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Author

Anh Lee

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Like many kids, I grew up with superheroes being a big portion of my childhood. Saturday morning cartoons, action figures, marvel cards. I would spend hours drawing my favourite characters, and even making up my own. I can always remember drawing them with fantastic muscled physiques. I didn’t put that element and my passion for the body and muscle building together, until a few years ago. As many know, we are heavily influenced by who we are today as our experiences in our childhood.

I was bullied in school from grade 1 until about grade 9. And my first bully used to be my best friend in elementary. That one hurt, bothered me for a long time, but also spurred my quest to get bigger and stronger so that no one would bully me. I remember in grade 6  gym class, we had an old school universal from the ‘70s we got to train on. It was when I experienced my first workout with weights, having the boys challenging each other to see who could do the most pull-ups. To which surprisingly I beat everyone.

When I moved schools in grade 9, I decided I needed to be bigger and stronger, so I dedicated myself to training before class in the weight room gym we had in our high school. Like many, Arnold’s Encyclopedia of bodybuilding was the book that took everything to the next level for me. I remember asking my mom for the book at a superstore. I read every page from front to back several times, that eventually the pages started falling out. I figured this was the key I needed to get the body I wanted. I was the skinny kid in school and even graduated at only 140lbs. However, I had bicep veins, and 6-pack abs, and was one of the only kids that could press the 85lb DBs for working sets. 

After high school, I continued to put on more weight each year, but it was a struggle until I saw the first bodybuilding show that I decided I wanted to give it a try. I competed the following year at 21.  It was when I learned a lot more about what it took to get to that level. Ever since, I have competed in approx 10 shows, the most prestigious being in the World qualifier in Perth Australia, and the First Arnold Classic Australia in 2015.

I became a trainer right after my first show at Golds Gym 130th ave. I used to read every article I could get my hands on, and have worked with some of the best in the industry over the years. Now I take what I have learned from them, added my own flavour, and combine them into the most efficient and effective methods possible, backed by science, logic, and experience. I decided as a career goal, I wanted to provide a higher level of service to my clients. I wanted to be a One-Stop-Shop able to train, diet, and treat my clients so that they can get the quickest and best results, as well as know everything that is going on with their bodies to keep them healthy, injury-free, and making progress. I moved to Australia to pursue schooling to be eligible to take Active Release Therapy courses. I ended up doing my first year of massage instead to speed up the path to taking ART courses but didn’t want to do massage full time because I wasn’t a fan of the energy exchange.

In 2016, I was prepping for the very first Winter Classic, right before moving back to Canada from Australia, but started suffering from Sciatica after training legs with Shawn Rhoden. I exhausted all of my options in Australia with treatments, chiro, massage, dry needling, active release, you name it, I had my therapist who worked on AFL players, Cricket, and champion fighters, work on me for weeks. But nothing seemed to stick. So I texted Shawn Rhoden, and he connected with me Derek Farnsworth, who as many know treats a vast amount of IFBB pros, including several Mr. Olympias like Jay Cutler. I stopped in San Diego for a week on my move home to Canada, and he worked wonders! Changed my body massively, but the sciatica relief itself didn’t last more than a few weeks. I kept training and prepping as many stubborn competitors would, but when the pain got too much I had to pull out of that show. I didn’t want to risk being debilitated for a trophy until I was healed and knew more.  It’s the only show I have ever pulled out of, and I still regret it to this day, because I know with how I looked 6 weeks out, I would have done extremely well. So that’s never happening again! But in that time, I discovered this modality called Muscle Activation Techniques. Not only did I get my Chiro/ART clinic Active Sports Therapy in Calgary to send me for MRIs, and work on me, but that’s where I did my first MAT session with Sarah. I heard about Muscle Activation Therapy before I moved to Australia, but it was this weird 10-month internship in the states that no one really knew about. I gave it a shot, and I didn’t have ANY pain or issue for 2 solid weeks.

Then after my 2nd session, 4 weeks I had no pain! I felt activation, soreness, and huge pumps in parts of my muscles I hadn’t felt in YEARS. So I was hooked! I made her do my whole body, my clients, my friends, everyone. And everyone confirmed the same…. its Voodoo. So I decided to save up and take the course. By far, it’s the best decision I made in my career, and also often the most rewarding. You can see the likes of Dorian Hamilton and their crew out at Pure Muscle & Fitness in eastern Canada are now working with Eric Siefert, one of the MAT Teachers/Practitioners, and getting next-level workouts and results. Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos, Brian Shaw, and Bryson Dechambeau are all getting MAT treatments to play at the best, become their best, and even in their comebacks set all-time career achievements. If you have run out of options, or simply want the best, no matter what your level, I highly recommend getting in contact with a MAT practitioner! I am all about finding the best in the world and combining it to bring it to my clients so they can have the best methods possible available to them.

Age:
35 

City, State/Province:
Currently Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

Home Town:
Calgary Alberta

Occupation?
Online Coach, MAT Specialist

In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
Weight loss is a health issue. I believe this because it’s not just someone being unfit that causes weight gain, but it’s unhealthy habits that get them there. There are lots of people that have never squatted in their life that are not overweight. Ones that are, likely to have self-sabotaging habits that accumulated over time. Extra weight takes a toll on the body in many ways. The gut being our second brain, can control our cravings, moods, and even mental health based on the condition of our microbiome. With unhealthy habits and possibly just simply not having the education on proper nutrition most don’t even know the connection that is working against them. This is even amplified in the marketing plans of many food products! Extra fat also secretes hormones such as estrogen, which can cause health conditions & issues for many, and visceral fat crams our organs, which is the most toxic for our bodies. Most men over 30 who have that hard belly, yeah that’s visceral fat, the worst kind and it could be causing a series of health conditions for you.

Our bodies were not designed or evolved for a lot of today’s societal stresses, both physically (being more sedentary) and mentally (dealing with today’s stresses, social media, etc) we need to address the body as a whole, and health’s definition as a whole. 

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level: 30
  • Health level:70

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, and others?
I can appreciate the benefits of all of these modalities. I believe that whatever you find, you have passion for or get the most happiness out of. You want ANY kind of training to resonate with you and be a positive experience in your life. The point is to challenge yourself physically and mentally so that you can refine, and strengthen yourself.

All of these require a strong will, execution, discipline, habit building, and of course enjoyment/passion. I love yoga, especially 26/2 for the challenge it brings, and the mental silence after the intense session. However, at heart, I am a bodybuilder. I love learning about the body and creating/designing masterpieces throughout the process. There are so many life lessons that you can learn about discipline, effort vs reward, consistency, time management, habit building, etc. It’s a sport that never turns off when you are preparing for a show. It requires more than just workouts and protein shakes and it’s more than just the 2-3 hours you spend in the gym, it’s about the other 22 hours of your day as well. You have to add an element of creativity to it, not just in posing, but also in designing your body. Just like a sculptor adds clay and then refines his masterpiece, so must the bodybuilder. I think that is kind of lost on lots of competitors nowadays because everyone is always looking for bigger and more shredded. But how many physiques actually look appealing? How many are actually proportional and WORK on improving their proportions? Not enough.

Lastly, how do you express yourself in your posing routine with the masterpiece you have developed? That is part of bodybuilding, and expression, it’s how you connect with your peers and audience.

How did your passion for fitness start? And what was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
My passion for fitness took off at the beginning of high school but really started with my love for superheroes as a kid.

The biggest challenge in my journey was overcoming self-doubt, being introverted, self-acceptance, and attaining unshakeable confidence in myself and my abilities. When I started bodybuilding, it was not a trendy or mainstream thing. We were outcasts, black sheep, misfits, or outliers. I was a bit shy and didn’t like being the center of attention, so getting on stage, in a tiny set of posing trunks, and flexing my muscles in front of a big crowd was definitely out of my comfort zone. But pushing past uncomfortable both physically and mentally has been a skill that bodybuilding has helped me sharpen and hone over the years. I will always be grateful for the challenges I have faced.

Can you tell us about the MAT clinic space and grow my “Muscle Mechanic”?
MAT is a modality that addresses muscle dysfunction. MAT recognizes that inflammation can create neurological weakness. Stress, trauma, overuse, and the resultant inflammation can alter the communication between the nervous system and the muscle system. Once muscles lose their ability to contract efficiently, where they can no longer contract on demand, in order to stabilize joints and protect the body. The goal of MAT is to “activate”  muscles through treatment, providing stability to the body again, so your body will give you mobility back. How many times have you gone in for a massage for tight muscles? How long did it last? Chances are lots are saying “not long”. Well, what if I told you the problem isn’t the tight muscles, that’s the symptom? The problem is usually an opposing muscle that is no longer communicating with the brain effectively. Turn that back on, and then your tightness will subside because we treated the root cause of the problem, not the symptom. Instead of undoing your body’s protective mechanisms, we are providing communication and information into your neuromuscular system, working with the body, rather than against it. The best thing about it? Results are right on the table, and the ability to increase the threshold tolerance of those muscles across a few sessions so it’s going to take more for that inflammation response to cause a disconnect. Now you aren’t spinning your wheels each session trying to “loosen” the same tight muscle that is trying to protect you from injury in the first place.

Right now, I am currently treating in Puerto Vallarta and whenever I can when I travel. MAT is growing in awareness as more and more people begin to discover the power and effectiveness it truly has.  My plan to grow the “Muscle Mechanic” is to bring more awareness of MAT to help those who like me, exhausted all options, or simply want to go straight to one of the best methods available. I am always looking to help new people fix or improve their bodies. It is one of my true callings and passions as I not only love learning about the body but love to improve people’s quality of life, in and out of the gym.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I learned from Ben Pakulski, Vince Del monte, Milos Sarcev, the Late Charles Poliquin, the Late John meadows, Layne Norton, Jordan Peters, and many more. My approach is now a strong combination of what I have found to be the most effective methods from them, while staying injury-free, the ability to still have a social life, and keep making progress. I use what I call “Progressive Performance” combined with Reverse Dieting, the best tactics to manage inflammation, stress, and healing to maximize body recomposition. I utilize Wim Hof, Tim Ferris, James Clear, Dr. Gabor Mate, and other world’s elites to provide as much value as possible to my clients.

The body and mind are not separate, and what happens mentally, can and DOES manifest physically. Breathing, cold exposure, and inner child/shadow work all have a place in your fitness journey. You just may not know it yet. Lastly, I flip the script on the methodology. If you are 25% body fat, and we for generalization’s sake, say the other 75% of you is a muscle, bone etc. Then when someone says they want to lose 15% body fat, what do you immediately picture? Hours of tedious (and unnecessary) cardio, chicken & broccoli, etc. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But what if I said, we are going to focus on GAINING 15% muscle quality, not necessarily size, but quality tissue. That sounds like a lot more fun. If you focus on changing what you are actually made of, not only is it a more positive, gaining experience associated with the process but it’s actually more effective. The body fat will take care of itself with the right comp method as you shift the proportions.

The Revenge Body & Revenge Booty programs are designed to combine all of these concepts and more, to Re-invent you inside & out. Bullying, Breakups, Addictions, whatever your Revenge Story might be, you have a home here with us.

