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Being involved in sports as a child can help you to develop so much more than just strength. Youth sports help to set the foundations for fitness, mental toughness, teamwork, cooperation, and discipline throughout a person’s lifetime. This is true of BBcom Master Coach Rebecca Rouse.
Where did your journey begin? What was your physical, mental and emotional state when first starting out?
RR: My journey began at age 3, when my parents started me in gymnastics. I was a competitive gymnast from ages 7-14, and the sport had a profound impact on my life. Because I was so young, I didn’t fully grasp or appreciate the way gymnastics influenced the person I was/am, but looking back now, I absolutely do. Gymnastics is not an easy sport, especially for a child – long hours of intense practice (3-4 hours each), coaches that were very hard on us, and competition judges who sought perfection and gave deductions for anything that was less than 10.0 quality. From a young age, the sport set the foundation for physical strength, mental toughness, structure, and discipline. All of these things prepared me for the road ahead and have allowed me to get to where I am in my life today.oMy journey in the weight room began in college. After stopping gymnastics, going into high school and then doing 2 years of cheerleading, I needed something to fill the void and to keep me active and fit. I found my way into the weight room freshman year of college. I had lost a good amount of muscle after I stopped gymnastics, and I quickly realized how lifting weights could help me gain it back. I fell in love with the process of building muscle and strength, and followed bodybuilding programs all through college.
What prompted you to start training?
RR: My parents put me in gymnastics at age 3 after ballet and dance weren’t cutting it for me (apparently I wasn’t too fond of them). They never forced me to pursue it – it was my choice to continue as long as I did. But I loved it; the gym was my home away from home and the girls on my team were my best friends. We trained together, competed together, traveled together, and went from girls to young adult women together.In my adult years, after gymnastics was no longer part of my life, what prompted me to start training at first was to fill that void. It then turned into the desire for a certain aesthetic. A few years after that, and what drives me to this day, is my passion for high performance and strength.
What does being STRONG mean to you?
RR: To me, being strong occurs in both the body and the mind. Being strong means we have the fortitude to persevere through life’s inevitable obstacles and difficult times. It means we can overcome those challenges with confidence, become more resilient for having experienced them, and be better equipped to handle future ones. Strength is a skill that requires continuous sharpening, and the work is never done.
How has fitness and training changed your life?
RR: Fitness and strength training have drastically affected the trajectory of my life.They have impacted me more than almost anything else, and I wouldn’t be where I am today – as an entrepreneur, a coach, or an athlete – without it. Fitness has given me a passion, a career, and an industry to start my business. Strength Coaching has given me a purpose and an ability to impact lives on a scale I never would have thought possible. Strength sports have given me the opportunity to test my limits and see what both my body and mind are capable of underpressure. All of these things have given me the chance to better myself and others, which is what I think we are all put on this earth to do.
What’s one piece of advice for someone looking to get started?
RR: Though it might seem quite simple, the best piece of advice I can give someone looking to get started is to JUST START. Take action. Whether that’s getting yourself off the couch, walking through the gym doors for the first time,beginning your first training program, or hiring a coach to help you – the first step is always the hardest. But once you get the ball rolling, momentum builds,results start to appear, and progress is made. You learn to love and trust the process, and before you know it, you’ve built a whole new lifestyle. Do it long enough, and you realize that the journey becomes as important and as exciting as reaching the destination.
How has Bodybuilding.com helped you on your journey?
RR: Bodybuilding.com played an integral part in my early days in the weight room. I first started lifting weights in college when I was 18, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had heard about BBcom from some of the people I met at the campus gym and I quickly discovered how valuable the articles, training plans,and supplements were, especially for a beginner. I remember learning through the BBcom website which exercises worked which muscles, and how to hit all the different muscle groups in a given week through the body part splits. BBcom helped me learn the muscular system before I took my first anatomy class.
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