BodyPowerExpo is the UK’s biggest fitness event of the year hitting the Birmingham NEC this May 13th – 15th with over 90,000 fitness enthusiasts set to attend. It’s safe to say that I’m more than a little excited to celebrate this inspiring event amongst worldwide industry professionals and average Joe’s alike; you see you don’t have to be a fitness junkie to get involved, you don’t even have to know your dumbbells from your barbells or own a gym pass because the event is open to all ages and abilities with the aim to promote fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle – scroll down to enter my free PROTEIN GIVEAWAY!
So my first experience of BodyPowerExpo happened accidentally last year when I was attending the Baby Show as a busy single mother and suddenly noticed swarms of energetic, happy and health-conscious gym goers walking to the exhibition hall opposite. Naturally I was intrigued and couldn’t resist popping my nose in as I wandered around in jeans and Converse looking more scrawny/mumsy than muscular in comparison, but it was the most motivational afternoon of my life that twelve months on has driven me to take my personal training exams in just two days time and I’ve booked a weekend ticket for this years exhibition to celebrate!
BodyPowerExpo is such a positive and uplifting event that welcomes everyone and has a wealth of tips, help, advice, samples, equipment and clothing to suit your every fitness need whether you’re a total beginner or seasoned professional. Packed with nutritional advisors, personal trainers, brands and celebrity athletes from across the globe it is the epitome of health and fitness all under one roof and rather than the testosterone-fuelled bravado and competitive air that I would have expected from a stereotypical muscle gym it’s more of a family welcome, a helping hand up and being a part of a team which I love.
Here I catch up with fitness guru and inspirational wonder-woman Beth Trueman for a quick chat in the build up to the big day.
Tracy: “Hi Beth, welcome and thank you for joining me today, would you like to introduce yourself?”
Beth: “Hi Tracy, my name is Beth, I’m a 22 year old personal trainer, online health and fitness coach and fitness blogger currently living in Leeds.”
Tracy: “Wow, you sound busy! So what first got you into fitness and why is it important to you?”
Beth: “I have always been into sport and I was a runner when I was younger. Of course, when you go to university everything kind of slipped up and I’d find myself eating pizza every night, drinking way too much alcohol and not exercising enough. I had gone from a naturally quite thin body composition to overweight, with quite a bit of fat mass on me. I’d estimate I was at least 30-35% body fat and I was so unhappy with the way I looked.”
“It wasn’t until I was under investigation a couple of years back for stomach bloating and other gastrointestinal issues that I really sat back and evaluated my health. Sometimes illness can be a blessing in disguise, and make you realise how short life can be and how important it is to look after your body by leading a healthy lifestyle. So I changed my diet up on doctors recommendations to a low FODMAP diet which basically restricts some sugars in carbohydrates that can cause irritation to people with similar symptoms to me. When I began, I couldn’t seem to find much information out there in a format that was easy to digest – so I began my blog. And it kind of just went from there. I was blogging and making recipes that fit my new dietary requirements, and the response I got on my blog was great. I started exercising more, and was a typical cardio bunny until my boyfriend dragged me into the weights section of a gym and thats when I really found my passion and I’ve been lifting ever since.”
“I dropped down to about 16% body fat in the summer of last year, and then I’ve just started my cut for this year after a 7 month bulk where I focused on building some more lean muscle mass. I study Sport and Exercise Science, so I’m really into the scientific side of health and fitness and how to adequately fuel our body for optimal body composition and strength in the gym.”
Tracy: “Wow, I really wasn’t expecting to hear that, what a journey you’ve been on at such a young age but you seem all the more stronger and happier for it. How often do you train nowadays?”
Beth: “I train 5 – 6 times per week, depending upon my health. I still struggle with my stomach, but I manage the best that I can and take time away if my body needs it. Generally I will train legs twice a week – one being a heavy strength focused session with maximal weight and lower rep ranges, and one being a moderate weight session with generally 8 – 12 reps and plenty of volume. I also train back/biceps, shoulders/chest/triceps and then glutes/hamstrings either once or twice depending on how many days I train that week. These are all intense, moderate/heavy weight sessions.”
Tracy: “What a wonder woman! So what will you be doing at this year’s BodyPower Expo?”
Beth: “I’ll be around and about all weekend, as I’m not going to be on a stand. But I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone there and getting to talk to some of my clients and subscribers. Its a really amazing feeling to be able to engage and speak face to face with people who have followed my journey and have the same health and fitness mindset as me. I always come away so motivated and inspired after the expos!”
Tracy: “That sounds ideal, it’s great to hear that you interact with your following and have such a positive outlook to motivate and inspire others. Now let’s get onto the real nitty-gritty, talk me through a typical rest day!”
Beth: “So on my rest days I try to catch up on a little sleep, as my lifestyle is quite hectic. I am finishing my university degree, managing my health condition, running my own business and then training on top of that. So its nice to just chill once in a while! I like to go for a walk outdoors, and get my yoga in still though as I hate being inactive.”
