Psycle was founded in 2014 to get people engaged in the transformative power of movement and help them create a healthier, happier and more energetic life. What started as a single studio is now a multi-faceted, global health and wellness brand with four London studios and online subscription options.
Marie Napier is Head of Ride and Véronique Glasgow, originally from LA, is a Master Trainer. When they’re not on the podium, putting up to 50 people through their paces, Marie is a mum of three daughters and Véronique is mother to daughter Colette. When it comes to finding a balanced approach to wellness, it’s safe to say these women are an inspiration to many. We found out how they keep everything (quite literally) spinning.
How did your fitness journey begin and how long have you been a Ride instructor at Psycle?
Marie Napier: In my ‘first life’, I was a professional dancer and singer. My passion for fitness grew alongside my performing career, as training was fundamental to staying strong and injury-free. I wanted to educate myself more, so I qualified as a personal trainer and an indoor cycling instructor and I was then given a great opportunity to join Psycle. I became one of the founding instructors and stepped away from performing when I was offered a full-time role as Head of Ride. I’m still here eight years later.
Veronique Glasgow: I’ve been dancing since I was two years old as my mom had a dance studio, so I’ve s been physically active since I can remember. After performing and dancing professionally I began teaching dance, which was then an easy transition into teaching fitness. I’ve now been with Psycle for four years, but teaching group fitness classes for nine.
How did your training change during and after pregnancy?
Marie Napier: My training didn’t change much in my first pregnancy and I was very lucky I was able to stay active. I simply adapted intensity when needed and took more rest. Post-pregnancy I began riding again after eight weeks and started strength training after about three months. It was a challenge to fit in the training around motherhood, as I had no family around for childcare. I remember my PT coming to my house to train me whilst my firstborn listened to nursery rhymes, so it’s always a juggle to fit in fitness.
Veronique Glasgow: I was lucky that I had a healthy pregnancy and was able to continue working out at the same level of intensity as I did before. During the last six weeks of pregnancy, my movements on the bike were limited, with a growing belly, so I listened to my body and when I was feeling fatigued, I would get off my bike and coach. I took a break for six weeks postpartum, as advised by doctors, to allow my body to properly heal and I’ve since been able to return to the same level, if not stronger.
Did the way you approach your teaching change in any way after becoming a mother?
Marie Napier: I don’t think my approach to teaching changed. I just realised, even more, the importance of doing something for yourself. Being present in the room to gain headspace, so you can handle more.
Veronique Glasgow: When you become a parent, you become somewhat of a superhuman. Especially as a mother who has given birth, is up late at night, lacking sleep and still doing things you did before you were taking care of another human! I feel much stronger and wiser and relate to more of my clients.
Are you motivated to maintain your fitness to support the health and wellbeing of your family?
Marie Napier: I think it’s important that children see their parents making healthy choices, from exercising to spending time in nature or generally just being active. It’s good for the soul to spend time together outdoors without distractions and it motivates me to support the well-being of my family.
Veronique Glasgow: I believe you never regret doing a workout and will usually come out feeling motivated and high on endorphins. For me, working out four or five times a week is a must to keep me positive and be a good mother/wife and I’m also more proactive and organised when I exercise first thing in the morning.
As a busy mother, how do you find the time to work out and what are your tips for managing this?
Marie Napier: It’s important to be organised with my schedule and I like to book things, be that IRL or online classes, so I’m held accountable. There’s always something that can distract you from a workout, from washing, cleaning, cooking or general procrastination, but always remember the value of movement.
Veronique Glasgow: I try to work out during my daughter’s nap. I’m lucky to have a bike at home, but there are so many online classes on the ‘Psycle at Home’ platform that don’t need equipment and even if you’ve only got 30 minutes, you’ll feel better afterwards, which then reflects on the way you are as a mother.
As a female fitness expert, what is your message to help inspire other women’s fitness journeys?
Marie Napier: Be kind to yourself and know that doing something for your body is so important for your own and your family’s wellbeing. It’s a juggle, sometimes it’s a struggle, but the challenges are temporary.
Veronique Glasgow: Learn to love your body as it is now and remember that everyone’s journey is different.
Never compare yourself to others and be kind and patient with yourself. Spend time with other women who motivate and inspire you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so that you can then live this day by day.
Motherhood can be exhausting, so what are your tips for maintaining and managing your energy?
Marie Napier: Exhausting is an understatement. However, I feed off the incredible energy of the people in the Psycle community, which is why you’ll always come out after class feeling more energised than before. I also make sure to eat a balanced diet and go to bed early, as I’m often up at night with my children!
Veronique Glasgow: Get a good night’s sleep, take naps if and when you can and try to eat healthily. I also drink turmeric and ginger shots and since drinking them for a year, I’m able to train and recover more quickly. There will be days where you feel exhausted for many reasons, but I always try to make sure I get seven to nine hours of sleep if possible. I teach 6:30 am classes three days a week, so I’m awake by 5 am. I always have a healthy snack on hand for busy days when I’m running around with some fruit or nuts.
What advice do you have for those wanting to get back into a fitness routine after having a baby?
Marie Napier: Remember that the six-week rest time isn’t set in stone and every woman will have a different recovery period depending on their pregnancy, birth, and aftercare. I would recommend visiting a women’s health physio to advise you on what to focus on when retraining.
Take it steady and listen to your body and don’t expect to be how you were pre-baby straight away. Your body has been through an incredible journey housing and birthing a child and it needs more than six weeks to recover from that.
Veronique Glasgow: Always consult your doctor first before returning to exercise. If you were able to work out throughout your pregnancy, then consider going back to this, starting with lower impact classes and then progressing to the level you were. Listen to your body and don’t push too hard in the early weeks.
What are your top tips to maintain a good work/life balance?
Marie Napier: Work out what you value most and try to be present in both your work and home environment. Set clear boundaries around work and family time to avoid feeling you’re not doing either job well.
Veronique Glasgow: When I first came back to work, it was tough being away from my daughter and getting back into a routine. My house was unorganised, and I found myself falling back on things, but a messy house is a sign of a good day! I try to maximise my time whenever I can, creating playlists in between classes at the studio when my daughter is at nursery. You just have to find your flow and go with it.
You can catch both Marie and Veronique’s classes as a regular feature on the Psycle Westbourne studio timetable. The Notting Hill studio is where the Psycle team bring the biggest Ride vibes every day, so they have curated some exclusive offers to welcome back their community and empower new members to join the tribe. Go to Psycle Westbourne to find out more about their offers.
Follow Psycle on Instagram at @psyclelondon for regular updates from their team!
Images of Marie Napier and Veronique Glasgow by Duncan Nicholls