"I’m trying to bring the women of Limehouse together,” says Courtney Durando, with a beaming smile accompanying her Californian twang.

“I want it to be a fun community where we are pushing, lifting and encouraging each other but also being friends and going for a coffee.”

Now firmly an east Londoner who calls Shoreditch home, Limehouse Marina Elite’s new female fitness specialist is in charge of girl-power on the gym floor.

The personal trainer’s passion for the role is clear, as she talks about helping her clients tackle their weight loss issues as well as developing post-natal workouts and exercises that help prevent osteoporosis.

The 27-year-old is on a myth-busting mission, too.

Limehouse Marina Elite new female fitness specialist and personal trainer Courtney Durando

“I’m telling women it’s OK to lift heavy weights, to sweat, to challenge yourself and to face your fears,” she says.

“With weights, a lot worry they’re going to get bulky or have big muscles – that’s impossible.

“We don’t have enough testosterone and, if you see a bulky woman, she’ll be eating tonnes of calories and entering a bodybuilding competition.

“I’ve noticed a change in the last year too – women want to lose a bit of fat but also to be more toned.”

It’s this switch in attitude that is at the heart of the luxury gym’s new 30-minute class, dubbed React.

Participants are put through their paces in high intensity interval training to burn fat through body weight exercises coupled with periods of active rest.

Courtney – a passionate soccer player as a teenager – will also be taking workouts outside.

This month she’ll launch a bi-weekly run and conditioning club from LME to train women for the Nike Women’s 10km, in east London’s Victoria Park.

“A healthy lifestyle starts with being positive and feeling good about yourself,” she says.

“The club is not about turning anyone down or discriminating, it’s about building confidence for everyone, with women backing each other and pushing themselves.

“If you’ve got the support of a group, then you keep going.”

Go to limehousemarinaelite.com.