Amber Dodzweit Riposta is an Oxygen icon and has graced our cover more than a dozen times – and counting. Now she’s back and has teamed up with hubby Andrew to create an all-in-one training and nutrition plan that can get you Built in 60. In case you’re not familiar, (or just love all things Amber like we do), check out this newly updated interview originally conducted in 2019 when Amber was coaching the Oxygen Challenge 5.
What is your athletic background?
I was born a backyard football-playing tomboy. I was decorated most in high school and college as a middle- and long-distance runner. I also played basketball and eventually went on in my late 20s to play tackle football. (I had to check that one off the bucket list.)
How did you get into working out?
As an athlete, I never had a choice. I was logging 5 a.m. weight sessions before school starting way back when I was about 14, then I had practice after school. Working out became a part of me and now, if I were to be without it, I wouldn’t know myself!
How did you get onto the cover of Oxygen the first time?
I was such a baby! I knew nothing about “shoot prep” or how to eat as a “model.” I came from the athlete world where you’d carb-load before a big race or game day, so there I was eating popcorn and cookies the night before the shoot. I look back and LOVE how naïve I was. And getting that cover was an accident. I was in my early 20s, a nobody in the fitness industry, and I know I really stirred the pot when that cover came out. Everyone was like, Wait, who is this? Why is she getting covers? She doesn’t even compete [in fitness]. Looking back, I was part of a new “look” for fitness — very girl-next-door and more approachable. I’m super proud of that and hey, 11 years later, I’m still around!
Tell me about your brand, Built for Her.
I realized what a huge responsibility I had as a woman who had been given a platform. I started training clients and writing programs out of an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I had women asking me these really personal and heartfelt questions, women who had supported my career for years. I wanted to get closer to them and to create programs that labeled women as athletes, not as clients. I wanted them to have a coach, not a trainer, and most of all, I wanted them to realize that six-pack or not, they have so many facets that are worth way more than the number on a scale. I coach my athletes as whole people, not just bodies with measurements and reflections. That’s what Built for Her is about — a platform for women of all kinds who understand that they are far more than a body, that progress takes infinite forms, and who want to connect with other females on the same journey. We are all about celebrating the woman first and her appearance after.
Are you a good cook?
I have a few go-to meals that never fail — which keeps things predictable enough so that when I’m hangry, I don’t go off the deep end! But I’m also the cook that makes up meals with all the ingredients in the fridge that are about to go bad! I’ve had some awesome inventions this way. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t want to spend forever doing it.
What is on your bucket list in terms of fitness?
I’ve reached a really interesting place in my fitness journey. I am happy and consistent, and I’ve gotten much better at maintaining a physique I’m really confident in and about. As far as my bucket list, I’ve been toying with the idea of competitive running. Many women peak in their 30s for middle and long distances, and it would be really fun to return to my roots. In 2019, I was gunning for the pistol squat — and I can happily say I achieved that one!
Who do you follow on social media?
This is an amazing question. I am careful about who and what I follow because number one: It can subconsciously influence the messages I send to my own followers, making them less authentic and more about “likes,” and number two: It can affect how I see myself and my accomplishments. I follow a number of motivational quote pages, women’s empowerment pages and of course all the animal Instagram accounts! As far as people, I only follow those who are in the business of honesty or humor. I have had a big shift in my prioritizing of social media this year, and honestly, I can say I’m better for it.
Do you have a mantra?
I don’t know if it’s considered a “mantra” but the tag line for Built for Her is “Perseverance must finish its work.” It comes from a bible verse actually that finishes with, so that we may be mature, complete and lacking nothing. It reminds me that struggle is a process that always contains a gift at the end. Persevering through the hard stuff ultimately brings you to a place of being more whole. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need to be reminded of that.
What is one thing that might surprise people about you?
I am 5 feet 6 inches, but most people think I’m taller! (How rude!) But also, that I’m just a down-to-earth weirdo! I used to think that I had to be some perfect put-together woman to be worthy of a platform, but I’ve learned that the biggest influence comes through the most honesty. I don’t place my identity in being some fitness personality — I place it in the fact that I’m just here trying to live a purpose-filled life like everyone else, sharing my struggles and victories along the way.
Looking to build agility, balance, endurance and strength? This winter, we are pairing 13-time fitness cover model and All-American collegiate track and field athlete Amber Dodzweit Riposta with her husband, Andrew Riposta, a holistic health coach, nutritionist and lifelong sports enthusiast.
So what are you waiting for? This 60-day program designed exclusively for Oxygen will help you build lean muscle and burn fat through progressive workouts with minimal equipment — and the accompanying holistic nutrition protocol will help to accelerate your efforts.
Join Built in 60 today!