The Big Interview | 04/02/2021

Meaner, Leaner and Stronger with The McCubbins

By Alba D'souza
Copywriter, SSSPORTS.COM

Meet Adam and Olivia McCubbin, fitness influencers and founders of Best Body Co. This husband-wife duo have been working together relentlessly to develop and foster a love for exercise among people, to help yield better fitness results. We caught up with them to talk about all things nutrition, workout and Valentine’s Day.

How did the two of you meet? Was it love at first set?

Olivia: We met in Melbourne, Australia in 2013. Adam was running his PT business at a leading gym in Australia, while I was working full time as a Marketing Manager. Because fitness was always something I was passionate about, in my spare time I started coaching group exercise classes at his gym and decided to turn it into a career!

Adam: We met at the staff Christmas party – we were the tallest people in the room, it was love at first sight and a match made in fitness heaven!

What is a day in the life of Olivia & Adam like?

During the work-week, we start our day at 5.30am, Sunday – Thursday. Our first class when we coach is at 6.30am, so we allow ourselves enough time to make some coffee, set up the gym and start our sessions. Right after our morning clients, we make a non-negotiable appointment with ourselves to workout. We often train at the same gym, but often do our own workouts, specific to our own goals. A regular exercise routine is very habitual for us.

After this, we head home, shower, have a protein shake, and get on with our business admin and planning for the rest of the day. Followed by coaching classes and seeing clients in the evenings. Then it’s dinner time, a good show on Netflix, a good read or a podcast before bed, ideally before 9.30pm! 

What does an ideal week of training look like for both of you? Do you train as a couple or individually?

For us, training is part of our lifestyle. We love it, it’s not something that feels like a chore. Rest days are important, for recovery as well as performance, so we try to take 1-2 rest days (from physical exercise) per week. We train 5 x per week, mostly strength training with some conditioning.

Adam: At the moment I am focused on a gymnastics strength training program, which is very focused on bodyweight exercises.

Olivia: I’m currently enjoying lifting moderate to heavy weights 3-4 times per week and my favourite type of cardio – spinning, 1-2 times per week!

We also try to stretch and do yoga together for more mindfulness and recovery 1 x per week. 

Do you follow a strict diet?

We have a balanced approach to our diet, we love food and the quality of our food is very important to us. What you do to your body, put on your body and into your body is an investment, not an expense. Because our lives are so busy running our business, we stick to a meal plan. So, for convenience, variety and taste, we have our meals delivered during the work-week, which includes 3 meals and 2 snacks. Plus, we supplement and have a protein shake on the days we exercise.

On the weekend we have a bit more time so we either go out for breakfast or lunch, and cook a nice meal at home for dinner. We follow the 80-20 rule, 80% of the time we eat healthy, wholesome foods, and the remaining 20%, we leave some flexibility in our diets because life and food should be about pleasure and enjoyment too! We have a weakness for good quality chocolate and sweet potato fries!

What has been your biggest fitness-related challenge and how have you overcome it?

Our biggest fitness challenge would be that we are both quite tall (Adam is 6 foot 4 and Olivia is 5 foot 10). When it comes to heavy lifting, being tall does not work in our favour, since the distance the barbell has to travel is much greater. So, the weights are often lower as compared to someone who is shorter, but of comparable weight.

For us, fitness and exercise aren’t about being the best – it’s not about lifting the heaviest weights, or running the fastest. We never try to compare ourselves to others; fitness is an individual journey. It’s all about self-improvement. Practice and repetition do not make perfect, but it makes progress. That’s our motto.

Couples who train together, stay together. Does that hold true, you think?

There is some merit to the saying ‘couples who train together, stay together’, but we think this is mostly due to the fact that a couple has similar interests and values. A couple that works out, whether physically together, or separate, obviously value health and well-being and movement. So, it’s something they can do together, and value that time they have with each other, together. But we don’t think they have to necessarily practice the same modes of sport or exercise.

How do you motivate each other on days when either or both of you don’t want to work out?

