Body Transformation: Amanda “MandaFit” Olsen

It’s time for another body transformation interview!  A few days ago I ran across the Facebook profile of Amanda “MandaFit” Olsen.  I contacted her, and she agreed to take time out of her very busy schedule to do an interview.

Amanda struggled with her weight from childhood into her young adult life.  But she became an unstoppable force once she set her mind to losing weight and changing her lifestyle.  Manda transformed from a softbody into an elite soldier–one who has the highest physical training scores in her unit!

Check out this interview and be inspired!

MandaFit1

MuscleReview: Why don’t you tell my readers a little bit about yourself (age, where you live, your profession, etc).

Manda: My name is Manda Olsen, 27 and will be a very wise 28 in November. I currently reside in Orange City, Florida–a small city east of Downtown Orlando. I am the owner of a small Personal Training business and studio gym called Mandatory Fitness, LLC. I started my fitness career after being approached many times in the gyms and asked if I were a personal trainer, or what my diet consisted of. I always considered working as a personal trainer and coach but never thought I had what it took or confidence in myself knowing my flaws.

MuscleReview: Let’s talk about your “before” body. What was your heaviest weight? What got you to that point (were you always overweight or did you gain a lot of weight as an adult)?

Manda: I grew up not knowing a thing about nutrition or how to properly train in order to start seeing the results. I had ALWAYS been overweight growing as a kid and into my teenage years.

Being overweight really takes a toll on everything.  My relationships with my family suffered, and I also felt ugly and uncomfortable all the time. I felt silly working out and  I clung to anyone who showed me attention whether it was with good or bad intentions. That resulted in even worse relationships and friendships that stirred me in the wrong direction. I began going out every night, drinking and partying.  I wasn’t taking care of my health or body.

I always made time to run about 2-3 miles a couple of times a week and thought that was enough (now I realize it wasn’t). So one day I think I had just had enough of being uncomfortable in my own skin. I knew what I had to do if I wanted to reach my goals of being “fit.” I stopped drinking and smoking and made it a priority to wake up at 5am and hit the gym. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing but because I was there, I felt accountable to make a change.

I’ve lost a lot of “friends” along the way because they weren’t into my new lifestyle. But I gained self motivated and positive friendships and they’ve taught me everything I know today!

My heaviest weight was 240lbs and a size 18 pants. I didn’t own shorts till I was 21 and never once went to the beach or the pool with my friends. Changing my lifestyle and prioritizing my life has allowed me to create my own happiness, find out who I really am and my capabilities. I am now 138 and in a size 3. It is still a struggle everyday because I spent 20+ years eating whatever I wanted and my metabolism still needs work. It is something I will be working on for the rest of my life because to me, success is never final.

MuscleReview: What was the “breaking point” for you—what motivated you to transform your physique?

Manda: I’d say my breaking point was not EVER feeling comfortable. I am 5’3 and at my heaviest, it took my breath away to tie my shoes.  I knew I was an attractive girl but I didn’t feel like it on the inside.  I had no confidence.

MuscleReview: How long did your transformation take?

Manda: It took me 3-4 years to drop down to the 140’s. Like I said, it’s still an everyday struggle.  But once you see the results, it almost becomes an addiction to be better everyday. It’s an amazing feeling to look back at where you’ve come from and see what is really possible when you put your mind to it.  It has been a learning process of putting in the work day in and day out.  I’ve been drawn to more motivating and inspirational people with goals and they have taught me a lot.  Now I want to teach and share it what I’ve learned.
MandaOlseen

MuscleReview: Did you ever hit any plateaus in losing body fat? How did you get through them?

Manda: There were times I felt uncomfortable being “thinner” and it was like an out-of- body experience when my clothes that I had been wearing for so long no longer fit me. All I had known was an overweight body. I was tempted to think I could afford to gain some of the weight back and just lose it again.  This caused setbacks and plateaus but I just turned them into comebacks.

I also learned a lot about training through trial and error.  I started out doing 2-3 hours of cardio a day.  That’s how I lost my first 15-20 lb, but then I hit a plateau.  I eventually realized the importance of lifting weights. I was introduced to weight training and bodybuilding by a good friend and mentor, Joey Diaz.  I developed a new passion for the gym and training and now I understand why women should lift weights.

MuscleReview: How has your new body affected your confidence?

Manda: I have so much more confidence now that people see me as a fitness enthusiast. I don’t look at my business as my job, but as my passion. I get to motivate and help push other people to reach their goals because I know it’s possible. People are always asking me  where I work out or when I’ll be competing. It feels good to be able to share my story with confidence and not be ashamed.

MuscleReview: Please give us a general description of your diet and training (how you typically eat and train—number of training days per week, resistance vs cardio, etc).

Manda: My days are GO-GO-GO from 5am-9:30pm. I don’t stop and I’d have it no other way. I wake up a 4:50am pretty much every day–either to do morning cardio or to train a client. I then eat breakfast no later then 7:30. My meals will remain on regimen every 3 hours until my last HumaPro shake at 9:00pm. I weight train 5-6 times a week, depending how busy my work schedule is or how sore I am. I make it a point to sweat EVERY DAY, therefore I run at least 4-5 miles, 7 days a week. My lifting schedule is split up into muscle groups allowing my body to heal properly and go even harder the following week.

