I am so excited to bring you another interview! The past few Physical Fitness Fridays, I have been posting about the benefits of weight training and beneficial exercises to do. So, I thought it would be great to interview a professional in the field of fitness!
Today's interview is with Heather Frey, founder and owner of SmashFit ! SmashFit is a trainer/fitness matching site. SmashFit matches the trainee with the ideal trainer and matches the trainer with the ideal trainee. Heather was so gracious to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about SmashFit and her personal fitness journey.
So, let's check out this fit and fierce lady!
CWrites: You are the owner, founder and President of SmashFit, a certified Personal Trainer; national Figure Competitor and a Mom, how do you do it all?
Heather: Lol.. I just do the best I can. The secret ingredient is *focus*. Sometimes I've got it all going smoothly, and sometimes I struggle, just like everyone else. But I keep rolling, keep pushing, keep sending the energy because it always comes back to me when I need it. I also make sure I take just a bit of time for me. Even if all I have is an hour to workout, I put my all into it and I always finish with a renewed sense of energy. The fitness IS how I do it all.
CWrites: On your website you state that you became motivated to commit yourself fully to fitness after your second pregnancy upon perusing fitness magazines. When did you decide that you wanted to get into figure competitions?
Heather: I fell into figure completely by accident. And truth is, I didn't commit to fitness at the beginning, I committed to losing the baby weight! My next goal, as much as I absolutely adore my children, was to look like I never had children. I used the magazines as guides. Once I started to see changes, other people did too. And one day, the most magnificent woman started working out at my gym. It turned out she was a Figure Pro (professional which means she won a lot). We started talking and she encouraged me to compete. Compete in what? I asked. I had never heard of Figure. Then I learned it was those girls in the back of Oxygen magazine I so admired and I thought..ok, why not?! How cool that getting into super shape was a sport! I was in.
CWrites: Did you become a certified personal trainer prior to competing?
Heather: No, but soon after. I was a gymnast growing up and was in and out of fitness and working out most of my life. But I was really unaware of the workout strategies involved in getting into super shape, not to mention the nutrition. I had to learn more, and am still reading, researching, studying to learn more.
CWrites: How long did it take you to get into competition shape?
Heather: It took 6 months but I was working out on my own prior to meeting my Figure Pro friend and amazing trainer. But she took me to a whole new level. She started training me in the summer and I competed in November of that year, and took 2nd I might add. This was one of the hardest, most incredible times of my life. All of a sudden I was given the *key* to the fitness I'd always wanted.
CWrites: What is it about figure competing that intrigues you the most?
Heather: I love the goal. I love working towards being my ultimate best and I have a bit of a competitive streak as well, left over from the gymnastics years. The truth is, I get nervous up there! I love the preparation, the pushing, the coming in as lean as I can, but the actual day of competition is nerve-racking! There's lots of fake brown tan you're afraid will smear, tiny suits that can roll into your tush at any moment… not super comfortable. But, once you go out there, it's exhilarating! The hard work is done, so it's time to show those judges what you got!
CWrites: SmashFit is an amazing concept, how did it come about?
Heather: SmashFit was inspired by my own experience, my own shoulder-shaking, wake-up transformation. Who knew that I didn't have to starve myself to lose weight? Who knew that I could eat great food and get lean? Who knew that I needed nutrients to build my body? All those years of beating up on myself and trying to figure it out, only to do the wrong things with no results.…so frustrating. Learning and training was life changing for me. I met my transformation specialist, my trainer, on accident so I thought, what if people could find what they needed *on purpose*. What if I could spare people the struggle and pain of being unhappy with their reflection? What if…? and SmashFit.com was born.
CWrites: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of running your business?
Heather: Wanting to do it all myself. Nobody can get in my head and write for me, or express what I want to express so I have to do it…I'm compelled to do it because I love it so much. But, I have a family I adore and training I need to stick to, so juggling is tough.
CWrites: What is your workout routine?
Heather: I workout 6 days a week, 1-2 body parts a day, with one day an all-over-full-body workout. I make sure to hit the muscles from many angles so for instance, I'll do 4 or 5 different exercises just for shoulders. Sometimes I'll go heavier for 10 reps, and sometimes lighter for 15-20 reps. I cardio all 6 days but try to vary it as much as I can. One day I'll get on my beloved mountain bike, resistance as high as it will go, and bike for 10 miles. Sometimes I'll run the 5 story parking garage 10 times, and sometimes I pick one machine and hit it hard. If you do the same, you get the same, so I'm always looking for new ways to get the heart rate up and stay lean.
CWrites: What advice can you give to anyone wanting to transform their physique and maintain it?
Heather: Information. Seek it, ask for it, go chasing after it, but find the right information as it pertains to you. This is why I adore Personal Trainers and fitness professionals. They make a plan specifically for your body, your lifestyle, your health. They set you up with the exact right INFORMATION for you. There are NO shortcuts to lasting fitness, which is really lasting health and contentment. The cliche is true, if there was a magic pill, we'd all be super models. You have to embrace the journey. You have to know it's going to take time, but if you commit to it and stick to it, there is absolutely a payoff…guaranteed. And what you *learn* on your journey is how you maintain it.
CWrites: A lot of women have misconceptions about weight lifting, many shy away from using weights for fear of getting too bulky or masculine looking. What do you tell women that have these concerns?
Heather: This is an unrealistic worry. First, the fit look that women want and see is *muscles* so in order to see the muscles, you have to work them. Weights are a magnificent tool to target those areas you want to shape and are one of the best ways to actually re-shape your body the way you want it. For instance, when you work the shoulders it broadens your top proportion so that your waist looks smaller. Work the hamstrings and glutes and you *lift* and tighten your back end. Women are not designed hormonally to get as big or bulky as men. Women who are big have to "take something" to stimulate that kind of growth. Plus, muscle burns more fat and calories throughout your whole day so it's very beneficial to your overall fitness to lift. I think what happens is that some women start to lift without losing any layer (meaning they aren't working their nutrition as well) so as their muscles grow they think they are getting "big". Eating clean will lean them out so they can show off their hard work.
CWrites: Why do you think it's important to have a trainer?
Heather: I'll go back to my earlier answer… INFORMATION. There's nothing like having someone access your needs and create a plan just for you. It's empowering to have a strategy to follow and the motivation from having to show up and be accountable. That power is undeniable.
CWrites: What is your favorite exercise and why?
Heather: The lunge! It's not necessarily the funnest, but I think it's one of the most effective and efficient way to hit most of your lower body. They're transforming, especially when you mix up how you do them. Long lunges, kick back after a lunge, short lunge, lunge with jumps…the possibilities are endless.
CWrites: What final thoughts or advice can you share with readers about being physically fit, figure competitions or SmashFit?
Heather: Go for your dreams. You get one shot at this life so you may as well go for it. Fear is our greatest dream-killer, but what is there to be afraid of..really. Rejection? The word no? These are just hurdles to barrel through. I encourage people to get fit because it doesn't just transform your outside, or even your overall health, it transforms your confidence…your spirit. And when you have all that, you can achieve anything.
Wow!! Great answers Heather and I agree with you wholeheartedly about letting go of fear and pursuing your dreams. Thanks so much for sharing with us and I wish you continued success. Everyone please visit http://www.smashfit.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter @smashfit!
If you are interested in being interviewed here on Veggin' about your journey in veganism, health and/or fitness, please leave a comment. I would love to share your story!