Q&A with Zara Dampney, Team GB Olympian and co-founder of Volleybody
As part of Sweaty Betty's Guest Instructor programme, we asked Zara Dampney, Team GB Olympian and one of our SS13 models, about her high intensity training regime Volleybody and her life as a professional athlete.
At what point did you decide that your career was going to be sports based?
I played volleyball from when I was 14. Once the Olympics were announced, I was 20 – I knew then I was going to commit and play professionally with the Olympics as my goal.
You’ve fulfilled your dream to become a Team GB Olympian in 2012. What was the journey like?
I was always sporty growing up. I have two brothers and cousins who are all male, so I was a tomboy and would always compete with them. I did law at University and never thought about being a professional athlete until London was announced.
The journey was stressful. We had to fight for our position to be part of the team but it was worth every second once we had made it. The personal challenge of being a professional athlete every day is so empowering.
What is a typical daily routine for you?
Wake up, eat, train, eat, reflect/meeting, train, recover, eat, sleep! It’s repetitive but essential.
Volleybody is a new sport – how does it work?
Volleybody is a training regime inspired by what we do as beach volleyball athletes. Developed by myself and a team member plus our coach, it works through all of the exercises we do on a daily basis and adapts them so that you exercises can be done anywhere. This means you get all the basic whole body movements from volleyball, but in more realistic form so that it’s really easy for anybody to take part. As the name of the sport might suggest, you don’t actually need a beach to play on, that’s the beauty of it!
What are your most tested and trusted moves from the regime?
My favourite is the jump squat, as you feel it working all over your legs and glutes plus it ensures you move in the correct posture. The straight arm push-ups are amazing great for shoulder posture and toning which a lot of attendees of classes feel is really important in the run up to summer.
Some inspirational advice?
There was never a workout anyone regretted!