As part of our ongoing feature, Member Spotlight, Coach Kellie Davis chatted with Get Glutes Lifetime Member, Lesa Smith, to learn more about her experience in training with both the Strong Curves and Get Glutes program.
Hi, Lesa! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your inspiring story and transformation with us. Let’s jump right in. Tell us a bit about yourself and your fitness history.
I'm 45 and am married to my best friend who is my biggest supporter of my passion for fitness. I have a full-time career, two wonderful kids and 4 German Shepherds. I began working out when I was around 19-yrs old but honestly, I would walk a mile on the treadmill and follow that up with a McDonald's burger and fries--super-sized, of course.
I finally learned to eat a little better but would spend countless hours doing cardio as punishment for eating things such as pizza, chips, or ice cream. Throughout the next 20+ years, I became more involved with running and have completed several half-marathons and smaller races. I dabbled in weight training here and there and began a real strength training program January 2014.
You started with our book Strong Curves and moved onto Get Glutes. How did you discover these programs and when did you start?
I was looking for a program to better suit me and became more serious with it when I found Strong Curves in March 2014. A friend mentioned the book to me and it sounded exactly like what I was looking for.
The first few months I carried my book to the gym. I had no shame with all of my sticky-noted pages. I reviewed every exercise before I began to refresh technique and form. I quickly found myself increasing in weight rather fast. As a result, my glutes responded very well, too. In fact, I was so worried that I sent Bret an email, upset that my glutes had grown 1.75" in a 5-week period. Bret was so kind to respond, "Lesa, you want your glutes to grow don't you?"
It was then I realized that muscle and strength mattered more than any number I saw on the tape measure and scale!
When you began the program, what were your initial goals?
My initial goals were to simply get my lower half in better shape. As I progressed, my goals changed. I wanted to be stronger. I wanted to push my limits as that's where I found the biggest growth, mentally and physically. I began hip thrusts with body weight and increased to 315-lbs. I kept focusing on getting stronger and challenging myself. Unfortunately, I've had a setback with a knee injury (likely from running all of those years) but I'm still making progress, albeit a little slower.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while working toward those goals?
I would say I have 2 challenges. One was working out at home with minimal equipment. I prefer my home gym as I never have to fight for equipment. I found I could easily complete both the Strong Curves and Get Glutes programs with a bench, stability ball, barbell with plates, dumbbells, aerobics bench, bands/tubes and pull-up tower. Getting my workout done by 6 a.m. on weekdays was another challenge - but if you want results bad enough, you'll find time to make it happen. I was always busy once I got home from work so I knew morning workouts were a must.
Another obstacle that had boomeranged my way was the knee injury I mentioned above. I literally cried in my doctor's office at the thought of not being able to work out like I wanted. I had all of the wind taken out of my sails. Long story short, the Get Glutes family encouraged me and let me know that my life was not coming to an end, despite how it felt at the time. I did zero lower body work for at least 6 weeks and began again with body-weight and bands. Who knew those little versa loop bands can cause such a booty burn? I finally got clearance from my doctor to do just about all that I wanted as long as I listened to my body. Listening to my body was an awakening because in the past, I would always push through any pain; but all I was doing was creating a bigger problem. I learned to rest when needed, which is something this Type-A OCD Gym Nut has a hard time doing. It's been a humbling experience.
What is one of your proudest moments since you’ve been with us?
Seeing my glutes on Bret's transformation page and inspiring others; seeing my glutes grow from completely flat to curves in all the right places. I never imagined it was possible.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when beginning the program, what would it be?
Post form check videos for critiques so you nail your form right away. I was always worried Bret would use my videos as examples of “what not to do”, but the feedback I've received has been extremely beneficial. Also, I can't stress the importance of eating enough, too. I feel that too many people try to out-exercise a poor diet and fall prey to endless hours of cardio, which isn't necessary. I love Get Glutes for the strength training as well as the challenging, yet fun, conditioning days.
Do you have any big fitness or health goals on the horizon for the coming months?
YES! I'm getting my personal trainer certification through NASM and hope to be certified by the end of November 2015. I will be completing my certification with Precision Nutrition in 2016 as well. I have a huge passion for fitness and helping others.
Your passion certainly shows, Lesa! Thank you for being an active and supporting member of the Get Glutes community and for sharing your story with us.