Jo McRae personal trainer

Jo McRae

Core Conditioning, Flexibility & Mobility, Functional Training, Strength Training/Conditioning, Weight Loss, Cycling, Posture


I’m lucky enough to have always loved exercise, and my passion for sport, fitness and health has shaped my life and career. As a child I tried many sports, but settled first on competitive swimming, and then in my late teens on competitive cycling, with early varied racing experience on closed circuits, the track and in time trials.

Following my A level studies I went to Loughborough University to study Physical Education and Sports Science where in 1998 I graduated with a first class honours degree. In my final year I wrote my dissertation as a comparative study of cycle racing culture in Britain and France.

A short time in Australia followed where I worked as a swimming teacher and in a bike shop in North Sydney, where during my stay I got heavily involved in the local vibrant cycling scene. In the spring of 1999 I was granted financial support from the Dave Rayner fund to spend the season racing, so came back to Europe to take up a place in a team in Brittany, France where I spent the summer.

Though I enjoyed the racing, I found the lifestyle lonely and difficult, and without much happening in the British women’s cycling scene at that time when I returned home I sought work in the fitness industry.

For the next decade I explored all aspects of fitness searching for something challenging and fulfilling that would help me develop my career. Starting out as a gym instructor, I then taught various group exercise classes, and became a personal trainer, developing skills coaching groups and working one to one in clients’ homes. I also trained spin instructors and presented Keiser indoor cycling programs at fitness conferences and across health clubs in the U.K.

In 2002 I saw Paul Chek present at ‘Fitpro’ and was blown away by the depth of his holistic approach. Inspired and motivated, I immediately began studying Paul’s courses culminating in my qualification as a level II CHEK practitioner and Holistic Lifestyle Coach. The skills and knowledge I have gained through the Chek Institute are the ones I rely on the most in my work and life.

From 2002-2011 I worked first in my own private studio, and then in a small private health club, developing my clinical skills and gym based coaching, as well as teaching Pilates classes. During this time, I also rekindled my interest in cycling, dipping in and out of the racing scene, and writing on cycling fitness related topics for various cycling magazines (Cycling Weekly, Cycling Fitness, Cycle Active), and online publications (Road Cycling UK). As the cycling community has begun to recognise a need for ‘off the bike’ conditioning, specific work with cyclists has become a key aspect of my work. In the Autumn of 2016 my first book ‘Ride Strong: Essential Conditioning for Cyclists’ was published by Bloomsbury and is available now in book shops and online.

Ensuring that the body is working well on the bike by assessing your ‘bikefit’ has become an important component of any keen cyclist’s training plan. From 2011 to 2016 I worked alongside colleague Mal Pires from Le Beau Velo in Shoreditch, developing a collaborative bike fitting service that connected the body and bike aspects together. My role was to assess the biomechanics of the body on the bike, and let my findings inform and adjust the position to ensure injury issues were avoided and performance potential was maximised. The collaborative process of working with Mal greatly enhanced my understanding of the requirements of the various cycling positions.

Currently my work is focussed on these two main areas, working as a mobile personal trainer at home in the Bromley area, and conditioning for cyclists in London and the South East. As a useful adjunct for cyclists, particularly with injury issues, I also offer a biomechanical bike fitting service.


  • B.Sc. (Hons) Physical Education & Sports Science
  • BAWLA - British Amateur Weight Lifting Association Teaching Certificate
  • C.H.E.K. - Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 1
  • C.H.E.K. - Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 2
  • C.H.E.K. - Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Level 1
  • C.H.E.K. - Practitioner Level 1
  • C.H.E.K. - Practitioner Level 2
  • C.H.E.K. - Programme Design
  • C.H.E.K. - Scientific Core Conditioning
  • C.H.E.K. - Scientific Shoulder Training
  • C.H.E.K. - Swiss Ball Training
  • CPCAB - Level II Certificate in Counselling Skills for Helping Roles
  • Healthexcel - Intermediate Metabolic Typing Advisor
  • UKSCA - Level 1 - Novice Strength & Conditioning Coach

Languages spoken


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