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Interview with Rachel Guy: Elite Female Coach & Fitness Model21/02/2017
Rachel Guy is one of Australia’s and the UK’s most successful female personal coach’s.
With well over a decade of experience consulting women all over the world in fat loss, healthy eating and personal development, Rachel’s rise to the top of the health and fitness industry is nothing short of impressive.
We caught up with Rachel, who is also a qualified Physiotherapist, to discuss her career in fitness, training and nutrition as well as some of the problems that hold a lot of people back in reaching their goals.
Hi Rachel, appreciate you joining us today.
For anyone who is not familiar with you, could you give our readers a brief introduction?
My name is Rachel Guy and I’m an Elite Female Coach and Fitness Model.
I started my career as a Physiotherapist where I moved to Sydney, Australia when I was 22 years old and decided to go back to University for a Postgraduate Degree in Sport Science.
I managed to build my own health and fitness business called Athletic Fox which is centred online around fat loss, training and nutrition for women.
After spending 10 years in Sydney, I moved back to London, England where I also run Athletic Fox.
In Chase Life, we work with successful women who have hidden struggles with food, self-control and the fear of not being good enough.
We cover eating disorders, perfectionism, anxiety and generally other issues behind why someone is unable to achieve a healthy body goal.
How did you get involved with fitness and modelling? What was, or still is, your biggest inspiration?
I started lifting weights at the age of 13 and always played sports at school.
Thus, fitness has always been a part of my life.
My parents were very active as I was growing up and it naturally brushed up against me.
From the age of 16 or 17, I wanted to look like the Oxygen Cover Girls. Not one in particular – but I wanted the overall healthy, toned and lean physique.
For me, that was my ultimate goal and inspiration. To one day be on the cover of Oxygen Magazine.
In 2015, I was selected to feature on the front cover of the magazine – 10 years after I had set my intentions and worked my ass off for it!
How did the idea of Athletic Fox and Chase Life come about? Has it always been your ambition to work on your own terms?
Athletic Fox was founded in 2011 but I had been self employed since I arrived in Sydney in 2008.
I was a fully booked trainer and wanted to help more women.
I began Fox Camp which was sort of like a boot camp and then the demand started to grow overseas.
From there, I set up and built the Athletic Fox Blueprint which is my female fat loss membership site which launched in early 2014.
It still runs strong today, but it has had 3 complete rebuilds since launch, and it’s awesome to be able to help women all over the world with their training and nutrition.
Chase Life was founded as a result of a massive gap in the market where we have BIG problems in society with eating disorders, low self esteem, relationship and career issues and the feeling of not being good enough.
As a trainer, I was not equipped to deal with these huge mindset issues, but my husband, David, was.
So we decided to combine our skills since most women who are struggling with these issues see fat loss as the solution.
Fat loss is only a small part of a much bigger picture.
Did I always want to work on my terms?
I didn’t last long being employed as a Physiotherapist, and I later learned that I was completely unemployable either way!
Working for yourself does not come without its risks as well as an inevitably high workload.
If you are not self-driven, then working for yourself is definitely not for you.
I work on my terms, make my own rules and follow my own path – but it’s very risky and stressful.
I find it interesting that people always think that the grass is greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it!
How do you balance working out and staying in shape with the rigours of being married, running your own online fitness business(es) and travelling around the world?
It’s actually so much easier when you are also married to your business partner!
David and I have totally aligned goals and work as a solid team.
Work time is work time, down time is down time.
How do I balance it?
Well, first of all, there is no such thing as work life balance, only “priorities and execution” and the ability to say NO.
I construct an annual plan every December, break that down into quarterly sections and then break those quarterly sections down into weekly tasks.
State management is critical.
A few of the biggest obstacles to people’s success whether in business or a body transformation is stress, being overwhelmed and over-analysing every little detail. This leads to failing to execute on any task or goal.
Planning and scheduling is critical as well as getting your priorities in order.
Training and nutrition MUST be a part of a life, not just shoehorned into a terribly chaotic lifestyle.
So many people are too preoccupied “busy being busy” that they miss out on a lot of things getting done properly.
This gets you no where and is usually why people get stuck.
Whose physique(s) do you admire the most in the fitness industry and why?
There are a lot of great physiques in the industry but I tend to look beyond that.
If someone has a great physique but they struggle with an eating disorder and their very existence and significance in life is tied up in how “shredded” they are, that’s just not admirable.
