Alex Wong | Obsession for Perfection

A dancer-cum-fitness expert has a simple yet effective formula to attain a rewarding fitness lifestyle.

Alex Wong | Obsession for Perfection

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Alex Wong is a dancer and fitness expert who started dancing since 7-years-old. Snapping both Achilles’ tendons did not deter him from chasing his dream and finding satisfaction in what he holds dear as purpose. At thealexwong.com he shares with his teeming visitors a variety of fitness information to help them get through their challenges.  

You might have caught the NYC/LA resident in some TV and film dance flicks. When he is not doing that, you might find Mr. Wong in a gym exercising or taking dance classes. Despite his fixed schedule, he has time to engage his following at @alexdwong on the major social media platforms where he also shares inspired fitness contents.

Fitness, training, and influence

Currently, I usually work mostly in dance for TV and film, and then on the weekends, I fly around the country to teach at conventions. I also created content for my social media with fitness and dance inspired clips – to me that ends up almost being like a live business card.

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Why this fitness journey?

I started dancing when I was 7 and I have never stopped since. I wouldn’t even really consider it a journey but I just consider it life. However, in the early part of my career, I only danced and didn’t cross-train much. I started lifting when I was 24 after I started working on TV just because I felt like it would look better. Then a few years ago I was introduced to group fitness classes because of ClassPass. Currently, I mix all of it together- dance, gym, and classes.

Fitness methods

Because dance is a visual and aesthetic art/sport, sometimes you are not doing things that are anatomically healthy. I make sure when lift or when I’m in fitness classes, however, that I train with good form. I find that I am in the best shape when I am taking a lot of ballet class and then lifting at the gym. Ballet is like a lower body and stamina workout whereas when I’m lifting at the gym I mostly focus on the upper body. Ballet really targets muscles you would not regularly use.

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Dancers, workouts, and satisfaction

Most dancers do train outside of dance. There are a few reasons for that. I think one thing is that our bodies get used to doing the same things over and over again and so cross training will help even out those body imbalances and help prevent injuries. Another reason that speaks to me as well is I genuinely just like to stay active and I find fitness quite fun, so I do it as a “hobby” outside of the whole “dance cross training” thing. A lot of dancers also do pilates or yoga, which most people feel like it compliments their bodies quite well. I don’t enjoy those as much as I like more intense high energy workouts.

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Effective planning

It’s never too late to start, and the first step towards living a healthier lifestyle. Definitely set an initial goal and plenty of small steps. I also find documenting so you can not only feel but also see the difference is an amazing motivator.

Working smarter

I think focusing energy on small incremental fitness goals is the most rewarding. I like having a fitness tracker (like an apple watch) that helps me hit goals. It can be quite fun and also working out with friends definitely makes it more fun and there is someone there with you on the journey.

The 80/20 Rule

A bit part of that 20% is just the effort to get going. There have been multiple times where I have been tired and not wanted to work out and then I forced myself to do it, and not once have I regretted it. In all my years I can only think of ONE time where I really didn’t want to go to the gym, I made myself go and when I sat on the equipment I said to myself, “I really can’t today”. That only happened ONCE. All the other times once I got myself there I eventually started.

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Power of the Mind

I think it’s almost the most important thing! Especially for fitness where you’re pushing your body a little more than what you think it can do every time. It really is mind over matter though. You will surprise yourself over and over again.

Perseverance

If you set your mind to it you truly can achieve almost anything. I had a lot of physical struggles which includes me snapping both of my Achilles’ tendons. I am back from it and stronger than ever before!

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Alex Wong

theAlexWong.com

@alexdwong

Why Your Breathing Plays One Of The Biggest Roles in Your Fitness

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When you’re sitting at your desk working, breathing is probably one of the last things that you’re thinking of. Often we’re so occupied with other thoughts, that we don’t want to take time thinking about things that we think we don’t absolutely need to work on. Besides, it looks like we’ve made it pretty far breathing the way we’re breathing now, right?  I mean, you’re alive – I’m alive…. Although, that’s no reason to neglect proper breathing. According to most studies we’re doing it wrong. We often don’t think that breathing is the most direct way to nurture our body, and that with each breath we are sending oxygen to different parts of our body – and of course, our brain to be able to function. Isn’t our body amazing?? So, why don’t we always treat it like that? Yes – neglecting proper breathing techniques can actually be harmful to your health and especially your workouts. It can create your body to work overtime and can restrict your ability to relax, thus stopping neurological signals being sent from your brain to preform specific tasks, such as healing a part of your body with oxygen or relaxing your muscles when practicing an intensified stretch or heavy lifting. So the question is now – how do you know when you’re breathing wrong? Well, we cover that and how to optimize your breathing in your workouts to preform at your fullest potential – so keep on reading.

 

How Am I Breathing Wrong?

Studies find that there are actually many ways that you could be breathing completely wrong. It seems a little thinking that you could be doing something completely normal, and something we do naturally – completely wrong, but there’s a reason behind that. We are beings of habit, meaning that when something we feel comfortable doing, we actually preform this habit more and more until it becomes accustom to our routine – or until our body doesn’t know any better. Our body will always make sure it’s doing the best of it’s ability to take care of ourselves, but it does not always imply that our emotions don’t overtake the best practises for our body. What I mean by this is that if we adapt an abnormal breathing pattern, such as shallow breathing – than our bodies will automatically get accustom to this, since our brain is sending neurological signals to our body to breath about 20,000 times a day. If we are sending signals to breath shallowly, our body will not know the difference and preform this action. Here are the ways that your mind might be telling your body to breath “wrong”

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  1. Shallow breathing

When we are unable to take deep breaths, due to our posture, we cannot breathe properly. Deep breathing consists of breathing through our diaphragm, which means you need to be able to maximum the amount of air going in and out at a slow pace through your diaphragm to your lungs and out through your mouth. Things such as bad posture, stress in our neck, shoulders or upper back cause us to tense up around our chests, and therefore hunch over. When we’re hunched over we are not optimizing the amount of air that enter our diaphragm, therefore probably preforming shallow breathing.

  1. Short Breathing

Short breathing, similar to shallow breathing limits the ability of air transferring to our lungs. This typically causes shortness of breath and if you have problems with your lungs or heart it is more likely to occur. Although, if you have no health problems and this is still occurring for you, it is because you are simply not breathing from your diaphragm.

