Rachel Murray | Fitness with a Cause

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If you dig deep enough into the motivations of why people are conscious (in some cases hyper-conscious) of their health or make fitness a priority in their lives you’ll find the real underlying reason.  For some it maybe that their family is littered with tragic stories of premature health decline or death, for others it maybe that they were teased as a young child, and for most people it will take a lot more that one or two questions to really get close to a the real underlying reason/s.  A series of interrogating questions isn’t necessary for Rachel Murray to articulately tell me how her fitness journey began, “I was sexually abused in college, and given my athletic upbringing, my first outlet was running. But running became destructive. I built up a tolerance and had to run harder and faster and longer to feel the same thing — and I had been running to feel something; anything.”

After getting serious about running “It was then that my friend introduced to me to weight training. In college, after a friend introduced me to weight training and proper nutrition, because it was the first time I had felt truly empowered and strong in a long time. I fell in love with the feeling it gave me and wanted to share that with other women in need of confidence and empowerment.” Rachel’s exploits into fitness as a profession is so vast and varied that it’s difficult to contain what she does in one word or statement. “I do a lot of different things and it’s hard to explain, but generally, I’m a fitness professional in the entertainment industry. I’m a professional sports model and host, a fit-lifestyle blogger, a certified personal trainer/nutritionist and lifestyle coach, and an advocate for women realizing and reclaiming their innate, God-given value and purpose.”

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When I asked Rachel about how she ended up where she is now, it’s clear that there wasn’t like a master plan or vision that led her to where she is today. “To be honest, I don’t think I ever thought like that. I don’t set 5 and 10 year plans, but I do get a thrill out of achieving the goals I set for myself.  I’ve always been a goal setter, motivated by the idea and belief that nothing is impossible. My dad taught me to be resourceful (an invaluable lesson) and so, every imagined goal became a challenge, but in a fun, solve-the-mystery sort of way. Successfully reaching a goal motivated me to set a new goal, and the pattern simply repeated itself.”

Being the oldest of four children Rachel says she’s been drawn to leadership and ambition. “I spent my childhood moving every few years while my dad was in the military which made me highly adaptable and tenacious. I was raised in a Christian home, and my relationship with God is everything to me. My parents, who’ve prioritized their theology as long as I can remember, are a living example of the message of grace and two of my biggest inspirations (spiritually, relationally, and beyond). And so, every “nothing is impossible” goal I imagined became a challenge, but in a fun, solve-the-mystery sort of way. Successfully reaching a goal motivated me to set a new goal.”

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Cause Fitness

Cause Fitness is Rachel’s program and channel for her fitness message. I’ll let her tell you about it in her own words….

As the name implies, Cause Fitness is all about Fitness for Effect.™ 

The meaning is three-fold in definition. 

1) It’s about personal responsibility – it’s a call to cause your own fitness effect. 

2) It’s about positively influencing those around you – it’s a call to cause a fitness effect on those around you; a ripple effect. 

3) It’s a cause – a call to action; an invitation to get fit and give back. A minimum of 10% of all proceeds goes to causes (organizations and ministries) who are all about giving a hand up rather than just a hand-out (eg. Charity Water).

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Rachel On Fitting Fitness Into Your Life

First of all, you have to plan for success, purposefully — make your goal a SMART goal, get professional guidance, and tell people about it, for accountability and support.

But after that, unless you’re set on training for a marathon or Ironman (a goal that requires hours upon hours of endurance practice), or professional bodybuilding (a goal that requires extra training volume, and slower harder sets with extra rest time between them) there are many training protocols and methods to suit almost any other fitness goal that can be done efficiently and still be effective. For example, depending on intensity and level of exertion, HIIT circuits are a great way to get stronger and burn body fat in in very little time (10-30 min max), all while increasing your resting metabolic rate for up to 48 hours post workout! Read: harder work NOW means more calories burned longer, even while binging Netflix.

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Fitness Advice from Rachel

The advice would depend on the person (can vary greatly based on their personal motivations, history, limiting factors, lifestyle, mental/emotional health, etc), but generally, I’d encourage them to remember their “why”. Why are you making time to workout? What is the reason? If the reason isn’t motivating enough, I’d encourage them to find a reason that is personally motivating and remind themselves of that daily (post-it’s, alerts, notifications, wall-art, photos, etc). This is because mindset changes everything. You must decide to change before you can commit to change, and you must commit to change before you begin the process, because it will get difficult. You have to be ready for obstacles and want to change badly enough to push through even when they do. Change always requires challenge.

80/20 Rule for Fitness by Rachel

Planning and preparing. If you have a plan of action, the tools for the journey, and your environment is primed for success (20%), then the work (80%) will seem much easier, and the goal so much more achievable.

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On Fitness Modeling

In 2007, a model friend of mine sent in photos of me from a boating excursion that summer to his agency (without my knowledge). I got a contract from them shortly after and signed, booking my first job just a few days later. It was something I had secretly always wanted to do but wouldn’t have pursued it without the push. I’m forever grateful!

I love that it’s new every time. Even if I book recurring jobs with the same company, the job is never the same twice, and rarely boring. I’m always meeting such amazing and inspiring people, too, and that leads to friendships and business relationships, and collaborations, and more!

On Nutrition

I’m certified in exercise nutrition (sports nutrition) and believe food is our fuel. The more active we are, the more (calories, carbs, etc.) we need; the more sedentary we are, the less we need. Gotta earn your starches! 🙂 But, I’m bit of a hybrid of Sports Nutrition and Paleo because I stick to my mantra “God-made over man-made” wherever and whenever possible. This means real, whole foods. Nothing artificial. I’m not a vegetarian, but I believe greens should take up the most real-estate on your plate in every meal. A full amino-acid profile for protein is vital for health and fitness goals, so I do consume and advocate animal proteins, but I keep red meat to a minimum and eat a lot of eggs, chicken, and natural whey protein shakes.

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What’s Next

I’m working on a book, a memoir. And I just launched a new web-series on my YouTube channel called “Real Talk with Rach” as a way to open up about my story, be transparent, and discuss topics that we, as a society, generally hide from out of fear, but desperately need to face/own-up to in order to evolve and heal and grow and reconcile and move forward. Topics like vulnerability, forgiveness, body image, self worth, and compassion are examples of things we’ll be talking about in future episodes.

My hope is that this series builds a strong online community that spreads the messages with their circles and positively influences others to build similar communities. I want to create a ripple effect. That’s always been my vision for Cause Fitness. It’s Fitness for Effect. That happens when we learn how to give AND receive, and really DO LIFE together, working through rather than avoiding hard topics and conversations. We need more courageous and compassionate people. We need bravery and vulnerability and integrity.

I’d love for the book and the online community to become physical community who gather and participate in future retreats and workshops and community outreach events.

I hope that I can help you see your value as innate, not to be earned; I hope I can help you see that while fitness and health are vital to your quality of life, they can’t save you like I used to think they could; and I hope that I can help you better understand, through basic fitness and nutrition education and a little personal responsibility, how simple taking care of yourself really is.

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Rachel Murray