How To Sell Your Fitness Training Online in 3 Simple Steps

If you’re a personal trainer and want to take the leap and sell your courses online, or you simply want to start making business in the fitness industry, you’ve made the right decision. Personal training is a growing field, with an annual growth of rate of 2.6%, globally the industry doesn’t look like it’s slowing down its growth anytime soon. With 87.5 billion in global revenue for 2018, it seems like the chances are high that you can take a little cut of that this year.

But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming changing your career or taking on a side project. Chances are, you’ve spent the last months or years studying personal training or perfecting your course content, so hopping into the digital world can seem like a big leap – to say the least. Fortunately enough, with a growing industry, also comes a large amount of resources, blogs, and other individuals with experiences you can learn from if you get stuck. But, it seems that maybe they’re already lightyears ahead of you, talking about fancy social media strategies and affiliate programs. This automatically contributes to your overwhelming feelings and puts a stall to you starting up.

Although, the reality is – just like in fitness; all you have to do is just get started! Selling a product online has never been easier than it is now, especially in the fitness industry. So, we’ve simplified the process into 3 easy steps, so you can start selling your fitness training online, and stop worrying about all the small details….

Perfect The Product

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The reason why you’re creating this product is to help people, right?

So creating a product with that in mind makes a recipe for success – the rest of it is just making decisions about packaging, what workouts fall into what exact product and how you will market it. A good tactic here is to essentially work backward.

Say, for example, you’re a successful personal trainer and you have many before and after photos and testimonials about the progress your clients have made in 3 months. Here, you could make a 3-month program reflecting this. Using your results from your current clients is a form of market research, without all of the fancy graphs and spreadsheets. It’s probably likely you already stalked all your competitors on Instagram.

If you haven’t – do it right now. Boom – that’s another form of market research. Find your muse companies/trainers and copy what they’re doing. It’s really that simple. It’s obvious that you will not be able to copy exactly what they do consider you probably won’t go to the extent of buying their workout plans, but forming a plan of action around what you like and don’t like in their strategy is worth gold. It will create your own unique value proposition, and therefore define your niche and differentiate your product from the rest.

Once you have an idea about what type of workouts you want to include and what is offered in your workout plan, break them down into further categories.

What is the the schedule of your workout plan?

Is it over a few month period or weekly sessions?

What about the equipment needed? Blocks? Resistance bands? It’s important to add these into the description.

Once you’ve got the content, schedule, and equipment needed for your workouts, now it’s time to envision what it will look like. (See how we worked backward there?) At this step, you’re going to want to start thinking about how you present it online.

Do you have a website?

Do you want an online library?

What about an online store? Chances are, you either have a website and would like to use another hosting service (like Kajabi  or Udemy ) to sell it online. If you don’t have a website, it’s not a bad idea to make an inexpensive one on Wix or WordPress, and in the meantime, leverage the power of selling on Instagram and Facebook ads. (Keep reading to learn how)….

Manage The Marketing

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The sad truth is that even if you have an exceptional product, if you are not marketing it to the right audience, then you may be missing a big percentage of sales that you could be making.

The good news – marketing a product online is easier than it’s ever been!

So, what are the first steps?

Look at your current personal training business. (Don’t have one? Look at your favorite personal trainer).

Where do you think most of the sales happen? Is it new people who are wanting to try out working out for the first time? Or what about experienced fitness people who have tried everything? Is it dancers and athletes? Or what about new parents?

Whatever your niche is, you’re going to have a defined audience. The more you can define this audience the better. Although, if you’re not sure how to find this out, observe what you already have. Take a look into your records and see who has bought your product in the past, or make a consumer persona for the person who is likely to buy your product. From this information, you can then work on your marketing. You can either hire someone for your marketing or tackle it yourself (i.e. researching many tutorials and articles).