Training Plan:
I build up to being able to consistently use  “Progressive Performance”, with largely push pull leg routines with both an A series and B series. A series is a heavier significant time under tension and performance-based, B series is more for metabolic stress and hyperemia, and 2 Leg & booty days for my female clients. I have them track all working sets, reps, and weights to push for personal bests, and adjust all nutrition etc based on your performances. Training builds the body. This way all muscle fibres get hit, and the energy systems. I always prescribe short, lengthened, and mid-range exercises to fully develop the muscles. Plus, I break down the basic anatomy & function of the muscles to make execution and good form just that easy. We focus on maximizing recovery between workouts, and training with progressive performance and high-quality execution to prevent injuries so you can continue full steam ahead to your goals.

Nutritional Plan:
I’m an advocate for Reverse Dieting. Standardizing your foods will help you to figure out what’s actually working for change if you eat the same foods in the same amounts for a week. Based on the outcome, I make small incremental changes, that allow for your body to adjust. 9/10 times my clients are telling me, “Please stop giving me more food (carbs)” They get leaner, have more muscle, and faster metabolism, which means they can actually live a social life, have cake at the party, dinner on date nights, etc because their regular carb intake is much higher. I’ve had clients who every time I dropped their carbs and/or increased their cardio, actually got worse!  Meal prep is important, at least to have a couple of backup meals in the freezer, for more than just “being prepared”. I have my clients create backups so they can be as consistent as possible, and not fall victim to being unprepared, or decision exhaustion and loss of willpower. We cover willpower, the marshmallow test and more in the Revenge Programs. Lastly, I time nutrients to best support training and optimize the hormone response from foods, and if we are getting fancy, we talk about choosing the right food types with your ancestry and location. 

Above all what matters first in ANY  diet is that you are consistent. If you are all over the place, and you got some changes, how are you going to know what worked? And as I’ve described above, if you keep making cuts, and you aren’t getting the results, why would you keep going the same direction? Go the other way and notice instant results and changes again! 

Supplement Plan:
Basics like Eaas, Creatine, citrulline, protein and carb powder/source are my keys for training. Omega-3 fish oils, Vitamin D3, and greens powder for overall health. I also utilize some other specific supplements when the program calls for it, and often only the best products & ingredients that actually work. 

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
I always believe that you cannot out-do nature. The closer to nature is always better. I recommend being as close to natural products as possible for all my clients, as well as myself. I know Bio-edge has come out with amazing 3rd party tested products, that are All-Natural, with the right ingredients at the right dosages! There is no need for anyone to have their citrus aminos be an orange colour just for the sake of being orange. These are starting to cause a lot more digestion and gut microbiome issues that can become hurdles or variables in your fitness journey. 

Please describe the importance of mental health?
I think in the last 3 years, we have drastically seen just how important mental health is, and how much it impacts how and who we are on so many levels. I personally have had and witnessed so many correlations between the mind and body, which is why it is a huge component in my Revenge programs. We cannot treat them separately because they aren’t separate! How you handle and deal with stress, trauma, and life deeply affects not only you mentally, but it manifests physically.

With the methods I use in my programs, not only have I seen vast improvements in conditions, but sometimes it’s been the only thing that works. Breathwork & cold exposure were the only thing that worked for endometriosis. I’ve witnessed someone’s body rapidly change per hour after a retreat that helps deal with stress, trauma and mental health. I tore the long head of my bicep last year, and the root cause of that was my stress level and my mental health. I wasn’t eating properly, drinking enough water, sleeping properly, managing stress properly , and during the peak of my stress level, I tore my arm. There was nothing in my approach or that I did any different than I had in the past, but my body’s ability to handle it just wasn’t there. There are direct correlations now between stress level and trauma and how it can manifest physically. Treating and improving mental health have healed, reversed or even prevented many conditions where pharmacology and other methods have failed them. Dr. Gabor Mate speaks often about this and has several books and resources in his correlations. Again these are key components that are addressed in the Revenge Programs because they have such a huge impact on our health & body. You can’t be the best version of yourself without a strong healthy mind. We do have the capacity to heal, in many ways, but this requires us to re-establishing our connection with the power of our mind. Our bodies and minds have not evolved as fast as our world and society has, and we have new stresses that affect us in many ways, that are only now being discovered. 

Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
A typical day for me starts around 9-10 am. I’ve never been a morning person. As with most, it starts with a coffee. When I’m in my element after the coffee is about 4 rounds of Wim Hof breathwork or a guided meditation. Then it’s breakfast of either 5-6 egg omelette or french toast with peanut butter. I read for 20 mins, and 20 min of Spanish (or Spanish lessons on some days of the week) before I focus on work. The rest of the day consists of client updates, content creation, client sessions a few days a week, and then getting ready for the 25min walk down to the gym. After training and getting home, I often hit our common area pool or do a quick 2 min cool shower. I hate the cold so it’s been a journey to love it. Soon it will be ice baths. Then it’s post-workout meal time- THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY. The rest of the day is usually resting, decompressing, visiting with friends, date night, or sometimes heading to the beach or watching the sunset from our veranda. 

Most of my creative moments and flow are late at night, when I jot down ideas, research new elements for my programs and clients, or design new programs. 

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
What I love about Status is that they are conscious about working with the right brands, products and people that align with health, wellness, fitness, and strong morals and values to provide only the best. No matter what you are looking for, Status always has something in it for you, and the best part is, that it’s coming from REAL people, in the industry who have worked their way up to the top. 

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
Where do you see the fitness industry going and evolving in the next 3 years, and what has been the most critical advancement of our industry in the last 5 years? 

Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover.  As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you for this opportunity?
That is a fantastic opportunity that I would love to be a part of. This has been something I’ve wanted to achieve since i started in this industry 17 years ago, and I feel like it has been a long time in the making. I think it’s important to reach as many people as possible so I can help as many as possible make massive transformations and Re-Invent themselves. 

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
Working with the coaches I have in the past has been priceless in so many ways. Beyond advancing my own knowledge and experience, I gained the ability to adapt, and to understand more about when to be precise and rigid in your approach, and what doesn’t need to be as intense to still get the same results. I got to learn a lot about some of my heroes and people I looked up to while learning and adapting their coaching approach as well. I have to say the most impactful was probably John Meadows, in his training, but also in his coaching and just being a good human being to everyone. We need more Johns in this industry.

Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
I have had sponsors in the past, and although I don’t have any officially at the moment, I am working with BioEdge because they are doing amazing things with their products, using high-quality ingredients, with the right dosages. I don’t recommend something I won’t take myself.

Sponsors are always important because it helps to connect us to more of the fitness family and be able to reach more people to share in their journey, as well as provide any value we can along the way.

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
My fitness goal used to be getting an IFBB Pro card. However, right now my focus is to get back to the body I want to have first, then decide if and when to compete with it again. In the meantime, I am focused on advancing my skills in the MAT realm, and refining the Revenge programs to hopefully expand into something bigger like Revengebody Retreats. My final goal is to have my own space for a clinic and gym. So I can fix people’s bodies, and help them live a higher quality of life, pain and condition free while expanding my online coaching services for everyone who can’t see me in person.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Life is going to work out how it is supposed to in the end. So be patient, learn to go with the flow, practise gratitude and try to learn the lessons you are meant to be taught. So you don’t have to have them repeated too many times. The second is that you can have everything you want in life, just not always at the same time, and it just might not look like how you thought it was going to. 

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Loyalty, Sense of Humour, Willingness to grow/learn, Compassion, Positivity.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
It would be the person who has gone through trials and tribulations and is needing a massive Re-Invention. There is no better time to invest in yourself, love yourself, and evolve into the person you absolutely can be. So stop putting it off, stop doubting yourself, stop self-sabotaging and just take 1 action to set you on that course. Just like walking, it’s always 1 step at a time. We are here to help you along your journey. 

Who inspires you? And why?
The people that inspire me are not just the best in the world, who have dedicated their lives to their crafts, like Dr. Gabor Mate, Wim Hof, Tim Ferris, etc. But the ones who have come from nothing, who have stood tall after all the challenges they have faced. I love the underdogs, and the redemption stories, that’s why I want to work with everyone who has a Revenge Story! 

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Success loves speed. Unless you want to spend 10 years trialling and error figuring stuff out to transform yourself, hire a coach. Every coach once had a coach. You are literally learning in 12 weeks to a year which took me over a decade. I, along with many coaches can put you light years ahead of anyone else in the gym just by working together and giving you what you need to know, so you don’t get swooned by all the bollocks in this industry.

What does success look like for you?
I think each person needs to define what success means to them. However, success for me is living out your purpose in life, once you’ve discovered it. Getting to freely enjoy your passion, if it isn’t the same thing as your purpose. And taking those and sharing them with the world. Waking up each morning, not dreading your life, and being able to remain grateful, and attain satisfaction as you navigate the journey is what I call a successful life.

You can have all the money in the world, lots of people do, but they are miserable. There is always a trade-off of some kind that you may not know about.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
You cannot succeed without experiencing failure. In fact, just like in training, all the results come AFTER FAILURE- Nick Horvath.

Connect with Nick: IG | FB | The Revenge Body | The Muscle Mechanic

I’m a mother of 5 (mostly grown) children and a grandmother of 1. I was obese for a good portion of my life. In 2010, I started strength training and in about 9 months; I lost 80 pounds. I became a trainer and wellness coach as I figured that if I could do it, anyone can. I became an athlete at the age of 36. I’m passionate about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Overcoming bad habits was very difficult. It is for everyone.

Age:
47

City, State/Province:
Pasco, WA

Country:
USA

Occupation?
Personal Trainer, Health & Wellness Coach.

In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
Nutrition determines size. Exercise determines shape.

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level:25
  • Health level:75

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, and others?
Everything has its place.

Photo By: James Patrick

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I teach lifestyle. Balance in all things.

Trainer Philosophy:
Whatever it takes to get you there, you have to keep doing it to stay there.

Training Plan:
I train for strength and aesthetics. I also teach quality form.

Nutritional Plan:
I teach the truth about nutrition. Eat whole, clean food.

Supplement Plan:
You can’t out supplement a bad diet.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
Balance. Most people can’t or won’t eat optimally. In the beginning, my goal is to get them from bad nutrition to good. Optimal is too big of a jump.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
Health includes physical, mental, and emotional health. You don’t fix your body to fix your head. If you fix your head first, the body will follow.

Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
I get up at 5 am and work on meal plans and communicate with online clients. Then I train from 7 or 8 am to noon and 3 to 7 pm. I come home to my youngest son and my significant other. I also read a ton. I love to educate myself. Travelling is also my passion.

Photo By: Eric Wainwright

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Interested in local athletes for inspiration.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
What is the best way to inspire the most people?

Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America, including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you about this opportunity?
That would be incredible!

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I’ve learned so much from all my former coaches and trainers. So much of what to do, but also what NOT to do.

Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
I have before. I no longer compete and, therefore, focus on promoting my brand.

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
To stay healthy myself (my genetics have several issues, including diabetes) and help change the world, one person at a time.

5 things people don’t know about you?

