Sophie Grace Holmes is truly the epitome of grit and determination. Living with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic condition, she continuously astonishes medical professionals who gave her a life expectancy of 16 years old. Today Sophie Grace Holmes is 30 and the fittest she has ever been. As an online coach, endurance athlete and founder of the Sweat with SGH App. Sophie’s app provides online workouts, nutrition guides and recipes to support a healthy lifestyle, alongside a growing community of subscribers. We interview Sophie to find out how she keeps motivated in our ‘new normal’ and the love behind her fitness and nutrition passion.
Why are you so passionate about fitness? How did you get into this?
I have always loved fitness from a young age – I have done it since I could walk and grew up doing a lot of sports from running, dancing, horse riding and then onto being very competitive then eventually being an ultra-endurance athlete.
Fitness is so much more than aesthetics or simply the way you move, its the impact it has on your entire life from your mindset, discipline, determination and setting goals so big they scare the hell out of you. I can attribute so much to fitness and most of all saving my life – living with Cystic Fibrosis I truly believe this is the reason I have outlived all expectation and achieved more than predicted – especially given I was told I wouldn’t make 16 years old and now I am nearly 30 – fittest I’ve ever been.
What inspired you to create your own fitness app?
I aspire to have the biggest impact I can to change the lives of others for the better. I am passionate about helping people to become the best versions of themselves, I believe everyone has the power to achieve anything they put their minds to – our mind caps our ability, and everyone can be extraordinary – and I also wanted to make fitness fun, accessible and affordable to everyone globally. So, whether they want to train in a gym, at home, or anywhere else, with the app that’s possible. With the additional features of neutron guidance and regular new workout uploads, it suits all fitness levels from beginner to advanced.
What has kept you motivated during 2020?
Goals! Although 2020 has been a year we all didn’t see coming – I am a firm believer in adapting and overcoming – growing up with a life-threatening lung disease has meant I have had to do this my whole life! I had to shut my personal training 1-2-1 service after 10 years, but this enabled me to fulfil my goals: transitioning to fully online coaching services, create my app and really mould my life to the way I visualised and wanted it to be for a long time. This year removed the choice and made me take action since I had to stay at my house for 12 weeks.
I set a series of smaller goals on the way up to those huge goals – whether be fitness or business or self-development – despite the sadness this year has brought, it has also allowed tremendous growth and opportunity.
What advice to you have for someone looking to reach their full fitness potential?
No matter the journey, believe in yourself so strongly that the world has no choice to believe too! Your circle is also key – you are most like the top 5 people you surround yourself with so ensure they inspire you, they support you and want you to win but most importantly: never give up – the road is not linear, and that’s the beauty of it. It may be long and frustrating, but it is actually the biggest adventure of all – trust that becoming the best version of you sometimes means the things you want don’t always work out the way you imagine because you deserve better.
How do you increase the level of exercise safely and without burnout?
The most important part is learning you and your body, your current capability, and building from the base up. Rest is one of the most powerful things you can do while building your fitness. People need recovery to progress and exercise is external stress. If you don’t rest, your body will suffer negatively and gradually you will burn out or reach a plateau. Also, education is power; this is why I love coaching people online – I get to help others learn about fitness and their bodies on the way to a goal. It is important to periodise fitness training. Not every session needs to be intense – slower recovery sessions are actually just as powerful as those hard sessions as they also help your body adapt.
How important is fitness for your well-being?
Its paramount – for my body and mind. Moving a little each day for me is key for positivity, productivity, staying motivated, working on mental toughness and discipline – it aids me achieve a lot more than simply fitness-related goals – personal and business goals.
What does your everyday exercise routine look like?
It is currently heavy because I am training for some big endurance events – 50km ultra marathon, Ironman, a half Ironman and potentially something very exciting in the summer.
I am training between 14-16 hours a week with a lot of the work being done on the bike (8 hours or so) then the rest is split between running, swimming, strength work and mobility.
What do you do to feel inspired?
Knowing I haven’t reached my own personal potential from fitness to business keeps me pushing on the days I feel less motivated. My friends, family and those who message me online saying how I have helped them thrive or do things they never thought they could achieve also hugely inspire me.
What differences have you noticed in your performance by using WholyMe’s Relief Balm?
The WholyMe Relief Balm has hugely helped my recovery time, so I can get up the next day and go again with my performance still strong and keeping injury-free.
How could WholyMe’s Relief Balm help others who heavily exercise?
If someone is looking to improve their recovery or performance, this Relief Balm really is amazing for that – especially if the workload of training is increasing or is going to be heavy for long periods of time.