Tracy: “I think I need a nap just at the thought of all that! There was me thinking you’d confess to stuffing your face with pizza and take-outs with a DVD but you seem far more dedicated to keeping active and enjoying the outdoors, it sounds like a great lifestyle and nice balance. What are your short, medium and long term fitness goals then?”
Beth: “My short term goal is dropping my body fat percentage down again, I’m roughly sitting just above 20% now and I comfortably sit and sustain around 17-18% body fat. My medium term goal is to increase my strength in my compound lifts such as squat, clean and jerk and deadlifts. Along with developping and expand my business and release my Ebook so that I can help a bigger scale of people achieve a healthy balance lifestyle that is sustainable and effective. My long term goal is to grow my youtube channel, and continue to share my experiences, my workouts, my recipes and my scientific knowledge in the hope of motivating and helping as many people as possible.”
Tracy: “Those sound like some pretty impressive goals and I’m sure you’ll reach them all, you have such a great outlook on life and I love how you think of others. Do you have any advice for people reading this and looking to get fit?”
Beth: “Consistency is always key when it comes to getting fit. I’d always advise someone to have a plan in place for their workouts, and set themselves realistic time framed goals to work towards. Direction will help with motivation to continue, and a way to measure their progress. But also, nutritional intakes are JUST if not more important than what we do in the gym. I’m a big advocate of balance and moderation in order to make a healthy balanced lifestyle sustainable. So I would always advise people to make simple healthy swaps to start with and look at increasing fluid intake. Eating whole foods, prepared from scratch is one of the best ways to fuel your body and can make all the difference when it comes to seeing results.”
Tracy: “That’s my sentiment exactly, as a busy vegan mum food is essential to me and my family and eating something nutritious and fresh is far more uplifting than convenience foods. What are some of your favourite supplements/brands/sportswear that you really couldn’t live without?”
Beth: “My favourite go to supplements at the minute are a whey isolate protein powder, as its lower in lactose so easier for my stomach. I’m using a Scitech nutrition chocolate coconut at the moment which taste incredible, but I also love the optimum nutrition gold standard whey in pretty much all the flavours and the myprotein salted caramel whey. I also take BCAAs, creatine, glutamine and leucine daily and then a multivitamin and fish oil. I also like to take a pre workout for when I’m particularly tired, and my favourite has to be the optimum nutrition platinum pre and Cellucor C4 or Super HD.”
“Gym wear wise I do think its important to feel confident and also comfortable in the gym. I’ve seen a lot of comments recently about people who make ‘too much effort’ for the gym by wearing nice gym clothes. But I believe that whatever makes that individual feel confident to go in and do an amazing workout shouldn’t be discouraged. Personally I wear a lot of Nike and Gymshark clothing because its not heavily branded but is comfortable and attractive. And its squat proof, thats a BIG must when i’m shopping for gym clothes.”
Tracy: “I feel your pain there with the squats, nobody has time for see-through leggings and now you’ve got me drooling over all of those delicious shakes they sound fab! Who would you say really inspires you in fitness?”
Beth: “Everyone on a fitness journey inspires me to work hard, and continue towards my goals. Its like one big family, and its great to see everyone supporting and motivating each other and showing that nothing is impossible. Theres also a lot of athletes and bodybuilders that I look up to such as Heidi Somers, Dana Linn Bailey, Oksana Grishina, Zana Van Dijk, Steve Cook, Callam Von Moger etc. But one person in particular that inspires me is Zoe Wright, who is an amazingly strong, motivated and sweet girl who suffers with IBD, but despite all that competes as a figure competitor. She proves that anything is possible, and is proof that we as women should stop feeling like we should fit into or be defined by what society deems to be female body ‘norms’.”
Tracy: “Wow, very powerful words there Beth and so refreshing to hear. But with your busy lifestyle how do you manage to stay motivated?”
Beth: “I track my progress and set realistic regular goals. I set myself weekly targets, and go off how I look and measure up rather than any numbers on a scale which mentally keeps me stronger. I think its also really important that if you are wanting to get into fitness, you do it for YOU and to achieve YOUR goals, not because of anyone or anything else. That is when your motivation will be sustainable, and the drive to achieve will come from internal sources.”
Tracy: “Very sound words of advice and I’m sure that will resonate within us all. What plans do you have for 2016?”
Beth: “2016 is going to be pretty hectic, I’m finishing my degree and then I’ll be focusing on making some more exciting expansions with my business.”
Tracy: “I’m sure you’ll have an explosive year! Where can we see more of you?”
Tracy: “Thanks for the great advice Beth, I’m really looking forward to seeing you at BPE16 and wish you all the best with your degree!”
BodyPowerExpo 2016 is taking place at the Birmingham NEC Arena from Friday 13th May – Sunday 15th May with tickets available daily, for the weekend or all three days ranging from standard to VIP and access all areas; I’ll be there for the weekend and welcome you all to come and say hi if you see me! Good luck on your fitness journey and here’s hoping many more will begin.
BodyPowerExpo have very kindly teamed up with Dr Zak’s to provide this delicious protein bundle for one very lucky reader including high-protein bread, high-protein caramel peanut butter and high-protein pasta, simply enter the free rafflecopter below for your chance to win – worldwide entrants accepted, good luck!