Either way, you’re going to want to try out social media without promoted posts first. This means posting relevant content on relevant social networks (hint: the most relevant for the fitness industry is, of course, Instagram!). This will tell you who has engaged with your posts, therefore giving you more insights about how to make an audience for trying out paid promotion. Here’s a guide about how to kill it on Instagram. Once you have gotten some experience in the world of social media and your product (or the marketer you’ve hired has) a great way to expand your network (to other peoples networks) is to try out an ambassador program. Here, you ask people with a larger following than yours to promote your product or service. It’s probably you’ll have to either give them a free product or service, or a discount so that they can review your product and talk well about it (in order to figure out what you can offer, search case studies about influencer/ambassador products in your niche). You can also take a look at referral bonuses for these users. If your product is well thought out and offers value – you’ll be able to take off with social media and ambassador programs alone!

Many times, people get overwhelmed with marketing and miss out on a large group of people that are interested. Instead, take into consideration if you have the budget to hire someone for marketing or if you have the time to take on the project and learn a lot for yourself! You can always hire someone else down the road.

The Goal is Growth

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When anyone starts an online venture, it only makes sense that they start with the main goal of growth. Although, it’s easy to get lost in anything else related to your business in the grand scheme of things – especially if you’ve taken the route to manage it yourself! Regardless if you have some help managing it, or you’ve started the venture on your own, make sure that there is also a long term goal of growth in the plan. This could be joint with other goals, such as making an app or partnering with others in the industry – but each goal has to be able to trace back to the growth of the company.

Is your 3-month workout plan causing people to sign up for 6 months afterward? Or what about your two for one offer influencing people to refer a friend to get the same discount? There really is an endless amount of possibilities that you could get your company to grow – you just need to try them! Running an online business with a growth mindset means that you’re going to be putting efforts and funds into what works, rather than what doesn’t work. When you find something that doesn’t work – you’ll readjust your strategy. This will ensure that your profits will rise, instead of fall and that you’ll be able to expand into the industry – and have fun with it too! Good luck, and stay strong 💪💪💪


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Ashleigh De Lello | Against the Odds

Ashleigh De Lello | Against the Odds

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You probably can tell from afar that Ashleigh is a fitness aficionado. Her sporty, fit, and flexible frame tells it all, almost. Her unassuming and bright character very well conceals her exceptional accomplishments as a dancer, her life-impacting achievements at www.thenewthin.com, and the academic gig at Utah Valley University.

Between torn ligaments, tendons, muscles, severed knees and ankles, and hip surgeries; she’s stood high above life-threatening and career-marring strains as she educates women on how to win in fitness, diet, and life. In a bit, you’ll learn how Ashleigh’s gripping survivor story is propelling her to change other people’s lives for good.

Dancer, strength training expert, university teacher, writer, and founder of The New Thin, Ashleigh De Lello’s schedule is pretty fixed. When she’s not training clients, she’s in the classroom teaching Dance majors or outdoor hiking with her family and dog.

Usually, Ashleigh runs and engages The New Thin users online, takes sessions of fitness classes with her members and take Dance Conditioning classes for Dance major students of Utah Valley University as she shares from her wealth of experience and knowledge of strength training.

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From the beginning

That began back when I was 13 years old. I started dancing 5 hours a day when I was 7 years old and when I was 13, I woke up overnight and everything changed. I had pain in every joint and muscle. You could hardly touch me without me wanting to scream in pain. I had like a 104-105 degree temperature with sweating profusely but freezing. This was the first day of 4 and a half years that I’ll fight for my life.

And I was patient for 2 and half years I traveled all around the country to every top specialist in every field and no one could figure me out. If you’ve ever watched the TV show ‘House’, that was on Fox a few years ago, I was one of those types of patients where I was clearly dying but nobody could figure me out. All my tests came out perfect, all my blood tests scan …everything. I was essentially sent home to die, told I was a mystery, told I had some unknown virus nobody could figure it out.

Over the course of those years, I became so sick that I was practically bedridden, I’d lost most of my hair, gotten down to 90 pounds, didn’t have the strength to lift up my finger someday. My whole body was ravaged with pain.

