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girls who squat

Louise is training for her first bikini competition using her own research. Learn how - PumpUp Success Stories

When Louise began her journey on PumpUp, became inspired to tackle one of the biggest challenges she’s ever faced: to enter in her very first bikini competition using her own methods and research. Her truly admirable story and the dedication that she devotes to her craft never fails to inspire PumpUp’s million-member community on a very regular basis. 

Never one to be sedentary, Louise described herself as an intermittently active person throughout her whole life. One crucial obstacle was holding her back. “I had very little knowledge of nutrition and no goal in mind other than to stay healthy,” she mentioned. In an average day prior to PumpUp, she would eat very little and rarely breakfast—just cereal and the dinners that were available to her at home. Hydration was also the last thing on Louise’s busy mind. “I rarely drank enough…maybe a glass a day,” she admitted. “If I would have continued on that road there would have been major negative health repercussions in my later life.”  As a university student, Louise would practice cheerleading and dance once a week. Excessive drinking would, however, negate those workouts.

Since Louise was introduced to PumpUp in February 2014, she leveraged the community as a knowledge hub for health and fitness. “Everyone on PumpUp is very positive—there is a surge of energy that is very motivating,” she insisted. “I like that people ask questions and give support. I began my journey by answering peoples’ questions and adding photos with small facts. I like to spread knowledge.” The more engagement she received from the community, the more her thirst for knowledge about health and fitness intensified. “I found that many have been misled by fad diets from magazines and the media,” she continued. “I wanted to know facts.” 

Louise amassed an extensive collection of science-based books and  effectively placed herself at the center of her own ‘human trial’, experimenting with exercises, nutrition, and supplementation and using PumpUp to document everything. “Immediately I discovered that the body is a machine and if you fuel it efficiently, you will reap the benefits,” she concluded. “My energy levels were improving, I slept better, and my memory was almost at 90 percent—that’s not like me at all. I loved the feeling and that’s when wellness became a lifestyle choice.”

Over this period of time, Louise gathered a wealth of support from the PumpUp community and embraced the encouragement she received from her followers. Eventually, Louise became inspired to enter in her very first bikini fitness competition. “I came across a few people on PumpUp who competed in body building and fitness shows. I began researching and I knew straight away that it was what I wanted to do,” she recounted. “I picked the competition I wanted to enter and began to search for methods to achieve my goal.  Now I’m working backwards from my competition date.” Louise is completing the entire process without a coach, learning as she progresses. “It’s been physically, socially, and mentally challenging but my PumpUp followers have always been there to encourage me when I am feeling unmotivated or alone,” she said earnestly. “It might sound cliché, but they have pumped me up when I felt deflated (pun intended).”

A journey isn’t really a journey without obstacles or speed bumps. Louise is only human. “I have had times when I wanted to eat every sugar-contained item in my house,” she professed. “When I do, I raid the cupboard—and of course I feel guilty. I confessed about it on PumpUp and everyone was very supportive. My journey has not been straightforward; but rather like hiking up a mountain. I know that when I get to the top, I did everything I could to be my best. That will be my reward.” Her dedication to her goal is admirable in every way, and she keeps sane by calculating a healthy balance that works for her—even if it means waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise, or turning down a social event every now and then to make sure that she sticks to her training schedule.

She has succinct and wise words for others who are just beginning their fitness journey or learning to love themselves. “Everyone is different and different things work for different people: there are so many individual factors that can impact a ‘healthy lifestyle’,” she advised. “Big changes take time. Start small and then develop.”

After her competition, Louise hopes to communicate with others more on PumpUp and aspires to assist them on their journey. “I already obtain all of the support and encouragement I need from PumpUp,” she affirmed. “Whether it is prep for a competition or even just to improve their healthy lifestyles, I want to help others by spreading the knowledge that I obtained.  One day I may even become a sponsored athlete.”  

Biggest Motivation

“Michelle Lewin. She was the first bikini competitor I discovered. Her physique inspired my journey.”

Favourite eats

“ I adore banana and peanut butter protein pancakes.

