Muireann Carey-Campbell, or Bangs, as everyone seems to call her, is the fabulous and fit lady behind one of my favourite blogs, Spikes & Heels. Described as “a fitness site for badass women who train hard,” it’s an inspirational read. The site has just recently turned one, and if you haven’t bookmarked it yet, you are seriously missing out! I talked to Bangs about the weirdest fitness class she’s ever tried, her favourite brands and our mutual hatred for the term ‘bikini body.’
Your blog Spikes & Heels is inspiring so many women to get fit. Was the idea for it long in the making?
Ahh thank you! Well, it kind of came about almost despite myself. The more I was getting into fitness, the more frustrated I was feeling towards the traditional media aimed at women who are into fitness. I really disliked the pink/fluffy/all about weight loss approach to fitness. It didn’t reflect what I, or any of the women I was encountering on my journey, were about. At the time, it seemed more and more people were associating me with fitness anyway, so it just looked like all roads were leading to me starting a site. And no one was really doing my kind of site with the specific ethos and message I wanted, so I decided to do it. From inception to launch it was about three months in total.
You studied fashion, but have you always been into sports?
Gosh no! I’m not a natural athlete by any means. I played netball in primary school (as we all do), but by the time I was in high school, I was a dancer and that was my focus. I didn’t do any sports at all in school. It was just dance, dance, dance from the age 11 to 22. Then there was a period of prolonged inactivity until I was about 29!
I’m glad I’ve found someone who hates the concept of ‘bikini body’ as much as I do! Do you think the magazines will ever stop using that phrase and encourage people to get fit for life instead?
Man, I detest it. It’s such an unhealthy approach to fitness. Apparently women should only work out two months of the year to prepare themselves for two weeks on the beach. I think in general, the ethos of women’s magazines when it comes to fitness is all backwards. I work out because I love my body, not because I hate it. But the message they put out is that I should always be unhappy with some part of my body and something should always be improved. Sadly, I don’t think the ‘bikini body’ thing will stop any time soon, as women who haven’t yet found a healthy relationship with being active totally lap that nonsense up.
You love running, but have only quite recently started cycling. How do you find it and have you got any tips for anyone thinking about buying their first ‘proper’ bike? (Besides wear a helmet, of course!)
It depends what you want to use it for really. I have a great fixed wheel bike that I got second hand, that I love. My road bike is obviously a bit flashier. I had a proper fitting for that. I didn’t even know that was an actual thing, but it’s been invaluable. If you want to get into cycling more seriously, I think a bike fitting is imperative to get done. It makes sure the bike is properly set up specific to all your measurements.
What clothes do you feel the most comfortable in? And when it coms to sports gear, what are your favourite brands and items?
At the moment, I pretty much live in workout kit because I’m constantly training. I do love to dress up though and look very feminine and put together. When it comes to sportswear, I probably wear Nike the most and Rapha when I’m cycling. I also really like Sweaty Betty and Lululemon for really nice kind of cross over fitness/every day wear.
Lastly, what is the most bizarre fitness session you’ve ever tried?
Definitely aerial yoga, but it was amazing!