Exercise for us isn’t about motivation. It’s a habit. Consistency is key. No one became successful or good at something by relying on motivation. They got good at it from consistent practice, effort and commitment. You just need to get it done! 

We see people train hard and dedicate time out of their busy schedules, but still, nothing changes or they plateau. What are they possibly doing wrong? 

One of the reasons we started Best Body Co. is because we noticed more and more people investing in their health and fitness, spending thousands on expensive personal training, fancy gym memberships or group exercise classes with fancy lights and a DJ, but with no results. Most people workout because they’re trying to get in shape, lose weight, improve their fitness etc. Very few people workout because they genuinely love it!

Exercise is only one piece of the puzzle. We wanted to create a community of members to foster a love and joy for exercise; to teach people how to move well, without pain, with good technique, in a supportive and non-intimidating environment, where everyone is set out to achieve similar goals.

Nutrition is also a big part of getting results and is often the most challenging part, so we wanted to make understanding nutrition and healthy eating easier and simpler for people, to get them the results they’ve been looking for, without needing to waste money on expensive supplements and just sticking to the basics.

The final element is community support and accountability – we have a private WhatsApp group for members only to keep them motivated, inspired and accountable throughout our 4-week challenge and our group exercise classes.

When you have these 3 elements in a structured training program, a results-based, sustainable nutrition plan and community support – you have the 3 key elements for success, to break your plateau or to take your results to the next level!

What has been the biggest fitness challenge/hurdle in Covid times for you and how did you adapt?

2020 was a challenging year for the fitness industry, in particular with the lockdown and closure of gyms. With so many trainers and gyms offering at-home virtual workout solutions, as a fitness startup in UAE, we were able to react quickly and pivot our business from a face-to-face to an online model. We were one of the first companies in the UAE to launch an online fitness challenge, where we structured a 4-week online training program, combined with nutrition guidance and community support for our members. We took our famous #6in4Challenge online, and are still running this today, with clients participating in our program from several parts of the world.

What has been a game-changer in the fitness world in 2020?

Virtual workouts at home! When gyms were closed and most people did not have access to equipment, and were confined to working out from home; we had to adapt. We love lifting weights and it is the style of training we run at Best Body Co. Most people think that at-home, zero equipment, body-weight only workouts are boring and for beginners. But if you ask any of our members, we creatively developed some killer home workouts that were fun, challenging and got great results! 

Is there someone you admire in the fitness industry?

The best person to look up to or compare yourself to is who you were yesterday. A week ago. A month ago. A year ago. Are you progressing in a forward direction? Are you proud of your accomplishments? Are you on a journey of self-improvement? 

What are your fitness goals for 2021?

To exercise for pleasure and to FEEL good. When you FEEL good, everything else will fall into place. You’ll move better, you’ll be more confident and you’ll look better too! Health comes from within!

Your top 3 partner workout exercises and tips?

Top 3 partner workout exercises and tips:

  • 1 partner works, 1 partner rests – For example, 1 partner does 15 reps, whilst the other rests. Then swap. It’s a great way to fit in a workout that forces the other partner to stay on their toes and keep up their pace, minimizing time-wasting gossip and distraction, just getting the workout done!
  • Don’t just do the exercises you love and are good at; it’s unlikely you and your partner will have strengths and preferences for the same exercises all the time. For example, you could both plan a workout together, where you both pick an exercise you enjoy or are good at, but also choose 1 that you struggle with, so you can work on improving that skill.
  • If you are feeling lazy or struggling with motivation or commitment, ask a friend to workout with you. It’s harder to pull out and bail when you know there’s someone relying on you to be there. Make your friend your workout buddy/accountability partner!
Will you be at the gym on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is a Sunday! We will be up at 5.30 am like our usual day, coaching our clients through a spicy Valentine’s Day workout and of course, we’ll get a couple’s workout done as well! Besides, Valentine’s Day means that a few chocolate love hearts are permitted, so we’re going to put those extra calories to good use at the gym!❤️

Burn those calories and start your home workout today.

Tag us in your workouts on Instagram @sunsandsports.
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