  • I’m an introvert.
  • I am not gym loyal.
  • I am a client and purpose loyal.
  • I care more about my clients’ goals than my own.
Photo By: Noi Phothivongsa

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
That you have to make yourself a priority before you help anyone else.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?

  • Respect
  • Truthfulness
  • Humility
  • Personal growth
  • Confidence

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
That person who has lost all faith in her ability. Honestly, that’s why I do what I do. I want to inspire people to not give up.

Who inspires you? And why?
Anyone who doesn’t give up. ANYONE.

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Be patient and consistent and be prepared.

What does success look like for you?
Help as many people as possible to believe in themselves. Hoping eventually to do public speaking.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
“You will remain the same until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.”

Connect with Melissa: IG | Website
Cover Photo By: Robbie Snider

I have always played sports and received a full-ride scholarship to play basketball in Metro State in Colorado. I specifically got into bodybuilding as a New Year’s resolution in 2017. Then I was hooked after earning my Pro card at my second show. From there, I have travelled the world, including South Korea, Italy, and Australia, to compete in world championships. My favourite category is Sports Model as well as Athletic because my physique is that of a pretty shredded basketball player.

Age:
36

City, State/Province:
Oceanside, San Diego

Country:
USA

Occupation?
Personal Trainer, Fitness Studio Owner.

Many people struggle with losing weight. Are the challenges as simple as a fitness issue, or is it more of an underlying health issue?
Currently, the overwhelming majority of people struggle with weight, be it in their own personal assessment of how they want to look, poor health, or genetic/medical circumstances. Although there can be underlying medical issues, fitness, mainly lifestyle choices, is the dominant factor that has led to the obesity epidemic. The onset of more time spent sitting and clicking has led to less time standing and moving. Practically everything we do can be done with just a click or command to “Alexa”. Portion distortion and fast food have only exasperated the problem.

What would be the top 3 tips you would provide to someone who is struggling to lose weight?

  • Analysis paralysis–Stop trying to plan or overthink when, where, and how you will start to exercise and eat healthily. You can easily talk yourself out of getting started and delay your health journey even longer. There will never be a perfect time, day, or program that will align with every single box you want to check off. Get moving now, not later and not when you think the holidays, work, and life won’t get in the way.
  • Let processed foods go–Eating foods without labels and packages instantly gets rid of many unnecessary sugars and carbohydrates that have taunted and tricked your taste buds. Instead of a snack pack, eat a fresh piece of fruit or cut-up vegetables. Instead of a bagel, how about some eggs? Processed foods might be quick and easy, but they quickly lead to sugar crashes and don’t convert to the nutrients your body needs for proper functioning.
  • Movement is medicine–To build a healthy foundation for your bones and muscles, you need to get moving. The more muscle you have, the more calories you can burn just resting. Create a body that loves endorphins and that craves movement. Your body appreciates activity that gets the blood pumping.

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?
Tough question as I’m a natural bodybuilder that really strives for health, especially when my health attributes to my fitness level.

  • Fitness level: 25
  • Health level: 75

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, and others?
All modalities of fitness have their pros and their cons. For 90% of my clients, I focus on lifestyle change and I also work with the older population. TRX can be good for their needs, but typically, HITT deters those I work with because their fitness level isn’t matched with that. I do great variations of Tabata training that can be modified for any level, so that is a good go-to for me. Bodybuilding is pretty much left to me, and I have a coach that helps with this too.

How did your passion for fitness start? And what was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
My passion started with basketball but took off once I received my master’s degree in Physical Education and Health. From there, I was all in and wanted to help others. I was actually recruited at the local gym to be a personal trainer and got really good at programming and helping older adults, so that has been my niche. I also coached basketball too for a few years. Both my parents were teachers, so I’ve always been about education, hence going on to receive my Doctorate. The biggest challenge has been running a small business because there are many incredible benefits to this, but anytime you are dealing with the public, you have to let your ego go and know that you can’t please everyone.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I’m the queen of variation and modifications. I love showing people that they can do more than they think they can. I’ve had 70- and 80-years old clients doing burpees, but of course in a modified fashion. My clients proclaim that they never do the same workout twice.

Training Plan:
I follow the NASM OPT model working phases for 4 to 6 weeks, focusing on endurance, strength, then power.

Nutritional Plan:
Clean, clean, clean. I’ve written two books on Amazon that are about metabolism and have over 100 recipes. My coach makes my meal plans, but I know I eat about 1200 calories and stay lean that way.

Supplement Plan:
BCAA’s, beta-alanine, protein powder, that’s it. I’m all-natural.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
I like flavour although all-natural is preferred. I’m a vanilla and chocolate girl, so although I realize some of the protein powers have sugar alcohols or flavours, I’ll compromise on this since I eat so clean. I have certain brands I do recommend to clients, and I do believe that the less sugar you have in any form takes those cravings away.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
It can make or break you, so having a foundation of knowing who you are, what triggers you, your strengths, and being resilient is the key to being happy.

Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
5:15 am wake up get ready for work and eat breakfast, train clients from 6:30 am to 12:30 pm, go see my coach, come back to the studio train clients from 2:15 pm to 6:30 pm. Get home, do whatever academics or paperwork I have, get ready for bed, and finish any meal prep in bed by 9 pm.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Quality of athletes and personal experiences shared. The diversity of topics and athletes draws in relatable material as well as inspirational material. The layout is easy to follow, and it is very community fitness oriented in a supportive manner.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
We all think about what if I did this or what if I did that in life. For me it’s what if I would have to stick with basketball, could I have gone pro? What is your “what if”?

Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America, including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you about this opportunity?
Wow, it definitely does feel like a “status”. What an accomplishment too, to be part of a community that supports fitness endeavours. I see some of these profiles and features the Magazine runs, and I’m like I want to be that person, so it would be a goal to check off for sure.

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
My coach is my mentor and motivator. I aim to make him proud, and we have been together since 2017, so it has been a journey together. I can’t thank him enough and I know that he supports me in all that I do every single time.

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
I want to be the fitness motivation and inspiration for others to aspire to be like. I want to be a fitness role model who leads by example. I’m also interested in helping persons with addictions use exercise as medicine. In life, I want to be the best wife, pug mom, and friend that I can be to others who are loyal and true to me.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
To actually practise the serenity prayer. I am not in control and worry and anxiety change nothing. This was especially true doing the Covid-19 shutdown when my business was closed for 3 months.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Loyalty, Empathy, Ambitious, Reliable, Trustworthy.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
I want to inspire my nephew. He loves sports and going through the pandemic highlighted to me how much kids need movement. I want him to see that if he sticks to a sport or activity, he can be the best that he can be with it if he practices all the time.

Who inspires you? And why?
My mom. She passed away, but she was a person who set her mind to something and made it happen. She was the epitome of beauty and brains.

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Don’t give up. It’s the long haul. It’s the ones who go the extra mile. When no one else is looking, you stick to your plan. When you feel tired or want to quit, don’t let momentary feelings overtake a lifetime goal.

What does success look like for you?
It’s being the best version of me and knowing that I’ve given absolutely 100 to what I’m doing. If that isn’t good enough for someone else, well, it’s my best and if I’ve let it all out on the table, then I’m happy with that.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
“Treat others how you want to be treated”. In business and in life, I respect those who respect me.

Connect with Megan: IG | Website | Youtube Channel
Photos By: Lorenzo Gaspar

I started training in the gym at 18 years old. I was inspired by the women I would see in fitness magazines. They appeared so strong and beautiful that I wanted to be like them. Despite my efforts, I trained for many years without achieving this look. My outcomes considerably changed by age 28. At the time, I was struggling to overcome a drinking problem I had developed after surviving a serious attack in 2013 ( I was stabbed 18 times by my ex and left for dead..). Going to therapy helped reduce my alcohol consumption but it wasn’t enough to keep me completely sober. I needed something to keep me accountable outside of my sessions. Something positive is to fall back out when I would experience boredom, anxiety or be faced with temptation. I needed a process that would keep me sober long enough that I could build the habits that would lead to long-term success.

That’s when I decided to compete, a decision completely transformed my life. In only 3 months of working with a professional coach, I quit drinking (now 4 years), my body changed like never before and I was happy for the first time in years! 6 months later, I stepped on stage & won my first competition! This experience shifted my life in a completely different direction. I ended up quitting my corporate job, starting my own business and winning my pro cards several months later. Today, I live in Mexico with my fiance Ludovic. We are both passionate about fitness and helping others transform through conscious choice.

Age:
34

City, State/Province:
MTL, QC

Country:
Canada

Occupation?
Founder of TinyTfitness. Transformation expert – Naturopath.

In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
They are interrelated. Some people MUST lose weight to improve their health as others will set specific weight loss goals to improve their physique. Either way, the benefits are experienced interchangeably & when the focus is HEALTH FIRST FITNESS WILL FOLLOW.

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level: 20%
  • Health level: 80 %

Focusing only on fitness can lead to making poor health decisions that will delay progress. (low-calorie diets, excessive training, PED). If we chose to prioritize our health with our fitness goal in mind, our body will reward us.

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, others?
Every activity has its benefits. If the individual has a SPECIFIC GOAL they SHOULD HAVE A SPECIFIC STRATEGY that aligns with it (for example if a woman is seeking to look like a fitness athlete, she should be spending the majority of her time resistance training or not spinning). However, overall, the most important thing is to stay active and enjoy what we do. So we keep doing it and live more abundant lives.

What was the biggest challenge you faced on your journey?
During my second competition, my body resisted my prep (metabolic shut down) I experienced many health issues such as swollen lymph, exhaustion, and food sensitivities. Despite these challenges, I kept pushing… The same week of my competition I had an allergic reaction to the sun, and hives all over my body. My coach advised early on that I should quit. Looking back, I probably should have but I’m glad I didn’t because I actually won my pro cards at that comp. The downside of it all, I suffered the consequences for nearly 2 years afterwards. Hormone havoc, low progesterone, missed periods, bloating, weight gain, weight loss resistance. I saw many doctors and underwent many tests. No one could give me answers or help me. This shifted my attention in a different direction. I wanted to understand more about the female body, hormones and natural healing. I went back to school in naturopathy and with time, I was able to get my body back in balance by using a holistic healing approach.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I believe that weight loss is simply a positive consequence of proper lifestyle management. I focus primarily on nutrition and lifestyle strategies that keep our hormones and body in balance. This involves eliminating toxins (sugar, sweeteners, processed food, alcohol) and fillers (food-like substances) and implementing food that supports the body’s functions (whole foods, fibre, vitamins, minerals) along with adequate rest and stress management.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
I don’t recommend any of the above

  • First, they are endocrine disruptors (they cause inflammation in the body which causes weight loss resistance)
  • Many women struggle to stay consistent on a diet due to cravings. Artificial sugars cause more cravings!! They are 100% sweeter than natural sugar and they trick the brain by giving the sweet taste without the serotonin boost. This leads to seeking more sugar and often overeating!! Sugar is not a better option for someone who is trying to lose weight due to its impact on blood sugar. It increases insulin resistance and makes it very difficult to lose fat.
  • They are toxic and have been linked to many diseases including obesity and cancer.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
We can’t do good unless we feel good. Aside from providing us with a body that makes us feel good, exercise and nutrition stimulate hormones that improve our mood, attitude and overall outlook on life. We all deserve to be happy and have the potential to be. We must learn as a society to be more active in our healing rather than passive, relying solely on medication. The medication may help buffer the symptoms but it does not address the underlying cause. Making nutrition and lifestyle changes will help an individual resume quicker to optimal health and build the foundation for a more fulfilling life.

Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
I wake up at 4-5 am every day. I like to listen to a positive podcast on Youtube to nourish my mind as I get ready to work out (Tony Robbins, Oprah, Michelle Obama). I either go to the gym or give a class in my virtual studio 5 times a week. Once I’m done training I usually work until 5-6 pm (it can be longer, I’m obsessed with work, I actually LOVE TO WORK and I have to force myself to stop). Once I managed to force myself to stop I will do something to bring down my cortisol from a busy day (yoga, jumping in the pool, taking a bath Epsom salts). Then I make sure I read every night. Reading is my favourite thing to do when im not working or training. My habits are rituals. I do my best every single day to compound on actions that will contribute to my success.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status is supporting coaches and helping everyday people build confidence by sharing their stories. They are giving back by using their own success to impact other people in positive ways. I truly think this is amazing.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
I would love to be more implicated with Status magazine, share my knowledge and support their readers. In the future, if you think I’m a good fit for the right articles think of me. Umm, that wasn’t really a question. Love you, Rodney

Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you about this opportunity?
I think that’s extremely exciting news. Over the last few years, I have prioritized my clients’ goals. This required that I put any personal projects on hold (competing, etc). It will feel great to do something for me again. Thank you for the opportunity.

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I see my coaches as strategic partners. They help me stay on track and contribute to my personal and professional growth success is never achieved in isolation from others.

Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
BIOEDGE is my partner. The only one I chose to deal with. Their products are 100% natural, toxin-free and they taste fantastic. But most importantly they don’t want to manipulate their clients to buy more by using addictive
ingredients. They want to grow organically by providing quality products that actually make a difference.

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
For fitness: I want to keep improving my shape and eventually compete on a higher level. Before Covid, I was preparing to go to Vegas for World Championships but the reality is even my body wasn’t in a great place at that time. Now that my health is better I’m starting to reconsider this goal.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Success is simply the positive consequence of aligning ALL OF OUR BEHAVIORS WITH OUR GOALS. We are all capable of amazing things… It’s not our circumstances but rather our actions that determine our outcomes

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
PASSIONATE, AMBITIOUS, DRIVEN, HARD-WORKING, DISCIPLINED. I would say these are great attributes to succeed in time.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
My mom. I put her through a lot as a teenager and she always did the best she could to get me back on
track. I’m grateful for my mom in so many ways. She taught me the values and work ethic that made it possible for me to overcome some of my biggest challenges and accomplish my dreams. If I’m living my best life,  thanks to her being a great mom.

Who inspires you? And why?
My clients. They are such strong-minded women who have accomplished amazing things while balancing their busy life and career. They are truly amazing.

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Fitness is a lifestyle. To achieve a body that makes us feel good physically and mentally, we must align our behaviours with that goal. I know it can be hard to give up toxic habits that give us pleasure. But in order to succeed, we must remind ourselves of the amazing life we are gaining rather than focus on the small things we must give up. The best strategy is to get help from someone who has done it before!

What does success look like for you?
Success is living a fulfilling life. A life where we feel happy. We are content with our career, and our relationships and experience an overall sense of peace. Success is creating the life you truly desire.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
It’s not our circumstances but rather our actions that define our outcomes.

Connect with Tara: IG 

Growing up, I was the stereotypical nerd. I started my journey at around 145 lbs standing at about 6’1”. Now I stay around 205 lbs and maintain a very healthy shape. I was tall and skinny, I had glasses, braces and asthma. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself because of these things and I wanted to change. It wasn’t until grade 12 that I decided to go to the gym. After a few months of going, I began to see results, and I was absolutely hooked. I weight trained for the next year and fully immersed myself in the industry. This was around the time Men’s physique started getting popular and there happened to be a show coming up in Fort St. John that I decided to compete in. I made it a point to study as much as I could, so I could have a successful prep. I lost around 35 lbs and ended up winning the Overall for Men’s Physique. That was a real catalyst for me and it really ignited my passion for fitness. I have been self-coached ever since!

I went on to get my first personal training certificate to improve my own knowledge. That led to some amazing opportunities to work with people in my hometown that I believe changed the trajectory of my life and made me realize that I have a passion for helping people. I continued to study everything I could get my hands on when it came to fitness. I went on to compete in 4 more physique shows and 3 model searches over the next 5 years.

I went through a lot of challenges during that time and had learnt a lot through trial and error. Because of all my combined experiences and my passion for helping people, I decided to get into the online coaching space. I knew I could make a real impact on people’s lives and I wanted to show them that getting into shape is more than just physical. It helps you level up as a person and encourages you to believe in yourself. Fitness changed my life, and I wanted to help others do the same.

Age:
28

City, State/Province:
Kamloops, BC

Country:
Canada

Occupation:
Online Fitness Coach & Owner of Built By Bruce.

In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
Without a doubt, I think that weight loss is more of a health issue. I can’t tell you how many people come to me with hormonal issues, metabolism issues or injuries from poor diet and habits. Changing their routine and applying weight loss methods helps improve not only their health but their mental health as well! It’s cool to see our competitive clients get shredded, but if you truly want health, a certain body fat percentage is needed!

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level: 30
  • Health level: 70

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, and others?
They all have their place, but it depends on the person and what their goal is. I’ve tried all of them, aside from powerlifting, and have seen benefits, but I always come back to bodybuilding because it has so many more benefits long term.

How did your passion for fitness start? And what was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
My passion for fitness truly started after I competed in my first physique competition. The challenge was a huge motivator for me going forward. Fitness became part of my everyday routine ever since then.

The biggest challenge I have faced on my fitness journey has been navigating different approaches to weight loss, muscle gain, etc. There is a lot of information out there, and it doesn’t always hold true for everybody. There were lots of trial and error, not only with my personal fitness journey but coaching my clients as well.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
Focus on the basics! When it comes to nutrition, I only practice and teach Flexible Dieting. This is the most effective, enjoyable, and productive way to approach nutrition. Tracking macros allows you to not only learn the true value of your food but also teaches you more about your body and how it responds to certain macros ratios and foods which, in turn, allows me and my clients to be able to make better decisions on a daily basis! When it comes to training, I have a less is more approach. I believe that focusing on the basics is what delivers great results, not all these random HIIT workouts or circuits you see people doing on social media. I used to be the guy in the gym training for 3 hours straight with minimal rest and I found that I was spinning my tires. When I started to put less emphasis on sweating or a “burn” and more of an emphasis on the quality of each rep and set and my actual performance, I really started to see more results and now, so do my clients.

Trainer Philosophy:
My trainer philosophy is this: education, sustainability & consistency over everything. Education is key to helping people create lasting changes to their health and fitness. If I can teach people not only what to do with their training and nutrition but also how to do it and why they are doing it, they will have significantly better long-term results. Most people just want a band-aid solution. Something quick and easy to follow that involves no thinking, and that’s why so many continue to fail at their fitness endeavours. They will blindly follow restrictive dieting methods or a meal plan and high-intensity workouts hoping to see rapid weight loss. Eventually, they’ll get bored, burn out and quit, only to look for the next quick fix. I would rather educate them first than employ a plan that they can stick with long-term and actually enjoy. That way, they are far less likely to burn out and the Yo-Yo diet.

Training Plan:
I train 6 days a week right now. My current training split is this:

  • Monday: Lower Push
  • Tuesday: Upper Push
  • Wednesday: Upper Pull
  • Thursday: Lower Pull
  • Friday: Weak Points
  • Saturday: Arms
  • Sunday: Rest Day

Nutritional Plan:
I actually don’t follow a meal plan. I track my macronutrients instead. It’s far more flexible and allows me to understand more about my body. These macronutrients change based on my goals. Right now I am in a contest prep so they are significantly lower than usual!

Supplement Plan:
I take Creatine Monohydrate, Pre-Workout, Greens Powder, Vitamin C & D, and Whey Protein Powder. Only supplements that are well researched and have been proven effective for my fitness journey!

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
I prefer to take all-natural supplements, but I don’t mind straying from that once in a while. The more I can fuel myself with natural ingredients and products, the better off and healthier I’ll be, but at the end of the day, I don’t think it makes a large difference overall.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
Mental health is everything. I’ve worked with many people who struggle with their mental health and have usually found how effective a solid fitness and nutrition routine can help improve it. I know I feel at my best when I’m outdoors, exercising, and fueling my body with nutritious foods! It’s so important to put yourself first and have a routine to keep your mental health in check, whatever that may look like.

Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
I’ll typically wake up around 8 AM and start the day off with around a litre of water and then a cup or two of coffee with breakfast. Then I’ll do an hour of work before I go for an hour’s walk with my 1-year-old son. After the walk, I’ll head to the gym to get my workout in and I’ll typically follow that up with 30 mins of cardio. Once I get back home, I’ll shower and eat and hang out with the family for another hour before I do some work on my business. Once that is all done, I’ll eat again and trade off with my wife and let her get to work while I spend the rest of the afternoon with my son. Then we’ll go for one more walk and do some meal prep before I finish the day.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status seems very involved with the fitness community close to me and I like that! It provides realistic motivation from others in the community.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
From your experience, what do you think the next personal training platform will look like?

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I’ve actually never had a coach. I’ve always been self-taught and have coached myself through it all. I have to say that my wife Haylie has always been there to help and support me through every fitness endeavour. She’s made an incredible impact on me. She consistently makes sure I hold myself to a higher standard and always pushes me to do and be more. Without her, I’m not sure I would have had the success that I’ve had when it comes to business and fitness.

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
Fitness: My biggest fitness-related goal would be to get my IFBB Pro card in Men’s Physique. I knew this since my very first show and I believe I have the potential to do it one day. I also want to grow my physique so I can have a stage weight of 190lbs.

Life: I recently got married, had a baby, bought a house, and bought my dream vehicle, so a few of my life goals have already been met! Next, we will travel the world!

5 things people don’t know about you?

  • I absolutely love the outdoors and nature. It grounds me and allows me to decompress better than anything else.
  • I have always felt drawn to entrepreneurship. Both my parents own their own businesses and it has shown me the way.
  • My friends are everything to me. They truly are my chosen family.
  • I am completely fascinated by space and all things in it!
  • If I wasn’t doing fitness, my dream job would be a rally car racer.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Nothing worth having comes easily.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Kindness, Generosity, Drive, Light-heartedness, Confidence.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
If I could inspire one person, it would be my son. He is the light of my life and I hope I can help him become the best man he can be!

Who inspires you? And why?
My friend, training partner, fellow coach, and mentor Don Lam constantly inspires me. His drive and perseverance are extremely motivating. He, like my wife Haylie, constantly pushes and holds me to a higher standard. He has been an integral part of my success in both fitness and business. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for Don’s kindness and tenacious attitude when it comes to winning in life.

