Fitness tips with Jasmine Lawrence!

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Jasmine is a third-year student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is pursing certified personal training through ISSA.

It all started when she started the Gymshark 66 days challenge.

Background

Question 1: What got you into fitness?

Jasmine: Fitness has always been something I’ve enjoyed and been interested in. I was a dancer for most of my life and took that to the competitive level. Still, the gym was never really my number one priority as I was dancing 9 hours a week. This past January, I started taking fitness more seriously when I began the Gymshark 66 challenge. You set out rules for this challenge and work towards your goals for 66 days.

I fell in love with strength training and the fitness community overall during this time. I also met so many amazing people from all over the world. It was nice to share the same passion with such a large community.

Question 2: Why is exercising important?

Jasmine: There are so many benefits to working out and strength training in particular.

It’s a confidence booster, a stress reliever, can prevent future diseases, and helps a lot with mental health. Not only does strength training help you feel good physically, but mentally as well.

Question 3: How was your experience trying some Personal Training classes.

Jasmine: I decided that I wanted to help others kickstart their fitness journeys. I decided to complete my Certified Personal Training course through ISSA. I am taking a Nutrition Coach course and a Group Fitness Instructor course very soon. I have loved working with clients, and having the ability to push them to be and do their best, help them through struggles, and their dedication and drive have inspired me.

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Photo Credit: Victor Freitas (via Unsplash)

Fitness Tips

Question: What gym tips would you give people afraid to get started?

Jasmine: The gym can definitely be intimidating and scary for someone just starting. Here are a few tips I would recommend to get the most out of your workout as a beginner:

Figure out the busy times of your gym. Try heading to the gym at the slowest few hours of the day. The gym won’t be as busy and will be less intimidating.

The majority of the time, everyone is doing their own thing. People often convince themselves that people are staring at them at the gym. This is usually not the case at all. If you feel like people are watching, remind yourself, they’re here for the same thing as you are.

The workers are there to HELP YOU !!! If you are having trouble finding the equipment you need or how to work a specific machine, ask a worker. Please don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help; they’re there to assist you.

Gym anxiety is a very common struggle people face, especially if they have pre-existing anxiety. At times, I still get gym anxiety, which I now always push through to the end of my workout. A lot of gym anxiety stems from “looking stupid” or just looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. I say: look stupid, make a fool out of yourself (with proper form and knowledge, please don’t injure yourself!) Every person in that gym has been in the same position as you. They’re all there for the same thing; no matter their goals, they’re there to work out. Take the time to figure out the gym. Walk around, look up videos of your workouts beforehand, hire a trainer. There are so many things you can do to limit your gym anxiety.

Nutrition Tips

Question: We often hear that nutrition plays a vital role in keeping fit! What is your take on this?

Jasmine: Your nutrition plays a very, very important role when it comes to working out. In simple terms, food = energy. It would help if you had energy before a workout. That energy needs to be restored after a workout. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, maintain your weight, etc., often people are under-eating without even realizing it. It’s crazy how much food your body wants / needs. A few of my favorite quick meals are:

– Any stirfry or pasta. I usually meal prep my protein sources, making it super easy to throw that in and cook the rest.

– You can never go wrong with a protein shake. I drink protein daily because I often struggle to hit my protein goal. It always helps me and isn’t too filling, so you could drink it with a meal if needed!

– Greek yogurt and strawberries, super easy and yummy high protein snack.

– I love rice cakes. Rice cakes with PB & j, rice cakes with PB and banana, rice cakes with tuna, you name it!

– I’m a big taco lover, although my tacos are more like wraps. I’ll usually use ground beef or ground chicken for my tacos, with a whole wheat tortilla, shredded cheese (of course), spinach, tomato, and a load of sour cream.

Reflection

Question: What have you gained personally from this ongoing experience?

Jasmine: I have grown and learned so much from my fitness journey. I have learned that discipline has its place when working towards your goals. You’re not always going to want to do it. It’s like school. Do you really want to be doing school work all of the time? Definitely not, but you do it because you know the end result. I’ve grown a lot mentally. My mental health has always affected me and had a significant impact on my life, but I control it; it no longer controls me. I honestly feel like that would be hard to attain without fitness in my life. I have big big plans for the future. I’m currently in bulk, which is a calorie surplus, meaning I’m eating more calories than my maintaining number of calories. So I’m now trying to put on as much muscle mass as possible for the next few months. I am in the process of planning an actual coaching business.

In contrast, I have coached under my name and not necessarily a coaching business. I plan to compete in a bodybuilding competition in the future, which I’m looking forward to. There are so many amazing competitors on the island, and they are all inspirations to me daily. I plan to switch my degree from BBA to Kinesiology (if anyone in authority sees this, please accept me into the program, lol).

Lastly, I am going to focus on growing my social media. This has always been a massive interest, and I have switched to more fitness, lifestyle, and wellness content that I love!

To stay updated on Jasmine’s journey, you can follow her at @jasminelfit on Instagram.

Editors Notes: Please note that neither the author nor Jasmine are nutritionists. It is always best to seek or confirm advice from a professional nutritionist or a doctor.

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