As one quarter of the chart-topping band Rudimental, Leon Rolle – aka DJ Locksmith – is best known for his musical talents. But long before making his name onstage, he was an up and coming footballer with a serious love for fitness. If you happened to catch his appearance on Celeb SAS: Who Dares Wins, or his recent appearance on Soccer Aid, you’ll know that he’s still mega-fit, making training a big part of his life. We caught up with him to chat motivation, goal setting and inspirations, and find out what 2020 has changed for him.
Before I knew what love was, I fell in love with football.
That’s when fitness really came for me. At a very young age I was at a football academy and aspiring to become professional. It involved hard work, dedication and consistency to get to the levels that I got to. Obviously, music took over and so football had to take a back seat, but the fitness element of it never disappeared and as I grew up and my knowledge grew, so did my fitness levels.
We all know about the physical side of fitness, but mentally it has a huge impact for me.
The positivity that it brings is an amazing feeling. It kind of baffles me that there’s a lot of people that don’t engage in fitness because they’re scared of it hurting them physically, but don’t realise the impact that it has mentally. The feelings that you have afterwards of achievement and euphoria, and feeling that you’ve completed something in your day, are amazing and do wonders for you.
That doesn’t mean always going to be easy to find motivation – even I haven’t been as kind to my body in August as usual.
I do think it’s important to understand that you will have days where you don’t want to get to the gym or do any physical activity. For me, it’s important to just keep slogging along, do the hard work still and stay positive. It’s important to look at a bigger picture than just short-term goals: you want to stay healthy, you want to make progress, and there will be a positive mental impact on your life through fitness. Once you get through that grey area, you’ll come out the other side raring to go.
Goal setting is a massive, massive part of my training.
And analysing my progress. I do a lot of my training by myself so its really important that my self-motivation is at the top of its game. I use a lot of technology – heart rate monitors, recovery pumps, foam rollers – just to analyse where my body is at. For me, every time I train is for a target or a goal but I don’t think it has to be like that for everyone – for some, just going for a 30 minute walk can be enough. And if you do find yourself struggling to stay on track don’t be too hard on yourself – there’s still time to get it done as long as you are willing to push in the right direction.
Your mind is so much more powerful than you think. You’ve always got more in the tank.
Celeb SAS: Who Dares Wins taught me that. I came out of it knowing that I can achieve anything; when I’m at my lowest moments or hitting a painful threshold I can just look back to my moments and my time on there and know that I’ve done worse. We live a lot of our lives through social media especially with covid and lockdown, and so we tend to not live in reality. What SAS forces you to do it take a really long look at yourself and live in your reality and in your own head to find out what you’re really made of.
I’ve got a lot of fitness inspirations.
There’s a lot of really powerful women out there that I look up to. Heba Ali (@evolve.nation
) is amazing, just for the way she works; I think there’s a stigma towards women training at the moment with some people believing it’s all about the way you look – that’s why I like her, it’s all about the raw hard work and grittiness of it all. I also recently got the privilege of training with Crossfitters including Zac George (@zackgeorge
), who is an absolute beast. I love the whole philosophy behind these guys, that it’s not just sticking to one fitness element. I’m really enjoying that kind of training and that’ll be my main motivation in September.
2020 has made us all take stock of what really matters.
I look out my window and look at my cars, and throughout lockdown there was nowhere to drive them. They were redundant and just didn’t matter. What has mattered is family. I’ve got a seven-month year old daughter and without lockdown I’d probably have missed out on her growing up as quickly as she has done. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been points where I’ve been like I really
need to get out, but it’s been beautiful being there with the family.
One thing that hasn’t changed about me
since the growth of Rudimental is that I’ve still got a determination to start things from zero and build them up. I’ve just started a new clothing line, and my dedication and drive for starting new things is still there regardless of how successful I’ve been in other areas. If anything, that motivation has just become stronger and stronger.
If you’re coming to my Main Stage session at Balance Festival 2021 you should expect a few things.
Firstly, some good music. And a workout that’s different from anything you usually do. There’ll be elements to the exercises that everyone’s familiar with, there’ll be slight twists to it, and it’ll also share my own experiences from things like SAS: Who Dares Wins in terms of the intensity. It’ll have the expertise of my own personal trainer too (@esinpt), who pushes me to my limits every time.
Locksmith's new sportswear brand is available now. Women's range coming soon!