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I finally got a diagnosis. 2 and half years of a very rare parasitic infection that actually…the parasite goes in and takes over the function of your organs. So literally I was starving and was dying and that combination with an unknown virus was what was so deadly for me.

So after that diagnosis, it took another 2 years to be able to function in my life again. And it was such a slow process of literally being able to move from my bedroom to the bathroom, to walking down a few houses from mine, to walking around the block and eventually being able to go school.

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And when I tried to go back to dancing I was so weak from everything I’ve gone through for those 4 and half years that I didn’t have the strength to dance, I didn’t have the energy and I didn’t have the actual strength which is what introduced me to Strength training. And I remember the first time of going in and barely able to lift a 1 pound weight. I understand the process of literally starting from ground zero. And that is when my love and passion for strength training began because it forced my pathway back to doing what I love most which was dancing but I saw how the body truly has no limit. Obviously, I had survived a life-threatening illness but also I saw the evolution of what my body could do strength-wise through consistency in the gym. Of doing this strength training exercises and slowly but surely, seeing my body gain strength and that was ultimately what allowed me to get back to dance again.

So that’s really when my fitness training began. It began about Age 18 when I survived my illness and had to strength-train to dance again. So 18 years old is when my fitness training started.

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On overcoming obstacles

Obviously surviving that illness was my biggest obstacle. And how did I do it?  Perseverance.  Being a fighter and not giving up. I was told at 13 years old that I’ll never dance again, that I’ll never have children that I’ll never live a normal active life and I was told that I should accept this.

And I told them that **giggles** shove that diagnosis because I wasn’t going accept that that would be my life and so I never gave up. I fought every day even when I felt like I was dying, I’d look myself in the mirror and say I’m getting better every day and I accepted that no expert was going to set the limit on my life. And we fought and we fought, we researched and we researched until they found answers and through all of it, I just envisioned myself dancing again, I envisioned myself being healthy even when the very thing I’ve just had energy was something I had completely forgotten.

So overcoming, it helped struggle that severe is just as much as mental and emotional as it is physical because your body literally…it’s easier to give up. Because I was so sick, every day was so hard. The mountain ahead of me getting well just felt insurmountable. It was everyday small efforts and I did everything I could.

I went on an extremely healthy diet just to not take anything away from my immune system. Every food that I gave my body I wanted it adding to my immune system, adding to my chances of survival. That was what food became for me, it was life and death. I will literally look at food and ask “does this add to my immune system or take away?”. And I wanted to get better more than anything else. So here I was, a teenager going off sugar for four years because I wanted my immune system to have every fighting chance. So I did it through healthy nutrition, I did it through a positive mindset that would not accept any limit. I was determined to conquer and I did.

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Fitness Philosophy and research

A lot of it came through personal experience obviously through research and studying as well but it came through my experience because I went through a lot of injuries after I had gone through that illness I just had a lot of scars just because my body had endured so much.  So when I got back to dancing I suffered through a lot of injuries through my professional career.  I’ve pretty much have injured every part in my body- torn ligaments, tendons, muscles, my knees, both ankles, I’ve had two hip surgeries, I’ve gone through that process of literally learning how to walk again, tears in my shoulders.. you name it, spinal injuries

Not something that I’m proud of or grateful for but it did give me an incredible understanding and knowledge of the human body because, through all that, I had to rehabilitate all these injuries, and I really intricately, personally, learn the mechanics of the body and what everything does and how important every part is, and that, of course, was the best knowledge you could get. I t’s that firsthand experience and working with a lot of experts all across the country and learning their expertise as I was blessed to rehabilitate with them. As I was in different places in my dancing career.

And so research and science behind it come through working with these people, through working with my body, through understanding what was super effective at building progress strength but in a way that didn’t tear down my body.

