By Liana Jacob
MEET the British swimming champion whose fitness routine was so strenuous that she found it difficult to put weight on until she discovered weight training that helped her gain almost two-stone of muscle and a six-pack in just over two years.
Student and fitness influencer, Lucy Davis (20), from Manchester, UK, has always been into sports since her childhood where she took part in gymnastics, ballet, athletics, cross country, skiing and her ultimate passion swimming.
At the age of 10 she focussed solely on swimming and started training four times a week, she reached an international standard, swimming for England and competing all over the world. Then she decided to kick it up a notch and began training nine times a week while studying her A Levels which led her to drop her weight to 8st 11Ibs and a UK size six to eight.
Despite working hard on furthering herself in the sport, Lucy discovered that her true passion was in bodybuilding, which helped her achieve a six-pack and reach a healthy 10st 7Ibs and UK size 8 to 10, now consuming a maximum of 1,800 to 1,900 calories a day.
“During my second year of college, I was studying for my A Levels whilst swimming nine times per week, and at the same time I wasn’t seeing the results in the pool I always had – I hit a plateau,” Lucy said.
“In April 2015, after the British Championships in London, where I came seventh in the woman’s open two-hundred individual medley, I decided that swimming was no longer something I wanted to put all my time and energy into.
“I had some time off, but within two-weeks I was back in the gym, and started weight lifting. I moved to Manchester that summer as I was going to be starting my first year at university in September, however, in August, I tore my cartilage in my knee so I was unable to train my legs.
“On November 2 that year, I had key hole surgery which took me out of any intense training for around two-months, and I was enjoying my first year at university.
“Essentially, I went from one lifestyle to another – two completely different in fact. From being a swimmer, training nine-times a week, to training in a gym six to seven times a week was very difficult for me in the beginning.
“The training was so different, and even more so the nutrition. I loved my physique before my body transformation; it was very athletic but in a different way to what it is now.
“I was very petite, but extremely lean and muscular. For swimming, this was great. I did feel very tiny in comparison to some of the other swimmers however, and did always want to put more size on – hence the transition in the fitness lifestyle.
“I knew as soon as I stopped swimming I wanted to go down the rote of fitness. When we would have time off swimming, I’d be in the gym simply because I loved that atmosphere so much – even though I should have probably been resting.
“Having always been a healthy and active individual, I knew whatever I did after swimming it would involve fitness. To put it simply, I wanted to grow in size.
“When I was taken out of the swimming environment, I wanted to grow and shape my swimming physique into something bigger and better.”
Since bodybuilding was new to her, Lucy began training ridiculous amounts and educating herself on the sport.
“I would do cardio in the morning and weights at night for most days, but then I realised that I was actually dropping the weight and leaning down more rather than growing,” she said.
“So, after training loads or reading and researching on bodybuilding and nutrition, I knew I had to change things up.
“The more I switched up my lessons, the happier I was feeling in the gym and I strongly believe that if you’re happier with what you’re doing, you will achieve better results.
“It’s completely changed my life. I was always known as ‘the swimmer’ in high school and college, and when I finished it was such a shock to everyone.
“But now I am a fitness influencer, and I get to share my training and life with everyone else, and help people achieve their fitness goals – it’s very rewarding.
“I guess I have always been confident, purely from my sporting background. But I am far more confident now than have ever been.
“My knee surgery was one of the mentally hardest things to overcome because I simply couldn’t train, and I hated that.
“The transition from swimming to fitness was also extremely difficult, simply because I had no idea what I was doing.
“My advice is to be patient with the process, it took me around three to four months before I was seeing any significant results.
“Don’t be afraid to ask others for help and advice – I still do this now, always learning.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/lucydavis_fit/