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Today Steph interviews the hosts of Mind Pump about misconceptions when it comes to getting back into fitness after you’ve taken time off. The hosts (Sal Di Stefano, Adam Schafer and Justin Andrews) have over 40 years of combined fitness experience working with various populations including pregnant and postpartum women. They understand common pain points individuals have when it comes to fitness and share how to overcome these barriers so you can get started on a plan that’s safe and effective.
We’d like to say a special thank you to today’s podcast partner: Tessemae’s. Tessemae’s is flavor-forward, organic fresh food company that makes clean label dressings, marinades, condiments, salad kits, and single-serve pouches with uncompromised ingredients of the highest quality. Use code WHOLEMAMAS15 for 15% off your entire purchase at Tessemaes.com, now through September 30, 2019.
Mind Pump 0:03
And instead of saying, I’m here, because I hate these things about my body, you’re there and you’re saying, I’m here because I care about myself and I want to take care of myself. Huge, huge, change in the motivation behind why you’re working out and people want to take care of themselves. That’s a great place to be and it’s a long term place to be.
Stephanie Greunke 0:24
Welcome back to the Whole Mamas Podcast. We’re here to give you tools, resources and evidence based information so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Whether you’re trying to conceive, or are navigating life with a toddler or a teenager, we’ve got you covered. I’m Stephanie Greunke, registered dietitian and program director for Whole30’s Whole Mamas Club. I’m also the CO creator of Whole30’s pregnancy program where I teach moms how to navigate the endless decisions regarding pregnancy, and also creating their postpartum program. And my co-host is Dr. Elana Roumell, pediatric naturopathic doctor and creator of Med School for Moms, an online resource where she teaches moms how to safely be a doctor Mom.
I am so excited to share today’s episode with you. I was invited to be a guest on the Mind Pump podcast to talk to three male personal trainers about preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum. I’ll share a link to that interview in the show notes if you’d like to listen but after doing my interview on their show, I knew I had to bring them on to talk to you about getting back into fitness. I’ve come to know and trust the hosts of the Mind Pump podcast after listening to their podcast for over a year and meeting them in person. When it comes to fitness. I’m super picky about who we bring on the show. There are a lot of programs out there that I find to be more harmful than helpful. There’s a lot of over-promising and fitness plans designed by individuals without the credentials and years of experience to do so. We’ve had female personal trainers focus on diastasis and postpartum fitness that I admire on the show such as Jesse Mendell, and this week I want to bring you fitness information from a different equally respectable perspective as it applies to getting started on a fitness plan after time off.
Before we jump into the episode, I’d like to thank our podcast partner Tessamae’s. If you’re doing a September Whole30 or just want help in the kitchen with your meal preps, you will love their variety of dressings, marinades, condiments and salad kits. I love that their products are available in so many stores where you’re probably already shopping. From online stores like Thrive Market, to large warehouses like Walmart, to local grocery stores like Ralph’s, Wegman’s, Giant, and Safeway, to even smaller health food stores like Fresh Thyme and Sprouts. You can easily snag a bottle to try next time you’re shopping. And can we just talk about their Everything but the Bagel dressing?! It is unreal! I talked about my love for their Green Goddess dressing on the last episode, but their Everything but the Bagel dressing holds a close second place. It’s a perfect addition to your morning breakfast scramble. Just pair roasted cubed sweet potatoes and eggs with a drizzle of Everything but the Bagel dressing and be prepared for a flavor explosion in your mouth with minimal prep required. Are you not into tons of flavor in the morning or do you prefer a more basic breakfast? You might enjoy their ketchup that’s sweetened with dates instead of sugar. I even use their ketchup in my meatloaf for a hit of extra flavor without additional steps or fine sugar. And right now Tessamae’s is offering our listeners a great deal. If you visit their website at tessamaes.com you can score 15% off your entire purchase by using code wholemamas15. That’s WHOLEMAMAS15. This offer ends September 30, so you don’t want to miss out. All right, now on to the show.
All right. Well, I am so excited to be here today with the three leading experts in personal training, my friends from Mind Pump. And why I decided to bring them on the podcast was because we are approaching the season where I can kids are going back to school, we may be re-engaging in some healthy eating patterns and exercise patterns. But there may have been a delay from when we had those patterns to where we are now. And we might want to respark our fitness routine or health routine. And when it comes to the world of fitness and personal training, there’s a lot of different ways that we can approach it. And these guys are by far the most, you know, researched, they understand the behavioral psychology of fitness and I wanted to bring them on the show because they have over 50 years of combined experience in the world of fitness and personal training. And we don’t have a whole lot of testosterone on our show. So I wanted to bring them on, get their perspective and really share what they’re up to. If you’re interested in fitness, I think you really should know what they are doing over on their channel. So welcome to the show.
Mind Pump 4:50
Thanks for having us. Really appreciate it. Hey, Steph
Stephanie Greunke 4:52
Yeah, so one of the things that we ask all of our guests to share is what they are currently doing to nourish themselves. And when we say the word nourish, we think about what we’re physically doing, and what we’re mentally doing to take care of ourselves. And it could be as simple as taking an extra five minutes in the shower one day, to going and maybe not free, but going to the spa, or doing something that’s a really self indulgent
Mind Pump 5:16
Yeah, I love to do that. I do that all the time.