So many workouts nowadays are hardcore- it’s about burnout, it’s about total exhaustion. I have a professional dancing career so I don’t want to be doing tons of tuck jumps and box jumps and all these really aggressive things that were also hard on my joints, tendons, and ligaments, and muscles because I wanted to be strong for dance and not tear myself down in training. So it was researching study of how to effectively build progressive strength in a way that wasn’t also destructive and that was such an amazing learning experience.

I had to learn that way because I did have all these injuries that I was always rehabilitating. So the incredible thing that came out through years of research with all these amazing people that I got to learn under, but also application to my own body and seeing specific exercises that targeted all those areas that women really struggle with and was able to in a way, build the body that I want in a super efficient way without increasing my risks of injury by doing really explosive movements and repeated plyometric but being smart about it.

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Why the philosophy is unique

Working-out smarter and not harder.  That’s really where my philosophy became and what makes it so unique because also I always wanted to maintain the aesthetics of a dancer and a lot of people want that quote “dancer body” without dancing, right?

So I was able to develop workouts that specifically added and supported my body as a dancer and didn’t take away from it. The workouts also made me progressively strong and functionally fit because that was so important to me. I value health more than anything else because of my experiences and that has always been my driving force.

What also makes this different because I saw a missing gap in the fitness industry.  No one was really addressing women’s relationship with their body and with food and with exercise. Because you can you can tell someone do this workout or eat this way but that doesn’t last. It’s not long enough and that’s we have some women looking for new exercise program because they haven’t addressed the internal relationship with themselves.

And the internal relationship is what drives the decision-making process.

So you have to address that first. I knew when I wanted to develop my program the New Thin I wanted it to be a total transformation program- mind, body, spirit. So I have an entire mind section in the app from the videos addressing the relationship with their body, how to heal their relationship with their body, how to heal their relationship with food so they get off their diet cycle forever. It’s not just about eating healthy following this plan but actually heal our relationship with food so that we stop dieting- we no longer have the destructive relationship with food that so many women suffer with.

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The whole idea was to start approaching fitness from a place of self-love. Especially growing up in a daunting world where we live our lives in front of mirrors. There’s a lot of destructive patterns with people’s body, with dancers, with eating, or with their self-image. And that just comes because of what we do. Our bodies are a tool and we spend every day in front of a mirror. So many women are driven to exercise or eat healthy because they are unhappy with their body and of course, I think we should always try to improve ourselves in every way.

My whole goal was to really teach women how to approach fitness from a place of self-love, not self hate because of what I’ve gone through I truly understand that the greatest gift we have in life is our bodies because they make everything in our lives possible. Because I’ve been so sick, I’ve been on my deathbed, because I’ve gone through so many severe injuries.   I want to teach women, it’s not a matter of “ah, I have to work out because I hate how I look, I hate my legs”. Rather, “I have a healthy body that allows me. It’s a gift to move my body and to get fitter and stronger. This is a gift, this is something I get to do not a punishment for how I look and eating healthy is the same way I wanted to truly teach women that food is the fuel for the life, that food is not something negative, it’s a gift.

Every time we get to eat, it’s what allows our body to function and to live”.  That has been the biggest difference that I’ve really seen with the women that I’ve worked with is that mindset shift that really leads to life-long changes, that gets them out of that diet mindset, it gets them out of that diet cycle.  It heals the relationship with food, it heals the relationship with themselves so they actually can look in the mirror and feel self love.  They start exercising from a positive place, a place of gratitude.

The reason I called my program the new thin is because for so long women were pushed to be thin through excessive exercising and deprivation diet and I called it the new thing because it’s redefining what it means to be strong, fit, and healthy which is, of course, is my passion with everything I’ve been through. And the New Thin is about approaching fitness from the place of self-love.

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Major responders

Every woman responds to my method because I really spend so many hundreds of hours of research really figuring out what was most effective in the least amount of time to target women-trouble areas. Not all workout programs are created equal. These are specific to target women’s body in a way that she wants it targeted. And it takes specific exercises to do that. So I’ve men do my program and they love it but I strategically designed it for a woman’s body and mind. 

