Today on BalancedAmes you are going to meet Brittney a strength and conditioning coach + personal trainer at Rosencutter Ultra Fitness and Performance. This is where I met Brittney. There are two main reasons I wanted to have her on the blog: she is a trainer that looks the part and Nick speaks so highly of her. People love to train with this lady and it’s easy to see why with her warm smile + welcoming personality.
Ames: Introduce yourself + tell us about your job:
Brittney: Hi everyone! Just for starters, I am very honored to have the privilege to be a guest post on BalancedAmes. When Amy asked if she could interview me I had the biggest smile on my face and was jumping for joy that somebody would think I am actually a little bit interesting enough to want to hear about, haha.
My name is Brittney Wilinski, I am a 24 year old recent UW-La Crosse Graduate along with former group fitness instructor at UW-L, newly certified CSCS and strength coach at Rosencutter Ultra Fitness and Performance, fitness enthusiast, chef/baker [in the comfort of my own home 😉 ] and soon to be bikini competitor!
A: We had the same major at University of Wisconsin- La Crosse (just a few years a part 😉 ), what inspired you to choose exercise science?
Brittney: For the record, I loved UW-L, A: SAMEEEEEEEEEEE! it’s an amazing college that gave me such a homey, welcoming feeling and so many people there were so active it was contagious! I knew I wanted to go into the exercise science program since playing basketball in high school and weight training for it. My freshman year at La Crosse I was fortunate enough to become a Group X Fitness Instructor through the Rec Center (FYI…I was super crazy nervous having to teach people older than myself – it was scary). At the end of freshman year, a student in my class came up to me informing me how much weight she had lost and how much stronger she felt after taking my class. She was so thankful for being in my class and told me I was a part of the reason she had reached her goals – this day I never forgot how remarkable I felt seeing somebody so incredibly thrilled, happy, and blessed for reaching their goals and being told that I, little freshman Brittney who had never taught before along with having little experience lifting, helped somebody to feel the way she did. It was one of the best days of my college career and life. A: Helping people reach their goals + gain confidence is an amazing feeling, I agree 100%.
A: What is the best part of being a fitness professional?
Brittney: I would definitely say, if you couldn’t tell by my response above, the best part about being a fitness professional is helping people succeed in reaching their goals. It truly brings me joy to be able to help others and see their ginormous smiles and excitement in their eyes when they either set a PR, reach their body fat goals, finish a hard set/conditioning circuit, or just have a great training day. I feel as if I live to help people succeed and make them proud of themselves. I love being a part of my clients’ reason for reaching any types of goals they may have.
Another reason I love being a fitness professional is because it doesn’t feel like work to me when you are doing something you love. I believe in practicing what you preach and my ‘job’ definitely allows for that! One quote I like, that being a fitness professional really helps to succeed in is – “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.” A: Yesssss, I’m so glad I asked you to do this interview! This is 100% what I believe in.
A: What do you consider your strength when it comes to training your clients?
Brittney: I think my greatest asset when training clients is getting them motivated. I’m not a drill sergeant, it’s just not my thing, but I push people through my sweet devious ways 😉 I really feel that some clients come in for an extra conditioning day or training day because I make the environment fun and enjoyable and they work their butts off (almost literally – we really like to focus on getting the booty strong here at RUFP) but still have a good time doing it. I also from time to time motivate myself through my clients and have them come to the gym so I have a buddy to train with and motivate me. As much as us coaches love to motivate our clients, we need it in return! A: We need to get a workout in together when I come back to RUFP, I’m ditching Nick….kidding Nick 😉 Check out the website and train with these people, I do!
A: Area you want to improve in?
Brittney: I keep trying to improve my coaching on the deadlift. I am still what you would consider a newbie at the movement and it is a pretty technical lift. I never really deadlifted before so compared to other lifts I’m not as familiar with it. But, if you asked Nick, he would say I need to get a little meaner/more stern… that is a work in progress but I try to do it in a nice way.
A: Do you mind being the only female trainer at your gym?
