Our interview with Beachbody Super Trainer and winner of Beachbody’s fitness reality show, THE 20s gorgeous Megan Davies.
Megan is the creator of Clean Week, NSCA-certified personal trainer, a premier fitness and figure competitor, and owns a successful gym in her home town of Coral Springs, Florida. Her simple workout style and motivating, upbeat personality helps people create healthy nutrition and fitness habits.
Megan’s goal is to inspire and motivate others to take their fitness to the next level. She has a background in dance and gymnastics, then started training for fitness and figure competitions at age 14. She loves working with beginners to motivate them to take their first step into their fitness journey and help people get onto the right path.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Compassionate, ambitious, honest
What is your background?
I have been a personal trainer for over 10 years. I started working while attending the University of Central Florida in their Rec and Wellness Center. My original job there was as a Fitness Attendant, a fancy title for the person that wipes sweat off of benches and picks up weights. I got certified soon after being hired and was promoted to a Personal Trainer. After college I eventually opened a gym in my hometown which is in its seventh year. In 2016, I won a reality TV show called The 20’s: The Search for the Next Beachbody Super Trainer, which gave me opportunity to extend my work to countless more people. I have competed on and off in Figure competitions for 15 years, winning a few titles. I am currently certified through the NSCA, CPTS and studying for CSCS. I think it’s important to always consider myself as a student and try to learn more about my field.
How did you get started in fitness?
Growing up, my family was very unhealthy. I never realized my family had weight issues to be honest, but they did, and I do remember watching them go on this roller coaster of diets and workouts. Looking back and knowing what I know now, we were making all the wrong changes. A diet for us consisted of a lot of “diet” and “fat-free” items, that still weren’t necessarily good choices. I managed to outwork bad eating habits because I loved being active and was in dance and gymnastics. When I was 14, I started training for my first NPC Figure and Fitness competition and just loved weight training and competing. I have competed ever since and have competed nationally, so I think that’s really what got me started at such a young age.
What is the #1 thing you like about being into health and fitness?
I love helping people find confidence through health and fitness. They learn what their bodies are capable of and probably more importantly what their minds are capable of. When someone’s mind goes from this negative, “I can’t do anything right” attitude, to them having the confidence to take on the world, that transformation makes my job the most rewarding one out there.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
Within the first few years of competing, I had a conversation with my dad that changed a lot for both of us. He had always loved sports and weightlifting when he was younger but at a certain point in his life, he let taking care of himself take a backseat to the needs of our family. He was stressed all the time, had high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, a 42” waist and was around 100 pounds overweight. I looked at him one day and just said, “Dad, I feel so sorry for you.” I didn’t say it because he was overweight, I said it because even as a teenager I could clearly see he wasn’t living his best life. He was doing everything he could to give me things he didn’t have which I appreciated so much but at what cost? So at that moment he decided he wanted to start taking care of himself. He made a commitment that day at 47 years old, that by the time he was 50, he would compete on the same stage with me. We started training and eating right together and pretty soon my mom and brother joined in too. He got on that stage at 50 and won the Men’s Over 50 Masters Division! I got to go on stage and give him his trophy. I was able to change the unhealthy course my family’s lives were taking by having the tough conversation and helping to guide them to better lifestyles. They continue to have healthy lifestyles to this day. Out of any other accomplishment, I am most proud of that.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
My typical day starts early. I like to attempt to get my workout done first because once I start my day I find it easy to make excuses and get distracted. I do personal training and teach classes in the morning. I own the gym with my family and we are a typical small business so the grunt work gets done in the afternoon: calls, planning, accounting, if a toilet needs scrubbing then I am scrubbing it! I try to save evenings for working on things for Beachbody or personal projects. It’s nice to work from home most evenings but only if you’re disciplined to do the work!
What type of food or supplements do you recommend before and after workouts?
I swear by Beachbody Performance. Their pre-workout “Energize” is my favorite! After the workout I like to make sure I am getting some fuel in my body pretty quickly so I either grab Shakeology or Recover.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Most people assume fitness professionals have this endless supply of motivation and I don’t think that’s the case. We are busy and tired just like everyone else! So motivation can get to be a problem at times and it takes a toll on the intensity of my workout. One thing I have that always puts me back in the right frame of mind is discipline, so I will always get the work done.
