Stephanie Stander is part of a new breed of personal trainer who has successfully leveraged social media to launch and grow their fitness-focused business.

After stints as a marketer, office administrator and a flight attendant, Stephanie discovered her passion for training and the influence she can have in other people’s lives and has passionately pursued her new calling.

What led you to your health and fitness-focused lifestyle? I’ve always been into healthy living and being fit. As more girls started looking up to me and my journey, it motivated me to go further and start my own online coaching company Training with Stephanie (TWS), which I created to help women of all ages to feel good and healthy in their own skin.

When you’re not training, what do you spend most of your time and your money on? I love shopping and spending time with my loved ones, and drinking red wine.

What does ‘balance’ mean to you in the context of your lifestyle? To know when enough is enough, whether it’s cheating or when it’s time to give my body a rest.

What has been the best investment you’ve made into improving your physique? Learning to eat healthy carbs. Many of us are so scared of carbs but that it’s an important form of energy that helps to build and strengthen muscles.

What is the best piece of health and fitness-related advice anyone has ever given you? Remember why you started, and remember to always achieve balance.

What approach did you follow at first that may not have worked? Cutting out all carbs. While I lost a lot of weight, I couldn’t add muscle or improve my strength.

What was it that finally made you decide to make a change to your approach? Advice from my loved ones saying I need more balance, which is when I started listening to my body.

Her training approach

What’s your weekly training split? Cardio mixed with HIIT and weights. I do 2 leg and 2 upper-body sessions a week.

What’s your toughest workout? Legs.

What do you do on the tough days, when motivation levels are low? I remind myself why I started and what I’ve achieved.

Her nutrition approach

Do you eat the same food on the days you don’t train as in the day days you do? On weekends I don’t train but I’m more relaxed with my eating. I try to keep it clean during the week.

What have you found has been the easiest way to stick to a diet, other than sheer will power? Your mindset is the only way to stick to a diet.

What does your average diet consist of? Chicken, meat, rice veggies, mince and avo.

How would you define a healthful diet? A balanced diet that covers all the nutritional requirements.

What does your daily supplement plan include? USN L-Carnicut on an empty stomach in the morning, USN B4 Burn Sherbet pre-workout before training, and USN BCAA Amino+ during workouts.

Yay or nay, and why?

Long steady rate cardio? Nay, it’s a waste of time. Rather do HIIT.

Oats in the morning? Nay, it bloats me.

Training in a crop top? Yay, I feel comfy. I hate it when a top is loose and flying around when I work out.

Burpees? Yay. It’s the best full-body exercise.

Gym selfies? Yay, it raises your confidence levels.

Pre-workout nutrition? Yay. You need energy at 7:30pm when I train.

Intra-workout nutrition? Yay, to keep my muscles fuelled.

Post-workout nutrition? Nay, I just eat my normal food.

Grilled hake? Nay, not to fond for the taste buds.

Fat burners? Nay for stimulant-based products as I don’t like the way it makes me feel.

Deadlifts? Nay, not good for my back.

CrossFit? Nay, not a fan.

Sports massage? Yay, it hurts but is much needed.

Cheat meals? Yay, always to keep balanced.

Early morning training time? Nay, especially not in the cold.

Training partner? Yay, my boyfriend

Running? Yay, gets my head off all the stress.

Social media? Yay, it’s my marketing platform.

Active rest? Nay.

EMS, tried it? Nay. I have tried it but don’t like the way it makes my muscles feel.

A final word

Always remind yourself why you started and follow a balanced lifestyle. Don’t get carried away by what others say and think of you.

Quick facts:

Favourite music to train to? Dance music.

Favourite exercise? Skipping

What do you do to relax? Watch movies, shop and drink wine.

What’s in your gym bag? Skipping rope, towel, headphones and water bottle.

Occupation: Full-time PA and part-time online coach at TWS

Age: 27

Height: 175cm

Weight: 56kg

Sponsors: USN, Gary Rom Hair, Belizia Beauty Salon