By Rebecca Drew
MEET the British student who shares pictures of her incredible fitness transformation with her 50.5K Instagram followers after she gained almost a stone-and-a-half in muscle in just EIGHT MONTHS.
Natalie Freeman (21) from Wirral, United Kingdom, hated sports and exercise growing up but would still spend hours on the treadmill, away from the ‘gym boys’ who dominated the weights section, to try to keep fit. It wasn’t until she started to see other girls lifting on Instagram that Natalie, with the help and guidance of her brother, decided to start weight lifting.
When she started her fitness journey, Natalie weighed 8st. Since then, she’s upped her calorie intake by 600-calories a day and hits the gym six times a week, now weighing a super lean 9st 6lbs.
“I mainly stuck to cardio such as treadmills and elliptical machines because I felt comfortable in that area of the gym, away from the ‘gym boys’,” said Natalie.
“It was through seeing girls on Instagram tell their own stories of how they transformed their lives with weightlifting and with my brother’s help and guidance to feel more comfortable in the weight section that I realised to actually shape and transform my body I would have to put it under pressure and work it harder than running on a machine.
“Weight training has the ability to change your body, and I find that with weight training I can set goals, and it’s a more enjoyable, fun gym experience than seeing how far I can run and how many calories I’ve burnt. That wasn’t growing my body, only weights have.
“Before I became dedicated to improving my life, I was in a weird place where I didn’t know what I was doing with my future, I had no goals.
“In terms of my body, I knew I wanted to ‘look better’ but I didn’t know how to achieve it. I also had no ‘me time’. Weight lifting allows me to have ‘me time’ and focus on me and my goals.”
Natalie splits her workouts throughout the week focussing on shoulders, legs and glutes, back, chest, biceps and triceps in separate sessions.
Despite receiving such positive comments from followers on her transformation posts, Natalie says she still gets anxious in busy gyms but urges beginners to be prepared and not to worry about what others think.
“I sometimes get anxious and nervous in a new gym or in a gym when it’s really crowded. Though this isn’t a problem it is something I find hard sometimes to focus on my workout,” she added.
“To get over it I just pick an exercise and go to where I need to be and focus on that. I wear over the head headphones which helps me be less aware of my surroundings.
“It will feel crazy and chaotic at first and you’ll feel like you don’t know what you’re doing at all but you do. I find it helpful to write down a quick plan in my phone of what I’m going to do and I usually have some Instagram videos saved that I will look back on if I need to remember how to do something.
“Being prepared is key. Don’t worry about what anyone around you is thinking. You’re only going to get there by focussing on yourself in the gym and doing what you’ve got to do.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/natalieafit