Fit Bits: The former US athlete promoting better health in Cambridge

Zoe Cheng, a former US Division 1 athlete in women’s rowing, promotes physical and mental health in her work as a personal trainer and psychotherapeutic counsellor

Up for adventure
Up for adventure

My fitness story

I am a personal trainer and teach fitness classes including studio cycling, HIIT, indoor and outdoor bootcamps. I work at M-Power Fitness, Zone Fitness and independently. I have been working part time in the fitness industry since August 2021. Alongside being a personal trainer, in July 2022 I qualified as a psychotherapeutic counsellor from Cambridge University. In October 2023 I completed my research Master of Education at Homerton College, Cambridge. I now work part-time in the mental health field and part time in the fitness industry.

My work

It is a perfect mix of mental and physical wellbeing, as I believe in a holistic approach to wellness and feel grateful that I have work in both. Being highly aware of the psychosomatic – how mental health affects our physical health and vice-versa - I am passionate in seeing ways to help people work with both together.

In the gym
In the gym

Why I love my job

I love seeing people improve in their fitness and general wellbeing. I strive to make fitness inclusive and am enthused by the positive impact sport and exercise can have on people.

Having trained in high level sport (ex-Division 1 athlete for Sacramento State University, California Women’s Rowing), I know the dedication of training and have learnt a lot along the way. I have also completed several half marathons, two full marathons and a sprint triathlon. Sport and exercise are an important aspect of my life and I love to encourage others in this too.

Zoe loves to run
Zoe loves to run

I enjoy helping people improve and find their inner strength. We all have it, but sometimes life can destabilise you, and I like being a part of helping people regain stability. Even making small changes to the day, whether it’s signing up to one fitness class a week, can make such a difference. Where needed, I sometimes remind my clients that ‘showing up is a win.’

My go-to quick workout

A 30-minute HIIT (with a mixture of cardio and strength) is always a winner when on a time crunch!

Weight lifting
Weight lifting

My favourite feel-good long workout

A strength session, followed by the pool (including plunge pool if possible) and sauna. In warmer temperatures open water swimming, paddle-boarding or wakeboarding.

Perfectly balanced
Perfectly balanced

The energy-boosting snack I swear by

I love a banana and crunchy peanut butter.

My indulgent treat food

It depends on my mood. Over the colder months I’ve got into hot chocolate (darker the better) with oat milk. In summer, I love pistachio gelato from Aromi!

How I kick back and relax

Different things are life-giving for me, depending on what I need; quality time with friends and family, s’mores around a camp fire, cocktails, baking, a workout, being in nature, and walking dogs.

My top tip for anyone who needs motivating to start exercising

Find what’s right for you, and it’s okay to try different classes until you do. There is so much out there from trying out a new sport or exercise class. Grab a friend to come with you. You will be amazed who you meet along the way too!

Find out more about Zoe at and email

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