The Fit Pharmacist taking social media by storm


Holly Louise aka The Fit Pharmacist. Photo: Supplied.

Gold Coast community pharmacist Holly Louise also happens to be a personal trainer, online coach, bodybuilder, businesswoman and social media star

Holly Louise, also known as The Fit Pharmacist, has more than 16k Instagram followers and runs a thriving coaching business.

With a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science and a Master of Pharmacy under her belt, Holly became a registered pharmacist in 2013.

She completed her intern year in a large community pharmacy and is still working at the same community pharmacy to this day, currently practising one day per week.

Setting up her internet presence as The Fit Pharmacist was a way for her to connect with clients and merge her two passions, she explains.

“I wanted to combine my two professions in some way and this seemed like the best way to do it,” Holly tells AJP.

“I also wanted to appear more credible as there are so many personal trainers out there, but not many that have the extra qualifications that I do. In this industry you have to stand out.”

14859803_384177755305926_3614815390854955093_oThe big question: how does she juggle all her various roles, including as a pharmacist and in her online coaching and training business?

“I am not going to lie, it is hard work!” says Holly.

“I work one day a week in the pharmacy and train clients on the other six days while also taking care of my online coaching clients. I also produce informative videos on supplements write articles as part of my role as an expert for Body Science.”

Holly believes that her background in pharmacy helps support her role as a trainer, although there is room for improvement in pharmacist education surrounding nutrition and fitness.

“To be honest, I don’t believe we as pharmacists receive enough education at university on the power of nutrition and fitness in assisting with disease prevention, treatment and optimising overall health,” she tells AJP.

“It wasn’t until I became an avid gym-goer myself that I realised my knowledge on nutrition was quite limited and wanted to rectify this to take my results to the next level. I believe that having the background knowledge obtained through my studies on anatomy and the various systems of the body has been extremely useful not only in my further studies to become a certified personal trainer but to have a deeper understanding of the effect of nutrition and exercise on the body.

“I also believe it is helped significantly in my ability to review literature and determine whether or not something is backed by sufficient evidence.

“There is so much conflicting information out there when it comes to health and fitness and many people become overwhelmed. This is where my pharmacist background really gives me an advantage to help these people apply evidence-based methods to achieve their results efficiently and effectively,” she says.

Holly explains that she is driven by the way she can help her clients improve their quality of life.

“The fact that I personally have the ability to have a major impact on someone’s life gives me the drive and motivation to better myself. I absolutely love seeing my clients progress and become healthier, happier, fitter, and stronger!

“Also the fact that I can provide people with evidence-based information to make their health and fitness journeys safer and dispel some of the myths regarding nutrition and training is a massive drawcard for me. The satisfaction I get from helping people improve their health in any aspect is very rewarding,” she says.

Holly Louise

Holly’s top tips for health and wellness:

1. Eat for your goals

This is definitely at the top of the list! Many people don’t realise that in order to lose fat you must consume less calories than you burn and to gain weight (or muscle) you must consume more calories than you burn.

2. Ensure variety in your diet

My dietary methods are based on the fact that no foods are “off limits”. With that being said a healthy body is always going to perform more effectively and efficiently than one which uses processed foods as its main fuel source – not to mention that you will be more satisfied by foods that are nutrient dense, such as fruits & vegetables. Therefore, you should aim to get at least 80% of your daily calories from whole foods which are micronutrient-dense and that you actually enjoy.

3. Use supplements

Unfortunately due to our modern busy lifestyles, few people eat a well-balanced diet comprised of nutrient dense foods and exercise regularly. This is where supplements can help to bridge nutritional gaps and take your results to the next level. Dietary supplements to consider are:

  • Protein Supplements
  • Multivitamin
  • Greens Powder (fruit/vegetables)
  • Fish Oil
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Probiotics

4. Lift weights!

My training programs are based on resistance training because of the many benefits it provides. This includes:

  • Improved body composition
  • Increased metabolism
  • Improved muscle strength and tone
  • Improved mobility and balance
  • Prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression and obesity
  • Pain management
  • Improved posture
  • Increased bone density and strength and reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • Improved self-confidence and body image
  • Better mood and sleep quality
  • Enhanced performance of everyday tasks.

5. Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is key for anyone looking to improve their health and body composition. Drinking enough water allows you to build muscle and lose fat more efficiently due to optimal cellular functioning.

6. Rest and recover

A balanced combination of rest and recovery along with proper nutrition and training should be a part of any fitness program. Resting is a crucial part of the muscle building process, because it is the rest that allows the muscles that you have damaged during training to heal and rebuild and become stronger for your next session.

7. Be consistent and realistic!

Follow Holly on Instagram, Like her on Facebook or visit her business website at dreamteamphysique.com

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12 Comments

  1. Furion
    10/12/2016

    Pharmacist and bodybuilder?
    Happy to see Holly receive some positive publicity.
    Take care with this- speaking from experience.

  2. Leah Rosevear
    10/12/2016

    It would be better if you actually had qualifications in exercise science – every personal trainer unless they have a cert 3 or 4 or a degree then I am reluctant to succumb to the hype. I am a pharmacist and have a science degree and I was a fitness instructor but you don’t need to do much to become the latter. I have many friends in the fitness industry having been around a couple of decades longer than you Holly and although I admire your drive to increase the health of the population you should know that cardio is needed to increase the metabolic rate – working at 65 to75% of maximum heart rate for at least 30 minutes, not including warm up and cool down. Some exercise regimes involving the use of weights like a circuit type or boot-camp session keep the heart rate up but just using weights in the gym won’t cut it (excuse the pun). I like to see people do both for the reasons you have specified. Weights after cardio (bike, running, incline walking, rowing for example) or a fast moving session involving weights or even one’s own body weight for resistance but without breaks which would allow the HR to drop. Sustained weight loss will not occur if people don’t increase their metabolic rate and eat healthily. Some young women in the gym I go to look fit and strong like you but they were not overweight to start with and being young they are not looking at the big picture – health of the most important muscle in our body; our heart. Hence the need for cardio. Cheers, Leah

    • Wayne
      11/12/2016

      This response is actually incorrect on so many levels Leah. If you think that you need to do cardio to lose weight, your understanding of the matter is very flawed.