Fulfillment

What’s been rewarding is seeing women change from the inside out and getting lasting physical changes because of that internal transformation and seeing the self-love that enthuses their life and how it affects their everyday gratitude, their everyday happiness, the relationships with their spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, children. Their lives truly change because it’s an internal transformation that leads to an external one. So being able to use all my experiences and all the hardships that I’ve had with my body have really been rewarding and I’ve been able to help all the women in the program.

Advice to fitness and health enthusiasts

I’d say it starts with gratitude of understanding what it is to have legs that walk, to have eyes that see, to have arms that work to be able to move your body. And when you start appreciating that, you understand that you want to move it. If you can approach it from the place of gratitude, then you’ll be more active. It’ll last.

Working smarter

You find something that you enjoy that is strategically designed to give you the result.  Don’t just exercise because it gives you the result.  Follow a science-based system.  My workouts are only 25 minutes long and honestly, I got in better shape following my workouts in these 25 minutes workouts than I was dancing 5+ hours a day.  Because they are designed to be strong and effective.  We all have super busy lives and more of that tends to be one of people’s greatest excuse not to workout.

Everybody has 25 minutes, right?

Easily even just putting social media away for 25 minutes.   So you need to find a system that is scientifically designed to give your most bang for the buck. And to be careful that it’s a system that it’s going to give you the result you want for your body without tearing your body down. It’s really important to me because I’ve seen so many people that start really intense programs and they get injured and that’s not the point of working out, to destroy your body. Yes, it is to push it to its limits and to get stronger and fitter and have great endurance and be healthier. It’s not to be incredibly hard just for the sake of being hard that you get injured.

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Body empowerment = life empowerment

When you do that you’re going to make healthier choices and you’ll be more active because of your mindset towards it. A lot of people don’t succeed in fitness because they have a negative mindset towards it. It’s a negative thing because they don’t like how they look or they have to eat healthy because they hate how they look instead of all of it been approached from a positive thing in their lives. One of the things I actually believe is that body empowerment will lead to life empowerment. We all feel better when we take care of ourselves. When we exercise that discipline it pours over to other places of our lives. So if we can approach it from the right mindset that is the most important thing you can do to make it- something that actually lasts because it’s a positive thing in our life.

The body as the greatest gift

It’s everything. If you’re going to approach fitness from a negative place and negative place for your body it’ll work out to be super effective if the whole time you’re focusing on what you hate instead of what you’re grateful for- an opportunity to work out. I say that a lot but I mean it, I’ve lived it and your body is truly your greatest gift and you need to take care of it. It’s a blessing in this life that a lot of people take for granted and like I said your body makes your whole life possible.

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On workout programs for dancers

Yes, I’m a dancer.  And No, dancers do not need a workout program aside from their dancing program. mI was a professional dancer to teach dancers.  I’m a professional ballroom dancer which is called dance ball, we compete.  We call ourselves athletes because we are and any athlete, to be super successful, they outside of their sport in the gym to be better for their sport to prevent injury to be stronger, faster, have greater balance and agility.  Dancers need the same thing but it’s really lacking in the dancing world.

I actually teach a course at the local university, Utah Valley University that is called Dance Conditioning. It’s required by Dance majors and it’s a whole class that we go over the importance. We go through muscular, physiology, anatomy and we go through the whole body about correcting misalignments, and strengthen, and how we need to strengthen better so we can dance.

That was pivotal in my dance career not only for injury prevention but to be able to move faster, have greater agility, balance, speed- all of that didn’t just come from dancing but came in my time from the gym.          

It’s a goal of mine to educate more dancers and I’d love to have taught this course at the university for several years and it’s just been incredible to see that mindsets shift dancers. It’s absolutely necessary, especially for dancers to be serious about it and want to make it a professional career. Dancing is a strength to the body but also tears it down. It’s very hard on the body and so we need that foundational training to help support dancing. A lot of dancers still don’t know that. It’s definitely a goal of mine to help spread that message to educate and I’ve been blessed to do that through the university.