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Be consistent and intentional with everything that you do and make sure you have patience. Make a plan, stick to it and make sure you enjoy it. Reaching your fitness goals is tough and can take a long time, so it’s important that you have a routine that you truly enjoy. It is the true key to long-term success.

What does success look like for you?
To me, success is being able to live my life on my terms and not someone else’s. As long as I have my health, friends, family and the income to allow me to do what I enjoy, then that to me is a success. At the end of the day, happiness is what matters most, so as long as I am happy and those around me are too, then I’m perfectly content.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
“Don’t be a bitch.”

If that doesn’t work, then my next choice would be: “Boss up”. Both make me check myself and help me realize that anything is doable if I’m willing to put the work in. If things get tough. I’ll tell myself one of these quotes and it inspires me to keep pushing.

Connect with Zac: IG | Website 
Photos By: David Frod

My dad brought me to the gym as I was an overweight kid, was bullied, and made fun of & I put all my energy into losing weight. I became really really skinny & I didn’t like that either! Hence, I fell in love with weights the moment I started seeing progress back in 2009. I did many sports growing up such as Taekwondo, sailing, rock climbing, ice skating, playing football in tournaments back in high school, etc. Always been an outdoor rather than indoor person but I struggled in the early days to find something I really loved to do for a long time as a form of fitness-related hobby.

Age:
30

City, State/Province:
Singaporean living in Australia, North Albury, NSW

Country:
Australia

Occupation:
Detailer/Designer for Timber Residential Homes

In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
I would say it depends on the individuals’ circumstances but both are equally important. To begin with, weight loss is crucial as most health issues are related to having a higher body fat percentage or an unhealthy lifestyle. Diet and strength training go hand in hand to counter the majority of the health issues the general community faces. After which, progression and fundamental movement/mobility or imbalance issues can be improved with fitness via the aid of weight loss, thus improving the overall quality of life.

Photo By: Ban Studio

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level: 50
  • Health level: 50

Again, both aid each other to go hand in hand. Having more tokens on the health level already means a lower fitness level, which does not necessarily mean the health level would be good in the long run, and vice versa.

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, and others?
All of these have their merits and downsides if done in excess. A good combination of a few will definitely benefit any individual. For example, yoga for mobility/stretching/mental well-being while powerlifting and bodybuilding in areas of muscle mass and strength gains, combined with the occasional cardiovascular activity such as HIIT and LISS/circuit training with bodyweight tools such as the TRX are always going to be a plus rather than doing one sport or utilizing a single tool only.

How did your passion for fitness start? And what was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
It started when I realized it affected my sense of self-esteem/confidence greatly. Fast forward from 2009 to 2017, I began training myself not just physically but mentally and began preparing for my first bodybuilding contests with the diet as well as the training. My biggest challenge was moving on from losses and defeats. I’m generally a competitive person by nature and it’s either in the first place or nothing. Along the way, I learned how to manage that expectation and I kept going till today 2022 before turning pro with the INBA/PNBA Natural Bodybuilding Federation. My greatest moment in Bodybuilding was on 28th May 2022 when I achieved my Pro Card. I was struggling to bag that for 5 years after receiving countless second place & near misses for the overall.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I emphasize heavy mind-muscle connection, not just moving weight from point A to B. Time under tension, allowing maximum stimulus in the target muscle during training.

Trainer Philosophy:
Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t, you’re right.

Photo By: Ban Studio

Training Plan:
Previously, I train one body part a day but currently, I do a PUSH-PULL LEGS split. 3 days on 1 day off, 2 days on 1 day off and repeat weekly.

  • Mon – Legs
  • Tue–Push
  • Wed–Pull
  • Thur–REST
  • Fri – Legs
  • Sat–Push/Pull
  • Sun – REST

Nutritional Plan:
I do carb cycling. Meaning the number of carbs I take depends on what body part I train.

Supplement Plan:
I am sponsored by JDN supplements from Brisbane. I take BCAAS intra-workout. Occasionally the pre-workout formula they have called Altered State along with 5g Creatine monohydrate and a Whey Protein Isolate and Cream of Rice with my oats in the morning and post-workout.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
Mental health is the crux of everything moving together like clockwork. Without a goal or a proper mental focus, you can’t function and most probably be doing everything for the sake of it or just going through the motions.

Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
During contest prep, I wake at 5 am and do cardio for 30-45mins at the gym or outside and head home to prep my meals for the day. Generally, I’m at work by 7-8 am and finish around 4-5 pm. I consume my meals on a strict time schedule so I can constantly feed the body with the right nutrients for growth and progress in my bodybuilding goals. After which I head to the gym and train + do cardio if needed the extra push before reaching home at around 7 pm. I then stretch or relax with my last meal before heading to bed by 10 pm. If I’m not competing, the amount of cardio I do is reduced and I try to eat in surplus for a proper muscle gain phase.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status magazine seems to be keeping up to date with the fitness industry and promotes athletes from all facets of training and goals. Compared to other magazines that only focus on one aspect of health and fitness, Status magazine appeals to me as they seem to show no discrimination and are open to people from all walks of life.

Photo By: Ban Studio

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
What do you think can take Status Fitness Magazine to its next level of growth and worldwide popularity.

Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you about this opportunity?
It would be an incredible honour and privilege to be an ambassador for Natural bodybuilding and inspire/motivate others to achieve their goals in terms of health and fitness.

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I’ve been blessed with kind and encouraging individuals who saw much potential in me and pushed me to give competing a try. Some helped me with advice and posing along the way as I was living in various states in Australia and competing with different federations. But for the most part, I have been self-coached and self-prepped for the major contests recently. They definitely gave me the inspiration and still do! It has been a huge impact on my motivation aspect of things in terms of being a good role model and will be in years to come, being a coach now myself too.

Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
They mean the world to me. I believe without them in my corner and support system has been a huge aid to me in my ups and downs over the past 5 years.

  • Ryderwear – Providing me with the best quality apparel & lifting gear/shoes etc for my training.
  • Sudio – Swedish wireless Bluetooth earpiece that has aided all my workouts to keep me focused along with their impeccable noise-cancelling qualities and sound system.
  • Jdnsupplements – My current sponsors from Queensland Brisbane have provided me with quality nutrition and supplements that are crucial during any contest prep let alone regular training in the offseason.
  • Wgcastlereagh – The owner back then loved how passionate I was and for 2 years in Sydney during my time there he let me train there which saved me a great deal financially in return for being the world gym ambassador. It was really tough as 2019-21 was the peak of covid as well
Photo By: Casey Graham

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
My goal is to be healthy in the long run, longevity and still love what I do. I hope to be an inspiration to not just my local community but globally now that I have the pro card and the opportunity to compete in Vegas next year at the INBA/PNBA Natural Olympia, as some of the greatest natural bodybuilders have done before me. To be a role model and show others that a regular person like me can still achieve his or her dream of standing on stage with full-time professionals and still do well! I just got married to the most amazing woman, and she has also tried competing for the first time this year. In the near future, we plan to have kids and raise them up well, and that is another one of my current goals for my family!

5 things people don’t know about you?

  • I have a Taekwondo black belt.
  • I’ve won sailing competitions.
  • I’m able to ice skate.
  • I’ve been training for 13 years consistently now without missing a week of training.
  • I have got a Master’s, Bachelor and Diploma in Architecture along with a Bachelor of International Business

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Always set the standard on your own terms. Keep your head up through adversity and despite all the failures one goes through, as long as you keep going you’re not a failure and one day you will succeed just like I have with my multiple attempts to reach a higher level.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Honesty, Will, Discipline, Respect & Compassion.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
I think it does not have to be a specific person in general but instead a category. I would love to be able to inspire say, for example, my role models. Because they have first inspired me and if I am able to return that inspiration and if they get inspired by me in return, then I can say I have succeeded because everything comes full circle.

Photo By: Casey Graham

Who inspires you? And why?
People who don’t know me–I would have to say, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was the first that I’ve seen all over the cover of magazines back in the 90s when social media was not this big. Not only that, he succeeded in bodybuilding, but whatever he set his mind to, he accomplished and that was very, very inspiring for me.

People whom I’ve known personally–Nobuyuki Fukuda from Japan who lives in Adelaide. I met him in the Norwood World Gym and back when I saw him in the gym in the wee hours; he was the most conditioned and shredded Asian who was competing in Australia back then in 2017. He is also South Australia’s firefighter and personal trainer, raising two kids at the same time. He was really encouraging and humble and he told me that I should give competing  a try someday. I took up that challenge and here I am today. He has won both ICN AND ANB at a national level and was even on the front cover of the Australian Newspapers. I really respect him as he carries himself professionally and sees the best in others. I really miss him!

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Stay consistent, don’t be afraid to eat, try new diets, learn, and always be a student. For those interested in competing, try new diets and training routines, find what works for you, and test out a steady caloric deficit over 5 months when you’re ready to see what muscle is under that flab/off-season weight you put on. Have a plan, have a goal, and execute it relentlessly. For the fitness journey in general, I would say have a short-term plan with a long-term vision. Take every week or day in bite sizes that help reach your goal realistically. Chances are if you only have a long-term plan in 5 years it won’t happen until you act on a daily basis eg. Getting to the gym consistently and prepping your meals daily consistently for over a week, then for a month, then for a year and so on.

What does success look like for you?
My greatest moment in bodybuilding was on 28th May 2022 when I achieved my Pro Card. I was struggling to bag that for 5 years after receiving countless second place & near-misses overall. To stand against the BEST at the Natural Olympia in Vegas. & Compete at World Championships at INBA Italy/Argentina/Netherlands/Korea/Mexico/Brazil with many other amazing athletes. BUT that being said, success to me is succeeding in all aspects of life. Work, family, friends, and personal goals or couple goals, then I can say I’ve succeeded.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
Same as my philosophy – Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t, you’re right.

Connect with Marcus: IG | Website

I am originally from Toronto, Canada, but currently live in Florida with my wife and our two dogs. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2007, specializing in both mental and physical transformations. I struggled with/suffered from anorexia from the time I was 11 until I was 21. I was hospitalized three times before making the decision to sober up, and take back control of my life. I have competed in 13 bodybuilding shows all over North America, and I still compete in the natural women’s physique division.

Age:
34

Occupation:
Online coach

You are a health & fitness coach specializing in the amazing LGBT community. What is that like?
It’s the most rewarding career I’ve ever had. I get to help people just like me realize there’s life OUTSIDE of anxiety. So many of my clients come to me desperate to make a transformation not just in the way they look, but also in the way they think and feel and talk to themselves. I get to transform their limiting beliefs and their self-sabotaging behaviours AND help them lose weight/gain muscle. It’s the best of all the worlds.

You also are a Mentor with Trainer Revenue Multiplier? What does your role entail? How do you help others, and what difference do you try to make with each pupil?
My role involves running the TRM 10k program. That’s our flagship course that helps new trainers reach the 10k per month mark. As part of that program, I host the weekly group calls, co-host the biweekly group question-and-answer calls, and coach the participants one-on-one twice a month. I also host the weekly TRM podcast streamed across Apple iTunes, Spotify, sticker, etc. I also help Mathew host our ‘Discovery day’ seminars, masterminds, or any one-day events he wants to run.