Stephanie Greunke 5:19
So I would just love to hear what you have done today, or what you’re planning on doing today to take care of you.
Mind Pump 5:24
I actually have two new behaviors that I’m trying to create for myself; one of those being swimming. So I’m swimming 1000 meters about every other day right now in the pool. And then I’ve started a gratitude journal. Those two practices are something that I’ve just started doing for about two months, and I’ve seen a lot of really cool things and the swimming thing for me, well, first of all, was really new, because I was not into, I’m not a cardio guy by any means. So we talk a lot about strength training and the benefits of that. And most of my exercise is centered around weightlifting and or used to be playing basketball or doing sports like snowboarding. But never have I got into a pool with the intention of cardiovascular exercise. It’s been incredible. I’ve noticed a huge difference in mobility, joint health. And the thing that I didn’t see coming from it is the meditative side of it. We’re in this world now where we’re connected to all these digital products; your iPhone, your TVs, and you know, sometimes it’s really difficult to get unplugged for a while. And I’m seeing the benefits of that, of just being by myself in a pool of water, underwater, where I’m not being distracted by anything else. And even though I’m doing something that’s cardiovascular, it’s not really intense. And it gives me the ability to kind of meditate on the day and what I’m getting ready for. And then at the end of the night, or one of the things that I do before bed is I do a gratitude journal where I just list five things that I’m grateful for. Typically, I try and think about something in that day. And those two things have been great. So in line with the nourish, I would say that’s something that I’m currently doing right now that I’m enjoying and it’s a new practice. And I see a lot of benefits coming from that.
Stephanie Greunke 7:23
I think that’s great. I love it.
Mind Pump 7:24
So for me, fitness and health has been a part of my life for a very, very long time. And through this process, through my process of going through that, I realized more and more how many things fall into that sphere. So it used to be, when I first started, it was lift weights and eat the right macronutrients for performance: proteins, fats, carbs. Then later on, it became learning how to do those things for overall health and wellness. Then it became, Oh sleep is a part of that, and so is my attitude of my relationships with the people around me. And now I’m starting to realize that a spiritual practice is also part of the overall health and wellness sphere. It’s the spiritual practices, what seems to be giving me a new sense of meaning to to the rest of my life. And life is hard for everybody, I think. And the spiritual practice that I’m now pursuing, is starting to help with all of the difficulties of life, all the challenges of life. And so I’ve been doing things like, you know, I’ve been going to, and I’m not any particular religion at this point, but I’ve been going to church, and I’ve been reading books and watching videos more on that side of things and doing things within. You know, doing it with an open mind. And I’m pretty amazed at how it’s improved my overall quality of life. And it’s crazy when you read some of these books, some of these old ancient books, you know, like the main religions of the world, for example, those are old books, or you read, you know, some of this stuff written by, you know, shaman, or spiritual leaders, you see this kind of common thread of wisdom, through all of them. And it’s a different type of truth than the typical scientific truths that I think we place so much value on in modern Western societies. I know I was all about scientific truth. And I never even considered that side of things. But now that I’m looking into that kind of stuff, it’s really, really interesting. Like, I’m finding the value, like I understood the value, for example of abstinence when it came to food. You know, as a personal trainer, I knew that really enjoying food did not mean eating whatever you wanted all the time. It meant sometimes you ate the things for their hedonistic value, you know, for the how much you enjoyed eating them. But it also meant many times eating things for their nutritional value or for how they made you feel physically; or, you know, the context, right, like I’m eating this cake, because it’s my my kids birthday. And so that brings a different type of value, for example. But I never understood that with other types of things. And when you read some of the ancient wisdom of these spiritual practices, you find that applies to lots of different things, whether it be, you know, any kind of practice. Whether it be sex, for example, how you can have a healthy sex life and what that looks like. And it’s not just about having lots of fun sex, but it’s also about connecting with your partner, for example. So and that’s just one example. But for me, this is a new thing. And it’s, it’s totally changing the way I view total health and wellness.
I’ve been really getting into exfoliating. That’s a new thing for me; using the scrub and all that. As well as that, I also really like to be outside because like, as you can see in the studio, like we’re not getting any sunlight. And it’s somewhat institutional in terms of like, the way I feel is different. Being in here versus outside. And so my biggest focus, as of now that the weather is getting better, is to take even my workouts outside. And so I’ve actually tried to structure around my house, like ways that I could do that with various tools and make it more fun and enjoyable. And then like, include my kids with me and make it like a fun event out of that, that really helps me to, you know, I get a lot of benefit from that. As well as just spending, like, if I’m going to spend alone time by myself, I really enjoy music. And that’s been a big passion of mine forever. And so I used to play guitar, and it’s been a bit of a struggle getting back into it, because it’s like, something I haven’t done for a long time. I’ve just been getting back into it and really enjoying it. So I’ve taken time aside now to kind of just be in my office by myself and just, you know, come get that creative side out and just kind of play and spend some alone time with that. And then, you know, get sort of recharged and come back and help contribute to the family and stuff.
