Siobhan O’Hagan is a Personal Trainer and Online Coach based in Dublin, Ireland. She studied maths in college and worked a regular office job but left it to pursue a career in fitness.
Siobhan gained a huge following on Instagram through her fitness journey and has built a huge and succesful platform with her online coaching programs ‘OH Fitness Factory’ and ‘OH Fitness Furnace’ as well as an online PT and a mindset mastery course. Those of you who follow her will be all too familiar with Turkey Burgers, MyProtein, Alvor and Titan Fitness.
Siobhan, unlike many fitness ‘influencers’, promotes living a healthy but balanced lifestyle that allows people to reach their goals without following restrictive diets or killing themselves in the gym. Last Year she competed in the RIBBF Spring Classic bikini competition and gained a second place title. Siobhan has spoken about how much she enjoyed her prep but how taxing the changes in her body post-comp was mentally. She also speaks openly about her online engagement and how bikini, drinking and ‘junk food’ attract a lot more attention than the likes of fitness achievements or business .
I have followed Siobhan online for almost 2 years and have always admired her not only for her training, but also for her success in the business side of the industry. I had the pleasure of meeting Siobhan in January 2018 at Killarney Balance Expo and she took the time to speak to me about everything from fitness to career goals. I was delighted to hear that she was running an online PT course, ‘OH PT Institute’ which a I am currently completing.
Siobhan is an inspiration to me and many others and she will be to you after you’ve read this interview! You can find Siobhan at @ohfitness_ie on Instagram or on her website ohfitness.ie where you can find all of her online coaching plans
- Before you began working in the fitness industry you had a qualification in maths and had an office job. What made you decide to change your career?
I was a bit lost in my current job. It was a small business working on projects for bigger businesses. I didn’t see any room for progression in the job, just more money, which didn’t really motivate me. I was unsure what else I could do with my experience and my friend actually convinced me to try recruitment as it was fast paced and exciting, plus the potential to earn a lot of money in bonuses.
- You have spoken about macro-counting as being a key tool in achieving aesthetic-driven fitness goals. Why are you such an advocate for tracking macros?
If your goal is fat loss, you need to be in a calorie deficit. For years I tried different diets, cutting out food groups etc. but it was only when I realised that you could eat anything, and get lean, if it fits your macros, that I realised I could actually keep it up.
- You are clearly an entrepreneurial individual with the online platform that you run. What steps did you take to gain the success that you have with your business to date?
Social Media has 100% been the biggest driving force behind my online business. But a lot of people have big social media followings and no business acumen. I come from a business background and I also study different subjects as much as I can. I think it is important to continually educate yourself. In terms of the actual business – play the long game. Especially with health and fitness. There are so many people selling quick cheap solutions to make a quick buck but I’m a big believer in ‘Give a man a fish and he will eat tonight but teach a man to fish and he will eat for life”.
- You promote a balanced approach to health and fitness as you are not afraid to treat yourself with drinks and food as well as knowing when you should rest. Why is this important to you?
I am very clear on my own values – freedom and happiness. It means when it comes to making decisions I can look at my values and evaluate what I want to do in each situation. As I said, I love food. I am proud of the fact that I can stay in decent shape while still ‘living’. I encourage my clients not to be too hard on themselves too. By taking the stress out of dieting, you can be more consistent in the long run. Striving for perfection will only result in falling ‘off track’. Consistency over perfection always.
- Your fitness goals seem to have changed from being aesthetically based to performance based over the years. What are your current fitness goals?
I still want to look good but I wasn’t as disciplined in my goals of aesthetics because I had been shredded for my bikini comp and I realised that abs do not equal happiness. They can be correlated but I found it hard to motivate myself to go into the gym and train for hypertophy when I didn’t care as much.
- What are the top five foods that you’ll always have in your kitchen?
Turkey Burgers, Oats, Eggs, Salads, and Nutella
- You have just announced that you will soon have no ‘fixed abode’ as you have decided to go travelling. What sparked your decision to do this and how do you deal with criticism for not following societies norms?
After spending a lot of last winter in Thailand and other countries, it changed my outlook on life. I don’t think many people realise that we have ONE shot. We have to do what will make us happy – whatever that looks like to each person. I do worry about money and security but then I stop and think ‘What is the worst that can happen?’. I run out of money, go home to live with my parents and go back to recruitment. The reward for this attitude will be the most amazing life experiences. Its only from travelling that I realised there are so many people living like this. Coming back to Ireland was actually tough to try fit back into societal norms!
- What is your best piece of advice for those who want to give up their current jobs to pursue a career in fitness?
Figure out how much money you need to live off and only aim for that much. Even if it means working in a coffee shop a few evenings a week so that you have time to pursue your career in anything else. Money will come and go. Time is short. Seek a mentor. Be open minded but also goal focused. And WORK. There is no substitute for hard work. There were times I became intollerant to caffeine after trying to train and study while doing my course and working full time but I was so goal focused and I knew it would pay off.
- What other hobbies do you have outside of health and fitness that others may not know about?
I just like to live. I will try almost anything. I don’t see health and fitness as a hobby – just a way of life. I am hungry to live as much as possible each day and luckily every day is different for me. Travel is my passion and I am so excited to get moving!
- What are your top tips for somebody who wants to lead a healthier lifestyle?
See it as a way of life, not a hobby you do three times a week. Eat like an adult, eat your veg, move more. You don’t have to be perfect, just consistent.