'The greatest piece of advice I can give is to always stay out of your comfort zone. That's the only way to grow. If it feels a little scary, do it, because it will help you improve your skills and get better. If I stayed in my comfort zone I would have never been where I am right now. So always try to push your limits"
Behind the Glow is an interview series initiated by Glow. In each interview, we sit down with fitness trainers from all over the world, our lovely, accomplished, and ambitious community members, to have an honest conversation about their journey, the fitness industry, culturally diverse, fitness advice and so much more.
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I’m from Amsterdam, I’m teaching a lot of different classes now. I started with teaching cycle so I think that might be my expertise since I’m doing it for the longest time now, but I also teach rowing classes and hit sessions so high-intensity training.
Do you remember the moment when you realized you want to be a trainer?
I studied something completely different I studied public administration and I was obsessed with politics so it was kind of my future, I was thinking about joining a political party, and then, as a student, I joined a sorority and I drank a lot of beers and after a few years I felt really unhealthy I gained some weight, so I started working out myself and a friend of mine introduced me to this indoor cycling class called rhythm cycling and from the start, I was obsessed. I lost a lot of weight I felt so much better about myself, and then after I think maybe 50-60 classes, I was like okay I want to do the same thing I want to be on that stage right there and give people the same feeling that I got from the class. So then I reached out and applied for an audition and here I am being a cycling instructor.
What are some of your favorite parts of the fitness industry?
The thing that I love most about my job is that I get to inspire and motivate people every single day. I think that's the best part of the whole job. And also the fitness world itself I think there is such a big variety of sports and things you can do, so yeah I think that that is the best part of it that I truly believe that there is a sport or something for everyone to enjoy and to get your movement in.
What are some of the main struggles you think fitness trainers face?
That's a good question, I’m working as a freelancer and you're working a lot on your own so there’s not that much feedback, I believe that if you want to grow as an instructor, it's hard to get feedback in. I mean you can talk to your clients of course but I’m not sure if they will always be super honest. So I think it's really important to get feedback from your colleagues and to ask them to join your class.
How are you pivoting or dealing with everything as a trainer right now?
When Covid started, with all of the online classes, I thought it was really hard, it's just not the same, you don't get any feedback or talking to a camera and I admire people that can do that kind of stuff.
But for me, I just went outdoors and did some park sessions. I think a lot of people I hope we can go back to where we were but I’m not sure we will. I just can't imagine us going back to 39 bikes anymore I think people will go crazy if we even try. so I think Covid will affect the capacity of group classes, I think we will never go back to those big classes anymore and I think people will rather do some small group training and personal training. I think they will feel better and safer about that.
What are some of the fitness trends and mentalities in your country?
I think it's quite different in a big city and in the countryside, I do believe that people know that working out is really important from a young age we learn to cycle here, and cycling is a big part of our culture.
The same thing for swimming, we learn it when we are really young, but I think the countryside has more of this traditional way of working out.
in Amsterdam, boutique gyms are really big, they're popping up everywhere, and I can see that all those boutique gyms are slowly expanding.
What is the greatest piece of advice you can give other trainers from your experience?
The greatest piece of advice I can give is to always stay out of your comfort zone. That's the only way to grow. If it feels a little scary then try it because that will help you improve your skills and get better.
If I stayed in my comfort zone I would have never been where I am right now.
So always try to push your limits a little out of the comfort zone to grow your expertise.
Favorite workout song?
It’s called break a sweat, really good for my high-intensity classes, with every drop i'm gonna run a little faster
Favorite cheat meal?
it's a really dutch thing to do, but it's a sandwich with peanut butter and then some chocolate sprinkles on top of it. It's the best you should try it.
Fitness trainer that inspires you?
Alvin Moros, He is an indoor cycling instructor in London at this studio called Pcycle and he is amazing. I watch all of his videos and he’s got such great energy, he is my inspiration.
Find Sanne on Instagram @sannemarjoleinschol