What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
My food is boring day to day! I am not that great in the kitchen so the food I make is super simple and many times plain. My program, Clean Week, comes with a Meal Prep Guide and I kept true to the simplicity but added some things here and there to make it interesting and delicious. There are even healthy Chicken Wings in there! For many people eating is an event and it needs to be this delicious meal every time. I think that is what trips people up because cooking becomes a long, complicated process that many of us do not have time for. Learn to taste your food without all the extra stuff and the process simplifies a ton! One thing I will say about my typical meal is I do not cut out food groups. So I eat a carb and a fat with almost every meal (Yes, at night too!), add in a few ounces of lean protein and a bunch of veggies and that’s my meal.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love tomatoes! I have a kids program at my gym and one day one of the girls ate a tomato like an apple. I thought that was brilliant! So now you can find me doing that too!
And your favorite cheat food?Umm what’s NOT my favorite cheat food? I love pizza, BBQ, Mac n cheese, candy, you name it!
What motivates you to keep going and push harder?
The people I train motivate me. When you have people looking to you for guidance in health and fitness, you know you need to walk-the-walk. When I see them achieving their goals it really inspires me to reach a little further in my own goals.
What is your next personal goal?
I would like to come out with more programs and continue working hard to build a name for myself in the fitness world. My passion is helping beginners. It’s always cool and fun to train an athlete who you can really push but for me it is more rewarding to educate and lead someone just starting out and see them progress. People who are brand new to fitness and maybe have a significant weight-loss goal will definitely see certain challenges that someone who has been active at times throughout their life may not have. I want to make sure everyone feels included in the fitness world and that they have a program they can go to that makes them feel like they can make the changes they need to. Creating a full program that really takes that new person from the couch to up and moving again and making healthier choices would be amazing.
Favorite form of cardio or favorite exercise?
I hate cardio! I do it, don’t get me wrong, but weight training is what I love. When I do cardio its more likely some sort of explosive HIIT training where I can push myself for a shorter period of time and recover before the next bout. Long, steady-state, or endurance training is difficult for me.
What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to reach their goal physique?
• Be realistic and even a little flexible with your goals. Too many times do I see someone trying to do too much in too little time and then if they don’t make their goal they get discouraged and possibly even quit. These things take consistency and hard work over a significant period of time so make sure your timeline reflects what you are asking your body to do. Your overall goals may change as you change, so don’t be afraid to tweak them.
• Become a student and make sure you are coachable. One thing that has led me to success in my personal fitness is realizing I do not, and will never, know everything about health and fitness. It’s not possible. However, I am always reading, learning keeping an open-mind and listening to other professionals to pick up new things. Being coachable means you are leaving room for the possibility that there is something you don’t know and you’re always being willing to listen to other trusted perspectives. It can be important to have someone you look up to and trust to guide you through this process no matter what level you are at. It’s not only taking the feedback at the moment but implementing and practicing it continuously afterwards.
• Strive for the healthiest best version of yourself and do it for you! Realize that a six-pack does not define health and fitness. If that is your ultimate goal, I think that is great! But create that level of dedication for yourself because you really want it. Don’t let the media convince you that is what you need because striving for goals you don’t really want deep down, will not provide you the level of motivation you need to reach them. Decide what exactly would make you happy and healthy and strive for those results.
Now tell us about the Beachbody’s fitness reality show THE 20s?
