Introducing Sarah Matyjasik…

Forever’s Global F.I.T. Ambassadors are representatives for the entire Forever world. Sarah joins a team of other international sport and fitness enthusiasts, who, together, inspire, advise and motivate their followers.

At forty-two years old, Sarah is a huge inspiration. Not only is she a busy mum and wife – she has a teenage daughter, ten-year old son and an “amazing and supportive husband” – Sarah is also an independent Forever Business Owner who lives a demanding lifestyle. Yet, despite the demands of daily life, Sarah has proven to women all over the world that falling into a certain category – be it age, weight or ability – whatever label you’ve been given, it does not have to hinder or hold you back, especially when it comes to fitness. If you want to change your lifestyle, transform your body, and pursue a new passion, you can! Obviously certain elements need to be instigated in order for any kind of sustainable transformation to occur, but once these factors have been firmly introduced, success can, of course, be attained.

We were keen to catch up with Sarah, not only to learn a little bit more about her, but because we wanted to find out more about her training, her journey, and just what it is that enables her to retain such focus.

How did you get into fitness?

I grew up in South Africa, and as a result I enjoyed an active, ‘outdoor’ childhood. I loved ballet, ice dance, playing sports at school, and, along with my siblings, I would swim in our pool every day. Since swimming had been such a major part of my life in South Africa, I chose to train, then work, as a lifeguard while I was at college. Eventually I decided to train as a fitness instructor and I really enjoyed working out in the gym. I made lots of good friends who would share their knowledge and passion for fitness with me – I learnt a lot during this time.

After getting married and having children, I would always try to incorporate fitness somewhere in my life, but at first this was not on a regular basis. I loved the idea of working as a Forever Business Owner because I am really passionate about the products; I couldn’t wait to share them with other like-minded people.

I used the C9 a few times and always felt fantastic afterwards. When this product advanced into the F.I.T. programme I was determined to make time so that I could use the products properly; I wanted to embed them into my fitness routine and into my lifestyle. Only after I had started did I realise that a long-forgotten ambition, shelved when we started our family, had been reawakened. I decided that now was the right time to focus on myself and so I entered a ‘bikini fitness’ competition.

If you are new to fitness, and you are keen to make it into a habit, starting your journey with the C9 will help you to obtain the right mentality. Developing the correct mindset is necessary as it will help you to continue with your fitness routine afterwards. Ask your Forever Business Owner for more details.

What was the hardest part about getting back into shape?

The hardest part, after making the decision and determining to stick to it, was the planning. Every day, one day at a time, I had to plan in enough time for training. I had to make time for research so that I could buy the correct food, and I had to have the time to cook and pack the correct number of portions for the days I would be working away from home.

What have you achieved?

I have achieved far more than I ever thought I would! The fitness and body-shaping led me towards understanding and knowing myself at a deeper level. I was quite amazed at how I managed the level of self-discipline and organisation required to take part in my first competition (September 2015), and from this I won a place to compete in the British Finals (June 2016).

What motivates you?

I believe it’s really important to have a goal to focus on; a meaningful goal which will propel you into action on the days when you're tired, hungry or simply don't feel like it. It is also really helpful to have a coach or mentor to go to for advice. Mine provides me with tips and generally keeps me on track.

My ultimate ambition is to get my ‘Pro Card’ as this will enable me to compete internationally, but my present goal is to compete and excel in the number of competitions I have planned for this year. That feeling I had on stage during my first competition was absolutely fantastic, and it’s exciting knowing I’ll be on stage again soon; plus I’ll be in even better condition as a result of my training over the last six months! Standing on stage, wearing nothing but a bikini, is definitely an effective motivational tool that helps to focus the mind!

But what ultimately keeps me going is belief. I believe that such achievements are completely within the reach of each and every one of us; everyone can look and feel the way they choose, no matter what ‘stage’ of life they are in.

The quick core workout

Sarah Matyjasik shared the following exercise routine with us; perfect for those who are limited by time yet determined to work each core body part…

Step ups

Body part worked: legs

Muscles used: quads, glutes and hamstrings

Tricep dips

Body part worked: back of arms

Muscles used: triceps

Front raises

Body part worked: shoulders

Muscles used: deltoids

Press ups

Body part worked: upper body

Muscles used: pecs and triceps

Ab curl

Body part worked: stomach

Muscles used: abdominals

Argi+: the perfect choice of nutritional sports drink. Argi+ is packed with vitamins so it’s ideal for before and during exercise.

Forever Lite Ultra: replenish your protein levels by drinking Forever Lite Ultra after exercise to help aid recovery.

Exercises explained…

Step ups

Keep your spine neutral and your head in line with your feet. Use a step that is the ideal height for you and step up with your right foot. Keep your knee in line with your foot then pick up your left foot to join it. Step down with your right foot first and follow this with the left.

Advanced version: vary the height of the step up and introduce a barbell or dumbbells.

Tricep dips

Sit on a bench or chair and hold onto the edge. Place your hands shoulder width apart and push up with your hands so that you lift yourself off the chair; straighten your arms but keep your elbows tucked in and soft. Repeat this for around fifteen reps (fifteen times).

Advanced version: vary the height of the step.

Front raises

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, keep your spine neutral and your head in line. Squat but keep your back straight and your core tight. Pick up your weights and push through your legs and heels so that you are in a standing position; your knees should remain soft. Raise the weight you're holding with straight arms in front of your body and keep your elbows soft. Return your arms back down and repeat this for around fifteen reps.

Advanced version: vary the weight of dumbbell or kettle bell.

Press ups

Bend your elbows in order to lower your body to the floor. Straighten your elbows, without locking out the joint, to lift the body up. Repeat this for around fifteen reps.

Beginner version: rest on your hands and knees and keep your feet on the mat.

Mid-level version: rest on your hands and knees, keeping your bottom down and your feet off the mat in the air.

Advanced version: put your hands on the floor and keep your legs and body straight. Your feet should also be on the floor.

Ab curl

Lie on your back with your legs bent at a ninety degree angle; keep your feet on the floor. Curl your head and shoulders upwards and flex your spine about twenty or thirty degrees. For some people it may be appropriate to support the head with one or both hands as this will prevent any straining of the neck muscles. Avoid pulling the head.

Advanced version: arm positions may be used to vary the intensity of this exercise; this can include holding a weighted medicine ball (like Sarah has in the picture).

All these exercises can be varied to alter the intensity and you can time yourself on each one rather than counting the reps; this will make it a high intensity interval training (HITT) routine instead. For example, repeatedly exercising for thirty seconds, followed by ten seconds of rest can be made harder by upping the total number of minutes your workout takes (e.g. eight, twelve or twenty minutes in total). Sarah recommends doing around three sets of each exercise, either going through all five then doing another two circuits, or by doing each exercise three times before moving on to the next one.

Embrace the outdoors

Not a fan of the gym? Enjoy the summer sun and embrace the outdoors by taking these simple exercises outside. Find your local park and use the amenities on offer; for instance, park benches are perfect for helping you to master front raises!