Stephanie Greunke 12:04
I just love your answers. It’s really cool when we ask that question we get across the board just a wide range of things, yet, you know, sipping tea, but to hear a guy’s perspective is really cool. And also to see the spiritual component come up and the fact that being with your kids nourishes you and these type of things that we haven’t heard before. So thank you for sharing those things. Now, one of the things that brought Dr. Elana and I to create the podcast was we saw a ton of misinformation regarding health and wellness, and we wanted to provide our perspective, both from a professional standpoint, (she’s a naturopathic doctor, I’m a dietician), and also our experiences as moms, and we wanted to disrupt the kind of industry that was out there. And that’s what you guys are doing with Mind Pump is taking all of the information that’s out there and highlighting what’s actually valid. So what was the final straw for you that made you decided to create what you’ve created now, which is the podcast and your Mind Pump media company that provides programs and tons of information?
Mind Pump 13:02
Wow, yeah, a final straw. Because we’ve been doing that, for a long time, we just did it in different forms, right? We were managing gyms or managing trainers or training clients ourselves. And a lot of what you do if you’re a personal trainer, at least if you’re a good trainer, who has a deep passion for helping people is exactly that. Because you’ll have clients who are going to come to you and say, I heard low carb is best, I heard low fat is best, I heard, you know, this type of exercise is going to work for me and I need to do high reps or I need to do low reps. So a lot of what you’re doing is communicating what’s really effective, and what’s really effective for that individual, and helping them with the behavior modifications to make those things, lifelong changes. Because the big, big, big problem with the fitness industry is they do a kind of a good job of getting people excited and motivated. But they do a terrible job at teaching people how to maintain these behavioral changes long term. I mean, if you did a huge survey of 100 people, or 1000 people or 10,000 people, you’d find a large percentage of them, at one point in their life that started a fitness program. Or at one point in their life had started trying to eat healthier. But you would also find with the second question that most all of them stopped at one point. And so that’s the big problem. And so Mind Pump is just an extension of that. We’re just able to reach more people. And the idea came up, you know, I got on the phone. We didn’t really know each other before we started Mind Pump. But I knew of these guys, we were all top performers in in our local area. And so I knew of these guys, respected them, I just didn’t know them personally. And to make a long story short, Adam and I had been in contact, we got on the phone. And we were talking about a program I had created. And we all decided to meet and that’s when the idea for putting it on air and using media as a way to reach more people came to be. And this form of media was perfect for us. Because we’re so anti-the bull crap, we’re so anti-the false promises, anti-the most supplements, that there’s no way in hell, we could have gotten sponsored to do this in any other form. And the cool thing about podcasting is, you don’t need much to get it started. And anybody could put their voice out there. So we’re like, Okay, this will be perfect for us, we can tell the truth. And that’s okay if we don’t get paid because we don’t need to get paid, we can do this for free.
I think it also gave us a platform to discuss the things that we came and figured out in the years of training. There was a lot of stuff that we did that I know was wrong, or wasn’t really helping people. And I didn’t learn that until later on, you know, you could read studies all day long, and you can get all these certifications. And then what you end up finding out, to Sal’s point, how many of these people actually, keep the weight off or stay healthy long term. And any really good trainer that’s been training for a long time starts to figure out, holy crap, all this information is great. But if I can’t get these people to make behavioral changes over this, none of this matters. And so we really like to talk to the the psychological piece. And because we have all the experience, because we have the education and the background, we can also talk to the science piece. But, what I feel like the science community does is they do a really poor job of including that piece of it. The psychological piece, in our opinion, is greater than even that. We said this many times before that, a program, a poor program done consistently is better than the best program done inconsistently. And that speaks to the behavioral piece and the psychological piece. And so, you know, you have a couple of meathead looking bro guys that are coming out and talking about feelings and behavior. And I really think that was kind of our secret sauce was, I think you expect something different to come out of our mouths. And then you hear, like us starting to talk about these other things. But I think we were the right people to do it. I think you expect that when you tune in or you you meet some yoga hippie person who’s talking about it, but you don’t expect that from a couple of jacked looking bro dudes. I think that was our main message was that we’ve divided these groups for so long, and there’s so much value in both of them. And we’re trying to merge both health and wellness with performance and looking great. It all should melt together. And that was really the mission of Mind Pump.
