Leigh Ann Benson
Leigh Ann has been a member of Leverage since September 2018! She has always been active and kept a routine for herself starting her mornings with running or a group fitness class. In the beginning, working out was more of a social regiment she explains, but she was immediately drawn to the way it made her feel, reducing her stress levels and increasing her energy during grad school. We sat down with Leigh Ann to ask her a little bit more about herself, goals, and reasons why she comes to Leverage.
What started your fitness journey?
I have always been active in sports but in college and grad school it became more of an activity to do with friends. I was running seven plus times a week and taking an occasional spin class. The first time I ever did strength was at Leverage!
How has Leverage impacted your fitness journey?
Changing my goals to being strength based! It’s really been such a great process watching myself develop and learn about the benefits of becoming stronger. It also has been easier for me to notice change in my body, and in such a positive way!
Why do you work out?
Working out to start my day gave me structure which quickly became an important part to my lifestyle. In the past I stuck to a very cardio based training plan, occasionally competing in community races throughout college and grad school. I love the endorphins from fitness in the morning and getting my day started off right is I important to me.
What were you most nervous about walking into Leverage?
Strength training was definitely out of my element. I admit feeling intimidated by the unfamiliar equipment and movements. She states that her goals began to shift quickly as she became competitive with herself and others in the semi-private training group setting. She quickly enjoyed being coached on technique and the constant changing lifting routine.
What were your goals when you started? What are you working to achieve?
After awhile when plateau began to set in, I no longer saw the change I wanted in my body, as well as my running times, and I definitely knew I wanted to try something new! I quickly noticed that my positive self talk became more about “how can I push myself this morning” “how many push ups can I get through today”. A lot of it is about having trust in the coaching. In the beginning I wanted to lean out and lose 5 or 10 pounds, but my perspective on measuring my progress based on becoming stronger has changed as well, and it is mentally rewarding and feeds my competitive drive.
What advice would you give to a new member?
To any new member looking to change up their usual exercise routine, I would tell them to not over think it, have “blind faith” and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself because the coaches at Leverage will train you each step of the way with positive encouragement.
Are you naturally a morning person? What do you tell yourself to get up every morning to be a part of the 6am crew?
The people! No one will wake up that early and not give effort at 6am! The seriousness and level of intensity is always there! The 6am crew is definitely a great start to my mornings and I look forward to waking up and working out together. I also have become really good friends with them outside of Leverage, and it has created a positive community for my life.
What is your favorite exercise you’ve learned at Leverage?
Anything where you are hanging, and my whole body is involved, I couldn’t do a push up when I started and now I can do so many!
What is your favorite pizza spot in Philly?
What is your favorite Philly restaurant?