Introducing Camilla, a personal trainer and class coach at London's hottest studio, Flex Chelsea!

After attending one of Camilla's classes many years ago, we have not stopped going back!! We love her dedication to fitness and sense of achievement felt after leaving one of her workouts! Camilla's motto is "move, fuel & love yourself right and the rest will follow", and we could not agree more! That is why we asked Camilla to sit down with us and share her fitness journey. In our interview, we cover everything from body shaming, how she transitioned from a career in the city to one as a personal trainer, her home gym essentials and becoming a lockdown runner!

See below for the full interview- we hope you feel as inspired as we did after speaking with Camilla!

What inspired you to become a personal trainer? And what do you enjoy most about your job?

The short answer is, I love helping people feel good by reaching their training goals! Cue beaming smile and maybe even a hair flick...

The honest, and uglier answer is, I spent most of my teens and better half of my twenties working in the corporate world, sat at my desk for nine hours a day eating rubbish and living for the weekend. I ended up in a vicious cycle of body shaming, binging and harmfully restricting my food intake- leaving me completely exhausted, unhappy, and tipping the scales at near enough 100kg. Ironically, this toxicity finally led me into making the best investment of my life; I began investing in ME!

After many gruelling years in the city, I began reflecting on my lifestyle and decided to take the plunge and book a block of personal training sessions. Having a personal trainer allowed me to overcome my initial fear that entering a gym would be met with judgemental stares from the other users (however, after now spending may many hours on the gym floor, I can categorically tell you that no one is judging you or even looking at you for that matter!). After my initial PT sessions, I realised that this training was going to change my life. It was such a welcome distraction from the noisy outside world. As cheesy as it sounds, exercising became my therapy and not long after my career!

I now feel so lucky having a job as a personal trainer and class coach! I love being able to do what I love for a living. With every client I take on, or room full of faces I teach (pre covid!) I think about the happiness, joy, and mental clarity I get from moving my body! I strive every day to make this feeling infectious...I want everyone I encounter to feel as great as my first personal trainer made me feel all those years ago!

What training principles do you live by?

Balance - work hard, play hard! You mustn’t restrict yourself to the point of unhappiness in the name of achieving an aesthetic goal - for those of us who are not elite athletes, this will only ever work short term. Life is short, so move your body daily but also eat the damn cake!

What essentials do we need at home to get the same results as we would at the gym?

Your body weight, will power, and anything that can create some resistance! It’s much easier to duck out of that last rep when there’s not a teacher watching over you, or the competitive drive that can come from being surrounded by others so I would also recommend arranging virtual workout sessions with friends over Zoom.

My ideal home work out kit would consist of:

- An Oliver and Olivia mat of course.

- Some good quality large and small resistance bands (Bala resistance bands are my go to!);

- Pair of medium weight dumbbells (Body Revolution do some great dumbbells for beginners);

- A heavy kettlebell; and

- A Sturdy chair

What does a typical home workout look like for you? Do you have any videos/ online classes you regularly use?

Pre covid, you would find me in the weights room at the gym! Since lockdown I have attempted to replicate this training at home with a more limited kit, however, more recently, with the help of Onetrack Run Club, I have become a lockdown runner! Thanks to my amazing coach, Fletch, I have gone from feeling slightly ill at the thought of heading out for a 10km, to secretly enjoying it!

I am also a big fan of online strength classes, with my go to classes being @flexchelsea (also amazing for yoga!). I love Sam’s FLEXit classes, although they are not for the weak, and Sarah's (@roarfitnessgirl) for a simple and focussed sessions (these classes are also free!)

What little fitness luxuries can you not live without?

Oooh so hard to choose, I would say my top 5 would be:

- A foam roller

- Wheyd on the go protein powder sachets

- Nimble activewear sets- another wonderful sustainable brand!

- DO training mini-bands

- my AirPod pros

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