How 5 Of London’s Top Female Fitness Instructors Start The Day

Ever wondered what gets Anya from Barry’s amped up in the morning? Or how Chiara from Psycle inspires you first-thing to push that bit harder? We caught up with 5 of London’s full throttle female fitness instructors to find out how they kickstart the day, what they eat and how they recover from a morning workout.

Across the board, they rise early, listen to their bodies and eat what makes them feel good – which takes time and practice to tune in to. They also take the stairs, not the lift, rock out to good tunes, and agree that no short cuts exist on the path to being the best version of you.


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Anya Lahiri | Head Trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp

I love sleep so waking up is always a struggle! I normally wake up at 7am and have about 10 alarms set as I am neurotic that I will oversleep and miss my classes.  Luckily I have a very noisy cat and dog that have the same morning routine as me and wake me up if the alarm fails!

It is straight to the kitchen for me. I always start my day with a hot water to wake my system up and get my vocals all warmed up for my 8:20am class. I feed the dog, get dressed and then feed myself.  I cannot function without food and normally fuel up for the day with a handful of rolled oats soaked in acai or goji berry juice, blueberries and small amount of Greek yoghurt. I take glucosamine supplements for my joints and a capful of an iron supplement for extra energy throughout the day.

My 8:20 class is like a high dose of caffeine and I am always pumped after teaching it. I tend to try and workout myself afterwards, either in the 9:30 or 10:45 Barry’s Bootcamp class.  I get my dose of endorphins from running and lifting and ALWAYS have a protein shake at the Barry’s Fuel Bar to mend the muscles I’ve just destroyed in class. My favourite is the Neapolitan with mint. The protein they use, ‘Hermosa’, is all-natural and tastes delicious. 

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How 5 Of London’s Top Female Fitness Instructors Start The Day
Image: Anya Lahiri


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Paola Di Lanzo | Head Trainer and Founder of Paola’s BodyBarre

I wake up daily at 5:30am and have either herbal or normal tea with almond milk, depending on how I’m feeling, before heading next door to my studio to teach my first two classes. When the receptionist arrives she brings me an almond or soya milk latte – a Godsend!

In my hour break at 8am I go home and have my breakfast (next door). I’m an absolute egg freak! I nearly always have eggs for breakfast. They’re so good for you and fill me with enough energy to get through my busy day. I love experimenting with different cuisines; sometimes Italian, sometimes Mexican, and I’ve been doing lots of spinach and avocado recently.  I don’t have a sweet tooth so I’ll rarely have a sweet breakfast, but if I do it’s raw muesli with almond milk. At 11am when I have a lull, I grab a handful of Punch Foods Superseeds and I always stop somewhere for a juice – usually The Good Life Eatery, C Press or Lomax. I usually go for a green juice; unless I’ve been drinking, then I’ll make sure I add some beetroot and ginger.

>> READ about how Fulham’s sizzling workout brings the burn

At the weekends we do big family brunches. I have three kids and they all help my partner and I cook a big breakfast with all the works! I’ll have the bacon but I skip the sausages and replace with avocado and spinach. I have mine with rye bread too because I avoid dairy and gluten as much as I can.

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How 5 Of London’s Top Female Fitness Instructors Start The Day
Image: Paola Di Lanzo


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Ida May | Fitness Instructor at FRAME and 1REBEL 

When my alarm goes off at 5am there’s not much time to sit, chill and enjoy my black coffee and breakfast…. too early for that, it’s an “up ‘n go” kind of day! Hot water and lemon wakes me up and gets the metabolism going. I’ll hit the Nutribullet on, fill it with greens, coconut water, chia seeds, spirulina, nuts, and off we go. Maybe a wheatgrass shot too and a banana in the pocket!

Every day for me is different, depending on wether I am off to teach or train some yoga, fitness, reshape, mashup, ride, barre or pilates! Or it might be a day off dance, castings, a show or a shoot for a magazine or ad. However, the best way to start the day is with exercise to get the endorphins going and to feel energised, followed by a beautiful breakfast boost. And who says you can’t have two?! A small quick breaky before the workout and one after: ‘pre’ to fuel and ‘post’ to recover! I mean, I love food! One of my latest simple sweet recipe favourites: ‘Avocado Persimmon Breakfast Bowl’… check it out here!

>> READ about how 1REBEL is revolutionising London’s fitness scene

Here are a few more of the things I love having in the mornings: avocado, almonds, chia and hemp seeds, banana, black coffee, all sorts of greens, sprouts and poached eggs. Sometimes a bit of homemade dark chocolate on the top of your nut barre is not that bad. In the mornings you want to feel light, energised and ready to kick some ass and be AWESOME!

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How 5 Of London’s Top Female Fitness Instructors Start The Day
Image: Ida May


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Nathalie Schyllert | Trainer and Operations Director at Bodyism

As your body burns fat easier when you are totally rested, I always aim to get 8 hours sleep a night. On weekdays I tend to wake up around 6am to catch up on emails before my son Oliver wakes up at 7am. I then feed and dress him. For breakfast I love quinoa porridge made with unsweetened almond milk, topped with sunflower seeds and blueberries as it’s super filling and provides me with plenty of energy for the active day ahead.

I always try to walk to work, which takes 45 mins, as I love listening to my music and getting in a good mood. I vary my first exercise routine day-to-day, but at the moment I like to start with TRX for 45mins. I like to focus on my core since having a baby and it also improves my posture. Given my ballet background, I also often start with a Ballet Barre routine for 40 minutes. In this I combine a normal Bodyism session with some fun ballet moves. I also try to do yoga at least twice a week to lower my cortisol levels.

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How 5 Of London’s Top Female Fitness Instructors Start The Day
Image: Nathalie Schyllert


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Chiara Pellegrino | Instructor at Psycle and Barrecore

I wake up in the morning fairly early: 5 or 6am, sometimes even earlier. Not because I love mornings in particular, I actually used to hate them, but I start teaching or personal training very early so I’ve learnt to be a morning person. The morning is the best time of the day to workout! Teaching an early morning class at Psycle sets me up for the day, energizing my body and keeping me in a good mood.

I am a huge fan of breakfast! There’s never a day when I leave the house without it, and if there would be, you wouldn’t like to meet me on my way to work! I get very creative in my breakfast options, and if you check my blog you’ll find a majority of breakfast type recipes. Coconut flour pancakes are my totes favourite, with scrambled eggs and salmon or, if I am rushing, a cup of porridge with a tbsp. of maple syrup, coconut flakes and blueberries. I’ll have black coffee, imported from Italy, and check my social media accounts, wondering if some new interesting wellness revolution happened over night.

Then I lay on my bed the 10 different sporty outfits I might wear during the day, (the choosing-what-to-wear the night before thing doesn’t work for me) and I pack my bag.

>> READ the secrets behind the Psycle experience

I like to clear my head during my commute, so I normally walk 20 mins to the station. I get to breath fresh air (that doesn’t happen on the bus) and think a little more about the choreographies I am going to do, listening to the music I will play in class and organise my time. I’ll try and arrive 30 mins before the class starts: to get my thoughts together, get my energy in, inhale-exhale a few times while walking between the empty bikes, concentrating and bringing my instructor-self into the zone. I make sure I stretch before riding and 15 mins before the class starts I am all ready to open the door and commence “the show” (with breakfast well digested).

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How 5 Of London’s Top Female Fitness Instructors Start The Day
Image: Chiara Pellegrino