Fitness Grind of "Amanda Essen"

Hello, who are you and what sports/fitness routine do you play?

My name is Amanda Essen, 26 years old and I am EHFA & FISAF Personal Trainer, model, blogger, and IFBB bikini fitness athlete. I live in Finland but I have followers around the world. I blog daily and I'm active on Instagram. Right now, I have a little over 51,3k followers.

You can almost understand my history just by reading my username, @Svagtillstark which means from weak to strong in Swedish. I have recovered from a weak and anorexic, sick, depressed, and burned out person, to a strong both mentally and physically, happy and inspired girl that wants to help and motivate people to get healthy. A lot of the recoveries that I did are with the great help of strength training that I found in 2012-2013, and the interest to start building myself up instead of breaking me down started directly and I went up 10kg. 

I also won the Miss Model of the World 2013 in Finland, but after that, I decided to take a step back from the modeling industry because I understood that it is not the healthiest lifestyle, after a couple of model trips to Japan, France, Turkey, the United States, and the Nordic countries. Today I only choose modeling jobs that are fun and healthy. I would never change my body for someone else's sake or because of a job. Today I'm happy, proud, and happy about the strong body I built up today.

I have been in Finnish radio, television, sports magazines, and even interviews, magazines, and media on the web. I also participated in the Swedish book. I became a Confidenza (a book to help and strengthen young women's confidence and self-esteem)- a few pages of my story from my eating disorder to where I am now. It has been a long road but it's been worth it. Today, I help with the knowledge and experience and want to be more than happy to inspire and convey a wholesome and healthy lifestyle. I also compete in the bikini fitness category, work as a Personal Trainer worldwide, Fitness model, and Social Media Influencer.

How do you get ready to train for your sport/how do you train?

I only do strength training at the gym. I have not done any cardio for several years. I love to challenge myself, get stronger and also enjoy the workouts. Sometimes, I exercise what I crave for, the muscle groups that "want" to be trained, or I can put up a schedule.

I like to vary with tough strength training sessions where I challenge myself and my limits, raise the weights, and feel stronger for each time mixed with lighter and recovering training sessions. But, I enjoy them both and I get lots of endorphins.

After a workout/game, how do you recover your body? What do you do to get your body in shape? What type of diet do you eat? 

As I train harder now, it has become automatic and nearly a matter of course for me to eat very much "good food". Often, I strive to eat more than I need to build and go further in the training. It's going great now.

I have no rules or schedules to follow and that's the most important thing for me. I do not avoid anything and I do not need to exercise or eat in a certain way. Exercising and healthy food are the choices that I feel are incredibly physically and mentally good.

I eat regularly, food with lots of nutrition and what I'm craving for that day. I want to enjoy the food and taste but also of course be satisfied and full, eat quality food that builds and gives energy, recovery material for the muscles.

But, no rules! I could say that I eat what I want and exercise whenever I want, but it has become, as I described, mostly good food and training that helps me build muscles and make progress in the training. Most importantly, I feel energized, and happy.

The supplements I use are vitamins for example. ZMA, for the recovery, MSM for my joints, d-vitamin in the winter in the dark season in Finland. For some periods I also take OMEGA-3 and B-vitamins, but mostly I get all the vitamins I need from the food.

I also use Essential amino acids during my workouts and protein powders from my sponsor LEADER. It's not necessary for me to use protein powder, but it helps a lot on stressful days and I also like to bake some healthy snacks.

How do you prevent injuries when you’re training? What type of stretches do you normally do? What’s your routine looking like?

I need to stretch, train movement and mobility training regularly. I use supplements like magnesium and msm that help me to recover and keep my joints good. I mostly stretch myself at home, but when I get too much pain I go for a deep tissue massage.

I sleep enough. Without enough sleep (8-9hours) I could not keep up with the training I do mostly, and because I sleep really bad mostly and wake up several times at night. I make sure I have time to sleep an hour or more in the morning. My injuries are all about resting, mobility training and maybe more mentally keeping myself motivated more than physically.

I am happy that my body recovers fast normally because I make sure to take care of it in every way. I eat a lot of food and good food, vitamins and minerals that builds me up instead of breaking me down.

I do travel a lot, but I let my body recover from the time changes and I do not stress about the change too much. The body is smart enough to manage it itself.

If there is someone wanting to get to your level, what type of advice would you give them?

Sometimes it is hard enough to just take yourself to the gym, change clothes, start working out in a fully stocked gym, then take a shower, drive home and start cooking some food, etc. I always recommend not to have too much pressure or requirements. Sometimes or mostly it can be enough to work out at home, go out for a walk or run!

Everybody in the gym is thinking and focusing on themselves. Do not compare yourself to others. We all have our own goals and we all start somewhere, you can not compare yourself to someone that has a totally different body or lifestyle than you.

Push and support yourself like you do for your friends.

I also do personal training online. Email me at essenamanda@gmail.com for more information.

I'll make you reach your goal along with you. You should be happy with my dietary/workout advice and plans, although it can be difficult sometimes as you may understand.

Because of all personal goals or lifestyle changes, weight gain / weight loss (or just keeping one's weight) is not always easy, as you probably realized for yourself. But like I said, we'll make it together!

How do you structure your day now? What projects are you busy with?

I am actually right now in recovery. I had surgery in the stomach because of an inflammation. I need to rest from training for a couple weeks. This affects me both mental and physically, even if it is only a small moment of my life, it is still hard especially in the winter while my rheumatism is more active and would need all kinds of movement and care for the joints.

My next goal is just to keep up being healthy, happy and yes maybe some small goals to keep me pushing harder and further or to try something new, new challenges.

How has your journey on social media been? Future plans?

My next goal is just to keep up being healthy, happy and yes maybe some small goals to keep me pushing harder and further or to try something new, new challenges.

My plans in my daily life is just to live healthy, spend time with my loved ones, have some wonderful time with them and also go on adventures myself, move away from where I live now, get further in my job and personal training online, just to always keep me going forward and pushing myself for new goals, dreams and setbacks of course.

To learn myself, get up back again and meet new people, face new things and moments to share with others or alone. I love to have my own time and I always make sure I get my own meditation in the evening, just shut off everything and relax.

Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?

Be patient. Everything will work out.💛

How can our audience find you online? 

I have my social media pages:

Instagram: @svagtillstark

Facebook: @svagtillstark

My blog: svagtillstark.com

YouTube: Amanda Essen: Svagtillstark (From Weak to Strong)

Link to Amanda Essen's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/svagtillstark/

Amanda Essen is an EHFA & FISAF Personal Trainer, model, blogger, and IFBB bikini fitness athlete. 

Common question for beginners:

"How long does post workout recovery last?"

After a relatively light workout, your muscles may be able to recover in 24 hours, whereas a more challenging workout might take two to three days. Very intense workouts might take even longer.

Cold compression wrap is the perfect solution to relieve swelling & reduce inflammation. They're safe, effective, and easy to use. You can wear them on your ankle, knee, elbow, calf or thigh depending on which part of your body is injured.

This is designed to help reduce swelling and pain while also speeding up recovery time, so you can get back out there faster than ever before! It's not just an amazing product, but also an incredible experience that will change how you think about treating injuries forever!