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 scoop of your favourite flavoured protein powder (I use peanut butter Quest powder)

Use a non-stick pan on a low heat. Mix all the ingredients together, don’t mash the banana too much (because it’s nice when you taste a piece in the pancake). Then pan fry like a normal pancake, when the base is solid and moves around the pan it is ready to flip over.”

Motivational Mantra

“Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up”—Rocky Balboa

Favourite Exercise

I love to train my legs, the strength has developed so quickly. I strength-train four times a week. I love compound exercises, my favorites are Squats and Renegade rows. However, I do like to experiment with new exercises. Every session I try at least one new exercise, usually I feel it the next day. My last session I tried curtsy lunges with a barbell…great for the glutes.”

Fun Fact About Louise

“Although I do not use my qualification, I am actually a qualified fitness instructor.”

Follow Louise on PumpUp @louiseusa101 and keep her pumped as she strives to reach her goal!

You up for a squat challenge?

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This is a post by PumpUp member @cicilovinthis

Social media is an incredibly powerful medium for motivation. I sat down one day and thought to myself, “How can I help motivate people like me? People who want to become healthier versions of themselves?”

This is how I came up with my social media challenge: one where everyone can help you reach your goal. It all starts with this picture. You post it to any social media site. Wait a couple days to ensure you get as much likes as possible.

Then you post a video to YouTube doing the amount of squats challenged. Also tag others in the video to do this challenge. This is a great way to test yourself and others. Make a community of support and motivation just like the pumpupapp community! 

I hope that this challenge is fulfilling for you, both physically and mentally.

Nobody kicks more butt than April and we mean it. Learn all the reasons why- PumpUp Success Stories

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PumpUp has its very own #liftqueen and her name is April (@uneekapril is her PumpUp superhero alias, of course). She’s happy, healthy, extremely body positive, and lifts heavy. “I do cardio because I have to, but I lift because I love to,” she confessed. Learn about her incredible journey to recovery from an extreme leg injury and her perfect advice for those looking to lead healthier lifestyles in 2015.

When April broke her tibia, fractured her fibula, and dislocated her ankle in 2009, this event proved to be one the most challenging mental tests of her entire life. “I was completely dependent on others for many months,” she lamented. “I was incapable of doing things on my own, going places, and needed help out of the bathtub every morning.” The feeling of hopelessness consumed her, as acute pain accompanied her every action during the healing process (both during and after physical therapy). “I could feel depression overcoming me,” she recounted. “I wanted to walk again. Be strong again, Hike again. After a year of wearing a cast, then a boot, on crutches, physical therapy, then home exercises, I started to improve.” After the pain began to subside, April was determined to get her lost muscle, flexibility, balance, and mobility back. In the process, she became better and stronger than ever before, both mentally and physically. “I’m stronger than I’ve been my whole life,” she admitted. “Me and my titanium-filled transformer leg.”

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Although high school represented a turbulent point in April’s life, she managed to move above and beyond her personal obstacles through the help of exercise and tons of encouragement. “I used to be a size 12,” she further explained. “I felt fat and depressed and wore baggy clothes to cover up myself.” These insecurities slowly melted away when April made the decision to be healthy in college, regardless of her size. She slowly began to incorporate more physical activity into her schedule by lifting weights and hiking. “I LOVED the feeling that lifting gave me, not to mention the tight muscles that I developed,” she stressed. When April began to lift weights with her friend Jeremy in 2002, he taught her everything she needed to know about proper technique and form. This elevated her passion for healthy active living to the next level. “I’m very fortunate to have had some wonderfully knowledgeable people to grace my life…they helped change my life,” she admitted.

Nobody ever messes around with April’s body-positive image. “I got down to a size 8 and I decided that I was healthy and therefore happy,” she affirmed. “I didn’t care what people thought about my big legs or my big butt. If they didn’t like my shape, they could eff-off. I’m proud of my shape and my strength…not to mention my overall health.” She pays attention to the queues that her body gives her and strives to eat healthy, whole foods. This helps her to keep everything in moderation: April knows when to load up on carbs and when to increase her protein intake. For this reason, she encourages others to do intensive research about what is best for their own bodies. “Everyone is different, so find what works for you,” she counselled.

