Charlie Launder, 27, Gymnastics

What do you love about what you do?

In gymnastics there is no end to what you can learn, there is always something to work for. I just love seeing what my body can achieve and perfecting it. It’s a sport that really celebrates the human body and shows how amazing it can be if you treat it well.

Have you had to make sacrifices to get to where you are today?

Certainly when I was younger I had less of a social life outside the gym, but that’s ok as lots of my friends were made in the gym so we all shared the same passion. I don’t feel like i sacrificed anything really because I made the decision to put in all the hours of hard work. If I felt that I was truly missing out on important things, I don’t think I would have carried on with the sport. To put in that much hard work, you have to love something.

What happens on a bad training day?

I grew up being told that bad days were the most important training days because if you can do it on a bad day, just think of what you can do on a good day! The truth is, you need a good team around you on those days, those that know you well enough to know how to motivate you and pick you up when you feel like you have nothing left to give.

How do you get over a bad training day and move on?

There is always something positive to take from a training session. You are always making a step in the right direction, even if it is learning not to make a certain mistake again. The best thing to do is wipe the slate clean and try again tomorrow.

How do you stay motivated to train every day?

I always try to have a goal in mind, whether it is learning a new skill or preparing for a competition coming up. This way when I am finding it tough, I can always remind myself of why I am doing it.

What are your dreams for your fitness future?

I want to continue in this sport as long as my body will allow me to as I just love it. I am a personal trainer and run a pre and postnatal business called Bumps & Burpees which is doing great and even though I don’t get my clients doing backflips, I love being able to switch off from work and train in a sport that I love.

How often do you you train?

I train in gymnastics between 5 and 8 hours a week, supplementing that with 5 hours of strength training in the gym so if I didn’t love it, it would feel like a lot of time to dedicate towards the sport but I enjoy it 99% of the time, and for that 1% i rely on my team mates to help me through like I help them.

How do you train?

How I train is dependant on where I am in the calendar. If i am preparing for a competition, the training is centered around building cardio fitness to perform full routines to a good standard, focusing on consistency and getting each move perfect every single time.

After a competition we can have a little more fun trying out new skills, seeing what we might like to put into our new routines for the next one. I focus on building my strength in the gym with weights so I can maintain a good level of power for when competition time comes round again.

How did you get into your sport?

Like most gymnasts, I got into the sport at quite a young age at my local after school class, but for me I started training properly and competing at age 11 which is later than most. This is because I was noticed by a friends mum who trained at a better club and she suggested that I try out for their squad so i did, and it went full speed ahead from there.

Lauren Kennedy, 23, Gymnastics

What do you love about what you do?

The thing I love the most about gymnastics is the artistry. I love being creative with skills and trying new combinations to see what flows best and looks most interesting, sometimes the simplest skills linked together can really give the WOW factor. I also love how you can spend 3 hours training and it feels like just 30 minutes has gone by, there’s always different ways to train and such a variety of skills and pieces to be trained as well!

Have you had to make sacrifices to get to where you are today?

When I was younger as a higher level gymnast I made a lot of “sacrifices” I.e missing parties to go training and rarely hanging out with school friends however I don’t see these as sacrifices as such! My best friends were my teammates at gym, and gymnastics has taught me so much self discipline particularly regarding the health and fitness aspects, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today with my career if I didn’t make those sacrifices at a younger age!

What happens on a bad training day?

Bad training days usually come when my body is tired or my mind is elsewhere wrapped up with other stresses in life. This usually tells me to take a rest that day and it’s always a good idea to listen to your body! That said, there are always productive things to be learned from a bad session – and if my body isn’t quite feeling the hard skills that day I usually tend to brush up on the basic skills, although they are most of the time easier than the skills I should be training, basic skills are the foundation to successful gymnastics, so they should never be forgotten!

How do you get over a bad training day and move on?

This isn’t such a hard thing for me to do, I am a very positive person and totally believe that everyday you wake up is a clean slate to make your day an amazing one! I’ll usually sleep it off and wake up fighting back. When the bad weeks come to play, usually it means some time out. So I’ll focus on something else on my life that week and start fresh the following week!

How do you stay motivated to train every day?

Training to me now as an adult is for total enjoyment and fun – there isn’t as much pressure as when i was a young girl in training. I look forward to messing around with new tricks and playing with creativity through movement. I personally could never do enough of this – so I will never meet that point of boredom with training. Everyday I wake up and can’t wait to get in the gym to see what I can do that day :).

What are your dreams for your fitness future?

My short term goal is to compete (and hopefully win a trophy) and Miami Pro Bikini Fitness competition in October! I’m current in prep for that now. I will be entering the Ms. Bikini Tall division. My long term goal within fitness is to build a boot camp abroad (possibly in Bali or Ibiza) which will include the typical fitness and yoga hours; with the special @lookgoodwithlauren twist on it – a few hours of gymnastics play everyday to relive those childhood dreams and moments many adults come to me looking for!

How often do you you train?

For gymnastics I train 3 hours per week with Charlie – it’s our set in stone play date! I also train handstand specific/yoga for about an hour a day. Currently with the bikini prep I’m also training 4-5 hours weight sessions with 3 X 20-30 min Sprint sessions per week! So right now, A LOT.

How do you train?

The good thing about my training is that it is always varied, if I’m not doing 20 second sprint intervals then I’ll be holding different shapes in a handstand for as long as I can. I also do the typical weight session struggling to push heavy weights above my head and making funny faces, whilst also including plyometric (jumping type movements) into my sessions as well! My key advice to training is always switch it up! The body loves a shock, and the mind loves a challenge.

How did you get into your sport?

I was spotted playing around on a bouncy castle when I was younger trying flips, someone insisted my mum took me to a gymnastics club, which she did. I attended when I was about 3 years old and totally fell in love with it – I never looked back :). Thanks Mum!