GGS Spotlight: Alina Branda

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alinabranda1-350x375Name: Alina Branda
Age: 30
Location: Ramsey, New Jersey

What does being a GGS mean to you?
Being a Girl Gone Strong means that I have finally found what feels good for me. Being a Girls Gone Strong to me represents, Growth, Empowerment, Health, Positivity, Production. Running has always been my escape from everything. It was my way of having me time. I remember running to be in shape everyday and wondering why I wasn’t seeing results. Why wasn’t I seeing cuts in my muscle? I couldn’t figure it out. I ran five or six miles everyday and still couldn’t achieve that healthy, fit, defined look. When I started training with my husband (then boyfriend) four years ago who is also a Fitness Coach, he taught me the importance of training and lifting weights. I never believed my heart would race the way it did when I ran. But this was a different kind of race. It was a different type of surge of energy running through my body. I craved it. Challenging myself to lift heavier every week and trying new things I started to see that lean, healthy fit look that I had been working on for so long.

Every curve, increase, and shape in my muscle represents a new beginning. Something new that I pushed myself through and created myself.

alinabranda2-450x338How long have you been training?
I have been training now for four years. Ever since I was 13 I was always into running but I started training with my husband and since then have been lifting weights consistently.

Favorite Lift:
Squat Press, it such a power exercise and I feel it through my whole body.

Most memorable PR:
I have been challenging myself with chin-ups. My most memorable PR was when I was able to do five chin-ups unassisted and my husband was recording it. My goal is 10. Right now I can do six.

alinabranda3-350x375Top 5 songs on your training playlist:

  1. “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” Dropkick Murphys
  2. “Smooth Criminal” Alien Ant Farm
  3. “Remember The Name” Fort Minor
  4. “Something For the DJs” PitBull
  5. “Play Hard” David Guetta

Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:
I train in my gym so my three essentials are:

  1. Good Music
  2. Vega Protein Powder
  3. Burt’s Bee Rose Lip Balm

Most hilarious pick-up line you’ve heard at the gym:
Thank God I have never heard any pick up lines at the gym before, but I have had the 1 or 2 guys that always go right next to the machine a cute girl is training at and constantly stare in the mirror at their muscles. Yuck, get over yourself!

Favorite post workout meal:
Always have to finish with a Vega Vanilla Protein Shake! 1 scoop of protein, 5 ice cubes, 1 cup of almond milk or coconut water, frozen blueberries, 1-teaspoon flaxseed, and 1 tablespoon shredded coconut. So refreshing and delicious.

Favorite way to treat yourself:
I love manicures and pedicures and coffee time with my best friend/twin sister Jessica and her son. Alone time with her, baby Jase and our trips to Starbucks for a half-soy/half-skim latte are the best!

Favorite quote:
Anyone or anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” - David Whyte.

Your desires reflect what’s truest about you. If your current reality is nowhere close to the life you want, dreams are the fuel that will move you forward. If you want to access your full range of power, then commit to dreaming about your ideal life.” – Danielle Laporte

Favorite book:
The Fire-Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte and How To Impact And Influence Others by James Merritt

alinabranda4-450x338What inspires and motivates you?
My clients! Watching some of JNA’s girls lift heavy weights inspires me to go bigger myself. Pushing them and seeing them break PR’s is so inspiring, how could you not put yourself through a great lifting session after that. Also my husband Joe. Without him, our gym JNA Fitness wouldn’t be a reality. He has helped me reach my goals and continues to do that everyday. I want to be strong and better for what we have and myself.

What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from lifting heavy?
The coolest side effect from lifting heavy is just the obvious effect. Muscles. I have never had them before when I was just a runner. When I was a runner I weighed 125lbs and was always a size 6-7. Since lifting heavy weights, I have maintained my weight between 120-125 but am now a size 2-3. Its absolutely mind crazy what lifting heavy weights does for your body. So many girls don’t understand the effect of picking up heavy weights. You actually do get a lot leaner in a healthy way! No better way!

alinabranda6-450x338Next training goal:
Always reaching 10 chin-ups, but honestly becoming a Girl Gone Strong was a great goal. I just want to keep pushing my self in ways that make me better.

Three words that best describe you:
Motivator, Go-Getter, Determined

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
Don’t be scared to lift heavy weights and challenge your muscles. What Joe and I say everyday at our gym is, “If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You.” Its so true. If your not feeling the burning surges in your muscles then you’re not challenging your muscles to change. Not only will you look and feel leaner, your mind will thank you for the challenge!

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About the author:  GGS

GGS is an organization dedicated to empowering women. We do this by creating world-leading resources, and educational materials that help women, and health & fitness professionals who work with women, take their skills and knowledge to the next level.

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