Looking for some New Year’s resolution inspiration? Meet Laura: freelance graphic designer, health and fitness enthusiast and a member of the BLAST FAMILY. A woman who strives to live a healthy and active lifestyle, Laura embodies everything BLAST and vows to be an encouraging fitness role model to family and friends. However, this wasn't the case five years ago.

At 5’6” and 186 pounds, Laura was convinced she was completely healthy. She ate three low-calorie meals each day and completed 4-hour cardio workouts 4 to 5 times a week. Assuming that the more she exercised, the more she would tone up, Laura thought she was doing the right thing for her health and fitness.

When Laura came to the realization she needed a change, she experimented with countless slim-quick diets, cleanses, supplements and insane workouts that promised slender bodies. They never worked. After three emergency room visits related to her consumption of “diet” foods containing Splenda and other man-made chemicals, Laura knew it was time for another change.

Fast-forward five years to Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 5:30 a.m. Laura weighed 155 pounds with 22.9% body fat and was walking into her very first BLAST class.  In August, she signed up for her first BLAST PROFILE assessment. Three months later when Laura went in for her follow-up, she weighed 138 pounds with 16.4% body fat. Wow. With a total loss of 17 pounds and 6.5% body fat, she hasn’t looked back.

Currently a fitness instructor studying nutrition, Laura is an inspiration to us all and we want to share her BLAST experience with the rest of the BLAST FAMILY! Check out our interview with her below where she tells us about her workout regimen, fitness goals and daily bowl of gelato.

Why did you decide to try BLAST?

I first started BLAST on June 4, 2014. I don't know what I was thinking but I took the 5:30 a.m. as my first class. It had just opened downstairs from my condo and I had heard a lot of amazing things about BLAST Buckhead from clients and co-workers, so I thought, “Why not give this new fitness studio a try and see what all the hype was about?” After all, the first class is free.

I did not expect it to do anything for me because I was not a runner, nor did I care to become one. However, I was shocked by my first class. I felt very energized and for the first time ever, I thought I might actually be able to learn how to run and chisel out in record time.

What keeps you coming back?

One week in and I was absolutely hooked! It’s truly a premium experience. It’s a great new space and convenient location right in Midtown with energizing music and they even refill your water bottle during class (LOVE IT). I absolutely love the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) method as it is always engaging, and the great teachers combined with a fantastic workout really make BLAST for me! Being in the fitness industry, great teachers are hard to come by and trust me, BLAST has them. They're knowledgeable, warming, energetic and overall fantastic people that care about your fitness goals!

When I walk into the studio, it doesn’t matter how tired or stressed I am, I am transformed into a BLASTER for an hour with a clear and energetic path. I love not having to think of what exercises I need to do to get the results I want. BLAST does all the thinking for you. I love feeling that I got a great workout in strength training and cardio within an hour whereas that used to take me a minimum of 2 hours in the gym by myself.

I keep coming back because in the six months I have been attending BLAST, I am constantly seeing results right when I didn't think I could see anymore! More and more fat comes off as I get leaner and stronger! Rock hard body, here I come!

How long did you come to BLAST before you decided to go in for your BLAST PROFILE?

Being interested in nutrition, I immediately got a BLAST NUTRITION assessment with Carolyn to see if there was any additional information I could apply to my knowledge. And there was. She straightened me out with one consultation by telling me if I wanted the fat to come off, I needed to stay away from sugar during the day but could still have it as a treat in the evening, perhaps even daily. And I do… I eat gelato every night while still making sure I'm balancing my meals out evenly throughout the day and maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle. Sometimes you just need someone to yell at you and say, “Stop it.” Thanks, Carolyn!

As for the BLAST PROFILE, BLAST got the KORR metabolic testing system in August and was conducting trial runs and I was one of the guinea pigs given a complimentary BLAST PROFILE.

When you went in for your first BLAST PROFILE, what were you looking to get out of it?

Honestly I had no idea of what I would get out of the profile or if it would even work for me. I thought it may be a gimmick, but since it was free, I figured it might be worth trying out.

Did you consider yourself a fit and healthy person at the time?

Yes, I was already on that path working out regularly and eating pretty well. I was hoping there was a 1% chance that I might actually learn something that would blow my mind and make changing my body even easier than before.

What lifestyle changes did you make during the three months in between your preliminary BLAST PROFILE and your follow-up?

I added more low intensity days to my workout routine and less HIIT. I didn't change my diet too much, but rather just made sure I had a carb such as a banana before class and quick protein within 30 minutes after class. I also eliminated sugar throughout the day, made sure all meals were balanced with protein, fats and carbs, and ate every 3-4 hours throughout the day.

What was the greatest challenge you had to overcome to see your results?

I had to learn to not workout as hard, actually control my heart rate and not let it go past my threshold. Who knew staying under your threshold was so difficult? Especially when you are so used to going hard at 100%.

What were you most surprised by throughout the experience?

That heart rate training works. I always thought the secret to losing weight was pretty much calories in, calories out. The harder and more I work, the leaner I would be.

What are your short-term and long-term health and fitness goals?

I've been making different fitness goals every year inching me to get closer to my “look hot naked goal” and to keep myself looking and feeling young forever. My overall goal is to sculpt out my body, gain lean muscle and get my body fat as low as I can get it. I would like to tap out around 12% body fat while adding a little more muscle.

What would you say to someone who has never had a BLASTPROFILE done?

DO IT! It is a complete game changer! It will change your life and the way you think you should work out. There is no need to work so hard if you can work smarter to get faster and more efficient results. It is worth every dollar you would spend on all the different gimmicks that promise to get you slim. You will not be sorry.

Laura’s Initial BLASTPROFILE Results
(August 26, 2014)
22.9% Body Fat (Normal)
Lean 118.3 lbs
Actual Fat: 35.2 lbs
155 pounds
Anaerobic Threshold: 147 beats/min
VO2 Peak: 46.2 ml/kg/min
Push-Ups: 30
Sit-Ups: 75
Flexibility: 17.5"

Laura’s BLASTPROFILE follow-up Results
(November 26, 2014)
16.4% Body Fat (Athlete)
Lean 115.4 lbs (-2.9 lbs)
Actual Fat: 22.6 lbs (-12.6 lbs)
138 lbs (-17 lbs)
Anaerobic Threshold: 146 beats/min (-1 beats/min, but within margin for error)
VO2 Peak: 52.3 ml/kg/min (+6.1 ml/kg/min)
Push-Ups: 39 (+6)
Sit-Ups: 87 (+12)
Flexibility: 24.25" (+6.75”)

Laura, you ROCK. We can’t wait to see you BLAST past every health and fitness goal you set for yourself!