Aesthetics with A Walsh






If the words precision, symmetry and growth make your ears perk up… Andrew Walsh is the man you need to meet and this is the interview to read!

Andrew eats, sleeps and breathes his dedication to fitness. Each day he lives in pursuit of attaining goals, only so he can begin setting bigger ones. I’ve been fortunate to get to know Andrew during the past few months through photoshoots and workouts! He has a gift for bringing together positive people with complimenting strengths (both mentally and physically). I’ve even had the pleasure of getting my butt kicked by his intense beach workouts!

I’m truly happy to call Andrew a good friend! He’s got a great big heart and its evident in his interactions with everyone around him that

he rises by lifting others!

I was super excited that we finally got the chance to do an interview! He has some pretty incredible tips and tricks that he’s cultivated because of his detail oriented style!

So, get ready to carve out that upper body with this amazing shoulder and bicep variation!

Keep reading for my full interview with Andrew!

Sam: How long has fitness been your passion?

Andrew: Ever since I was a little kid, I would say. Growing up, it wasn’t always the best to be at home. Fitness was an outlet for me. I would just go and run until I was so tired I couldn’t really think about that stuff anymore. You could say I was a bit of a weird kid. I loved doing push-ups until I fell on my face.

At ten years old I could do a hundred consecutive push-ups.

I was very introverted. I didn’t really start going out until freshman year of high school. Thats when I started coming out of my shell.. but prior to that, most of my time was spent working out.

S: What kind of diet do you follow to maintain your physique?

A: I do this thing I like to call 80/20. Eighty percent of my meals are perfectly clean and then that gives me twenty percent wiggle room. So if you look at a diet in a week long period, you have 21 meals. Thats three meals a day. That gives me four meals a week to play with! When I’m eating clean I eat a lot of fish, I eat steak twice a week, chicken on days when I’m not doing fish and of course all of my veggies! I also eat cleans snacks, lots of fruits and almonds. Diet and nutrition is HUGE for me.

S: How crazy do you go on cheat day?? Whats your favorite cheat meal?

A: Oh I don’t play games! I go all out! I have a major sweet tooth, AKA donuts! I LOOOVE my donuts.

S: How many of the days of the week do you train? 

A: I would say that I’m in the gym four days a week.

I always take one solid rest day a week based on my work schedule.

I think that its super important to map out your week in advance to plan the days you want to workout.

S: What is one fitness myth you’d like to debunk?

A: You can’t over train. People say it isn’t good to workout for several hours. What I’ve learned from my experience is that if you want to get to that next level, you have to put in the time. People laughed at Michael Phelps, because he would do these crazy intense workouts with his team and then would workout on top of that. He ended up being the most decorated Olympian in US history. So, to people who say, overtraining and working out for two hours is too long I say, no. If you want to look different than everyone… you have to train different than everyone!

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!

S: Did you pursue an education in fitness to back up your passion?

A: Yes! I went to school for kinesiology and then I got a bunch of personal trainer certifications and nutrition certifications. I’m always studying up on different muscle groups on the body, learning how to target different areas and specific muscles. I do more of a physique style of bodybuilding.

S: What is your current career and how does it tie back into fitness?

A: I work with a company that focuses on injury prevention and corrective exercise. I love it. I actually went through a really rough time in college where I suffered a back injury.

I broke my back and was almost paralyzed from the waist down. They told me I would never be able to train again.

When you’re sitting in bed thinking poor me, it makes you realize what a blessing it is to be able to have two legs and the ability to work out. The company that was finally able to rehab me successfully is actually who I work for now! FMS Health and Safety. This company changed my life and thats a huge part of why I love what I do.

If you have more questions or if you’re interested in meal planning, training or getting a physical evaluation with Andrew? Shoot him an Email!