Brittney: I don’t mind being the only female trainer, especially because I normally have at least one female client around. It can be pretty motivating lifting with the guys who put up a lot of weight and are always training hard, it makes me push myself. But, I won’t lie it would be nice to have a female side kick. The boys like to gang up on me at times and pick fun at me – I’m convinced they’re just jealous of my big guns 😉 A: Story of my life, Drew’s friends always pick on me…but…I know it’s out of love 🙂 Cue Beyonce’s Run the World (Girls).
A: At RUFP you team train, meaning that clients could have any of the 3 trainers. Do you enjoy this approach?
Brittney: Yes, I like this approach because I feel like we are more of a family then. Everyone gets to know one another and all of us coaches get to personally interact with just about every client. It’s nice to be able to develop some type of relationship with every client. I feel as if getting to build relationships with every person makes their training experience that much better and allows us to know how they like to be trained and to what extent we can push each person.
To be completely honest, I love getting to know all my clients because I consider more of them my friends and family members as compared to clients.
A: Why is it so important for females to strength train?!
Brittney: Oh gosh there are soooo many reasons for females to strength train! Just recently, my grandma (who is very sedentary and I don’t think she has ever even stepped foot in a gym) found out that her bone density is only 29%!!! If you’re jaw didn’t drop, you must think that’s an alright number… not quite! This is very low and to see the type of exercises she has to do in order just to increase her bone density is crazy… small things like walking up and down the block, lifting only 2.5 pounds, etc. I cannot even imagine only lifting 2.5 pounds to be a workout. Strength training helps to maintain our bone density, which is so important for women!
We need to train, and train hard at times in order to increase our bone density, increase our muscle mass which will improve certain hormone levels and our metabolism, which in turn will decrease our body fat.
You move better, feel better physically and mentally, have a positive self image, increased overall mood (us women know how we can fluctuate in the mood category at times!) and get leaner and stronger without “looking like the hulk.” Side note to the ladies: we don’t have enough testosterone in our bodies to bulk up if we lift more than 50 pounds so don’t be afraid to lift heavy. Testosterone is actually our friend, having more testosterone will help to decrease your body fat and maintain a lean, strong body! The women that do get big and bulky are more than likely using some type of anabolic steroid. So go ahead and put the plates on, trust me, it feels pretty bada** (pardon my language) to lift heavy and set PRs. A: I hope this is making everyone want to go hit the gym 🙂
A: I hear you are going to take part in your first fitness competition. Tell us about it + what motivated you to do it?
Brittney: I have always wanted to participate in a competition to be honest, I just never saw myself as a girl who could do it. But after being at RUFP and knowing I have amazing mentors/coaches/and friends to help me with my journey, I decided I am going to go through with it! I like setting goals that allow me to train for something, it is very motivating to me. The hardest part for me is going to be the posing, I’m not used to the whole walking around in a bikini with some high heels. It will be a challenge that I am willing to accept and hopefully become great at! A: This is awesome, I’m so excited for you.
A: How does this change your lifting + eating?
Brittney: The bikini competition is partly a beauty contest in my eyes when you are on the stage… but when you are in the gym and more importantly in the kitchen, it is a crazy tough challenge that you bust your butt off for.
I still get to train heavy at times to increase my muscle mass, such as right now being just under 12 weeks from my competition, but as it gets closer I will be performing more muscular endurance and higher rep hypertrophy lifts and more energy systems training (cardio). My training lately has focused A LOT on increasing my glute size and strength along with hamstrings and lateral delts. Bikini competitions focus a lot on the glute/hamstring tie in (you do not want a flat booty going into a competition!) and rounded shoulders along with some definition in the abs but not too defined.
