How I went from waitressing to kickstarting my own fitness empire!
-Jan 18, Caroline Blight, Living -
When Brit Amy Costello, 29, handed in her notice at her glamorous job to go to Australia and become a waitress, many of her friends thought she was making a big mistake. But leaving her troubles behind so she could think clearly following a nasty break up helped her to focus on what she truly wanted out of life.
Amy, pictured below right, returned to the UK with a new husband, Mike Costello, and a fresh new fitness concept called F45 – which is sweeping the globe as the latest must-do fitness phenomenon that’s being buzzed about all over the media.
Although she had always been interested in keeping fit herself, owning her own gym and training other people was never something Amy had considered, in fact, she initially wanted to work in the fast-paced world of journalism. “I studied to be a journalist at University, so in my early twenties I worked in television,” she explains. “It was exciting, but eventually I moved across to a full-time role in event management which seemed incredibly glamorous on the surface but also extremely long hours and very stressful.”
A few years later, Amy was going through a difficult emotional time in her personal life and decided she needed some space so she set off on her travels alone. “I headed for Australia and found a waitressing job overlooking a beach in Sydney, and it was like walking into a dream come true!” Amy reveals.
A new environment and space from her previous world in rainy London gave Amy a fresh perspective: “Fitness and sport have always been a huge part of my life, and I grew up training and competing as a long distance runner,” says Amy. “It was only when I moved to Australia that I fell in love with weight training and the ritual of going to the gym. I quickly realised how profound the mental benefits of training are, as well as the physical benefits, and I was completely hooked.” After that, Amy studied technique, movement, strength training, and put it all into practice through her own training each day.
“I enrolled on a personal training course as soon as I had saved enough from waitressing,” Amy goes on. “I then spent the next year working as a personal trainer, as well as teaching F45 at a studio in Sydney. During this time, I met my now boyfriend/training buddy/business partner, Mike.
“Mike is an incredible athlete, and he taught me so much about training in such a short space of time, and we spent every spare minute we had training together.”
Soon her visa was due to expire, so the pair looked into the possibility of opening their F45 (which stands for Functional fitness, and the classes all last 45 minutes) studio in London, “Within a few months we were packing up our lives in Australia and moving to London to open our own gym! I‘m a firm believer in things happening for a reason. If I hadn’t had been through that low point in my life, then I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today.” And her new career has led to a new appreciation of how strong we all are through seeing her clients leave their body demons behind and fight through their own personal physical issues. “It’s taught me to never underestimate my own body, or take it for granted, and to treat our bodies for what they are; the most precious things we’ve been given!”
And, as a trainer with over 500 members at her gym, Amy is best placed to answer some of our most common questions! “I always get asked, ‘How long will it take me to get fit?’ When people start out training with us, they generally want a quick fix, and to hear ‘you’ll look like this in 4 weeks, if you train 3-4 times per week’. One of my favourite things is seeing my members transition from a focus on how exercise makes them look, to how exercise makes them feel. A great body is really just a happy side-effect of something far greater… there is nothing quite like the endorphin rush, the mental benefits and the community.”
One of Amy’s favourite myths to bust is that by lifting weights women will get too muscly. “Educating women on the benefits of lifting weights is one of my main goals, and both myself and my female trainers strive to demonstrate this in our own training and in coaching our female members.” Making every day a new challenge and also something to celebrate as she sees the joy at her clients reaching their goals.
Check out Amy’s Instagram @amykcostello and @f45_tottenhamcourtroad and train with her at F45 Tottenham Court Road.