I help our trainers by showing them what a life of financial and time freedom looks like. I teach them the unique principles of TRM to guide them in a way where they can sell themselves (and their services) without sounding salesy. It’s rewarding because I get to show people that you can make as much money as you want to make, have as much free time as you want to have, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, never stop impacting the lives of your clients. You can build a custom fitness business and thrive doing it.

What is it like working with Mathew Park?
The first word that comes to mind is “fun.” It’s fun to work with Mathew. His passion and energy are contagious, and always keeps things light, so I never feel bored or like I’m ‘forced’ to do something. It’s also inspiring to see the excitement he brings to each new day and the challenge.

As a pro physique competitor, share your struggles, challenges and wins you experience preparing for a show?
I would say the biggest struggle I face when competing is hunger; though not so much the physiological effects, but rather the psychological. After 10 years of an eating disorder, promising myself I would never go back there, it’s hard to acknowledge that the hunger that comes with contest prep is normal. As far as a challenge, I would say it’s continuing to preach my message of ‘moderation and balance’ to my audience and clients, despite not necessarily LIVING that message when I’m in prep. In terms of my wins, it definitely would be inspiring my clients. Showing them that there’s nothing they can’t do; if I can keep my business thriving, keep my wife happy, and keep my mental health stable – All why getting myself down to 8% body fat – then they have no excuse not to go after that THEY want.

You help shape and change people’s lives every day. What does that mean to you?
It means that this career is so much bigger than myself. It means that I don’t know if I can/will ever retire. It’s not even a career, but rather a calling. Something I look forward to doing every single day and think about all the time.

Who inspires you and why?
My mom inspires me. As the child of two Holocaust survivors, she was taught that there was nothing she couldn’t do. If her parents could survive, she had an obligation to make something of herself. She stayed with my dad despite his diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease, and even after he passed away and she lost her soulmate, she didn’t give up or give in. Nor after her two cancer diagnoses. She kept going and showed me that nothing can ever bring her down.

If you could inspire one person who would that be and why?
Oh jeez. I guess my answer would be “Why do I have to pick just one?” I love social media and having a multitude of platforms to post on, so I can inspire as many as possible all the time!

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
I love Status’ focuses not just on the competitor, but the model, the mom, and the teen looking to get inspired. Status takes a moderate and balanced approach to fitness and health, therefore making sure it’s not intimidating.

Future fitness goals and plans?
Continue to grow my online following for the sole purpose of trying to inspire, motivate, educate, and entertain the maximum amount of people. I want to get my WNBF pro card as well in 2022!

5 things people don’t know about you:

  • I grew up with cats. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I became a dog person.
  • Phish Food is my favourite Ben & Jerry’s flavour
  • I have 3 older siblings in San Francisco, Jersey, and Toronto.
  • I prefer Pumping Iron to Generation Iron.
  • I starting competing before Women’s Physique was a division (I’m old!).

Take us through a typical day in your life?
I wish I was more exciting! I train from 7-9 am every day, answer emails or make programs for clients between 9-11, and then spend the next 4-6 hours doing one-to-one business mentoring calls, answering DMs, or finishing more e-mails. Around 5, I close my laptop for the night, and spend time with my family, walking, reading, watching TV, or exploring new parts of Florida.

What does life look like for you in 5 years?
It’s so hard to say because 5 years ago, I didn’t picture my life looking anything like this! I know for sure I’ll be speaking on much bigger stages inspiring people in both business/fitness /mental health. I will be growing my platforms, reputation, and authority in the industry. Beyond that, it’s hard to say!

Connect with Jamie: IG | Website

I grew up being pretty active. I was a competitive dancer and my brother played sports. My family was always doing something active. In college, I neglected my physical well-being. Once I graduated, I started to take care of myself again and then I became a mom. Like most new moms, I put myself on the back burner to take care of my family. As time went on, I began to realize that the better I felt, the better I could serve my family. After I had my 3rd baby, I decided to take care of myself again, and see what I could do physically. That is when I fell in love with not only training for myself but helping other women feel good and reach their goals as well. It’s now my mission to help women have a transformation from the inside, and out.

Age:
37

City, State/Province:
Tallahassee FL.

Country:
USA

Occupation:
Fitness Trainer and Coach.

In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
It’s an overall health issue. Yes, we as a whole need to move our bodies more, but we also need to take into consideration what we are putting into our bodies as well. And not only that, but we also tend to neglect our habits (sleep, stress, mindset) which all make a difference in our health as well.

Photo By: Desirée V. Cáceres

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level: 50
  • Health level: 50

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, and others?
HIIT was my first love. It is what led me to become a trainer. But now, I love strength training and Crossfit. Anything that involves some weights and cardio I’m in. But I would say I’m well-rounded. Give me just about anything that involves movement and I’m in.

How did your passion for fitness start? And what was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
The biggest challenge prioritizing time for all the things God has laid on my heart to do. I have big goals and dreams, but I want to make sure I am following where he leads.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
As a person of faith, I help women begin to see themselves as they were uniquely created by God. There’s no need to fit into someone else’s mould, but to step into who He created them to be and do it well. I use faith and scripture to help transform our minds and hearts so the outward will follow.

Trainer philosophy:
More is not better. Better is better.

Training Plan:
Crossfit 1-2x a week, up and lower splits along with HIIT.

Nutritional Plan:
Currently counting macros but typically intuitive eater.

Supplement Plan:
Iron, Vitamin C, Bad Athletic Protein and pre-workout, Pro and prebiotics.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
Natural, but I will have pure stevia or xylitol/monk fruit. I try to stay as wholistic and natural as possible, even within my beauty products. Obviously, it’s not 100% but I try my best.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
I believe our health starts in our minds. What we feed our minds, we become and start to believe.

Take us through a typical day in the life for you?
Start off my day with prayer and Bible reading. Getting my mind and soul centred on God first. Then I get myself and my kids ready for school, come home and have breakfast and either lead online fitness classes or do my own workout.

After that, I spend the rest of my morning and afternoon working on client stuff, content creation, answering emails, etc. Then I pick up my kids from school and put on my mom’s hat. I make dinner, run them to sports, or do home work with them. We spend the evening together and after they go to bed is my downtime. I’m typically in bed by 10 and asleep by 10:30/11.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
I love how it features athletes and trainers from all backgrounds, walks of life, and styles.

Status Fitness Magazine runs Model Searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you about this opportunity?
That would be an amazing and humbling opportunity. I would be over the moon and honored to be selected.

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I’ve had different coaches throughout my life that have helped shape me into the person I am today. My current coaches push and inspire me to push beyond my comfort zone and they pull strengths out of me that I didn’t realize I had. But it’s more than physical. They challenge me to be a better mom, wife, and friend along with seeking God with all my heart, mind, and strength.

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
Lord willing, I hope to stay active all my life. I’m so inspired by the older generation that continue to show up for themselves day after day. It may look different as we age, but I never want to use my age as an excuse to not be active.

5 things people don’t know about you?

  • My first job was as a spiel actor on the Jaws ride and met my husband there.
  • I back up danced for AJ Gil from the first American Idol.
  • I don’t like avocados.
  • I applied to be on Survivor twice and the Broken Skull Challenge.
  • I have a tv and radio broadcast degree.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Put God first in all I do.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Loyalty, Kindness, Teachability, Selfless, Fun.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
I hope to inspire women in general, both young and older. I want to inspire young women to chase their dreams and not be afraid to take risks. To not care what their peers think and to follow the call God has for their life. And I want to inspire moms to not give up on themselves just because they have kids. It will look different, but when we take care of ourselves, we can better take care of others.

Who inspires you? And why?
So many! Alisa Keeton, Ashley Horner, Chalene Johnson, Julie Foucher and many more.

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Start small. Don’t try to take on too much at once. Build upon those small things and become consistent in them.

Consistency+effort+time= results.

What does success look like for you?
Getting to the end of my life and knowing that I loved God and followed Him with all my heart and loved and took care of people.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will guide your paths straight.”

Connect with Torie: IG | Website
Cover Photo By: Desirée V. Cáceres

Congratulations on the winners of Hannah Dawson’s FitClub “She is Focused” Challenge!

Overall Winner: JULIE RICE 

Age:
37

Health and Fitness Goals:
My goal is to create lifelong health and fitness habits. I find breaking it down into smaller daily habits and finding things you love to do for fitness really keeps you motivated.

Why did you decide to register for Hannah’s program?
I joined Hannah’s program in June 2021 after seeing a friend posting about Hannah’s meal plans & nutrition coaching. I really felt that this program was the missing piece to my fitness journey and a way to gain a deeper understanding of nutrition-specific to my goals.

How has the experience been for you?
I have loved my experience with Hannah’s program and the FCB. Hannah is extremely supportive, encouraging, and loving. I love how real Hannah is in sharing her wins as well as her own personal struggles.

What does being strong (“She is STRONG”) mean to you?
“She is strong” is something that is very important to me! I want to show others that being strong is more than how you look.

It has meant being strong to show up on hard days, going out of your comfort zone with new goals and taking things one day at a time!

What did you do to focus on during this challenge?
I focused on being consistent with check-ins, getting enough sleep, tracking my training and being prepared with meals.

What did you learn about yourself this past month?
I’ve learned that things do not have to be perfect and that creating those small daily habits will lead to the progress I want to see over time.

I learned that on the hard days when you don’t feel like working out just doing something for your body can change your mindset.

I acknowledged that some days are harder than others and then didn’t give that any more of my thought or energy and just moved on the next day. I build momentum off the days that the workouts and meals are all in sync and I feel great!!

What challenges did you face this past month while focusing on “Becoming stronger”?
Remember to “trust the process” as Hannah always tells us. That the progress I would like to see in building muscle can take months or years and building those strong daily habits will eventually lead to achieving the personal goals I have set for myself.

Any words of advice you would give to others considering a “SHE IS STRONG’ program approach?
Do IT!!! Don’t wait to start. If you don’t know where to start, come up with a plan and start slowly so it is something you look forward to doing.

What does it mean to you to earn recognition in the “She Is Strong” award spotlight?
It has meant a lot to me because I’m trying to set an example for others that there are no quick fixes to health. It takes hard work and making those choices for yourself. Putting yourself first mentally & physically.

What has it been like working with Hannah and the Fitclub community?
Working with Hannah and the Fit Club community over the past year has been amazing. It is a very supportive community of women encouraging each other.

Hannah is available for all of your questions and is there to guide you on your fitness journey. I know that the effort and focus that I put into Hannah’s programs is what I will get out of it. It came to be the same for YOU too!

Spotlight Winner: CORRYNE BENNETT

Age:
32

Health and Fitness Goals:
My goals have been to become a better, stronger future me. I used to focus so much on the past. Now I look forward to the new me. I still would like to see what I can accomplish. I want to focus on muscle again.

Why did you decide to register for Hannah’s program?
I signed up with Hannah over 2 years ago. At first, it was just to see what the workouts were like. What my options were. It did take me a little to focus and be serious. Once I did, the magic happened.

How has the experience been for you?
The experience has been great for me. I really spent the last 2 years changing my mindset. I never worked with someone or a program before that made me focus on the inside as well as outside work.