  1. Mouth Breathing

This type of breathing occurs when breathing in is orchestrated through the month rather than the noise. It is definitely important to have the ability to breath through both your nose and mouth, but typically you will be able to inhale more deeply when breath is inhaled through the noise, and exhaled through the mouth. By doing this, it is likely that you’ll be able to get deeper breaths that reach down to your diaphragm, rather than stay in your lungs.

 

How To Optimize Your Workouts With Breathing        

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Now that we’ve stated the wrong types of breathing, it is important to adapt a way that is likely to fit in your regular routine, in addition to avoiding shallow or short breathing. The first concept to overcome when changing your breathing is your awareness. It’s quite easy to focus on your breathing for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even a 30 minute window. But, as your day goes on, tasks pile up on your to-do list, it’s very likely breathing is not going to be at the top. So, to overcome this, giving attention and daily awareness to your breath will improve your overall breathing. What dose this mean for your workout? Less huffing and puffing as your lifting weights or doing HITT. This is because we as humans, ironically enough, have a tendency to stop breathing when put under pressure or tension. So, when you’re lifting your weights or trying to finish the set, it’s possible that your body automatically tenses, thus diminishing your breathing.

 

If you have awareness of your breath during your workouts, then you’re likely to breath properly, and circulate airflow when stretching or building muscle – i.e. something that is extremely critical for muscle growth or healing via stretching. Once you are aware of your breath, it becomes easier for you to account for it in your workout routine. For example, if you notice yourself short breathing, then you can take a deep breath, adjust and continue with your routine. If you notice that you are breathing properly, you can even draw more attention to your breath as a focus when your workout really starts to tire you out.

 

Although it seems quite simple “pay attention to your breath,” doing this, in junction with the 4-7-8 breathing technique can actually elevate your workout to new extremes! Firstly – what is the 4-7-8 breathing technique? Basically, you inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds and repeat directly after. This technique is known to improve your stress levels because it balances your neuro-transmitter essential for brain function and the central nervous system. Why does this make a difference in your workout routine? When you go into a workout with a neutral level of stress and no tensions in your muscles and joints, you’ll be able to preform much better considering your body will physically move easier, and with a less likely probability for injury. In addition to performance, you’ll be able to overcome the mental aspect of going into yet another workout session on a cold winter day. Just practise this technique for 5 minutes and you’ll be right there, ready to go – mentally and physically.

 

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Sparked The Fire | Courtney Ustrzycki

Sparked The Fire | Courtney Ustrzycki

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SWEAT by SlimClip Case yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7 Sparked The Fire | Courtney Ustrzycki workout women fitness
“For years I had been resistance training and what I deemed to be ‘eating clean’ yet wasn’t really seeing much changes in my body. I always felt a little soft and was missing desired muscle definition that I knew I should have had. When I went for my very first session in the Bod Pod (which is an air displacement measurement system) I was extremely shocked to know that my body was 30% fat (and that’s a lot for my body!) That was by no means acceptable for myself, and that was Day 1 of change.” -Courtney Ustrzycki

A wake up call sparked a little fire in Courtney and the flame hasn’t dimed ever since. Her approach to fitness is simple, yet very effective. It has helped her to achieve her desired results and maintain it over time.

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Training

Courtney’s approach to fitness shows that you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym to achieve results. Fitness is more so about learning your body and finding what is effective for you. “I find my training methods to be simple: stick to the movements that are effective and build up weak areas. I don’t partake in those “new and improved” fitness scams or booty-builder leg press pyramids. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull ups; those are the guts of my training programming and I build from there,” Courtney says.

However don’t get me wrong, Courtney can definitely turn up the heat if she wants. While the core is always simplistic, there are many variations that can provide you with more of a challenge if that’s what you are looking for. “As a powerlifter, I focus on squat, bench press and deadlift as my primary movements. To improve those three lifts I will incorporate variations of those exercises in order to compliment and crank up the intensity. But ultimately I stick to the foundation. As I always say, K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid),” Courtney explains.

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Mind

Working out isn’t the only element in Courtney’s fitness routine. Keeping a strong mindset is also very important. “Mindset is everything. Mindset is what can make or break a person, whether it’s in the gym, in the kitchen, or in the office. Your body can push through anything; your mind will give up before your body does. It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of anything that we really don’t want to do. But we need to remember WHY we chose to do this. WHY we need to lose weight or improve our nutrition. There’s always an underlying factor that forces us to make this ultimate decision to start. It takes time to build up the motivation and the dedication, that’s not going to show up at your door every morning. You need to develop that on your own. It starts in your mind,” Courtney declares.

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Advice

Courtney has had much success on her own and she seeks to inspire others as well. I think we all could learn something from Courtney, so I had to ask if she could give me or anyone else looking to make some healthy changes to their life. And of course, she delivered. “To someone just starting to improve their overall quality of life through nutrition and exercise, I would always recommend to start small. Start with small changes over time, because those are the ones that are going to be most impactful and you can adhere to. Going all-out on Day 1 is usually grounds for an overload and usually a crash and burn, and we never want that. For example, when I begin guided programming with clients, we take their current nutrition plan (or what they usually eat on a regular basis) and make small modifications to a few different things. Keeping it simple and sticking to things that the beginner likes will make the changes much more appealing and likely to stick to in the long term. I always say that nutrition is going to trump training when it comes to starting and trying to make a change. The workouts are the easy part, it’s the nutrition that’s crucial for any success. What we put into our bodies is what we can expect to get out of it. To me, it’s not 80% nutrition and 20% training; it’s 100% of each. You need to commit your entirety into your nutrition and training. So even if you only go for a 10 minute walk at the end of the day, don’t only do 9 minutes. Do the whole 10, do the 100%. Commit and follow through,” Courtney advises.

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In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

In my opinion, the most overrated exercise is the burpee. How many people actually benefit from it? The burpee was originally created as a testing method and was only to be performed about 4 times in total. So when I see people being programmed to do 20, 50, 100, at once, I just shake my head. Why does someone who has a desk job need to do burpees? How will that improve their quality of life? I always consider my own programming and programming for my clients with the best intentions; I will create based on their needs and goals, not just how much I can make them sweat or feel like they’re dying. I think the most underrated exercise is the deadlift, and I think that’s because most people do it wrong (hurt their back), which deters people from performing it. It’s one of the most fundamentally sound exercises that requires your entire body to output energy. And in my opinion, it’s one of the most empowering yet humbling for women. Because who wouldn’t want to be able to lift three times their body weight?

