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  • Looking For Muscle Gain Inspiration? We Spoke With Innermost Ambassador Izzy For Her Tips

    9th February 2022

    9th February 2022

    By Beth Shelper

    Fitness journeys are entirely personal, individual things that can vary dramatically from person-to-person. To continue our dive into the fitness journeys of the Innermost community, we caught up with Innermost ambassador, Sportsworld marketing co-ordinator and fitness fanatic Izzy to get the lowdown on her fitness journey so far, her biggest lessons, challenges and advice, and more.

    Hi Izzy! Welcome to Insight. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your fitness and gains journey?

    “I’m Izzy, I’m 21 and I have just finished studying Fashion Marketing and Branding at uni! After months of job applications, I have finally landed the perfect role as a Marketing Coordinator for Sportsworld – a hospitality provider for worldwide sporting events across the world!

    For as long as I can remember, I have always loved sports and fitness... I played for all teams at school and even competed nationally for cross country and athletics!”

     How did you begin your fitness journey, and what inspired you?

    “I remember throughout my first year at university, I would occasionally go to the gym with my £10 rubber resistance band from Amazon, however it was when the pandemic begun, and we all had to stay at home when I really had time to focus on myself and learn more about my body and how to essentially gain weight to look and feel stronger!

    Again, I want to emphasise... I was never upset with how I looked, I just became more and more involved and educated with how to increase muscle mass and essentially look stronger! Some of my favourite and most influential Instagrammers who helped me with this was Meggan Grubb, Sarah’s Day and Grace Beverley.

     Around April 2020, I weighed about 54KG and in February (this year) I hit the 60kg mark, reflecting my muscle gain journey. However, I don’t stress what I see on the scale... I haven’t actually weighed myself in ages!”

    What worked for you / what are your top tips for people on their own fitness journey?

    There are three main things…

    • Make sure you educate yourself

    “I think this was an important one for me and I’m still learning now. But really educate yourself on two things that are important for me: nutrition and exercises. By no means can you just understand either of those two important factors, teach yourself and then you can learn what exercises work best for you.”

    • Maintain a high protein intake

    “Exercising do gain muscle will do nothing without an adequate intake of protein. I know some people do track what they eat but personally, I’ve never done this, and I have still seen significant changes, and this is simply by prioritising protein. So, for each meal I try to make sure I work around a source of protein, and there is so many out there!”

    Innermost side note

    PS... Check out our Insight ariticles around this topic, such as The 5 Best Sources of Vegan Protein and The Best High Protein Foods For Building Muscle.  

    “Also, there are so many slight changes you can make to add a little more protein into your diet. For example, rather than buying normal Weetabix, buy Protein Weetabix! Or instead of buying normal yogurt, buy yogurt that is high in protein! There’s a lot of small replacements you can make that, in the long term, will make a huge difference!”

    • Balance and consistency is key

    “I can happily say going to the gym is no longer a burden for me, it’s part of my routine and day-to-day life. If you want to make long term changes to your body, you need to be consistent... stick with it, it won’t be easy, but you can’t expect to see changes in a week!

    “Despite my passion for the gym, I never cut anything out of my life... I still drink alcohol, I still have fun, I still see my friends and I still eat anything I want. It’s just my priorities that have changed since I was younger.”

    What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

    “I think my biggest challenge was the fear of using certain equipment in the gym and I still have it now for certain exercises! As you grow and become more educated, you become more confident. Everyone must start somewhere, and everyone has been in the same position. Although you may think they’re judging

    you, they’re most likely not... you’re in the gym for yourself!”

    What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your fitness journey so far?

    “That you need to be consistent and balanced... I think they’re my two most important factors that I would tell anyone! I really believe in knowing the female body is capable of so much and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Now, I am the strongest version of myself, both physically and mentally: you

    become so much more motivated, driven, and happy in general life. Whatever your goal is, whether that be to lose weight, gain muscle or change your mental mindset, it’s so achievable.”

    What’s next in the muscle gain and fitness journey for you, Izzy?

    “I just want to continue living my life. I’m so happy with where I am at the moment. I have a job within the industry I am most passionate for meanwhile I love to help and educate people on my fitness account.”

