Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Victoria Pendleton on life after cycling

June 25, 2014
Share this:

As Great Britain's most successful female Olympian, having won two gold and one silver medals, Victoria Pendleton has dedicated most of her life to cycling. But after hanging up her helmet and officially retiring, the 33-year-old is discovering life outside of the sport. One of the biggest changes was her body. "I've lost a lot of weight – I'm about eight and a half kilos lighter," she told HELLO! Online in an exclusive interview.

"In terms of dress size, I've also gone down about one and a half dress sizes. I've noticed in particular a change in my lower body – before, I could never have worn a pair of tailored trousers!" Victoria, who married sports scientist Scott Gardner at the end of last year, was speaking at the launch of Simply Great Drinks. She also opened up on married life, why eating clean is so important and misconceptions about building muscleAfter retiring, I had to half my food intake… I was roughly eating just over 3,000 calories a day as an athlete, so I literally had to half it. It wasn't that hard because when I stopped training, I naturally didn't feel as hungry. Dead lifting 150 kilos and squatting up to 130 kilos – that's what revved up my appetite!

I'm happy with my new shape… But I do miss the muscle, I'm not going to lie! I always say that I'm going to go to the gym and work out because when I look at myself in the mirror, I feel a bit puny. However, gaining muscle mass is a huge commitment. A lot of girls think that they will go to the gym and touch a bar bell and they will look like Arnie – I wish! It doesn't work like that. I do eat clean… I naturally favour a clean, healthy diet. A salad sandwich is one of my favourite meals! I genuinely enjoy the process of making colourful, delicious food. But I do allow myself an occasional piece of chocolate – today I had a pastry. If I fancy something, I'll have it. I would never do a juice cleanse… I think just drinking juice is too extreme for a diet. Your body needs more than juice so I think it's a very hard thing to do – very challenging and probably very unhealthy for your body. You can't get everything you need from a juice. I love juice because it can provide you with nutrients – but drink it alongside your diet! Everything in moderation. People also don't realise how many carbs and how much sugar is actually in juice.

For someone looking to tone up through exercise, I'd suggest combining both cardio and weight training… Don't do weight training every day, because you won't get the value due to fatigue. I would suggest weight training three times a week – the rest days allow your body to adapt and recover. Do cardio in similar quantities. When you’re doing both of those trainings, you’ll be counteracting the effect of building muscle, and the muscle will be counteracting the effect of the endurance training. So they always work against each other, but in doing so, your body has to work harder and it is therefore extremely effective. I'm loving married life… I'm spending a lot of time in the garden at the moment. We've got our own veg patch, which is exciting as everything is flowering right now. We were always looking forward to buying somewhere together with a bit of garden space in the countryside so it's fantastic – we've got our two dogs running around, it's lovely. Babies aren't on the cards just yet… I'm letting my friends have babies first, so I can see how it goes and judge how I feel on that! They're testing the waters for me.Victoria is working with Simply Great Drinks to front its Be Simply Great campaign, a simple and sensible approach to staying, fit, happy and healthy long-term. To find out more about the Be Simply Great Challenge visit

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Health & Fitness

See more