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

My go-to snacks on the run are either Canadian Protein sample protein packs or Bounce Balls! Both so very healthy, nutrient-packed and satisfying!

What’s your beliefs on performance diet like?    Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?

I believe that everyone is individual in terms of nutrition. There’s no one best way that I would ever recommend. I follow a flexible dieting approach where I can really eat what I want while achieving specific macronutrient ranges on a daily basis. I fuel my body for performance and my workouts. I don’t put foods off limits because having that ‘good food versus bad food’ mindset I find to be very unhealthy. I do avoid foods that I have been tested to be sensitive too (cow’s milk, wheat, peanuts, almonds), but other than that, I think it’s all about a healthy balance that works for each unique person. When I work with clients, I customize their nutritional goals based on both their past and current lifestyle, nutritional needs, goals, any limiting factors like digestion issues, and habits. The single most important bit of advice I can give for the ‘best’ diet is: whatever truly makes the person feel good.

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Courtney Ustrzycki

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Walk the Walk

Walk the Walk

Drew Manning Walks the Walk to better understand the struggle of his fitness clients
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Health and fitness coach Drew Manning doesn’t ‘Talk the Talk’. When it comes to finding out what it’s like to be out of shape, unhealthy, and to struggle to make fitness gains he has taken extreme measures to ‘Walk the Walk’. Drew actually decided to get fat (that’s likely not the most politically correct term for it, so “overweight” or “unhealthy weight”) on purpose to experience what it was like to be overweight. “I was overweight for the first time in my life so I could better relate to my clients” Drew says ‘and so I wrote a book about my humbling experience and it’s now a TV show.

Drew started his journey of Fit2Fat2Fit (Fit to Fat to Fit) on May 7, 2011

The whole purpose of this journey was for Drew to gain a better understanding of what it was like to be overweight. He wanted to better relate to his overweight fitness clients.Drew says he didn’t know what this experience was going to lead to but. “Once I was asked to come on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is where it finally felt “real” and that this idea wasn’t just some stupid idea that no one would pay attention to” Drew says.

The ‘Fit to Fat to Fit’ Journey

“I decided to get fat to better empathize with my clients. I grew up my entire life in shape and never knew any different. I had no idea how hard it really was for my clients so I decided to completely let myself go for 6 months and gained 75 lbs in 6 months. I also wanted to inspire people in a totally different way by doing something so completely different. I didn’t do it to disrespect anyone or to pretend to know exactly what it was like for people who are overweight and have been overweight for years or even decades, but at least I can say I have more empathy and a better understanding for having done this.”

“I grew up in a very strict/black and white culture of either ‘You do or do not’ and there were no excuses” Drew tells me, “So it helped to be strong and push past any pain or weaknesses. We were a very large family of 11 siblings. I learned how to work hard and my parents instilled us with great discipline. That discipline really was essential in this journey.”

“When I started gaining weight there was no way for me to know how poorly it would make me feel. I wanted to quit when I hit the 70 lb mark. I felt so horrible and disgusting at that point. I also wanted to quit when I saw my first stretch marks come in because I still cared way too much about my physical appearance at that time. What kept me going was knowing that there were people watching me and were counting on me. So that accountability helped me push past those hard times.”

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“The whole process helped me realize that transformation is much more mental and emotional than people think. It’s not so much about the meal plans and the workouts and the diets, etc. It’s about loving who we are and knowing that we are more than what our bodies look like.”

In the end, Drew says he’s most proud when people come up to him and thank him. “People tell me their life story of obstacles that they’ve overcome in their past. Seeing how many people have been inspired by this crazy journey. It’s so touching and rewarding to see people so inspired and motivated to transform their lives.”

Focus on the Process

“After going through this process and looking back on what were the most important elements of a successful comeback.” Drew says “I advise people to stop worrying about what other people think. You must let go of your ego and to stop attaching yourself to outcomes. Instead just focus on the process and the growth that comes from putting in the effort no matter what the outcome is. In the end, if you keep that focus, the results will come.

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Drew stays busy with his television show but there’s even more to his busy life

A Day in the Life

Morning

I wake up and meditate and do positive affirmations. I drink my water with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Then I brew my coffee and add in butter and mct oil or coconut oil sometimes. Then I’ll work for a couple hours and get ready for my workout and I’ll take my exogenous ketones an hour before I workout.

Afternoon

I’ll get my workout in and come home and get my first meal in, which will usually consist of eggs, sausage/bacon, butter, cheese sauteed with some spinach and broccoli. Then it’s a shower and back to work.

Evening

This is where I’ll have my second meal of the day and usually this will be around 7-8pm. This will consist of maybe a couple beef patties with some avocado and cheese on top and I’ll sautee some cauliflower in 100% full fat coconut milk.

Night

I’ll wind down by watching an episode of Game of Thrones and then I’ll read one of my books before bed.

Workouts

Most recently I’ve been training for a Spartan Race and doing a mix of HIIT / Crossfit style workouts 3 days a week. I’ve been running, sprinting and climbing hills 3 days a week and one rest day. When that’s over, I might get back to Crossfit / Super Set Style body building lifting. I like mixing those two up.

Diet & Nutrition

Currently, I’ve been loving Ketosis and not for the reasons people might think. I’m not doing Keto to get leaner or to lose weight, but for the improvement in cognitive function, mental clarity, focus and energy. I’ve done Paleo and Whole30 in the past and still think those are great. Most people will benefit from Paleo and Whole30 for sure. I do think different diets work differently for different people and I preach all the time to find whatever works for you and make it a lifestyle change. I just love not being a slave to food, only eating twice per day and never feeling like I’m starving or ‘hangry’ all the time if I don’t have food.

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Change & Mindset

When people are trying to make healthy changes and become physically fit when they haven’t been so before, they need to make major lifestyle changes. That being said, establishing inroads to attaining a fit body is going to be different for each person depending on their goals and their past history. Finding a support system is probably the first step. Even before that, you have to be mentally and emotionally ready for the lifestyle transformation. Finding either a trainer, nutritionist, a group fitness class would be a good place for people that have no idea where to start and need their hand held for the first little bit.

Once you’ve gotten started and established new habits is where accountability comes into play.

I advise people to keep yourself accountable to friends, family, or an online community to help you in these moments. It’s not a magic pill, but it’s easier to get through setbacks if you have a support system to help keep you accountable. No matter who you are, you’re going to have setbacks and that’s why it’s so important to have this support system to keep you accountable during these hard times.

