Light The Fire, Spark the Change | Erica Hepperle
“Growing up, I was always very active, athletic and played just about every sport you could name. I played Varsity and club basketball in high school. However, I was always muscular but overweight. When I went away to college, I started partying even more than I did in high school and developed poor eating habits. After graduating college, I went backpacking through Europe to 10 different countries with 2 of my friends where we ate and drank just about everything in sight. When I returned, I stepped on the scale, and it read 189.5 pounds. It was right then and there, I told myself, I would not allow myself to hit 200 pounds and something had to be done. I started doing CrossFit and lost 15 pounds on my own by meal prepping and staying consistent to my workouts. However, after a while, I realized I wanted more. “What was the difference between the models on Instagram and me?” I thought “If THEY could do it…I TOO could do it!” It was then I told my mom’s friend that I would be so fit one day and she looked at me and said… “Yeah…we all have wanted that too…but then we just gain it all back. Dream On girl” she said…and it was THAT…that fueled my fire!” -Erica Hepperle
Sometimes, we need a little fire lit under our butts. For Erica that fire was lit by an unfamiliar number of the scale. She was determined to bring it back down to something that she recognized from the pack and she did just that. Healthy and fit, Erica currently looks and feels as good as ever! She continues to set the bar even hire and achieve every goal she sets be forth her, not to mention her willingness to hare her secrets with others and help them to get on the right track too!
Erica attributes most of her success to her strong will and determination. After all, a strong mind is very critical to achieving health and fitness. “I am a strong believer in, you must change your way of thinking and your thought process before you can challenge yourself and be successful in health and fitness. The reason being… your Will Power will be tested time and time again. You must make sacrifices and do things that a lot of people don’t understand. You will be going against social norms so people will try to pick your brain and break you down but at the end of the day…it is your MINDSET that will get you through those humps and remind you why you are chasing a goal or a dream. It takes mental strength to change bad behaviors into good ones and takes a rock-solid mentality to be successful,” Erica expresses.
From the very beginning, Erica faced some tough obstacles that she had to remain mentally strong through. “I would say having to give up partying and drinking was one of the biggest obstacles I faced on my journey to fitness. With giving up those two things, I lost and distanced myself from a lot of my friends that I thought were going to be in my life forever! It’s not that I shun people for partying but it was hard for me to juggle partying and drinking, with my determination to succeed and grow. I just heard someone tell me once. “You grind in your 20s, to build in your 30s and chill in your 40s” and that is just what I remind myself during the lonely times. To make it to the top, you have to learn to be alone and learn that in the end, it will all be worth it,” Erica explains.
“If there is anything you think you can’t do…YOU ARE WRONG! You can do anything you set your mind to. You don’t have to live your life thinking “what if…” If you make mistakes trying…I can almost guarantee you, there are is not a cap on the number of “trials” you will be allotted until you succeed.” -Erica Hepperle
Erica loves to share advice with others to inspire them to get their health on track. One of the most important keys that she has to offer is “start with small baby steps. Don’t try to look at the big picture. If you set a goal for yourself every week, and commit to beating your goals EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK… before you know it…time will have passed and you will have surpassed the big picture! Time will pass no matter what…do you want to live it unhappy or live it exerting energy towards being happier and healthier?”
She also feels that eating the right things play a major role and obtaining the results you want. “Everyone should definitely take the time to learn about nutrition. As I like to say, “You CAN’T out work a bad diet” I played back and forth and struggled with food. It wasn’t until I understood “Portions” that I was able to dial in on my physique,” Erica shares.
Helping others find their way brings so much joy to Erica’s life. She takes pride in the influence that she has among others and can share in some of their success. When others succeed, so does she! “The most rewarding part of my journey would be the amount of influence and inspiration I have inflicted on my peers, family and friends. Not only that, it makes me so happy to hear that I am the reason someone stuck to their goals. Not only am I so humbled to be able to have a positive influence on people’s lives but this journey has also helped me find myself and my passions,” Erica says.
What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?
Lacrosse Ball: For recovery and self-myofascial release after every workout
A Barbell: Most compound lifts can be done with a Barbell and work more than one muscle group. Therefore, if it was the only thing you had, you could get in a solid workout.
Resistance Bands: So much can be done with bands and they really challenge your proprioception.
In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?
Overrated: Squats because even if you are new to working out, many newbies will try and perform squats without being taught proper form and can end up hurting themselves. There are so many progression steps one should perform before trying squats. In addition, you and most definitely grow your legs without squats.
Underrated: Hip Thrusts. These are great for the glute and Hamstring activation. Many guys do not like performing these because they don’t feel masculine. But here’s news men…ladies like guys with a nice pair of glutes.
What motivational/inspirational books have you found to be most helpful?
I am not a big book reader when it comes to looking for motivation. However, I do religiously turn to Lewis Howes and his podcasts for motivation and ideas for entrepreneurs.
What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?
On the run, I am all about Caramel Rice Cakes or Quest Cereal Bars. Although, I don’t do much snacking, as it causes me to veer away from my goals, those are two items I find myself grabbing in a rush.