Words by Hayley
At Rocycle we’re all about Mind Body Music, but, just as important is the fact that we’re a family. So, to make sure each class is not just a party but a reunion, we’d like to introduce some of our Ro’Regulars. We absolutely adore when our Ro’riders put their fitness to the test, all in the name of a good cause, and one of our most dedicated members of our Ro’fam is doing just that: Jelle de Jong is climbing Mont Ventoux to raise money in the fight against ALS. Jelle sat down with us and dished on eating protein to build muscle, what Rocycle means to him and the importance of this fantastic cause.
Hi Jelle! We’re thrilled to get to Ro’ you a bit better and share the story of your climb and the charity that is so dear to your heart. Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m Jelle de Jong, I just turned 32, I work as an actor and I’m always ready for a good challenge. I was born in The Hague, studied theatre in Maastricht and moved to Amsterdam 10 years ago because of work. And, of course because of how wonderful the city is.
We are glad to have you here in our fantastic city! And here in the studio. Can you tell us how you found Rocycle?
When I decided to get into better physical and mental shape two years ago, I wanted to try as many different types of exercise as possible. When I started Rocycle, I was immediately hooked. Now I’m training for my climb of Mont Ventoux on May 29th.
Would you be able to walk us through the climb, the charity and how you’re preparing?
I am tackling this challenge to raise as much money as possible for the ALS foundation. ALS is the horrible, deadly muscle disease that is still without a cure. That’s why there is such a great need for research and fundraising. Mont Ventoux is a 22 kilometre high mountain with an 11% gradation, so for me, it will be quite a big challenge. Apart from riding outside, I try to Rocycle as much as I can to be as perfectly prepared as possible. It would be amazing if everyone could support the fight against ALS and sponsor my ride, as this disease needs as much attention as it can get! You can donate through https://www.tourduals.nl/actie/jelle-de-jong
It seems like an incredibly worthy cause. Maybe even a charity ride in the studio could be interesting? Now how do your friends and family fit into your Rocycle story?
Whilst training, I like to link up with friends who already Rocycle so that we can experience the rides together. I also try to bring new people into the Ro’fam. First-timers are always a bit intimidated by the classes, but they always come back a second time. And a few of them have gotten hooked as well. Rocycle is a fun, inspiring way to work out, burn calories, clear your mind and find new energy.
Exercise is obviously important to you, but is nutrition something you consider an important facet of a healthy lifestyle?
I learned a lot from a food coach over the last year. I used to eat too little, but when I started to build some muscle, I learned to eat more, focusing on getting the right amount of protein. This really changed my body. I try to have some dry months (no alcohol!) throughout the year, and when I train longer, I try to get enough electrolytes to keep the energy coming. A protein bar or a banana after training are a must.
We know it’s like asking a mother to pick her favourite child, but do you have a go-to instructor?
Donna and Rowen are my favourite instructors. They have such amazing positivity and a really stimulating way of giving a class. And they make you smile. But all trainers at Rocycle have their own strength and power in motivating their classes.
Speaking of playing favourites, do you have a favourite move on the bike?
I love the long, standing climbs. With some good music, you can turn the dial to the right endlessly. Once you reach the top, you always get a powerful feeling.
We love that too. It’s so empowering! Is there anything we can always find in your fridge?
Yoghurt, apples, French cheese and vodka.
Everything in moderation including moderation, right?! Do you have a favourite healthy haunt in Amsterdam?
I really love Freezelab, the cryotherapy where you go into a chamber that’s chilled to -120 degrees for three minutes. After training, it’s great recovery. And it’s also amazing to start the day after a heavy night out. I always feel brand new after a treatment.
Oh man that sounds cold! Could you tell us something most people don’t know about you?
That I am a great cook and want to grow old in a little house by the sea somewhere in Italy.
That is awfully tempting…we may join you! Alright, last question: what does Rocycle mean to you?
It is the best, most challenging workout possible, where there is no escape. Signing in means you know you will kick your own ass, no matter what, whereas in the gym, you can always cheat a bit on a lazy day. And the best bit? You always have the feeling that you are part of a group, part of the energy.