Our 5 Star Reviews


From professional athletes and musicians to seniors, Designer Fitness can create the best program tailored to meet your goals.

What Clients Say

I lost 160 pounds working with Darla and improved my eating habits. I have more energy, flexibility, and coordination than ever. My mind and body are finally balanced!


Darla has been my personal trainer for seven wonderful years. She has not only kept me fit – she also helped me rebuild my balance, recover my stability and regain overall health after a severe auto accident. My husband started training with Darla 2½ years ago: she’s done wonders for my special octogenarian!!

A.Z. and L.Z.

Darla helped me to understand the asymmetry in my body caused by my occupation. Once I got in touch with this unevenness, Darla worked me hard on developing new strength and firing muscles long ignored. My favorite sessions involved 45 minutes of ab work – excruciating!!


Professional Bassoonist

I consider myself fortunate to have worked with Darla O’Brien for the last eight years. Darla tailored an exercise program specifically for me. It’s made a real difference in my body posture, sense of balance and overall body strength


I have had the pleasure of working with Darla O’Brien in developing and implementing an exercise program. I have found Darla to be knowledgeable about the human body and its inner workings. She tailored her recommendations to my personal needs and goals, and provided her expertise in a professional and yet caring manner. I would highly recommend Darla’s services to any person interested in improving their health, posture, stamina or physical appearance.


Ready for the NEW you?

I am writing on behalf of Darla O’Brien, Director of DESIGNER FITNESS LLC. Before I begin…I’d like to mention (Darla’s) patience with the phone tag. This showed me that she is committed not only to her work but to the people who make up her practice — and not (even) knowing if I was going to be a client she took the time to talk with me.

Darla has her clients fill out a comprehensive medical evaluation (to help her understand) her client’s physical and medical history. This was important for me. In addition to bringing…my service dog, I brought low energy and some chronic illnesses that can often get the best of me. She greeted both of us with cold water, a welcoming smile, and genuine warmth.

Being brand new to Sarasota this had meaning for me. She was friendly and inviting – not like a stranger that I meet for the first time. Being a psychologist I know how important this is. Building trust is basic to trying to help someone change life long patterns whether they are physical or emotional.

I was impressed by the depth of Darla’s knowledge about the workings of the body and how posture is an essential component of Pilates, proper exercise, and basic good health. Balance and alignment are key (elements of) her program…

Darla (has taught me that) “less is often more”, and (that) range of motion is also important — it’s far better to keep the integrity of a movement than to “go for the gusto” of the moment and overextend. I…strongly recommend Darla O’Brien as an instructor. She (is an) expert in the world of Pilates (and has) the ability to teach and impart instruction in a way each student can understand…and she is a kind person!

Dr. T.S.

“…I want to sing your praises from the highest available peak to all who will listen!

…I had the great pleasure of taking your Body Empowerment Workshop at the Women’s Resource Center in July 2010. At the end of the three-week session, I was so amazed at how much better I felt with the adjustments to my posture and changes in how I walk and sit …I stopped just short of sharing the information with complete strangers! …To say that you change people’s lives is not overstating the amazing power of what you do!”

…Many of us have worked with coaches or trainers that knew a lot, but didn’t motivate us. You have a fun, patient, supportive way of teaching that made me want to continue…”



I live in Sarasota, Florida, and have had the good fortune to be a client of Ms. Darla O’Brien for the past ten years. Her dedication to her craft has helped me immeasurably in maintaining my physical health and general well being. Furthermore, she is one of the most responsible and professional in her craft with whom I have ever been associated. Please keep in mind, that (as a professional baseball player) I have dealt with trainers and fitness professionals for most of my life: Ms. O’Brien is right at the top of the list of those gifted few who are without peers in her business!

Tim McCarver

Professional Baseball Player, Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox

At 37, 5’8, 208 lbs and size 18, I started my “get fit” routine – Darla first emphasized factors to properly integrate my spine by evaluating my posture and alignment. Who would have thought posture was so important in keeping fit!…My goal was to lose 50 pounds and, after only 4 months, I lost 30 pounds. Darla’s regimen is easy. You don’t get exhausted or lose interest. It is consistent and designed for those with a busy lifestyle!


I credit Darla’s work with me for putting me in shape, at age 74, for successful spinal fusion and hip replacement surgeries and for recovery. We spent a year working on posture and alignment, hoping to defer surgery for increasingly debilitating spinal stenosis and hip degeneration.

My exercises, under her supervision but increasingly on my own over the year, made walking, standing, and sitting tolerable for a good twelve months longer than I would have been able to function without her help. They also gave me the strength and flexibility to undergo two surgeries in seven weeks and then to progress through standard physical therapy for two additional months with minimal pain.

Standard therapies left me with considerable discomfort and limited ability to walk and stand. Darla and I are again working on restoring posture and alignment, as well as muscle strengthening and joint flexibility. I am so relieved to be working with Darla again, my progress is steady and measurable and I feel that I am finally reaping the rewards of the surgery because of her program.