Empower | Rachel Elizabeth
Rachel Elizabeth works in every aspect of the fitness industry. She is a professional sports model and host, a fit-lifestyle blogger, a certified personal trainer/nutritionist and lifestyle coach. Most importantly, Rachel works to “advocate for women realizing and reclaiming their innate, God-given value and purpose.”
“I hope that I can help you see your value as innate, not to be earned; I hope I can help you see that while fitness and health are vital to your quality of life, they can’t save you like I used to think they could; and I hope that I can help you better understand, through basic fitness and nutrition education and a little personal responsibility, how simple taking care of yourself really is.” -Rachel Elizabeth
Rachel first decided to get serious about health and fitness during her college years. She had always been athletic as a child, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to weight training and proper nutrition, that Rachel really had her aha moment. “It was the first time I had felt truly empowered and strong in a long time. I fell in love with the feeling it gave me and wanted to share that with other women in need of confidence and empowerment,” Rachel says.
The empowerment was just what Rachel needed at the time. She had been dealing with a lot of negative feelings within. “I was sexually abused in college, and given my athletic upbringing, my first outlet was running. But running became destructive. I built up a tolerance and had to run harder and faster and longer to feel the same thing — and I had been running to feel something; anything. It was then that my friend introduced to me to weight training,” Rachel explains.
While going through such a traumatic situation can be disabling for many, Rachel found a way to turn it into something that fueled her determination. She was able to find passion and become stronger. She was able to overcome it and become the strong, talented, inspiring person she is today.
“I want to be wherever God leads me. I envision myself equipping others to lead (mentees, employees, volunteers), leading multiple retreats and workshops/seminars a year (fitness, nutrition, biz, lifestyle, etc), and public speaking (to women, specifically) internationally.” – Rachel Elizabeth
Rachel wants to continue to find new ways to inspire others through fitness. “I’m working on a book, a memoir. And I just launched a new web-series on my YouTube channel called “Real Talk with Rach” as a way to open up about my story, be transparent, and discuss topics that we, as a society, generally hide from out of fear, but desperately need to face/own-up to in order to evolve and heal and grow and reconcile and move forward. Topics like vulnerability, forgiveness, body image, self worth, and compassion are examples of things we’ll be talking about in future episodes.
My hope is that this series builds a strong online community that spreads the messages with their circles and positively influences others to build similar communities. I want to create a ripple effect. That’s always been my vision for Cause Fitness. It’s Fitness for Effect. That happens when we learn how to give AND receive, and really DO LIFE together, working through rather than avoiding hard topics and conversations. We need more courageous and compassionate people. We need bravery and vulnerability and integrity.
I’d love for the book and the online community to become physical community who gather and participate in future retreats and workshops and community outreach events,” Rachel explains.
I noticed that you have done quite a bit of fitness modeling, how did you break into this? What do you enjoy about it?
In 2007, a model friend of mine sent in photos of me from a boating excursion that summer to his agency (without my knowledge). I got a contract from them shortly after and signed, booking my first job just a few days later. It was something I had secretly always wanted to do but wouldn’t have pursued it without the push. I’m forever grateful!
I love that it’s new every time. Even if I book recurring jobs with the same company, the job is never the same twice, and rarely boring. I’m always meeting such amazing and inspiring people, too, and that leads to friendships and business relationships, and collaborations, and more!
Who do you consider the icons in your space?
Since I’ve been in such a huge transition the last few years, I’m not sure about icons in my exact space because I’m not quite sure I know what my exact space is just yet. As for fitness personalities and influencers with a message of encouragement, I’d say Amber Dodzweit is still one of the best in the industry. She’s honest, beautiful, strong, and unapologetic. She’s been a distant friend and an inspiration for years. And in business, I admire women like Kathy Ireland, who used her modeling career as a an opportunity to build a business empire; or Marie Forleo, a multi-passionate entrepreneur who built a “socially conscious digital empire that touches millions” as a life coach from nothing using YouTube to create a web series (she started as a bartender and group fitness instructor).
What is your training regimen (be as detailed as possible – I’d love to have you include a workout session plan if you can)
My own training usually consists of a hybrid of hypertrophy, strength training, athletic conditioning with abs training and some cardio on the side. My body type is meso-ecto, which means I typically lose muscle and gain fat if I stop training or don’t eat enough, but put on muscle and burn fat quickly when I’m disciplined and consistent.
My weeks usually look something like this:
Sunday – rest day, Monday – legs, Tuesday – shoulders and sprints, Wednesday – run, hike or rest day, Thursday – back, Friday – chest/arms, Saturday – plyos, sprints or anything I didn’t get to train during the week.
Sample leg day*:
Leg extensions (warm up): 3-5×20
Leg press: 4×20,20,15,10 (gradually heavier)
Barbell or Smith squats: 3×8-12
Walking dumbbell lunges: 4x15ea
Barbell hip thrusts or American deadlifts: 4×8-12
Bulgarian split squat: 3x8ea
*This workout would last an hour at least, but plyometrics on Saturday, for example, would be explosive and powerful and only last about 20-30 min max.
What’s your beliefs on performance diet like? Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?
I’m certified in exercise nutrition (sports nutrition) and believe food is our fuel. The more active we are, the more (calories, carbs, etc.) we need; the more sedentary we are, and the less we need. Got to earn your starches! 🙂 But, I’m bit of a hybrid of Sports Nutrition and Paleo because I stick to my mantra “God-made over man-made” wherever and whenever possible. This means real, whole foods. Nothing artificial. I’m not a vegetarian, but I believe greens should take up the most real-estate on your plate in every meal. A full amino-acid profile for protein is vital for health and fitness goals, so I do consume and advocate animal proteins, but I keep red meat to a minimum and eat a lot of eggs, chicken, and natural whey protein shakes.