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Trainers Profiles

MEGAN MCCULLOUGH

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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 am a content and talent manager of Status Fitness Magazine. If you are looking to share your story or get featured in Status, contact me.

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