Name: Amy J Fox
Height: 1.68 m
Competition weight: 56 Kgs
Current weight: 59 Kgs
Current city: Dubai, UAE
Occupation: Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 Coach, Vinyasa Yoga Instructor, Health & Skincare Therapist
Have you always lived a fit lifestyle? How did you get started?
I was very lucky to be brought up in a household of active parents so naturally I learned from them (thanks mom & dad!). I always tried everything at school, but of course wasn’t good at everything. Ball sports in general are not my thing. However, I was captain cheerleader in my final year at school, played 1st team water polo (I was surprisingly good with a ball in the water) and danced the rest of my time away.
My passion for fitness really developed when I studied Health & Skincare and this is when I knew I wanted to make fitness a part of my career.
What made you decide to enter your first competition? Did you plan everything out yourself?
One of my friends suggested I start competing. “Competing?” I thought… I looked at her like she was crazy! There was no ways I was ever going to look like the girls she showed me in pictures! And then I couldn’t stop looking at the pictures… I wanted to look like that! I’ve always been fit but never on that level.
It was a challenge I decided to set myself and I registered for the first competition I could. I had 4 weeks to prepare for WBFF SA and I had no clue what I was doing! Someone suggested I see someone to prep me and so that’s what I did. I could never have done it by myself. There is so much science behind the preparation.
What made you move all the way to Dubai to study personal training?
The opportunities in Dubai are limitless! My family have lived in Dubai for 2 years more than me so they were already here when I moved, which made my move a very easy one.
I just followed my gut feeling really and didn’t over-think anything. I believe you have to trust your instinct and I haven’t looked back since!
How do you manage to stay motivated and consistent throughout your training and eating right?
I have a dream and a goal and I won’t stop until I’ve done what I believe my purpose is. My motivation comes from the fear of failing. I refuse to fail and when you’ve got something you are constantly working towards it becomes easy to keep going.
Don’t get me wrong, I also lack motivation sometimes. I’m only human and we all have off days, but the important thing is to keep going even after you’ve fallen behind. Keep going even after you have failed because that is what makes you great!
What are your future plans?
I strive towards changing peoples lives, in whatever way I can. Through coaching, personal training, online programmes, nutrition plans, workshops & competing. I am in the process of building a brand through which the world can be inspired & motivated.
Take us through an average day of yours:
- Coffee first (Always!) followed by breakfast
- Coach CrossFit or PT clients
- Train myself (weight training)
- More PT clients
- Laptop time in between clients: Checking emails, working on future plans, doing training programs and nutritional plans for clients
- Train myself (cardio)
- Coach CrossFit classes
- Spend time with loved ones (Normally catching up on my favourite series, at the moment it’s ‘How to get away with murder’- epic series!)
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet, pre contest and during the off season:
I love healthy food. I’ve learned to love the taste of it. I would way rather have a chicken salad packed with superfoods than a burger and chips. Healthy, clean eating gives me energy, makes me feel good & agrees with my body so I try stick to eating like this always.
However, on the weekends when I’m not prepping for a competition I do treat myself to pizza, deserts and anything else I want. I also love a glass of red wine in the evenings.
I believe that your diet should be balanced if you want to make it a lifestyle. I’m not one for fad diets, although I’ve pretty much tried and tested all of them.
You need to discover what works for you and take note of how your body reacts to certain foods. We are all different so what may be working for a friend won’t necessarily work for you.
Pre contest diet plan is very restricting. It consists of high protein, a lot of green vegetables and limited carbs. I stick to a planned nutritional program for 12 weeks out of comp, taking cheat/treat meals once per week up until 4 weeks out.
Which 3 nutrition myths do you think most females fall prey to?
1. Carbs are the enemy:
All women (including me), at some stage of their lives, have cut out carbs completely from their diet thinking carbs is what makes them carry excess weight. And this is true if we are talking about carbs such as bread, pasta and pastries but not when it comes to ‘clean carbs’ such as oats, sweet potato and brown rice.
We need these carbs for energy and for building muscle. I often tell my clients when we first start training together to not eat carbs for the first 4 weeks and this is just because I want them to cleanse their system.
After 4 weeks, I always suggest adding clean carbs into their diet.
2. Doing a million crunches will give you abs:
Of course by training abs you will build muscle in this area but abs are not going to show through fat layers. Abs are made in the kitchen!
Rather than focusing on building your abs, focus on doing functional training, weights, kettle bell training, etc, things that will help lose fat. Pair that with a nutritional plan and you’re A for away!
