Picture the scene: V1BE Manchester. Thirty-two of your favourite athletes, fitness Instagrammers, YouTubers, bloggers, and celebrities – our #MyproteinFam. One brutal workout.
Summer in the City – fuelled by Myprotein.
Last week, we took to one of the coolest venues in the heart of Manchester city centre, V1BE, to challenge our Myprotein family to V1BE’s famous high-intensity interval training class. Turned out head to toe in Myprotein clothing, they were ready for it, but the workout was no easy feat.
The classroom was dark and atmospheric, flooded with deep-purple lighting – soulful house music resonating through the room, fuelling the vibe.
Andy, V1BE’s most experienced coach, pushed the team to their limits with bouts of HIIT treadmill cardio partnered with 5-minute stints of hardcore compound weights with dumbbells and medicine balls.
They dug deep for forty minutes of high-intensity, high-impact, high-voltage training. It was hard work – but they battled through it together, high-fiving each other during the switchovers on the way past.
When Andy called out the finishing shout, you could feel the sense of relief in the room as the team knew they could come to a steady stop and let their heartrates drop, beads of sweat dripping from their cheeks.
Genuine emotion filled the room as the music slowed down to deep and atmospheric, and the team threw their heads back and hands in the air with happiness. It was time to cool down, stretch it out, and revel in their accomplishments.
After they cooled down, we got up close and personal with each one of our Myprotein family to find out the best and most gruelling parts of the workout, plus some insider knowledge into what fitness means for them.
First, where did fitness begin for you?
Jordan Whelan (@whelan23): I’m a professional basketball player. I started off from grassroots basketball, doing skills, throwing the ball around. Once you get into high-level sports, it’s about getting into the gym and tuning your body into the best it can be.
Jasmine Franks (@jazzfranks): I’ve been an actress on Hollyoaks for eight years, and now I powerlift. My trainer got me into it. He was like, “you’re so strong and you should try it out!”, and here I am – I’m current English champion.
James Middleton (@james.middleton_): I’m a TV presenter and I do a lot of presenting for Unilad and Unlilad Fitness, but I also do a lot of my own fitness, and I’m a huge foodie. I’m trying to get the world to eat healthier and work out because there are so many benefits to doing both.
Hamish Gaman (@hamishgaman): I’m a 2x British champion professional figure skater, and I’m also a Dancing on Ice pro. I also studied sports, fitness and coaching at university.
Lubomba (@lubomba): I’m 22, I’m a student and fitness has been my passion from day one. I love training and working hard – it’s part of my lifestyle.
Siobhan O’Hagan (@ohfitness_ie): I’m from Ireland. I just like to train, travel and just enjoy my life – that’s the goal!
Vanessa Bauer (@vanessabauer_skates): I’m 22 years old and I’m a professional figure skater. I’m originally from Germany, but I came over to London for a little show called Dancing on Ice. I’m also a personal trainer – I got my certificate two weeks ago!
Stephanie Joshi (@nuttyfoodiefitness): Well, I’m a full-time designer and also a full-time foodie. I do those while working out and smashing absolutely everything I do.
From left to right: Evangeline Gomez (@evangelinegomez), Vanessa Bauer (@vanessabauer_skates), James Middleton (@james.middleton_), Jasmine Franks (@jazzfranks) and Samantha Dewhurst (@samdewhurstofficial)
How did you find today’s workout?
Hamish: The workout was an absolute blast. I mean, I am a sweaty mess right now and my shoulders from holding the weights are killing!
Vanessa: Today’s workout was tough and I was sweating a lot, but it was fun. Great atmosphere, good people, and everybody was pushing each other.
The combination of sprinting, shoulder work, squats and back gets you sore in all the wrong but oh so right places.
Jordan: It was tough – really tough. The combination of sprinting, shoulder work, squats and back gets you sore in all the wrong but oh so right places. The team workout really helps because people push you to stay in that red zone the whole time.
James: Loved it! For a long time, I just lifted weights and it became really monotonous and I started picking up niggles. This kind of thing, you get a great variety and it’s really fun being with everyone else, and you’d never be able to push yourself like that if you were alone.
Siobhan: Really fun, but I probably chose weights that were a bit too heavy, but I pushed myself through and I’m just about cooling down now!
Chillin with TJ (@chillinwithtj)
Can you give us a sample of your usual routine?
Jordan: Mostly barbell work, squat jumps, plyometrics and skipping. For basketball I need to be able to jump and be agile and quick on my feet. Leg day every day!
Hamish: I do compound lifting and a lot of Olympic lifts, a lot of deadlifting, benching, shoulder press, and then just core. Cardio is something I avoid like the plague! For my core workouts, I try and lift with heavier weights and keep the reps low. I do a lot of straight-leg lifts with a 6kg weight, a lot of Russian twists and a lot of dynamic work with twisting, collapsing the body and coming back.
Vanessa: My favourite workout is HIIT sessions, and I’ve recently started getting into cardio. I try to cover every single aspect of fitness.
Jasmine: For me, it’s all about legs. I used to hate my legs – it was a massive thing for me and I didn’t really like getting them out. But now, because they’re strong and defined, I love them.
Lubomba: My normal routine is weight training because my prime goals are to build a physique. Heavy weights, high reps, low intensity. Something to challenge myself every single day, and I thrive off that. I don’t do cardio in the gym, but I cycle everywhere.
Siobhan: At the moment I’ve been training CrossFit style with a bit of powerlifting. I do a bit of everything and I try not to take anything too seriously and have some fun.
