If you’ve been to one of her classes, you’ll know you get 45 minutes of pure energy from Meya, with a side of crazy dancing - it’s not surprising that she fits right in with the Gymbox family. From sales guru to sweat-guru, our very own instructor and all-round Swedish sunshine talks to resident blogger Kat about where it all began, her top training tunes and what you can expect from her classes across the capital…
When did you start working at Gymbox and how did that come about?
I started working at Gymbox three years ago, in 2018. When I first moved to London I got into retail because I needed to get a job quickly, but I absolutely hated it! I took a holiday and realized I couldn’t face going back to it. I knew I needed to quit my job.
I decided I wanted to do something fun with my life. I’ve always loved fitness, so I did my level 2 and 3 training qualifications. While I was doing that, I started out in sales at Covent Garden Gymbox. I wasn’t very good at it to be honest [laughs], but I loved my team, and I loved the club. I had so much fun with the people there. I was there for about five months or so and then I left when I got my level 2 qualification.
I started instructing at another gym chain first because I wanted to get some experience. It was really shit there, I had bad hours and I felt like a glorified cleaner. But I’d told Gymbox I would be back, so I already had that as a plan.
I was working there for about 7 or 8 months, did all the auditions and training for Gymbox while I was still there, and then I left and started working at Gymbox. I also went into retail two days a week just to have something to back me up financially. Then Covid happened!
After the first lockdown in the summer, I went back home to Sweden. I was there for three months while everything was closed here. I decided to take a leap of faith and start full-time at Gymbox when I got back. Thankfully, it worked out really well!
What’s your favourite class to teach at Gymbox?
When I train, I mainly do functional training, so I love teaching WOD Squad. But also, my Reppin’ classes! I’ve been doing them for a long time. The one I have in Elephant & Castle on a Thursday evening; I love teaching it because the group is fantastic! Reppin’ is a completely different vibe to WOD Squad, but I love them both! I also teach Strongman, Drill Sergeant and Bodyweight Bandits.
What’s your favourite thing about teaching at Gymbox?
The vibe! And the members. Because Gymbox is what it is, it attracts a certain type of person.
Since I started at Gymbox three years ago, it’s really made me feel at home. I felt like I’d found my place here in London when I got to Gymbox. Most of my absolute best friends are from here! I’ve got a lot of friends at Gymbox, even members. Two of my best friends are members who came to my classes, and I met them there! My favourite thing about Gymbox is definitely the vibe and the people. And I also love that I can play whatever music I want without having to censor it! [laughs]
Speaking of music...for one day and one day only, you have control of the Gymbox stereo system. What music are you playing?
There’s been a lot of techno playing in there recently. I’d like more House and Hipper Hop if I could choose! I also love old school Hip Hop too. I really enjoy training while listening to that, there’s a beat to it and its fun.
What’s your go-to workout song when you’re trying to get through a set?
This is going to sound so cheesy, but I adore Kanye West “Gold Digger”! Sometimes when I need a pick-me-up, I put it on, I think it’s great to listen to. It’s an old track now but it really does pick-me-up!
What can people expect from your classes?
A lot of energy! I’m a very energetic person and I can’t seem to shut up [laughs]. My classes are quite intense too so people can expect to get sweaty. I do a range of classes and they each look quite different, but I would say people can always expect energy, a lot of sweating and a lot of me dancing around...especially at Reppin’!
Which Gymbox clubs can people find you in?
Mainly Covent Garden, Elephant & Castle, Holborn, Victoria, Farringdon and Stratford. I’m all over the central clubs and I teach at Stratford once a week.