I am more inspired by those who maintain a great body all year round, follow a good lifestyle and achieve balance in other areas of life.
Having amassed such popularity on and offline, your own physique is continually in demand. How do you keep on top of it? What does your current training routine look like?
Firstly, a lifetime of training.
I started lifting at 13 years old and now I am 33.
My body is not the result of a 12 week or 12 month program. I have always had a trainer as well as mentors and I believe this is essential.
I lift 4-5 days a week and I walk between 10,000-15,000 steps daily.
I train my glutes, hamstring and deltoids 3 times a week followed by back twice a week.
Now that I am an “old bird” I have to incorporate a lot of hip and shoulder rehab to focus on all the imbalances I created over the years of training like a demon with massive volume.
For me, every rep counts.
I no longer chase the weight and volume, rather the feeling.
I take a lighter weight and make it as hard as I can.
What is your favourite and least favourite body parts to train and why?
My favourite body part to train is shoulders because I love the pump and watching them grow.
My least favourite is my hips for rehab. It is never ending, boring and I have to concentrate hard!
How would you describe your diet? Are you quite strict or do you allow some cheat foods in places?
One of the biggest problems I see as a coach is people labeling foods as either good, bad, clean or a cheat.
This labeling leads to a good/bad day mentality commonly heard through the words,
“I will start my diet on Monday”.
It gets worse:
Labeling of foods carries a self-sabotaging perception particularly around those foods which you know aren’t that beneficial which can promote feelings of guilt.
“I ate a bad/cheat food so therefore I am a bad person”.
For me, you are not on track with your goals unless you are also incorporating your favourite foods.
I am very relaxed with my diet.
No calories or macros ever get tracked. I select healthy nutritious meals to suit my current training needs consisting of white rice, potatoes, chocolate, bread and wine.
My clients are taught how to do this and often wave goodbye to obsessive dieting practices.
I am, however, very strict on some food groups such as FODMAPS as I have a complex case of IBS (since I was 11 or 12) and I am under the care of a specialist.
What supplements do you currently take? What has made the biggest difference in terms of optimising your performance or results?
Usually multivitamins consisting of Vitamin D, Magnesium and Zinc and nothing else.
These are taken for health reasons. I do not take any performance supplements or protein powder due to my gut issues.
What are some of your best tips on nutrition, supplementation and training you could offer someone who wants to look good?
For nutrition, you have to find a system that works long-term and does not cut out entire food groups like carbs.
You do not need to eat 6 times a day or weigh your grains of rice to get a healthy lean body.
Supplements should be kept simple with a multivitamin as a bare minimum.
In terms of training, lifting weights is key.
Lifting three to four times a week followed by some form of cardio is important for your overall health.
We are living in an “active sedentary” era – just become more active!
You must look at the rest of your life outside of all this.
If you are unable to manage your stress, anxiety or worry and let others dictate how you feel, this is where weight loss really begins and ends.
Calories in versus calories out is just a small fraction of the bigger picture (but is still an important one).
Having personally and virtually coached thousands of women around the world, what is the biggest obstacle you see that is faced by many? How do you get them to overcome this?
As already mentioned, issues with controlling food intake, feeling overwhelmed, having a monkey mind and the fear of not being good enough.
These are big problems which often require professional intervention which is exactly what David and I deal with in Chase Life.
Women follow absurdly unsustainable dieting practices and training routines which leads to chronic exhaustion and other issues.
This was one of the reasons for me to put together the Athletic Fox Blueprint to provide healthy and sustainable fat loss nutrition and training programs.
Finally, what advice would you give to our female readers who may have hesitations towards lifting weights, becoming strong or even pursuing a career in the fitness industry?
Lifting weights is an essential part of a body transformation and an absolute necessity for health as we age.
Most women now understand that weights will not make them bulky.
A shitty mindset, combined with a lack of clarity, poor stress management, minimal sleep and bad food choices will.
I believe most women want to lift but are not able to access the resources to teach them and they are afraid of stepping into the weights room.
Let me share a secret with you ladies:
Most men have NO IDEA what they are doing in the weights room. Those that do, nonetheless, would willingly support and help you if you asked!
My biggest piece of advice would be to find a coach. I have been lifting nearly 20 years and I still have a trainer. Even my trainer has a trainer.
You are never experienced enough not to seek the advice from a mentor.
More from Rachel Guy
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Has Rachel Guy inspired you? What other female athletes would you like to see get interviewed?
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