Feeling The Burn With Britt






The past couple of weeks I’ve taken some time to explore my new neighborhood in Upper Newport Beach. I try to take inventory of new gyms when ever I cruise around the OC and I definitely like to scope out the spots close to me! I noticed the Burn Bootcamp building the first day I moved to the area. I knew I wanted to stop in as soon as I had a little free time to introduce myself! Ironically, just a couple of weeks after my move, a friend of mine posted something on Facebook about her trainer being selected as an ambassador for Athleta! That trainer just so happened to be BRITT! The lead trainer at BURN BOOTCAMP! It was a sign! I could tell by Britts social media that she was fun loving and extremely passionate about fitness! I reached out and we were able to set up a time to meet a couple of weeks later!

Walking into Burn on the day of the interview, I had no idea what specific strengths Britt would be highlighting or what kind of unique features the Burn Gym would have to offer!

I walked in to witness a large group of women with post-workout, endorphin induced smiles and positive energy flowing!

The crowd ranged in ages and there were even a few tots spread about, that had just come out of the FREE CHILD CARE. Yes, you read that correctly, they offer free child care (how great is that)! Britt made her way through the buzzing group to introduce her self and beamed with genuine enthusiasm after coaching her morning boot campers! I knew it was going to be a great day then and there!

Watch the video to see how Britt made me feel the Burn:

Curious about where Britt got her start? Keep reading to find out:

How long has fitness been your passion?

My whole life. My first memories are in a jogger stroller, when my parents would run together. I think its been passed on from my parents. My mom has always been really health conscious. We were always super healthy at our house when I was a kid. My mom gave me that kind of foundation.

Were you an athlete?

I was. I’ve always been really competitive in sports. I competed in soccer, running, and tennis… tennis stuck! I played competitive tennis through High School. Then I went to college and did more of the social thing. I was in a sorority and that was amazing, but I had kind of lost that competitive passion and fire for a while.

So, I started getting into triathlons my Junior year.

I did a lot of running in my early twenties and then I got into strength training!

Who has been your biggest inspiration in fitness?

My mom. She still works out every single day. She’s sixty-five and she still swims a mile three times a week! She used to run a lot too, but she can’t anymore because she’s had hip surgery.

How important is diet in your personal fitness?

I think diet is 70% of what you’re doing. You can workout everyday and put in maximal effort, but diet is important for two main reasons.

A. Diet determines the kind of results you get (if you want to build lean muscle, lose weight, etc.).

B. What you eat is your fuel. Its important to eat before you workout to have the proper energy and it’s important to get protein after you workout to feed your muscles!

You were recently selected as an ambassador for Athleta, tell us a little bit about how that happened!

We opened this gym at the end of 2016, so we’ve only been open about 6 months. A part of my role as head trainer is to find joint ventures in the community! It’s part of how we build our community! I have a client at the gym who works for Athleta and we were talking about being a partner of the month. I went in to the store and asked what we could do to partner. I met with their community manager and we just got along really well! We set up a partnership that started in March. Every Sunday we were over there at the Fashion Island location representing Burn, doing free pop up camps! It was open to everyone! Athleta also came into our gym for a showcase. Building that relationship with the store propelled me to apply to become an ambassador!

What does having a savage body mean to you?

I think a savage body is, setting a goal for yourself, for your fitness and training to achieve that goal. Whether that goal is to run a mile, or a marathon. I think everyone has different body types, but its all about how you feel in your unique body.

I think you should do the workouts that make your body feel good.


It was a great experience getting to work with Britt at her home gym! If you’re looking to feel empowered, if you have a fitness goal you would like to achieve, if you’re a mom and you want to get out of the house and back in to fitness… Britt and Burn are a savage body’s pick for you!

Ready to burn up some calories with Britt?

Costa Mesa/Newport Beach, CA

The Kat Secor Effect






About a month ago I attended a networking event at Elev8 Performance in Huntington Beach, to celebrate their second birthday! I was excited, but also slightly nervous to extend myself out into the fitness community for the first time outside out my normal gym! It was at that event that I first came across Kat Secor. A woman with a physique that talks before she does. Kat of course stood out from crowd! Her hard work was evident and I knew I had to get an interview!

About a month later, we we’re able to catch up at The Sweat Shop gym in Lakewood!

Kat greeted me with the most genuine smile and the kind of welcoming attitude that instantly makes you feel at home in a place!

