Athlete Brittany Rediscovers Structure in her Life
by UP Fitness August 30, 2017
Brittany's determination throughout 12 weeks at UP Amsterdam saw her achieve Client of the Month status
Brittany is a certified Personal Trainer, although had let her health slip over the past few years due to her hectic lifestyle. "The results are so much better than what I thought I could achieve" .. Brittany set a goal of 19.5% bodyfat after 12 weeks and with UP's tailored programming actually hit this after just 6 weeks! Brittany could see the difference almost instantly; "I could also see the immediate impact on my workouts." All Brittany's life she had been active, taking part in a range of activities from marathons to strength training. "I needed some structure back in my life" says Brittany. "That's when I found UP." This 'structure' came in the form of a complete health transformation for Brittany. In just 12 weeks personal training she now has a lot more energy through the day and has realised you don't need to 'live in the gym' to get amazing results. Training just 3 times a week at UP for 3 hours total, was enough to give Brittany her dream body in time for the wedding.
What were your expectations going into the program and what were your motivations?
Well, there's nothing like an upcoming wedding to motivate you to get back into shape! I am getting married in September and wanted to get back in shape by then. I also wanted to get back to my normal, fit, self. Honestly, I was a little wary of the "transformation" process. I knew I was out of shape, but I didn’t necessarily think I needed a transformation. I have worked out a lot before, so knew what I wanted my goals to be. I wanted to get back to a “fit” physique and sit at around 19.5% body fat. I thought this was something I could achieve while still enjoying my lifestyle. I never thought in 1,000 years I would get below 16%! I thought that was something reserved for professional athletes, super strict dieters, and people who live in the gym 3 hours a day; not something I was interested in or ever going to achieve. So my expectation was that I would have a trainer that would help get me back in shape and give me some nutritional advice to help drop some of the fat I needed to drop. It’s one thing to know what to do, it’s another thing to actually do it. I needed someone to help me with the action.
Can you tell me how you were feeling both physically and mentally before starting with UP?
I was tired, stressed, and drained of energy all the time. I am naturally a morning person, waking up at 5:30-6am on my own with tons of energy. This had changed. I was sleeping for 10 hours a night, not getting up until 8am, and still struggling to get out of bed. What little energy I did have during the day was gone by the afternoon and I was falling asleep on the couch immediately after dinner. This also meant I didn’t have the mental energy to make the decisions that needed making. Stress was getting the best of me and I was generally unhappy.
How did your diet and lifestyle change when you started your transformation with UP?
Before I started at UP, I thought I was a pretty healthy eater. I generally tried to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, organic meats a few times a week, and a typical Dutch lunch of a sandwich most days. The first few weeks with UP I went through a 21 day challenge of only eating protein and vegetables and after that started counting my macro intake and adjusting it based on my body's reaction every week. Joyce helped me identify the foods my body likes and doesn’t like and adjusted my nutrition guidelines every week to make sure we were achieving my weekly goals. The cool part about this was being able to see the direct results of dietary changes week over week. I had no idea how much more protein I needed than I was consuming before and how sensitive I am to gluten. It’s amazing what you can learn about your body if you just pay attention to what it is telling you.
What effect did this have on your health, performance, lifestyle and energy inside and outside the gym?
After the first two weeks of my new nutrition plan, my energy skyrocketed. Rather than dragging myself to the gym and struggling through the workouts, I started to wake up in the morning excited to go to the gym. I could also see the immediate impact on my workouts. I was able to get through my warm up jump rope without feeling like I needed a break and I started to feel myself getting stronger in every workout. I also started sleeping more soundly and returned to being an energetic morning person, waking up at 6am without my alarm and ready for the day. My coworkers started commenting on my energy levels and focus as I stopped hitting the 2pm energy slump every day. So all around there was just a positive impact on my energy and performance fairly quickly after getting back into healthy eating and workout habits.
How did you find the training and did it fit around your busy lifestyle?
Joyce has been excellent to work with. The first month was very difficult, both physically and mentally. There are the physical pains of putting your muscles to use for the first time in a while, but there's also a mental aspect to it. Since I had done a lot of strength training in the past, I really struggled mentally in the beginning. It's so hard to start with basic exercises and struggle to complete them when you remember what you used to be able to lift. Joyce was incredible at getting me through those moments of doubt. She was able to remind me why I started the program, motivate me to finish the workouts and keep me focused on the end goal. I really loved how she tracked everything we did. It seems like something so simple, but so many other trainers in the world just keep all that information in their heads. Every workout, Joyce was able to point out how I was getting stronger and lifting heavier weights or doing more reps. It really helps keep you going when you can see the improvement in numbers week over week. On top of that, the workouts are quick and effective. There’s no need to live in the gym for 3 hours a day to get results. I am able to go to the gym 3 times a week and run for just 40 minutes 2 times a week. I travel a lot for work and I was able to maintain my workout and nutrition plan through all of my travels.
What were your results like after your transformation?
The results are so much better than what I thought I could achieve. The best shape I was ever in was 17.5% body fat and I remember having to workout 6 days a week, running a lot, and eating the same boring food every day. I didn’t want to have to go to such extremes, so set a goal of 19.5% body fat for the 12 weeks. We hit that number in 6 weeks and had to make new goals! When Joyce told me we were going to try to hit 16%, I thought it was an aggressive goal, but then every week the number kept going down. The constant adjustment to my nutrition plan and workouts to optimize fat loss instead of strength really worked. Another 6 weeks later and we hit a goal I never thought was possible! Now it’s time to set new goals and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve.
What were the most important things you learned during your journey and what really worked for you in helping you make your transformation?
I have a tendency to be a bit of a perfectionist at times. Tracking my macronutrient intake and adjusting my macros based on my exercise for that day is something that I loved doing and really worked for me. It was so helpful to see everything on paper and then see the impact of those changes in my weekly measurements. When it came to working out, Joyce really helped me accept that it was a journey. You can’t go from point A to point Z overnight and I wouldn’t magically be in the same shape I was 5 years ago after 1 week of exercise. It takes time and persistence, but every day you make the right choices, you are one day closer to your goal. The key for me in the beginning was setting the goal and being reminded of it when things got tough. Then when my body measurements started dropping every week and the weights I was lifting started increasing, that was motivation enough to keep going. I could see all the hard work paying off and wanted to keep going.
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