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April is a strong advocate of immersing oneself in a community of healthy and like-minded individuals (like PumpUp!). “Find a mentor that you trust and stay away from unhealthy people,” she emphasized. “I have found that they can be like cancer—they seem to poison people around them. Find someone you want to ‘be’ and emulate them.” She also encourages others to hold themselves accountable and to eliminate excuses—patience is the greatest virtue for April. “Change takes time, so try hard to stay dedicated,” she explained. “Your body is capable of amazing things: push it! Training is all mental—push yourself through those mental walls and you will surprise yourself!”

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With each and every post, April strives to motivate at least one person on PumpUp to stay on track. She’s been a member of the app since July 2014, after @winnoble convinced her that PumpUp would be a great community for her. His intuition was right in every single way. “I hoped to meet some neat people with similar goals and looked for a community where motivation and encouragement flowed effortlessly in both directions,” she elaborated. “I can say that I’ve definitely found that..and more! I’ve met the most amazing people on here who have truly become my friends: @bellsetters, @mattgmi, @humbleman, and @jerrydonwheeler, just to name a few.” April actually met up with @jerrydonwheeler and trained with him on her birthday! “It was an honour,” she professed. “I hope there are many more PumpUp members who happen to pass by Little Rock, AR and want to lift with me!”

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Biggest Motivation

“My PumpUp family definitely motives me.  I absolutely motivate myself!  My ultimate goal (although not sure it’s attainable) is to have a body like P!NK.  Saw her in concert, saw how strong she was, and decided I wanted that.”

Favourite eats

“I drink water with lemon, lime or both everyday throughout my workday.  My favorite treat is pomegranates, which I have to make myself earn. “

Motivational Mantra

“Just because I’m a girl, doesn’t mean I have to act like one” – Me

 “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Emerson

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Fun Fact About April

“I am a tomboy completely.  I’m tough, I hate shopping, I don’t paint my nails, I won’t wear a dress, and I’d rather be cutting wood with my dad than being pampered at a spa.”

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Great squats! #MyResolution Day 18: PumpUp’s best squats

  • @catherinegrey’s adorable picture wins the challenge of the day! A little furry companion makes squats 10x more enjoyable
  • @limitlesstyle’s kettle bell squats up the ante with added resistance (you’ll feel it)
  • @alexawinter’s outdoor squat is beautiful! (Helps when you have a mountain in your backyard, right?)
  • @lorrin introduced PumpUp to her new fuzzy friend! (Can you tell that we like animals? Because we love animals)
  • khathreehna demonstrates that a couple who squats together, stays together

Thanks for squatting, PumpUp! Check out our full #MyResolution photo challenge here. 

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When in doubt, squat it out! What’s the most awesome squat variation you can think of? Share a photo about it on PumpUp for a chance to win some swag! We love love love PumpUp member @doogiebear’s squat outdoors! Good luck!

Full challenge here: http://blog.pumpup.co/tagged/challenge

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Brace yourselves. Wall-sits are coming. See how long you can do it for and share a photo of yourself performing the exercise! Bonus? Reblog to challenge your followers to do a wall-sit with you and see who can hold it for longer! PumpUp member bangerz10 loves to pass the time during her #wallsit by singing her favourite song. She adds weight when she can!
Check out the FULL challenge here: http://blog.pumpup.co/tagged/challenge

Ever owned pants that you've always wanted to fit into again? Learn how Katie did so in 2014 - PumpUp Success Story

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Never to be seen without her clever workout shirts (“Gundalf the Grey”, anybody?), her fantastic smile, and her positive attitude, @KatieLovesFitness takes the PumpUp spotlight today with an incredibly inspiring story about how she was able to achieve more than she could ever have hoped for in 2014 with the support of the PumpUp community. 

There’s a song that muses about how sometimes, life gets in the way of ‘living’. This rang true for Katie before she began her journey with the PumpUp. Although her lifestyle had always been healthy and active in general, stress and pressure from college have made it very difficult for her to remain healthy and active. “Last semester, I studied abroad in Germany. That’s when I really lost it with my weight,” she explained. “I ate whatever I wanted and exercised very little. It’s easy to get off track—once you start to gain weight and continue to gain weight, it’s hard to stop.”

