Set 1 : Meet Phyllis

Phyllis Agbo Blue Elvin Athlete

Meet Phyllis, Chartered Surveyor & ex GB Heptathlete 

Our Set 1 Launch Campaign was to capture female power, through the lens of training. To do that authentically, for each woman, we asked them a series of questions. To learn more about what training means to them. These conversations were inspiring and humbling. We’re sharing their stories back because they deserve to be told. 



Meet Phyllis, Chartered Surveyor, and ex GB Heptathlete. Phyllis started her sporting career playing country cricket for Middlesex. After competing full time for 8 years in Athletics, she played Rugby for Saracens. 

Tell us a bit about your training routine over the last 12 months? 

During my sports career, I suffered from several injuries so after retiring I decided to take a couple years off from training. When I picked training back up, I joined Third Space, and now I’ve been trying out lots of different studios in London including 1Rebel and The Foundry. I’m really enjoying doing more functional training! 

Why do you turn up to train? 

Definitely the endorphins. It might be a really tough session, and you know it will hurt, but when you’re lying on the floor in a pool of your own sweat you just feel that natural high! If I’m honest part of it is vanity too. I love food and love to eat - so training enables me to eat what I want.

What do you think about when you’re training? 

How can I make the session into a competition. It’s the only way I can push myself - I need to have an outcome. If I’m training with others, I’ll be looking over to see their progress. If I know a workout is time-based, I’ll strategise with myself about how many rounds I want to get through. 

Phyllis Agbo at Blue Elvin photoshoot

What’s one movement that makes you feel empowered?

Snatching. It’s such a fluid and fast movement, plus it’s very technical. When you hit one well it feels so good. It’s like when I used to throw the javelin - as your release a good throw, you just know. 

Do you have any training routines or rituals that have become important to you?

I had a few during my Athletics career but not too many now. Before weightlifting, I always step up to the bar, shake everything down, and very deliberately place my hands on the bar. I’ll settle in, think about my strategy and get focussed. I try to get the most out of every minute while I’m training. 

Is there a woman that’s had a real impact on your training?

My idol was Denise Lewis. I met her when I was 13 and I got to know her through our sport. I was really inspired by her gold medal in Sydney and she continues to inspire me now as a mum in her 40s who's still super fit. 

Jessica Ennis-Hill is also incredibly inspiring. We are a month apart in age, so we’ve known each other since 12/13, have attended squad camps together and competed together. She’s one of the loveliest people I’ve met in sport and a lot of women can relate to her - she’s family-oriented, level-headed, and shows you don’t have to be egotistical to be a successful sportsperson. Plus became a world champion a year after giving birth… insane!

Phyllis Agbo at the Blue Elvin photoshoot

How do the benefits of training impact the rest of your life? 

It positively impacts my energy levels and ability to focus. I’ve gained transferable skills and get to meet interesting people through sport. I’ve created some very strong bonds through training and competing - we’ve all gone through the same struggles, heartache, and triumph. It’s a shared experience that bonds you for life. 

To follow Phyllis's journey see here.