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We caught up with the three ladies, behind one of the largest fitness hashtag #GirlGains, and find out how it all began, and why strength training and women emowerment is so important to them.

When did you decide to start #GirlGains?

In the Summer of 2014, Zanna, Vicky and I met at a fitness expo after following each other’s social media accounts for a while. We instantly bonded, as we finally met some other girls who got the whole health & fitness thing. We spent the summer months staying at each other’s houses, visiting London, Training together, eating together and putting the world to rights. It was so refreshing to have this new-found support group of friends. We wanted other girls who used social media, specifically Instagram, to have this experience too. And so, one day, after a group workout together, we came up with the idea of a hashtag and #GirlGains was born.

Did you ever think it would become what it is today?

Absolutely not!! Not only does our hashtag have over half a million posts, but we now have ambassadors all over the UK, US and Australia.

Can you tell us a little about your individual journeys?

My personal story is that of an overweight teen, who hated sport and exercise and loved food. I discovered fitness in my early twenties as I embarked on full-time Musical Theatre training at drama school. I soon realised I need to be fit and healthy for my dream career as a West End performer and so started working out and paying close attention to my diet. As i embarked on this journey, I began to share it online via my Instagram account, getting sucked in to the online health & fitness world. I soon developed an unhealthy obsession with training, tracking my food and my body fat percentage. Fortunately thanks to people around me, I stopped obsessing and over the past few years I have worked on striking a healthy balance which I truly believe I have found. For the past 2 and a half years, I have been working as a Personal Trainer and helping my clients find their healthy balance too. Vicky also had a background in the arts, as she trained to be a professional dancer after leaving school at the age of 18. During this time, Vicky felt the pressures of her training, and for her third and final year decided she would be in the best shape she could be. This led to an obsession with eating very little and running at least 10K a day on top of her dance training. As you can imagine, her weight plummeted and Vicky had to leave after being diagnosed with Anorexia. However, Vicky’s turning point came once she saw the stress and strain it was having on her family and so began her fight for recovery. Once recovered, Vicky embarked on using her experiences to help others and she too became a Personal Trainer. She has helped countless amounts of women reach their goals but most importantly be the happiest version of themselves. Zanna’s journey is so relatable for many. A naturally tall and slim girl, Zanna was never in to sports or P.E at school. Once she went to uni she found she did even less exercise and more partying. Her party lifestyle and nutrient poor diet meant that Zanna not only felt sluggish and tired she also noticed her skin was particularly suffering. And so, she set about to start dieting to lose the ‘Freshers 15’ with any diet under the sun; Paleo, Gluten Free, Cabbage Soup diet.etc. Surprisingly, none of them worked and so through social media and research she discovered healthy eating, weight training and soon felt the difference. Fast forward several years and Zanna is now a Personal Trainer, Fitness Blogger and Author of her debut book ‘Strong’.

Why do you think strength training is so important?

From a science perspective, we know the positive effects that Weight training can have, such as; Increased bone density, Postural support, injury prevention, can help increase BMR, Creates desired body shape etc. But we also love to look at it from the perspective of mindset. It’s challenging, it’s empowering, it can be fun!

What types of strength training should someone consider if they are just starting out?

If you’re brand new to strength training, either speak to a Personal trainer or attend a group exercise class with an instructor. You can waste so much time on your own, faffing about and not really having a clue. So, to fast track results, don’t be afraid to ask someone to show you correct technique and form as once you nail that, the possibilities are endless.

What are your 5 best strength training exercises?

We love compound moves as we are often short on time to train and so it’s a great way to work as many muscles as we can. Deadlifts, Squats, Hip Thrusts, Pull Ups and Over Head Press are our combined favourites.

What does your typical day look like?

As Self-employed Trainers and Fitness Bloggers no 2 days are the same, which is the beauty of our job! But in general, they will include Personal Training clients, A workout, meetings, lots of emails and creating content for social media.

Who would you consider to be your ultimate fitspiration?

All 3 of us are inspired by strong female entrepreneurs who are in our opinion the definition of #GirlBoss. So many to choose from, but to name a few; Michelle Obama, Claire Finlay to Janie Koroleva!

What can we expect from #GirlGains?

Our goal is to spread the message of #GirlGains of health and happiness far and wide! We have events happening all over the world thanks to our Ambassadors and we are also hosting lots ourselves too, all with the aim to educate, empower and inspire each and every woman who attends.

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