with cover star Yvette Campos / @yvette.campos723

What inspired you to start your fitness journey? My fitness journey began 5 years ago at the age of 45 when I joined two good friends in a group fitness class. It started more as a way to get “girl time” and socialize. It didn’t take very long before I started feeling better and stronger. I started to see visible results from the weightlifting. In the past, I had joined gyms and mostly used cardio equipment. The free weight section was always too intimidating. Once I saw the muscle growth I was achieving from the little time we dedicated to free weights in the group classes, I was hooked! I decided I wanted a lot more time lifting and less time doing cardio. It was then that I decided to join a big gym and hire a personal trainer. My love for fitness quickly morphed into setting a goal of owning a gym one day. This year I took a leap of faith and closed my dog training business after 24 years and bought 3 Anytime Fitness locations.

How do you define your fitness goals, both short-term and long-term? My fitness goals have remained consistent for the last 5 years. Most importantly I want to be healthy and strong. I try not to use the words “skinny”, “slim” or “small”. I focus on “fit”. I often set short-term goals relating to a muscle group. I’ll focus on better abs, bigger glutes, or a more defined back. With those short-term goals, I’ll work the body part extra sessions in a week. I also set short-term goals involving a strength gain. It can be wanting to hit a specific weight in a lift, like squats or bench presses. Or it can be a goal of achieving a number of pull-ups or sit-ups. My long-term goals have remained consistent. I look to stay healthy, fit, and strong. I want to be a positive role model for my 2 children. I want them to see my commitment (even when it gets tough) and my discipline (which sometimes wanes).

How do you stay motivated when faced with challenges or setbacks? Motivation has been easy to come by for me. The gym is my happy place. I love the environment and being surrounded by like-minded people. As a mom, wife, and business owner, sometimes it’s tough to find the time to work out. Challenges pop up, but I do my best to prioritize my health. Days that I can’t fit in a workout used to really bother me. I now focus on it being a marathon and not a sprint. Setbacks arise as well. I’ve been lucky to be mostly injury-free throughout my journey, but small sprains or pulled muscles happen. Having to take time off to heal is rough, but I recognize the importance of not pushing too hard and letting my body rest. As a gym owner, the motivation to “walk the walk” and “look the part” has inspired me to do my very best to stay fit and healthy.

How do you balance your fitness routine with other commitments in your life? I’m really blessed when it comes to balancing my fitness routine with other commitments. I can be in one of my gyms and get both my work done and my workouts accomplished. I’m getting to live my dream of hanging out in a gym for 6 hours a day while getting paid. I can handle staff, payroll, marketing, and putting out fires as they arise while fitting in cardio and lifting in between. I also have the best employees, each of whom is reliable, responsible, and knowledgeable. This allows me to pick up kids from school, attend their events, and take care of “life stuff” whenever I need it. 

How do you maintain consistency in your workouts? Maintaining consistency in my workouts has come, largely, from utilizing personal trainers throughout my journey. I strive to get 5 or 6 workouts a week which is more easily achieved with the accountability that comes from having a personal trainer. They have taught me that with consistency, I can trust the process. There have been periods where life was really busy and putting off my workout was a possible solution, but undoubtedly getting those workouts in makes me even more productive and better able to tackle anything that arises. Consistency has been vital in my overall health and strength. I’m able to give myself grace if I have to skip a couple of workouts because I know I’ll be right back at it. It also means never having to start over. I put so much time and effort into my fitness that I can’t imagine wasting it by being inconsistent.

What do you enjoy most about being active and staying fit? There are so many things I enjoy about being active and staying fit. I love being strong. I love watching my body change and grow the more I work out. I love not having to ask for help to carry heavy items. I love being able to keep up with my kids and participate in sports and activities with them. I want to inspire other women my age and show them it’s never too late to get started in their own fitness journey. I love food! I love that working out allows me to indulge without feeling guilty. Being active every day means I sleep well every night. It means I wake up ready to tackle whatever the day holds. I love feeling good in my clothes and looking forward to swimsuit season. Being sedentary has never been an option for me. I enjoy being busy and having the energy to give my all at everything I do.

How do you incorporate recovery and rest into your routine? Recovery and rest are two very important parts of a healthy lifestyle. There’s no question I’d rather spend more time lifting than resting, but injuries result when you push too hard. Stretching, rolling out, and using a therapy gun are all tools I use to stay healthy. I’ve been lucky to only suffer a few short-lived injuries like a tennis elbow and a strained shoulder. Both of these were alleviated by seeking out a physical therapist. Taking things slowly has never really been in my DNA, but the thought of a small setback turning into weeks or months out of the gym is not an option. I absolutely prioritize my sleep. I can’t put in 2 hours of pushing myself if I’m dragging from lack of sleep. I also make sure to drink a lot of water and take daily vitamins. My overall health since my fitness journey began is so much better. My energy level stays high, my sleep quality is great and I rarely catch a cold or feel under the weather.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for your fitness journey in the future? My aspirations for my fitness journey in the future are simple. Keep lifting. I want to be in my 60s and 70’s still putting in the work at the gym. I want to inspire women of all ages to be active and fit. One day when I’m a grandmother, I want to be able to play with them, not watch them play. I’d love to own more gyms and create an even bigger gym family. My son who is 16 has been on his fitness journey for two years now and is competing in powerlifting. We have attended The Oympia and The Arnold Classic together. I want those trips to keep happening and love that he and I share the same passion for fitness. My daughter who is 11 works out with a trainer twice a week and loves that she feels strong. I want my fitness journey to always involve my family and I hope to continue to be a role model for them and what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

Do you have any pre- or post-workout rituals that help you perform your best? For pre-workout rituals, I take my vitamins and supplements. I also always drink a protein shake before my workout as well. On the drive to the gym, I clear my head by listening to an upbeat music playlist. For post-workout, I try to get in my stretching and foam rolling. I have another protein shake and drink a lot of water. Staying consistent with my diet and rest are really the most important rituals I follow.  

What advice would you give to someone just starting their fitness journey? The advice I would give to someone just starting their fitness journey would be to start in a group setting. Give yourself accountability and make it social. It’s so much easier when you’re getting started, to focus on fun. Find a class that you enjoy with others who have similar interests. Set small goals. Make them attainable. Give yourself grace if you have a setback. Be patient and trust the process. I have always loved having a personal trainer. I have to be in charge and make so many decisions every day that I really enjoy showing up to the gym and letting someone else tell me what to do. I don’t have to think too much, just follow instructions. It’s a great “brain break” in my day. Listen to music! Those hard workouts get a little easier when you’re listening to your favorite songs. 

Where can our readers stay in touch with you? Instagram @yvette.campos723, @anytimefitnesscedarparktx, @anytimefitnessharkerheights, @anytimefitnesscopperascove and Facebook at Yvette Campos.