Here’s a good example of what we’re talking about Stephanie. So I can communicate to people, foods that they probably shouldn’t eat. And of course, it’s different from person to person, but I could say, hey, these foods aren’t really good for you, don’t eat these foods. And that’s fine. That’s information, and a lot of us have that information. But the hard part now is getting that person to not eat those foods long term or forever. So it’s the motivation behind it. And so what ends up happening is a lot of times people will, they’ll be at a party, and somebody will offer them some cookies, for example. And they’ll say, I can’t have those cookies, I can’t, you know, I’m supposed to be eating healthy or whatever. And I can’t do that. That is an example of a behavior, or at least an attitude around food that is not going to stick around long term. So you have to change that. So by saying “I can’t”, like what do you mean you can’t, of course you can. You can do whatever you want, it’s your body. Why don’t we change that to “I don’t want to”. And so when I communicate this to people, and I say to them, you’re saying you can’t, but in reality, you don’t want it. And then they’ll come back at me and be like, “No, but I want to”. Like actually you don’t because you’re not eating them. You’re acknowledging that you’ll enjoy the hedonistic value of the cookie, you’re acknowledging that it tastes good, and that you’ll want to experience that. But you’re also acknowledging that you don’t want to eat the cookie because of all these other factors. It’s not good for my health right now, maybe I’m avoiding sugar at the moment, maybe my diet needs to be a little bit more strict, because I haven’t been eating very good. Whatever your reasoning is, the reality is, you don’t want to eat that cookie. It’s okay to acknowledge that it tastes good. That switch right there makes all the difference in the world. Here’s another one, most people work out because there’s something about themselves that they hate. I have fat on my legs, or I have a fat stomach, or I hate that I’m too skinny so I need to build muscle. I hate the way I perform. That will motivate you only for so long. You can only live in an environment of self hate for so long before you rebel against your own self hate. And that rebellion looks like the exact opposite, which is, why did you stop working out? Oh, I just want to live my life and enjoy myself so I stopped working out. That’s a person who rebelled against self hate. Now, what if you went to the gym, and instead of saying, “I’m here, because I hate these things about my body”, you’re there and you’re saying, “I’m here because I care about myself and I will take care of myself”. Huge, huge change in the motivation behind why you’re working out and people want to take care of themselves. That’s a great place to be and it’s a long term place to be. And it will also motivate you in more appropriate ways. Think about the ways we work out when we hate ourselves. It’s punishment. I’m going to beat the crap out of myself. I ate a burrito yesterday; I’m going to go until I can’t move anymore. Versus taking care of myself: “Wow, I had a stressful day, didn’t sleep good last night, the baby was up all night. I’m at the gym, though, and I’m going to take care of myself. You know what, because I’m stressing, I’m tired, a hard workout, that’s not gonna be good for me. What I need is yoga, and some meditation or some stretching and some mobility.” Or, “I have lots of energy, today taking care of myself means I’m going to get after it in the gym.” Completely different attitude; one of them is going to serve you long term, the other one is going to fall apart in a short period of time. Even for the most motivated, dogmatic individuals, at some point hating yourself is not going to be tolerable.
Stephanie Greunke 20:47
So let’s say somebody is listening to this. And they’re identifying that they’ve done some kind of exercise program before where they went too hard, too fast, or they did something that they didn’t like, or it wasn’t sustainable for them. If they came into you’re your gym, or they started to talk to you about how do I create a sustainable fitness program? What would that look like? How would you get them started? Because we do have moms that they have their baby, and they’ve kind of pushed off getting back in the gym. Or maybe they are in the preconception period and they know that they really want to start their fitness routine to support their pregnancy, but they just don’t know, where do I even start? Well, how do I choose a program? How do I choose a level that is right for me? How do I prevent injury and keep this sustainable.
Mind Pump 21:30
So first of all, the thing that I have to communicate to them right away is that more does not always equal more or better. Yeah, just period. More does not mean more results. I think with fitness, we have all this motivation and you know, Beast Mode and no days off. And this, push it mentality to get to your goal. And in fact, a lot of times our body rebels and it doesn’t give us what we want. And so the message when I have somebody first coming in is that our goal is this: if our goal is to physically change your body, whether you want to build some muscle or you want to lose body fat, or you just want to improve overall health, our goal is to do as little as possible to elicit the most amount of change. And that should be the goal throughout the entire program, we are far better off leaning towards less, than we are leaning towards more. We can always add to your routine, we can always add more intensity. It’s really tough to go the other direction. And so you know, in my experience, it’s rare that I would meet somebody when they first get started on their their fitness program that they they under do it. I mean, you got to think of this, if you weren’t working out, you weren’t eating good, because most people that come and hire a personal trainer, what’s happened is they’ve fallen off the wagon, or they’ve been eating poorly for a long period of time, they haven’t been exercising. And now they’re motivated, whatever the reason may be, and they’re going to get in the gym and I’m going to pay for a personal trainer because I value that and they go, “Okay, let’s get it now. Kick my ass, let’s get in shape”. And it’s like, no, we don’t need to do that. Just last week, you weren’t really doing anything. So I want to start to add things into your routine. More importantly, to create behavioral change. So I’m always thinking to somebody, whatever I start to implement nutritionally or exercise wise, are these habits that you can do long term? And so that’s why I always lean towards as little, plus I remember, sometimes I would get a client that’s just getting started and hasn’t done anything. And the entire 45 minutes to an hour of working out with me is just working on a squat, trying to squat better. Working on their movement and their mobility for the entire hour, on just perfecting that one movement, and treating it like a skill saying, okay, we’re going to get good at this. And we’re going to practice this for a while. And there’s nothing wrong with just doing that two to three times a week to get started and then building around that.
