As a fitness brand, Gymbox is proud to boast some of the globe's finest trainers and instructors. We celebrate the work of three of our key team players – pole instructor Cheryl Teagann, CrossFit coach BJ Rule, and Muay Thai champ Carlton Lieu.
Cheryl can be found at most Gymbox clubs, teaching yoga or a host of circus skills classes such as Pole, Aerial or Contortion. In short, she spends most of her time hanging upside down, balancing on one hand, or bent in two on the gym floor. Focusing her training primarily in bodyweight, aerial and flexibility training, Cheryl brings something different the Gymbox All-star line up. She shows us the dedication it takes to master a specific discipline.
You teach/train at most Gymbox clubs, which is your favourite club?
Stratford, it has everything I need there and the people are fantastic and friendly to be around – both to work with and train with – which makes it special. Also, you can see outside and has lots of daylight, which I love.
Who inspires you and why?
No-one specific, but a range of people. I'm always drawn to people who travel, perform and teach – for me, this is the best way to live.
What has been your funniest Gymbox moment?
Easy one, when I did the Kangoo class. It's a lot of fun – I didn't stop laughing throughout and I kept nearly falling over.
Have you ever thought about running way with the circus?
Don't even joke about this! If I got offered a contract in the circus, I'd be gone in a flash!
What piece of advice can you give our members?
Life’s too short, make the most of what you have, what you love to do, and be kind to the people around you.
With over 20 years experience within the fitness industry and with a BSc in Exercise Science BJ is regarded as one of the go-to guys at Gymbox for knowledge and know-how. Co-owner of CrossFit City Road at Bank and Victoria, he works as an S&C coach and PT, focussing on a CrossFit style of training and all that it’s re-popularised – Olympic weightlifting, body weight training and sprinting, swimming, rowing, running and cycling.
Training has changed a lot in the last 20 years, what’s next?
It will continue to develop/ revert to people being multi-disciplined, like ancient Olympians, Victorian strongmen, 1950/60's muscle beach bodybuilders, CrossFitters. People will be jacks of all trades, they'll be strong, fast, athletic and look it.
What's your favourite pre and post workout meal?
Favourite pre workout meal is as much food as possible without feeling ill when I train, and a double espresso for afters!
Who inspires you and why?
I'm inspired by anyone making a commitment to make a change in whatever aspect of life they choose.
What are your top five tips to preventing injuries?
1) Add daily – mobility/ flexibility/ stretching to restore range of movement
2) Hydrate well – always drink plenty of water
3) Make sure your body can handle the movement and load
4) Get a coach/trainer/instructor to offer feedback
5) Rest/sleep/recover well and as hard as you train!
What's so special about Gymbox?
The equipment and facilities in Gymbox are second-to-none. For example, no other gym in the city has as many Eleiko bars and plates. End of!
Professional fighter with Team Tieu, Carlton Lieu can be found at most Gymbox clubs producing some of the finest Muay Thai fighters in London. At 23, Carlton is a free spirit, whose favourite club is a close tie between first-love Holborn and latest-love Westfield Stratford City. Carlton likes to keep his training simple with repetition – ‘It may seem boring but the basics are key or me’ he says. You can catch him utilising these fundamental skills on October 15th at London’s Indigo 02 at The Muay Thai Grand Prix.
What makes our members so special?
It’s great to come across so many diverse people whilst teaching in Gymbox – from the bankers and lawyers, to the foreign students and hard core gym goers. They all have that great energy that make my classes easy and enjoyable to teach.
Funniest moment whilst teaching?
Very recently in Gymbox Stratford a new member had trouble getting the technique of kicking right, so I pulled him to the side and demonstrated on a bag how to kick ‘correctly’. I completely lost my footing and ended up on my back looking at the ceiling.
Who inspires you and why?
Anyone and everyone who competes in a combat sport at any level inspires me. It takes a great deal of guts, and when competing at a higher level there's a lot of sacrifice that people don’t see.
What's your favourite Thai boxing combination?
It always changes, but recently it would be a cross, followed by a rear leg kick. Simple, and it works well in sparring.
Why should you attend the Gymbox combat classes, yours in particular?
Attending a combat class will leave you dripping in sweat along with new skill to take home. There’re two things in life that have a big effect on my mood – one is food, the other is hitting pads. It definitely kills any stress, and leaves you feeling great. So, of course attending my class is a no brainer! You’ll feel better, have new skills,and you would have worked hard for your next meal. Food always taste better when earned!
To discover more of what our VPT team has to offer, click here and find your perfect match.