Libby Westphal, owner of 110% FIT, is a tour de force. Not only is she a nationally-ranked top 10 bodybuilder, military veteran and mother, but she is also a cancer survivor who is on a mission to inspire and motivate other’s to live a fit and balanced life through individualized client-focused approach.
She is a messenger of the notion that total health and fitness, while overcoming life’s challenges, is possible. After battling from rounds of chemotherapy, joint pain and other side effects of her cancer treatment, she now pays it forward daily by encouraging supporters on social media and working with her clients at her Ashburn fitness studio.
Westphal also hopes to reach more people after the construction is complete on her new Leesburg fitness studio. WashingtonExec had the chance to catch up with Westphal one quiet Sunday for her high-charging 50 minute INSANITY workout class (it is as hard as it looks on the infomericals). So, after catching our breath, we chatted about 110% FIT and what motivates and inspires her.
WashingtonExec: Tell us about 110% FIT.
Libby Westphal: 110% FIT is a fitness and personal workout studio designed for one-on-one training and small-group formats to help you get motivated, get moving and get fit. We deliver practical personal training exercise services ranging from weight training, interval training and metabolic to the class formats like TRX, INSANITY, PiYo, Tabata Bootcamp and Zumba.
Success lies in our ability to develop a fitness program that fits your lifestyle using realistic and incremental goals because you’re more likely to stick with it. Competing demands can throw you off your exercise game. Getting ahead at work can sometimes mean falling behind in your fitness schedule, forsaking the gym and making food choices that are convenient, but not always healthy. We get it because we’ve been there ourselves.
We also know what it takes to come back and be better than before. To give more effort than you knew you could takes 110 percent effort and 110 percent commitment to get results.
I am a continual work in progress. Through my own health challenges and life experiences, I know the struggle of trying to keep all the balls in the air and stay in shape.
WashingtonExec: What are the unique features that will set 110% FIT apart?
Libby Westphal: 110% FIT was born out of our desire to create a hybrid personal training studio that has the attributes of a big box gym, but with an intimate, non-intimidating, non-judgmental setting.
Our culture is more intimate than the big box gyms. You are more likely to get a hug than a judgment stare when you enter through the 110% FIT doors. We created a culture of belonging and inclusiveness.
The 110% FIT logo is irregular, it is rough around the edges and it is imperfect, just like people. We are imperfect, and 110% FIT is different because we encourage individualism in our studio. Our clients are not flawed, they are individuals. They are works in progress. We all are.
WashingtonExec: You have quite the following on Facebook with more than 5,000 and climbing. Many are women who find great inspiration in your journey. Can you tell us about your journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle?
Libby Westphal: I am a cancer survivor (diagnosed in 2004). I’ve had numerous surgeries and months of grueling chemotherapy. This left me weak, battling the side affects, including numbness and severe joint pain, that ultimately lead to me being sedentary and overweight. I am also genetically predisposed for diabetes and high blood pressure. I hated the way I looked in pictures, and my closet had too many large-sized clothes. I realized I was a walking time bomb. It was time to ditch excuses for why I could not workout and why I could not eat healthy – it was time for a lifestyle change!
My son has no grandparents, no siblings and might not have his mother if I did not make changes. I owed it to him.
I went through a steady 2-year body transformation losing more than 70 pounds. This included weight training, high intensity interval training and by setting goals including being able to bench press 100 pounds, doing pull ups, performing push ups without being on my knees and signing up for road races ranging from 5Ks to half-marathons. The ultimate goal was to compete in my very first bodybuilding competition, which I did in June 2013. All of my changes and improvements since spring 2010 have been incremental, but lasting.
WashingtonExec: What factors do you think attribute to your overwhelming support, especially with women?
Libby Westphal: Women can relate to me because I am some version of them. I am a mother, wife, a military veteran, a cancer survivor and a weight loss success, and I am flawed. They relate because I don’t strive to create a vision of perfection because I’m not. I am a continual work in progress. Through my own health challenges and life experiences, I know the struggle of trying to keep all the balls in the air and stay in shape. Though this transformation, I learned anything is truly possible with hard work and consistency, and I convey this message daily to my clients and followers. I work to inspire, give hope and motivate. I am truly a version of each of my clients/followers, which makes me different from most personal trainers/studio owners. I get “it” — I really do. I’ve been there.
WashingtonExec: What advice would you give an executive working long hours and thinking, “There is no time to work out on my schedule”?
Libby Westphal: As strange as it sounds, my advice is not to start out with a rigorous workout program and a restrictive diet. Start slow and be accountable to what you’ve started, make exercising a habit and the nutrition part will come more naturally. No one wants to workout and not see the results of their work nor to sabotage their own gym time. When you start changing nutrition, know what you really can live with and adapt. If you can’t live this way day-in, day-out, it is not the right nutrition program for you. Make your nutrition program your own program. It doesn’t have to be a specific-named program. What works for your friend might not work for you. Be patient with yourself.
Make time by finding effective workouts that yield results. A short 30 to 40 minute strength, bodyweight routine with intervals is high on effectiveness and low investment and time requirements and can yield astounding results if done regularly. Just as technology supports other facets of our lives, it also helps hold you accountable for tracking every aspect of your workout. Workout to get the job done, not to clock time.