Meet Vicky-Leigh Rüger – aka Coach Vicks. Not only will she guide you to get fit, feel empowered and build healthy habits … she’ll do it with care and a lot of love!
Vicky-Leigh Rüger – more often referred to as Coach Vicks – has taken the fitness world by storm. With sponsors like Biogen and Positive Pants behind her, Vicks is on a mission to bring fitness into the living rooms of women all across South Africa (and a bunch of international clients too) with her online fitness coaching programme. With over 100 clients training with her any given month, we got to know more about the woman behind the @coachedby_vicks Instagram handle.
‘I offer home-based training where minimal equipment is needed and you get a four-day programme tailored around getting the most effective workout that can be done in the comfort of your own home. I also offer gym-based training – where I teach you how to feel comfortable in the weight section and how best to utilise equipment. I also offer custom programming as well as pre/post-natal training.’
All of Vicks’ programmes are informed by her higher and advanced certificates in exercise science, along with her CrossFit Level 1 qualification.
For some trainers, coaching others is a way to make ends meet while getting in their own fitness goals but that’s not the case with Vicks. ‘I really put the “personal” in “personal trainer”. I am hands-on and I build lasting relationships with my clients. I approach everything I do in a way that is sustainable, maintainable and teaches my clients how to build healthy habits with themselves, with food and with exercising. I don’t “sell” once-off programmes. I sell a service of caring, helping, teaching, empowering and guiding with love.’
Love is at the core of Vicks’ relationships with her clients. ‘My favourite part of the job is being able to work with some of the most amazing women ever. I am a huge people person and I love nothing more than being able to connect and build relationships. I love being able to help women feel empowered through what their bodies can do. I love seeing the mindset shift in my clients from wanting to be the “smallest” version to the strongest version of themselves. We are constantly bombarded by unrealistic, posed, highly edited fitness influencers on social media which create unrealistic expectations of what we “should” look like. We are also our worst critics. We are quick to point out our own flaws, often without even acknowledging our beauty. We need to start looking at ourselves through kinder eyes and be thankful for all that our bodies do and carry us through on a daily basis.’
Vicks is also a huge advocate for body positivity. ‘For me, it’s about appreciating your body for what it is capable of and just trying your best to love yourself at every stage of your journey. A body-positive mindset is about focusing on building healthy habits with exercising, yourself and with food. It is focusing not only on your physical appearance but also on your mental health. It is prioritising your sleep, water and stress management. It is focusing on strength and fitness goals rather than wanting to be a certain size or number. It is knowing that your worth and value doesn’t come from losing weight. It is about showing up for yourself and making yourself a priority even when you really don’t feel like it.’
Details: Follow @coachedby_vicks on Instagram to see what she’s up to and slide into her DMs if you’re ready to start your health and fitness journey!
Ready to get fit after a long hiatus? Vicks has some advice:
- Start small
Even if this means just starting off with a walk every week. Gently start incorporating exercise into your life and routine.
- Set yourself some realistic and clear goals
Most often people fail before they have even begun purely from a lack of realistic planning. This process takes time and it will not happen overnight. Having a plan and some clear goals will help you stay accountable and will help you feel like you’re actually working towards something.
- Understand the importance of being strong, fit and healthy
Without understanding the true value behind why exercising is so important for us as human beings, people often lose their drive to continue. Understanding why you are doing what you are doing will help you continue for the rest of your life.
- Do it for you
Your fitness journey should be a self-driven one, not influenced by external factors. You deserve your own love, time, effort and prioritisation.
- Have fun and don’t take life so seriously
So often we can fall into the trap of thinking that our health and fitness journey is a ‘chore’ – but it isn’t at all. If there is a form or style of exercising that you don’t enjoy, then don’t do it and find something that you do love. There is something for everyone out there whether that is lifting weights in the gym, taking your dogs for a walk, doing weekly hikes or attending some dancing lessons with a friend.
* Text: Tayla Blaire. Photo: Gill Hugo Photography