NJINGA

Michael Jackson

Non-cyclist loses 30kg and becomes Njinga Lab Champion!

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES WITH NJINGA

Weight: Since starting his journey at Njinga Michael has lost over 30kg

Completed in our 2018 year long Njinga World Championships and was crowned our 2018 World Champion

Tour de Njinga 2018 Grand Tour winner: Clocked up a breathtaking 1000km in just 3 weeks on the wattbike

Got back on a bike outdoors for the first time in years by joining our 20km Santa Charity Cycle

WHERE MY JOURNEY BEGAN

I started at Njinga at the end of June 2017 with a goal of getting my weight under control after standing on the bathroom scales and realising I had two options...go digital or do something to change my routine and get fitter, so I signed up for the 2 taster sessions. I’ll be honest I was useless in the first few weeks; too slow, too fat…but I convinced myself to stick with it.

Fast forward to mid-January 2018 and I was completing my 100th class. I had made definite progress from those first taster sessions and was now 25kg lighter after 8 months of work.

The main thing I learnt from training with Njinga was to make each ride, "My Ride”. Every class has seasoned professionals and new riders like myself, but I had to focus on what my legs and feet were doing, my numbers and my progress. In the early sessions it took me a little time to find that place, but everybody in the Njinga team and my fellow riders were great with encouragement, support and advice on how to make that progress happen and every month I saw improvements.

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THE FTP TEST

Eight months in though I’d still not done the FTP test, convinced the numbers didn’t matter to my training. However, knowing that the Njinga principles were based on training smart I really needed my own personal training zones. I had no ambitions of Box Hill or other such craziness but as a new year’s resolution I decided to test myself just to help with my new targets for 2018.

The first FTP Test was not as daunting as I expected and just like any training you learn you can always push yourself that little bit more when you need to and after all a benchmark has to start somewhere. Josh took me through the test step by step and was on hand with some agreed “encouragement” as I progressed.

Post-test my numbers came out close to what I thought they might have been, but having that clarity has been incredibly useful in the following sessions. A month on from the FTP I had improved my pacing from the warm-up through to the class challenges. So, despite being convinced the numbers wouldn't make a difference to me they absolutely have and have been a great help. I still have work to-do to fine tune and build on those improvements, but the numbers are helping already with those 2018 targets...so don't delay, FTP today (so said the man without a bike).

REFLECTIONS ON MY 2018...

I now find myself reflecting on 2018 and what I achieved, and it’s been an incredible year.

Two Njinga Grand tours - Well I’d never would have thought that possible…the first was a challenge with my fellow riders, the second a challenge to myself on a distance goal. In the Giro d’Njinga back in May I hit 930km so hitting 1000km for the Tour de Njinga was a natural next step and a great goal for myself.

It helped build strength and stamina for sure, but I’ve learnt the rest days have real value on driving change. It also proves if you follow the train smart and fuel smart principles you can push yourself further than you could ever think. As for 2019’s Njinga Tours one thing is for sure...they will as ever create a great experience in The Lab.

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MORE ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2018...

My weight loss continued in 2018. I believe its tracking at 4.5 stone or around 30kg, but could be more as the scales had maxed out when I started. It steadied towards the end of the year but I continued to see muscle gain. 2019 will be about some focus on diet and some strength and conditioning to further improve.

Motivation has never for me been about the outdoor ride it was about myself and my physical and mental health. Coming to Njinga allows me to switch off from everything else. I like that you need to focus and work in the class, but what’s important is the class is your class. Yes there are goals, yes you can chase other riders, but you get the best when you think about your own input to your own ride…the rest just happens. I would have never thought I would rack up 270 classes in a year and cycle 7500km on the spot.

I ended 2018 being crowned the Male Njinga World Champion – Watch out Geraint Thomas here I come…now how long till Tokyo 2020 Olympics…

MY JOURNEY

I was looking for a different fitness challenge. The big fitness centres are too intimidating and training alone just wasn’t enough motivation and didn't give me results. The wattbikes and the classes give an epic workout that you don’t get close to with other equipment.

The whole team at Njinga have motivated, encouraged, educated, inspired, tortured, poked a little fun but most importantly have made this journey EPIC. I never would have thought I’d get this far in this time frame, but it’s become a routine and the best endorphin both physically and mentally, whilst meeting some truly inspirational people who are all on their own missions.

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WHY NJINGA

If you’ve walked past Njinga and thought it all too serious and you could never do that, think again! This is a great team with all the knowledge and advice that will help you on whatever your journey is and has a community of riders who will equally support and welcome you...no judgement, no pressure, its your ride.

Looking ahead to 2019 I want to work on strength and core and go after a great FTP improver score and maybe a grand tour challenge…maybe.

START YOUR OWN JOURNEY

Michael's journey with Njinga has included:

  • Regular wattbike classes
  • FTP Testing to TrainSmart
  • Pedal Technique Workshops 
  • Participation in the 2018 year long Njinga World Championships

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