Kat was prepared with something to kick my butt and I knew it! Typically in training interviews we showcase three different exercises that highlight the personal knowledge and strengths of a trainer, but Kat had idea to switch things up a bit! She wanted to coach me through three different deadlift variations! I loved the idea and I loved that she was thinking outside of the box! Using different types of weights to execute and exercise can be daunting and technically challenging. Thats why its easy to fall into a comfort zone with your favorite exercises and stick to what you know. Working with someone like Kat allows you to push your self out of your comfort zone to try new things! She’s highly focused on technique and she knows what it takes to achieve change in the body!

Check out the video below where Kat crushes my hammys and glutes in the best way using 3 deadlift variations:

Working with Kat I learned that their is a lot more behind this bad ass chicks aesthetic than meets the eye! Kats own appearance is just one reflection of her hard work ethic and determination! She is an elite athlete, but she is also an incredibly driven entrepreneur with a huge heart. Her online training and nutrition coaching business is her passion! *Kat trains the large majority of her clients via video conference and uses a 360 approach aimed to create a fit mind, body and soul.*

She has also partnered up with her mom (aka Dr.Mimi) to form a power-house team. Their mission is to change peoples lives, INSIDE AND OUT, using their year long program called The Secor Innitiative! Find out more about their awesome program HERE!

*Don’t forget to subscribe this week to receive a Free Gift from Coach Kat and Dr. Mimi*


How long has fitness been your passion?

Its always been a passion of mine.

I played paintball nationally on an all female paintball team in an unsegregated league.

There aren’t enough women players out there to have an all female league. So you’re playing against men! Men are just naturally stronger with better endurance. It used to infuriate me that I was getting tired faster than they were. I couldn’t hold my gun up without my arms getting sore and my legs would get fatigued. I started going to the gym to sort of even out the playing field and make my self more competitive athletically. So, thats how I really got into fitness. When I started I was pretty scattered. I didn’t know what a training split was, I didn’t have any strategy with it. I was winging it! In 2011 I started working with a trainer who taught me how to split up body parts and focus individually on different aspects of the body, to achieve results.

What inspired you to compete and go for pro?

I slowly I pulled myself away from working with a trainer and started working out on my own. I started meeting competitors and it would just boggle my mind how ripped they were. The diets, the timing, hearing how it felt on stage. I decided I wanted to try it! I was already going to the gym six days a week! I thought, whats the next challenge? Whats the next new and exciting thing I can do to challenge my self? I my first bikini competition in 2012. I placed second to last, but I was hooked! The next day, I went and played a paintball tournament, where we got first place!  I still felt I won in the big picture!

I had some really bad placing when I started out, but it didn’t matter. It was still the most exciting thing I had ever done!

What is the greatest benefit fitness has given to your life?

You meet different people and you meet different coaches. Everyone teaches you new things. I found this passion for lifting. I found myself in fitness, in the gym, in the weights, in the adversity that you go through with each workout! Overcoming that adversity is such metaphor that you can overcome anything if you set your mind to it! I mean… Whats harder than squatting almost 400lbs? If you can get out from under that weight, you can achieve anything.

The gym and fitness proves that your more capable than you had ever imagined!

With hard work, discipline, commitment and follow through, you can do anything.

Thats the underlying message.

What is one lifting myth you’d like to debunk?

The biggest lifting myth for women. The idea that if you touch a heavy weight you’re going to get all bulky and huge. That is just SO WRONG!

It takes so much hard work and specific intentional eating to build muscle.

Even if you lifted for a month and ate perfectly, you would be lucky to gain one pound! Thats if you’re lucky! So lift heavy, lift hard and eat right! Lifting is going to help you burn fat and have a better shape to your body!

Who is your fitness idol?

My idols are my peers. I think a lot of people idolize the pros. Pros that they don’t really know, but they’ve seen achieve greatness. When in reality, it’s the people pushing you on a daily basis to achieve your own personal greatness. Those are the people to idolize.

What does a savage body mean to you?

Having a savage body is more than what our mind jumps to instantly when we hear the word “savage”… that our body has to be all ripped up! I don’t think thats correct. I think having a savage body is a mind set of confidence; loving and owning what your body they way it looks like right now. Including all of your perceived flaws. A savage body is owning all of who you are.

