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Amie Behave
I’m a Vegan Personal Trainer. This is How I Got Stronger After Brain Surgery

Amie Behaves Stats When We Talked with Her 💪

United Kingdom
30 years
168 cm
(5 ‘6)
58 kg
(128 lbs)

Follow Amie on Instagram and YouTube

👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training

Hey, I’m Amie Behave. I was born and bred near Brighton in the UK and am currently a personal trainer at Anytime Fitness.

I got into training at the end of 2013. My main reason for starting was to put on weight; something I always struggled with, regardless of how much I ate (not a blessing, I assure you) and my love for weight training blossomed from there until I decided it was something I wanted to help others with.

I had a few breaks off training since then for a number of reasons; firstly, I went travelling for a year – I managed to visit some gyms but it was never consistent and secondly, when I had major brain surgery in 2016.

I had to slowly reintroduce training again and start from scratch. This eventually spurred me on to compete in my first body building show in 2019! I did PCA Trained Bikini – didn’t place but the fact I got onto that stage was an incredible success for me.

I guess after everything my body and mind had been through I wanted to prove to myself I could do anything if I put my mind to it. I wanted to see how far I could push myself and hoped to inspire and encourage others with my journey.

I’ve decided to take a break competing in Bodybuilding as I’ve had a tough four months personally and you have to be 100% in it mentally to compete.

I’m considering looking into powerlifting this year so I still have goals to work toward but they’re based on strength not aesthetics.

When I’m not training clients or myself, I like to keep busy learning Spanish, poi spinning, flexibility training and belly dancing!

⏱ Describe a typical day of training

I typically train five times a week on a spilt of; lower, upper, lower, upper, rest, lower, rest and repeat.

I typically train five times a week on a spilt of; lower, upper, lower, upper, rest, lower, rest and repeat. Usually I’ll spend 10 mins warming up so for legs this will be box jumps, glute activation with bands, some body weight hip extensions and dynamic stretches, upper would include shoulder mobility, scap activation and stretches with a warm up set.

I’m in the gym for around an hour to an hour and a half weight training – cardio is a no at the moment as I’m just trying to build strength & don’t want to waste energy.

I like to train to failure a lot – my body seems to respond well to this so a set typically looks like this: Set1 eight to 10 reps, Set2 12 to 15 reps straight into either a drop set or a rest pause. I always log my work outs as I try to increase weights every week.

I train alone most of the time – I find gym partners distracting a lot – you end up spending double the time there just chatting shit, though I do ask people for a spot here and there.

I like to stick some mental in my headphones and stay focused – the angrier the better! Especially when doing deadlifts, which is my fave exercise.

👊 How do you keep going and push harder?

You know, motivation is a funny thing. Going to the gym is easy when you want to go, the key is going when you don’t want to. There are days where I don’t want to go – at least once a week I’d say and for various reasons, but, the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.

I make sure I plan my workouts and book time out for them – it get’s prioritised over most things. It is obviously easier when you work at the gym as you’re already there, so I train after my morning clients – no excuses then.

I’ve realised if I wait to train in the evening I have much lower motivation, so I go when I’m most likely to have energy and enthusiasm.

Find out when you have the most energy and time to go, plan ahead and fit it into your schedule, even if it’s 30mins – we all have the same 24 hours, it’s just how you choose to spend it that makes the difference.

A good way to keep yourself motivated is to set goals and track your progress. I would recommend setting goals for strength/speed as well as aesthetics as training just for looks can often become overly obsessive and sometimes negative.

Usually if you focus on the speed & strength, the looks come as a side effect. Then keep a log book of your training so you can see your improvements in the gym, take photos of yourself periodically so you can watch yourself change – it’s so important to track these things as sometimes we forget where we started & we can find ourselves demotivated.

🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Looking forward, I’m honestly a bit stuck right now. I had a lot of life plans but due to a very recent, long term relationship break down I find myself a bit lost.

I’m taking each day as it is currently, I’m focusing on strength building at the gym and I’ve set myself a few PB goals to hit by the end of the year. I want to focus on taking care of my health and most importantly my mental health.

