Meet Cycle Club Master Trainer... Jenny Lawford

24th October

What is the Cycle Master Trainer?

The Cycle Master Trainer is in charge of recruiting new spin instructors and training them up, creating a community within the cycle club, and coming up with new creative classes. I also oversee all the new installations and I teach 15 classes a week!

Tell me a bit about your background and how you’ve worked up to become the Gymbox Cycle Master Trainer.

My background is in musical theatre, but I’ve worked in Gymbox in every role imaginable! I’ve been on reception, in sales, deputy manager, group studio manager, and an instructor. That’s why I was approached for the role – I know Gymbox and what the brand is about.

I’m the prime example of the opportunities Gymbox gives you – from starting on reception to being able to work in Head Office and open new gyms, and now creating my own classes, all of the opportunities have been amazing.

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And tell us more about the Cycle Club classes.

There are two main classes – Bike and Beats, and Connect – but there are a lot of them! Bike and Beats has been the Gymbox signature since day one, and is very music driven, while Connect is more performance-based. It’s really hard to say which I prefer; Bike and Beats plays to me as a performer, but as an instructor, I get so much out of Connect, because people improve so much which is very rewarding.

I think everyone thinks they need to be Bradley Wiggins to come to Connect, but so many people come up to me at the end of their first class and say how much they enjoy it! It gives you something you can measure – at the end of day one, you know which point you’re at, then in eight weeks’ time you get to measure again to see how you’ve improved. And although there’s information displayed on the screen from the bikes, it’s all anonymous. You’re the only one who knows which stats are yours, and the colour-coding means that everyone is working according to their own ability – if the instructor asks you to work at 80% effort, that might look very different to different people, but the stats for each bike will still display the same colour. You can also download an app to keep track of your performance each week to see how you improve. The other cycle classes are more experience-based and very much about the lights and the music, whereas the main focus in Connect is on increasing your power.

In terms of developing the Cycle Club category, those two core classes are really strong, and I want to make sure they continue to be the best they can be, but we’re always looking to develop it creatively as well so that’s definitely something I’ll be thinking about.

Which classes are your favourites outside of your category?

Threshold, One Rep Max and Rehab are fantastic classes, and I think as a brand we offer so many amazing things, but if you’re asking me what I do most, it’s yoga. It’s the complete yin to the yang, it’s not as high octane.

Cycle classes can feel quite intimidating to the uninitiated – what advice would you give people coming to their first class?

With any class, fear is the biggest thing, and with cycle classes people put a lot of pressure on themselves, but it’s meant to be fun! Trust your instructor – everyone just wants to help you get fitter, no-one wants to see anyone hurt themselves. Let go when you’re in there and smile!

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A lot of people who don’t tend to do studio-based classes think it’s just a cardio-based class, and they’re surprised at how much stamina you build up. Indoor cycling has also come a long way in the last five years, from wheeling bikes out into the studio to now having power-training, interactive lights, the ability to measure different things...it’s changed so much in a really good way.

What do you like about Gymbox?

The people! On every level – from the directors, to the cleaners, to instructors and members. I’ve brought guests in before and the first thing people say is how nice everyone is. I feel so welcome here.

It’s amazing being able to work with the other master trainers, who are all massive fonts of knowledge! Everyone just wants the best for the members and to help them hit their goals, whether it’s training for a triathlon or getting into a wedding dress.

What are your biggest fitness achievements and goals?

When I started on reception four years ago, I’d never done a single cycle class – now I can teach 5 classes a day!

In terms of goals, in Connect you’re always chasing to get a higher watt/kg, so my goal is always to keep pushing that up. I’m also always trying to improve my upper body strength.

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You can catch Jenny:

Monday, 1pm Elephant & Castle (Bike & Beats), 6pm Covent Garden (Connect), 7pm Covent Garden (Bike & Beats) // Tuesday, 12.15pm Farringdon (Bike & Beats), 6.45pm Covent Garden (Bike & Beats) // Wednesday, 7.15am Covent Garden (Connect), 12.15pm Victoria (Connect), 1.15pm Victoria (Bike & Beats), 6.15pm Cannon Street (Bike & Beats) // Thursday, 7.30am Farringdon (Bike & Beats), 12.30pm Holborn (Bike & Beats) // Friday, 7.45am Farringdon (Connect), 12.15pm Holborn (Connect) // Saturday, 10am Elephant & Castle (Bike & Beats), 11am Elephant & Castle (Bike & Beats)

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