Aubrey Rise

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I am originally from Australia but am currently based in Sweden.  I am 32 years young. I am a husband and father of one.  My family is my life.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

Knowing that my body and health are in the best possible condition they could be in. Being a role model for my daughter.

How long have you been into fitness?

I have been athletic since I was 10years old.  Always competing at some level and in and out of gyms.

How did you get into fitness?

My parents always gave me opportunities to participate in a vast range of sports from a young age.  This was my introduction into the kind of lifestyle that would carry me through to where I am now.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Realizing that we only get one life and are fools to let it waste was my turning point. A couple of years ago was when I decided that I wanted to change my career and really take my training and nutrition to the next level.

How has fitness impacted your life?

The impact that fitness has had on my life has been phenomenal.  The people I have met, the opportunities, the experiences will remain in my mind and heart forever.

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

I get asked this all the time through social media.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Do your own research in regards to training and nutrition.  There will always be people like myself who are more than willing to pass on the information and knowledge they have.

Instagram: @aubrey_rise

Website: http://www.aubreyrisefitness.com/

 

Kimmi Butler

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

Hello! My name is Kimmi, I’m 26 years old from Naples, FL. I’m a certified nutritionist and personal trainer. I started my fitness career a little over a year ago when I decided to leave my mediocre career as an accountant to become a fitness coach and entrepreneur.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

The grit.

How long have you been into fitness?

9 years  Since I was 17 years old

How did you get into fitness?

I got into fitness when I was in high school at age 17 because my boyfriend at the time said I was skinny fat. I was never into sports growing up so I never had an athletic build, no abs etc. That really created insecurities for me because he made me feel so down for why I didn’t look a certain way. So I went to the gym so I could look better for him. I don’t regret how I started my fitness journey because soon enough it turned into me going to the gym to look better for myself; it turned into an outlet for me, a passion and now something I can’t imagine my life without.

At age 24 I was prepping for my first NPC bikini competition which lit the fire in me to go after anything no matter how terrifying it might seem.

At 25 I left my career as an accountant to become a full time fitness coach and entrepreneur and I haven’t looked back since.

Now at 26 years old, I’m enjoying what I do helping my clients become the best versions of themselves not only on the outside but the inside ️

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Competing. Working out is the fun part, I loved going to the gym and lifting weights, doing classes etc. but what’s hard is dieting and dieting balls to the wall. Competing takes a lot of dedication and you don’t truly know how ridiculously hard it is both physically and mentally until you do it yourself. Competing as a whole really changed how I train and how I eat to this day. Competing also pushed me out of my comfort zone to leave my 9-5 for entrepreneurship.

How has fitness impacted your life?

My fitness journey has taught me many things in life and about myself.

  1. Know your value, and then add tax
  2. If you aren’t happy YOU CAN change the trajectory of your life. We are all in control of our own lives. Don’t go through the motions in life- we aren’t programmed robots.
  3. Follow your passions, take some risks.
  4. Don’t doubt your capabilities.
  5. Always be a student, NO ONE is an expert.
  6. Stay humble but be proud of how far you have come.
  7. Never compare yourself to someone else. Fitness isn’t about being better than someone else, it’s about being better then you used to be.

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to start?

As a woman, I know for other women it’s intimidating going to the gym and not knowing what to do or thinking others will judge you. I still feel eyes on me while I’m trying to work out. Just ignore it. Don’t give a F how you look, just get in there and do your thing. The hardest part is showing up. First step is taking action. Make yourself proud and get in there and push yourself. You’re stronger than you think!!! Second piece of advice would be to follow some sort of plan. Have a game plan when you go into the gym. Most of the time we only do what’s comfortable and that’s myself included. I feel like when I follow a plan I really push myself. Don’t go through the motions, have a game plan and execute!!

CPT/Nutritionist/Online Coach

NQ NPC Bikini competitor

Girly Gains

https://kimmibeefit.mypthub.net/buy-packages

Instagram: @kimmibeefit

 

Mary Chavez

My name is Mary Chavez, a married 38 year old woman and mother of two. Born in Guam, raised in the Midwest; moved to the Southwest and married in the Southeast, where I still reside.

Growing up, my life was ballet; I ate, drank and slept ballet. Unfortunately, the lack of moderation is likely the reason I walked away from that life at the age of 18. While I regret walking away from it, I don’t regret the path that doing so has led me on.