As far as my diet, it’s clean 95% of the time. I stay pretty consistent with my meals and prepare them ahead of time every Sunday. I stay anabolic by eating my 1g of protein per pound of body weight daily and eating every 3 hours. If I am busy and cannot eat a meal, then I will supplement with a protein shake or BCAA’s. I ‘cheat’ every Saturday or Sunday, but my ‘cheats’ are not really cheats. I can’t get myself to gorge on food that I know will make me feel like garbage the rest of the day so I opt for sushi or I will eat high carbohydrates.

MuscleReview: Are you involved in any fitness competitions?

Manda: Currently I have not competed and it’s the number one question I am always asked. I have intentions to get up on the stage and I know it will happen eventually. But for now my main focus is my career and my clients. I have had the privilege of working and training a pro figure and other aspiring competitors, so I do know what it takes and I will gladly accept that challenge when the timing is right.

MuscleReview: What made you decide to get involved in personal training?

Manda: I decided to get involved with Personal Training in 2013 when I chose to surround myself with only inspiring, self-motivated people.  I noticed how many people looked up to me and believed in me.  Once I completed basic training for the Army I knew anything was possible, and this gave me that last bit of confidence needed to become a personal trainer.

MuscleReview: I did notice that you are in the military—God bless you for your service to our country!  What motivated you to join the armed forces? What role does fitness play in your life as a soldier?

Manda: I joined the US Army in Feb 2013. It’s an incredible feeling to know I’m part of an unbreakable force and have done something not everyone can do–earn the privilege of wearing the uniform. Being a soldier is a lifestyle even when you aren’t in uniform. I understand I have values and standards to live by and I’m now inspired to pass them on. I currently hold the highest physical training (PT) scores in my reserve unit and will be attending Master trainer school in the future to be able to instruct PT for my unit. I also have been asked to stand in front of my company and give a Nutritional class and hopefully raise our PT scores as a unit. It’s quite an honor!

MandaArmy
MuscleReview: What do you say to new trainees who are just starting their transformations?

Manda: Don’t stop. Be the force to inspire other people. You will get so much more than what you put into it. Don’t throw in the towel, just use it to wipe the sweat off your face.

MuscleReview: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview!

Please check out Mandatory Fitness if you are looking for a personal trainer in the Orange City/Orlando area.

The Venus Factor Review

I’ve been give the opportunity to read and review The Venus Factor, an exercise and nutrition programvenus-goddess-of-love that’s been around for some time. This program (formerly called the Venus Index) is named after a goddess, but there is a scientific rationale behind the name. I’ll explain:

There’s a particular formula to having a good body. Scientists have discovered, for example, that men tend to prefer women with a waist-to-hip ration of 0.7. This varies a little according to the cultural context (from 0.6 to 0.8), but it is a fairly consistent preference when studies and surveys are done. Women seeking to transform their bodies may want to get as close to these measurements/ratios as possible. Beauty, of course, is subjective. But sometimes numbers can give us concrete goals to shoot for.

Program Summary (Components)

Now I’ll summarize some of the components you get if you decide to invest in The Venus Factor. Please keep in mind these are all files you would download (e-book files, etc.)—they are not “hard copies.”

1. Diet and Weigh Loss Manual:

This e-book is a basic plan for losing body fat and changing your physique. Once you read it you will understand what the authors had in mind when they created this program. You’ll also see what is necessary to make this system work for you.

I’d highly advise you to thoroughly read the diet/nutrition section of this manual. Some trainees (male and female) but a lot of effort into their training but don’t give much thought to their nutrition plan. You’ll never reach your fat loss goals without changing your diet.

2. 12-week Workout System:

These workouts are designed specifically with female TheVenusFactorWorkoutReviewtrainees in mind. I think you’ll be impressed with the way the exercises are explained, and the video library is a nice touch. You can see exactly how each movement should be done.

You’ll be working out with weights (or maybe just using your own body weight) as one of the primary exercise strategies. Don’t be concerned with getting a masculine or muscular physique—this kind of thing just doesn’t happen with women who train naturally (without steroids). Nothing will transform your body as rapidly as resistance training will, so follow the program as it is designed.

3. The Venus Factor Virtual Nutritionist:

This is a piece of software (application to be more precise) that will help you customize your diet plan. You’ll see how much protein and how many calories you should be eating every day (according to your current measurements). Remember—the diet plan is a crucial component of this program so don’t ignore it.

4. The Venus Community:

This members-only forum is a place where you can talk with other members: a place to post questions, get advice, and also share what you are learning on your fitness journey. Only Venus Factor members are a part of this forum, so you don’t have to worry about being embarrassed to ask questions.

5. The Venus Index Podcast:

These are interviews you can download to hear how others have made positive changes in their bodies (and lives). This would be something great to listen to on your iPod when you need some extra motivation.

Additional Products (“Upsells”):

Everything I’ve described so far comes with the basic program. But there are some additional e-books you can order if you choose to. To be clear, you do not have to buy these. But I think they would be worthwhile if you want to add to your fitness library.

