Garagegym107 founder Michelle Simpson was the third home based athlete to share her Iron Journey with us and the first garage gym business owner. She wears a lot of hats: Wife, Mom, Nana, Sister, Weightlifter, CrossFitter and blogger. She lives by the motto, “You’re never too old to reach for amazing” and she’s proving it. A former Body for Life champion, Michelle has competed in a strongman show and coaches at a local CrossFit box and online as a certified Precision Nutrition coach. That’s on top of a full time professional career! Many people would struggle to balance all of these competing interests but she manages it with smart planning and training in an at home facility called Garagegym107. As her YouTube channel says, she is motivated by sharing a strong love of fitness, weight loss, and motivation to help other women her age realize that they’re never too old to reach for amazing! Let’s get to know this cool garage gym athlete!
Michelle, as I said, you’ve got a lot of different things going on. Do you train for all of them at Garagegym107?
I do most of the time. I also train at the CrossFit box I coach for; usually at 4:30 am before I coach at 5:30.
You’re a CrossFitter and weightlifter; do you normally stick to barbell and kettlebell work or do add machines into your garage workouts as well?
I do some unilateral work in my work gym during my lunch hour. Good old fashioned body building. It prevents me from punching people in the face, just saying!
I know a little bit about you from reading your blog at Garagegym107 but for the benefit of our readers, what is your story? How did you start training?
15 years ago, I was morbidly obese. I took a fall down a flight of outdoor stairs and didn’t even know if I was ok. I was fat, lonely, and depressed. I met someone who handed me a book called Body-for-Life by Bill Phillips. It was a game changer for me! I read the book from cover to cover the weekend I bought it and I followed the guidance in the book to a T.
But I was so heavy and out of shape! I began exercising and always felt shy and uncomfortable in the gym. I felt like people where always staring and laughing on the inside. Little did I know, most all of them were cheering me on. After about 10 weeks of following the program I realized I wasn’t going to be an “after”. Well, not in 12 weeks. I had a complete and total melt-down. I sobbed and sobbed, then the doorbell rang and the brown truck delivered a package. That package contained a video called Body of Work . I watched it through my tears in the beginning. Then I decided I could quit or keep going. There is no quit in me, not then and not now. I successfully lost 125lbs the first year.
Fast forward 8 years, I took a job with a different company and the elevator doors where mirrored. After my initial weight loss I became complacent where is was. Those elevator doors closed and before too many days had passed, I realized I had more work to do. I had gone from obese to average, then it was time to become extraordinary. I lost the remainder of the weight, submitted my contest packet to EAS/Abbott Laboratories and officially entered the Body-for-Life Challenge. Eight months later I got the call letting me know I had won the 46+ category in 2009. And my photos are on the Internet forever.
In 2010 a friend said “Hey, you should try this thing called CrossFit!” and I fell in love with a new level of fitness. In 2011 I became a CrossFit L1 Coach. Maybe it was the weight loss, maybe it was turning 50. In the fitness industry, I’m definitely a Master’s Athlete at 53. I feel like I am in a race with old man time. But I am a firm believer that age is just a number.As long as I stay one step ahead, I am successful. I refuse to settle for status quo.
What advice would you give someone who’s setting up their first home gym?
I bought my equipment one piece at a time over the course of a year. I bought scratch and dent equipment when I could. Paint the walls, put motivating posters and join the online community. You can have all the equipment money can buy, but you can’t buy discipline! Get up and put out! I live by the motto “You’re never too old to reach for amazing!”
It would be so easy to rest on your laurels; how do you stay motivated to train?
Helping others reach their goals by setting the example. As I progressed I had the calling to help others realize you can’t out train a poor diet. I looked near and far and settled on Precision Nutrition for my certification. I spent the next 3 years completing both my Pn1 and Pn2 certifications. I now offer on line nutrition coaching using the Precision Nutrition ProCoach Software.
How can people get in touch with you to take advantage of your services, to train with you at Garagegym107 or even just follow you on social media?
For online habit based nutrition coaching contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow Michelle at her blog GarageGym107 for an inspirational and introspective peek into her life and philosophy.