My fitness journey started out as a hate filled relationship but I have come to now embrace fitness and it’s become part of my everyday life. I most enjoy the idea of always having a goal when it comes to fitness. The idea of setting a goal, working towards that goal, and achieving that goal is so satisfying. In a world in which we have so little control of, having the power to dictate the outcome of my goals provides me just enough control over my life and gives me the power necessary to make it through the hurdles I encounter every day.

My fitness journey has basically been lifelong. As a young dancer, your body is your tool and your ability to perform has a direct correlation to the shape the dancer is in. Under constant scrutiny to maintain a certain body type, one does what is necessary to conform.

Following my time in ballet, my relationship with fitness continued after the birth of my first child. The majority of my initial fitness relationship was limited to cardio as my only goal at the time was to shed my pregnancy weight. The time I spent on the treadmill was fueled by the 76 lbs I gained during my pregnancy and the wedding dress I intended to fit into in the future. The goal I set out to achieve this time around was to “feel beautiful again”.

A goal, that looking back, likely was one that set out to attack the very idea of what beauty is. No matter the amount of time, the number on the scale, I still was unable to look at myself and accept who I was, regardless of size nor could I acknowledge the weight-loss accomplishments I had achieved. Eventually, that mindset beat me down to the point of severe depression. In turn, this initial relationship left a sour taste in my mouth because in my mind fitness, in that moment did nothing but break me down. In hind sight, it was the goal that led to my depression as I was striving for a number rather, and in turn was destroying myself instead of building myself up.

Today I have a great relationship with fitness and I love that it has taught me how to help myself and others. Not just in the gym, but in life. The most incredible feeling is when you see someone your helping achieve a goal that was set, that is such an incredible moment to experience! Beyond helping others, fitness has played an intricate part in how I perceive my life. It’s no longer about skinny, what weight I’m at or what size I wear instead it’s about becoming stronger, mentally and physically. Seeing myself crush my last PR on back day is more euphoric than seeing the number on the scale drop. Pressing more than the 20 year old boy next to me is more satisfying than that size 2 at Express. So for me, my fitness journey changed my life and liberated me from the stereotype of size, weight and other molds that people put females in.

So I say this to those starting out on their journey, stay positive! Changes don’t happen overnight, it takes hard work and dedication. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others even though they may look intimidating more often than not, they’ll help you! Most importantly there will be those in your life that don’t understand why you’ve set out on this path, and that’s okay remember you’re doing for yourself, not them! Don’t let anything or anyone stop you, keep going, keep getting stronger, and most importantly always stay positive!!!

Instagram: @maryachavez

 

Fabiana Pereira Pessoa Dorea

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I’m the youngest of 2 and had a wonderful, active life whilst growing up in Brazil. Sports, fitness and nutrition were always a part of my life. I’m very outgoing and competitive and that lead to my interest in practicing group sports such as volleyball, basketball and soccer, but my real passion was modern dance.

Prior to pursuing my LLM degree in London in 2010, I graduated and worked as a lawyer in Brazil.My first impression when I arrived in London was how unhealthy people seemed to be in general, but specifically in the corporate environment. Not only were people living under pressure and stress, but literally digging their graves with their knives and forks. The thing is, in 2010 the awareness around wellbeing and having a healthy lifestyle was almost non-existent.

I started by slowly introducing changes around the office and showing my colleagues new ideas of easy and quick recipes (since lack of time is one of the biggest excuses for corporate people). For example, Fridays was treat day, so instead of bringing doughnuts, cakes, chocolate, which would be the norm, I would bring a flourless cinnamon banana cake. Slowly they bought the idea and further down the line I was giving them diet and exercise plans. One of my colleagues lost 15 kg!

With time I decided to create an Instagram account with my exercise and diet tips to serve as a source of motivation for those interested in taking on this lifestyle. I wanted to show that lack of time is not an excuse and if I could find time so could anyone else! After all, I am a full-time lawyer in a career transition, living by myself and undergoing a diploma as a Transformational life coach, having 10 coaches under my belt and still finding time to hit the gym and feed my social media! PHEW!

Having found purpose and meaning in helping people achieve their personal best in any area of their lives, I’m now at the turning point of putting aside my 10 years of corporate experience to dedicate myself exclusively and entirely to Life Coaching.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

As Cliché as it may sound, fitness for me is a lifestyle. It’s such a natural part of my being that I don’t really think about it. It’s more than a habit. For me it’s a moment of joy, it’s that one hour that I present myself daily to take care of my physical body, to take care of my soul (through yoga and meditation), to treat my body with love and respect by feeding it right, to feel energetically, emotionally and physically healthy and balanced. Everyday I make this conscious choice: I wake up, I meditate, I crack on with my day, I feed my body correctly and I listen to it and then I present myself with one hour of exercise, meditation, yoga and even a massage if that’s what I need!

