Getting Started, Staying Motivated, and Why You Should Leave The Scale Behind
Giuliana Ava is a fitness model, trainer, and a proud member of Team MuscleTech. She has been an athlete her whole life and got her first gym membership at 16 years old. Giuliana took time out of her busy schedule to talk to MuscleTech.com about her fitness journey, staying motivated, and why it’s not the number on the scale that’s important, but rather how you look and feel that matters.
Q: You’ve been an athlete your entire life and got your first gym membership at 16 years old. Do you remember what it was back then that made you fall in love with the weight room?
A: “My father is a beast of an athlete. He was the one who pushed my siblings and I into sports. I’m so thankful that he did. I always knew that you needed to be in shape in order to succeed on the field and in games. I’m so competitive so I always wanted to stay in shape and be the best version of myself that I could be. Getting in the weight room and seeing other athletes train the way they did, I always wanted to better myself and keep progressing. That’s where my competitiveness grew beyond the lacrosse field.”
Q: You’ve said that your fitness journey is all about trial and error. How do you continue to motivate yourself when you’re experiencing setbacks and how do you keep yourself grounded when you’re succeeding and crushing your goals?
A: “This is such a good question right now because I actually just posted a two-year transformation on my page. Back in 2016, that was probably my breakout year on Instagram and social media. I’m petite. I’m only 5’2 and I was weighing in at about 140 to 145 pounds, but I was pulling and pushing trucks. I was training as if I was going to the combine. I was really doing things that girls my size weren’t doing at the time.
Although I’ve never competed on the stage in physique or bikini competitions, I look to those types of athletes, to those girls and use them as motivation. I always want to see how far I can push my body. So, I would switch up my workouts, my diet, my training style, and I would try to completely transform my body. When I saw that I was able to get down to 117 pounds with shredded abs, I was like, ‘Wow, I have full control over me.’ And that’s the biggest thing. I can control what I can control in life. My physique is something that I love being able to play with and I do it in a natural and healthy way.
Just recently when I posted that before and after, a lot of people asked me that same question: “How do you stay motivated?’ And it’s just knowing that I’ve gotten there before and I can get there again. If I get to one look, I can get there again. It’s just a mindset really.”
Q: Do you think experiencing the ups and downs that you’ve gone through in both your fitness journey and in your life has allowed you to be able to connect with people who are looking to transform their bodies and their lives in a positive way, but who aren’t quite there yet? Are you able to communicate effectively with them since you’ve already been there and done that and can pass on what you’ve learned?
A: “Absolutely. I come from humble beginnings. If it wasn’t for the gym and my love for fitness, the Instagram thing wouldn’t be what it is, becoming a member of Team MuscleTech wouldn’t have been a thing, and the opportunities wouldn’t have come. The gym has been such an outlet for me and it’s incredible to see what has come from it. There are days when I’m not feeling it at all, but women and men look to me for motivation and that gives me the push I need. As much as I may be their motivation, they are mine.
Fitness is all about trial and error. Fitness is a journey. It’s a mindset. If you can use your platform and your fitness lifestyle and journey to your advantage and be able to inspire others, then I’m winning that much more.”
Q: How important is it for people who want to start their fitness journeys but who aren’t doing it for whatever reason just to get started?
A: “That’s my biggest thing. There were points in my life and my fitness journey that I would drag my ass to the gym. I would sit in my gym clothes, in my living room, scrolling looking at girls on Instagram for motivation when there are probably girls who sit and look at my page for that too. When that happens, I’m like, ‘I need to get the hell out and go to the gym.’
It’s just a matter of getting there. Sometimes I even make it to the gym parking lot and I sit there for twenty minutes and I’m like, ‘Do I really want to be here right now?’ But it’s literally just getting there. I always say, ‘If you don’t feel confident in the gym, bring a buddy. Go with somebody. Ask questions.’ Because if you’re in the gym, everybody is there for the same reason – maybe not the same goals, but you’re all there for the same reason. You’re trying to better yourself and work toward something. So, if you don’t feel super confident just ask, or bring a friend, or come to me and we can do this together.”
Q: You created a new workout guide that people can do completely from their own home. Why was it so important for you to make sure that people are able to stay healthy and active while at home, especially right now?
A: “Again, maybe going back to not feeling super confident in a gym setting. Or I actually have a lot of women who are either pregnant, or who are new moms, and don’t have enough time to get to the gym. And during this pandemic there are some people who still don’t have access to a gym.
So, creating a home based program was big for me because I could show you what to do in a gym setting, but to be able to bring that into the comfort of your own home was something that I really wanted to be able to provide. I also have my own booty band line (@GForcebands) so I’ve incorporated that into my fitness programs. If I can keep supplying things that will help somebody feel comfortable and confident in the comfort of their own home, I’m definitely all for it, especially in these times right now.”
Q: With your workout guides you recommend that people take a photo at the beginning of the program and continue to track it so they’ll be able to see the results by the end of the program. Do you find that it helps your clients to see where they started and be able to monitor where they’re going along the way?
A: “I think pictures are the biggest thing. I don’t believe in the scale. With losing fat and adding muscle, some people are like, ‘The number on my scale is the same, but I look better.’ And I’ll say, ‘Exactly. The number on the scale doesn’t mean sh*t! It’s just the relationship between you and gravity and I don’t believe in it.’
So, I think that pictures are what tell it all. I have a client of mine that I work very closely with and we take weekly progress photos. From day one to where she is now, it’s just incredible to see. And it’s also motivation for you. Once you see the differences, you’ll get addicted to the results.”
Q: Do you wish more people, especially women, would stop looking at scales and basically leave the scales behind?
A: “Yes I do! It’s such a mind game. People will just be discouraged by that because you’re not looking at the bigger picture, the results, the health benefits that you’re getting from working out. You’re getting so fixated on the number when the number really doesn’t mean anything.
I say that with the way women’s sizing is, as well. Some girls that are losing weight will be this number in one brand, but in another brand will be that size. It gets complicated for us women. So, if you can subtract a few things from overcomplicating our minds when it comes to our fitness goals, the scale would be one of them. Just throw it away. Leave the scale behind.”
Q: How does it make you feel when your clients tell you how much you’ve helped them with their personal fitness journeys?
A: “It’s like the most rewarding thing. It’s such a humbling feeling. You know, my whole life I didn’t know what I wanted to do other than just wanting to help people. And that was my biggest thing. So, when I’m able to do what I love and bring people along with me and encourage them, motivate them, and allow them to see themselves in a different way, I just can’t ask for anything more.”
Q: What does being a part of Team MuscleTech mean to you?
A: “MuscleTech, hands down, is my most favorite brand to work with. They’re amazing and their supplements are great. I went to The Arnold with them about two years ago and to this day that was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had, probably like ever. It was just so good to be a part of a team like this, a family. It was just such an amazing ride. Everybody got along, and we really only know each other via social media, so to be able to put faces to names and being able to bond as a team was amazing. Being a part of Team MuscleTech and being an athlete for them is such a rewarding thing.”
Q: What are your favorite MuscleTech products?
A: “So, the Vapor One Pre-Workout is my go-to. It’s the only thing that gets me pumped up in the mornings if I can’t get my coffee in. I love it and tell everybody about it. When I’m really trying to lean out, I implement Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite a lot into my morning routine. And I like the Vanilla Whey Protein Powder, vanilla everything for me. The fact that their vanilla protein actually tastes like vanilla is a must because if I’m going to be using it, I need to like it. The fact that I love it is a good thing. So, for sure those are my top three favorite MuscleTech products.”