Kat really impressed me with her knowledge and strength during our interview, but what impressed me more was her character. She truly believes in her mission. She cares tremendously about helping others and creating a positive impact. I left feeling like I had not only learned a lot, but I also gained a friend in the community! 



Visit her site:

Get Elev8’d with Kat






A few weeks ago a friend of mine invited me to a networking event within the fitness community. That event just so happened to be the 2 year anniversary party for Elev8 Performance, A unique boutique gym located in HB, owned by the lovely lady pictured above, Miss Kat Fischer. The energy at the event spoke for Kat as the owner and host! I knew Kat must be one hell of a positive influencer, before we even met!

Kat took the time out of her big day to stop and chat with me.

She was warm, welcoming and even invited me to come back and feature her!

Fast forward to a few weeks later, when we finally caught up at her gym for the interview! I arrived and was greeted with the same good vibes as when I attended her event! I was super excited to find out how she got her start in the fitness world. I also wanted to know more about her signature #assbykat workouts! She is known in the community for helping her clients achieve their individual goals, with a long list of testimonials! She offers a full program, including meal plans and creates a quality one-on-one relationship with all of her patrons!

Check out the video below to see Kat walk me through three of her favorite workouts!

Keep scrolling to read our in depth interview and find out more about Kat

What got you into the fitness lifestyle? 

I personally got into fitness about 6 years ago. I was experiencing health problems that run in my family. Diabetes was one of them. I didn’t want to go down that route. When I first started getting into fitness I did CrossFit.

How long have you been a personal trainer? 

Before I made fitness my career I was in property management. I had my brokers license for ten years. Then, about three years ago the person I was dating was a personal trainer and people started inquiring about if I was doing training as well. So, I got my certificate and started training! We started doing work out of our garage in our condo. It just flourished and grew from there. Then the opportunity came to open a gym in HB!

After our Grand Opening, I had so many clients sign up for personal training I was able to quit my job in property management in order to train full time!

That’s incredible. It’s definitely sets an awesome example to people who train with you that you went for it and pursued your passion!

I definitely feel like when its something you’re passionate about, It isn’t a job. It isn’t something that’s forced. Its like I get to hang out with my friends all day when I’m with my clients. I care about them transforming their lives just as much as they do.

What are your clients typically looking for when they come in to train at Elev8?

Most of the people that come in to see me are looking for so much more than just personal training. Some of them have struggled with eating disorders, their facing low self esteem, or maybe a break-up. They’re facing some type of emotional distress thats going along with not feeling good on the outside.

Watching my clients transform themselves on the inside is probably my favorite part of what I do.

Who would you say is your biggest inspiration in fitness?

My biggest inspiration in fitness wouldn’t necessarily be someone in the lime light. I get so inspired by my clients every day. I have people that come in here with the most amazing stories and they bust their ass in the gym every single day.

The people who are in here having a hard time, but are still working really hard to better them selves, that’s what inspires me the most.

Your faith is a big part of your life, which I think is awesome! How would you say faith has impacted your journey?

My faith is relatively new, I found God and was saved just a year ago. It was something I was really unsure about bringing into my business. I had been advised heavily against it by a lot of people. People said it might be bad for business, but it had the complete opposite effect. Once it did become known, it was incredible to see how people responded. There was so much positivity. Which is exactly what faith does, it brings people together.

A lot of people in our day and age are seeking something, but they only see a bad stigma around religion and the Bible, instead of seeing that

God is about loving each other and being kind to each other. That’s why I choose to be public about my faith. To break the stigma.

Faith has been an incredible way for me to connect with people at Elev8. It really ties back into that I want to promote health, in all aspects, mind body and soul.

It changed my life.

What goals do you have set for your self right now in fitness?