What does being strong (“She is STRONG”) mean to you?
Being “strong ” to me is choosing your fight. It’s all up to you at the end of the day. Not giving up when it’s hard. Learning you are strong even on those days you don’t want to. Not giving up when it gets hard. Being strong is being consistent.

What did you do to focus on during this challenge?
I tried to keep more of a positive headspace in this challenge. Really listening to my body and resting when I needed it.

What did you learn about yourself this past month?
I learned to be patient and focus more on the water this time around. Trying to stay hydrated. I’ve been having a hard time getting water down!

What challenges did you face this past month while focusing on “Becoming stronger”?
I ran into a few setbacks. Some days, I had to double up workouts with working doubles at work. Some days, I’m too tired and it’s hard to get motivated. Dealt with my back being flared up. Had a nasty head cold for a few weeks. Which made me not lift as heavy as I would like. I tend to get kicked down but get back up!

Any words of advice you would give to others considering a “SHE IS STRONG’ program approach?
The advice I would give to anyone wanting to start a program. Take it day by day. Listen to your body. It’s not just a program. It’s a new way of life. Lifestyle change. You’ll feel supported, you are not alone on this team. Feel free to ask those questions. Just be consistent. Learn to love each milestone of success

What does it mean to you to earn recognition in the “She Is Strong” award spotlight?
I am tickled to be considered for the strong Spotlight. I had a lot of work to do on myself these last 2 years. A lot of roadblocks, and life changes. Lots of downs, lots of highs. I am just so glad I finally went all in and decided I was worth this time and transformation. I am truly grateful for the help and guidance this team and program have brought me.

What has it been like working with Hannah and the Fitclub community?
It’s been great to be a part of a team, of a community of support. It’s the kindness we all need while we heal.

Spotlight Winner: JESSE MARCH

Age:
35

Health & fitness goals:
When I started was to lose 20 pounds & get my body fat down to 22%. Now it’s to maintain my weight, work on my body fat% more & get more toned.

My main goal starting this journey was fat & weight loss, but it blossomed into much more! I was overweight & miserable. The heaviest I’ve ever been at 150 lbs and only 5’4. I knew it was time to make a change. I was tired of being so uncomfortable in my skin, tired of none of my clothes fitting & tired of the negative mindset that turned into very bad self-talk and in turn just turned me into a very sad shell of my former outgoing, positive person that I once was. Before nothing seemed to get me down, and I could ALWAYS find the positive in the most negative situations.

Why did you decide to register for Hannah’s program?
I decided to register for Hannah’s program after following her transformation for years on social media. Seeing her success gave me so much inspiration! Especially after she started having kids. First, it was with the beach body program, then as her confidence grew, so did her dream to help others! After her success with her own transformation, she built & started the FIT club. I watched on the sidelines for a long time but finally made the decision after watching one of the Fitclub members’ transformation. Shaylee! Seeing her weight loss and incredible transformation in such a short time, I thought, if she can do it, so can I! What do I have to lose? I thought if I don’t start now, then when? And that kept playing in my head over and over when my negative mindset & lack of confidence was trying to talk me out of joining Hannah’s program. Finally, I made the first step and started Hannah’s program full-time on May 1, 2021. There was a new challenge being held with a lot of the ladies in the Fitclub so I thought now is the time! Having the Fitclub page on Facebook & being held accountable there was a HUGE help! Posting our post-workout selfies on the daily thread, being encouraged to show our wins with meal prep, ladies showing awesome healthy finds at the grocery store… it all helped boost my confidence so much & for me personally having a routine & list of things to do every day to set me up for success really kept me on track.

What did you learn about yourself this past month?
I think I learned quickly with Hannah’s guidance and support, that the only thing holding me back, was ME! I kept telling myself, you can’t do this, you have too many injuries, etc. But Hannah was there every step of the way, and slowly I learned, with consistency & showing up, that I could! Slowly, my confidence blossomed as I started to find myself getting addicted to challenging myself with the workouts, the meal prep, and staying on track.

What did you do to focus on during this challenge?
After completing my first challenge as a Fitclub member, I was overjoyed & so proud of myself! It gave me so much motivation to keep going, and I did just that! I signed up for Hannahs’s macros to muscles course. This was another critical success key for me! I learned about macros & most importantly how to track my food with MyFitnessPal. I soon became hooked & now log my food every day. It’s become second nature to me. Building this habit was probably the second most important key to my success. About 4 months into my journey with the Fitclub, I started a new job that went from me sitting at a desk to moving all day. And not just walking all day, it was an extremely physical job. Some of my days are very long & physically exhausting but it was the thing I needed to hit my weight loss goal. With my job being so extremely physical and the shifts being 12-14 hours a day. I soon found I did not have the energy nor time to go to the gym, but I used all that I’d learned from Hannah and the macros course & her amazing recipe library, and I adapted to my new normal.

With Hannah’s advice from the start, what I did was keep it simple! I found a couple of recipes that I loved and could eat till I got sick of them, and I would meal plan & prep for my 6 day work week & track my food like clockwork every day. This paired with the physical job, and I soon found myself hitting my first weight loss goal of 20 pounds! I continued what I was doing & soon found myself dropping an additional 15 pounds! Some days the work was very intense, it’s pipelining and they work extremely fast-paced. A lot of days there wasn’t time for lunch breaks so I learned to eat when I could but some days it just didn’t happen. So the last 10 pounds were probably not lost intentionally as I just was overworked and not getting the calories in my body needed but that’s what I needed to realize now is the time to change my goals and used Hannah’s advice of learning when you need to pivot.

So I went back to my macros to muscles course and re calculated what my body would need to not lose weight anymore, but rather maintain & started the path to my new goal

What challenges did you face this past month while focusing on “Becoming stronger”?
I would say the challenge I faced with this new fitness goal was literally getting the calories in I needed to not lose weight. I found it difficult to get the amount of food I needed in, so I went back to my recipe library & found some higher calorie meals. I was so used to being restricted to lose weight that I was pleasantly happy to be able to indulge so to speak in things I hadn’t been before! Full portions of oatmeal, being able to add some brown sugar! Oh, the joys of the little things that make life just a little bit sweeter! Now, I’m getting my calories in and gained back 5 lbs that I needed to gain. I got down to 112 pounds and it wasn’t good! Now, I’m up to 117 pounds and feeling healthy & sexy in my skin… finally! What an amazing feeling it is. To top off the success of my year transformation, my boyfriend is taking me to Mexico for 10 amazing days! I bought some sexy new bikinis and dresses. I can’t wait to show them off with my new body!

Any words of advice you would give to others considering a “SHE IS STRONG’ program approach?
My advice to any new Fitclub members or ladies that may be struggling would be this… KEEP IT SIMPLE! I found it extremely overwhelming at the start with the meal plans so instead of following that, I picked recipes that I tried and loved and would eat that until I got sick of them. Meal prep on Sundays is critical to my success. I would prep breakfast, lunches & snacks for work on Sundays and dinner that would last 2-3 days. Then mid-week, I would make another dinner and more snacks if needed.

This to me, was how I kept it easy & for my job it worked best to meal prep in this way since I don’t have the luxury of time to try a different recipe every night and follow the monthly meal plans like some ladies do. You just have to find what works best for you and do it! Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, that was also hard in the beginning for me as some members are extremely active in the group and post a lot, so learning not to compare myself to them or compete was also hard.

Another piece of advice I have for the ladies is to be active in the group! I love posting pictures of meals I’ve made when I hit a goal weight or PR or simply an amazing deal on workout clothes. Can be anything! But the feedback & interactions with the other ladies really boosts your confidence & I think that is really needed. It’s like a big family & we are all here to support each other!

What does it mean to you to earn recognition in the “She Is Strong” award spotlight?
To me, winning the “She Is Strong” spotlight means I’ve taken all the advice and learned from Hannah & put in the hard work! I achieved my goal and then blasted it out of the park by losing an additional 15 pounds! I feel like if I can do it, anyone can! Don’t let yourself make excuses and do it! If not now, when?!

Thank you so much to Hannah & all the amazing things women of the Fitclub. I am honoured to win this award and be highlighted. My only wish is to inspire & motivate other women because, ladies, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Spotlight Winner: CHRISTINE BAILEY

Age:
36

Health and Fitness Goals:
To push me to see where I can go. I’ve always wanted to be “skinny” however since joining the Fitclub my goals are now to become stronger and more fit. To be the best version of myself that I can be.

Why did you decide to register for Hannah’s program?
I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. A friend of mine was doing Hannah’s program and she suggested I try it for a month just to see. I did it and haven’t looked back since.

How has the experience been for you?
This experience has been truly eye-opening. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really think it was going to work but was I wrong? Hannah encouraged me to keep going even when I wasn’t seeing results. She told me it takes time and there was no such thing as a quick fix. She told me to take my pictures when that was the last thing I wanted to do and send them to her, she promised me it was going to change everything and she was 100% right. I appreciate her honesty and tough love. She explains the process and is there for you every step of the way. I’ve learnt that there is no such thing as bad or good food and food is what keeps the body going. This experience has shown me to love fitness and that it’s not a chore but fun and challenging. More importantly, it’s shown me to love myself again. To embrace all the wins even if they are small because it’s those wins that show you what you are capable of doing.

What does being strong “She is STRONG” mean to you?
It means to have a strong mindset because you will and can achieve anything. I wanted to push and lift more so I told myself that I could do it and I did. What that showed me was the power of the mind is stronger than any weights you lift and if you believe you can do it you will.

What did you do to focus on during this challenge?
I focused on my mindset. I told myself that if I put my mind to something anything is possible. I told myself that I am strong. That I can do the hard things. That I can push myself and I will see results. This in turn helped me to gain more strength and lift more weights. At the end of the day, it’s the power of what our minds tell us what we CAN or CAN’T do.

What did you learn about yourself this past month?
That I’m capable of being there for me. That I’m going to have hard days and that I’m nowhere near perfect but I’m showing up for myself and that’s the most important thing. I learnt that if I have a bad day to not beat myself up for it. I learned to push past yesterday and focus on today.

What challenges did you face this past month while focusing on “Becoming stronger”?
This month my mindset was a challenge for me. I can be hard on myself for sure and it’s not always easy being a parent. The balance between work, rising kids and working out is a lot. I had to remember to be kind to myself and to take deep breaths. I told myself this is just a phase and that I’m strong and that I can do this.

Any words of advice you would give to others considering a “SHE IS STRONG’ program approach?
I would say be patient with yourself. Be kind and love who you are. It’s not going to happen overnight and it’s going to take work and determination. To start small and just do 3 days a week and work your way up to more. To not focus on the scale because what I’ve learnt is that numbers don’t really mean anything as they are just numbers. To take the small wins as big wins. To show up for yourself. Remember you are worth it. You are important. You are loved. You can this is.

What does it mean to you to earth recognition of the “She Is Strong” award spotlight?
To be perfectly honest, when I got the email I thought it was a mistake. I was in shock (still am) that I almost cried. To receive recognition like this tells me that all the hard work I’m doing is paying off. I’ve come to a very long way since I started 2 years ago and I hope that I can encourage others to take this leap of faith like I did because I promise you it will change your life.

