Lucy Plenderleith and Abby Carpenter may be 20-something girls with full-time jobs living in London but they’re not your average millennials. Proud to be part of the “girls who lift” movement, this dynamic duo is totally dedicated to fitness and has founded a growing online brand, Gains4Girls.
Their Instagram account boasts over 85,000 followers and shows the two fitness, food and lifestyle bloggers working out in the gym and snapping transformation selfies… but also managing to eat a fry up here and a stack of pancakes there, proving, to our relief, that they are human. We caught up with them to find out more.
How did Gains4Girls come about?
Lucy: “We set up Gains4Girls around October 2014, when we were at both at Leeds University together. While our friends were obviously supportive of our interest in fitness and health, not all of them were as interested as us. We were learning so much and we needed an outlet for our passion; somewhere we could channel it and share everything we were learning with others.”
Abby: “We both love feeling strong and the reason we both love to weight train primarily is because it makes us both feel so empowered, we’ve learnt to appreciate our bodies for what they can do, not just the way they look.”
What do you both do when you’re not focusing on Gains4Girls?
Lucy: “I’m a financial services consultant in the city and, I’ll be honest, it’s difficult to balance my job with working out. If I have a client deadline then I have no choice but to stay until it’s finished.
“However, there are a few tricks I’ve learned since starting work. Firstly, I try and train in the morning before work as I find I have more energy then and there’s nothing else competing for my time. I also try not to give myself a hard time; if I make it to the gym three times a week I’ve done well and I don’t punish myself if I don’t manage this.”
Abby: “I’m an entrepreneur working out of a private personal training studio and run an online coaching business. I also take part in bikini fitness competitions and was recently placed third in a UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (UKBFF) national bikini fitness competition. Initially, for me, it wasn’t about the physique, it was about the discipline and the confidence the competitors had; I really admired them.
“As a teenager, my self-esteem was so low I lacked the confidence to even wear a dress without tights, so the idea of getting on stage in a tiny bikini in front of hundreds of people and have judges critique me for my aesthetics couldn’t be further from that. It was about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I truly believe that you grow the most as a person from doing the ‘uncomfortable’ side of things.”
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Do you still manage to have good social lives?
Abby: “It can definitely be a struggle for both of us fitting everything in, but we manage. I also think that you will always make time for what or who is a priority in your life.”
Lucy: “I try not to draw a hard and fast line between work and my social life. We work with some of our best friends who are also bloggers and I also see my team in my day job as my friends; I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it! I also try to be strict with my time and ensure I keep some time for myself, my boyfriend and friends.”
Do you have cheat days?
Abby: “Lucy and I tend to prefer the term, ‘treat meal’ as you shouldn’t feel guilty for eating certain foods. My absolute favorite has to be either a Domino’s pizza (most likely if I’m hungover) or a big burger with sweet potato fries. Can’t go wrong with a Nando’s either.”
Lucy: “Abby has taken the words right out of my mouth: A Domino’s pepperoni passion with a large pot of garlic dip and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream would do me nicely! I’m easily pleased.”
Fancy a figure like Abby and Lucy? Check out their workout and nutrition advice.
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