When looking for a new gym, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. Not only do you want to make sure that your investment pays off by moving towards the goals YOU want, but it is also important to look at the facility, the community, and the coaches as well.
When Meredith was searching for a gym, she was looking for both a coach that could support her performance goals but also needed a gym that had the right feel.
“I was looking for a gym with the right feel … not just the run of the mill. I saw the Central Athlete website and decided to check it out. From the moment I walked into the facility for my free strategy session, I knew it was right for me...There is no place like it. I jokingly call it the “Cheers” of gyms. People come to workout and hang out. Sometimes people are grinding and other times there are people having recovery days and using the sauna and cold tub. I treat it as “me” time. I get my workout in, but I also socialize and get my head cleared a little. We all like to go “where everybody knows your name.”
Meredith has been a full-time firefighter at the Austin Fire Department since 2012 and needed a professional fitness facility that supported her hectic schedule and more importantly who could align her training program with her biggest priorities; spending time with her husband James, who is also a firefighter, her two pups Buddy and Cash, and living a life with balance.
Working in a male dominant environment that requires a lot of strength and stamina, Meredith wanted to improve both while maintaining a feminine physique. Over the past year, she has not only improved her strength and skills tremendously, but she has also learned to love her body in a way that fuels confidence and beauty in more ways than just a number on the scale.
“Life is a journey and as I progress through mine, I love having Amanda to guide me. I have gotten back into a good lifting routine. I am getting stronger and I am working on some of the gymnastics stuff. It’s fun, challenging, and it’s cool to see progress. I enjoy the workouts and coaches. Amanda is technically my coach (I call her my life coach), but Jesse and Tyler are always happy to give me a pointer or a spot if they are the ones there.”
Meredith has a long history of weight lifting but has still continued to quickly move towards her goals of improving strength. Her back squat, one of the benchmarks we use to measure strength adaptation, has improved 30 pounds since her first week at Central Athlete in September 2019 moving from 175 pounds to 205 pounds in April. Our assessment and testing periods allow each Central Athlete coach to gain a deeper understanding of their unique clients in order to provide a personalized experience that truly supports each individual’s goals and needs. Understanding how Meredith best adapts has allowed me, her coach, to create a program that moved her quickly towards the results she has been struggling to see before stepping foot into Central Athlete. Her weighted pull-up and vertical press have also improved quite a bit, allowing her to pursue more gymnastics-style training and acquire new skills such as single leg squats and handstand push-ups.
Meredith just spent the last six months studying for promotion at the Austin Fire Department. Her biggest priority during the last half year was to dedicate enough time to study to finish in the top 20 while maintaining her full-time job, spending quality time with her husband as well as continuing towards her health and fitness goals. She never missed a single workout or a monthly consultation and spent hours on top of hours studying each day in addition to her regular duties as an Austin Firefighter. Her consultations during this time were used to solidify her biggest priorities and then create strategies on how to create a life balance that included time with her family outside of work, studying, and the gym. Here is what Meredith had to say after she completed her big exam in June!
“...I hit PR’s. I picked up new skills. I feel strong and happy with my health and fitness journey (my forever work in progress) and that was ALSO part of the goal … Thank you for the workouts and smiles and encouragement, but also help to harness my skills to reflect on and grow from the lessons life throws at me. Central Athlete has truly been a part of these last few months as much as anyone else.”
Because progress of any kind will rarely come in a week or even a few months, and because life is constantly changing and flowing, it is important that our clients understand the importance of the long game. We do not believe in quick fixes or bandaid approaches to rush an individual to the finish line. More times than not, that approach doesn't work and more importantly, it does not teach important lifestyle changes or habit creations that will last a lifetime, which is necessary for long term growth.
“I will be honest, I thought the year-long commitment was a little over the top initially. As I got into it, I realized that it is very valuable. Not only do I make a commitment to myself, but it is also my coach making a commitment to me. It is also a commitment I make to the community, and they have also made to me. You don’t just “put a foot in the door”. You either walk all the way in, or you don’t come back. That is comforting and one of the things that help to build the community.”
Since joining the Central Athlete community, Meredith has adopted the long-game mindset and added more value into our community than we could have ever imagined. Every time she steps into the facility she immediately greets each individual with a huge smile on her face and she truly enjoys getting to know each and every person at the gym on a deeper level. As a coach, she has taught me more about positivity and mindset than any other human I have come in contact with. It is impossible to have a bad attitude when Meredith is around and if you do, she’ll be sure to snap you out of it with her words of encouragement. Aside from her continuous pursuit of growth, Meredith leads the way in proving that you can do whatever you set your mind to, regardless of what life throws at you and she always has the nicest things to say about Central Athlete, and it’s founders too!
“Amanda and Jesse have created something special with CA. Not only is it a great place created in their vision, but they are also incredible athletes that grind it out inside the same walls. They are not afraid to push their limits and work to get better every day. They are the definition of leading from the front. And let’s not forget a shoutout to Jamie the Dog. Jamie is their sweet chocolate lab who greets you at the door, comes by for scratches while you stretch, and stands by for support!”