Two years ago, when I first opened the gym I decided I was going to get into the best shape of my life… and I did it. But, I did it on a very, VERY calorie restrictive diet. More along the lines of a bikini competitors diet. I really messed up my hormones and metabolism. Then, the following year, I complete dove into my business and my health was put on the back burner. I shouldn’t have ever done that. This year I’m focusing on being my best self. I had my hormones checked out and balanced. Now it’s SHREDDING SEASON! This time I’m going to get into the best shape of my life, but I’m going to do it right! Hard work and consistency pays off!

What kind of diet do you recommend to your clients?

Its not about the magic quick fix. I always caution people about the diets they choose. I don’t have anything against diets, but I want to teach people a lifestyle they can maintain. It should be about eating right, because it makes you feel good. Short term diets with out carbs make it hard for your body to re-acclimate to eating carbs in the future. What you do in the long term is what matters.

Think of your body as your dream car. Your carbs are your fuel and your fats are your oil. Is that car going to work right if you don’t give it oil or fuel? Are you going to put low grade in or premium? You only get this one car for the rest of your life.

A lot of girls especially are scared of carbs and scared of fats, but with out it, your body isn’t going to work right. Once you get your mind around that concept eating becomes a lot healthier and easier.

Lastly, I’ve got to ask, what does a savage body mean to you? 

A savage body means to me that you look good, you feel good and you’re laughing!


I couldn’t agree with Kat more! Scroll down to find out where you can locate her for training!

Ready to Elev8 your fitness?

Click the link below to find info about membership, individualized training plans and group training! Last but definitely not least, check out the amazing upcoming bootcamps offered at Elev8 where you can get inspired in a large group setting with people looking to achieve their goals just like you!

Huntington Beach, CA

Fitness to a Science with Alex

Meet Alexandra Bernardin  

Huntington Beach, CA

Kilo Strength Society Elite Trainer



So, you’ve got the gym routine down. You eat pretty well too… but, you just aren’t seeing the results? Or you just want to get next level?  Sounds like it’s time to mix a little bit of science into your fitness routine and Alex is exactly what you’re looking for.

I’m always amazed by the things I learn when I walk into a gym with a new expert. Alex served up so much technically specific knowledge during my time with her. From her vocabulary to her understanding of each persons unique physiology. It was a blast exploring all that Kilo (her state of the art gym) has to offer. She exudes an inspiring strength and positive energy. She takes her clients progress seriously but don’t be fooled into thinking she’s a total drill Sargent! She’ll definitely get you laughing while you work out… a nice bonus for those abs!

Check out the video below to get a glimpse into my day of training with Alex:

Where are you from originally?
I’m from Montreal, Quebec actually.

What brought you out here to California?
I’ve been in the states for 12 years. I first worked in a private facility in St. Louis where we trained a lot of general population, but a lot of pro-athletes too. Then I moved to Rhode Island and I worked for a company where I was one of the educators. I was traveling the world teaching a certification to other trainers. After 4 years, my friends and I decided it was time to move on to our own thing and set up our own company!

We had always wanted to live in California so we said, why not!

What originally inspired you to become a personal trainer?
Well, my first degree was in nutrition (dietetics), it was very clinical by itself. I had also been a gymnast my whole life and I was a gymnastics coach. I’ve been coaching since I was 15. So, while doing the nutrition I got more into training and it allowed me to incorporate both of my passions. It was the best of both worlds.

What personal fitness goals do you have right now?
When I first started out I did fitness competitions, because I have the gymnastics background. I don’t even know if those types of shows still exist… The last two times I competed I did figure comps. I don’t know if I would want to compete again. As you get older you just want to stay as fit as possible.

The thing about strength is that it’s infinite. You can always get stronger there is no ceiling…

as long as you’re taking good care of your body! So my goal is to gain more strength.

What/Who has been your biggest fitness inspiration? 
My biggest mentor is Charles Poliquin. He is a fellow Quebecer. He is a strength coach. The way he taught me how to train people on more of a scientific basis, how to keep track of people’s progress, how to manipulate people’s programs, all of that was inspiring. Not just winging it. A lot of trainers, unfortunately, make their programs on the fly. Everything I do for my clients is very methodical. Also, I would say Monica Brant was a huge inspiration back in the day when she competed.

