Scene Working Out: Matt Bogard & Aaron Johns (aka Vicki Vivacious)

Between their respective DJ gigs and international appearances, London scene stars Matt Bogard and Aaron Johns (aka Vicki Vivacious) find the time to hit the gym. Here they share their experiences.

Matt Bogard DJ

When and how did you get into working out? 

I first joined a local gym with a group of mates from where I grew up in Uxbridge, about 10 years ago now. Collectively we didn’t train very hard or correctly. We wanted to, but none of us really knew much about it and more a social thing; laughing and joking about, then heading off to cause trouble afterwards.

A few of the same group got more serious about three or four years later when we actually wanted to grow in size and strength. It was then when we started to learn, ask questions and research the best methods, then shared these in the gym to each other. In fact I still regularly chat to these boys in a group chat, although we insult each other a lot more than sharing training tips nowadays.

Aside from your physical gains, what else do you get from working out? 

Personally it keeps my mental state in good shape. My lifestyle is pretty hectic: I work a normal nine to five job, have a great social circle of close friends whom I try to see as much as possible, and DJ on the weekend and some weekdays, so physically and mentally I get tired. The fact I get myself to the gym to keep my body in good physical shape helps me accept my lifestyle and be mentally happy. I guess it’s a case of thinking ‘I really enjoy my life by going out, but totally understand that it’s not the most healthy thing to do week in week out, so I best keep my body as healthy as I can be by working out regularly’. I am a big believer in thinking positively and getting my ass to the gym helps me do this.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced with your training and how are you overcoming it?

I often find myself pushing the same weight day in day out, and that is NOT how you grow: you need to slowly but surely increase the amount you push. Through training with different people I have found that I push myself to limits I didn’t think were possible. Recently I trained with a friend who usually I would just say hello to in the gym. We finally decided to arrange a good time to train together and agreed on a set of muscles to focus on. And I found myself pushing nearly twice what I normally do. Whether that was down to me being embarrassed at the weight he was lifting or his encouragement during the exercise I don’t know – all I know is how proud I was of my achievements that day.

What is your top tip for motivating yourself before a workout? 

In the mornings I personally find a pre-workout helps get me motivated. I drink it on the train and by the time I am on the gym floor I’m raring to go. But make sure you take a break from pre-workouts as their effects seem to wear off if you constantly take them.

What are your best five motivational tracks to train to?

I wouldn’t say these are my best five, but these are the ones that have popped into my head. They all have bouncing basslines that make me want to dance, and when I can’t – although I often do in the gym – I find I push the weight harder instead.

Matt’s Top 5

1. Bodywerk by MANT

2. Everybody by Dennis Cruz

3. Sheeple by Green Velvet, Prok & Fitch

4. Runnin’ by Low Steppa feat.

5. Baby Boo by
Jesse James (Sam Divine & Casey Spillman Remix)

Aaron Johns (aka Vicki Vivacious), cabaret act and DJ

When and how did you get into working out? 

Before August I would have never imagined I would be in the gym five days a week with a personal trainer. During a trip to Barcelona I experienced some real negative comments about my body from someone in London and it deeply hurt me. The second I arrived home to London I got a trainer and have not looked back since.

Aside from your physical gains, what else do you get from working out?

I have seen a massive change in my body in such a short space of time but I think the biggest improvement has to be my state of mind and how I think towards others. It’s lifted my mood and I’m such a happier person. The attention from a better body helps too, I must admit.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced with your training?

The first couple of months. I felt everyone was looking at me thinking ‘Look at that skinny guy trying to lift’. I soon realised everyone at my gym is only interested in their own goals and are such friendly people. I’m so lucky to have the support of my trainer, Alex. He is such a beautiful person inside and very easy on the eye, so training with him is a joy and I’m gutted when our session is up. I have found working with a trainer amazing and I don’t think I would have achieved the goals I have without him. I would advise anyone to join a gym. Working out is the best drug in the world and will open your mind and social circle. I’m a much healthier, nicer person for it.

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