Stephanie: I don’t really have a split – I just go to the gym and do whatever I feel like. I do enjoy training legs but I avoid training my upper body, which is a bit controversial, but I naturally have a decent amount of upper-body muscle.
From left to right: Samantha McGowan (@samsays_uk) and Siobhan O’Hagan (@ohfitness_ie)
What about your diet?
James: On the whole, I’m not too specific or rigorous with it. I just believe in a very balanced diet. I tend to eat a lot of good carbs, but then I’ll always make sure, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner to have some green on my plate. But then again, I’ve got a massive sweet tooth, so every now and again I have a little sticky toffee pudding – we’re only human!
Stephanie: Most people think that I have a diet of someone that’s bulking because I eat so much. I’m a foodie and I have a very fast metabolism which allows me to be a pig! I do also enjoy eating healthy things.
Favourite cheat food?
Jordan: Pizza! Every now and then I need a bit of cheese in my life. Pepperoni, meat feast – all the toppings.
Hamish: I don’t actually have a cheat meal, because I want to keep all my diet good and if I want to have something, I’ll have it. I just eat in moderation all the time. If I want to have a burger, I’ll have a burger, but I’m always about portion control.
Jasmine: I cheat all the time – it’s not even a meal! I’m such a chocolate fan and now I’m so glad that there are so many nice chocolate-flavoured protein bars that actually taste like chocolate bars.
I’m actually more of a chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream man, and that’s why I push myself in the gym extra hard.
James: It isn’t actually sticky toffee pudding – I’m actually more of a chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream man, and that’s why I push myself in the gym extra hard.
Lubomba: I’m gonna keep it simple – burger and fries. I’m an easy guy to please.
Stephanie: I don’t call them cheats, but my favourite actual food would be a big, fat, greasy burger!
From left to right: Samantha McGowan (@samsays_uk), Rosi Jay Pierce (Rosi Jay Fitness), Stephanie Joshi (@nuttyfoodiefitness), Maddy Gayton (@maddygayton_fituk), Courtney Leae (@courtneyleae), Laura Rose (@laura_rose_fitness), Georgia Ladums-Jones (@gljfitnessuk), Sarah Walker (@sarahvictoriafit), Holly (@fittolift), Em Muir (@emmuirfit), Gemma Stanley (@gemma_nicole_stanley) and Elina (@doitbetteruk)
What do you eat or drink around your workouts?
Hamish: I’m straight on the whey protein. I’m a strawberry guy.
Jasmine: I’m a protein shakes girl. I try and get 50-60% of my diet from protein.
James: I train in the morning, so I usually train on empty to teach my muscles to use the reserves. Afterwards, I’ll have a massive breakfast – poached eggs, rye bread, spinach. I’m a big smoothie fan, too.
Jordan: Mainly lean protein, as I’m not trying to gain weight – just stay strong.
Vanessa: I’ve always taken BCAAs before, during and after a workout, but I’ve recently started taking protein, too. I take vegan protein to keep it natural, and they taste really good as well. I mix them with fruit and coconut or almond milk because I don’t do dairy.
Lubomba: Pre-workout it’s got to be 1 bagel, 5 eggs (3 whites and 2 whole), and with that I like to have my creatine and my BCAAs. During my workout, I like to have L-leucine to drive me through, then post-workout, I normally go for salmon, rice and veg, with either a protein bar or whey protein.
Siobhan: Oats and whey is my favourite go-to dish, before or after a workout. But I’m not one of these people that eats really clean – at weekends I try and squeeze in as many workouts as I can.
Stephanie: Peanut butter, then probably more peanut butter. I do have protein shakes after, too, but I also like to eat full-on meals. I’m getting hungry now!
How do you balance your career and fitness?
Hamish: I try and do a little bit of fitness every day. If I don’t have the time for a proper workout, I’ll take the dogs for a walk for an hour, or I might just cram in a 10-minute workout at home with my bodyweight. It’s a constant juggle, but I try and squeeze a workout in where I can and hit it hard where I can.
Vanessa: Figure skating and fitness go really well together. You have to be physically really fit in order to perform well on the ice. I love to get fit, see the results and feel comfortable in my costume on the ice.
Lubomba: My fitness life helps me focus in uni, so I use my energy that I channel into lifting elsewhere, too.
Siobhan: I try and find a gym wherever I am in the world and I just do what I can. I try and fast in the mornings until I’m hungry so I don’t feel like I’m on a diet in the evenings.
Top row from left to right: Samantha McGowan (@samsays_uk), Stephanie Joshi (@nuttyfoodiefitness), Maddy Gayton (@maddygayton_fituk), Elina (@doitbetteruk), Rosi Jay Pierce (Rosi Jay Fitness), Em Muir (@emmuirfit), Sarah Walker (@sarahvictoriafit), Myprotein’s Claire West, Laura Rose (@laura_rose_fitness), Georgia Ladums-Jones (@gljfitnessuk), Gemma Stanley (@gemma_nicole_stanley), Holly (@fittolift), Courtney Leae (@courtneyleae), Myprotein’s Emily Moore. Bottom row from left to right: Joel Scott (@joelscottfitness), Dan Tai (@dantai.pt), Ciaran Johnson (@ciaran_johnson), Mark Ross (@markross_fitness), Iky Fitness (@ikyfitness), Chillin with TJ (@chillinwithtj), Lubomba (@lubomba).
That wraps it up for our Summer in the City event, this time round. Hopefully our Myprotein family have inspired you to push that little bit harder in everything you do, whatever that might be.