3. Eating the right foods at the wrong times:
Most women know WHAT to eat, but don’t know WHEN or HOW MUCH to eat. Most women think that you can eat as much as you want of healthy foods with no restrictions or structure to their meals and then wonder why they are not losing weight.
This is where I come in. Structuring WHEN you eat WHAT, is very important and could be the answer to you fitting into your favourite jeans!
What does a typical training week look like for you? How do you structure your training programme?
At the moment I am doing weight training and cardio 6 days per week so I train twice per day, structuring it around my clients. I normally get my weights done in the morning and then fit in my cardio when ever I have free time during the day. This is what my training schedule is like 12 weeks before competing.
However, when I’m not competing I love mixing up my training. CrossFit, yoga, stand up paddle boarding and what ever else I can try! I have yet to get myself into a pole dancing class.
What are your top beginners training tips when starting out and wanting to lose fat?
Get into weight training as soon as you can. If you’ve never done weights before definitely get advice from a personal trainer or someone who knows what they are doing as the weights could look very daunting to any newbie. A training partner would also be something to try (preferably someone who is a bit more experienced).
What other forms of training do you enjoy doing besides the conventional gym training?
I love doing a variety of different types of training. From weight training to CrossFit to yoga to SUP (stand up paddle boarding) and everything in between. You need to learn to listen to your body and what it needs.
Always try everything at least once so you know what you enjoy or not. Make training something you look forward to every day.
What are your 3 favourite exercises?
1. Stiff leg deadlifts
- My favourite for glutes & hamstrings.
2. Kettle bell complex
- Kettle bells are great for core strength, not to mention awesome for making workouts a bit more fun.
3. Pull ups
- Because lets be honest, they’re pretty bad ass (esp. if you’re a lady)!
Being a personal trainer, a cross fit coach and a vinyasa yoga instructor, do you recommend and incorporate all the different training styles to people?
It completely depends on what my clients goals are. Each training style has different benefits but just because I am qualified to teach all of the above, that doesn’t mean that they are suited to everyone.
What made you take up cross fit?
One of my very good friends, Jayme Karam (an avid fitness enthusiast herself), opened up a CrossFit Box in SA when I was still living there and being a good friend I decided it was my duty to try it out. I was hooked after the very first class and haven’t stopped since (although I do take breaks from it before I compete for various reasons).
What about yoga do you love and who could benefit from doing it?
If you’re looking to strengthen your core, get toned, become flexible and just improve on your general health and wellness then yoga is for you! Anyone & everyone can benefit from it. It’s not only a great workout but also promotes a healthy mind.
How many yoga classes a week would someone need to go for in order to see steady progress?
As many as possible. I used to do yoga 5 – 6 times per week, but that’s me. The more you do of something naturally the better you become. Although we don’t all have the time to go to yoga every day so realistically 3 times per week is good.
If someone struggles with a certain pose due to lack of flexibility (say pigeon pose) what tips would you give to eventually get them into the pose?
Everything comes with practice. The more time you put in, the more results you will see.
You need to have patience and yoga definitely teaches you this. Your body will get into poses when it’s ready. Never force yourself into a pose, it needs to come naturally.
Yoga is definitely the best thing to do if you struggle with flexibility (and also the most challenging in this respect).
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become more flexible and not so stiff?
Stretch after your training sessions, it’s that simple!
Favorite female fitness icon(s):
Not only is she totally gorgeous, but also real! No fake posing, no touch ups on her photos, just a down to earth strong woman who’s made it big in the fitness industry through hard work and determination. (Thumbs up!!)
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
What is the one thing you see people do in the gym which really annoys you?
I see a lot of people with bad technique and I often try to correct them in the nicest way possible. But the problem is that most people think they know better and fail to take the advice given.
As a fitness professional, I genuinely care about others and will always offer my advice.
Advice for someone entering their first competition?
Have fun, be open to meeting new people and learn as much as you possibly can from the experience. Don’t take anything too seriously.
Often I see competitors loosing friends, falling out with family & letting the world of competing completely take over their lives.
Don’t get me wrong, competing takes a huge amount of dedication but the more balance you have the better!
What competitions have you competed in?
- INBA UAE | fitness model | 1st place
- bikini division | 2nd
- INBA Worlds | bikini division | 5th
- Top 10 fitness division
- WBFF SA | bikini division | 8th
- WBFF London| bikini division | 8th
- WBFF SA | bikini | 8th
- Body Beautiful | fitness model of the year | 1st
- bikini division | 2nd
Where can people get hold of you?
I now also have my own website where I offer personalised training & nutritional programs. My weekly blog is there too: ajf.fitness
Thank you! Hugs & Healthy Regards!