Brittany Olsson: “How I Dropped 8% Body Fat”
Building off our recent article The Most Efficient Way to Burn Fat and Build Strength, we wanted to highlight the accomplishments of Brittany Olsson, who has dropped 8% body fat and 15 fat pounds since she began at Performance360 in October 2014. This is her story.
Name: Brittany Olsson
Length of Membership: 15 Months
Fat Loss: 15 Pounds (Timeline: 12 Months)
Reduction in Body Fat Percentage: 8%
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Brittany Olsson and I am 26 years old. I currently work as a Marketing Manager for CAR2GO San Diego and I’ve been a member of Performance360 since October 2014. I prefer sunrises over sunsets, but obviously both are pretty amazing in our beautiful city. I love donuts, french toast and bulletproof coffee.
What changes has your body gone through in the past year?
The measurables are pretty amazing! Over the past 12 months I’ve gone from 162 pounds to 146 pounds. I’ve gone from 21.8% body fat down to 13.6% body fat and from 35.3 pounds of body fat mass down to 20.2 pounds of body fat mass (15 pound fat loss). I’ve done this all while maintaining my lean muscle mass through the entire process, as well as continued to get stronger. My legs and arms are leaner and I can see noticeable muscle definition.
Through this process, how has your mindset evolved?
My mind set has gone from making excuses to getting into a routine that feels good and is rewarding. Now, when I skip a day at the gym it bums me out. It’s my stress reliever.
You may or may not know my story but I started at the gym in October 2014 I was maintaining at 167 pounds. I had just quit smoking cigarettes in August 2014 (was a smoker for 6 years) and was trying to change my bad habits into good ones. At first, the gym was a little intimidating but the coaches who gave me the one-on-one encouragement and help with movements kept me coming back. I started talking to more people in class and started to recognize some of the friendly faces each time I came. I had never done a clean, jerk, squat, or snatch. In fact, I hadn’t done about 90% of the movements that P360 incorporated into the workouts. I just decided to commit and learn.
Beginning of 2015, I did the P360 90 Day Challenge and followed the nutrition plan to the tee. It was the FIRST time in my life I had ever dieted and documented everything I ate.
My results were incredible.
Are there certain aspects of Performance360 that have helped you with this?
The people and the coaches. The people at 6am are my accountability. When I skip a day, I get a text or a fb message saying “where were you?”. It makes me feel good and want to get back in there. Same goes for the coaches, the encouragement (even when I was a beginner) helped me gain the confidence in myself to be able to keep pushing even when I felt like I had nothing left. To be able to push myself for that last 100m of the sprint, and the conditioning from class had trained my body to handle it without me even noticing.
Over 2015 I met more and more great people through P360 and they have not only become my friends, but they have become my accountability, my competitors, and my motivation to never stop improving. I’ve put more hours in the gym, more weight on the bar, and had more laughs training with so many great people in the past year than I ever have…and I am so grateful for that.
What training factors do you attribute to your recomposition?
High intensity interval training and strength training.
Essentially the basics at P360. Pushing my heart rate and my endurance out of my comfort zone. Basically being uncomfortable in my training. I went from kind of just doing the minimum to pushing myself and putting more weight than I feel comfortable with. Training out of my comfort zone has procured some awesome results (and PRs).
P360 has produced better results for me than when I was a cross country and track runner in high school. Back then (almost 10 yrs ago) I was lean but had very little strength. I can confidently say that now I’m lean and mean. I can see my top 4 abs with hardly flexing! My core and upper body are the strongest they’ve ever been. I couldn’t even do one regular push up when I started at the gym now I can do 10 in a row. No more on my knees! I also got into Level 1 Barbell Club.
I have to say, it’s not just one particular thing. More of the combination of hard work (gym hours), type of training, and 80% what I put into my body.
What diet factors do you attribute to your recomposition?
With regard to my results, I attribute most of it to nutrition knowledge. Last years 90 Day Challenge programming taught me so much. I never used to cook. I ate out all the time. You guys made it so simple and easy with the recipes and the tracking system with points.
From there, I then looked up other paleo or lower carb recipes. I have some favorites from the dirty fork and some other sites too. So to sum it up I would say the re-education part and nutrition like learning about healthy fats, heathy carbs, sugars that translate into carbs (Like what? Mind blown).
Since January 2015 I’ve implemented the higher fat, lower carb 90 Day “Shred” Diet. This is basically a paleo-style diet but shred sounds cooler. So when I’m out with friends at dinner and I order meat and double veggies instead of potatoes or pasta and they ask why, I respond “I’m shredding”. I know the gym teaches a variety of nutrition based on personal factors, but this Paleo-based plan has been an approach that’s worked great for me.
Obviously, there are plenty of days where I cheat and eat the damn donuts. But 8 out of 10 times I make healthy choices. It has really paid off with the way I look and the way I feel. My digestion is better, and my stomach is rarely upset with me.
I always remember what you guys said in last years shred challenge. “Make good decisions 8/10 times.” “Little changes you can be proud of.” Those words have been on repeat in my head and I live by them. If I have a Bareback burger and some bomb sweet potato fries one day, then the next 8-9 meals I eat more strict/”clean”.
Describe your process of embracing the added benefits of strength training?
Once I started pushing myself and putting up more weight, I saw incredible results. It’s about pushing yourself, and each time I did I saw I was getting stronger and stronger (and leaner and leaner). This whole idea of cardio = more fat loss is a crock of shit. Once I saw the results I got from strength training I let go of the nonsense I had been brainwashed with my whole life and simply followed the board.
What is your strategy on a week-to-week basis? Do you seek out certain workouts? Or do you let the chips fall where they may?
My strategy is go to the gym 5 days a week. Now, whether that is 4 days during the week and 1 open gym on the weekend (because I needed a weekday off from DT’s workouts that make me walk funny) I try to make sure I’m in there 5 days a week, which gives me 2 recovery days. I definitely look at the workouts and hope its movements that I’m better at, but I go either way. I don’t really cherry pick.
Any parting words?
I am so happy that P360 exists. It truly has changed my life in so many ways. I wanted to share with you guys how the hard work and dedication you have put into the gym and its programming have effected me. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you.