Janine George teaches Battlebells, MetCon, Hardcore, Gains, Ripped & Stripped, Badass and Frame Fitness. Say what?! "With me, you’re bound to get a great work out, and that's what I thrive on". We meet her.
Hi Janine! What’s been your highlight of the week?
This week’s highlight was the photoshoot for the new class timetable. The week had been pretty busy for me, so it was a nice way to start the weekend. It’s uplifting to work with like minded people, there's great camaraderie at Gymbox!
You’re a bikini model and you teach a multitude of classes for us, what inspired you to become this fitness adonis?
I have an innate excitement towards exercise. I see the fun in it and gain a type of therapy from it. As a child I was very active, I loved watching Jane Fonda's Workout Video' and ‘Breakin' 1 & 2'. I took part in swimming, athletics, gymnastics and undertook many training activities as an air cadet. Admittedly, I’ve always had a secret desire to do modelling as my height often draws attention, so I could use my body to its advantage.
Out of Battlebells, MetCon, Hardcore, Gains, Ripped & Stripped, Badass and Frame Fitness, do you have a favourite?
The classes I teach are equally enjoyable, no matter if the tempo is increased or decreased, you’re bound to get a great workout, and that's what I thrive on.
In what ways have your family influenced your love of fitness?
My dad would take me jogging on Hackney Marshes with my aunties and uncles from the age of three. He would also have dumbbells around the house, so I’d use these and mimic his workouts. My mum would exercise to workout videos which I always enjoyed.
You were an Air Cadet at 15, how come?
I was recruited at secondary school when I was 11, and it sounded cool to me. I earned my marksman, learned to fly a two seater plane, and developed discipline and organisational skills, which transferred into other areas of my life. I had a lot of fun during that period. We travelled away from home which helped me gain independence and confidence.
Can you describe to us your training style?
I tend to go with how my body feels. If I want to sculpt a particular body part I would most likely devise a programme where I could incorporate a variety of workouts to solely establish my goal. But, typically, I like to push myself – as there's always room to go a little harder! It's also important that I incorporate an activity that I don't regularly do, to challenge my body and keep it guessing, such as yoga, dance or Pilates, that way I maintain my flexibility, mobility and a well rounded approach to a fitness led lifestyle.
Women often shy away from lifting weights, what would you say to them to get involved?
Use them! Imagine that there’s no one else in the room and it’s just you, the mirror and the success laid out before you. Those weights give you the strength you’ve wanted and the body you desire. Furthermore, this strength is not just physical, but mental. It's quite euphoric knowing that you’ve achieved every rep and set of a weighted exercise –your blood’s pumping, your mood is lifted, and you’re buzzed to go again. You can quite easily translate your efforts from your workouts into your everyday life and mindset. There's still a misconception most women have about lifting weights, and I feel it’s important that they see more females in this setting. Weight training has many benefits, it’s the most effective way of building muscle and burning fat, which is exactly what you need to do if you want to tone up, build sexy curves and get lean.
How have you changed since you started working with weights and lifting?
I noticed the changes in my body when I started to really focus on weight training. My body's composition improved and I feel more able to perform actively, I’d also like to think that I have become more confident in my abilities. My muscles weren’t so defined before, as I used to do a lot of cardio, particularly 5k and 10k runs so I looked quite flat. I am happy with the growth that has been made since converting to the weight room. It’s become quite an addiction.
In what ways can being and feeling strong impact on other areas of one’s life?
It births confidence. Strength doesn’t necessarily mean that you go around lifting and throwing everything as a test of your power, but sometimes its discipline that is required. To be able to stay committed to a given task – enduring to the end. If you have the patience to go through the stages of your training – foundation, loading and performance – then you have a greater sense of achievement at the end and as a result you feel empowered.
You’re a bikini model, currently the reigning champion of MS Bikini UK. What's been your key motivator?
Wanting to win, and to prove to yourself that you can achieve anything if you put your heart to. Also to cultivate a positive outlook – it will get you through so much. It took me a year to mentally prepare for the shows, yet during that time I trained as though my registration had been sent and I was due to compete. I took on the attitude of a competitor. I played around with food, supplements and stuck to a programme for 12 weeks to see how my body would adapt. I researched as much as `I could on other competitors and the processes they went through, I visited fitness shows and attended some bikini camps. It worked best for me to familiarise myself first as I was able to plan to my advantage. Be prepared.
Why is strength beautiful?
It’s more of an affirmation. For many years I used to think that I couldn’t embrace my strength, especially as a female. I felt like it had to be tamed. I craved testing my fitness levels and improving my physique. As I grew up I realised it's nothing to be embarrassed about. If anything you're inspiring others to work hard too. If you get your mind strong your body will follow suit. To love who you are and your unique self, is your strength, and that is beautiful.