From basketball in high school to triathlons these days, the SWAT team member lives a active life.
Amy Holmes hits the gym five days a week, getting her first workout in just after she wakes up. Twelve hours later, around 1 a.m., she gets her second workout of the day in — or is that the first workout of a new day?
Holmes, 26, is a member of the Manatee County SWAT team (and the first woman to hold that position) and works 12-hour days, from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Her schedule has to be strict, but it suits her.
“I wake up [and] immediately go to the gym, and it just makes you feel so much better about the day,” Holmes said. “I don’t know how people don’t work out because I don’t know what they do with their time.”
Part of the reason for Holmes’ strict workout regimen is work — she has to pass a physical exam every six months — but she’s always been a physical person. In high school, she played basketball and ran track, and she swam competitively growing up but got burnt out on it after a while. A few months into college, Holmes ventured back into the gym, not quite sure what she was doing. With all the resources online at her disposal, she soon got into small bodybuilding workouts. When she tried out for the police academy, her tests were passing, but she didn’t do as well as she could have, she said.
“That's when I switched to more HIIT workouts [and] ran a little bit more,” Holmes said. “Then when I got hired at the sheriff's office, I got into Olympic lifting and cross-training workouts.”
In the past year, she’s turned her sights to triathlons, taking after her father, who also does them. Holmes bought a bike in January and began training, but her first two attempts were canceled due to the pandemic. Her first one was the Venice Triathlon in October, where she won her age group.
“I'm still learning, and I have a lot to learn,” Holmes said. “My transitions are very slow. I'm learning there's obviously a different technique to open water swimming.”
Holmes’ advice to fitness beginners is to, above all, stay consistent. Results don’t come quickly, and time and consistency is the only way to really see a difference. Ask for help if you need it (there are plenty of resources online too), and don’t get bogged down by the numbers on the scale.
“When you're starting out, go into the gym with a plan — have it already written down,” Holmes said. “Don't just go there and be like, 'How much should I do?' And make sure you do all of it.”
Holmes hopes to get her personal trainer license in the future and to focus on providing training for women interested in joining the military or police force.
“I think that a lot of women want to join more of the special units,” Holmes said. “They could see me, and I could say, ‘I made it, and this is exactly what I did.’ They don't have to follow my routine to a T by any means, but I want to help them.”