4 October 2017Strictly's Jonnie Peacock on health, fitness and celebrity - and why David Beckham is 'the coolest' person he's met
Strictly Come Dancing celebrity Jonnie Peacock of Doddington – who happens also to be a double Paralympics, world and European champion – has been busy helping to develop a new training workout.
He visited The Gym Group’s 100th gym to demonstrate how he has developed the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout to help get everyone fit for the rigours of the gym, track & dance floor.
With his 100m training usually concentrated on quick, intense bursts to aid his acceleration, the HIIT workout has been designed to improve Jonnie’s conditioning and aerobic fitness, an essential requirement for any all-round athlete.
Jonnie said: “I love every minute of it but I didn’t realise how hard it would be. Learning all the moves is difficult enough so I don’t want to also be worrying about my fitness.
“‘HIIT the Floor 100’ is designed to re-train my body and give me a significant boost in my aerobic ability. I’ve swapped the 100 metres on the track, where short sprints are key for core strength and endurance in the dance studio.”
While at the Feltham, Middlesex, gym opening Jonnie responded to a Q and A session. Here’s a brief selection.
Q. Is there a comparison between the dance floor and an athletics stadium?
A. They are very different things. The nerves for example, I stand on the start line of the Paralympics 100m finals and I’m not nervous – I feel really prepared at that moment. I’ve got all my coaches, support staff etc. that help you get there in such a way that you know you’ve done all the work, you just feel prepared, you’ve done all the work and are in a position where you can just go out and do it.
Whereas when you only have three and a half days to train, you do not feel ready whatsoever, so you stand on the dance floor not confident in your ability and not even confident you’re going to get the steps right, so you’re just nervous of messing it all up.
In sprinting you just go up and down, whereas in dancing, there’s a few more steps that that.
Q. In your journey to date, who and what inspires you?
A. I think when I was growing up, it was David Beckham – it had to be. I was football mad and he was my idol – I’d just follow him everywhere he went and I think that’s maybe why I ended up in sport. But I just loved him and sport and he was definitely someone I looked up to and tried to emulate.
Q. How would you describe your job to a child?
A. The running bit? I run for a living. I train 40 hours a week, for ten seconds worth of work. I don’t know, I guess I just have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to train for a living and get to do something I love and you know I guess that is what I would say to any kid – just find something you love and if you can find a career in that path then you’re really lucky and you should do everything you can to hold onto that.
Q. How have you adapted to your new found celebrity lifestyle, compared to your life as a sprinter?
A. I’m a bit busier I guess. I don’t know really – I was on the train the other day and someone took a sneaky photo and that was interesting. They were stood about 10m away and I just saw a phone staring at me and then I spotted her and she just hid, so that was new. But you know it’s just the same old things really, I’m just trying to keep it as real as possible. I’m just happy sitting on the sofa at home with my dogs and my girlfriend – that keeps me happy.
Q. How do you stay focused during 40hrs a week of training? Do you find yourself drifting off and thinking about other things or are you permanently focused on the task at hand?
A. It’s a bit of both really. I think it’s normal to drift – when you’re in for a 10 hour long day and you’re trying to learn something new, you don’t really have the mental capacity to think about anything else, because you’re so focused on learning a move or you keep getting it wrong and just want to do it better and better. I don’t really have the time to think about anything else, although I guess sometimes you do – you’ve got to figure out when you’re picking the dogs up but you always remain pretty focused.
Quick Fire Questions:
Q. Favourite Emoji?
A. The big teeth face
Q. Three words to describe winning Paralympics Gold?
A. Ecstatic, Happiness, Relief
Q. Who would play you in a film?
Q. Gym floor or dance floor?
A. Gym floor.
Q. How would you rate your pony tail out of 10?
A. My girlfriend would rate it 0.
Q. What do you bench press?
A. My PB is 115kg, so not that good I guess.
Q. Pint of beer or pint of water?
A. Pint of water.
Q. Who’s the coolest person you’ve ever met?
A. David Beckham
Q. What’s your favourite cheat meal?
Q. Who’s your celebrity crush?
A. My girlfriend.
Q. Most famous person in your phone book?
A. Adam Hills, I’ve got recently.
Q. What’s your nickname?
A. Jonnie. My full name is Jonathan, so technically it’s Jonnie.
Q. If you had another job for one day, what would it be?
A. I’d like to be a bartender – just something normal and learn to make some cool drinks for a day.