When setbacks come, one thing is to remind yourself that you are progressing whether you see that progress or not. Also, you’ll be so much happier if you detach yourself from outcomes and focus on the work and habits you’re developing during the process.

Life is too short to define yourself with weight, body fat percentage, etc.

I think measuring is fine, but I don’t believe that the scale is the best way to do that. The best ways to measure results are bloodworm (try Everly Well for at home convenient and affordable testing if you are too busy to make doctors appointments), Dexa Body scan or Bod Pod for body fat percentages, and improvements in fitness (i.e. doing the same workout 2-4 weeks apart to measure progress in time/efficiency/recovery)

The Future

I’d love to see myself still doing what I’m doing. I feel that the Fit2Fat2Fit brand could eventually become a household brand with many more seasons of Fit2Fat2Fit on television. I’m working on building Fit2Fat2Fit join up groups in some small areas across the nation. I’d love to have “an army” of Fit2Fat2Fit trainers that come from a place of empathy and caring first before helping their clients.

Who knows though…the sky is the limit!

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Drew Manning

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SnapChat: @fit2fat2fit

No Tummy Mommy | Trisha Enriquez

No Tummy Mommy | Trisha Enriquez

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This one is for the ladies with the babies. That’s right; I’m talking about all the mothers out there. Trisha Enriquez is helping mothers all over the world to get healthy and stay fit.  

“I started a small business that focuses on providing fitness and nutrition coaching for mothers – all done virtually – essentially helping women to be healthier and happier mamas,” Trisha says.

Inspiration

Having a baby is one of the world’s greatest gifts. Holding your little miracle for the first time not only makes everything you have endured in life so far worthwhile, but it can also spark you to want to go above and beyond from that point. Babies are truly inspiring and are also the world’s greatest supporters.

Inspired by the birth of her own child, Trisha dove deep into the world of fitness. While health and fitness has always been a part of Trisha’s life, having a child sparked an even deeper interest for Trisha. She not only wanted to keep herself fit, but she also wanted to begin to help others. Hence, “No Tummy Mommy” was born. Not only does Trisha get to train and advise moms all over the world and help them reach their fitness goals. She also gets to bring her daughter along for the ride too! “Having my daughter involved in the No Tummy Mommy brand makes the journey way more fun and rewarding,” Trisha exclaims.

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Motherhood

As I said earlier, motherhood is an amazing gift, but it definitely comes with a lot of changes. This even includes how you maintain your health and fitness. A lot of times when people hear about personal training for mothers, they assume it is just for mothers who have to previous background in fitness. That is completely wrong! Whether you have never been to a gym in your life or you were one of the top female body builders in the world, having a baby sort of resets any previous (or lack thereof) workout plans you have already established. You have to learn to adjust your workouts to the way your “mommy life” works now. “Motherhood has really changed how I stay fit and healthy. Of course, there is a lot of time management skills required, but it’s also a lot about our mindset. I schedule workouts in my calendar and stick to them like I would a meeting. Also, as a mother you are so tired most days so the last thing you want to do is work out; I also suggest recruiting another mommy friend who has the same goals in mind as you do. This helps so much,” Trisha advises.

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Mindset

Just as it is important to stay mentally strong as a mother, health and fitness require that same mentality. It’s not just enough to do the workouts and try a diet or two. If you really want to see results, you have to make it up in your mind that you can achieve them AND maintain them!

As a strong and entrepreneurial mother, Trish knows a thing or two about being mentally tough. She does her best to guide all of her clients in the same direction. Her number one rule when training? “The mind is everything. What we believe, we become. For someone starting out – if they truly believe they can make a change in their lifestyle, they will do it!” And she’s totally right! That’s why before starting any workout plans or diets or even hopping on the scale, Trisha always suggests one thing as the first steps to health and fitness. “Focus your energy on setting a plan for yourself (ie. Times you will work out, prep meals, recruit a friend, decide on a workout routine, etc). I believe that if you spend time up front planning and organizing how you are going to implement your routine, you will be that much more successful,” Trisha explains.

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What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

A skipping rope

A kettlebell

A yoga mat

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

The most overrated exercise is the bench press. The most underrated exercise is the pull up!

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

I love almonds or almond butter mixed in Greek yogurt!

What are your beliefs on performance diet like?    Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?

In my opinion, there is not one best diet because every person is different and each dietary protocol has its pros and cons.  Plus, something that worked great for one mother might not work as well for you. Ultimately it’s finding a nutrition routine that suits your individuality and of course, one that includes foods you will actually eat and enjoy.

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Trisha Enriquez

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Compound Effect leads to Big Gains | Christmas Abbott

Compound Effect leads to Big Gains | Christmas Abbott

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Christmas Abbott is a crossfit pro & fitness enthusiast that encourages others to use fitness as a means to turn their lives around. She does this through as many channels as she can find: she’s written books, started fitness programs, she tours, does motivational speaking, and nutrition consulting.

I’m using my personal turbulence I’ve experienced through life and applying it to the wellness and fitness industry. I want to help people wake up and realize that they have the opportunity to change their lives every day,” Christmas says.

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Start

Growing up Christmas had many challenges through life. By the age of 13, she was drinking, smoking and doing drugs. By 21, her habits lead to her doing meth and becoming an alcoholic. She didn’t really consider the damage she was doing to her body at the time. It wasn’t until she took a trip to Iraq as a civilian consultant that she had an epiphany. “I realized I was continuing to make bad decisions and continuing to put myself in compromising situations. I was going to end up killing myself because of the decisions I was making. I decided to make a better decision. I decided to quit smoking. I decided to work out and I discovered fitness and health and wellness. That became my new addiction,” Christmas explains.

The moment that Christmas realized she was capable of achieving a state of health; she started with the realization that she had positive power. She was able to commit herself to a 30 day regimen. For 20 minutes a day, three times a week, Christmas would work out on an elliptical. “This was like my gateway drug to fitness. It was a very subtle transition into fitness but by the third week, I noticed a difference in myself. It wasn’t necessarily physically fit, but I just felt better. I felt proud of myself for the first time in my life. That’s when I caught the bug of positive reinforcement,” Christmas says. Since then Christmas admits it’s still been a bit of a struggle. However through her transitioning she has gained self-worth and confidence. “I love myself fully and I want to enrich my life with positivity,” Christmas declares.

