Meet Charlotte Roach. An Olympian in training who after suffering a terrible injury got back on her bike and cycled from Beijing to London (as you do…) to raise money for the air ambulance that saved her life!
She then went on to set up her own business, Rabble. High-intensity training disguised as games from British Bulldogs to Dodgeball to make fitness fun again!
She’s a game changer alright…
What inspired you to start Rabble?
I was a former athlete on a very strict training program. I dreamt of leaving elite sport and just having fun with exercise, enjoying a few games I couldn’t play before, being flexible, social and varied in my workouts. But also having a normal relationship with exercise, one that I enjoyed and kept me fit and healthy, instead of a brutal, rigorous and repetitive one.
But I couldn’t find this, and in London of all places. I realised that most gyms and fitness classes were doing similar repetitive, lonely workouts as an elite athlete, but without any goals I couldn’t motivate myself to do this. Realising that I was also no good at team sports and often finding them very inflexible in schedule and focused around performance rather than fun they also weren’t for me. I understood that 90% of the population is looking to burn energy, and there are loads of ways of burning energy, there was no need for it to be repetitive and boring. So I designed Rabble.
Rabble is designed to be engaging, enjoyable, varied and social. We run 1 hour long exercise classes that are games from beginning to end. You are busy trying to work out the strategy that you forget you’re actually undertaking high intensity intervals – and because our games are team based people get to know each other and often end up in the pub after games or heading out at the weekend.
What sort of classes can we expect on the schedule?
We play everything and anything so long as anyone can join in. You can see anything from Capture the Flag, to British Bulldogs, Dodgeball, The Hunger Games and more. We played a game recently with laser guns and earlier this week we crashed an adventure playground and ran a game there – which was awesome!
Working as a group feels good because…
Success is always sweeter if you have someone to share it with. We design our games so that there’s a role for everyone in the team no matter where your skills lie, but it always feels so much better when your victory was a team effort – although it’s always nice to score the winning point!
How does rabble get you fit…
We disguise High Intensity Intervals as games. We never tell anyone what to do, we give you the rules and you can do whatever you like inside them. But teams naturally set themselves up to win. And we’ve designed it so it’s not possible to win without working damn hard. I love that about Rabble, that you’re not being shouted at or ordered around, (I’m too old for that!) we give you the rules and you create your own story.
What do you love most about your job?
I love getting creative and coming up with new games and places to play. Then it’s so rewarding when people come, have a wicked time and ultimately achieve their fitness goals too. That’s one of the fantastic things about building a community is that it brings things that you could never have expected or designed and it’s amazing to see it flourishing.
The fitness industry will be better when…
It stops guilting people into exercise based on aesthetics. It should be able health and wellness not being slim. The fitness industry needs to realise that they are competing for people’s free time. So they should make the experience excellent. Exercise can be fun, social, varied and still deliver results – and if it’s not then it’s simply laziness on the industry’s part.
You feel happiest when…
I’m sat in the pub after I’ve been out playing in the park with a group of my mates, with muddy feet and a sweaty forehead. I feel satisfied physically, mentally and socially.
When you go out, what’s your choice of tipple…
I reeeeally like Belgian beers. But they are so strong that often one is enough to take me over the edge!
Favourite music track to work out to and why?
I love upbeat powerful songs and I tend to play the ones I love to death and then have to never listen them again. I’m currently overplaying the song from the twitter advert – ‘Keeping your head up’ by Birdy.
Favourite juice / smoothies or grab & go healthy snacks?
I’m generally a huge fan of anything with bananas in. I love banana smoothies and milkshakes.
Favourite restaurant in London and why?
This is so tricky there are so so many. I love a local Italian restaurant in Kentish town called Rosella, it has a strong family feel and their pasta is incredible. But I often find myself seeking out Vietnamese noodle soups!
Do you often cook at home or order in?
I probably eat out too much. But if I’ve made it home I’ll *try* to cook something (my culinary reputation is particularly poor).
Describe your perfect mix of Move, Fuel and Thrill…
Rabble – on a really wet muddy day, followed by a pub lunch and a Belgian beer.
Who is your inspiration and why?
I was hugely inspired as a teenager by Kelly Holmes, who had selected me to be part of her young athlete programme, ‘On Camp with Kelly’ Her extremely strong levels of determination and self belief taught me to believe more in myself.
How do you find peace and relaxation…Do you do any yoga or meditation?
Pilates or yoga would be great for me, because I have quite a bad back following a road accident a few years ago. But my attention span is too short and i get really bored. Why can’t they have 20 or 30min yoga classes, maybe with music – can that be a thing?
Describe your perfect pampering regime…
Finding some time to myself, to get lost in the countryside running or walking, or curled up with a Killer suduko or book. So boring!
Never miss an opportunity.
Click here to book a class at Rabble