Trainer Transformation: Shannyn

Aug 03, 2018

If you've worked out at O2 Fitness Park Place, you've most likely seen Shannyn Burns around the club working her personal training magic with her clients. Several years ago, Shannyn was in their shoes herself, seeking a healthier lifestyle and a physical transformation of her own. After years of hard work and countless hours in the gym, she has lost 35 lbs, 12% body fat, and has completely changed her mindset on what it means to be fit.

Shannyn Transformation

What was your ‘rock bottom’ or your ‘aha’ moment that made you decide to make a change?

My aha moment arrived after I went through some unexpected, major life changes. I realized that I had spent most of my 20s focusing my energy on other people while neglecting my own health. I realized I needed to focus my energy on myself with my health and physical fitness being my main priority. 

How did you begin to make the change? What worked for you?

My first step was joining my local gym back home in New Hampshire. I signed up for personal training and worked with a trainer for 7 months. This was pivotal in my transformation as I did not have a large knowledge base at the time. I lifted weights 5-6 times a week following the plan my trainer gave me. I also changed my nutrition greatly. I tracked and measured my food and decreased alcohol intake to a minimum. 

What was the most significant or surprising change you felt?

The most surprising change I experienced was my mindset. In the past, I had struggled to lose weight because my goal was to just get "smaller." Once I decided to prep for my first bodybuilding show, my mindset changed and I decided I wanted to put on more muscle. For my first show, I lost 35 lbs and approximately 12% body fat percentage, and since then I have been able to maintain most of that weight loss and body fat percentage decrease. 

What was O2’s role in your transformation journey?

O2's role has been very important in my transformation. I have only been in North Carolina for 8 months. I joined O2 a week after I moved from New Hampshire, but I found everyone to be super welcoming and helpful! This made me feel at home right away, which allowed me to continue my transformation without skipping a beat. 

What do you enjoy most about being a personal trainer?

I love personal training because it's just that, it's personal. Not one plan fits all clients, so I get be creative when coming up with what works best for each individual. It's a huge decision to start a fitness journey and I love helping people from the first step all the way through.  

When I first started training at O2 I was still working full-time as a Registered Nurse. I wanted to help people prevent chronic disease through education on a healthy lifestyle. Personal training seemed like a great fit.  Once I was able to grow my clientele, I felt comfortable making the switch to training full-time. it was a huge leap of faith, but everyone at O2 has been so great that the transition was smooth! So you could say O2 has helped transform my career as well as my physique. 


Tell us about your fitness routine - do you attend group fitness classes, train with a fellow personal trainer, workout on your own? What do you enjoy the most and why?

I enjoy traditional bodybuilding weight-lifting style for my own workouts. I prefer lifting 5 days a week, hitting all the major muscle groups at least once, but my favorite is shoulders. I have recently worked with an O2 trainer, Rowland Brand who has pushed me to my limits physically. I owe a lot of my muscle growth and bodybuilding success to him! Even as a trainer, we can always learn from others. 

What has been your biggest fitness accomplishment so far?

My biggest accomplishment so far was this past May when I competed for the 3rd time in the OCB's Port City Classic in Charleston, SC. I won first place in all my divisions including the overall title which awarded me a PRO BIKINI status. I look forward to competing at the professional level either this fall or next spring. 

What would you tell someone who wants to make a change? Do you have any advice or tips to inspire them to go for it?

I would tell someone to start small, focus on the 24 hours you have, and make changes on the daily level. And whatever you do, don't quit. The reason I was successful in my journey was not due to being better or stronger, but the fact that I literally never stopped showing up. Small progress is still progress and it should be celebrated.  
Congratulations to Shannyn on her incredible transformation! Want more transformation stories? 

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