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Childhood

Christmas grew up in a poor household, however her parents loved her very much. Her mother named her Christmas Joy because she brought joy to her mom’s world when she was born.  Christmas’ father was the epitome of a biker. And the biker lifestyle that the family lived, while very exciting is what lead Christmas to picking up some of the habits that she felt was taking away from her life.

Of course, Christmas doesn’t blame her parents. They just didn’t know of a healthier way of living. “For me, when I saw that I had an option to change that, I felt more empowered,” Christmas says. However Christmas still remains very close to her family. “I wasn’t a product of a healthy lifestyle growing up. And I want people to know regardless of what upbringing you have, you can still change your future,” Christmas says.

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Obstacles

Christmas had to overcome a lot of obstacles in her journey to being as fit as she is now. For her, the hardest one was to find self-worth. “I had to believe that I was capable and had to believe that I was worth something more. Once we find ways to feel proud of ourselves, that’s when we get on a path to loving ourselves. As soon as I started to love myself, that’s when the opportunities starting presenting themselves,” Christmas says.

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Wellness Wheel

According to Christmas, the keys to living a happy, healthy lifestyle comes from within. “I tell people you have five fingers and you usually have five obligations that you can commit to before it becomes overwhelming. You have to take care of yourself.

Sleep well, eat well, exercise, and meditate.

All of this comes into play. You can be eating well and be stressed out at work and still gain weight. So when one thing is out of whack, it has a ripple effect. Living a perfectly balanced life is pretty much unheard of, but you can get pretty close to it when you create this balance. It is a mental fortitude of tenacity. When bad things happen, you can actually navigate through them in a faster and more efficient way,” Christmas says.

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Christmas Abbott

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Undeterred | Sirena Alise

Undeterred

J Keith Hall

Sirena Alise Williams isn’t easily discouraged…. That’s an understatement!

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When it comes to un-deterred determination and a knock-down, drag out work ethic Sirena Alise is hard to beat.  Just jotting down her titles is a chore.  Sirena, who goes by Sirena Alise to limit the confusion between her and the “other Sirena Williams” does so many things.  She is of course a professional track & field athlete, running the 60 meter hurdles (indoor) and 100 meter hurdles (outdoor) she was a 2015 Nationals Finalist both Indoors and Outdoors.   Sirena is also a blogger, app developer, and the lead marketer of her finance’s (pro soccer player Quincy Amarikwa) book ‘The Perfect Soccer Player Blueprint‘.  

Of course most of her seemingly endless energy is concentrated on training to improve her performance on the track.  Like so many athletes, Sirena’s start in her chosen field came because her family had been involved in track and field as a youth as well. “I first started running track and field in middle school because it’s the sport my mom did as a youth”, Sirena says.  

But Sirena’s athletic journey didn’t start in track.  “I grew up competing in gymnastics.  It was the foundation of the attitude I have towards sports.”  Sirena tells me that gymnastics taught her that if you work hard you’ll get results. “I competed up to level 10 and after that I was forced to stop because I tore some ligaments in my lower back. My nickname was baby Dawes. I was at the point in my gymnastics career where the next level was Elite level gymnastics or Olympic level. After my doctor told me the news he said if I decided to continue to compete that there would be a chance that by the time I was 16 that I wouldn’t be able to play in any other sports like normal high school student.”

At the very young age of 11 Sirena decided to end her gymnastics career due to the risk of further injury.   “That was devastating for me because it’s something that I grew up doing.” Sirena recalls, “So after the news I decided that I would just try each and every sport that I could.  I tried soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, you name it.   I pretty much tried everything when it came to sports.”

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“What inspired me the most was the story my uncle told me about my mom running track. which is why I think I love track and field the most because it was something that her and I could have conversations about.  She would tell me her experiences and how far she made it.   I could see how happy she was watching me run track, competing, and just having fun.”

“Gymnastics drove her crazy.  She worried about me getting hurt all the time when I was in gymnastics.   I could tell that she was more relaxed watching me run.”  

After being told that she could no longer do a sport that she fell in love with, Sirena appreciates every opportunity that much more.  “It was my life. It was what I did after school it’s something that I literally spent hours perfecting. To be told at that age that you can no longer do something you love is really hard and I think that’s why I put so much heart into everything that I do because to have something taken away from you it’s just really hard.” So when given the opportunity at something else to succeed, Sirena is going to make sure that she gives it everything that she has. 

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For someone that is so determined and focused, I always wonder if they have ever considered quitting.  Most of the time people (even the most successful of people) can quickly come up with a story about when they were considering quitting.  For Sirena, it’s a struggle to come up with a story about contemplating quitting.  

“When it comes to thinking about quitting I don’t necessarily think about if I’m going to quit.  It’s more so wondering why you’re doing something or why I’m not necessarily taking action on something I’m thinking about.  Everyone has their down phases where they’re questioning why they’re doing something. When it comes to questioning why you’re doing something, that is when you need to remember why you started.”  

“I have to say that I placed more pressure on myself, this Olympic year to qualify because it’s something that I have been training for for the past 3 years and dedicated all of my time towards. This year, I felt, was a defining year. Where all the hard work that I have been doing over the past several years would flourish and that’s exactly what I was on pace for.

“At any time where I was feeling doubtful, I didn’t quit because I reminded myself why I started. That’s how I feel about anything that you start.   You need to understand why you’re doing it because that is what’s going to keep you sane, grounded, and focused when those times come when you’re feeling doubtful.”

The affirmation for me was when I ran 13.24 really early in the season and that kind of let me know that this was going to be a great year.  I was on the right track.  

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Advice to your younger self

“Trust the journey.” – the advice that Sirena would give her younger self

“The only advice I would give myself if I had to do it all over again is to do it the exact same way. Trust that things are going to go well.  I think I can say that because I understood why I started and I took all the necessary steps that I needed to take in order to achieve the goals that I set before I even started the journey.”

Advice to someone starting on a similar journey

Focus on a healthy mental mindset. My coach always says track and field is 90% physical and 10% mental.  What controls the 90%?

The Impact of being in a relationship with another professional athlete 

It most definitely helps to have someone who is on the same page as you when it comes to athletics.  I have someone who understands how it can be after a tough workout, before a major competition, after a major competition and just understands the athlete mindset.  Quincy has been huge in the amount of success I have achieved by being extremely motivating, uplifting and supportive of any and all decisions I choose to make.  Good or bad. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive partner and best friend.

