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Next Level Guy

May 13, 2021

Today’s guest is: Viola Brand 

Who are they: More commonly known as violalovescycling. 

Viola is 26 years old, a former competitive athlete in artistic cycling from 2000-2020, and was a member of the German national team from 2010 on. She won the silver medal at the UCI indoor cycling world championships in 2019, 2017, 2016 as well as winning the European championship in 2018, 2012. In February 2020 she retired from competitive artistic cycling to focus more on showcasing the sport of artistic cycling and building her brand, where she presents artistic cycling in a casual way in combination with fitness, health, and lifestyle. as well as completing her University course - a Master of Science in clinical nutrition at the University of Hohenheim in Germany. 

In this interview, we discuss her story, training regime, learning tricks, mindset training, dealing with fear and fame and so much more.   

*Please ignore my quarantine weight gain and terrible haircut! 


Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate on

  • Viola does artistic cycling, which is a way of dancing and gymnastics on the bike, a mixture of the three.
  • How did she get started in artistic cycling? Would she have gone into the sport if there was not a family connection with her brother?
  • Why does she think she has been so successful?
  • Viola puts her success down ot her level of patience, and the repeated drilling of the moves until she could complete these actions without conscious thought.
  • "Success does not come overnight, you need to work for it"
  • How is the sport set up and funded for artistic cyclists when they represent their national team
  • Young athletes need to ensure that they are competing in their sport for the love of the sport as unfortunately there is little funding available for athletes until they reach a high level. 
  • She has appeared on the Ellen Show! - Click here to view this on YouTube
  • How has she managed to juggle her university work, along with her training, social media, making videos etc?
  • Scheduling has allowed Viola to juggle her many responsibilities. A list of jobs without deadlines are dreams, when you put a timeframe to them, they become goals. Set up a calendar and block out times to train, times to study, work on your projects. Once organized, don't try and change too much, simply follow the schedule, make it a habit as Viola did, and readjust slightly as you need to. Viola is a great example of someone juggling many demands and showing it can be done. Get to it! 
  • How is artistic cycling setup - is there a regular season, how are the competitions organized etc?
  • How does she go from conceptualizing a trick to making it part of her act and art? How does she learn her tricks?
  • The real method of success is the work that is put in practicing and working hard in the background, away from the lights and the crowds. When you compete, true training should allow you to simply react to your training. You will have pushed yourself in training over and above the requirements of your training, so when you come to actually compete, it is easy to go on autopilot.
  • Do not afraid to fail and be hurt. You will fail, it will go wrong and you will not master all skills in the first few days, months or even years. Put in the hard work until you have the confidence and belief in your skills. Rep until you master.  
  • What sort of gym regime does she use? 
  • How has she learned to recover from bad falls and injuries and not let them stop her from getting back into training and putting herself into dangerous positions.
  • What mindset and mentality work does she do eg visualization, journalling, etc?
  • Viola has a great approach to dealing with her emotions and feelings - and identifying and naming them. This helps to remove their power over you, and you can deal with the feeling rather than the overpowering emotions all at once, and when dealt with, it loses its power over you. 
  • You will always feel fear, it will never go away. So instead of running from it, name your fear, speak to your fear, accept it is part of you and use it to power you rather than hinder you. It is a feeling to keep you safe, not to hurt you, so give it a name, say you welcome it, and want it to be part of the activity, and Viola found it really helps reduce the fear you are experiencing. 
  • Don't let your biggest opponent be between your ears, stop fighting your brain and make it work for you.
  • After all her success, what keeps her motivated and pushing herself daily?
  • Her struggles with her retirement, and not achieving her World Championship dreams.
  • How is dealing with the fame and spotlight, that her social media and appearance on Ellen created? How has she changed since she started her channel and built such a following?
  • Does she have a normal day or morning ritual etc?
  • How does she constructing her routines for the events she does?
  • Does her creative cycling side allow her to balance her student data-driven side to harmonize in her life?
  • What does she want the evolution of her brand to be?