Trainer Spotlight: Megan

With a variety of classes and trainers to choose from, it can be daunting deciding what new class to try. Even finding a group instructor who brings the energy you're looking for can be a mission. Here's what you can expect from Megan.

What is your favourite class to teach and why? 

 It's hard to choose what class is my favourite because I love them all for different reasons. Group Cycle I love because I can bring my hardcore edge. If I could make a hard rock playlist, I totally would. It's fast paced, high energy - I feel that's me. Somehow I brought that into Barre. It's not what you would expect at Exhale; it's actually quite vicious. People don't know what they are going to get when they walk in. The name has changed to reflect this. It's now called Barre Burn. 

 I also teach the circuit classes for Zest, a private class for Colonial Insurance employees. What I like about the circuit is that I make people do more cardio. Members are likely to do strength training or other classes that don't have cardio built in it.  So, I would do HITT training with high-intensity cardio with exercise and go onto something else that is slow paced like weight training. Anything that gets your heart rate going up and coming back down, especially for women is really good.

Why is heart rate training so important? 

If you have a constant spike in heart rate, it's better for you than a high intensity all of the time. It gives your heart a chance to relax and improves recovery time. For instance, if you sprint and are unhealthy, it would take your heart a longer time to come back down compared to someone who is fit. As we don't have long in this class it is good because this type of training makes you tired. I'll do jump squats and then have them do a squat right after. Here, you're working on the same muscle group but one gets your heart rate elevated and the other one is strength training.

What goes into setting up a group training class? 

For me, you have to have your main goal and a few areas of focus. With the barre class, you have to bring in key movements. Classes are on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday, so I spread the muscle groups out over the week. Then, I elaborate on that with what compliments those groups and elevate the heart rate. 

When it comes to mood, if I feel strong and powerful, it means I'll kill you today - and you need the music to go with it. If I feel more mellow, the music will reflect that. At the end of the day, you need the energy to give to the class. If you're not mentally there, they're not going to get anything out of it. There is a lot of thought that goes into the movement that you choose. After a while, they just come to you without thinking about it. I go by feeling.

How do you keep yourself mentally and physically sound? 

Sleep. Sleep is really important; and eating. They say we should sleep between 7 to 8 hours a night. If you don't get that amount of time, you can elevate your cortisol levels in the body, and you don't want that. We also don't realize how important it is to eat the right amount at the right time. What I do to keep myself in a good place is to eat my breakfast, snacks and lunch, and get my sleep. I plan out my meals for the week to help.

What does your average day look like? 

I wake up at 6:30 am which I know is not early for a trainer. This is by choice as I work later. By 7:00 am, I'll have breakfast which is usually carbohydrates and protein. I'll either have scramble eggs with quinoa or fruit and then I'll have my snack.

I'll start work at 7:30 am and go until 10:30 am then have a snack. I usually only have 10 minutes for lunch where I have a carbohydrate like rice, quinoa or squash with protein and vegetables or fresh salad. Then, I'll have another snack around 4:00 pm. 

If I didn't get a good night sleep the night before and I have space, I'll go home for a nap. It's Bermuda, you're always around the corner! Most days I finish around 6:30 pm, have dinner and wind down by 10:00 pm.

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