      Holly well done for your incredible achievements. That was a well written article and I wish you all the success in spreading awareness of these issues!

      Wayne.

      • Holly Vogt
        11/12/2016

        I really appreciate your comments, thank you Wayne! My ultimate goal is to educate people on more effective and efficient evidence-based methods to improve their health and wellness.

      • Leah Rosevear
        11/12/2016

        I said if you read by spiel again that you need both. You do need to keep your heart rate between 65 and 75% max to increase your metabolic rate most days a week for 30 minutes at least. Doing weights will use calories for sure but won’t elevate the metabolic rate 24/7 once ‘fitness’ is achieved. On what levels are my comments flawed Mr whoever you are with whatever qualifications? I said to Holly “I admire your drive to increase the health of the population” but still it all comes back to the cardiovascular system. Want to have a heart attack? Then keep just doing weights and huff and puff walking up stairs. Two thirds of the population are overweight or obese and they need to speak to the correctly qualified people ie a dietitian as well. Holly like myself may have a good working knowledge of nutrition and weight loss but we cannot devise eating plans for people without the qualifications unless we have the bit of paper. It is condescending to other allied health professionals to think that personal trainers can devise weight loss diets for overweight people. There are the underweight also to consider and people with eating/image /metabolic/endocrine disorders and the yo-yo dieters who use the latest fad system to try to lose weight and people need to see the appropriate health professional. I respect Holly for how she looks which would be hard work and as I said before trying to increase the health of the population.

    • Tara
      11/12/2016

      Hi Leah,
      I just have a few questions; do you have qualifications in exercise science? Because you know, it would be better if you did…
      As you yourself have just highlighted you are only a fitness instructor as opposed to a completely certified Personal Trainer, so I suppose it is easy to sit back and comment from your own personal experiences in contrast to actual facts and information. But while we are chatting let me share my own personal experiences; I am one of Holly’s clients. I have been weight training with Holly twice a week for the last 3 months and have to this date lost 15kgs. WITHOUT an ounce of cardio (excepting a 5 minute warm up, inclusive of muscle activation). Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally view this as a huge success!
      My metabolic rate has been improved through nutritious and calculated food consumption and weight training! Because lets face it at the end of the day, you can run on a treadmill as long and hard as you like but if you aren’t creating an overall calorie deficit you won’t be aiding weight loss. My weight loss has been gradual and steady and most certainly sustainable – AGAIN without an ounce of cardio!
      I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinions and its great that cardio is what works for you, but you are coming across extremely negative and close-minded – there is no need to try to discredit others!
      Cheers,
      Have a great day.

      • Holly Vogt
        11/12/2016

        Thank you Tara. Your amazing results really do speak for themselves!

      • Leah Rosevear
        11/12/2016

        I did not discredit Holly. She does not have qualifications in exercise science either but as part of my Bachelor of Science before my Bachelor of Pharmacy I majored in maths and biochemistry with sub majors in nutrition and dietetics. I know about the difference in Cert 3 and Cert 4 – I am not stupid and I think it is horrible for you to put me down then say have a nice day. I have a Cert 3 and 4 in aged care as well as there is not a lot of difference. My Cert 3 in fitness gave me nearly the knowledge a cert 4 does without the one to one. But I took classes for many years and my speciality was weight training to allay you fears that I am NOT AGAINST WEIGHT TRAINING. I am merely trying to say and I am not talking about weight loss that you need to keep your heart rate up for long enough often enough to increase your metabolic rate. And have a healthy heart. I will put you onto my strength and conditioning coach who has a degree in exercise science and the man who takes me for speed work who has a degree in exercise science and event management who will verify what I am saying. I do not need to lose weight, I run (OUTSIDE – I DETEST TREADMILLS) 3 OR 4 times per week and do weights for strength, toning and maintenance of muscle strength as I am getting older 2 to 3 times per week. You are ONE person btw; you need hundreds at least and a properly designed study to glean any evidence based information. Yours is anecdotal. Again I am not putting Holly down just the whole system. Over and out; better things to do – like weight training and running …………

    • Holly Vogt
      11/12/2016

      Hi Leah,
      I appreciate you taking the time to read my article. As it isn’t completely clear in the article, allow me to clarify for the purpose of avoiding any further confusion. I have completed a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science, Master of Pharmacy and certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness, but as I am sure you agree you can never have enough knowledge, so I do have plans to undertake further studies in the near future.
      I was asked to provide my top tips for health – which are detailed extremely briefly above. I did not discredit the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise is it does have its place, but merely stated that resistance training should be prioritised due its greater benefits on improving body composition. Obviously, it depends on someone’s personal goals – and this article is only discussing general health.
      I would be happy to discuss your opinions and my evidence-based methods further via email if you would like?
      Thanks,
      Holly

      • Leah Rosevear
        11/12/2016

        Hi Holly – it is fine but thank you so much for your reply. The other comments have been directly mean and condescending and I am over it. I wish you well in your quest and you look great. Regards from Leah

  3. Primasto Sastro
    28/07/2017

    If you are serious about adding muscle then you should eat six smaller meals a day rather than 3-–4 larger meals. Frequent eating spread throughout your waking hours encourages the body to store greater amounts of carbohydrates within muscles. You can get more advice from this site: https://goo.gl/UPLfCo

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