So a lot of times it’s way more than what they were currently doing. Right. And you know, to the point of like the on, off switch in like how people view even nutrition or exercise. And it’s always like, it’s this wagon that we construct, like, okay, so I’m on. And now I’m off. I’m on. And now I’m off. And it’s one of those things where if you can actually take yourself out of that whole situation; there’s no wagon, there’s no more wagon. We’re so hard on ourselves all the time, that we’re not accomplishing what we want to accomplish, and we’re not at our goal yet. But it’s it’s a step by step process. It’s a day to day occurrence of, well what can I do? What can I do consistently? That is the first thing. lt’s those few things that you know that you’re going to get those wins, and you’re going to start stacking it up. And that’s what actually builds momentum. It’s not that post that you just saw on Instagram, that looks awesome. And some, person is, in this incredible shape and is doing all these things, which we love to look at. I mean, there is some inspiration behind that; however, bringing that into your own experience, your own perspective, we don’t find a lot of value in that. And that’s because it’s the process of actually building that momentum is to be able to start stacking those chips. And you have to do that very reasonably in a way where you’re accomplishing little things and you’re building it up to where now look at this. Now I’ve actually, I’ve been consistent for this long and my workouts are doing amazing things for me.
Yeah, all exercise does is it sends a signal to the body for the body to adapt, that’s all it does. So if you’re building muscle or you’re getting stronger, or you’re burning body fat, or your fitness is improving, it’s because your body is adapting to whatever signals you’re sending it, okay? Your body has a limited ability to adapt to the signals, and you can easily overwhelm your body, with these signals. Okay, so consider exercise as a stress on the body. You’re walking into the gym, you haven’t worked out for however many weeks; six weeks, maybe it’s been months, maybe it’s been years. Now you’re in the gym, you want to send a signal to your body to get it to adapt. It doesn’t take much, doesn’t take much at all. If I use the analogy of another type of adaptation the body: if you use the skin, for example, when you go out in the sun, the sun provides a stress on the skin, the skin darkens, to adapt to the sun. So you can stand out in the sun longer. You’re basically adapting to the sun. If you’ve been in your basement for three years, and then you go outside, it doesn’t take much sun to get your skin to darken. In fact, if you stay out in the sun for too long, which might not be that long at all, you’re going to get a sunburn. And then you’re going to inhibit your body’s ability to adapt. Well, this is what happens with exercise as well. So if you go to the gym, and you haven’t been doing much, and you do too much, you in essence are giving your body a sunburn, but in the fitness sense, and you will actually hault you your progress. Your body will not progress nearly as fast because you’ve overwhelmed your body’s ability to adapt. And all it’s doing at that point is trying to heal. Now you’re peeling and itchy right. And healing is not the same as adapting, they’re actually two different things. There’s the recovery process, then there’s the adaptation process. And they do happen, oftentimes at the same time, but they’re not the same thing. And if you push too hard, and this is very individual, so for someone who’s very, very fit, pushing too hard, looks a lot different than someone who’s who hasn’t worked out a long time. But if you push too hard, your body will prioritize recovery and not adaptation; it just wants to heal. So what that looks like; you go to the gym, you get super sore, go back to the gym, you get super sore, go back to the gym get super sore, no progress. All you’re doing is getting really really sweaty, and real, real sore, and you’re putting a lot of work, you’re spinning your tires in the dirt. Your body is not progressing. So the reality is besides the behavior aspect, besides the longevity aspect, you’re just not going to get in shape any faster if you do too much too fast.
Stephanie Greunke 28:00
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Now I really appreciate that you’re talking about the behavior aspect of it because I think that’s a huge part is how do you get started, and how do you create something that becomes a habit so it’s automatic? And one of the questions that I got from our community, when it came to bringing you guys on the show was, what can I do to get that least effective dose? You know, I’m a busy mom, I don’t have a whole lot of time, what makes sense for me to do to still get results but not have to spend hours in the gym? And what I hear you’re saying is that if you don’t have a fitness background, if you haven’t been working out for a while, it doesn’t really take a whole lot. And you’re going to see changes by moving your body and just implementing walks, or going to do a workout maybe two to three times a week. And building from there. Kind of shooting for an amount going to the gym or working out a week that seems like it may not be enough, is actually probably more than you think. And then just learning what you can, when you can when it’s realistic, but you’re still going to get results. So I think the the question is, how do we find a program that is something that we like to do, or that makes sense within our context? And one of the things I talked about with moms is that if you are not sleeping, if you are really stressed, this stage of your life may not be the best time to do really high intensity workouts that you’re pushing yourself. Because not only is that can be really taxing on your body, but you might not have the best alignment and movement patterns because you’re just fatigued all over. And I think moms have a hard time figuring out, well, what do I even like, what do I even want to do? And what’s going to be effective? And I know we’re huge fans of resistance training. But how do you find or how do you help someone find something that’s something that they love, and they can be consistent with from that perspective?
