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Fit Feature: Brittany Magsig

East Lansing’s Brittany Magsig takes her health and fitness seriously. The 28-year-old is a school social worker in the Okemos Public Schools during the school year and a professional beach volleyball player in the summer. Skipping a workout, or eating poorly, just isn’t in the cards. 

“A lot of medical research has proven the benefits of working out. I found that choosing to work out daily was one thing I could control in the uncertain, unpredictable world of being a school social worker,” she said. 

“I realized early in my career that I couldn’t control certain aspects of my job or other unpredictable life experiences. But I knew I could control my health and fitness.”

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Magsig, who played college volleyball at Oakland University, wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to start her day at Lake State CrossFit in Dewitt. Working out there, she stays in shape for her upcoming beach season, gets stronger, healthier and prepares for her day.

“CrossFit gives me a great workout, I see myself getting and feeling stronger, and my resting heart rate is the lowest it’s ever been (44),” she said. “I know, with a lower heart rate, that my heart is stronger and it’s going to prevent a lot of the common health complications that I see people my age or older start to obtain. Working out in a group is amazing and motivating, too. There’s no time to check your phone, be distracted, or wonder what machine to do next. My favorite lifts have to be the power clean, deadlift, kettlebell swings, and burpees. Without a doubt, CrossFit has helped me jump higher and last longer in the sand. With one partner in our team and a whole court to cover, the long rallies don’t feel as difficult after I’ve been in a good CrossFit routine.”

To keep her body fueled, she follows the IIFYM method (If It Fits Your Macros). Based on BMR (basal metabolic rate) and TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calories, she targets a number of grams each day in protein, carbohydrates, and fats. That means she can eat whatever she wants to hit those grams. 

“Currently, I try to eat 165 grams of protein, 225 grams of carbs, and 70 grams of fat per day,” she said. “That equates to about 2,250 calories per day while targeting approximately 30 percent protein, 40 percent carbs, and 30 percent fat percentages. Because I am burning an average of 2,700 calories per day, this puts me in a calorie deficit to lose body fat. Targeting these macronutrients ensures I’m eating enough protein to maintain optimal muscle, carbohydrates to fuel energy, and fats to promote hormonal health and satiety (the feeling of being full). Losing weight and body fat is a science. You have to burn more calories than you eat.”

Does it allow for some leeway? You bet, she said. 

“My eating choices, I would say, are 85 percent healthy and 15 percent processed food,” she said. “This includes crackers, chips, ice cream, or my beloved Everything bagels. To hit these grams accurately, I weigh most of my food with a food scale. Nutrition labels have become my best friend as they state right on the label how many grams of each macronutrient that food contains. The only supplement I take is a pre-workout for caffeine and energy. Otherwise, I do it the old-fashioned way.”

She said her lifestyle has not only strengthened her professional career, but also her private life. Her husband, who is a realtor, also has a passion for fitness.

“Making my physical health a priority has also helped my mental health,” she said. “It’s helped being organized in my career, my social activities, and even following through with commitments. I’m motivated, energized, and I also think it makes me more pleasant to be around (just ask my husband). I’m super blessed to have found a life partner who also shares the same interests and passion for fitness. With my husband’s busy schedule as a realtor, we have a mutual understanding that fitness IS a priority and find ways to make it happen.”

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