Training off the track

My off the track training regimen just includes long runs, pool workout, yoga, bike work and pretty much any other cross-training that you could possibly think of.

Beliefs on performance diets

When it comes to dieting I don’t really have a philosophy. I naturally eat pretty healthy. I eat a lot of fish, baked chicken, and noodles.  I try to cook vegetarian meals every now and then.   Eggplant lasagna is one of my favorite.  

I’m not super strict about my diet.  Sometimes I go for those viral food videos and every now and then I’ll find one I like, I’ll make it, and it usually turns out amazing.  

So yeah, I guess that’s my take on diet. Put good in and get good out.

I don’t eat fast food.

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Sirena Alise

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Yoga Revamped| Dean Pohlman

Yoga Revamped| Dean Pohlman

A new take on the yoga movement.
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“My first time was completely on accident,” says Dean Pohlman, founder of ‘Body by Yoga,’. Dean was referring to his first time trying yoga. Imagine. One minute you’re walking down the street looking for a tailor; the next you’re drenched in sweat from the hardest workout of your life. That’s saying alot coming from a former lacrosse player. “Like most people, I was skeptical of yoga [at first]. I had always been interested, but had never taken a yoga class before that day. Two hours later, drenched in sweat from head to toe, feeling like I had just exited the pool, and utterly exhausted……. I had just completed my first yoga class. From that point on, I was sold.”

Yoga Revival

Dean’s first adventure with yoga lead him to an unexpected change in career path. He along with his partner, Paul Bolotovsky, set out to give yoga a little revival and give a new spin to it. “I saw a total void in yoga. Nobody was teaching yoga as a form of fitness; everyone was doing it as a lifestyle,” Dean says. More specifically, they set out to create a form of yoga tailored to men. Dean and Paul show us that yoga doesn’t have to be a big lifestyle change with spiritual connections. Yoga can be strictly for the benefit of your health and body. “We talk about yoga in terms that people interested in their fitness would want to hear. This is a workout that will make you better at anything you do. Whether you’re into functional fitness, lifting, or a runner, yoga will help with that. We break down the anatomy of every exercise to help you understand why it’s good for you. Our program helps you understand how it can help you achieve your fitness goals.”

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Beyond that, the two dropped some of the more uncomfortable yoga positions that men may find in local mixed gender yoga classes. “Men and women have traditionally focused on different aspects of fitness. We also have different anatomies. This creates a situation in which some of the poses men encounter in class can be intimidating, if not outright dangerous. We provide explanations and modifications so that men can experience the intended benefit out of every pose.”

The Message

Dean and Paul use their yoga workout program to send the message that; Yes, yoga can be a workout and a highly beneficial one at that. “We created Body by Yoga because nobody was making yoga accessible to people who wanted the workout without the frills.” And that’s exactly what Dean and Paul has provided. In comparison to other workouts, yoga can be far more challenging. Not only that but it can further extend the results of any other workout you put it in combination with. “Most forms of fitness emphasize strength and faster movements. Yoga actually slows you down so you can work on the other stuff and pay attention to what you’re doing, instead of rushing through the movement.” This leaves you really feeling the burn.

Dean and Paul also sends the message that yoga is no longer just for the spiritual person who has turned over a new life. A regular yoga practice can be such a useful aid for so many different types of people, fitness levels, and goals.” Thus so, Dean and Paul created ‘Body by Yoga’ to be for a variety of people. The athlete that wants to be nimble and quick will find benefits in yoga. So will the dancer that wants to increase flexibility and the body builder that wants to increase definition in their muscles. Most importantly, the average person that wants to increase their health will also find great benefit in the ‘Body by Yoga’ fitness plan. “We try to explain the anatomy and purpose for every exercise and explain how it can benefit the rest of your fitness goals.”

Where do you see yourself & your brand in 10 years?

Body by Yoga is going to be the way that most people get started with fitness-centric yoga. We will have instructors trained in body by yoga, lots of diverse workouts to cater to many audiences, and a strong commitment to doing what we started out doing – yoga for fitness.

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What’s the next frontier in building your tribe?

Releasing our DVDs. 🙂 From there, establishing ourselves as the non-weird yoga that most people won’t be afraid of trying.

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What’s next? & why?

After Guyoga, we’re releasing more difficult and more specific workout programs. Guyoga is all about teaching people the basics. After that, we are releasing DVDs focused on yoga for athletes, yoga for back care, and yoga extreme workouts.

Body By Yoga

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All Smiles

Jera Foster-Fell inspires with an “All smiles all the time” attitude

All Smiles

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Twenty Seven year old New Yorker Jera Foster-Fell, also known as the @WorkOutBean radiates with personality and positivity that excites and inspires others to reach their potential.  Jera is anything but shy and her triumphs as well as her trials are on display for her following.

Jera, who is a graphic designer by training is super psyched to “finally be doing something that I feel passionate about, that makes me happy, and gives me a sense of fulfillment. Through movement, sweat, social media, and hard work, I’ve created a brand for myself that allows me to not only feel good about myself, but have a positive impact on other people’s lives. ”  I wouldn’t take this to mean that Jera doesn’t love graphic design but to say that fitness has struck a special cord with her.

When did you first start on your Fitness Journey?

Everything began for me in April 2015. I woke up one morning and it was like a lightbulb went off. I had followed some fitness accounts on instagram for about a year and I always had the urge to get healthier, but never did. But something changed that morning. I got out of bed with purpose, I bought Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide twelve week workout program, went to the gym, and began. That same day, I created a fitness Instagram account, @workoutbean, to hold myself accountable. I had no idea at the time that it would turn into what it currently is today.

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It’s always so interesting to look back on certain times in your life and realizing things about your situation that you weren’t aware of at the time. Back in April 2015 when fitness first became an essential part of my life, I had just come out of a few challenging months. I don’t think I consciously realized that I needed some sort of an outlet, but clearly I did, and I found that through exercise. Working out allowed me to create the space I needed to focus on myself, and the social media aspect of it created a space where I was able to make connections and friendships with other women.

First, when I initially began working out consistently back in April 2015 with BBG by Kayla Itsines (a twelve week program), twelve weeks seemed like forever! I had never come close to working out consistently for that length of time. Despite that, I finished the twelve weeks and was incredibly proud of myself. Once I completed that guide, I felt confident that I could do anything else that I set my mind to.

