Name: Marina Le

Age: 26

Occupation: Registered Nurse 

Favorite Ways to Stay Fit: Weight training each muscle group. My main focus is growing my legs and glutes—for aesthetics, but also for my mental health. Staying fit helped me keep my stress levels low through nursing school and now through everyday life. 

Where I Work Out: You can find me in the gym at ATC. I love that it is 24 hours for days I need to get a late workout in. 

What Started My Fitness Journey: Growing up, I wasn’t really into sports, but as I got older (late high school/early college) I felt I was missing out because I didn’t have any healthy hobbies. I followed several fitness gurus and saw their transformations. I started educating myself more on weightlifting and growing muscle. I started eating nutritious foods and increased my protein intake. It changed my life completely and I’m a huge advocate for exercise of any kind. 

How I Stay Motivated: On days I don’t feel like going, I’ll tell myself just go in and stay at least 30 mins. I’ll end up staying over 30 minutes and those become some of the best workouts. I feel stronger mentally when I know I can stay disciplined.  

What I Eat to Stay Healthy: I always have full breakfast; it gets me ready for the day. I get a good amount of protein in for muscle building and carbs to keep me energized. I find ways to prepare healthy alternatives for foods I enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like I’m on a diet.

How I Curb Cravings: Avoid going to the grocery store hungry. Drinking lots of water throughout the day. My weakness is candy, so I keep fruit to snack on as a healthy alternative. Also, moderation is key! 

My reward is… a juicy steak! 

I’ve always wanted to try… Ziplining in the mountains

My secret to staying fit…Have a scheduled time and stick to it. Listen to your body when it needs rest days. Getting enough sleep is so important to growth and recovery.

My favorite piece of equipment: Cables! The resistance makes each exercise more challenging by adding tension to each movement. It’s perfect for muscle growth! 

What I Do to Stay Injury Free:I make sure I’m always using proper form to avoid injury with each exercise. I don’t use weights that are too heavy that compromise my form. I also make sure to practice dynamic stretching prior to working out to warm up. 

It’s not always easy… I had to overcome beauty standards that were set at a young age. Growing up it was all about being skinny and wanting to weigh 100 pounds. I’m petite, but I was never that light. I’ve learned to love my body for what it is, not worrying about the number on the scale. I’m actually now on a weight gain journey. Seeing my transformation and how far I’ve come mentally and physically makes me proud of myself. 

Fave Workout Song: Going Hard — Wiz Khalifa 

Advice to Others on Their Fitness Journey: Results don’t happen overnight. Never compare yourself to others. Set small goals for yourself. Take progress pics to see how far you’ve come! 

Photo by Tindall Stephens