How long have you been into fitness and how did you get into fitness?

Fitness has always been a part of my life. I started sports at an early age (swimming when I was 4). I was severely injured at the age of 18 which really took its toll on me. I was unable to pursue my true passion of modern dancing. I had to give my body time to heal which was hard due to my active lifestyle and this led me to a new passion which is hitting the gym.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Since I was involved in competitive sports and activities, I always took it seriously but at the same time in a very fun and joyful way. However, when I was 16, I went to Australia as an exchange student for 1 year. During this year I completely neglected my body by not exercising and comfort eating. As a result I gained weight, felt emotionally drained, my self image and confidence were destroyed and I felt trapped on a vicious cycle: the more I felt bad about myself, the more I resorted to comfort food and binge eating.

When I returned to Brazil, I decided to put my life back on track and promised myself I wouldn’t revisit that dark space ever again.

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness and sports in general had and has a huge impact in my life. Being part of a team taught me the importance of never underestimating the adversary, the importance of discipline and respect to yourself and others.

Being a ballerina taught me about commitment and self-discipline. It taught me to listen to my body and go beyond my self-imposed ‘limitations’. It taught me that I could achieve anything I set myself for and that when body and mind works together, the sky is not the limit anymore!

Today fitness for me is a self-love practice. It’s a way I find to be kind to myself, to nurture, thank my body, my mind and my soul.

I say it to myself mentally: Thank you for being healthy and full of energy, for baring those 10 hours looking at a computer screen, now I will reward you, what is it that you feel like doing today’? As crazy as it may seem, it works, well at least for me!

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

Every journey starts with a single step. Don’t wait until you have a better understanding about fitness, don’t wait for advices and don’t wait for tomorrow, just start. Put your trainers on and go for a walk, join the gym or start by taking some classes or just turn the music up and start moving your body! Whatever your fitness level is, there’s always something for you!

Don’t compare yourself to others. We all have our own path and story. Be the author of your life. What’s YOUR story?

Associate fitness with something fun and joyful, not an obligation or chore. Start by implementing small changes in your routine. For example, instead of taking the bus to the supermarket, try walking. Something is better than nothing and I guarantee that once you start seeing the benefits of doing something truly for yourself, you will realise that nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

Instagram: @fabi_dorea

(W)holistic coach and Corporate lawyer

Rachel Richardson

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I am 21 years old, an early college grad with my bachelors in Kinesiology and Nutrition. I am currently applying to careers with a hopeful future in law enforcement. I am also a National bikini competitor and I have competed in and placed at 8 shows since 2015.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

I love being able to help motivate others through my fitness journey. I love showing others that it’s okay to do fitness in any form and it doesn’t have to be the only part of your life you focus on!

How long have you been into fitness?

I was always in and out of the gym. I was in karate from 5-16 years old and earned my black belt at 13. I became more serious with my diet and the nutrition component in August 2014, along with more adherence to the gym (6 days a week). I would consider myself “into fitness” my entire life, but more fitness prioritized as of 2014!

How did you get into fitness?

I actually powerlifted in Spain while studying abroad before college. I loved it and once I came home to America I realized that I didn’t want to live a party lifestyle in college, I really wanted to change my body. I went away to school and started endlessly researching nutrition and exercise. I slowly and steadily lost body fat and completely transformed my physique. By the summer of 2015, I began my first competition prepped and placed top 2 when I competed that October. I fell more in love with bodybuilding than ever and it hasn’t stopped!

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Studying abroad in Spain and realizing that I didn’t need to party to have fun. Once I got back to America and realized how much I wanted to change I stopped wanting and just did it!

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness has made me closer with so many great people. It introduced me to my loving boyfriend. It made me closer to my family. It showed me I am capable and worthy of so much. It showed me who my true friends are. Fitness has changed my life and my mindset for the better in every way possible. Without bodybuilding I would not be living the same life.

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
You are capable of so much if you simple envision it. Keep practicing discipline. There are days you won’t have the motivation but you just have to keep pushing… it will be so worthy once you prevail.

 

Instagram: @rachelricha

B.S. in Kinesiology and Nutrition

Top 10 National Bikini Competitor and @Steelfitusa Affiliate athlete

 

Kent Gresham

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised Athens, GA. I am an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Helping people has always been my passion and I saw personal training as a way to fuel my passion.