Mind Pump 30:50
So, it’s really rare, it’s actually quite rare that I recommend a very high intensity workout to a new mom. You have to look at the the context of the situation. Oftentimes, there’s lack of sleep, when you’re a new mom. Oftentimes, you’re coming out of an inactive period. You’ve probably been told by your doctor that you can’t exercise for at least six weeks after having a baby. And so it’s just not a great time to throw high intensity exercise at the body when the body is already under lots of stress and the condition, because remember, exercise is a stress and your body treats all stresses similarly. In other words, if I have a very, very high stress life, and then I go through more stress on my body, even if it’s in the form of exercise, that oftentimes will result in worse health, which looks like hormone imbalances. It looks like a loss of muscle, my body’s propensity or at least it’s wants to gain more body fat, because remember, your body looks at body fat, like it’s an insurance policy. So if I’m under a lot of stress, wheels are going to be moving into motion to want to store more body fat. So it makes things a lot more difficult. Oftentimes, after having a baby, the goal is to train appropriately. The workouts tend to be slower, and there’s a heavy focus on strength training, but appropriate strength training. And what I mean by that is straight sets. You do a set, and this doesn’t have to be with weights, it can just be with bodyweight, like Adam said, but it’s like I do a set, and then I rest for a minute. And then I do another set and I rest for a minute. And what that does is it allows your metabolism to speed back up, strengthens your body back up and prepares your body for maybe more intense workouts down the line. But I can’t think of one time where I took, and I know what’s happening. There’s people listening right now who are like, Oh, you know what, after I had my baby, my favorite workouts afterwards were the super high intense versions because they were so stress relieving. What you’re feeling is a rush of cortisol. And cortisol feels good. Cortisol is a stress hormone, it releases energy in the body. And these are cortisol junkies, I like to refer to people who love this cortisol feeling. And so you feel normal, because you get this burst of cortisol, and it gives you more energy. But really what you’re doing is no different than somebody with insulin issues, is you’re spiking this cortisol throughout your day or whatever. With the intense workouts, the lack of sleep, the stress, that eventually your body stops responding to cortisol the way it used to, and you start to develop problems. So I recommend almost all people after they have a baby, to look at exercise as a nourishing recuperative thing, not a tear down, break your body, sweat like crazy type of thing.
Stephanie Greunke 33:31
Yeah, really good points. And now I want to touch on the fact that a lot of times, we’re targeted these 12 week programs that we can do that are promising us all these results. So you know, not saying that they’re bad, necessarily, but these programs that are being targeted to new moms, moms or really just to the general public. What are some things that we should look out for some considerations, some red flags, that they may be more harmful than helpful for us?
Mind Pump 34:00
I would look at who designed the program? Is it somebody who is actually a trainer who’s trained lots of people? You want a trainer with experience, because I’ve held certifications and I have some education in fitness. But what you learned through training hundreds of people is you can’t learn that through courses. So look at who wrote the program. Also, does the program come with a correctional exercise component? Do they place an emphasis on proper movement? Or is it just a fun, energetic sweat crazy, do all kinds of different things workout? Those are the workouts you typically want to stay away from. They’re not programmed properly; all they’re all they’re putting into the workout is how fun and motivating it looks. Kind of like processed food, like all the money that goes into processed food is to make it taste good. A lot of the money that goes into these programs is to make it appear fun, and exciting. And very little thought goes into proper exercise programming. So those are the big, big components. If you want something really structured and you want to follow a plan and a program, we have a program called Map Starter, which is definitely our most ideal program for post pregnancy. Right when you’re getting back into a fitness type of workout and utilizes things like physio ball, unilateral work, all you need our dumbbells and body weight. But you’ll see if you follow the program, it literally takes you from de-conditioned to the point where at the end of it, then you can start to go into your more, you know your gym workouts.
I would also be careful of people that use the transformation photos as their marketing tool. And in fact, our marketing team hates us that we refuse to do this because they know how powerful that is for sales, is to show the before and afters. But it’s been important to us since day one that the message that we want to convey is not do this program, and you can look this crazy ridiculous of a difference. It’s like, there’s such a genetic difference between every single person and that’s not the overall message that we’re trying to present to people. And so be beware of that. I mean, beware of somebody that is promoting the program through just transformation photos as their selling point to you and look for the meat and potatoes of it of why this program is really good for me, and what are the things that I’m going to get out of it? And is it is it individualized for myself? That’s one of the most complicated parts of what we did. And I know you have a support group, a forum that goes with your guys’s business, we highly recommend things like that. We saw that as necessary for us, if we were going to write a program that was for the masses, how could we do that and have integrity if we didn’t provide a place for people to modify it. And we use that private forum for that. So anybody that gets a program like that, you have this ability to get into a private forum. Inside our private forum, you have access not only three of us but other doctors and nutritionists and movement specialist. So you can then come on there and share like, Oh, well, I have this going on for me or I had this surgery, or I feel this when I do that. So then we can modify or adjust things. Because, you know, when it comes to personal training, I don’t think I ever ran the same exact program with two people and I’ve trained probably thousands of people now. You definitely have to have the ability to individualize it for that person. And so that’s something that I would beware of also is the inability to modify it. If it’s a cookie cutter written program that you got, and then your girlfriend Susie got it, and your friend Mike is running it, how can it really be that custom for you? So look for things like that for people that actually provide for if you’re doing if you’re buying online, and you’re not actually getting a trainer one on one, you want to be able to to modify for yourself if you can.
