Meet the Trainer – Claire Kaczmarek

Meet the newest trainer at Gruntz, Claire.  In 2012, Claire decided to enter her first fitness competition and won first place…since then she hasn’t looked back!  She is no stranger to the ups and downs of getting in shape and the struggles we all face!  If you are looking to make a change or even thinking about competing, I highly recommend you check her out!

 

  1. How did you get involved in fitness?

I was always super fit growing up. I was an athlete and dancer in high school, and was fairly active until college. Like a lot of people, the stress of college, drinking, and poor food choices lead me to pack on about 40 lbs in my first couple years of school. I had NO idea. Since I’d been dancing my whole life, I used Zumba as an outlet for exercise and became totally obsessed with it. I even ended up teaching my own class for a while. I made the transition to body building and weight training on a whim after someone asked me if I would ever consider it. I sought out a coach that day. Challenge accepted.

 

  1. How do you motivate women to lift heavy and get out of the mindset that they are going to “bulk up”?

It’s funny. I used to have that mentality too! I have been weight training for 4 years and TRYING to get bulky, and I am STILL not! I think a lot of women underestimate how difficult it is to pack muscle onto the female body. I often use myself as an example.

 

  1. Favorite exercises.

My favorite exercises are anything that target the shoulders or my legs. I love to work both. My shoulders used to be my weak spot, so I spent a ton of time focusing on them. I also love how exhausted I feel after doing legs. I love to do shoulder raises of all types, and love to squat. I know I know – I’m kind of a meat head.

 

  1. Do you meal prep weekly?

I do meal prep weekly! Not as regimented as I used to, but I do prep my proteins (chicken, turkey, fish) weekly, and prep my eggs/veggies/carbs on a day to day basis. I don’t like to get super repetitive with my meals, especially during my off season.

 

  1. How did you get involved in fitness competitions?

I got involved in fitness competitions after a friend asked me if I’d ever consider it. I hadn’t.  In fact when I told my mother I was considering it, she gasped out loud, concerned that I would get “too big” and have a “big neck”. I’m laughing now just thinking about it. After my first show I fell in love with how I felt on stage. It makes some of the more difficult parts of prep worth it. It’s definitely a mental sport as much as it is a physical one. I can tell you that much.

 

  1. What is one piece of advice you would give to those looking to get fit?

I think something important to remember when you’re looking to get fit is to celebrate tiny victories. It’s pretty easy to get discouraged if you’re still 30 lbs away from an overall goal, or if you missed that heavy lift you were so looking forward to hitting. The truth is, if you lost 3 lbs this week instead of 5, you still lost 3 lbs. It’s important to celebrate the little victories along the way to keep the big ones feeling less daunting. Anyone can lose weight, but if you don’t cheer for yourself, no one else can either.

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