Obstacle Course Race Champion and WNBF Ms. Fitbody Professional athlete, Alexis Fourman shares how training, family, nutrition and faith have impacted her life as an elite athlete.
I am a 32 year old mother, wife, full-time middle school teacher, and part-time personal trainer. I have two children, Addisyn (7) and Landon (4), with my husband, Jeff, of 11 years. I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Middle Childhood Education. While in college my passion for fitness continued to strengthen and during my freshman year I decided to become an AFAA certified aerobics instructor. I remember studying in my dorm for my normal college course exams, while studying out of the big AFAA Fitness instructor manual for my aerobics practical and written exam.
After college, I started teaching and coaching volleyball and track. I coached high school track for 8 years and enjoyed it immensely but had to quit when my children started school and having their own activities. Not wanting to totally give up my passion to help others reach their fitness goals, I decided to get my AFAA personal training and Bodyshred certification. So now I can make my own schedule and make sure Addisyn and Landon get to all their practices and activities. I train clients before and after work, as well as teach 3 workout classes a week out of my church. FLEX, the name of my workout class, has been going strong for the past 4 years now with anywhere from 15-30 people in attendance on any given day.
Received WNBF Ms. Fitbody pro card at the WNBF Tri-State Natural
Savage Race Ohio – 1st place in age division
Savage Race – 2nd place in age division
BattleFrog Cincinnati – 1st place in age division
Completed 3 half marathons
In the past 7 years I have had two children where I gained an average 30 pounds, but maintained a regular fitness regimen throughout both pregnancies and continued weight training. In the past 6 months, I lost 5 pounds and significantly strengthened my legs and glutes. I have always been a cardio buff and in the past 4 years really increased my plyometric training, but what really took my transformation to the next level was reintroducing the heavy weights and low reps from my high school track days. Julie Lohre’s workouts pushed me to work all angles and muscles of my legs with a more intense approach.
My goals over the next year include working on my lats, getting my pro card in the figure division, and placing 1st (Women’s Overall) in the 2017 Savage Race.
When I was in college I started having major food irritations and noticing how easily a not so healthy nutrition plan can catch up to you. Those two factors have motivated me to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to take it upon myself to read and learn as much as I can about nutrition and fitness. I have been able to better diagnose what foods work and don’t work for my body that allows me to stay away from prescription medications. Another huge motivation is my husband, Jeff. I am fortunate to have a spouse that shares a similar passion for overall health and well-being.
I stay motivated by training with people that push me physically and mentally to work harder. On the very rare occasion when I am unmotivated to workout my husband will make sure I do. He knows me better than anyone else and knows that once I go for a run or go to the basement and lift that I will feel so much better mentally and physically.
Fitness is probably the third most important role in my life next to faith and family. My faith and family have driven my fitness passion to a whole new level in the past few years. There have been many scriptures that have pushed me through hard times and lifted me to new levels. Every Sunday I plan out our family schedule and always make sure to schedule in my workouts. If a day is going to be more busy than usual then I make that my rest day. If I find that I need to wake up at 4 am to get a workout in before my 5 am client or work then I make sure that happens. It has become a lifestyle for me.
I wouldn’t say I have any unique challenges but I do tend to overwork myself with my full-time teaching job, training clients before and after work, my 3-4 FLEX workout classes a week that I teach, and family. The challenge has been getting enough sleep and NOT overtraining my muscles.
A few tricks or tips I use to keep my nutrition in check are:
1) Eating my meals on a salad plate. We all like to see a full plate but we don’t need all the food that can fit on a dinner plate. So I always grab a salad plate for every meal.
2) I always pack healthy snacks or my meals if I know I’m going to be away from my house for a few hours. I don’t want to be tempted by the unhealthier options so I try to be prepared. In fact, I have been known to be late places because I have been rushing around at home prepping snacks for my family and myself. During my daughter’s softball season this spring I would make chicken or fish wraps for both my husband and myself with spinach, salsa, and quinoa. It was quick, easy, and fulfilling. People would joke with my husband because he would be eating his wrap while in the dugout helping the little girls get ready to bat and keeping the books.
3) Meal prep 1-2 days a week and know when your “free” meal will be that week. Stick with it and if you have to go out to eat more than once that week scope out the menu in advance. Even pizza places have good salad options with chicken.
Chocolate Ultimate Muscle Protein Pudding
1 Scoop Chocolate protein (Rocky Road UMP)
1 tsp. of Peanut Butter Powder (PB2)
Just enough water to get the consistency of pudding
*Refrigerate for an hour
I can honestly say I don’t have a typical workout. I strongly believe in muscle confusion but I will focus on certain muscle groups during different days of the week so I don’t over-use them. I will stick with a certain schedule and weekly workout routine for about 4 weeks, then change it up. I really enjoy HIIT workouts or a good 40-minute session with just weights. I tend to incorporate high intensity cardio 4 days/week, weight training 5 days/week, and endurance training 1 day/week. I schedule one rest day a week.
My arms tend to be my favorite body part to train. I think it is because I used to be self-conscious wearing a tank top because I thought they were too big when I was younger. I like having defined arms and I don’t ever want to be that teacher with floppy arms writing on the white board =) Some of my favorite exercises are regular full range dips (not the chair kind), rope tricep pull downs, preacher curls, and using my DIY TRX suspension.
Julie Lohre is so easy to talk to when it comes to questions, advice, and workout or meal alternatives. Since I train out of my home, not a gym, there are some exercises I cannot do due to lack of equipment. So she easily came up with alternatives that still kept me in top shape. The same went for my meal plan. I have stomach issues that keep me from eating foods like red meat, anything with oats, and milk or anything with milk. With Julie Lohre’s help and my nutrition background we worked well together to find alternatives that would help me get the amount of healthy protein and carbs needed throughout the day.
Really, there was nothing bad about working with Julie. If I had to point out one thing it would that she was always making me eat (lol)!!! Of course it was healthy food, but early on my mind and body struggled with eating so much throughout the day. I was used to eating 5 times a day prior to training with Julie Lohre but I was under eating. She helped me push that fear aside, properly combine my food choices, and maintain an active metabolism.
“Procrastination is the Assassination of Motivation”
Savage Race Champion Alexis Fourman
WNBF Ms FITBODY Pro Alexis Fourman