What kind of clients do you take on at Kilo Strength Society? 
We take on anyone! We have a variety of clients. Right now we have a 22 year old woman who had never trained before in her life. We also have an ex-NFL player who trains here. He loves the structure and the coaching.

What makes you unique as a trainer? Whats you’re training specialty? 
The coaching. Beyond just the reading. You can read all the coaching books you want… but, if you’re not in the gym perfecting the art of coaching your clients won’t progress. I put in a lot of hours in the gym over the last 20 years. Also my gymnastics background, precision of movement. All of that is definitely my strength.

What does a savage body mean to you?
Having a savage body to me is having strength.

I think strength is the new sexy.

It’s very empowering, especially for women. A lot of women tell me they want to get strong when they come to see me. Opposed to 10 years ago. They want to be able to do the big lifts! Teaching them correctly, they get the confidence to  able to do it. I think if you train for strength and you train properly the body follows. You have to eat well too though. It takes the focus away from just looking at the visual aspect of what your training is doing and it becomes more internal. It can drive you forever.

Where you can find Alex teaching

Huntington Beach, CA

Lets get down, dog.

Meet Brooke Taylor

Huntington Beach, CA

Yoga Instructor & Apparel Designer



Today Brooke and I went down to the harbor for a vinyasa flow.

I’ve always been a big fan of yoga for its benefits spiritually and physically. Yoga as a whole is a great practice for getting in tune with your self. I love weights and grinding it out in the gym, but yoga adds a unique element to muscle conditioning. Most serious and even professional athletes will tell you, yoga is one hell of a challenge.

Watch as Brooke breaks down three poses she believes are essential to a good yoga practice and get a peek of her boutique on wheels!

Here’s what Brooke had to say when we sat down to talk about her yoga experience…

Why did you get into yoga?
“I got into it because I had ADHD and it was really difficult for me to focus. I used yoga to gain focus and piece of mind. The mental and physical work out really interested me. Also, I was a figure skater and it was my off ice training.

I ended up liking yoga more than skating to be honest. “

“What do you hope your yogis get out of your class?”

“I hope they leave at ease. With peace of mind. Ready to take on their day with new strength. With lean bodies and centered minds. My favorite thing is to see yogis in savasana in my class. So relaxed.”

“You’re a vegan… Tell me a little bit about how that has impacted your practice?”

“I feel more energized, healthier, lighter. My skin is clearer. I think I became a vegan through yoga, because yoga taught me to be a more compassionate person. One of the 8 limbs of yoga is ahimsa, which stands for non violence. With that mind-set I’m just a much happier person.”

“Being vegan isn’t easy, but you make it sound so awesome. What advice do you have for people who are interested in making that lifestyle change?”

“If you think you might be interested in it, great! Just don’t jump into it. I was a vegetarian for 9 years. Becoming vegan is a process, but it’s definitely a goal that you can attain. Take it on with baby steps. Meal plan! In today’s world it is a lot easier to be vegan. There are a lot of options if you do your research.”

The video above features us wearing

Check out some of my top picks from her line, including the “Samantha Set”, named after yours truly! Click to shop any of these looks!


Below are some of Brookes favorite vegan meals (click for details) 


Where you can find Brooke teaching

  • My Om Yoga Home

Huntington Beach, CA

  • Monicas HARD Yoga

Huntington Beach, CA

  • Equinox

Huntington Beach, CA

A Patriotic Pump, Fury – A Savage Body Pre-workout of choice


Have you been searching for something extra to boost your workout and your results?

I spent a long time working out with out using any kind of supplement. I didn’t want to take anything, because I was afraid of putting unnatural chemicals into my body. I was used to walking into supplement stores and leaving feeling completely confused about the products. The ingredients on the labels we’re so foreign to me. The testimonials seemed bought and paid for… I knew I wanted something authentic. I wanted something real. Something that would make me feel good during and after my workouts. That was when I discovered FSN Labs.
When I found Fury, I discovered I didn’t have to compromise my goal of remaining all natural while also enhancing my performance. To make it simple, I’ll break down into bullets why FSN Labs and Fury stood out to me.