Cookbook: some recipes for losing body fat.

The Venus Factor Final Phase: the most advanced level of the program, designed to do after you have completed everything in the basic phases.

Meal Plans: specific plans that help you follow your diet.

REVIEW:

Women typically join a gym or start exercising because they want to lose weight and “tone up” (get leaner and firmer). The Venus Factor was created with both of these goals in mind. The nutritional plans will teach you what to eat in order to lose fat and keep (or build) your lean tissue (remember—you don’t want to lose muscle). I think most female trainees would also find the exercise plans to be effective.

I also like the efficiency of this program. In other words, the Venus Factor is a program you could do even if you have a busy schedule and don’t want to spend 24/7 in the gym.

I also appreciate the fact that the author doesn’t promote bogus “fat burner” supplements. Most of the diet pills I see being advertised are a complete waste of money (there are one or two effective products I’ve mentioned here on my blog, but those are the exceptions).

To summarize, I believe the Venus Factor is a reasonably priced program for losing fat and transforming your body. The basic package costs 47$, which is a lot less than you’d pay for a personal trainer. I think this system is a good investment if you want a comprehensive guide to body transformation. Just keep in mind that it will require work and discipline on your part—there are no “magic bullets.” Please CLICK HERE if you are interested in learning more or ordering this program.

Bikini Body Workouts Review Jen Ferruggia

I’ve been looking forward to the release of Bikini Body Workouts for quite a while.  I’ve been a big fan of Jason Ferruggia’s workout and diet plans for years so I was glad to see his wife create a product specifically for women.  Let me start the review by explaining what you get when you order this program:

JenFerruggia
Jen Ferruggia

Program Components

Bikini Body Workouts Guide: This document explains how you can safely and effectively build a strong, feminine physique through resistance training.  You need not worry about getting big or muscular from this type of training: as you can see by Jen’s picture, this program is designed help you get lean and have that fitness model look.

The workouts utilize non-competing, antagonistic, alternating supersets.  This means you’ll do a exercise, rest for about sixty seconds, then exercise a different muscle group.  This type of training is ideal for burning fat and is a great strategy for female trainees.  I’ve used a similar style of training myself when I need to drop some fat and I can assure you that it is effective.  But keep something in mind here: working out this way is intense and it will challenge you if you do it properly.

This manual also explains how to incorporate cardiovascular training (both high and low intensity) into your schedule.  Women sometimes put too much emphasis on cardiovascular training, but this plan shows you how to have a more balanced approach.

Another feature I should note is the video library.  Users can access video demonstrations of all the exercises.  The video library is also an easy reference point to see what you’ll be doing on a given workout–the videos are grouped together by training day.  I think you’ll find that there’s something motivational about being able to watch the workouts instead of just seeing the written description of the exercises.

Bikini Body Workouts
Bikini Body Workouts

Bikini Body Nutrition Guide: As I’ve said many times, no fat loss or muscle building program is complete unless you are eating properly.  This guide explains how to set up a nutrition plan from scratch: what type of foods to eat, what to avoid, the best way to time your meals, etc.  I think this would be especially helpful for a beginner who needs to know the basics of fat loss.

Please do not ignore the nutrition guide if you decide to buy this program.  Much of your success in losing fat will depend on the dietary adjustments you make.  You won’t see a complete transformation without changing what you eat.

Note: Specific brands of supplements are recommended in this manual.  I’m sure the brands they recommend are fine, but I would advise you to shop around and see if their are more cost-effective alternatives (I’ve always been a minimalist when it comes to supplements).

21-Day Booty Blast Manual: This is a specialization program for women who want to focus on training their glutes.  The exercises are designed to be done 10 minutes a day, every day, for twenty one days.  You could, of course, do the program longer if you have not yet achieved the desired result.  Needless to say, most women are interested in building a firm, round backside.  This extra training guide will be very helpful for that goal.

REVIEW:

This program is what I’ve come to expect from Ferruggia–simple, straightforward, and effective.  I like the way they have set up weight training, cardiovascular training, and nutrition so women will be able to completely transform their bodies. Let me tell you who I think this program is best suited for:

*Women who are interested in losing fat.  This is the primary goal most female trainees have in mind when they start dieting or going to the gym.  Jen Ferrugia’s workout plan can definitely help you with this.

*Women with access to basic gym equipment (fancy equipment is not required, but a gym membership would be ideal).  Remember that resistance training is a key component of this bikini body workout plan.

*Women who are willing to train consistently and intensely.  As I’ve mentioned before, the routines in this program are physically challenging.  Otherwise they would not be so effective.

*Women who are willing to make overall lifestyle changes (diet, etc.) in order to transform their bodies.

If this describes you then I think Bikini Body Workouts would be a worthwhile investment–you get a lot of quality training/nutrition information at a very reasonable cost (it costs less, for example, than Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide).  Just keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a “shortcut” or “magic bullet when it comes to true body transformation.  This is a great program, but you’ll have to apply yourself and put in both the work and planning for it to work for youJust CLICK HERE to get this program for only $29.99.