What has it been like working with Hannah and the Fitclub community?
It has truly been life-changing. I love how encouraging and supportive all the ladies are. This group helps and lifts each other up. Hannah cares about each and every one of us. She is there to help, train, motivate, teach and so much more. It’s not just about fitness it’s about learning to love yourself again. The mindset coaching for me has been hands down the greatest tool that I’ve taken away since joining the Fitclub. It’s real/ tough talk. Hannah has shown me that the sky’s the limit and there’s no telling where it will take you.

Thank you, Hannah and the Fitclub from the bottom of my heart. This is a moment I’ll never forget and it’s an absolute honour to be featured in Status Fitness Magazine. A goal I set out to achieve and I did it. I’m so proud..

Connect with Hannah: FitClub Babes | IG

I was born in Canton Ohio. My parents moved to California when I was just 5 years old. My father was laid off from his job in Canton so he came to California and when he found a job he sent for us. I’ve lived in California ever since. Beautiful weather, nice people. I’ve met great people along the way.

I was actually a fat kid growing up until the age of 14. I was the kid in the community swimming pool who never took off his shirt. I still remember those three rolls of fat on my stomach. Not to mention, I wore glasses and had a speech impediment. Adolescence is so great.

I was about to go into the ninth grade when the freshman football coach asked me to go out for the team. I said no thanks. I think the F word came to mind. He came to me because all football coaches like fat kids to be linemen to block for their stars. I wanted no part of that. But when he said if you don’t like it you can quit, that was the moment I said I’ll do it just to get him off my back then I’ll quit.

It sounded easy enough. It sounded easy enough until an overweight fat kid carrying 20 pounds of gear in the middle of summer doing two-a-day workouts while breathing terrible smog every day tried doing it. At the end of each workout when I was just about to quit he would yell “a winner never quits and a quitter never wins” I’m 14 and that was my first time ever hearing that phrase. It changed the way I thought about discipline. I never quit, I didn’t want that label. I couldn’t go back to regular PE (physical education) classes because now I was an athlete. My report card said competitive Athletics and I always got an A.

High School Football was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I played all 4 years and when I say the coaches taught us discipline, that would be an understatement. Even years after high school whenever I had a difficult task I would tell myself it wasn’t as hard as high school football. One thing I remember is we didn’t get a whole lot of water breaks and we had the waterboy go and soak a couple of bath towels for us to suck water out of. You’ve got 50 guys sucking on a couple of towels. We would take turns passing it around. I think coaches would be fired for coaching that way today. After High School, I decided to take martial arts. Bruce Lee was a big deal at the time. Actually today he is too! The greatness of that man will never die. I earned my black belt 4 years later and competed in many tournaments in that time.

I always wanted to lift weights but I was always too tired after karate practice. We lifted in high school so I missed the pump and the feel of weights so I joined a gym. A friend of mine was competing and I went to go watch and decided I wanted to do a competition myself.

In my first show, I almost took last place I didn’t know how much more dieting they did than I did. But I vowed if I did another one THAT would never happen again. If they beat me it’s because they were better not because I wasn’t ready. In my next few shows, I took second place. I finally took a first the following year.

Here’s what I’ve done since 2018.

1st: INBA 2018/2019 So. Cal. Masters and Grand Masters

1st: INBA 2018 Las Vegas Pro/ Am Grand Masters/ Ultra Masters

1st 2021 AAU Men’s Bodybuilding Masters Overall. Men’s Physique Masters Overall and best male athlete award.

Photo By: Lorenzo Gaspar

I have three more shows scheduled before the end of the year then the season is over. Actually the 3 biggest shows of the year. I just turned 65 so the fact that I even have a season makes me grateful. I want to thank all the promoters who give us the opportunity to do what we love.

Age:
65

City:
Orange California

Country:
USA

In your opinion, weight loss is more of a fitness issue or health issue and why?
Everything boils down to a health issue first and foremost. You need to get healthy so you can feel like losing weight. If you don’t feel healthy you’re not going to exercise and give it the effort that it’s going to take. EVERYTHING stems from health the rest you can acquire.

Also, I’m an advocate of the scale. I think we’ve gotten away from using the scale and just being comfortable in our clothes and people are just buying bigger clothes. That’s the problem we can always find comfortable clothes. The scale is not going to lie to you. That’s just my opinion.

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories how many would you apply to each?
As I’m 65, I might have viewed it differently if I was in my 20’s. I would apply most of them to health again if you have your health you can get fit more easily. It’s never easy either way but it’s easier if you’re healthy.

My thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX Yoga, bodybuilding, others?
HIIT is an absolutely amazing way to get fit. Probably one of the most efficient ways to train. You can get so much in a short amount of time.

Powerlifting: is great as well as long as you train safe, you’re careful, get the right amount of rest and listen to your body.

TRX: This is great if you’re not trying to put on any muscle mass especially women who are self-conscious of that. Using your own bodyweight is a great way to train, it’s been used for decades. Just look at some old Jack LaLanne footage.TRX is just a better more hi-tech way to do it.

Yoga: Everyone who does yoga swears by it I haven’t met one person that doesn’t love it. The muscles have to be stretched and yoga way is a perfect way to do it.

Bodybuilding: Bodybuilding is an all-around perfect way to shape, tone and build muscles. People will stay in the gym for hours just because the endorphin rush is so amazing! Your body totally responds to resistance training.

Others: I would have to add martial arts in there. When you start to learn the mechanics of how to punch and kick and you start to develop speed and power it is so good! I recommend all women should take a self-defence class. People say a woman can’t beat up a man. I disagree.

Every time I talk to a gymnast or someone doing ballet I tell them they would be great at martial arts because they’re already limber. That’s half the battle.

A special thanks to Travis Mayfield, Vietnam veteran and owner of NextLevel fitness Center in Irvine for his support and accommodating my crazy workout schedule

How did your passion for fitness start?
I would have to say it started with martial arts. I didn’t start till after high school and I was almost 18. That’s actually late when you think of a lot of black belts who are a really good start when they’re like 8 years old.

FATE

It must have just been fate. I worked with a guy who was taking Lima Lama. A Polynesian martial art from Samoa. He always bragged about his instructor and his instructor’s instructor. One Saturday I was driving down the road and I saw a sign that said Lima Lama and I pulled in and low and behold the instructor that taught his instructor taught there. Not only that, the school was doing a demonstration at the Long Beach Internationals karate championships the next day so I got to sit and watch the entire demonstration before they performed it the following day. I’ve never seen a 5 man attack in slow motion put to music. Then they stopped the music and did the same 5 man attack at regular speed. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was all choreographed of course but it was a thing of beauty. I signed up that Monday and I stayed until I got my black belt.

Photo By: Noel Daganta

Yes. I think that’s where my passion for fitness started. Once you get out of that awkward stage which you’re in when you’re a white belt it really starts to be fun.

What was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
I have had a couple. In 2020, all the gyms were shut down and no one was able to train we were to train at home. Everyone who likes to work out was beginning to lose their mind. I didn’t want to purchase a home gym for $5,000 that I probably would never use. Even a $5,000 gym is rickety. And you know the gyms are going to re-open at some point.

Luckily, I found Next Level Fitness, a personal trainers gym which the owner happened to be a Vietnam Veteran who opened up early just for me so I could train. He still opens early for me so I’m the only one in there. Thank you, Travis.

Also in 2020, I had a non-invasive surgery that kept me out of action for 4 months.

I was thinking this season might be lost as well. But you fight back! That’s what it’s all about.

And of course, it’s always a battle when all friends family want you to do is eat.

Nutritional Plan
Personally, I can’t eat every 2 or 3 hours my metabolism won’t let me and I can’t eat if I’m not hungry when I try to force-feed myself like that I tend to gain weight I can eat every 4 hours that seems to work for me. I do watch my carbohydrates. Do carbs taste good? Yes absolutely they do but it’s all about self-discipline. Discipline determines destiny.  More protein and low carbs. And easy on the good fats as well. Nuts, avocados, etc.

Supplement Plan:
I take a multi-pack every day and a good BCAA supplement. Protein shakes are a great way to supplement your diet as well if you can’t get a meal in. Either shakes or bars will do. See which one your body responds to best. They will put weight on if you over-consume so be careful.

If you’re looking to bulk up those are great options. If you’re trying to be lean and ripped, that might make it a little more difficult with the shakes and bars just keep tweaking your diet until it comes in. If you’re what’s called a hard gainer, a person who has trouble putting on weight and it’s hard to gain muscle mass then there’s a whole different set of rules for you.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
Most artificial sweeteners have a horrible aftertaste, especially protein shakes. Sometimes your body doesn’t know what to do with it so it stores it may store it as fat or maybe makes you retain water or it will make you feel bloated and gassy.

Most people in the gym are NOT showing their best physique, Why?  They’re just not paying close enough attention to their diet. Also, you end up eating more when you buy a lot of low-calorie items. You tend to eat more just trying to squash those cravings.

I would prefer the all-natural no sugar added and no artificial colours or sweeteners. It’s just a little more expensive to eat healthily. You might find if you have a heavy leg day and then you ingest sugar you end up cramping that night. If you can find low sugar items that are always good. I don’t mean 25% less sugar. That’s not what I call low sugar.

Photo By: Noel Daganta

Please describe the importance of mental health
This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart my best friend was mentally ill. He was on all kinds of medications until he recently passed. We were friends since high school at 17 he began hanging around the wrong people, started using drugs that altered his brain cells and he was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. We knew something was wrong when he stabbed his father. His father recovered but my friend’s life was changed forever. So mental illness is a real problem in our society especially among the homeless. My friend had a whole kitchen table full of medication. That’s how they treat mental illness. It’s a shame.

Take us through a typical day in the life for you
I go to work at my engineering job and I have a rental property that I’m renovating putting in new everything. It hasn’t been updated since the 1970s. I love the look of a freshly renovated home. It gives me a lot of joy to see the finished product and the look on someone’s face when they want to live there.

Right now, I’m typical day for me is trying to get this rental property move-in ready. I’m also preparing for the last 3 upcoming competitions. I also just received 2 registered trademarks for my brand so I can put them on clothing items. Very excited about it. All that keeps me pretty busy and I still train 6 days a week. Trying to get enough sleep can be a challenge sometimes but I have to push forward. No one is going to do it for me. I’m just trying to do the most I can. When I retire I can devote all my time to real estate. And working out of course.

As you get older you realize how valuable time is. Something I’ll never forget my mother told me when I was having fun and she told me to do something and I said I’ll do it tomorrow she would say “tomorrow is not promised to you” talk about a buzz kill. But it taught me to get off my butt. I value those words now more than ever since she’s gone.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
First of all, let me say when I first heard the name Status Fitness Magazine I thought “what a great name.” In this world of social media, everyone is trying for some sort of status. When you have status you have a certain level of respect. You can hold your head high. To be in Status Fitness Magazine is something special.

What makes Status Fitness Magazine different?
I really believe you care about hearing my story and Status cares about the drug-free athlete. Other publications try to make you think they do. But they don’t! I’m lifetime drug-free and will always be that way!

Connect with Stanley: IG | FB
Photos By: Noel Daganta | Lorenzo Gaspar