Lea Giambruno
Lea Giambruno

School: SUNY Oneonta
Major: Dietetics
Hometown: Shelter Island, NY
Fitness Goal: Live a strong, healthy, and positive-filled life.

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  • Why did you start training and what motivates you?

    I did not grow up as an “athlete” per say, other than cheerleading in high school or ballet lessons as a child. I did not participate in sports that much growing up. Originally, I started training to lose weight in early high school. I was the typical Cardio Bunny who went on the elliptical for hours a day with zero weight training. Although I lost weight this way, my physique did not change and I was not any “leaner.” I was very much into distance running in high school and did not get into weight training until I was a sophomore in college. I instantly fell in love with the “pump” and looked forward to working out everyday. Pairing that with HIIT cardio I finally noticed a change in my figure. I was gaining lean muscle mass and decreasing my body fat percentage.

    The change that I noticed in my body, including the changes I am making now (hello gains!), are what motivates me to keep going. One of my close friends is also my workout buddy and she also motivates me to workout if ever I’m being lazy, encourages me to stack on another plate, or just have a friend to talk to during cardio. It is important to surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you in and out of the gym!

  • What impact has training had on your college life?

    As a Dietetics major (I also take Exercise Science classes in addition to my core Dietetics coursework), an active member of three clubs on campus and two different executive board positions, I have a lot on on my plate. As a natural “stresser,” I have found that training has vastly improved my mental health. Of course I still am stressed at times, but knowing that every morning I will work out and have endorphins flowing through me all day is what motivates me to wake up and do it all again tomorrow. Nothing beats that post-workout feeling.

  • How do you balance being a college student and meeting your fitness goals?
  • Best place to eat around campus?

    I no longer live on campus, but when I did, my favorite dining hall was Wilsbach Hall. Personally, I think it has more allergen-friendly and healthier options than that of the other two dining halls – Mills Hall and Hulbert Hall. Wilsbach Hall has separate stations that contain foods free of the eight most common allergens, as well as a vegan station, and a gluten-free bread refrigerator of Udi’s brand baked goods.

    Now that I live in an apartment off-campus, I grocery shop at Hannafords supermarket. My grocery bill is about $80 per week depending on if I need other miscellaneous supplies. I try to buy organic and local when I can, which is why my bill tends to be higher for a college student. No Ramen noodles for this girl!

  • Typical Workout Routine

    My gym partner and I (we are SWOLEmates) workout 6 days a week, with 1 rest day per week, and 1 day of pure cardio. We split our days into lower and upper body (both with cardio). A typical workout week would look like this:

    Monday – Lower body and cardio
    Tuesday – Rest day
    Wednesday – Upper body and cardio
    Thursday – Lower body and cardio
    Friday – Upper body and cardio
    Saturday – Lower body and cardio
    Sunday – Cardio

  • Training Philosophy

    In the past I used exercising as a punishment for eating or simply as a way to lose weight. Although I have physique goals in mind, I workout daily because it brings me genuine pleasure. The most important part of training is the WHY behind it.

  • Typical Diet

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 14 years old, and since then I have been on a completely gluten-free diet. I am also lactose intolerant so dairy is rarely in my diet.

    My gluten-free and dairy-free diet consists of eggs, egg whites, frozen vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, spinach, and mixed veggies, romaine lettuce, brown rice, tomatoes, avocados, peppers, tofu, chicken, turkey (I don’t eat red meat), gluten-free oats, ground flax seeds, frozen mixed fruit for smoothies, extra virgin olive oil, Schar’s gluten-free whole grain bread, coffee, and tea.

  • Favorite Supplements

    I take many vitamins including a multi-vitamin, calcium citrate, Kyo-Dophilus (a probiotic), Vitamin C, B-complex, Krill oil, Biotin, olive leaf extract (used for my mild psoriasis). If I am eating dairy (sometimes I eat Fage greek yogurt, I take a Lactaid, which is a lactase enzyme – breaks down lactose, the sugar found in milk products).

    The protein powder I use is Jarrows Formula rBST-free (no added hormones) French Vanilla whey. It tastes delicious, and a 2-lb contain costs about $25-$30 on Amazon. I also use Orgain chocolate fudge organic protein from Costco, which is around $30 for a 2-lb container.

    I do not take pre-workouts. I’d rather have coffee.

  • Workout Playlist

    My workout buddy and I have a gym playlist on her iPod that we call the “Fire Playlist” which we connect to my Bluetooth speakers. This playlist has a couple hundred songs on there, including DMX, J Cole, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Eminem, as well as club/dance music. We always get compliments on our playlist and most people remove their own headphones when we put it on, so it must be good. :)

  • Tips for other college students who want to meet their fitness goals?

    The most important part of reaching your fitness goal is to make sure that you’re doing it for YOU, not someone else. You only have one body in your life, so treat it right!

  • Training Schedule

    I like to experiment with different workout times and once I find one I like, I stick to it. One semester my workout buddy and I did 11pm workouts that would sometimes go to 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning (with a 6am wakeup call), which I found wrecked havoc on my sleep schedule. Currently (unless it’s cardio or a rest day), we are at the gym from 6am to 8:30am on weekdays (weekends tend to different based on our schedules). Personally, I like this time, and I find that the natural gym high I have afterwards stays with me all day. As long as I am in bed by 10:30 or 11pm the night before, the 5:30am wake up call is no big deal.