Meet Magnum Athlete Amanda Keays. This sexy fun loving Bikini Competitor counts every day as a blessing. Her fitness journey to the stage will inspire you!
- Hometown: North York, Ontario, Canada
- Current Location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
- Height: 5’5”
- Weight: 120 lbs
- Age: 34
- Favorite Lifts: Reverse Hack Squat and Straight Bar Pullovers
- Favorite Beauty Product: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner by Sephora
Websites and Social Media:
Facebook Group: Keays2Fitness
Personal Facebook: Amanda Keays
For those unfamiliar with you, tell us a bit about your background, how you got involved in the fitness industry and share a little about your amazing transformation.
As a child, I was a chubby introvert with glasses. I got teased a lot by my peers and developed an anxiety disorder. Eventually, the negativity from my peers and an extended family member took its toll on me, and I lost my self-worth altogether. My family has always been loving and supportive, but I started using food to cope with my struggles.
My decisive moment came when I said to myself, “Amanda you’re 180 pounds and overweight.” I had made up my mind it was time for change. At that time, I had been out of the gym for many years, but my best friend Scott encouraged me to get back to the gym.
I became dedicated, I set goals and as the weight came off, it became addicting! All my hard work was paying off, and I was proud. In 2010 Scott passed away in a tragic car accident; I was broken, and physical activity became a form of therapy for me. With Scott’s passing, I learned how unhappy I truly had been. Scott’s final lesson in life to me was that life is too short to be unhappy.
By 2014 I fell in love with fitness and, I realized I loved inspiring others with their own transformations. After being involved with Muscle Insider Magazine as a Generation Iron Girl, I was introduced to bodybuilding and from that day on, I knew I wanted to be a part of that world, and the rest is history!
What is your life like now since you’ve made the transformation? And what were some of the challenges you faced during your transformation?
So far, my journey has provided me with some amazing opportunities and a lot of great memories. I am proud to say that I am a Sponsored Athlete with Magnum Nutraceuticals, and I’m a Team T-Rex Athlete, coached by Adam Headland. Looking back, I could never have imagined how my life would change, and I can’t wait to see what my future holds!
My transformation wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight; it required a lot of patience and commitment. I was able to resolve my struggles with fast food by prepping all of my meals ahead of time. I also learned how to be creative in the kitchen and make healthy alternatives to the salty and sugary foods I once craved.
One of my favorite quotes is by C.S Lewis, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
Tell us a little about Eat Sleep Train team.
Eat Sleep Train is a website dedicated to fitness and bodybuilding. I was referred to www.eatsleeptrain.ca and was presented with a fun opportunity to be involved with a feature called ‘Journey to the Stage.’ The feature documented athletes that were competing for the first time. I documented my journey in weekly video blogs and on social media, giving fitness hopefuls the opportunity to learn more about my training, healthy recipes, and even posing practice blunders!
In January 2015 I was in their monthly edition of ‘Strong & Sexy’ introducing local athletes to the fitness industry. After the success of ‘Journey to the Stage,’ I started assisting Eat Sleep Train with a second edition; I even got to interview Mike O’Hearn!
How did you become involved with Magnum Nutraceuticals? And what do you love most about the company?
After my first competition in 2014 I was contacted by Magnum Nutraceuticals for a chance to be one of their athletes. At first I thought maybe they had made a mistake! (Laughs) I thought, “how could this amazing opportunity of happened to me?” After all, everyone knows their products are of the highest on the market, and they truly have nothing to hide, and they guarantee results! But what really sold me on them, was Markus Kaulius, Magnum’s President and Vice President, Bert Neibergall, as well as the Magnum Team. In an industry that can be dark at times, Magnum is a beam of light and they stand behind their products with honesty and integrity. I love their marketing approaches because they always humorous, but educational.
One of my favorite parts of being a Magnum Athlete is doing ‘Demo Day’ at Popeye’s Supplements in my community. I realize that there are a lot of people in my community facing the struggles that I once faced, and I’m dedicated to helping them reach their goals.
What Magnum products are you currently using?
- Performance Greens
- Limitless (Black Cherry with Grape Kicker) or Rocket Science
- HI-5 (Blue Raspberry)
- Opus (Orange Dreamsicle)
I love mixing these two together!
- Quattro (Chocolate Peanut Butter Addiction)
Where do you get your fun loving sense of humor from?
I would have to say I get my sense of humor from my parents because they are pretty hilarious. I also learned to laugh at myself at an early age, to cope with uncomfortable situations when I was bullied. Life’s too short to be anything, but happy!