My eating habits have not changed too much, it is more so actually tracking my food intake. I don’t really care as much about how many calories I am taking in, but more so the amount of protein, fats, and carbs that I consume each day. On days I lift I have a little higher numbers compared to the days I either do conditioning or rest. Food prepping is not easy that is for sure, many people tell me how “crazy I am” for having been tracking my food now for 80 some days in a row… but let me tell you it is definitely worth it and I can tell! People always tell me they don’t have the discipline or will power to do it, but if they really wanted to and set their minds to it, they could. I love food, ask anyone, I love to cook and bake, but I know my limits and I have a goal that I really want to succeed in. If you set your mind right, you can accomplish anything! A: I’m getting inspired here Britt 😉
There are times when I have a cheat meal that I don’t exactly weigh how much I am eating but rather just eyeball it and enjoy that I am having a “cheat” food. One last thing that has changed a lot with my eating habits is that I try to eat around every 2-3 hours or up to 4 hours max. This way I don’t eat too much at one meal which I used to do and my body likes it a lot better 🙂
A: What does your exercise week look like?
Brittney: Right now I lift about 4 days a week, which is split up into upper and lower body twice each. I am incorporating heavier lifts right now which will consists of heavier reps in the 5-8 range for main lifts along with higher rep accessory work. My upper body days are split up into a chest/back focus and then a lateral delts/shoulders and arms focus along with adding some accessory glute/hamstring work in at the end as a finisher. My lower body days are split up into quad dominant with glute/hamstring accessory lifts and then a posterior chain dominant day which is when I work my glutes, hamstring, and back harder compared to the other days. I am trying to do some type of glute work 3-5 times a week to really increase the muscle fiber size and get them stronger. I perform one HIIT training session and two ‘cardio’ days also. Many times I am working out around 6-7 times a week. The cardio days are not to be too taxing on the body, performing low aerobic work for even 30 minutes can help to bring your body from a sympathetic state (stressed out, fight or flight mode type state) down to a parasympathetic state (more relaxed, peaceful state) that is very beneficial to help your body recover better between sets of an exercise or between workouts. A: It sure can! If I’m in the middle of a busy 12 hour stretch of night shifts, getting in a 30 minute cardio session makes me feel better + less stressed.
A: What does a typical day in your diet look like?
Brittney: Haha, hmm this is hard because I am the type of girl who likes to switch my diet up from day to day… I am not one of those people who can eat the same thing day in and day out. It would be like doing the same workout routine day in and day out… very boring! But what I do takes more work I guess you could say. My breakfast stays the same for the most part, I normally have 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg, fish oil, raw vegetables like cauliflower, peppers, or cucumbers, and sometimes blueberries or strawberries. Snacks a lot of times consist of either a Quest bar, string cheese, or a smoothie which consists of: protein powder, spinach/kale, broccoli, some type of fruit and some type of fat. I have a protein shake, fruit, and some times oatmeal after I work out. Dinner… that’s all over the place! I eat some type of lean meat (I do love chicken), salad/veggies, sometimes red or sweet potatoes and some type of fat. One of my favorite snacks lately is nonfat plain greek yogurt, PB2 powder, a small amount of peanut butter, and chocolate protein powder… I am obsessed with that combination lately! A: I have been all about my protein shakes with a scoop of PB2 lately, so good! 🙂
A: My first session with Nick was right before you + the rest of the crew were about to start lifting. How great is it to have that time to get your own training in at work? I loooooooove this concept!
Brittney: We do not schedule clients between 12 and 2pm. It is pretty great to be able to have a set scheduled time to train… it makes it become a habit. It’s also nice that I don’t have to work late and then worry about training after a long day at work when I’m tired and drained. Kudos to Nick for allowing us this time to train ourselves, such a brilliant idea 🙂
One hard part is, being a girl, I have had to learn how to eat, lift, shower, and eat again fairly quickly! So if you come around the gym and then see me outside the gym… I may look like two different people haha.
A huge thanks to Brittney for spending the time to do the interview + inspiring us! She is one knowledgeable and fit lady and I’m excited to get to know her better as the Rosencutter Ultra Fitness & Performance + BalancedAmes relationship continues to grow 🙂
I hope everyone is having a great day! I’m so excited to share Erin‘s food journal with you guys on Friday, so look for that! -Ames