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With one snap decision and a lot of determination, Katie managed to get back into the rhythm of leading a holistically healthy routine with the help of the PumpUp community. “It’s never too late to set a new goal or to dream a new dream, and this summer I really decided to start living a healthy lifestyle again,” she elaborated. “PumpUp helped me stay on track so much. If I hadn’t been taking pictures along the way, I probably would have never noticed any change. I think this was my biggest problem in the past.”  Her resolution for the end of 2014 was specific and tangible: to fit into a specific pair of jeans that she wasn’t able to wear in nearly 4 years. “Now they’re getting big—I honestly didn’t think my body could be smaller than that,” Katie confessed. “I’m being healthy and that’s all that really matters to me.” 2014 was a major year of progress for her and we can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store. Katie began to lift heavier weights towards the end of December and even managed to beat her personal record—clocking in a squat of over 100 lbs.

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Katie’s 15-pound weight loss is a brush stroke in the broader scheme of her transformation. She is most thrilled by the happiness and renewed sense of confidence that she gained with the support of her friends on PumpUp. “I am beyond grateful for this app and fitness community,” Katie insisted. “[Everybody] is so encouraging that it makes me keep trying to strive for more. I want to inspire people, and I would not be able to do so as directly without PumpUp.” 

She emphasizes how being part of PumpUp really is a team effort. “Whenever I don’t feel like exercising or eating healthy, I check PumpUp to see how everybody else in the community is doing and how they are fighting against their struggles,” she said. “This motivates me to keep going because I feel like I’m not alone in this struggle.” Katie underscores important, albeit difficult, it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and she’s glad to have other people on the app who understand her perspective wholeheartedly.  

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Favourite Healthy Snack

Non-fat Greek yogurt with vanilla!”

Motivational Mantra

I don’t train every day because I hate my body. I do it because I love my body.”

Fun Fact about Katie

I speak English and some German!” 

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Katie truly is a PumpUp success story! Follow her squatting and weightlifting adventures on the PumpUp app @katielovesfitness! 

Daisy got the body she always dreamed about with one simple New Year's resolution

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Fitness has always been Daisy (@daisymuscles)’s passion. When she purchased her first gym membership 4 years ago, however, she was a self-professed ‘rookie’. “I was so into ‘working out’ but I didn’t know what was right for my body,” she explained. "I only did cardio and some weight machines, but my nutrition was bad. I’d eat 2-3 times a day and I wouldn’t eat ‘clean’." 

Years went by and though Daisy was fit, in her eyes she still seemed too skinny. “It was very depressing to see no progress,” she lamented. "One of my goals was to have thick and toned legs, as well as a slim waist." Frustrated by this conundrum, Daisy resolved to stop going to the gym in 2013, eating much more without incorporating exercise back into her routine. "Of course, it didn’t work out," she confessed. “I did gain weight, but it was all fat. That was even more depressing. I went from skinny to fat, and all I really wanted was to look fit.”

At the end of 2013, Daisy challenged herself with a New Year’s Resolution: to transform her body into the body that she always dreamed about. She took charge of her transformation with full force. "I asked around for help and advice, followed a lot of fitness accounts on Instagram, and began my journey with PumpUp," she mentioned. "It is really inspiring to see other peoples’ transformations and it’s reassuring to receive so much feedback from other PumpUp members. We are all a true fit fam."

When she first started out, nutrition was the hardest for Daisy to get ‘right’. “I began to body build and was advised to eat 6 times a day, all in small portions,” she explained. “This was something I never had to do before! I had to do a lot of research about what to eat, what kind of carbs, protein, and fats are good for my body, etc.”

Needless to say, Daisy’s one New Year’s resolution changed her life. Body building was at first introduced to her by one of her brothers. She quickly fell in love with the concept of giving time and attention to each section of her body in order to build muscle. “That’s why I embraced this lifestyle. My progress is my motivation,” she enthused. "Weights changed my body and gave me the definition of muscle that I always dreamed about."