The 20’s follows 11 trainers through various challenges and ranking ceremonies all while living together with the hopes of becoming Beachbody’s next Super Trainer and creating their own program. It’s like MTV’s “The Real World” of fitness. I actually did not want to apply for this show at first. I am an introvert and I had a lot of fears. What if I can’t keep up with the other trainers? What if I do or say something embarrassing? What if, what if, what if. I had to take a deep breath and realize an opportunity with Beachbody only comes once in a lifetime and I have to get on board even if I’m terrified. I am so glad I did. We filmed in LA for two months and I can’t think of another experience that has changed me for the better like this one did. Not only did I change personally and realize introverts can be extroverts at times, but it gave me an in-depth, behind the scenes, look into what an amazing and caring company Beachbody is. Everything they do is top notch to develop comprehensive programs and nutrition plans that transform lives and families. The more time I spent filming, the more I realized I was exactly where I needed to be. I was announced the winner in 2016 and my first program, Clean Week, was just recently released! You can check out the show on Beachbody On Demand and you can also stream it free if you’re an Amazon Prime Member!
Name one your greatest strengths?
I am a hard worker but I think what has really led me to this point in my career is compassion and kindness. It can be easy to find yourself in the day-to-day grind and we tend to forget there are people around us being affected by our actions and words. I always try to make people around me feel appreciated and I honestly want to listen to their stories, struggles and triumphs. When someone feels like they can trust you and talk to you, it can open the door to a lot of cool opportunities for both of you.
What do you like to do in your free time?
This is always a fun question because most of my free time activities involve some form of working out. I do like to scuba dive though, but I haven’t been in awhile!
What’s your favorite quote?
I have many but lately the one has been speaking to me is a short quote from Vince Lombardi, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” It reminds me you have to be willing to put the work in, make mistakes, and learn to be successful. There are no shortcuts to the top.
What’s your top gym bag essentials?I’m not much of a gym bag kind of girl. The only time I have one is if I have to work right after but I usually plan time for going home, eating something and showering so that’s not often. I always have my AirPods, cellphone, and keys with me, maybe a towel in the car if I need it when I’m sweaty and trying to drive home.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I love what I do but there’s always more people you can reach and inspire. I hope my reach just continues to grow over the next 5 years and I am able to help more families transform their lives through my fitness programs.
Do you support any charity or do any volunteer work?
We frequently hold charity workouts at my gym to raise money for various charities or sometimes specific people who need help in our community. We have raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project, a little girl with brain cancer (who beat it!), and Joe DiMaggio’s Childrens Hospital, to name a few. I love animals so I have also been looking to get involved with Gumbo Limbo, which rescues/rehabs/releases sea turtles in South Florida or maybe with the Humane Society, if I can control myself from bringing every dog home with me.
3 things you can’t travel without?
My iPad so I can read and study, snacks so I don’t get hungry, and hand sanitizer so I don’t get sick.
What is your perfect Sunday like?I like to meal prep twice a week and Sunday is one of those days. So if I can get meal prepping and some cleaning done followed by sitting at the beach planning my week. That would be pretty perfect.
What do you think of Social Media?
I am a new to Social Media. I am learning fast though! I find a little planning goes a long way and its cool to reach so many people and be connected to them. I am starting to post a lot more videos on form and various workout topics so I can educate people following me about some of the lessons I have learned over the years.
Where we can follow you on Social Media?
Favorite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A mentor gave me this book and told me to think about who I am in the book and what position I am in on my journey to success. So when I hit a stumble I always think about this book and what part of the journey I am on.
Favorite Food: Mac n cheese. I am kind of a Mac n cheese snob though so it has to be god Mac n cheese.
Favorite Singer/Group: Ugh. I just listen to the radio usually and have no idea who I’m listening too. I do love any songs from the 90’s that I can sing along to though.
Favorite Restaurant: There’s a place called Racks in Boca Raton, Florida that has my number one ranked Mac n cheese dish, so I will go with Racks.
Celebrity Crush: Chris Hemsworth.
Favorite Workout Song: Right now, I keep listening to that Demi Lovato song “Sorry Not Sorry.”
Favorite Actor/Actress: Julia Roberts
Favorite Sports Team: UCF Knights! Dolphins, Panthers, Marlins, Heat. Can you tell I’m from Florida?
Top Travel Destination: I haven’t traveled much in my life and I would like that to change. I recently did one of those Ancestry DNA tests and I’m around 75% German, which is crazy! I knew I was German but not that much! So I think I would really like to visit Germany.