Melanie Renwick – Member Spotlight


How long have you been attending classes at Southwest Strength? I started at SWS in August 2016.

Describe your first class/experience you had at Southwest Strength? (Nervous, experience, what were your thinking?)
I was very nervous but so was the rest of the group I started with.  I knew some locals that had been going to SWS regularly for a while so I could see that committing to regular classes I would see good results.  I was ready for a change in my usual exercise routine and Nathan was very friendly and encouraging during my phone interview prior to starting classes.

Describe some of the progress you have made the last few years?  

Well I have come literally leaps and bounds since first starting out.  We still like to laugh about how I used to let go of the bar during back squats if the bar was heavy.  With Sara’s patient coaching I have been able to conquer many firsts like rope climbing, box jumps, toes to bar, running (much more than 200m), wall balls, med ball cleans, skipping and lots of barbell techniques. There is nothing I won’t at least try now whereas before starting I never even thought of doing gymnastic or barbell movements.

What motivates you to be so consistent, 4-5 days of training a week the last 2 years!?

 I still have to remind myself that I started over two years ago coming a few days a week.  Talking with other members that I saw making great progress I decided I should commit to 5 days and I saw great results in my improved mobility and general health.  There are weeks I don’t get all five but even when I am not at the gym I am doing something at home or while travelling for work.  My workouts help clear my head so I can be better at all aspects of life outside the gym!

What are some of your favourite movements?  

I enjoy barbell, running, rowing, Ski Erg.  I know it’s kind of a wishy washy answer but really I like everyday at the gym.  Even the really hard test days I enjoy tracking my progress compared to how I did on similar tests prior.

Least favourite?

 The Air Bike, it is truly the devil! It burns my knees and lungs.  But I still do it and have seen lots of improvement compared to when I started and could hardly hold 40 rpm.

What are your current fitness goals?  

I would like to be able to do real pushups and pull-ups, continue working on core strength and be comfortable with a barbell that is over 100 lbs (other than deadlifts, that would be over 200 lbs).   For summer a consistent mile under 10 mins and also getting more comfortable with the evil 100lb sand bags for longer distances than 50 ft.

What was your experience in fitness prior to starting at Southwest Strength?

Prior to starting at SWS I was doing long distance walking and had done Zumba and Aerobics (the good old workout tapes at home) but no running, gymnastic or heavy weight training at all.

What would be some advice you would give someone looking to implement fitness into their life?  

The hardest part is starting and committing to that time for just you. Your own mental well-being is key to having a healthy family and healthy relationships.  Plus it is about your own progress and not comparing yourself to others.  Be confident in your own abilities and don’t forget to push yourself out of that comfort zone once in a while (Nathan, Sara, Rienna and Kim are really good catalysts for this one).  These are some of the big things I have gotten out of my time at SWS.

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