Her rigorous schedule manifests in more confidence than she’s ever had in her whole life. Here’s a peak at Daisy’s routine: she performs cardio 1-2 times a week and does weight training 5 days a week. "After years of struggling to have a fit body, I’m finally seeing progress and I’m in the best stage of my life," she professed. “I’m inspired by my own progress as well as PumpUp members and fitness instagram accounts. I challenge everybody to not give up on their dream bodies. No matter how much time it takes, no matter how many struggles, regardless of the circumstances: just do it.” Daisy successfully achieved her 2014 New Year’s resolution. She’s ending it on a happy note and is motivated to keep striving for the best version of herself in 2015. 

Marieta is basically PumpUp's guardian angel - PumpUp Spotlight Series

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@_Marieta_ is one of the most wonderfully inspiring and positive members to have ever joined the PumpUp community. Like a guardian angel watching over the PumpUp universe, Marieta continues to support and encourage other members despite not being able to post as frequently as she used to. Similar to our other terrific spotlight members, she has touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of others since she became a part of the community in May 2014. “I joined to help myself with personal workouts, and to gain help and support,” she explained. “Now it feels like I found my second family.”

Despite the fact that Marieta had never been overweight nor underweight, she was nevertheless struggling with eating healthfully and lacked the motivation to exercise as often as she would have liked to. “I’d only dance once a week—that was it for my workouts,” she elaborated. “Though I am a generally positive person, I lost almost all of the energy that I used to have within the span of a year. I would catch myself feeling sad or aggressive for no reason.”

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Everything changed when she found the motivation that she needed on PumpUp. “When I saw all of the different people on PumpUp working hard at school, at work, at home (especially the amazing fit-moms on the app) who still found the time and energy to squeeze workouts into their crazy schedule and to cook healthy food, it changed everything,” she confessed.  “This community and its beautiful members brought me back to life.”

She relies on a stream of constant and daily inspiration thanks to PumpUp members such as @nystrongest, @_harleyjade_, @hotchilipepper, and @kathreena. “It was a big surprise for me when I realized that everybody on PumpUp could share their progress with each other,” she revealed. “The best part of it is that no matter how you look, people will support you and give you tons of motivational words and healthy tips.”

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For those looking to lead a more active lifestyle, she advises that positivity is best way to stay committed. “You can always find a million reasons and decide to NOT do something, and it always seems impossible until you find one tiny reason to say yes,”she insists. “Find this reason, believe in it, believe in yourself, and start working. You and only you are responsible for your happiness. Your mood should not depend on the weather, nor on other people who weren’t nice to you.”

Despite not being able to post as often, Marieta is constantly on the app for her daily dose of motivation. “If mothers who work 6 days a week can do it, and if people who have been through tough surgeries can do it, then you can do it too,” she affirmed. “Don’t let excuses hold you back. That’s what I continue to tell myself every single day. I could never imagine that there were so many positive, kind, and beautiful people in this world, and PumpUp just puts all of them in one place! Couldn’t be more inspiring!”
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Motivational Mantra
“Life is too short to spend it on sadness and negativity. Love your family and friends, love yourself. Live a full life. Carpe diem - seize the day. That’s what my tattoo says!”

Favourite Exercises
“Squats and lunges with a barbell, leg raises, donkey kicks, hip raises and the plank of course. With these ones you can really tone up your body.”

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Favourite meal

“I love bananas (I could eat them all day long)! I also love quinoa, tomatoes, spicy food and meat.”

Marieta’s Protein-Packed Mixed Berry Smoothie

“Yogurt, 2 bananas 1 cup of frozen berries, 1tbsp of pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp peanut butter.
One day I hope to have my own small café with delicious healthy food and drinks!”

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Keep track of Marieta and she’ll keep you motivated on PumpUp @_marieta_ and on Instagram @marietamulata

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Never skip leg day again

Who says leg day has to be a chore? Here are two of PumpUp member @jatie’s favourite leg and butt exercises. 

  • 180 Jump Squats
  • Wide Squat Leg Lifts

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