Stephanie Greunke 37:49
So I shouldn’t just buy program because the person selling is really hot. Is that what you’re saying? Okay, they should have credentials.
Mind Pump 37:57
Right, that’s what we that’s what we see in this whole…
These are some of the worst programs because even if the, first off oftentimes they didn’t design the program themselves. But let’s say they did, and it’s this fit, you know, shredded Instagram celebrity. I’ve met a lot of these people. We’ve been in the space for a long time. You’re looking at a much higher percentage of people with poor relationships to food, poor relationships to exercise, oftentimes, either genetically gifted, on anabolic steroids or other drugs. These people are not healthy. And they have no business training other people. Maybe they did learn how to train their own body. But look, I tell you what, after 20 years of training people, there’s a massive difference between how some people react to some exercises, and how other people react to other exercises. And I know that I can’t just design a program based off of how I train my body. It’s just not going to work. So definitely not. Definitely don’t look at the ones that are just by the Insta-celebrities.
Stephanie Greunke 38:56
Okay, so I would love to hear from some of your most successful clients that you’ve worked with, what are some of the key characteristics or key habits that they have that have made them successful?
Mind Pump 39:07
You know, it’s funny is, and that’s why I kind of briefly touched on the walking and step thing. And I think probably part of that is I feel guilty. From early years as a trainer, I remember in my early 20s, when I first started training clients, and one of the PAR-Q questions is, you know, what do you do for fitness or activity now, and if somebody said that they walked for fitness, I would scoff at them. Like, that’s not working out. That’s not fitness. And in reality, and I don’t know if this is just because of modern times now, and because we are getting to the point where you literally could sit on your couch all day long, be productive at work, have your food delivered to you and never move; why that’s so important. When I started getting my clients to just track and see their steps and their movement for the day and just become aware of it. Like, we don’t need to make a big deal about it. It’s not the end all be all, it’s not about what step counter is better than another, like don’t get all crazy like that I always tell people like it doesn’t matter if it’s 92% accurate or 86. The idea is that you have something to give you some sort of feedback because most people, and I’m talking 90% plus, are completely oblivious to how much movement and activity, they truly have on a daily basis. And so for me, one of the biggest game changers is one of the most simple things ever, which is just making them aware of their lack of movement, and trying to create better habits around that.
For me, the most successful clients, the characteristics that I would see in them, were people who learn to compare themselves to themselves and not to other people. And what you find with people like this is that they progress slowly, but they always progress. Versus the, “I need to be, you know, I want to compete with this other person, or I’m not looking as good as this other individual”. It was, “oh, wow, I was able to do one more rep this week then last week. Oh, wow. You know, I’m drinking only water now. Whereas before, I was also throwing in some soda, and oh, now I’m adding a little bit of vegetables”. And that small change, that small consistent change, because they’re just comparing themselves to themselves, over the course of one or two or three years, turns out to be massive change. And these are people who just stay consistent forever. I know one story in particular, I had a client who came in and she had just beaten cancer. And she came to see me and she had some bad experiences with physical therapists and whatnot. And she told me, she says I’m only going to work out once a week. So if you tell me I need to work out more than that, then I’m not going to train with you. And I’m not going to change my diet. I’m like no problem. I will work with once a week. And so we started with that. Well, over the course of four years, this woman went from working out once a week, to working out five days a week, this was all on her. She was the one that told me every time she want to do more, she was working out five days a week, and her diet looks completely different. That was small changes over the course of that period of time. Those are the most successful clients, the ones that understand that it’s a small, but permanent changes that they do consistently that make the biggest long term change. The ones that tend to not succeed, are the ones that want to see results yesterday, and they’ll do everything to get results yesterday, and then nothing ever sticks. And those are the ones that you tend to see who come and go and end up not getting the results that they want long term.
Stephanie Greunke 42:27
Yeah. So I think the theme here is making it a habit by picking something that you can consistently do that’s not overtaxing your system that is fun. That is building up on habits one at a time, whether that’s just starting with walking and then going to the gym, or going to the gym and then adding on more days. So I want to wrap up with one question. And this question is a huge barrier, which prevents a lot of people from getting to the gym, especially new moms: they don’t want to leave the baby or they don’t want to leave the baby with their partner or their husband because they don’t want to inconvenience him or her for whatever reason. And so, you know, sometimes it’s nice to hear from a male perspective, like what are your thoughts when your loved one or when your loved one will ask you to go to the gym? Is that an inconvenience for you? Or do you fully support her decision? Wish she would have asked more?
