We Heart Living meets Victoria Spence

20 April 2017 by
First published: 20 December 2016

We Heart Living meets Victoria Spence, trainer for PUMA’s Team Faster.

Need inspiration to achieve your fitness goals and to get your life on track? Read our Q&A with Victoria Spence, trainer for PUMA’s Team Faster and co-founder of the amazing fitness movement #GirlGains.

How did your passion for fitness and nutrition begin?

I’ve always been passionate about sport. My passion for fitness and nutrition fully began after my battle with anorexia. It was then that I actually reached out for help and guidance on proper nutritional information and training to suit my goals. I felt strongly about knowing as much as I could and applying it to other women to make sure they didn’t go down the same route that I did. I continue to grow my knowledge every day via courses, articles and from the other trainers around me.

What does your typical weekly fitness regime usually entail?

I currently train for four consecutive days, followed by one complete rest day, and repeat.

Day 1: Heavy lower body workout

Day 2: Heavy shoulders and back with accessory work

Day 3: Lower body

Day 4: Upper body

Each training session is completed with a circuit made up of three exercises, which get my heart rate up, and I repeat this circuit three times.

What do you eat or drink before and after workouts to boost your performance?

Before workouts, I either have 80g oats with one scoop of whey, or one tortilla wrap with chicken and salad. During workouts, I drink BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids). Post workout, I have a bowl of cereal, one chicken breast, a half pack of rice and veggies or a bagel with jam and nut butter and one chicken breast with veggies. I include lots of protein and carbohydrates in my diet.

When you find a workout tough, what motivates you to keep going?

When I’m training, I adopt the mindset that if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. I don’t see the point in going to the gym to do half-attempted sessions. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person. I guess I’d be lying if I didn’t say that food motivates me too!

What drew you to dancing throughout your childhood and teen years?

I started to dance when I was around four years old. As I grew older, I realised that I never got the same feelings of freeness and liberation from anything other than dance. I was super-shy when it came to verbally communicating, but I could express myself confidently with my body. I was obsessed with dancing.

You’ve spoken openly about your journey since being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at 18. When did you realise that your obsession of healthy living had become harmful?

On one particular day, I was driving to college and I suddenly began hyperventilating. I was  crying and shaking uncontrollably. I managed to drive home. My mum answered the door and I told her how I hated myself and that I’d lost control. That wasn’t the beginning of my recovery, but it was the beginning of my realisation that something wasn’t right.

What spurred you to make the decision to change your life around?

Being pointed at each day, panicking about what I was going to have to eat next… I began to question why I was doing this to myself. My parents were suffering each day and my friends were distraught to see me the way I was. I realised that I was either going to recover, or I was going to die, so I decided to change my life for the better.

What did you learn from your experiences as a bikini competitor?

I came away with both positives and negatives. It showed me how far I can push myself and my body and how dedicated and committed I can be when I put my mind to something. It helped me to focus in every aspect of my life. However, I realised that being super-shredded wasn’t all that it’s made out to be. It’s isolating, boring and bad for you both physically and mentally. While I would never do it again, I don’t regret any part of it.

#GirlGains is such a fantastic movement, inspiring women everywhere to become more active. How did the idea for #GirlGains first come about?

My fellow cofounders Zanna Van Dijk, Tally Rye and I met over two and half years ago as we followed each other on Instagram. When the three of us met, we instantly bonded. It was cool to finally have friends who understood one another and had the same love of fitness.

We started spending a lot of time together and became close. We had a deep conversation about our careers and how we all wanted to pursue fitness. We wanted others to meet the way we had and get the support they needed. It was then that #GirlGains was born.

When did you realise how popular #GirlGains was becoming and how big an impact it was making?

Within six months we had 50,000 monthly tags and this continued to grow. We began the official #GirlGains Instagram account and we started hosting events. We went from hosting events for 20 people to hosting for 300 people in just four months. I think that was when we realised that #GirlGains was making a huge difference to women in fitness.

What’s next on the agenda for #GirlGains?

We are three girls with HUGE dreams, so there is a lot to come from us. We currently have some talks lined up with some of the biggest companies in the world, as well as some of our own personal development events. We hope to be travelling the world, just doing what we do in the next couple of years.

What inspired you to work with PUMA as a Team Faster trainer?

I love how PUMA works with all kinds of people within the industry. It isn’t all athletes and super-humans, it’s also normal people who others can relate to.

What other exciting ventures do you have planned for 2017?

I’m launching a body confidence campaign in the New Year. I hope it will inspire and help as many people as possible. I just want another strong year of changing lives and inspiring women.

Victoria Spence is a member of PUMA’s Team Faster, get inspired at instagram.com/victorianiamhsearch #TEAMFASTER or follow @PUMATraining to find out more.

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