When did you first know you were going to become a ‘Fitness Influencer’?

I think it took quite some time to realize that I was a “fitness influencer” and to be honest, I still have a hard time saying that phrase.

I feel like a normal person doin’ normal thangs!

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But I do remember fairly early on, perhaps just a month or so after making exercise a priority and creating my instagram account, girls would message or or comment on my photos telling me that I motivated them to workout that particular morning. Or that they used my recipe to make dinner. Or that simply, I inspire them. I’ll never forget that feeling of realizing that however small it was, I was impacting people in a positive way. That made me feel so good. I realized that it was a feeling that I had never gotten before as a graphic designer, and that feeling made me want to seriously consider leaving my job as a graphic designer and transitioning over to fitness full time.

Is there anything about your upbringing that you can link to your inspiration and success thus far?

My parents always allowed me to explore creativity as I pleased. Whether it was stomping in the mud as a toddler, wearing pink zinc and blue sparkles on my lips as a kid, creative writing as a teen, or graphic design in college, I was always encouraged to try new things and do as I pleased. I think being given the flexibility to test the waters of new interests was huge for me and absolutely was a major factor in leading me to where I am today.

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Jera Foster-Fell is @WorkOutBean

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your fitness journey?

I don’t think there has been one single significant obstacle that I’ve overcome in my fitness journey thus far.

I would say that there is the more general day to day  challenge of staying consistent with physical exercise.

Everyone always asks about motivation, and that’s such an interesting subject because motivation is so fleeting. Most days, I don’t wake up and say, “I can’t wait to work out today!”, that’s just not how it works. But a few things get me past that moment of hesitation:

1. Routine.  Creating a routine for yourself forces you to create a habit. Once you have a habit formed, you do it no matter what, regardless of if you feel motivated.

2. Workout buddies. Having someone with similar goals as you, whether they’re with you physically or not, is incredibly helpful for keeping yourself accountable.

3. That post workout feeling. No one ever regretted a workout!

Why did you choose to start your fitness journey with BBG?

Close to two years ago, I was scrolling through Instagram’s explore page and I came across the instagram account, @kayla_itsines. I wasn’t into fitness at all at the time, it was probably the least active phase of my life, but I was enthralled by the transformations that I saw on her account.

When I decided to bite the bullet and try it myself about a year later, it seemed like the only logical step to take in terms of getting into a fitness routine. Besides going for a run or using the elliptical, I was clueless in terms of what to do in the gym. Following BBG laid everything out exactly as I needed to do it and gave me the confidence to walk into the gym and get my workout done.

BBG is an exercise program on the surface level, but underneath that, it’s so much more.

There is a huge community of mostly women on instagram who do BBG, and it’s such an incredibly supportive and empowering community. Where else in the world do you see strangers, particularly women, coming together to cheer each other on in such a genuine way? When I first created my fitness account back in April 2015, it was simply a way to hold myself accountable to consistently working out, but I quickly realized that it had way more potential than that. I started connecting with other women, many of whom have become my real life friends.

So is BBG a workout program? Yes, definitely. But is it also a revolutionary movement bringing women together from all across the globe to get healthy and support each other in the process? Absolutely.

What else did you try?

I did about two and a half rounds of BBG before switching to PPCG aka Progress Pure’s Curve Guide. The creator, Molly, was my very first instagram friend. Her guide is based around lifting. I was one of the first people able to test out her guide, and I loved it because it allowed me to explore the weight room which I was always a little intimidated by.

Was there ever a time when you were contemplating quitting?

I’ve been on a mission for close to a year now to become a SoulCycle instructor. As soon as I got my heart set on it, there was no turning back. It was probably good that at the time of this decision, I didn’t quite fully understand how difficult it is to become an instructor!

Part of the process is auditions, and this was absolutely terrifying for me. Up until that point, I was a graphic designer and I had zero fitness instructions experience. On top of that, I had a fear of public speaking. I went into that first audition with all odds against me, but I somehow pushed through and survived. And I thought I did a decent job!

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A week later, I got an email saying that I did not make it to the next round. I was heartbroken. I felt like I put my heart and soul into the audition, and to have them say no hit me at my very core. It made me question if I was good enough, or if I would ever be good enough. Though I allowed myself to wallow in self doubt for a day or so, I was able to turn those feelings around and used them as extra fuel for the fire to prepare for the next audition. Getting a “no” made me work that much harder to eventually get a “yes”.

I didn’t quit because a “no” right now doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be a yes down the line. I think that sometimes, not getting what we want is important. Not only does it build character, but it makes us figure out how badly we want something. If we get a no and then quit, well, maybe that wasn’t the right path.

“It’s not failure until you give up.”

What’s been the most rewarding part of all of this so far?

The most rewarding part of my journey so far has absolutely been hearing that I’ve had some sort of positive impact on people’s lives. When I hear that my instagram post motivated someone to get out of bed that morning, or that sharing my own personal challenges has helped others tackle their own difficult times, I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel.

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Jera is a certified personal trainer & a SoulCycle instructor

It’s an interesting cycle- I workout, feel good, share bits and pieces of my life, post about it, and in turn other people see it and feel motivated, feel good themselves, and tell me about, which makes me feel good. Though it’s not always glitter and unicorns, it’s this crazy positivity train of empowerment, and people just being real with each other.

What advice would you give to a person that wanted to follow a similar path?

If you want to commit to a healthy lifestyle, there are a few things that need to happen. First, you need to make a solid decision that this is not something that you’re just going to say that you want. It’s not something that you’re simply going to wish for. It’s something that you’re making a firm decision to do. No one else is going to make a change for you. Realize that you are the only one responsible for your body, your mind, and your health, and you are responsible for taking care of it.

Next, I think that when you want to start exercising consistently, it’s best to have some sort of a program to follow. It can be really confusing at first to walk into a gym, and I think a lot of people resort to the cardio machines as a default. Everyone needs to do cardio, but there are so many other ways to break a sweat, and it’s essential to keep your body moving in a new ways. By signing up for a workout program, you’ll feel confident about what to do, and you’ll have an easy plan to stick to.

Another great tool is having a workout buddy to hold you accountable. Whether that’s your significant other or someone you met on instagram, find someone who is going to make sure that you get your butt moving each day!

Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself to have rest days. Indulge in a dessert now and then. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout.

A huge part of a healthy lifestyle is balance.

Sometimes we get crazy at the gym, and sometimes we netflix and chill.

