You may well have been trained by fitness and dance expert, Jemma during a gruelling Barry’s Bootcamp session in London but this lady has a lot of other things going on.
Jemma McKenzie-Brown began her career as an actor, singer and dancer and starred in High School Musical 3 but was also attracted by the fitness scene and has since become a leading instructor for Barry’s, London a few years ago. Jemma is “passionate about, and that is changing people’s lives through fitness” and is also working with Lorna Jane and inspiring women to move, nourish, believe and live their best life through active living. We spoke to her here.
Do you eat before training?
I usually like to train in the morning and if there is time for me to digest I will have a healthy breakfast AT LEAST 45 minutes before training which will consist of oats with chia or flaxseed. Sometimes if I need a sugar boost pre-workout I’ll have a teaspoon of almond butter with an apple.
What are your best recovery foods?
I am a massive fan of a protein shakes, especially the fresh ones at Barry’s London Fuel Bar and I’ll have one post workout if it’s not a meal time. If I finish my workout near a meal time I’ll have white meat (chicken/turkey) with veg or salad and sweet potato. Protein AND carbs post workout are important for recovery.
What’s your opinion on the state of nutrition advice available to women in the UK?
I’ve always believed that we need a better education on nutrition starting at childhood, and I’ve always thought it should be taught in schools and be at the forefront of our education. I think lack of knowledge is always a problem where health and fitness is concerned and there is too much ‘word of mouth’ regarding fad diets that might make you ‘skinny’ for a couple of weeks, but ultimately don’t work long term and damage our overall health.
What is the best Barry’s Bootcamp class to go to as a beginner?
All and any! With Barry’s, you have to get stuck in and get down to it! It sounds daunting but there’s always new clients in every class and the trainers are always great at keeping an eye on newbies and pushing them to places no workout has gone before.
How did you get into fitness and training?
I’ve always been fitness mad since I was a kid. I used to join in my Mum’s aerobic classes at the local leisure centre when I was a toddler and she couldn’t find childcare. I also went to drama school and was an actress when I was a kid so keeping fit and looking good was all part and parcel of the job. I started training professionally when Barry’s came along and it’s changed my life!
What’s your opinion on the ‘Strong Not Skinny’ way of thinking?
I think strong not skinny is a no-brainer! I love the feeling working out gives me and who doesn’t love kicking a bit of butt from time to time?
What makes Barry’s Bootcamp a great way to get fit?
It’s not dubbed The Best Workout in the World for no reason. You get all your components at Barry’s, HIIT training, strength training and serious cardio! You’re burning fat on those treads and sculpting and toning your muscles on the floor. On top of that, you have the great atmosphere, the music, the lights and of course, the trainers!
What other types of training do you do?
Barry’s is definitely at the forefront of my training programme but I also like outdoor running and occasionally I’ll take a yoga class when I feel my body needs a good stretch.
What’s your favourite type of workout?
Barry’s all the way! It’s changed my body and has given me results quicker than any other workout I’ve ever done.
What do you wear to train in, and do you ever wear sports kit outside of the gym?
I love that sportswear has become a trend in recent years. I always train in Lorna Jane sports bras as they are really supportive but also very soft and also look fabulous. Also I wear Lorna Jane full length tights, or cropped leggings in hotter months as they’re very breathable and light. I’m found more in gym wear than I am in normal clothes so it’s great that my LJ pieces are both fashionable and transferable.
What are your favourite pieces and accessories to train in?
Again, I love all my LJ sports bras, in particular anything bright and also slightly different in style. I love the high neck sports bras such as the Jasmine bra, the Bondi Bra and the newest one, the Tough Girl Sports Bra.
Do you have a favourite playlist to train to?
I make new playlists every week on Spotify for my Barry’s classes. Usually a mix on EDM, pop tunes and old classics. You can find them all on my Spotify ‘jemmamb’.