Meet #TeamPumpUp member Brian! Brian has been an active member of the PumpUp community for 2 years, and has incredible insight on how to stick to goals for the long-term. Looking for advice on how to say motivated and follow-through on your commitments? Brian's got the know-how!
PumpUp Name: @bsmolinka
PumpUp Member Since: 2014
Current Location: Back and forth between New Jersey and Massachusetts
Favourite Workout Song: Fired Up (Ft. The Kemist) – Radio Mix by LNY TNZ and Ruthless
Mantra: Every journey begins with a single step
Who are your top 3 favourite people to follow on PumpUp? What do you admire most about them?
- @Ashleyannabear - I’ve been following her for quite some time now and that has really given me the chance to see how far she has come since I started following her. The positive changes, hard work, and dedication I have seen through her is very admirable and I strive to replicate that.
- @Stevelloyd - I really like following Steve because he always shows how hard he is working and he is the most supportive person I have encountered with on PumpUp. He has commented on a lot of my posts with kind words that really keep my motivation going. It is crazy how something one person says can make an impact on someone’s day. One of my goals in fitness is to help at least one person make a positive change in their life. Steve definitely does that every day and I want to be able to motivate people the same way he has motivated me.
- @Rseet - He commented on one of the first few posts I made on PumpUp telling me that I was doing great work. I was still a beginner at this point about 2 years ago and I could tell that he was very experienced. Words like that from someone who is experienced went a long way for motivating me to continue my journey. The few exchange of words we had and the dedication I saw in him really led me to follow him. The time and work I saw that he put into his body was admirable and I also always strive to mimic the same dedication he has.
What advice would you share with someone who’s looking to keep motivated?
Really ask yourself why you are working out or improving your health. If you can find that reason, then you can really determine what your goals are. Every day I remind myself why I am doing what I’m doing. It helps me focus on my goals and I will do everything I can to achieve them. Also, a community like PumpUp is perfect for motivation too. Seeing people with common interests and problems is a perfect way to bond, socialize, and overcome any obstacle that stands in your way. Being an active PumpUp member has helped me not steer off the path of my goals and it has helped shape the person that I am today.
What’s a new, healthy habit you’re working on?
This year I have really focused on my diet and nutrition. I started tracking everything I am eating throughout the day. This has helped me not only count my macros and calories, but has made me memorize the nutritional value of common foods that I eat. Since I have been doing it for a while, there are days I will know exactly how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates I will consume because I ate meals that I have already had before. I have been feeling a lot better since picking up this habit and I highly suggest that you try it too if you haven’t already.
What's your favourite way to keep active?
One of my favorite ways to keep active is I make a schedule of all my workouts before the week even starts. I know exactly what I am doing on each day and I know that if I do not follow that schedule, I will have to take the time to reorganize it. Being a college student has really made me be effective in managing my time. I know that my body seems to have the most energy around 10 A.M. – 2 P.M. so I will go to the gym during that time and try to schedule my classes and other activities based on those times. I find it helpful to make your schedule around the gym if possible. The reason I like this mentality is because then there is no room for the excuse, “ I don’t have enough time” or “I’ll just go later.”
What is a fitness or health goal that you're most proud of?
About 6 years ago, I got really sick with Dysautonomia and I lost a lot of weight. I was an athlete and forced to quit sports because one of the many symptoms was exercise intolerance. A lot of issues would come up when I exercise and I thought I just could not do it anymore. One day, I looked at myself in the mirror, was shocked at how much I’ve changed, and told myself that I am not going to let myself live this way. I slowly started to work out at my own pace even though it made me feel awful. I struggled to finish a lot of workouts and I always tried to push myself to my limits. I always gave it my all after every workout. Sometimes I would have to lay there for a half hour in order for some of my symptoms to improve. Eventually, I started putting weight back on and seeing small improvements. Those small improvements have been racking up ever since that day. I’ve also gone through several injuries during this time as well. I had issues with my wrists, shoulders, a concussion, but the worst was a herniated disc. I really thought that this was going to be a huge issue for me and I would potentially lose everything that I just gained. Once again, I told myself that I wasn’t going to let another excuse come in my way. I took a short break to let some of the pain go down, and then I went straight back to work. I could not run, lift, or do any other activities that would be strenuous on my back. For several months, I just did Pull-up and Push-ups because those were the few things that did not irritate my back. I did every variation of those two exercises that you could think of because I did not want to go back to what I used to be. Since I could not run and biking occasionally hurt, I would get some cardio in by swimming or doing a 10 minute Push-up and Pull-up challenge that really tired me out and helped me track my progress. Over the past few months, my back has slowly been getting better and I have been able to incorporate some weights into my workouts. Throughout all of this, I managed to stay motivated and to not give up. If there is one thing I’m proud about in life, and not just in a fitness aspect, it would have to be this.
What's your favourite thing about PumpUp? How has PumpUp helped you reach your fitness goals?
My favorite thing about PumpUp is that it has helped me track my progress over the past 2 years. Every now and then I scroll back to the first few pictures I posted and see how far I have come. Even though I already made progress before I signed up for PumpUp, it has really helped me put all my fitness life into one area. I just love seeing progress whether it is from myself or other members in the PumpUp community. I really admire the people who take the time and dedication to improve their lifestyle. PumpUp has really been the outlet for my success in fitness.
What’s your post-workout fuel?
After every workout, I love to make a shake. Sometimes I will just use whey protein and other times I will throw in some fruits and vegetables. They are so refreshing and I will definitely feel like I did not work out if I do not make a shake after. There are so many options and varieties of shakes that you can make and I definitely recommend purchasing a blender for personal use.
What makes you feel the most confident?
Knowing where I started and came from makes me feel confident. Working out or even just getting out of bed has not been easy for me. To know that I was able to push through that and succeed means the world to me. I do not want to feel sorry for myself and I know that I did all that I could in order to improve my life. Always strive for improvement.
What advice would you give to someone new to the PumpUp community?
The first step is always the hardest to take, but I’m telling you from personal experience that it will get easier. Find out what your goals are and stick to them. It may seem like an impossible thing to do at first, but just take it one step at a time. Don’t be scared to ask questions. The PumpUp community is here to support each other and there are definitely people out there who have the same question that you do. I’m always happy to answer any questions and the PumpUp community is as well. If there is one thing to take away from this, just don’t give up, you’ll be so happy that you stuck with it.
Thanks Brian! Cheer on Brian in his fitness journey by following him @bsmolinka on PumpUp!