Briana Bowley and Crystal Angwin, both just 21 years old, have successfully launched their Ignite Bootcamps business over the past six months and have powered into their personal training careers. Since starting out, both girls have accomplished great health goals and are at their peak to compete in upcoming fitness model competitions. Fitness Fuzion sat down with the girls to discuss their reasons for pursuing a future in fitness and how they have achieved so much while inspiring those around them.
Why did you decide to be a personal trainer?
Briana: For me it was because I wanted to help people. The effect of health and fitness on every aspect of your life (particularly mindset) is huge and most people don’t realise this. I want to teach people about this to change lives and create an impact!
Crystal: I decided to become a personal trainer after doing PT with Briana. I was quite overweight and had put on about 30kg and was rather depressed. When I found health and fitness, I found me again and was happy. I wanted to do that for other people. I’ve always wanted to help and bring others happiness.
What training and qualifications did you have to undertake?
Briana: I’ve completed a complusory Cert 3 in Gym Instructing, Cert 4 in Master Trainer at the Australian Institute of Fitness and also CPR and Senior First Aid courses. I’ve also undertaken extras to improve my own knowledge and further educate my clients. I’ve done Advanced Ball Workshop, Cert 4 Massage Therapist, Level 1 Sports Trainer, Level 2 Advanced Strapping, Boxing for life Level 2 Accreditation, Certification of Nutrition, Filex Convention 2014 and Personal Empowerment with 12 Universal Laws.
Crystal: I’ve completed a Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness but that’s all I’ve done so far.
How has personal training impacted on your life?
Briana: How hasn’t it? It’s changed everything. I came from a very lost place and was using alcohol and partying as my way to escape. Since finding fitness I’ve found a new passion and zest for life. I’ve found my limitless potential. I JUMP out of bed every morning. It has completely changed every single aspect of my life. And the best part? I get to see the same results for my clients over and over again.
Crystal: It’s impacted everything. It’s helped me in every way of my life. I came from quite a depressing start, so everything health and fitness related has helped me open up to a positive outlook on life. I’ve realised that I don’t have to be skinny to be happy. Just need to learn to love yourself.
Why did you start your own boot camp business?
Briana: I started off as a one on one personal trainer, which is really time consuming. So the bootcamps allowed me to reach more people in less time and I really want to impact as many people as possible. When Crystal finished her certificate we thought why not? It’s a bit of fun and then we’ve just gone from there.
Crystal: We started because we had been talking about it for a while and decided to just do it. We then got a real passion for it because we were able to help heaps of people. Everyone really enjoyed it so we were able to inspire and assist as many people as possible in a short amount of time.
How did you get started?
Briana: We trialled a 5 week challenge outdoors with minimal equipment, which proved to be a huge success. So then we began 12 week challenges incorporating more coaching techniques. Then we found an indoor facility to work from and it’s just taken off.
Crystal: Briana already had a large clientele, so a lot of those people wanted to try the bootcamp because they loved her training. I also had a couple of friends who were interested and they thought why not. We started off separately and then because everyone really enjoyed it we decided to combine and have just taken off from there.
What challenges have you encountered along the way?
Briana: Money was a big one. In running our own business, we began working at a loss or just breaking even. We’ve only just begun making enough profit to ‘stay afloat’. Also motivating clients that are lacking and stopping those clients from bringing down the rest of the group. I’ve also struggled with personal beliefs like “am I good enough?” and “do I know enough?” I also had to get past the fear of speaking in front of a big group.
Crystal: Money, like Briana said. We wanted to have the equipment and the resources but obviously it takes time to acquire those things. We had to start off small and then expand as we go.
What does your day-to-day fitness program consist of?
Briana: It’s a little different at the moment due to comp-prep for a fitness modelling competition. I do 50 minutes of fasted cardio in the morning before I eat breakfast but that changes week to week. And then I do 60 to 90 minutes of weights and occasionally yoga to maintain balance. I then allow for a ‘rest’ day one to two days per week. Although, I still remain active on these days but just no formal form of exercise.
Crystal: At the moment I’m also training for a fitness modelling competition so I’m doing 60 minutes of fasted cardio in the morning. I also do 60 to 90 minutes of weights training depending on the day. But it changes week to week.
What are your favourite healthy meals?
Briana: I’m really boring. Oats with berries are probably my favourite and also steak with sweet potato. I also like protein pancakes, protein balls, and raw cheesecakes but that is on the slightly unhealthier side of things.
Crystal: I like steak and sweet potato too. Sweet potato is a godsend! I also love Greek yoghurt and almonds but that’s in moderation.
Any advice for people wanting to get fit and healthy?
Briana: Just do it. Let go of your excuses, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. You need to make your health your priority because your health is EVERYTHING.
Find a form of exercise that you genuinely love and go from there. Whether that’s weight training, cardio, dance, yoga, boxing. Just keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate. Take baby steps because something is better than nothing.
Crystal: My advice would be not to ponder on the idea and get out there and do it! Don’t think about it and just start going for a walk, buying healthier foods and don’t have junk in your cupboards that you know is going to tempt you. If you’re unmotivated try going with a friend or partner and make sure there are no excuses. Make time for you and your goals.
What are your plans for the future with your career?
Briana: I want to take a more holistic based coaching style. Also incorporate mindset, hypnosis, meditation and teaching the importance of balance. I also want to start up some seminars because the aim is to reach as many people as possible.
Crystal: Hopefully to expand the bootcamps and reach a wider group. I want to help everyone change their lifestyle and have a more positive outlook. I also want to incorporate some psychology into the training and discover why people eat the way they do. There is always an underlying reason as to why people look for comfort food.
Crystal Angwin (left) and Briana Bowley (right)
Interview and photo: Eliza Oatway