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Urban Active with Karen Bennett

At Strip HQ, we were lucky enough to meet the beautiful Olympian Rower, Karen Bennett, who won a Silver Medal at this year’s Olympics in Rio! Pretty amazing! Karen helped us pick out and model some of our new activewear collections form names such as We Are Handsome, Koral and Bjorn Borg and it’s fair to say she rocked every outfit! Take a look at our behind the scene photos and our interview with Karen. We talk Rio, active wear and how to make sport glamourous. #TeamGB

With the Olympics and Paralympics now behind us and darker nights on the horizon, we’re in serious danger of losing our gymspiration. What are your top tips on how to get that motivation back?

Karen – I like going training with other people, that’s my kind of thing.

Georgia – Yes I definitely agree, I find it hard going alone because I can motivate myself to get out of bed!

*Both giggle*

Karen – Yeah it’s another 3 and a half years to the next Olympics so quite far away to thin that far ahead but we take it year by year and we’ve got the World Championships next year so that’s one of my aims. I think because it’s getting colder, when it comes to training it can be very long.

But I definitely think the people your training with, they really inspire me because they are all quite special people to me. And obviously I’ve got my goals so I won Silver at this Olympics, so I want to better that for the next one.

How was your time in Rio? What are your favourite memories from the Olympics 2016?

Really good! The rowing was really good but also really scary, and obviously when we won our medal that was incredible, to be on the podium in front of all my friends and family was really good. We really got to explore the city as well but I think the highlight was winning the medal, it still feels surreal now!

What is your most favourite type of workout when training?

I actually quite like being in the gym and doing weights, that’s probably my favourite type of training. I do like going in the water and rowing in the boat, but sometimes that can be quite tiring and quite repetitive. So I think going into the weights gym, you’re in a nice environment and you get to travel around training camps so it’s also great to see the different lakes and the different sceneries. Which is really nice but having a break from that is quite nice and going into the gym.

What is your favourite choice of training gear? Do you have a particular favourite brand?

We have different types of training gear for different training sessions. We wear an all in on, it’s called a one piece, so it’s pretty much shorts and you pull it right up as it as straps, so it is like a one piece suit. With that we normally wear leggings with a tight long top, especially in the winter time as it keeps up warm. When we are on the rowing machine, we wear the all in ones but we normally roll it down and have our sports bras on top. And going into sports bras it’s really cool at the moment to have bright colours and different patterns and then the back being not your usual racer back type sports bra, because especially for us, we are outside a lot and being girls tan lines are quite important so we change our sports bras around. At the moment H&M have brought out some good sports bras where it exposed the back area so you can get a good tan with them. It’s also good to have them supportive, so when we go to the gym it’s a similar thing, we wear strappy tops and long leggings or ¾ leggings with lots of cool and funky patterns – they’re definitely the kind of ‘in thing’ at the moment – the patterns really help shape off your body and compliments it.

What’s your typical daily beauty routine while training?

Sport is glamourous not just practical and people want to look good as well as feels good. Rowing is a sport where you can really look that glamourous because you are out on a river with the wind, rain in your hair. You come in and your just like “what has happened to me!”.

Georgia – So, you don’t wear make-up whilst on the water?

No, when I’m training I don’t wear any make up, because there’s just not point! When you put mascara on and you want to look good, you get… Not judged, but the boys are always like ‘oh make up’, they just shout ‘MAKEUP’ or ‘MASCARA’. So yeah I think especially for rowing, it’s quite hard to be glamorous but I think when you have like garments like these *points to the We Are Handsome leggings she’s wearing*, you can almost look and feel glamourous, so it makes a massive difference. You feel good, and then you train better than you’re happy.

Here are some behind the scene photos of the lovely Karen modelling some of our favourite active wear brands. All pieces will be available in stores in January, so stay tuned! For now why not take a look at our amazing pieces from Bjorn Borg, We Are Handsome and Koral. #sneakpeek







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