I specialize in strength training, muscle building, weight loss, mobility, post-orthopedic rehabilitation and myofascial release techniques.  I have also trained clients with a broad age range and varying goals, from ages 12-70 years old. This included student athletes, powerlifting, boxing workouts, general fitness clients, half marathon/marathon training, and clients with physical disabilities.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

For a lot of people, I think they enjoy the physical parts of fitness the most: getting stronger, faster, leaner, or more muscular.

For me it’s the mental aspects of fitness.

In order to make any type of physical progress or reach any goal, you must first decide in your mind what you “want” to accomplish.

Make sure it’s something you really “want”, not just something you’ve briefly thought about or something you simply “like the idea of”. Because when you really want something you will do everything in your power to make it happen!

How long have you been into fitness?

Since I was 4 years old and I am now 27.

I have a personal trainer for the past 7 years.

How did you get into fitness?

To be honest, it all started when I joined my dad one day during his morning routine of push-ups. I was hooked ever since.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

In the year 2000, my dad had open heart surgery. He had nine blockages in his heart; seven of which he had removed. At that point I knew that I needed to take my health seriously, so I started making changes in my diet and increased my workout intensity in the years that followed. (Yep I made that decision at 10 years old.)

How has fitness impacted your life?

It kept me out of trouble as a kid, been a source of stress relief, allowed me to change people’s lives for the better and has always been an outlet for me when everything seems to be going wrong. It’s always the one thing I can do right.

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

It’s never too late to start working on your body and your health. Maybe you have made excuses or possibly have had valid reasons of why you have been putting your health and fitness aside.

But all you have to do is get up and start moving. I don’t care if it’s walking down the hall and back, it’s still something.

The best advice I have is ”do what you can do”.

Don’t ever compare yourself with anyone else because they aren’t doing the work for you. Rather, work as hard as you can work, put forth all the effort you have.

And when you do this, you are successful every day!

Kenton Gresham (@swollbaby23)

Personal Trainer and Fight Club Instructor at Athens Health and Fitness

(@athenshealthandfitness)

Ezra Freelove

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

As a computer geek, I am a professional student of systems and processes. That brings a curiosity into how things work both individually and in the cascade of effects throughout the system. I mostly played soccer as a kid and was outside almost every day back then. And I did a couple years of Karate. As an adult, I was super sedentary in front of a computer 12-20 hours a day.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

Working out centers my mind and provides a calmness that I did not expect. I mean, I heard others talk about feeling good, but I suspected they were already happy people. Working in a stressful environment, fitness provides a place to change the brain chemistry. I definitely feel happier after a stressful day and even sense the need to get back to the gym when I have been away more than a few days.

How long have you been into fitness?

The weightlifting has been for the past three years. I also enjoy the occasional hike which has been for as long as I remember. I tried to get into jogging, but I despised it. That is how I tried weightlifting.

How did you get into fitness?

Really, I was dragged into it kicking and screaming. I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic (type II) almost a decade before getting the really diabetic one over 3 years ago. My diet was terrible. My life mostly consisted of sedentary sitting in front of a computer both at work and home. My weight would swing from 275 to 315 and back.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Armed with the diagnosis, I had to start exercising more or the bad things would happen. My doctor wanted me being active 30 minutes a day, three days a week. I started walking / jogging up to about an hour, but that was killing my feet. My doctor recommended building muscle as they would drink up the sugar in my system. Fat also messes with the blood chemistry to resist insulin, making the insulin less effective. So I came to the gym looking to cut fat and gain strength.

How has fitness impacted your life?

My doctors are pleased with my medical status. The sugar level is where it ought to be. My heart and kidneys are fine. The damage to my eyes is reversing. I feel happy and less stressed all the time.

What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

Find a friend who is serious about what you want to try doing. Tag along. Observe their form and ask questions. Make sure to get a number of perspectives. We each have our own goals and methods to get there, so feel free to pick and choose what works for you. Finally, if it hurts or you feel terrible about what you are doing, then do not beat yourself up about trying to fix the form or even trying something else.

Ezra Freelove (@sneezypb)

Tayler Jordan

To be completely honest, I’m not very good with talking about myself so I prefer to think how I would want someone else to perceive me. When asked about Tayler Jordan, I would want someone to say,

Being born and raised in small-town, Alabama would disable many, but that was never an excuse to keep her from striving toward big aspirations. Rarely was opportunity ever knocking at the back door growing up, so there is no doubt that burning passion to inspire others along with strong faith drove her to where she stands today.

