Meet the woman who helped the world stay fit during the lockdown: Caroline Girvan.
For many of us, lockdown restrictions have completely thrown us off our fitness routines. We were forced into doing half-arsed workouts in spaces where we eat and sleep, phases where we struggled for motivation, and the thought of coming up with our own fitness programme was just overwhelming.
That’s until we stumbled across Caroline Girvan, a 37-year-old mother of two young children from Northern Ireland, who became a Youtube fitness sensation during these unprecedented times. With now over one million subscribers to her channel (and even being named the world’s second-fastest-growing Youtube channel last year), Caroline has helped hundreds of thousands of women across the globe – from homeschooling mums to key workers to complete beginners – enjoy free workouts that have you feeling high on those endorphins.
Since she created the 50-day EPIC programme, which consists of HIIT, weights, abs, and core work, there has been a Facebook community dedicated to her workouts where everyone encourages and motivates each other, whilst sharing their (impressive) progress. Many in the group rave about the results they’ve been able to achieve at home with Caroline, which they’ve never been able to get at the gym.
The first EPIC series launched in 2020 and was so popular amongst her followers that Caroline created a second EPIC Heat series, which includes workouts that are as little as 30 minutes to one hour (with playlists to keep you pumped up).
The much-awaited third series came out last week and already it has had well over a million views. Her website even crashed as so many people were downloading her workout guide at the same time.
Her success was completely unintentional as she never really had an online presence before the pandemic.
When the global pandemic occurred and I could no longer train those in my gym, I decided to help where I could and record my at home workouts to send to clients, friends and family, to provide some inspiration and ideas of how to train at home. I had an old YouTube log-in and uploaded there so it would be easily watched on their televisions. I presumed this would be a short-term way to help those I knew, however gradually views climbed and today it is quite unbelievable that so many people are joining me for these home workouts in my living room, from every continent!
Caroline’s genuine enthusiasm and her passion for fitness shines through in every video, so it comes as no surprise that she has gained a global audience.
While many influencers might have chosen to capitalise on the content they create with the number of followers Caroline has attracted in a short space of time, the personal trainer has remained committed to providing her workouts free of charge.
It has been an honour to provide these workouts to such remarkable people all across the globe who, just like me, put on their gym kit, roll out the mat and get ready to challenge their minds and bodies!
I am continuing to share my at home workouts for the same reason I decided to become a Personal Trainer in the first place; to help provide guidance and simple information. Often people are bombarded with so many products, diets, quick fixes and lose-weight-fast media that rarely is sustainable or effective long term.
Her advice for anyone starting their fitness journey is to focus on the physical and mental health benefits first, rather than the numbers on the scale or body shape.
There is unfortunately so much emphasis on aesthetics and the current body shape rather than the powerful positive effect and benefits of exercise physically and mentally.Lifting weights and using bodyweight (full body and muscle group isolation exercises) as resistance all contribute to building strength and, when combined with a healthy nutritional intake and cardio, with dedication, consistency, training with intensity and focus, and of course patience, changes occur. These changes include improvements in strength, posture, core strength, flexibility, endurance, body composition, and a more positive mental outlook. I know that focusing on your performance, improvements and progressions – whether it is performing your first full push up or running that first 5 km without stopping – is a much more positive and productive way to gauge progress and encourage consistency, rather than [the] scales.
If you haven’t tried Caroline’s EPIC programme yet, then you’re in for the most amazing journey. Whether you do it at home or at the gym, you’ll have an incredible trainer cheering you on the whole way through your workout (you’ll see her struggling too!), and a truly remarkable community behind you to keep you motivated. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a mat. And a bottle of water at all times!
Those who follow Caroline will get it when we say, “Let’s go!”
Visit Caroline’s website here and follow her on Instagram here.