Photo via Motive Training on Instagram

It’s been 7 months since I joined Motive Training and it has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my personal wellness journey.

Motive Training is a boutique style, personal training studio in Grand Rapids, MI. Brian Murray is the owner and also my trainer/coach. I attend one personal training session per week, for one hour. As wellness has become such an important pillar in my life, I want to share what I’ve learned and the impact it has made on my journey.

Why Motive?

I discovered Motive through SweatNET Grand Rapids. I was ready to take my wellness journey to the next level and I was in desperate need of guidance. I knew that strength training was needed to see the physical results I wanted (decrease fat and build muscle), but when I tried lifting weights in the past, I had no idea where to focus.

During my initial consultation with Brian he asked a ton of questions. He asked about the status of my physical health, my environment, my support system, and my “why”. He also put me through a 15 minute workout to assess my mobility.

What stood out most to me was his thorough questioning, which made me feel confident that he wasn’t a coach who would only focus on what I ate and how I moved. He understood the importance of getting a holistic understanding of his clients. He wanted to know who I was and what I value. I have hypothyroidism and Brian knew quite a bit about it so that made me feel like I was in good hands.

Brian shared his personal wellness journey with me. He went from 260 pounds to opening a gym and has maintained his weight loss for over a decade! This made me feel safe because he genuinely understood the barriers preventing people from success. At that moment, I felt that working with him meant having a coach who was relatable and compassionate.

What have I learned?

Motive has provided me with so much education about exercise in such a short amount of time. Brian provides a lot of coaching cues to ensure I have the proper form. For example, because of him I always think about driving my heel down while using the stairmaster or stepping on a box rather than pulling my knee up. Before training with him, I didn’t understand how the proper form maximizes each workout, but he corrects my form and tells me why I need to do things a certain way which helps me understand the benefit of it.

The coaches at Motive create workouts for clients to complete outside of training sessions. The cool thing is that the workouts are in an app called True Coach, which also provides short clips of how to do each movement if I ever forget. Brian also adds notes with coaching cues for each movement which helps me maintain proper form when I’m not working with him. I’m able to add comments in the app to share how I felt about the workout, the level of difficulty etc. so that coaches are able to provide additional support.

Because of the team at Motive, I feel more confident using a variety of equipment. I never thought I would be the girl who could go to the gym and lift weights on my own. I don’t feel intimidated anymore when I go to the gym, which was something that prevented me from taking strength training seriously.

Motive also provides nutrition coaching. I hit a plateau at the end of 2019 (after losing 23 pounds) and it was super discouraging. One thing I appreciated about Brian is that he helped me refocus on what was important, which was celebrating the fact that I had lost and maintained 23 pounds. He reminded me to give myself patience and grace, and be proud that I am healthier and more confident. He could have easily gone into solution mode to further my physical progress, but instead he provided coaching on how to appreciate my journey.

In my opinion this is the kind of support that prevents people from giving up and cycling back into old habits, such as fad diets.

Through nutrition coaching, I learned that I was not eating nearly enough food, specifically protein. I was a healthy snacker, but a snacker nonetheless. I significantly increased my protein which resulted in me no longer snacking throughout the work day. I didn’t need to because I wasn’t hungry between meals anymore. This made a huge difference in my progress and I finally broke that plateau.

Let’s talk about results

I lost eight pounds before signing up with Motive. Since Motive, I’ve lost an additional 19 pounds. I don’t weigh myself often (maybe every 1–2 months) because I don’t want to use a number on a scale to measure my success. However, I’m sharing because I know some people find this data helpful.The best part of all is that I’m not on some strict diet and I’m not killing myself in the gym, which was crucial for me to maintain this lifestyle long term. I work out four days per week, including my personal training session. When I first started, I was only working out 1–2 days a week. My goal is to increase to a consistent five days a week before the end of year.

My body has completely transformed and I’ve become physically and mentally stronger. My waist, arms, and thighs have slimmed and become more toned. My hips and butt have become more curved and shaped. I’ve never had muscle definition in my arms and legs before training at Motive so it’s something I’m super proud of.

Beyond all of the physical progress, I have changed the way I think about my wellness journey. I am more confident as a person, I appreciate my process and I’ve become more patient with myself. I don’t love exercise, but I fully understand the importance of it and it doesn’t feel like a daunting task anymore. Exercise and healthy eating isn’t something I have to do, it’s something I get to do!

When I first joined Motive, I only signed up for three months because I didn’t want to be stuck in a long term contract if I didn’t see an ROI. I have since extended to a one year contract because I’ve gotten more from Brian and Motive than I could have imagined.

Since joining Motive, Brian has consistently checked in with me. Not just from a “how are your workouts going?” or “how’s your nutrition?” perspective, but a genuine check in of how I am overall. Regardless of where you are in your wellness journey, I would encourage you to reach out to them because it could truly be life changing for you like it was for me. The team is full of funny, kind humans. They have a wealth of knowledge, experience, resources, and are truly committed to helping you be well!

“I’m writing my story so that others might see fragments of themselves.” -Lena Waithe

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L. Alexander

“I’m writing my story so that others might see fragments of themselves.” -Lena Waithe