Getting to know coach Madeline!

Madeline has been a part of our HIIT coaching team for a little while now, and we thought it was time to introduce her properly! You may have met her at a Saturday morning class or a FAT Friday, and already know her as the bubbly, encouraging coach she is; but what you may not know about are the amazing things Madeline has going on after class. Read more below...

How did you hear about FAT?

I’d been following FAT for about 6 months through lockdown, drawn in by their colourful graphics and community based intention. When I arrived back in Auckland in February 2022, I recognised Kevin from Les Mills Bodybalance (he was a coach on my masterclass video, yep, you should see his tree pose!!). It turns out we both had very similar journeys, both arriving at FAT out of a desire for something local, meaningful and community-centered. Being offered an opportunity to coach for FAT felt serendipitous and so exciting, FAT feels like exactly where I am meant to be in the fitness industry.

Describe yourself in 3 words :)

You know I’ll never say a sentence shorter than about 4 words, but maybe; Passionate, energetic and warm.

What is your Health and Fitness background?

I’ve been coaching at Les Mills as a GRIT and Bodybalance instructor since 2017. Before then, I swam competitively, representing New Zealand overseas a few times. I’ve worked in about 7 different gyms now and it’s been so epic to create connections with members and be a small part of their journey somehow. I’ll never take for granted that 70+ people used to get up at 6am in the middle of Dunedin winter to train GRIT with me and my obnoxiously loud voice. Legends.

I’ve always had a pretty intense training schedule, but in recent years I am finding so much joy in balance and training for longevity and functionality. I still coach the same programmes, but train more functionally now and do a heap of yoga and meditation in my own time.

What are your top 3 pieces of advice to build a Healthy routine?

  1. It’s cliche, but listen to your body. It’s the coolest most clever vessel and it’ll literally tell you when it needs to rest and repair. Don’t take it for granted. Our bodies do so much for us.
  2. You have your whole life to be fit. Be kind and be patient with yourself. Slow progress is still progress.
  3. Your mental wellbeing is a huge part of any healthy routine. Create and hold space to slow down, do things mindfully or try meditation. Everything is connected.

Do you have any 2022 fitness/lifestyle goals?

Fitness wise, I would just like to get back to a place where I feel really strong in myself again. It’s been a long and humbling journey since getting COVID. It’s taught me a lot of patience, but I can feel myself getting closer.

In life outside the fitness sphere, I am trying to continually build more meaningful connections with communities in Aotearoa through the charity I direct, called Neighbourhood NZ. We’ve got a few more events left on the calendar for 2022 so I am excited to round off the year with some really meaningful and creative events that foster social connections and empowerment.

What do you love about being a FAT coach?

FAT is grounded and warm, and is truly a place for everyone. I adore all the coaches I work alongside and they inspire me daily, they are truly the coolest group of humans. There is no ego or expectation beyond creating a safe, positive environment. You really can feel the love in the FAT community and that anyone who chooses to join us, for a little or a long time, is so welcome.

What is your favourite and worst exercise?

Give me anything lower body; squat jumps, shuffles, tuck jumps, lunges - and I’ll serve you my best efforts on a silver platter. On the flip side, give me a push up and you’ll see me shaking after 2.

Which advice would you give to a FAT first timer?

Firstly, welcome! We are so happy to have you. It’s so important that I make sure members are comfortable and know that there are so many options available to them. You’ll hear me say in my classes “it’s important that we are moving well before we add intensity”, and “do what you can, well” - both of those phrases hold space for the fact that we will all be moving differently in our workouts, all that matters is that you are moving safely and know that your best effort in that moment is absolutely enough. If you can embrace that as your workout’s foundations, you’re winning!

What do you want to learn in 2022?

Something I am actively trying to learn this year is to be a better listener. We often listen with the intent to reply, rather than to actually hear. I have just started my medical school placement at Middlemore hospital and have been experiencing a lot of new people and situations recently - it’s taught me that sometimes listening is the most important and the most supportive thing that you can do.