My Fitness Journey: STELLAR Chats Nutrition, Training & Weight Loss With The Super Fit Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy gives us the lowdown on her gym routine, favourite workouts and guilt-free treats that we can indulge in.


Name: Sarah Murphy

Age: 22

Instagram: @Sarahjmurp 

Tell us a bit about your fitness journey. When and why did you start?

I started back in my first year of college, just going to the gym with a few friends. There were a couple of reasons why I started. Obviously, I wanted to stay in shape, but as I was learning more about my health, it was something I wanted to put in to practice. It’s also one of the best ways to relieve stress.

How long have you been properly training for?

I’ve been properly training now for over a year. I got more serious about it this summer as I had extra free time to focus. In saying that, there are definitely times that I take breaks. Sometimes for a week or two, especially around exam times so it hasn’t been a straight stretch.


How long did it take to get in the shape you’re in now?

About a year or more. There are times that I don’t get to train as much as I’d like to but I’m always trying to move forward and progress. There’s never a quick way to get in shape, it’s always going to take time and commitment.

What does a typical gym session entail for you?

At the moment, I don’t have access to a gym so instead I’ve been doing body weight and HIIT exercises in my room, and some outdoor running.

How often do you go to the gym?

It depends but I try to always have a minimum of three sessions a week. On a very good week I would try to get six sessions in with one rest day. But I don’t always have good weeks.


What’s your favourite type of exercise?

Weight training definitely. I got more into it last January after I got a training program from Rob Lipsett. I quickly found that I loved it and saw great results! Also, I know loads of people hate it but I love doing HIIT on the treadmill. When I’m doing this I’ll usually do a twenty minute session, switching between sprints and a light jog every 60-90 seconds. I get a great buzz out of that.

Do you do cardio?

Yes, I do cardio. When the weather is nice, I love running outside. I use a programme on the Nike app, which sets different styles and lengths of runs so it’s always something different. Running outside is also great because I think the time flies when you’re watching what’s going on around you. I also find it’s one of the best ways to clear my head.

It’s the Monday of the bank holiday, we’re hungover and want to eat s**t, what should we do?

I know the temptation all too well. One thing I try to do is fill myself up on a healthier option, when I’m full I’m less likely to still be battling cravings. So get up and have a massive bowl of oats, or a big omelette with all the additions you want. Also stay hydrated and load up on water. You could even do some light exercise. Go for a walk.




How do we deal with the post heavy-weekend cravings?

Definitely plan ahead and have some good food in your house for the Monday after. You’re less likely to make bad food decisions when you have healthy food in the cupboard waiting for you! You should have a good breakfast as soon as you can and start your day properly. From there it should be easier. Cravings are tough though. Sometimes I have to remind myself, that the cravings will pass and I just have to wait it out.

Is there a healthy alternative to the cravings that we have?

Definitely. I’m always looking for ‘clean treats’ or healthy, yet yummy alternatives. My favourite one at the moment is something called ‘nice cream’. This is basically where you freeze bananas and blend them with something like chocolate protein powder or raspberries and it makes literally ice-cream! Both in texture and taste. Its amazing! You can add anything to it, blueberries, mango, vanilla powder, Frozen bananas are slowly becoming my best friend for when I have cravings.


Any advice for when we fall off the wagon completely?

I think the first thing to remember is that it happens to everyone. Everyone has bad days. Don’t be hard on yourself. So firstly I think accept the slip-up. Now look at how you can move on and more importantly look at why it happened. Did you go too long without food and needed a quick fix? Did you have no food in the house? Did you just need comfort food? If you can identify why it happened, you can try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It doesn’t matter if you fall of the wagon, it matters that you get back on.

Are you a very clean eater?

I’d love to say I’m a clean eater all of the time, but I’m not. I do try to make healthy choices and I’ve definitely tried to educate myself about healthier food options but there are still times that I love nothing more than a bar of chocolate or a dominos, and I do give myself that. I think a great rule is the 80:20 rule, where you eat clean 80% of the time and you give in to yourself the other 20%.

What does a day on your plate look like?

For breakfast, I’ll typically have oats with either chocolate protein or frozen raspberries which I melt in the microwave. Then I’ll have some fruit like blueberries and strawberries in the early morning. For lunch I might have a ciabatta, with chicken, cheese and spinach or else chicken with peppers and spinach. I might have a Quest bar around then too. For dinner I love pasta, and will maybe have some more chicken then too. And then in the evening I might have nice cream, yoghurt, fruit and seeds and maybe some cheese.

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Do you have cheat days?

I definitely do, but something I’m trying to practice more is cheat meals, rather than cheat days. Cheat days, even just one, can sometimes out do a whole week of hard work so I’m trying to stick to cheat meals instead. I think they’re great. They give you something to look forward to and I think you’re less likely to fall of the wagon when you give yourself leniency.

How do we work out a social life/fitness balance?

Planning! Everything comes down to preparing. If you know, for example, that you are heading out on a particular night, maybe get a workout in earlier that day. Try your hardest to eat as clean as possible for the day before, so then when you go out you can enjoy yourself. A great idea can be to have a meal prepared for when you get home that night, but this isn’t something that I usually do myself. I would also usually try and plan that I will have my rest day the day after so I can relax and not feel guilty about it.

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In your opinion, what’s the best exercise for weight loss?

The first thing I have to say is that NO exercise is going to work unless you’re eating well. A lot of weight loss/weight gain comes down to diet, so unless you have that sorted out, weight isn’t going to go anywhere. In saying that, I think weight training is definitely up there with one of the best ways to sculpt your body and lose weight. And I’m also a big believer in HIIT training. But these are not routines that suit everyone. So it’s really important to find a type of exercise that you like. If you like something you’re so much more likely to stick with it, and consistency is what will ultimately get you results.


You swear by yoga, why is it so good?

I love yoga! It’s an amazing way to switch off and relax. We place a lot of focus on physical health now, but it’s so important to focus on your mental wellbeing too, and yoga is an amazing way to release stress and calm both the body and mind. The benefits to it are endless!

How do we get started?

To start, I think it’s best to attend a class. This way you can be instructed on how to do the poses correctly and don’t run the risk of injuring yourself. In saying that, I know that classes can sometimes be expensive and aren’t an option for everyone. There are amazing videos on YouTube.



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