Women's History Month Spotlight: Autumn Calabrese & Donna Savage Are Kick-Ass Women Keeping Us Healthy

Women's History Month Spotlight: Autumn Calabrese & Donna Savage Are Kick-Ass Women Keeping Us Healthy

A lot of people are starting to see just how important health and fitness is to a vital life, so much so, it's become a lifestyle. Celebrity fitness trainer Autumn Calabrese and Donna Savage, co-founder of Empower Fitness, both take different approaches to empowering others but their missions are the same. Since health is important to us, we decided to ask the ladies a few questions to get a better understanding about the woman behind the weights.

Autumn Calabrese, Author/Celebrity Fitness Trainer/National Bikini Competitor

 21X_PR posing_6_w14_White_BKGAutumn Calabrese is not only a best selling author (FIXATE) and fitness trainer but also has the full responsibility as a single mom. Her determination to support and motivate her clients has made her a highly sought expert among celebrities. She's has certifications from National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA), and is a national level competitor for Bikini completions. This year Autumn is gearing up to release her new cookbook, country work out DVD and apparel line. She's grown her popularity buy helping others achieve their weight loss goals and get fit through simple portion control and regular exercise. Her celebrity client list includes:  Kendall & Kylie Jenner, Rachel Zoe, Brooke Burke, and Tom Berge. We wanted to learn a little bit more about this fitness power house, so we asked her:

In what way would you like to inspire others? 

If I can inspire others to believe in themselves, to not give up and to try again, then I've done my job. I want people to know that it hasn't always been easy for me either. I worked 14 hour days as a trainer while taking care of my son (he was 3 at the time), and I just didn't give up. I'm not better, I'm not different, I was and am determined. I want to inspire others to believe that if they want something bad enough they can have it. It's never just about getting in shape. It's about improving overall health. So yes, we work on the physical in the gym and we work on the nutrition in the kitchen, but I'm also just there for them as someone they can talk to about anything. I also have a specialty in pre and post natal fitness so I've helped many women all the way through their pregnancy.

 You use a lot of strength in the gym, what are some ways you apply strength to your everyday life?

I think the number one way I apply strength in my life is by taking caring of my 7 year old son. He still wants mommy to pick him up. I'm also a single mom taking care of everything around the house so things like carrying in all the groceries, moving furniture, picking up our dog, Buddy (he weighs 60lbs) to put in the car. It all requires me to be both physically and mentally strong.

During your fitness journey, what are some difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I've had so many since I was a kid. It seems like I've always been the little engine that could. When I was 5 I woke up with an unbearable pain in my hip, I couldn't walk and I could barely move. I spent a week in the hospital and another two on crutches. The doctors never did come up with a diagnosis but my parents really made me go easy for years because they were afraid it would come back. When I was 19, in college, majoring in dance, I ended up with a bulging disk in my lower spine. It was bad enough that it ended my time as a dance major with only 1 semester to go till graduation. The bulging disk has since always been something I have to be careful of. I don't believe in things holding me back. I do what I need to do to heal and then I'm careful, but I don't let it stop me from doing what I love.

To find out how you can do the 21 Day Fix, visit Autumn Calabrese's website: autumncalabrese.com or follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for fitness tips!

Donna Savage, Co-Founder of Empower Fitness

Donna Savage head shot(1)

Donna co-founded Empower Fitness striving to empower women with solutions that would educate, motivate and inspire them to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. The Empower Fitness brand was born to focus on real women and real results through easy-to-use, more effective and more fun workout gear to stress healthy not hip, fitness not perfection and strength not guilt. Donna is the Empower woman, living the busy, on-the-go, trying to squeeze in a workout lifestyle as her consumers. She manages all this success while also being a mother to two kids.

Tell us a little bit more about Empower Fitness and how you came up with the concept?
The concept of designing fitness products exclusively for women was developed by my husband Mike and I after he attended a business seminar by Tom Peters. In this seminar they said the number one business opportunity was for companies to design and market products/services for women. Nobody was filling this niche in the fitness industry. Since we were already making fitness products, it seemed to be a perfect fit for us. Today, Empower is a leading fitness and healthy living brand that educates, motivates, entertains and inspires women to be their best in this increasingly demanding world. We pair a simple, fun and effective approach to fitness with credible and user-friendly information, tools and support to help women continually move in the direction of her best self. Our innovative line is now made up of over 150 products available at retailers like Target and Kohls.

With so many fitness options available, what sets you apart?
We develop all of our products with “her" in mind. Our products are designed for women specifically: for her problem areas, for her time constraints, for her lifestyle. We help her get the most out of her fitness time. Our products come with workout guides and most even have DVDs to maximize the benefits in the shortest amount of time.

Health and Fitness generally encompasses strength, tell us a time where that strength came in handy within your day-to day life.
Strength training has helped me to continue to exercise almost daily without any injuries or aches and pains. Plus strength training gives me tons of energy to keep me going through all my daily activities and obligations. Managing a business with my husband, running our two kids around to various school and sporting events, taking care of two dogs and dealing with aging parents/grandparents, I need all the energy I can get.

Have you always been into Health & Fitness? If not, tell us what your life changing moment was?

Growing up I was always very active but I really started exercising to stay in shape during my early 20's. I had always been slender but once you start driving everywhere and sitting at a desk from 9-5 the pounds can start to creep on. As with most women I thought cardio exercise was what I needed to stay in shape. Treadmill running was my exercise of choice for many years and I hated every minute of it but I thought that was the pain I needed to endure to stay fit. I discovered the truly amazing benefits of strength training halfway through my first pregnancy when I was unable to continue running. Because I was so strong, my delivery ended up being effortless and I was back in shape in less than two weeks. But not only was I back in shape, I was in better shape than before the pregnancy! Strength training has continued to be my number one exercise routine ever since. Now I only run outside in the nice weather when I feel like running.

For more information about Donna & Empower Fitness visit: empowerfitness.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Check back for more spotlights this month, we know some awesome chicks and we're eager to share!

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