Oxygen Challenge 7’s Best Masters Athlete: Debbie Mamczak

by Carla Henderson

Mamczak's childhood dream comes true with this OC7 title!

Join Oxygen Mag

Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites.

Join Oxygen Mag

Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites.

Join for free

Photo: Courtesy Debbie Mamczak

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Meet the Oxygen Challenge 7’s Best Masters Athlete (40+), Debbie Mamczak!

  • Age: 47
  • Location: Granger, Indiana
  • Occupation:  PRN Registered Nurse/Homemaker
  • Team: Both

A longtime reader of Oxygen, Mamczak is no stranger to an Oxygen Challenge. She completed the Oxygen Challenge 5 and OC6 and has developed life-long friendships with “Oxy sisters” like Stacy McDowell. When this year’s challenge was announced, it was McDowell who encouraged Mamczak to take part in the competition. “I was going through a hormonal rollercoaster due to menopause,” Mamczak said, “But Stacy was always supportive, motivating and encouraging.”

Though she purchased both programs, Mamczak slowly found more synergy with Tara Laferrara’s and adopted it as her focus by the six-week mark. Full-body workouts with a lower-body focus were Mamczak’s jam, since she’s always found it challenging to build muscle in her lower half. Though both coaches suggested intuitive eating, Mamczak opted to count macros – this tracking process has worked for her for years. “I think it’s important for our bodies to have balance when it comes to eating carbs, fats and protein,” she said.

Both before and during the challenge, Mamczak’s biggest issue was trying to keep a hormonal balance. Menopausal symptoms such as fatigue frequently posed a threat to her completion of the 90-day program, as her energy and desire to workout were low. She found that the secret to balancing her hormones was in her food intake. Mamczak followed a high-protein and low-carb diet with moderate amounts of healthy fat. She also ate more veggies and leafy greens, while limiting concentrated sugars.

When she was a child, Mamczak told her mom she wanted to be a bodybuilder, and even said her goal was to be featured in a fitness magazine. She’s proof that anything is possible.

“It’s always me versus me,” she said. “I always aim for a new level or goal, and I don’t quit until it’s met.”

Advice for Other Masters Athletes

“I truly believe that life-long wellness and achieving your target fitness is not about your age, it’s about how hard you are willing to work to achieve success.”

Secret Weapon

“My friend Stacy McDowell, who has completed the last three challenges with me. We keep each other motivated and on par daily. But none of this would have been possible if my husband hadn’t built me my very own home gym to work out through the pandemic. He was my biggest supporter!”

Next Goals

“My goals are to do pull-ups unassisted, build my legs and glutes, pursue a dream career in aesthetics as a certified nurse injector and continue to inspire and motivate women of all ages.”

Social Media

Facebook: Debbie Mamczak 

Instagram: @fabfitmom47  

Want More Oxygen?

Get the latest training, nutrition, fat loss and health information for the active woman.