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I was recently invited to try the classes at Factory London which is located in Finsbury Park, London. They offer a variety of fitness classes such as yoga, ballet, cycle, circus, pole, aerial, Zumba and Pilates. I was super excited to mix up my training and try some new workouts! Afterwards they asked me a few questions; read on to find out more!

How often do you train, for what?

I aim to train 5 times per week for health and enjoyment. I go to the gym at 6am as it’s quiet and I find it’s a great way to start my day! It can be hard getting out of bed early but I always feel so much better when I do an early workout. It also means that it doesn’t matter what happens throughout the day I have already done my workout. I am trying to tone and become fit enough to do a hike next year. I’m hoping to do Machu Picchu and eventually Everest base camp!

What does your usual training involve and how do these classes differ from your usual workout?

I love whole body workouts. I get bored easily so like to mix up my workouts all the time. I have created my own program with the help from my trainer in Australia based on high intensity circuit training and I choose a variety of exercises to complete each day. I include exercises such as mountain climbers, one arm rows, pushups, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, box jumps, skipping and burpees. I always do an abs exercise at the end of each workout; my goal is to do a 5-minute plank by the end of the year! The classes were great to mix up my usual training and keep me engaged. They included strength and cardio but were challenging because it was something different. I love the variety of classes that Factory London offer, each day there is always something different depending on your mood!

As a beginner (in each discipline) how did you feel joining other beginners, some of whom may have done more than you, were you well welcomed?

In all of the classes I attended the trainers were super welcoming, particularly Emily from Beginner Pole. I felt comfortable doing the classes with other members and never felt out of place. Everyone was super helpful and the trainers always repeated the exercises or came over to check if I understood everything. If you’ve never attended a class before but you’re interested, don’t be scared as you’ll be taken care of J

Last week I accidentally got the times wrong for my class (to my horror when it started by a girl flipping backwards around the pole ha ha) and realised I had booked into advanced pole. I was going to leave but was encouraged to stay and have a go as it would still be helpful for me. The girl training next to me was really friendly and helped me out when I was stuck. There is definitely a great friendly vibe at Factory London.

Which of all the classes you did was your fave and why?

Beginners Pole was my favourite class because it was a totally new workout for me. I worked muscles I didn’t even know I had! I didn’t think it would be something that interested me so I was surprised. Pole teaches us self-love and confidence; both of which are personal goals I’m working on. I am definitely going to be including exercises like pull-ups and handstands in my gym workout to improve my strength for pole.

I also really enjoyed the yoga classes. I using the app Smiling Mind to do daily mindfulness so it was great to be able to focus on that for an hour all while working on my flexibility and strength. I felt so refreshed and wonderful leaving the classes.

Which classes would you do again?

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the classes all however I would go back to pole, yoga and aerial.

Did you require more strength than you realised?

Yes, definitely. I like to think I’m quite strong however I struggled with many of the exercises but it was great to be able to challenge and push myself. The classes gave me a new found appreciation of trainers in each field, they need so much dedication and strength to make it look effortless!

How were the post class DOMs and how did you deal with them?

For those of you new to fitness acronyms DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness. I was quite sore after many of the classes as I was using different muscles compared to my usual training. I actually like the feeling because it makes me feel proud that I worked hard and challenged myself. To help I get a gentle massage, use a foam roller or do light, low intensity exercise such as walking.

Do you prep for muscle-demanding exercise through diet? What would you recommend before and after a class for an energy replenishment that’s protein plenty?

I am someone who is very interested in healthy living, I believe diet plays such an important role in being fit and healthy. As a vegan I am used to hearing stereotypical comments like “all vegans are weak and sick”, “but where do you get your protein”, “vegan food is boring”, “you can’t build muscle as a vegan”. I use my Instagram to show people that you can eat delicious, high protein foods as a vegan. I get my protein from the same sources as animals, plants. Did you know that many vegan protein sources are equal to or higher in protein than animal products?

100g seitan = 75g protein (yes you read that right!)

100g nutritional yeast = 51g protein

100g pumpkin seeds = 24g protein

100 g peanut butter = 23g protein

100g almonds = 21g protein

100g tempeh = 19g protein

100g tofu = 15g protein

100g chickpeas = 9g protein

100g peas = 5g protein * source: Simple Happy Kitchen

You don’t need to miss out on anything as a vegan, you simply have to find a plant-based replacement:

Meat → Tofu, tempeh, seitan, legumes, nuts Whey protein → Soy, pea, rice, hemp protein powder

Dairy milk → Oat, almond, soy, cashew, hazelnut, coconut, hemp, rice milk

Egg → Tofu scramble, Orgran Easy Egg, banana, apple sauce

Cheese → Nutritional Yeast, vegan cheese (Sainsbury’s Free From, Bute Island Sheese, Violife)

Honey → Agave, rice malt syrup, maple syrup

Veganism has so many health benefits, aides weight loss and can prevent some diseases. If you’re interested in learning more, I suggest watching What The Health and researching Dr Michael Greger and Dr Neal Barnard.

Before a workout I will have either a fruit smoothie with soy milk, overnight oats, a banana or a mango. After a workout I will have a plant-based protein shake with soy milk. My meals consist of a mix of vegetables, plant-based protein and healthy fats. Some examples include:

+ Mexican quinoa with baked sweet potato fries

+ Chickpea Rainbow Power Salad

+ English Breakfast with Tofu Scramble

If you have any questions about veganism and training I would be more than happy to help you – pop me a message on instagram

A big thanks again to Factory London and the trainers for having me along to try out the fitness classes. I thoroughly enjoyed them and will be back soon!


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