About Us

Welcome! We are Mandy and Awhina the Heavy Lifting Hippies!

Our mission is to educate and empower REAL people to achieve their goals through a balanced and sustainable lifestyle. "Changing minds and bodies globally".

Combined we have 12 years of experience as qualified personal trainers. It is not a job to us, but more a way of life. We take great pleasure in helping people live a happier and healthier life. Teaching them how simple and easy it can be to make their goals happen. Everybody deserves the chance to feel fit, strong and confident in his or her own skin but often we need a little help getting on the right path. Our clients' goals are always very different. Whether it is losing over 30kgs or learning to love your body and exercise less to create a more balanced and happier life. We thrive on being there every step of the way.

What made us want to help change peoples lives?

Growing up we both shared the same feelings. We always felt like the "chubby" friend. Both were very sporty, in the top teams and rep sides but always struggled with the fitness side of things and still felt like the "chubby" ones. This lead Awhina to join the gym as a young 14 year old and Mandy to join the gym after University at the age of 20. Awhina trained and playing sport close to 14 times per week for most of her school years, but never had a lean body like her friends. Mandy living the 'University Lifestyle' lacked knowledge of what healthy nutrition and correct training was, thinking running 8km each day would help her achieve the body she longed for.

awhina
mandy

Both of us lacked confidence and we both dealt with this in different ways. Awhina turned to drugs and alcohol in her late teens. Mandy also drank 2-3 times a week at University, longing to fit in. Partying hard for 5 or so years made us happy in the short term but wasn't giving us the acceptance, confidence or happiness we were searching for.

From here we thought our answers to happiness, health and a banging body would be found in bodybuilding. Mandy competed in Body Building for 7 years and Awhina competed for 4 years. Although we became very lean, all we gained was an eating disorder, training obsession and body dysmorphia. The restrictive bodybuilding diet plus the "Fad Diets" and "Broscience" that were all over the internet, along with the info provided to us by our coaches at the time (who ultimately thought they were doing the 'right thing'), set us up for a terrible relationship with food. To the point of Awhina purging and binge eating, and Mandy having a warped perception of what 'good' and 'bad' foods are. This also affected our mental states. Fun, positive energetic Awhina was now an anxious, unhappy, negative person who didn't want to leave the house. Mandy also turned from being a social butterfly, to secluding herself from social occasions and daily fun, due to the fear of missing a meal and missing training. Our lives had no balance.

Sure to most we looked extremely fit and healthy, but we couldn't have been further from that. We were not happy, our social lives were affected and we were pretty much starving and malnourished from restricting foods and over exercising.

Despite both coming from a strong background in health, fitness and nutrition we both made the journey to happiness at the same time. We eventually invested money in a well-educated coach who helped get our lives back on track. Through flexible dieting and training less but also smarter, we reeducated ourselves and positively changed our minds and bodies day by day. We are focused on being healthy and happy and living life to the fullest whilst also feeling confident and proud of the skin we are in!

We are proud and excited to say we have found what we believe is the most healthy, sustainable, balanced approach to help ourselves and more importantly YOU. We want to teach these skills that we have developed in our profession to as many people as we can so that no-one gets into the unhappy place of obsessing over and hating their bodies like we did. We want to help you all, to become the best versions of you, creating a life that feels good on the inside, not just one that looks good on the outside!

Qualifications/Background in the Industry:

Mandy Francisty

  • 4 year degree in Human Movement
  • Certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness
  • Qualified Personal Trainer
  • Level 1 Power lifting coach
  • Level 1 Precision Nutrition Certification (currently completing)

Awhina Matthews-Egnot

  • Precision Nutrition level 1 (currently completing)
  • Martin Rooney's - Training For Warriors Certificate
  • Christchurch Polytechnic Fitness Industry Training, Level 5
  • New Zealand Institute of Health and Fitness- Certificate 3 and 4
  • The Body Consultants 12 Week Mentoring Program
  • Clean Health Level 1 Internship