Janakaye Brammer has never been a gym-goer.
But since January, she’s been a regular at the Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs. The 24-year-old hits the gym six to seven days a week.
Brammer wants to be able to keep up with her children — all six of them. It helps that the kiddos look forward to the YMCA’s child care rooms.
Brammer draws more motivation from her gym buddy and mom. The mother-daughter duo works out together most evenings.
“I love it because it’s a bonding experience, and it’s helping her get into shape,” Brammer said. “We have the same goals.”
Sign up for the Live Well Nebraska newsletter
Get the latest health headlines and inspiring stories straight to your inbox.
Q: When did you start working out and why?
A: I started in January. I need to get in shape for my kids.
Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?
A: I’m here six to seven days a week. I normally work different body parts each day I’m here. I follow a routine in an app.
Q: What is your current fitness goal?
A: I have no goal in mind. I just want to be healthy for my kids and be a good role model.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
A: Seeing myself get better at lifting. I started the program in January and just restarted it three days ago. I used to be able to bench 20 pounds. Now I can do almost 70.
Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
A: Cardio. I hate cardio, and I need to do more of it.
Q: What helps you stay on track?
A: My kids and my mom. My mom’s been really motivated.
Q: What is your gym pet peeve?
A: People leaving their weights out.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?
A: I chase around children. We like to go on vacation to Texas every year.
Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
A: Don’t be scared of coming. Go for it.
1 of 17
After Joe Adams had a heart attack, he underwent numerous procedures to get his heart in working order. Just when it seemed things were on the right track, his heart started to fail again. Read more.
Tamara Mosby-Montegut started working out as a stress reliever. Now she wants to keep up with her husband when he tackles 50 pushups in a row. And she wants her daughter to follow their healthy examples. Read more.
Varun Narayanan wanted to shed the pounds he packed on during the holidays a few years ago. He dropped from 230 pounds down to 195. Now he treks up active volcanoes. Read more.
After giving birth to her fourth baby, Susan Sawyer wanted to drop the baby weight. She took up Jazzercise. Sawyer's stuck with the dance-based exercise for nearly 35 years. Read more.
Jessica Hawley thought her third pregnancy was different because she was having a girl. But baby number three was another boy. The pregnancy felt different because she was more fit this time around. Read more.
When Gary Gundy started having trouble getting up after squatting down for target practice, he knew it was time for a change. The La Vista man dropped 80 pounds in three years. Read more.
Valerie Heath started shedding pounds by using the family's Wii. Now she belongs to a CrossFit gym and works out six days a week. Read more.
To be around for her family, Ashlei Spivey needed to get in shape. She joined a boxing gym. Now her workouts leave her feeling like she stepped out of a movie. Read more.
Betty Watt survived a sometimes trying career as a middle school teacher. Then she beat cancer twice. And the whole time she was a regular at the gym. Watt and her husband Charlie workout at least five days a week. Read more.
Erika Hanna sometimes has a pint-sized workout buddy during her morning classes. Her son Henrik, 18 months, offered hugs as she held a plank position and occasionally chased a loose exercise ball around the room. The studio gives Hanna a chance to stick close to her kids while staying on top of her own health and fitness. Read more.
Gwen Leyden wound up spending a week in a wheelchair because of a chronic condition. Leyden gradually was able to walk without using a cane. Later she started using the treadmill and eventually worked up to weightlifting. Read more.
With high blood pressure — and the possibility of needing cholesterol meds — Rich Hazuka was headed down a dangerous path. He dropped 75 pounds thanks to diet changes. When he plateaued, he took up exercise. Now he's off his blood pressure meds and has no need for any cholesterol medication. Read more.
George Mach can't help but wake up well before dawn. With that free time, the early riser started a gym routine. He hits the gym three days a week. Read more.
As Gregg Learned aged, arthritis made physical activity a chore. He struggled to walk across the parking lot at work. But joining a gym has helped Learned to stay on his feet. Read more.
At one time, Laura Adams could barely finish a lap around the walking track. But the Bellevue woman, who weighed 300 pounds, stuck it out and dropped 115 pounds. Read more.
Vince Huerta has always tried to keep active. He decided to give powerlifting a shot and now, the Omaha South grad holds a number of records for the weight he's hoisted. Read more.
Paul Stultz takes swimming seriously. He joined a Masters Swimming club and is working on nailing strokes like the freestyle and butterfly. But one of his biggest accomplishments was hiking the Grand Canyon. Read more.