Rachel Davis-Hamilton started competing in fitness when she was barely out of high school nearly a decade ago. Since then, she’s had a string of successes in the industry, landing covers (including our first SFM cover back in 2013), ad campaigns and competition wins, which is rare for a newcomer on the scene. But this part-time fitness model who currently graces the latest issue of our digital Training Guide, hasn’t necessarily had her sights set on fitness stardom; she just loves (like, really loves) to workout. Still, her incredible genetics and hard work have naturally steered her down this path, and for awhile, keeping a lean, photoshoot-ready physique, dominated her thoughts and time.
These days, Rachel has shifted her focus when it comes to training and nutrition and is all about how she feels versus how she looks. But her new attitude isn’t having a negative impact on her famous quads and enviable abs (the ones splashed on this cover), in fact, we think she’s looking better than ever. One thing is certain: her new approach to a healthy lifestyle has cultivated what she says, is by far the happiest time of her life.
SFM: You’ve approached training and eating differently in the last few months.
Why did you make the shift?
RDH: I do more functional strength and conditioning training right now versus bodybuilding and isolation training. I was just getting bored of what I was doing and I felt like I was training without a purpose. Now, I do a lot of prowler and sled work, supersets and drop sets and have full-body workout days. I used to pick one bodypart per day, but now my training is completely different and I have to say, I’ve never felt better.
As for diet, same thing applies. I used to have a cookie-cutter meal plan where I would eat the same thing at the same time, every single day. Boring! Now I follow more of a macro system where I can fit in different foods that I love and it doesn’t make or break me. I’ve found my “sweet spot” with diet and training and I have never been happier.
SFM: On your days off from training, what do you do to take care of your body?
RDH: I’ll be honest, not much. I know I should be stretching and foam rolling and even getting a bit of therapy, but I don’t. However, I just recently went for my first massage, so I’m starting to put more effort into it.
SFM: What are your fitness goals for 2015?
RDH: Honestly, this was one of them: landing another cover!
SFM: In your years in the fitness industry, what have you learned about yourself?
RDH: I’ve learned that hard work really does pay off and consistency is key, but a healthy mind is most important. I have seen a lot of people get lost in this world and lose focus of what’s most important. For a short time, I had my moment where I was in that bubble. I acknowledged it and changed it immediately. For me, it was about finding that balance with fitness and life, and I am so happy that I have finally found my middle ground.
SFM: Do you have a personal philosophy you follow in training? In life?
RDH: I kind of run with the wind and always have. I like to take opportunities and experiences as they present themselves. I can be pretty “spur of the moment,” and that’s exactly how I like my life to be.
SFM: What motivates you?
RDH: I like to set small, attainable goals. If there’s something specific I’d like to work on, I’ll make that my focus until I see some sort of improvement. Acknowledging improvements is very important to me, no matter how small they seem. Even a small step forward is still a step.