  • Fury is 100% natural (just take a look at the table of ingredients)
  • Fury contains a total of 2.5 Grams of Creatine per scoop (powerfully concentrated)
  • FSN Labs is owned and operated by United States Veterans
  • Proceeds are donated to Veterans Relief fund each year

If you know me, you know how much our United States Military means to me. The fact that FSN Labs gives back to the men and women who serve our country makes it so much more than a run of the mill nutrition brand.


I’ve been fortunate to partner with FSN and they have agreed to offer the readers of A Savage Body 10%!

Use code SAVAGE10 for 10% off at checkout

FSN Labs, the makers of Fury…

Finally, a protein company I can stand behind.

Finding Strength with Syd

Meet Sydney Stephenson

Huntington Beach, CA

Personal/Group Trainer and Kickboxing Instructor

@sydforfitness &


This weeks feature is a little bit different than anything that’s been on the blog thus far. It touches on a very real, VERY important subject matter. In the interview below with Syd you will find great information about physical aspects of fitness, but you’ll also learn about the importance of developing and maintaining good mental fitness. Its easy to place all of the focus on our exterior when we spend so much time working on a fit physique, that’s why its important to remember that a healthy mind is crucial in achieving a savage body!

Before diving into the interview check out the video’s below, where I catch up with Sydney and she walks me through some of her favorite workouts!

Keep scrolling to find out how Sydney found her (inner) strength…

How did you get into personal training?
I’ve been an athlete my entire life. I started playing soccer when I was five years old. I quit soccer eventually to play water polo, which I played in college. I moved away from my home town to play at Long Beach State, which brought me to Southern California. I started working with a bootcamp in Long Beach which inspired me to get my certification. Recently, I achieved my goal of becoming an Equinox trainer! I had been gunning for that. It’s definitely the top level.

How would you say that your background in sports has impacted the way that you train your clients?
I know how to push my limits. Being a college athlete was a full time job. We would have 8 and 9 hour practices a day. Not straight, but in total. Its a lot. You think you want to quit, but your coach will push you past that to a point you never thought you could go.

What do you want your clients to know when they’re walking into the gym for the first time? What is a piece of advice you would give to them?
I would tell them to feel comfortable in their own body. There’s not a single perfect body in the world. Its difficult at times living in Southern California. You know? There’s lots of people that look like celebrities. But, there are also lots of normal people that have beautiful bodies, who are very strong and are great athletes.

A lot of people that look fabulous still have their own problems with their bodies. You never know what someone is feeling inside their own skin.

Do you personally follow any sort of diet while your training?
I do. I follow the 80/20 rule right now. Ive done all kinds of diets and they almost all work, but a lot of them can be strenuous on your brain. I think feeling my best is when I can eat what I want and don’t have to stress about it. So I make sure that about 80% of the time I’m watching what Im putting into my body. The other 20%, I eat what I want!

What are your personal fitness goals at the moment?
About two years ago I was training for a bikini competition, but I fell off and haven’t been able to get back to it. I would love to get back to that place where I would feel confident and comfortable enough to do a show.

Lastly, I have to ask, what does a savage body mean to you?
I would say that its the body that you can walk down the street and have 100% confidence in. The reason I fell off track from competing was because

I was battling an eating disorder.

I feel like it gives me a different view of things now. Like, what is a perfect body? Its not how I look. Its how I feel. Things like that. Everyday is a battle. The statistic is that 1 in 7 girls has an eating disorder. It’s ridiculous, but it’s not easy when you have goals of looking a certain way. I took a break to get healthy and I overcame my eating disorder.

*I had to stop and thank Sydney for sharing that personal detail. Her openness to share her own struggle truly impacts the care and emotional consideration with which she approaches her clients.*

Listening to Sydney talk about her struggle hit home for me, as I’m sure it will for so many readers. Its not an easy world out there. Theres so much pressure about what you think you should look like vs. what you actually do. I know there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t personally struggle with thoughts of comparison. Finding inner strength takes courage and hard work. I couldn’t appreciate Sydney more for sharing her story.

