We caught up with our mates Ashton Turner and David Arnot – brains and brawn behind London’s Evolve353 Gym


 Who is David?

28 year old farmers son who moved to the big smoke and never really went home. I found my passion and I’m running with it. Im a super positive person who will go out of my way to make sure you have a good time. My background is rugby and my degree gave me the foundation of knowledge to get started in this industry. Since graduating 7 years ago I have don’t over 8000 PT sessions and over 3000 group workouts, that’s what gives me the ability to assess a client and work with all abilities. The clients I like working with are the ones who give everything and are consistent.

Who is Ashton?

32 year old, handstand addict and bearded wonder. Love for music, photography and travel outside of work. Played semi-professional football and ended up with a degree in Sports Coaching. After uni I fell into other job roles but after 7 years decided I wanted to follow my passion and haven’t looked back since. I have had a few job roles as a PT from teaching reformer pilates to coaching olympic lifting but over the years have honed all these skills and use the bits I love form them all. My training mainly consists of calisthenics/gymnastic style workouts and again I incorporate a lot of this into our training at evolve.

evolve gym london

What do you guys do for a living?

David and I are owners of evolve 353 which is a fitness and lifestyle studio on the new kings road. We are the PT’s the nutritionists, receptionists, cleaners etc but we are building something amazing and we love it.

When did your interest start for fitness and fuelling your body correctly?

Ash: I have always had a fondness for the outdoors. I grew up with a lot of space around me and was always running around so have always found it normal to be active. I started playing a good standard of football aged 14 and so as I grew into this discovered the importance of training and eating right. I then went on to do my degree in Sports Coaching and that gave me a greater depth of learning which has led me to where I am today.

David: Fitness was always part of my life growing up. My Dad is super fit, I’d run around the farm with him trying to replicate his sheep tackling prowess. It wasn’t until about 2011 that I really got stuck into nutrition. I’d been invited to join two colleagues to a seminar in Sweden and suddenly a whole different world came into view, the science based nutrition crew. This new love for nutrition and my fit lifestyle were now a solid partnership.

You guys must see some amazing transformations, which one(s) are you most proud of?

Ash: I worked with a young lady who was suffering with an eating disorder. She came to me because she wasn’t happy with the way the NHS was trying to make her recover and she wanted to do it properly and not be force fed crap. We trained together 3x a week on strength based training and we slowly worked on her eating habits. We had many ups and many struggles along the way but she is now healthy, happy, lifting like a boss and confident in herself. To say I am extremely proud of her would be an understatement. It has been THE most rewarding client journey I have had the pleasure of being a part of.

David: I had a chap who came to me after spinal surgery. He had part of his vertebrae removed and still wanted to train. He was out of shape and even with his post op issues we still managed to get him super strong and lean, he was in better shape than when he has all his vertebrae. This chap was super happy and I was so proud of him.

What’s on your plate for breaky, lunch and dinner?

Ash: Breakfast is often eggs of some sort with either bacon or salmon or a bircher musli from rude health (It depends how much time I have!)

Lunch will usually be a salad with chicken and a source of carbs. This could be potato, rice ,pasta (yes I said it I eat gluten….stop the press its a scary word)

Dinner. I love chilli con carne with cheese and sour cream or steak so this would be an ideal dinner but often it is something quick such as salmon, veg and rice.

David: I am banned from posting my food pics to Instagram because I do not eat with my eyes. I eat for purpose and often mix foods that don’t sound appetising. Breakfast is a big bowl of oats, rasps, peanut butter, milk, nuts and protein powder…before you say it, yes its high in calories. I’m cool with that, i’m not trying to lean up right now. Lunch is always from Emilia’s deli, ill either get a salmon fillet with greens or ill get a pasta dish with chicken and pesto. Dinner is always meat and veg, if i’m feeling bold ill do fajitas. My food is quick, its nutritious and it ticks the boxes.

What supplements do you recommend to take post and pre workout?

Ash: Espresso pre is all you need and post it all depends on your nutrition. If you are able to eat a good meal don’t worry about supps. If not a protein shake is fine. There may be times I advise BCAA or creatine for people but I often work on nutrition first and make the short fall up with supps.

David: Post workout would be whey protein, it helps recovery. Pre workout would be caffeine. Keep it simple to start off, if I see you have a limited diet I may recommend more supplements but everything starts with food and making sure your brain is ready to train, sleep and water are always under-valued.

Best nutritional advice you have ever been given and continue to live by?

Ash: Thats a hard one. Probably that the post workout window is longer than we think and that what happens over 24 hours is more important. Means I never stress about post workout shakes etc. I am also a HUGE believer of the 80:20 rule. Life is too short, I don’t want to be on stage and so I can enjoy foods I love and wine and I regularly do. Dieting doesn’t have to be hard.

David: The best diet in the world is useless if you can’t stick to it. If by making your diet a tiny bit worse you stick to it for 5 times longer, it’s a better diet.

Most valuable thing you’ve learnt about setting up businesses in the health and fitness industry?

Ash: Invest as much time in you as you do in you business. We can all get caught up in thinking we have to put every ounce of blood sweat and tears into a business but if you don’t invest in yourself whats it all for? Don’t let relationships, health, wealth suffer too greatly, after all isn’t that what we want the business for in the first place, to enhance these?

David: Don’t worry about telling people what you know. Sharing information with others in our industry is invaluable. I know trainers that don’t go to courses because they think they are too big time and they wont discuss training methods or nutrition with other trainers incase said trainer steals their ‘invaluable’ information. If I help someone out, they will help me out or at least want to pay back the favour. There are those out there who do just take, take, take but they wont get far in life so don’t worry about those lot. Network, meet others for coffee and be happy to ask for advice.

What do you guys like most about being in the industry?

Ash: The ability to help people feel better about themselves. This can come in so many ways and not just the way they look but it is amazing to have the ability to do that.

David: Being able to help some new trainers get started and also bee looked upon to provide information which cuts through all the airy-fairy nonsense that some people spout.

What activewear brand are you wearing at the moment?

Ash: Under armour just kindly sent us some goodies so head to toe in that and have been for a while as love their stuff. Other than that I have always liked Nike.

David: Underarmour, all black like a ninja. If not UA it will be Nike or Adidas.

What is your favourite piece of equipment in the gym?

Ash: My body. I love bodyweight training and so best bit of kit their is.

David: Hmm the ski-erg or the barbell. The skierg is a piece of cardio equipment that can be used seated or standing which gives us the ability to use it with all clients even if they have issues with their back/legs. The barbell gets you strong, I love it and it’s so versatile.

What is one exercise you couldn’t live without?

Ash: Handstands

David: The squat, it’s so versatile.

If people want to try out your studio or come for PT, how do they get in contact with you?

email ashton@evolve353.com  or david@evolve353.com,

head to www.evolve353.com or drop in and say hi (just bring us a flat white)

Quick Round

  1. If you were a city, which one would you be? Ash: Bath David: Auckland
  2. Favorite alcoholic drink? Ash: Red Wine David: Pint of John Smiths ( I think these answers some both of us up really well haha!)
  3. What is your go to song at the moment you put on to pump you up for a solid lifting session? Ash: Oliver Heldons – Gecko (Overdrive) David: Operation Blade by Public Domain or Zombie Nation by Kernkraft 400
  4. Fav Instagram account? Ash: The Fat Jewish – David: @Hookgrip
  5. Fav UK Pub to catch up with a mate for a pint? Ash: The Greyhound. My local back home. The Mitre, my new local
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