Who do you consider the icons in health & fitness?

I think that the everyday girl is quickly becoming the next icon in fitness. Social media makes everything so much more accessible and connected, and because of social media, people are able to have a voice in such a way that wasn’t possible just a few years ago. Models are gorgeous, athletes are powerful…. But they’re not relatable. Now, more so than ever, women want to look up to other women that they can find some common ground with.

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What’s the next frontier in building your fitness tribe?

I would love to start creating video content! I grew up with my mom who is in film, so I learned how to edit from her. Every single project I did growing up involved video and editing, and currently, video is becoming more and more popular. Whether it’s workout videos, sharing about my life, or something more on the creative side, I’m really looking forward to diving into video this upcoming year.

Where did the name ‘WorkOut Bean’ come from?

My parents have had all kinds of nicknames for me growing up!

Bean, Jera Bean, JB, among many others (don’t ask why my dad calls me “Rabbit Brains”!) I’ve always loved Bean, so any time I’ve needed to make an instagram handle, I’ve used that.

My first account was my art and handlettering account, @bean_robin, and when it came time to make a fitness account, @workoutbean was the first thing that popped into my head.

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@WorkOutBean is an inspiration for women that are exploring and wanting to make healthy changes

What do you feel is the most important element for a personal just starting or struggling in a fitness program?

For someone who is just starting off in a fitness program or for someone who is trying to be more active, it’s crucial to create a routine for yourself. When you’re first starting out, everything is so new, it can be easy to get sidetracked. If you build a schedule for yourself and make a promise to yourself to stick to it. And  you will set yourself up for success.

Something else to keep in mind though is not to try and change too much at once. You don’t have to simultaneously start working out six days a week. Then drinking a gallon of water a day, getting 8 hours of sleep each night, and never eating dessert. Instead, try to slowly incorporate healthy habits one by one so.  This you can adjust to each change with the time that you need to get used to it.

“For anyone who starts to doubt themselves. Otherwise, feels themselves struggling, remember that you didn’t come this far to only come this far.” – Jera

Whether it’s focusing specifically on our fitness journey or taking a step back and examining our lives, remember that the ups and downs are inevitable.

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

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Jera Foster-Fell (@WorkOutBean)

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SnapChat: WorkOutBean

Aim High, Jump High | Donald Scott

Aim High, Jump High | Donald Scott

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Track and field star Donald Scott is the epitome of inspiration and motivation. Growing up Donald’s father was not in the picture and his mother struggled. Donald found himself with a very troubled childhood. He and his sisters were placed under foster care until his mother’s brother and wife came along. Blessed with family members that went on to move him and his sisters into a better environment, Donald has come a long way from where he used to be. “The most rewarding part of my journey has been the fact that I am blessed to do what God has planned for me. I believe that’s the best reward anyone can have. Yes its fun to compete, travel, win money and meet new people but at the end of the day doing what God has blessed me to do will forever be the best reward I will ever be thankful for.”

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The Beginning

Donald started running track his freshman year in high school. “The only events I knew of were just the running events and hurdles. I didn’t know there were field events until the first day of practice. I was mainly a sprinter/hurdler when I started. Shawn Proffitt, who is a great father figure in my life right now, he was my coach at the time and he basically forced me to do the triple jump,” Donald says. Donald initially wasn’t even interested in it. However, Shawn coached Donald with the knowledge that he knew about it. From there Donald went on to excel in the event even though he later found he was not using the proper technique during high school. He still managed to become a top 3 competitor in the state of Florida.

Coming out of high school, football was Donald’s passion. He wasn’t in love with the triple jump at the time. He ended up a dual sport athlete throughout college. As his college years went by, Donald knew that he could become a great triple jumper. This was especially clear when he started competing, winning and placing at the big college meets. He ended his college career with 9 conference titles, a Jr. national championship, Jr. Pan American games finalist, and Indoor NCAA Championship runner-up. He was also a 3x All-American in the triple jump.

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Motivation

For Donald, the first step to success was to establish a main goal. The next step was to follow the process in order to achieve that goal. “You have to have a great mindset that motivates you to keep pushing through all the adversity you will come upon during the season. You always have to think about why you are doing something and is it really worth the ups and downs you will come upon. Patience is the key to success,” Donald says.

“Things I believe that help me become good at what I do is staying on top of my priorities. Working out, maintaining a good clean diet, and staying positive about every situation in my life. Working out is the number one thing I must do in order to stay fit and to also get better at what I do. Getting stronger and faster is a major key when it comes to the triple jump. A good diet is a good thing to have when it comes to your body functioning the way it should. The body needs the right energy in order to perform well. In order to do that, you have to eat right the right things. Staying positive will always keep your head in the right place it needs to be. Staying on track and not letting your let downs take over and tear you down. You have to take the bad and let it motivate you to continue to do better.

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The Future

Donald certainly doesn’t plan to continue on forever. In the next ten years he plans to have his own business. For the moment, Donald is still building a name for himself in the world of track and field. He continues to work his way up on the ranking charts each season. “I just have to stay the course, perform well, and let everything else take its place,” Donald says.
Donald offers advices to others that find inspiration in his story. “The best advice I can give a young person is that if you believe that you can do something, there is nothing or no one in this world that can stop you from achieving what you want to do. You have to have faith within yourself. You have to stay motivated even when you’re having a bad day. Always keep God first because he is allowing you to chase your dreams and he will forever be your number one supporter. The main thing is patience is the key. Great things come to those who wait.”

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What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

I think everyone should either have a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike to do some cardio. Cardio is great for the body and the heart. For everyone who knows how to do squats and Olympic style lifting, they should have a bar and Olympic weights so they can do their explosion style lifts.

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

The most overrated exercise for me would be bench. As a jumper you don’t really need to do bench. I would rather do something like overhead push press which works on explosion while doing the push motion as bench. I think underrated exercise would be hip lifts. Many people don’t do hip lifts but I find it very beneficial to strengthen the hip flexors.

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

My go to snack is a fruit cup, yogurt, and/or trail mix or some kind of energy/protein bar.

What’s your beliefs on performance diet like? Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet?

I would say my diet would be lean meats, fruits, and veggies. I am not the type to cut out bread or anything. Bread is full of the carbs and energy I need to get through the typical workout day. I have times where I do eat my share of candy. Although I don’t need it, I just love sweets from time to time.

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Donald Scott

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