Amanda’s Training Routine
- Cable Kickbacks 3×15
- Barbell Hip Thrusts 4×10
- Stiff Legged Deadlifts 4×10
- DB Sumo Squats 4×10
- Reverse Hack Squats 4×10
- Hamstring Curl Glute Kick Ups 3×15
- Shoulder Press 4×10
- Cable Front Raises 4×10
- Cable Lateral Raises 4×10
- Bent- Over Rear Delt Raises 4×15
- Machine Flys 4×15
- Pressdowns 3×15
- Dips (Assisted) 4×10
- Rope Extensions 4×10
- Leg Extensions 4×10
- Walking Lunges 4×15
- Leg Press 5×10
- Abductor/Adductor 3×15 (Each)
- Squats 4×10
- Calf Raises 3×20
- Wide Grip Pull Ups 3×10
- Seated Cable Rows: 3×15
- Lat Pulldown 3×15
- Bent-Over Barbell Rows 3×15
- DB Rows 3×15
- Straight Bar Pullovers 3 x15
- Cable Curls 3×15
- E-Z Barbell Curls 3×15
I do four days a week of HIIT after training and abs several times a week. I usually take Sunday off for meal prep, but that all depends on my schedule.
Amanda’s Ab Routine
- Ball Crunches 4×20
- Hanging Leg Raises 4×20
- Rope Pulldown Crunches 4×20
Abs are done as a triset and then repeated.
What’s your favorite glute exercise and why? And do you have any tips for glute development you’d like to share?
Glute and Ham day is my favorite day! I always say the pyramids weren’t built in a day and neither was a nice booty! Some of the exercises I love are barbell hip thrusters and reverse hack squats.
- Always make sure you are pushing from the heels of your feet.
- It’s very easy to seriously injure yourself, so start with light weight, make sure your form is correct, and activate the glute muscles.
- For each rep, really focus on squeezing the glutes hard, and make sure that you’ve got the mind to muscle connection.
Amanda’s Typical Diet
- Meal 1: (Magnum Quattro Pancakes) 1 Cup Egg Whites, ¼ Cup Oats, ½ Scoop Protein, Several Drops Stevia and No Sugar Added Maple Syrup
- Meal 2: 4 Ounces Lean Meat, 1 Cup Mixed Green Vegetables and 15 Almonds
- Meal 3: 4 Ounces Lean Meat, 1 Cup Chopped Kale Salad, 1/8 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar, Several Drops Stevia and 1/8 Cup Walnuts Halves
- Meal 4: 3 Ounces Lean Meat and 1 Cup Sweet Potatoes
- Meal 5: 4 Ounces Lean Meat, ½ Cup Brown Rice and 1 Cup Green Beans
- Meal 6: 3 Ounces Lean Meat, 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
Some of Amanda’s favorite vegetables include asparagus, broccoli and green beans.
What’s your favorite healthy snack?
I love baking healthy treats with Magnum’s Quattro. One of my favorite snacks is Magnum’s Quattro Peanut Butter filled chocolate cupcakes. I also enjoy Magnum’s Quattro Ice-Cream pops. It’s amazing what you can create with protein powder and simple ingredients. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring!
How often do you have a cheat meal? And what to you indulge in when you do?
This a great question because many people have asked me how I lost weight and managed to stay on track. I will admit it was hard to go from a lifestyle of fast food and deep fry to healthy eating. When I first started out, I managed to stay on track by eating nutritious meals throughout the week, but I allow for one planned cheat meal a week. Now, occasionally, in the off season, I will enjoy a cheat meal with my family and friends.
I would have to say my weaknesses are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, sushi, Swiss chalet and of course my mom’s homemade lasagna!
Do you have a favorite line of clothing to wear to the gym and why?
I have to admit that my gym clothing has taken over my wardrobe! There are so many great clothing lines out there, but I have a soft spot for Lift Clothing. They are a Canadian company who has grown so much over the last couple years. They understand the benefits of leading an active lifestyle and they do a lot of charity work in the community.
Gym clothing and accessories actually motivate me to workout. I often take my favorite tee shirts and cut off the sleeves, so I can wear them to the gym. I’ve ‘customized’ everything from my Little Mermaid to my Star Wars tee shirt! And for each workout, I love to wear matching shoes and headbands. Right now, my favorite piece of gym clothing is my leopard print pants, which I call my ‘Cat Lady Pants’. Sometimes it’s the little things in life! (Laughs)
Tell us about your cats, and how many cats do you have?
I have two cats, Batman and Mister Butters who are brothers. I often include them in my posts because they are so entertaining. Mister butters plays fetch and also likes to hoard my socks! On one occasion, I get to the gym and will find a ball in my shoe! Normally, they don’t play with their cat toys, but they enjoy the Magnum shipment boxes that I receive! I fully admit I’m a crazy cat lady!
Do you have any special beauty tips you’d like to share?
Exfoliation and moisturizing is extremely important if you want to keep your skin youthful. I avoid tanning, and I moisturize with Aveeno every morning and before I go to bed. My favorite exfoliator is St. Ives Apricot Scrub.
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