energy. Yippee Thanks x

Julie C

Just to say thanks again for your advice, patience in putting up wth me feeling sorry for myself, support and never ending generosity.

Andy J

Before I started with them I was highly over weight and didn't do any exercise. Shane got me into the gym, which I didn't like to begin with, but now really enjoy. Sessions can be hard but you leave feeling great. I have a now lost 2 stone and feel fab thanks to Fitness Matters.

Emily F

Since training Fitness matters I have noticed a great improvement in both my physical appearance and significantly how I view myself. I feel stronger, fitter and healthier and significantly feel I have greater knowledge about both exercise and nutrition.
The personal training sessions with them are always varied and fun and so never boring. This means the sessions are enjoyable and so unlike when I used to go to the gym and feel it was a chore. I have 100% trust in them and their abilities and can’t thank them enough for helping me improve my lifestyle and helping me live a healthier, happier life.

Laura C

I am one for good intentions but little action so having a 1 - 1 personal trainer is perfect for me, not only does it fit around my hectic lifestyle the guys at Fitness Matters are great at keeping me motivated and during workouts spirits are kept up beat with a good rapport and a little banter!!

Rachel P

The thought of personal training filled me with apprehension. I always viewed exercise as a chore but Sam with his professional and easy going approach has changed my attitude towards training, diet and nutrition. It is fair to say that I have undergone a lifestyle change and I feel healthier and happier for it. I have even joined a gym where I am able to follow the routines Sam has set for me. I would definitely recommend them.

Claire G

Sam and Shane offer a friendly service - I feel I can have a laugh with them which makes up for early starts and being pushed to work hard! I am stronger, fitter, more confident, and I would recommend them to anyone.

Dale A

With working with Shane I find I get goals that I just can't do by myself! Going to them is very interesting and fun. Making you feel great when you get into a wedding dress that is measured a dress size smaller! Making everyone cry because they say I look beautiful! The most important thing I will feel proud about my body on holiday with my new husband... Plus making a great friend, Shane!!!

Laura K

During the 6 months that I have trained with Sam, I have seen some great results. He is very knowledgeable and an excellent motivator. He is not only a trainer, but also a good friend and I will continue to work with him for some time.

Martin N

This is a very good, professional service and is making a vast difference to me in person, mind and body. I would recommend Sam to anyone.

Steve D

As a stroke survivor, I have gained confidnece in my walking now. I can now climb stairs in the gym, and I have lost over a stone of weight. I highly recommend Shane Kingsland.

Irene F

It's great to train with a real professional. I've tried loads of different fitness schemes before and have failed miserably. Sam has produced fun and varied routines for me and has really helped me with the motivation to succeed.

Stuart S

Since starting with Sam in October last year I have lost over three stone and improved my fitness levels immeasurably. I would recommend him to all overweight business men for a similar experience.

Steve M

After 6 months training I have seen some excellent results. Not only has they provided a great service, he has become a good friend as well. Highly recommended!

Martin N

Since starting to see Sam I have noticed a great difference in my general fitness and body shape. I broke my half marathon PB - set 8 years earlier - and have also recorded PB's at 10K, 20 miles and marathons. Sam's advice, support and encouragement has been invaluable.

Nick W

Sam always tailors his training to suit you even when suffering a chest infection with a long lay off from work. Sam designed a program that made me feel better at the time and when I was again able to train fully I was not nearly as far behind my level as I feared.

Tim B

I have been training with Sam for several months and would definitely recommend him as a personal trainer. My fitness has improved as has my running and my attitude to running. It is no longer a chore. He ensures that I work hard and am continually challenged but sessions are always fun - both important aspects for me. However I feel when I arrive I always leave the sessions feeling better.

Phillipa F

Sam was recommended to me by a friend. I had been going to the gym for nearly two years with no effect. In only a few weeks with Sam I had more energy and my fitness level improved. Now my body is more shapely and toned. Sam encourages me and the training sessions are really positive. Although initially I was bit worried Sam's friendly manner encouraged me to try and now I have good results. I look forward to my sessions and feel a whole lot better.

Charlotte R

You cannot compare training with Sam in his gym to a P.T in a public gym. With Sam there are no interruptions, the focus is on one client and all the equipment is free to use. Peoples aims vary and mine was to be pushed close to my limit but avoid injury. Sam has met my aims and more. I recommend them.

Nigel C

I have been training with Fitness Matters for several months, everything is very professional and I feel I am already seeing the benefits.

Phillip B

Fantastic session with Sam yet again! The variety of exercises in each session keeps you interested and motivated. Fitness Matters has become part of my life.

Kevin G

Sam knows just the right time to increase the weights so you are constantly getting the best out of every session. Gives great advice and I always recommend him to everyone. Love my sessions.

Kevin M

I first contacted Sam after the birth of my first baby. Prior to being pregnant I was relatively fit but had always had to work hard to be the shape I was happy with. When I fell pregnant I completely embraced the idea of no more dieting and eating for two - oops! After my pregnancy I felt like I had a huge mountain to climb and really needed some support as to where to start. It's funny really as I always felt that you needed to be slim and stylish to go to one and then I opted for the personal training route! The thing about working with Sam was that I never felt self concious that I trained in my old joggers and my baggy pregnancy t-shirts! or about my level of fitness. The sessions are good fun, don't get me wrong they are hard work but it's true - you leave feeling rejuvenated and energised (once you can breath again!) Using Sam's continued support with diet, lifestyle and fitness the results soon began to show.

Becca B

I visit Sam regularly and I have had great results in just three months. it has helped not only my fitness but stress levels and diet as well.

James M

I was at a low point in my life, turning 45, losing my Father and feeling uncomfortable with myself. I needed to lose some weight, so after picking up the local newsletter and seeing an advert for Fitness Matters I emailed Sam. Within minutes I had a reply assuring me he could help! The day came of the appointment to assess my goals, I found myself very apprehensive until Sam put me at ease!
After being trained now for the last three months I've started my journey to a more comfortable person having the confidence to be able to go swimming with my family for one is fantastic, I put this all down to Sam having the ability to make you really want to do it and when your not at the Fitness Matters studio he's still in the back of your mind keeping an eye out! I thank you Sam!

Matthew T

Although I've been a member of a large gym for many years I could not be persuaded by any of the personal trainers that I encountered to sustain their service for more than one or two sessions. Using Fitness Matters is a revelation! Not only could I do the training but I would train harder than I had ever done in the past mostly because there was no audience - just Sam with his superb professionalism and good humour. The results have been staggering, in less than a year I have lost three stone and four inches off my waist. I run further, faster and longer than at any time in my life and my overall fitness level is far beyond my expectations. The knock on effects for my personal and business life have been impressive too!

Richard C


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