I’m going to reassess my wants and needs from life and make a new plan. I’d like to think this involves more travelling, being fluent in Spanish, fire and belly dance performing, kicking off my YouTube again and looking into powerlifting competitions.

🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?

Warm up efficiently, make sure you stretch after training, get regular sports massage, practice yoga and LISTEN to your body.

Looking back on training, the only things I would change is that I would have started rehabbing and prehabbing earlier, started setting goals earlier and stopped training on injuries – DON’T DO IT!

I know it sucks not being able to train but I promise it sucks so much more when you make your injuries worse and then you physically can’t train for a much longer period of time!

Recovery is something I should be WAY more into. It’s so important to your growth and progression and yet I’m terrible at sitting still and listening to my body physically.

I’m not a good sleeper as I get maybe five hours a night (with help from REDCON1 Fade Out) and it’s been known for me to train on injuries!

I’ve recently just recovered from bicep tendinitis – I trained on it for about two months until I physically couldn’t lift my arm – this forced me to take three weeks completely out of training (definitely my own fault).

I also have a slipped disc in my L5/S1 – I’ve had this for almost six years now – want to guess how I did it? Well, I pulled it doing a barbell roll out and then proceeded to deadlift the next day. This caused me to wind up in A&E and I had to take 3 months out of training.

My advice on this? Don’t be like me! Warm up efficiently, make sure you stretch after training, get regular sports massage, practice yoga and LISTEN to your body.

If it’s really tired – rest it. If you have injured yourself DON’T train on it – I know it sucks, but ultimately you’ll end up having to take way more Time off!

If you do get injured – seek help. Go and see a professional who can treat you or at least advise the best course of action to get you recovering quickly and safely.

🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?

As I’m currently training for strength I have a lot of leeway in terms of my diet; I’m vegan, so eat loads of fruit / veg (probably around 12 portions per day) and I’d say I’m on around 2500-2800kcals, hitting about 120-140g protein – including 1 protein shake, per day.

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I usually don’t eat until around 10am, when I’d have my pre workout meal, then I usually eat at around 12, 2, 4, 8 with snacks in-between. I eat out maybe one to two times per week (usually breakfast) and generally don’t track those meals.

I follow a rough meal plan most of the time, however, if I want something off plan then I just have it – such a luxury after experiencing show prep!

Now that’s a different story. Prep diet looked mostly like this:
0 off-plan meals, 0 cheat days, fasting til midday then eating every two hours until 8pm, black coffee x1million, 4L water, 0kal Jellies, Diet drinks, herbal teas & ALL the cucumber.

I stuck to the exact same meal plan everyday for six months. After my show, I did continue eating the same foods for a few months & to some extent still do now, however when I get bored I just vary it up a bit which keeps my soul pretty happy.

Supplement wise I take; B12, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, Omega 3, Vit c & Iron (Holland & Barrat) to keep my energy up, recovery fast and mood levelled.

👍 What has inspired and motivated you?

The better I felt, the more I wanted it.

My motivation for training started when I wanted to put on a bit of weight – I don’t recall if I’d seen a specific someone or body type, but I’d always been slender and wanted a bit of shape.

The motivation continued when I started noticing changes in my body and strength – I’m a mesomorph so shape up quite quickly and it started to become addictive. The better I felt, the more I wanted it. So in the beginning my only source of motivation was to better myself.

After the hiccup with brain surgery, my motives became different. I still wanted to do it for myself – to prove to myself that nothing could stop me and I could get back to where I was, but I also wanted to inspire others to do the same.

My driver became encouraging others to take control of their circumstances and get the most out of their lives. I wanted to show people that no matter what your mind and body goes through, with determination and consistency you can achieve anything and get back to full health.

With the incredible support and messages from my peers, I was shown this was working & this now drives me even harder.

Currently combined with this drive, my other motivation is the fact I am a walking advert for my business, which is helpful as there are often days where I don’t want to train or would rather be doing something else, but the thought of giving up or missing a session is overridden by the need to look healthy and be a good role model for my clients and peers.

