Autumn Calabrese is a celebrity trainer with several top-selling fitness programs under her belt (ever heard of Beachbody’s 21 Day fix?), but it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get there.
Powered by her entrepreneurial spirit and fueled by the example of a hard-working father, she’s grown from just trying to make ends meet to being a fitness star, Beachbody Super Trainer and creator of 80 Day Obsession.
She’s a wealth of wisdom, so we caught up with her to hear about her journey and what motivates her to succeed.
Goalcast: You’ve had an incredible journey to success, going from living paycheck to paycheck to being a successful fitness star that many people look up to. In the early days, did you ever believe you would grow to this stature?
Autumn Calabrese: It might sound conceited, but I always knew I was destined to do something big and to inspire people. I didn’t know exactly what that path would look like, but it was there inside me.
I think that’s why every time I got a “no” I pushed harder because there was something inside me telling me, “You are going to make it, you are supposed to make it, you have something to offer so don’t quit.”
GC: Some people have issues with getting motivated (in general). In your case, you probably see that a lot when people are just getting started in their fitness routine. What advice can you share to get someone motivated to start moving their life in the direction to a place that they want to be?
AC: Just start. It’s that simple. Not every day will be filled with positive motivation. Some days will be filled with negative motivation, some days you just won’t feel like it, other days you’ll be bursting to do it. You can’t wait for the motivation; you have to be the motivation for yourself.
Only YOU can make YOU successful. Don’t look outside, look within. All the motivation is there waiting. On the days where it’s harder just start, just move, do one thing that brings you one step closer to your goal. The more you do, the more you’ll want to do.
GC: I read that you are a big believer in hard work. What does that mean to you (what are the characteristics that go into it like consistency, execution, etc.)?
AC: Hard work is all I know. I grew up watching my dad put in countless hours in our restaurant to make it a success. He worked every day to do it for us. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Nothing was handed to me. It was all heart and hustle that got me to where I am today.
Sure, some people get lucky, things come easier, they have one foot in the door, but for most people that are successful, it’s because they refused to accept anything less. There are so many stories of people who are way more successful than me and they all say the same thing: first one in the door, last one out and while others slept they worked. That’s me. I enjoy all of my success but I still do the work, every day.
Thank you @beachbody for the beautiful pictures celebrating @80dayobsession & A Little Obsessed hitting their 1 Million views milestone. 80 Day Obsession has now had over 10 MILLION streams!!!! Thank you to everyone who has done the program or is doing it & for allowing me to be a part of your health & fitness journey. #autumncalabrese #teamac #80dayobsession #health #fitness #girlswholift
GC: Looking back on your journey, what are three keys to success that you’d like to pass along to an entrepreneur who is just starting out?
- Expect setbacks and learn from them. I had so many setbacks, so many things that I tried that didn’t work. Each one taught me something and gave me a new tool to try again with. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to see the lesson but it’s always there, waiting to teach you and help you be better.
- The only way you fail is if you quit. Things might not happen in the time frame YOU want them to, but they can and will happen if you are persistent.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust the vision. You have to be flexible with how you get to the end goal. The path to success is not a straight line. Embrace the curves, the unexpected fork in the road, the bumps, they are all leading you to exactly where you are supposed to be. If you let the good AND the bad be your road map, you’ll end up right where you’re destined to be. It just might be even better than you could have ever dreamed. That’s what happened for me.
GC: Do you think most people know where their limits are?
AC: I’ve never read that book but I’d say that sounds about right. It’s a rare breed that knows just how capable they are. You see it in athletes, artists, musicians. They are the ones that “fail” get up and do it again. They are the ones beaten, battered and bruised who keep going.
I think the world is a tough place and we’ve been taught to stay in our lane, don’t rock the boat and play it safe. Your comfort zone is great but nothing grows there. I tell people they need to get comfortable being uncomfortable if they truly want to be successful in anything they do.
GC: To simplify things a little bit, you see a lot of people who are faced with change. Changing – your lifestyle, your routine, what you know – can be scary. What advice do you have for someone facing that fear?
AC: This is a hard one. Fear feels very real. We feel it in every inch of our being and it can take hold of us and paralyze us. If you can remind yourself that change can be good, change can be the exact thing that you need to step into your happiest self ever, if you can remind yourself that if you change nothing than nothing changes, then maybe, just maybe, you can be stronger than the fear and take the step in the direction to live your best life.
You also don’t have to do it all at once. Trying to change your whole life – the entire routine all at once – is intense and can be overwhelming. If you pick one thing a day or a week or a month and change that, then slowly but surely you will be making the bigger changes that you need to make to put yourself on a new path.
GC: And you obviously work closely with nutrition. How big of a role do you think that plays in achieving your goals (not just fitness, but any realm)?
AC: Nutrition is everything. Not just in fitness, but in life. If you think about your body like a race car, what you put into your car will determine how well it will run. So if you put in low-grade oil, low-grade gas, don’t change the tires or don’t take care of the engine properly, that race car isn’t going to win any race.
What we put into our bodies determines how we feel, how we think, how we act, how we sleep. I’ve seen so many people take control of their nutrition and literally their whole life changes, not just because physically they feel better but because MENTALLY they feel better and think clearer.
GC: Being in fitness, you probably hear a lot of good excuses. What are the most common ones that you hear?
Make muscles not excuses. I’m a little late on getting my workout in today. Sister/aunt duty called. I could have said ah forget it, I missed my window this morning, dom & his cousin want me to swim with them, the kitchen needs to be cleaned blah blah blah. But that’s not what this is about. This is about my health & making sure it’s ALWAYS a priority. So even when the sunshine & the kids are calling I MAKE the time to get my workout in. Now that i have, its time to enjoy the ☀🕶👙 #autumncalabrese #teamac #80dayobsession #fitlife #fitness #selfcare #healthy
AC: “I don’t have time,” or “My body just doesn’t do that,” or “I’m too old.”
My favorite excuse is when people tell me they can’t give up the junk food or the alcohol because then they wouldn’t have any fun. “Well we’ll be on the boat all summer and everyone will be having a drink so it’s not realistic for me not to.” I got that one the other day.