In late 2021, we asked our members, “What’s Your Day One?” Dozens of members shared their 2022 fitness goals with us, and we chose four members to follow on their journeys from Day One to Goal Accomplished! Let’s meet one of those members: Emily!

Emily is a member of FFC East Lakeview and she applied to our Day One Program with a very specific goal: squat 180 pounds.

Emily started weightlifting in 2019, but once gyms shut down during the pandemic, she lost a bit of her momentum with lifting. Before she started the Day One program, she was able to squat close to 100 pounds, but she is looking forward to the structure that comes with working with a personal trainer.

“Even though I’ve been on the machines before in the gym, I think coming back to the gym and doing these types of workouts still takes a lot of discipline and trust in yourself and in your trainer.”

Emily is in her final semester of graduate school, and she hopes this program will help her manage the stress that comes along with applying for jobs and transitioning from school into a career.

“It’s going to be an interesting 90 days to see how this program will help my own mental health and stress routine,” Emily said.

Week 1

As part of the Day One program, Emily is paired with FFC Personal Trainer Kyle Decker. Emily and Kyle will train together for 12 weeks to get her ready for her big lift.

Emily was inspired to squat 180 pounds because someone once told her that 180 pounds is the average weight of a man.

“That was just something that kind of hit me because I really am about women-empowerment, building strength and also being able to protect yourself, so that number really stuck out to me,” she said.

If she reaches her goal, Emily will be able to squat her own bodyweight and a half, which is another reason she chose to make 180 pounds her goal.

With 12 weeks to prepare Emily to squat 180 pounds, Kyle determined she will need to increase her squat weight every week by 5 pounds, which Kyle mentioned was a “lofty goal.”

“Considering I really hope to get as close as I can to 180 pounds – or actually hit 180 pounds because that would be super cool – that’s his gameplan,” Emily said.

Related: Women and Weights: Why You Should Lift Heavy

Week 2

During Week 2 of her program, Emily tries her training program on her own. After completing the four workouts assigned to her by Kyle, Emily leaves the gym feeling empowered.

“I’m feeling really good. The movements are definitely a lot easier and I just feel really excited. I also feel really good stress relief from that workout,” she exclaimed.

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Week 3

In addition to her weekly training with Kyle, Emily is also seeing FFC Registered Dietitian McKayla Braender to make sure she’s fueling her body properly.

“Three must-haves if you lift regularly would be protein, carbohydrates and hydration,” McKayla said. “For a weight lifter, our protein is going to be much more important.”

Emily then shows us what a typical post-workout meal looks like for her, with veggies, a sandwich and a protein shake.

Week 4

It’s week 4 of Emily’s program, and we check in to see how her training sessions with Kyle have been going.

“I really like the way that [Kyle] instructs because not only does he really emphasize proper form, but he explains why we’re doing something – why this is the process and the pace we’re going,” Emily said.

Related: Meet Another One Of Our Day One Program Participants, Renu!

Stay up-to-date with Emily’s journey by following along on our YouTube channel!

Post written by FFC Contributor Natalie Casper.