By day Hannah Butler is a student nurse and preparing to complete the final year of her degree at the University of Leeds.
But in her spare time she transforms into a competitive body builder .
The 21-year-old from Corby in Northamptonshire, trains six times a week and follows a strict exercise and eating plan to ensure she’s in the best shape possible.
Not only that, she also works part-time in a gym and as a health care assistant.
Before she started working out competitively, Hannah had focused all her exercise on cardio and staying slim.
She said: "One day I was running in the gym and noticed a personal trainer training this lady who was muscly but still looked really feminine and I was like, ‘I want to look like that’.”
Hannah began to move away from following Instagrammers who were promoting being skinny and eating salads for every meal and towards those who were promoting a ‘strong, not skinny’ lifestyle.
A couple of years down the line and she is now competing in bodybuilding competitions.
She said: “I had put off competing because I couldn’t afford it and university took up a lot of my time but in the end my personal trainer persuaded me, and she really believed that I could do it, so I agreed to start prepping in May 2018 ready for my first show which was September 2018.
“I competed in PCA (Physical Culture Association) Manchester last September, Junior Bikini, and I came first.”
Hannah has been a member of Xercise4Less since 2016 when she moved started university in Leeds and started working on the reception desk.
She uses the gym to maintain her gruelling training regime six days per week.
Hannah said: “I loved the look of the gym, so I started training there after my shifts.
“The fact that it is a multi-access gym is really handy because when I go home for Easter and Christmas, I can use any Xercise4Less, so I don’t have to pay to train somewhere else.
“The equipment in the gym is perfect for my training plans, it’s actually one of the very few gyms that has everything I need in it, from free weights, machines and loads of stairmasters.”
Another bonus for Hannah was the fact that the gym sells protein, so she didn’t have to worry when she ran out.
Hannah’s mindset on training has completely changed since she started competing, as has her body shape and she has learnt so much about exercise and nutrition.
She said: “I am currently in a building phase, and a lot heavier than my competing weight, at 62/63kg.
"My calorie intake is a lot higher and my cardio is lower so than I can gain a lot of muscle ahead of my next competition.”
Hannah trains six times a week and her usual weekly workout routine is:
- Monday: Back and Arms and 20 minutes low intensity cardio
- Tuesday: Quads and Glues and 20 minutes low intensity cardio
- Wednesday: Shoulders and 20 minutes low intensity cardio
- Thursday: Glutes and Hamstrings and 20 minutes low intensity cardio
- Friday: Shoulders and 20 minutes low intensity cardio
- Saturday: Glutes and Hamstrings
- Sunday: Rest Day
She said: “I mix this up sometimes and may take my rest day earlier in the week depending on how my body feels.
“During competition prep, my cardio was at 60 minutes high intensity six times a week, so 20 minutes low intensity right now feels like a breeze.”
This year, Hannah is hoping to have a great competitive season and wants to become a PCA Pro whilst completing her nursing degree.
Hannah has also learnt a huge amount her diet and the importance of certain food groups.
She’s completely changed what she is fuelling her body with and eats SIX meals a day.
Hannah said: “I was uneducated around nutrition when I started out and didn’t have a great relationship with food.
“Since December 2017, when I started training with my current PT, my relationship with food has improved massively.”
Hannah has been on a real journey with her fitness, transitioning from a cardio-obsessed gym junkie to a bodybuilder, all whilst balancing shift work and a nursing degree.
She is looking forward to working towards her new fitness goals for 2019 and achieve her nursing qualification.
Hannah said: “My next goal for 2019 is to have a great competitive season.
"I’m aiming to start my prep around May 2019 to compete in two September shows with PCA.
"I will then be competing in the PCA British Finals in October and hope to become a PCA Pro this year."
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