 Her purpose is to share the reality that health, fitness, and well-being can create feminine, radiant beauty. This beauty starts on the inside and shines on the outside. Living with a desire to have radiant beauty has developed a charisma about her that many describe as a “special sparkle”. 

 She implements this mentality through her every day life in several ways; sometimes by offering words of encouragement, providing educational content on social media, or maybe even as simple as flashing a genuine smile to a stranger.  She understands the smallest gesture can make the biggest impact.

 As The Sparkle Spreader, she is compelled to pursue her dream of spreading a special light all around the world. What began as a passion has evolved into a large opportunity for impact. Now she travels as an IFBB Bikini Pro and works as a Physique Transformation Coach at Mi40 Gym and Sponsored PEScience Athlete. She also represents CJ’s Elite Suits, Better Bodies clothing line, and Six Pack Fitness. Although she has already come a long way, she is more motivated now than ever to broaden her reach in order to impact even more individuals on a grander scale.”

My best advise…

Living happy and healthy looks different for everyone. My best advice it to adopt sustainable habits that fit well into your lifestyle while helping you reach your goals. And although you may have a single, ultimate goal, remember that the individuals you were able to impact along the journey are the most important part.

Instagram: @taylerjordanfit

IFBB Bikini Pro and trainer at @mi40_gym

Minh Ta

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I was raised in West Seattle by a family with a low-income. Growing up in poverty and in the projects has made me how strong I am today and to fight every day of my life. As I grew older, it was harder for my family to raise me with 3 other siblings to look after, so I ventured off and then was adopted at the age of 17 by my current loving family. They provided stability, enabling me to find my passion in life.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the daily challenges aspect of fitness. One day it can be physically challenging and the next mentally challenging, but I feel a sense of personal fulfillment when I overcome both these challenges. Fitness to me is the fuel I use to live life because I love and enjoy inspiring others to invest into their confidence, beliefs, and health.

How long have you been into fitness?

I’ve been into fitness about 3 years total. I started lifting back in 2012 but then had a knee surgery which took a year to recover and then continued 2014-2017.

How did you get into fitness?

I lifted for the first time back in 2012 and I remember walking out the gym feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally drained but also a true sense of accomplishment. From that day forward, I told myself I will never stop.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

After my patella surgery and I couldn’t walk for a year. I remember every day, for 365 days straight, I told myself that when I get back on my feet I will grind as hard as I can to prove to myself I can achieve any physique I want.

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness is my life. As crazy as it may sound I eat, sleep, think, live, and breathe fitness. All my friends are involved and I can’t stop thinking about my macros every time I pick up something to eat. It has pushed me mentally to the extreme and now after placing in finals for my first men’s physique competition, I want to earn my IFBB PRO card.

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

“Grind To Be Legendary”. In addition, follow me. From a kid in poverty, adopted, knee surgery, to placing finals in men’s physique, I share my whole journey on my page and leave not a single detail out. I personally live to inspire others.

Instagram: @legendary_physique

2x Nationally Qualified Competitor

Founder of L.P.M. (LegendaryPhysiqueMovement.com)

 

Sarah Murphy

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Sarah Murphy. I am a 24 year old junior doctor. While studying in college, I joined my first gym. And I ended up having a passion for it. I was never particularly ‘sporty’ as a kid (although I wasn’t inactive), but I developed a love for working out and exercise while in my 20s.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy a few things – I like the feeling of pushing myself and achieving things I didn’t think my body could do. And I always enjoy the post-workout endorphin rush!

How long have you been into fitness?

I have been into fitness since I was about 19, so five years ago.

How did you get into fitness?

I was lucky that my university opened a brand new gym on campus in my second year, with free membership for all students. So there was no reason not to attend! But I ended up developing a passion for it a little while after joining!

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

The turning point was about two years ago. I was studying for an exam all summer and not doing anything else, so I got very invested and serious about the gym as an outlet!

How has fitness impacted your life?

It has changed my life hugely – I feel strong and healthy. It has improved my outlook on myself as a person and my capabilities. And through Instagram, I have had the pleasure of meeting with and collaborating with a huge array of amazing people!

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

To just start. It doesn’t have to be big, you don’t have to have a huge plan. You just have to start! A great way to start is to join a gym and hire a PT or attend scheduled classes. They can help to get you into a routine, as well as give you tips on correct form etc! And most importantly, do something you like!

Sarah Murphy (@sarah.j.murphy)