Mind Pump 43:18
Oh, geez, yeah, no, it’s, I have two kids. And I, I absolutely loved it. I think sometimes we, either because we don’t have as much experience with children, or because we’re told that we’re not necessarily as good, we might be a little afraid. But what builds confidence is the trust. So like, Hey, I trust you to watch the baby. But if you do the whole, like, “oh, but it’s got to be this way”, that might cause a little bit of fear. But you know, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So if you want to be the great parent, you got to be healthy, and you got to feel good yourself. So this has got to be a priority. Raising children is not easy, it’s hard, especially a baby. It takes a lot of energy, emotional energy, it takes a lot of physical energy. So if you’re not taking care of yourself, to build that energy, and that health, it’s going to make things very difficult for you. But from a male perspective, we love the kids just as much as you do. And trust us with with the baby. So say I’m gonna go workout for an hour, have a good time, I’ll be back. Don’t do the whole, “Call me if something goes wrong” and if there’s an emergency. We’re fully capable. Leave us. Do your thing, take care of yourself, come back. You’ll feel great, we’ll feel like we did something awesome. We’ll build more confidence, do it again, next time and everything will work out better.
Not only that, but what Justin was saying, it felt like he was having a hard time getting it off his tongue there. But it was that trying to help connect the dots other than just, you know, weight loss or muscle gain. And I think that more men if they knew how much that would improve your partner’s life by allowing her to get there, and how many much that in turn improves your relationship. I think most guys would be begging to take the baby and push their their wives out. Now I know this. And I know that I’ve connected those dots a long time ago. And Katrina and I understand that even today, there’s times where things need to get done in the house, and maybe normally that she would be handling it. But because she had a lot going on at work, she wasn’t able to get to her workout, yet I was able to. And just because she normally handles those things in the house doesn’t mean I just sit back and let her handle that. I recognize that our relationship is is 10 times better when she gets to the gym. The gym has so many benefits, and not just the gym, but exercise has so much benefits. Besides the weight loss and muscle gaining sides of it, there’s so many other things that happen hormonally, stress wise. And so it’s important to me that she gets that exercise for the betterment of her as a mother, for her as a partner, for us as a team. So I think more dads or more men would be more apt to do that, if they realize that it isn’t just a calories in calories out, or a losing weight or building muscle type thing. And it’s like man, if you just knew how much it would improve your relationship, the one hour of sacrifice of watching the kid to allow her to go do her thing is going to pay you back tenfold by allowing her getting her out to do those things.
Stephanie Greunke 46:23
So true. Love it such good advice. So where can we find out more about you and where your programs are where you’re located?
Mind Pump 46:29
Well, the 30 days of coaching that’s free is at mindpumpmedia.com. So you can find that there. If you’re interested in the Maps Starter program, which is probably the most appropriate program for a new mom, you can find that at mapsfitnessproducts.com. Our podcast is obviously Mind Pump. We also have a YouTube channel. So if you want to do exercises at home, and you want good instruction, you can find our YouTube channel. It’s Mind Pump TV. And then we also offer lots and lots of free resources. Resources on how to train particular body parts like your arms, or your midsection, or your legs. Resources on how to do better at certain exercises like squatting, for example. Resources on things from fat loss and muscle building. And they’re all free. These are these are guides that you can download and read and they cost nothing. And you can find all those at mindpumpfree.com.
Stephanie Greunke 47:21
I hope you enjoyed the episode with the guys from Mind Pump. I really love how their approach is based on behavioral psychology and figuring out the minimal effective dose. What can we do to get ourselves moving in terms of fitness, and realizing that it doesn’t have to be this large leap and jumping into an extreme fitness planet. It could be as simple as picking up walking, or starting a new weightlifting routine twice a week. And you can build from there. So I love what they’re doing. If you are interested in checking out a fitness program, I highly recommend it. I have a couple of their programs myself. And I also want to thank our podcast partner today Tessamae’s. If you are digging the Everything but the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s or I know they have it now at Costco in bulk. You will absolutely love that dressing fromTessamae’s. So please give it a shot. I will love to see you enjoying it and simplifying your meal prep. And as a reminder, you can use code wholemamas15, that’s WHOLEMAMAS15 for 15% off your entire purchase at tessamaes.com, now through September 30. If you enjoyed this episode, please help us out by sharing our podcast with your mama friends and writing us a review on iTunes. Let us know what you enjoyed about this episode and help us grow our village. You can also visit our website wholemamasclub.com/podcast to review show notes find past episodes and leave comments and questions for future shows. And please remember that the views and ideas presented on this podcast are for informational purposes only. All information content and material presented on this podcast is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis and or medical treatment of a qualified physician or health care provider. Consult your provider before starting any diet, supplement regimen, or to determine the appropriateness of the information shared on this podcast, or if you have any questions regarding pediatrics, pregnancy, or your prenatal treatment plan. Now go on. Have a great day, and nourish and nurture yourself and your family.
- How to get started on a fitness plan
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- Pros/cons/considerations for at home workouts
- Common fitness mistakes
- Habits of successful clients
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- Connect with Mind Pump on Instagram
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This episode's guest
Sal Di Stefano, Adam Schafer and Justin Andrews have over 40 years of combined fitness experience as personal trainers, club managers, IFBB fitness competitors and fitness thought leaders. Sal, Adam, Justin and Doug got fed up with the industry marketing to individual’s insecurities and profiting without any regard for results. They came together and created Mind Pump as a platform to shed the light of truth on health, fitness and a host of other wellness topics.