I used to be a ballerina and a football player. I trained almost every day and would sometimes attend my ballet class right after football practice. But as I got older and developed other interests, I prioritized work and other hobbies over my health.
Nowadays, I struggle with sticking to a workout routine. God knows how many “fitspiration” posts I’ve flagged on Instagram to remind myself to exercise. I bet this sounds all too familiar for a lot of women. The question is, how do some women do it?
“Perseverance meets passion” is the ethos of the Grit Girls Gang (www.gritgirlsgang.com), an all-women fitness community created by coaches Ida Paras, Lexi Gancayco, and Cam Lagmay—women who have different fitness backgrounds and have proven themselves effective in their particular industry.
Grit Girls aims to provide “a highly effective, no frills approach” that was created by women for women (no matter what shape or size). As their website reads, “We know how you ladies kill yourselves at the gym week after week…and get no results. We know how you women deprive yourselves of the good things in life just to look good in a bikini for a couple of days only to go back to the bodies you started with. We’ve seen ladies go in the gym for the first time full of hope, only to realize they don’t know what to do…We know these things, because like you, we’ve been there.”
Their goal is to understand how your body works and make the adjustments necessary to make you fit (inside and out) and “optimize your body composition.” Instead of just focusing on weight loss, Grit Girls provides strength training that will enable you to lose fat in the process and guidance for proper nutrition to “help women nourish, nurture, and love their bodies so they can live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.”
Learn a thing (or two) from Ida as she talks more about this cool gang we’d want to “sit with,” what keeps her going, and just how women can start their own fitness journey.
What’s your usual day like?
I usually start my day at around 7 to 8 a.m. to get my emails done and if I have time, to read a book. I love starting my day slow and steady. I head to Rockwell Atletica to train some of my clients. I usually train before or after them depending on the schedule. I like ending my day at around 3 to 4 p.m. so I can work on my laptop and get to my books after.
Besides Grit Girls, what keeps you busy these days?
Cam, Lexi, and I are currently in the process of opening a new group fitness concept called ‘The Movement Studio (TMS).’ I’m also working with Rockwell Atletica as their operations and group fitness consultant and personal trainer.
What influenced you to focus on fitness specifically?
It all started when I fell in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I wanted to be good at it, so I made everything around it better. I signed up for a gym [membership], fixed my diet, and got rid of bad habits like smoking and drinking almost every night.
We want to help women live their best fit lives
What motivated you to start Grit Girls?
I fell in love with lifting heavy weights, so I started to invite some friends to the gym and trained them for fun. Working out and sports are very social to me, so I make sure to bring people I like with me all the time.
A few months later, other women saw the results of lifting heavy, so they asked if we could train them. That’s when Lexi, Cam, and I realized that women are interested in lifting heavy weights! They just don’t know where to start. We first decided to create an IG page, then Cam and I left it up to Lexi to do her marketing and creative magic.
How would you describe a ‘grit girl’?
Our grit girls aren’t your typical ‘I want to get toned and be skinny’ type of gals. We found that the women who’ve come to us want a complete lifestyle change. We were surprised to read so many emails about new mothers wanting to be stronger for their growing family; girls wanting to build muscle because they’re tired of being called weak and skinny. Some even just want to feel empowered in the gym by not having to depend on a personal trainer.
In one sentence, what would you like to achieve with Grit Girls?
We want to help women live their best fit lives.
You can’t fake fitness, so just stay real and mind your own business
What would you say is the common misconception when it comes to fitness, especially when it involves women?
Lifting will make you bulky.
How important is it for women to find a support system when it comes to fitness?
I think one of the main reasons why group fitness concepts are getting so popular these days is because having a solid support system is very important at the start of anyone’s fitness journey (regardless of gender). It gives us a sense of purpose, which is a great motivator for all humans.
Besides being passionate and driven, what would you say is crucial to succeeding in your industry?
You can’t fake fitness, so just stay real and mind your own business. Don’t let anybody hold you down.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I wish I had been braver.
What advice would you give to women who find working out quite daunting?
All first times are scary, but you have to face your fear and address that insecurity. Having a solid plan and having a support system make everything better…and that’s what we’re here for!
Book/ website: Drive (by Daniel H. Pink). We also love watching our favorite experts on YouTube: Jeff Nippard, Stephanie Buttermore, Eric Helms. IG accounts we love include @basebodybabes @australianstrengthcoach, @fitgurlmel and @karinaelle.
Fitness routine: We lift heavy things and then we do HIIT for cardio. Cam dances and does a lot of gymnastics during her free time. Lexi does Pilates to correct her posture and scoliosis. I try my best to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu whenever I can.
Workout spots: The Movement Studio, Rockwell Atletica,and Ritmus.