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    We sat down with Innermost Insider and mindful wellness advocate Anj Magecha, who shares how she stays on track with new goals and habits whilst remaining true to herself, and what to do when faced with setbacks. Hey Anj! Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Hey everyone, I’m Anj! I’m a 24 year old wellness geek working in consulting. I’m all about navigating life in London, trying to find a balance in my approach to nutrition, exercise and socialising, and improving my mental health and personal development 1% at a time. (And hopefully helping other people do the same!)  How did you become an Innermost Insider and what’s your goal as an ambassador for the brand? I’ve been a Innermost user since I joined F45 TCR in 2018, I was new to the gym, vegan, and in need of some serious protein intake to pack on muscle— at a time where most vegan protein powders were a bit rubbish! I also run on caffeine and hate coffee so got hooked on the pre-workout to fuel going to the gym, uni, working at lululemon and a busy social life!  I joined the Insider program as soon as I was able to, and have seen so much growth for the brand since then! I love all the extra merch, the sweatshirt and duffel are essential - so would love to see more of my go to gym bag essentials become Innermost 👀 Our topic this month is resolution. How would you personally define resolution and has it been a pivotal part of your life?  Resolution means taking control of your own life and making conscious choices that lead you towards the often intangible ‘better’. It's about having the determination and drive to create the future you want for yourself, and accepting the task of navigating the challenges that come your way. To me, resolution is about being true to myself and living with purpose. It's about not letting fear or doubt hold me back, but instead trusting in my own strength and abilities to overcome any obstacle even when it feels like it’s too difficult, or unfair. To be resolute requires a strong sense of self-discipline and self-control, as well as a clear vision of what you want to achieve. It requires a sense of resilience and adaptability, and the understanding that things sometimes get worse when they get better. Resolution has showed up for me in my journey with eating disorder recovery and weight restoration, with difficult conversations with therapists, even with holding boundaries with friends when sometimes it feels easier to let things slide. It’s not just about the big things! Ultimately, resolution is about living a life that is authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling. It's about having the conviction to pursue my passions and make a positive impact on the world around me. How do you go about setting goals in your life? So this is an interesting one. I suck at New Years resolutions. Or so I thought. With a background in disordered eating and a late diagnosis of ADHD I can retrospectively look back at some of my new years resolutions and understand why they felt so insurmountable.  To keep it brief, they were generally unrealistic, overly restrictive or prescriptive, and boring. And to be honest, sometimes goals aren’t going to be exciting.  I’ve read quite extensively around habit forming and achievement and currently quite like the 12 week year format (it’s a book, decent read but for a short version there’s a video on my TikTok!) The 12 week year has really resonated with me - it's all about focusing on what's most important and taking consistent, small steps towards achieving your goals over the course of three months, and then re-evaluating. So a year long goal gets broken into 4 three-month goals, then 12 one-month goals, and so on, until the minutiae of daily habits. It helps you focus on what matters most It keeps you accountable It allows for flexibility It helps you make progress faster Do you ever struggling with sticking to your goals and resolutions? How do you overcome setbacks? Overcoming setbacks in pursuit of your goals can be tough, but it's also an essential part of the journey towards success. Every challenge and obstacle presents an opportunity to learn, grow, and become stronger. I am a very emotionally driven person, when I get sad or anxious or I’m face with a negative life event, my goals are quite easily derailed. So for me it’s important to allow myself time to recuperate after a major setback, as it can be emotionally and physically draining to deal with challenges and obstacles. Taking a break to rest and recharge helps refocus and regain energy and motivation.I practice self-compassion and am not afraid to reach out for support when things feel overwhelming. I’m also a strong believer in setting boundaries for myself to protect my time and energy. Naturally some setbacks are less personal, things like the pandemic or tube strikes. In those cases I try to keep things in perspective: an old manager at lululemon used to say, at the end of the day, it’s just black stretchy pants and I apply that thinking to most areas of my life. Don't let setbacks define who you are or what you're capable of. Instead, use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. Are there certain times where you feel more motivated to set goals or resolutions? Naturally times like birthdays and new years have loads of messaging around goals and time passing, but in my experience I find birthday goals and new years goals are just that. They exist until I feel less festive and then things get difficult. I find the goals that come to me in the other 75% of the year are actually more in line with what makes me feel happy and healthy. The 12 week year method really helps facilitate this for me. Furthermore according to a study published in the journal Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, people are more likely to succeed in their goals when they start working towards them immediately, rather than waiting for a specific time (like the new year) to begin. When we set a goal, we often have a burst of motivation and energy that can drive us to take initial steps towards achieving it. By waiting to start working on our goals, we risk losing that initial motivation and energy, which can make it harder to get started. So why wait for the new year to make changes that will make you happy? What advice would you give to others about setting goals and resolutions for the future? Check in with yourself to make sure your goals are your own and not what you think people expect from you. And don’t be afraid to set goals that people aren’t going to see happen, there have been points in my life where my goal has been to get out of bed every day for a week and they were probably more difficult and transformative than any weight loss or fitness goal I’ve set for myself.  Do you have any important personal resolutions for the next year? I have some goals from my previous 12 week cycle, including the turf games in summer 2023 hopefully, which naturally lends itself to some commitments around training style and frequency.  I think saying no more often is a big one for me. Not to everything by any means but I do a lot of things that I think I ‘should’ do and I usually go in eyes wide open knowing it’ll leave me not feeling great. So hopefully this year I’ll have the resolve to just say no straight off the bat!  That's a wrap! To keep up with Anj, check out her Instagram and TikTok. Read more