By Lily Moe
Melissa Alcantara, better known as FitGurlMel and Kim Kardashian’s personal trainer amongst her loyal Instagram followers, recently launched a 6-week fitness program — FitGurl Me. The program is made up of 30 workouts, none longer than 40 minutes and ALL designed to give you a full body sweat sesh that encourages physical and mental wellness. Workouts vary, giving you a booty burn one day and a cardio dance break the next.
Melissa Alcantara’s FitGurl Me workout program is for anybody who wants to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. It’s also about growing better, together. Anyone who works out with Mel knows she’s true to her word and this program is no exception. In order to bring in a community vibe, Mel invited four women to join in the creation process. Each woman “applied” for this opportunity via an Instagram story challenge, filming a circuit workout that Mel had posted and sending it in to Mel’s team. I sat down with Gia Alexandra Bell, one of the participants, to learn more about what makes the FitGurl Me program special.
When Gia first saw Mel’s circuit challenge on Instagram, she was in pajamas, standing in her kitchen. Her first thought was not to throw on workout clothes to complete it, but an internal nudge prompted her to do so. Gia’s 7-year-old daughter took on the role of producer and together they embarked to the front yard for a quick circuit video that would lead to a life-changing opportunity.
A couple of months later, Gia got an email from Mel regarding the forgotten application, followed by a phone call. She was in!
“I didn’t know what to expect but it didn’t matter — I was excited.”
Soon, Gia was working out Monday through Saturday with three other women and Mel, practicing workouts that would later be filmed for the program. It was a pretty tough three months (that’s right, THREE MONTHS of a consistent routine) but according to Gia it was one of the most satisfying times of her life. Her face lights up when she remembers the group of women laughing and talking for hours before starting their workout for the day.
While working out six days a week (and then being recorded in a professional setting) was fun, it was also difficult! Every woman responded differently to each new movement that was introduced. Gia appreciated this reality, even though she was convinced some of the routines were impossible for her body to achieve (spoiler alert: she still killed it).
“If you want a stable mind-body-soul connection, you have to physically get out there and move your body. You’ll be a better you.”
Gia entered this process with a few fitness goals in mind, but largely looked forward to improving both her physical and mental health. FitGurl Me did just that, but not just because of the lunges and squats. Mel is the reason the program (and its participants) found success. Gia is the first person to say how well Mel presents herself:
“She’s a human, she’s a woman, and she’s great at it. She owns it.”
Interacting with Mel every day just confirmed what Gia already knew — Mel brings humor and motivation to each workout. She knows her stuff but doesn’t take herself too seriously. Even when Gia and the other women were convinced their bodies wouldn’t be able to execute a new move, Mel lifted them up and called them to be their best — which is exactly what they did. Even when they didn’t fully believe in themselves, Mel did!
Mel’s motivational attitude is just as present in real life as it is on Instagram. Her ability to push individuals past their limits and challenge them to reach new heights is inspirational — so much so that Gia has signed up for her own personal training license.
Coming back to reality after three months full of girl power community and adrenaline-packed workouts was bittersweet for Gia. Ultimately, she’s full of gratitude for the program, the ability to workout for an app (people can actually watch her...EEK!), and Mel’s leadership in cultivating a space that allows individuals to strive toward their best selves. She does have one piece of advice for everyone who’s beginning the program:
“Past your limit is where you make the difference. Find a friend and do it together. We’re ALL in it together. No really, you can see us struggling right alongside you in the videos!”
You can workout with Mel and Gia during the FitGurl Me program, available exclusively on Playbook.
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