If you or someone you care about has an unhealthy relationship with food there are people that can provide you with a support system. Click here to get information about recovery. You’re never alone, its not a cliche phrase. It’s the truth.

Want to train with Sydney? Here’s where you can find her:

Sydneys Website

Huntington Beach, CA

Long Beach, CA

True Grit, on the bike

Meet Molly

Costa Mesa, CA

Cycling Instructor & Freelance Apparel Designer

@joy_abundant • Reserve your ride here
Use code “gritstrong” to ride for free on your first visit!


I had the opportunity to saddle up on a bike with Miss Molly at Grit this afternoon.

I met Molly while we we’re both working for a California based clothing brand. She was in the midst of designing a Capsule Collection called “Good F*CKING Vibes.” One day in passing she invited me to train with her at her home cycling studio! I couldn’t believe this super rad, ultra talented designer was also just beginning her journey as a spin instructor! I was inspired. She knew I was an avid fitness junkie, but to be honest it took me over a month to take her up on her offer. I was unsure how I felt about cycling. From the pedals to the resistance dials, it was all very foreign to me! I had tried cycling twice in the past, it just didn’t seem like it was for me. Once I started up my blog I figured that it was the perfect time to give it another try. I couldn’t imagine a better motivator than Molly. When I finally arrived to the studio she instantly made me feel so at home! As I hopped onto the bike to start our interview she assisted me with my stirrups and made sure I was locked in and ready to go.

Before class got rolling, Molly showed me THREE of the KEY moves you’ll encounter in a cycling class. Watch the video below to check it out!

This was the nitty gritty from my chat with Molly after class…

“What inspired you to become a cycling instructor?”
“I guess it all started when I took my first cycling class. I got really into the workout and Grit Cycle was super close to my house. I started coming here. I saw how the instructors were motivating people and how awesome it was. I fell in love with the community and the music.”

“How long has cycling been a passion of yours?”
“Only about two years now. I’m pretty new to it. I was into boxing pretty heavily for 7 years. Then I hurt my hand and had to stop. After that I found cycling!”

“How is being on the bike different from other workouts you’ve tried?”
“It’s different because it’s cardio, but it’s also a full body workout because of the choreography. The energy is totally unique.

When the lights go down and the music goes off you get to reconnect to yourself. Spin is a giant dance party. “

“I definitely agree. I had taken a few cycling classes in regular (not cycling specific) gyms and I wasn’t that into it… but after taking your class my whole perspective of the workout has changed!” 

“What is your favorite part about training your clients? What results would you like to see them achieve?”
“My favorite part is when they come up to me after class and tell me it was challenging. If I challenge them I have a good feeling they’ll want to come back and if they come back they can grow.”

“What kind of a diet do you maintain outside of the cycling studio?”
“Balance! I aim for 80-20! I’ve been on a crazy smoothie kick lately and I’m trying a bunch of new stuff. I try to tell myself, pizza only once a week! Doesn’t always work out that way, but I do my best!”

“How important are the riding shoes, really?”
“It helps your ride so much! It changes everything! The choreography is so much safer with them, you don’t have to worry about slipping off the pedal, so you can go faster!”

“Last, I have to ask what does having a savage body mean to you?”
“Everyone is born different with different genes. If you are using your body to the best of your ability to complete your workouts and get it done, if you’re giving all you’ve got to achieve your goals, that is A Savage Body™.”

I have to say I had met a lot of people that we’re absolutely in love with cycling, but I just hadn’t caught the bug. This time was different. The lights in the studio fell dim, technicolor hues beamed from the creases of the room. Molly was not only the instructor, but the DJ. The music began and I realized the room had transformed from a cycling class into a dance party. Molly guided the class through the different movements on the bike and I could feel all parts of my body being activated. Before I knew it, I was drenched in sweat and the workout was over!

In spin you get to control your own pace and your own progress! If you enjoy letting loose, good music and good energy, you will fall in LOVE with Molly, Grit and Cycling!

When to find Molly teaching at Grit Cycle 
  • Wednesday 4:15p
  • Thursday 6:45p

Class times can fluctuate! Go to to find the most up to date times! Use code “gritstrong” to ride for free on your first visit!