When I’m actually in the gym and losing motivation I whack some angry, heavy metal on and that usually gets me right in the mood for a PB!

I have a few inspirations that also make me want to better myself in terms of health & fitness – they’re actually all my friends. I find it much easier to relate to someone I know and trust.

I get into the mentality of ‘if they can do it, so can I’ and watching them transform, grow, develop and keep at it really helps me stay consistent and push harder, especially when you train with them – bit of healthy competition. 😉

It’s also really awesome to be able to speak to these people in person, with no bull shit- if I’m struggling or need advice I can turn to them and ask for their opinions and guidance, which they gladly give.

The best advice I’ve ever been given, for the days where you want to give up, is this simple quote: ‘Struggle today, be better tomorrow.’

This quote pushed me through the whole of bodybuilding prep and every session I didn’t want to do. It’s also what pushes me through hard times and helps me to get on with life.

It’s like it breaks everything down into bite size, manageable pieces – just do today. Eventually that compound effect is what will separate you from the dreamers.

✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?

If you’re looking to get into health and fitness, personal development or generally just wanting to better yourself my first piece of advice would be SET YOUR GOALS.

Have a really good think about what it is you actually want to achieve. Make sure it’s a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Bound) and make sure your heart is in it / you’re passionate about it.

Then, GET A COACH. Whether that’s for bodybuilding, general exercise, mental health, confidence, a new skill or whatever – the most effective way to achieve this is by learning from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Having someone to guide you, advise you, someone who can relate to you, someone who has already done what you’re wanting to do and can share their experiences with you is by far the quickest way to success. This will cut wasted time as you won’t need to ‘trial and error’ – you will learn the most effective methods to get your goal smashed super efficiently.

Next, find your SUPPORT NETWORK – find people with similar goals (friends, Facebook groups, clubs etc) Sometimes you want to talk to your peers instead of / as well as your coach.

I found this imperative during my show prep – being able to talk to people going through the same thing really helped me to stay on track, to push forward, to keep learning and made me feel like I wasn’t alone.

Sometimes just being able to talk or vent to people who really understand makes you feel part of a community which puts you back into a positive mindset and re-ignites your drive to succeed.

Lastly, (although I could go on for days) Don’t listen to the naysayers. They are always around – unfortunately. There are lots of people who won’t understand why you want to; do more/be better/improve yourself/improve your life and they will question you/challenge you.

Usually this is because they can’t be bothered to do it themselves and/or they get jealous of your drive and achievements. Well, FUCK WHAT THEY THINK is my honest answer to that.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about your choices – it’s not for them. As long as you’re not intentionally hurting anyone then you do you. The people that matter won’t mind and the people who mind don’t matter.

🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?

I specialise in; body confidence, muscle building and vegan nutrition and I like to take a holistic approach to training.

Being healthy accounts for the body AND mind- the two go hand-in-hand. I take on limited face-to-face clients and am currently taking on ONLINE clients. The beauty of this is I can take on clients from all over the world.

I use an app where I send out individual nutrition plans and workouts to complete, we do weekly check ins via the app messenger, progression photos, video analysis and I’m generally on call for any questions or advice.

The most common question I get initially is ‘how long will it take to see results’. My answer to that is usually how long is a piece of string? To be honest, this is very person specific.

Mostly, this totally depends on how much time you are willing to commit to your goal; How many times a week can you train? Are you going to stick to the work out plan? Are you going to stick to the food plan/ macros? Are you going to be honest if you go off plan? Also, we must take into account illnesses/ injuries/ age/ hormones/ metabolism, etc.

Usually, I try to take an approach of a steady change – a plan that is not overwhelming – simple bite-sized changes to create life-long habits over time, a plan that will educate you so eventually you won’t HAVE to rely on a coach and can make good and sensible decisions on your own.

My philosophy is to educate people to look after themselves and to enjoy themselves whilst making health and fitness a permanent part of their lifestyle.

📝 Where can we learn more about you?

Find me:
Instagram: @AmieBehave
YouTube: Amie Behave
Podcast: My interview

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