“So absolutely dancers need training outside of the gym.”

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Overrated and underrated exercises

Ok, wait. I have two folds about the most overrated exercises.   A lot of movements done with machines is overrated because, for the most part, is push and pull and you’re not building functional strength and total body strength. That’s why one of my favorite equipment in the gym is the cable machine because it allows you to move through four ranges of motion and it just makes so much sense in your functional life.

This is especially if you need that type of power and explosion in your sport or what you do in your life.  But they are not necessarily for getting a desirable shape and I think that mindset has been put out there by a lot of fitness people because that is what they do and that’s what is in a lot of programs.  And people have been bitten by the intensity-bug but I’ve seen so many people get hurt.  So many people mess up their back, their knees, have hip issues, and it’s totally unnecessary. In those type of explosive movements, you need to have perfect form and lots of people just starting out are not going to have that. And so you’re not even working the muscles you think you are.  You’re just putting a lot wear and tear on your joints and tendons and ligaments.  And I’ve just seen way too many people destroy their body trying to get into shape and it just not the point and not necessarily.

Underrated exercises are some of your simple exercises that target specific muscles that look simple in their form but are the most effective. So sometimes simplicity gets overlook because it is simple and people want to do more exciting things. But you know, some things never change, that foundational stuff is always, always importance especially functional type movement that requires your entire body to work together. 

So sometimes we can get into too much isolated, or we go too extreme and do explosive movements. Anything that challenges your body and your balance and requires your whole body to work together and your muscle recruitment to be maximized, throughout your body, that’s going to give you total strength and body functionality and allow you to function better in your life or sport or dancing or recreation. 

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Diet philosophy

I hate the word ‘diet’. I know it’s easier to say when we’re referring to how we eat, I just hate the diet mindset.  Because it just doesn’t last for people.  90 million women are looking for a new diet every 3 months and the reason why is because most diets we enter into this restrictive mentality and most people can’t maintain that. That’s why most people fall on and off the diet and that diet cycle goes round and round and round. That’s why I don’t prescribe to one particular diet paleo or the fully ketogenic or the fully intermittent fasting or whatever it may be because it has an end date.  Because it feels too restrictive for them.

My whole philosophy is to eat real food. Real food fuel your body, achieve a lifestyle of eating that’s sustainable. I can be super strict for 30 days and totally fall off the wagon. I’ve seen too many people do that with the paleo with the ketogenic, and the more they do more metabolic damage they gain, more weight back because they’ve been on this restrictive cycle. So my philosophy is to eat real food I also approach from a place of balancing your hormones and not just calories and calories like that is an old mentality. 

Yes, you’ll lose weight over time if you eat fewer calories than you’re exerting but it’s not going to achieve with lean muscle gains and burning fats. That’s about stabilizing your blood sugar so that’s why I was encouraging women- ‘if you can do one thing…’ I’ve 3 different [principles in my nutrition plan that’s so easy to follow.

They are long-term sustainable and that’s why they work and that’s why it’s easy to get off the diet cycle because it’s not this restrictive mentality that most diets have but one thing that I’ve really pushed and tell people to do here is-  if you can do anything, stabilize your blood sugar when you eat. And that means you eat very simply a combination as I talked about on my snacks, about protein, fats, and Carbohydrates- PFC.

So when you put food in your mouth, it’s very simple.  Make sure you have a protein source, a healthy fat source, and a carbohydrate source.  That combination will help to stabilize your blood sugar. So that’ what we want to operate on if you can do one thing, is eat PFC.   

Most people eat way too much carbohydrate and not enough protein and definitely not enough healthy fats. That’s one simple thing that I follow and tell everyone to do that is super effective and is going to go a long way towards making it a part of your lifestyle. And for helping you with narrowing your fitness course but also your health course. The reality is, diets don’t work. It’s why we have new diets all the time and that’s why we’re more active than ever and yet we are more obese and unhealthier than ever because diets don’t work. People need to find a way to eat balanced portions on their plates and stabilize their blood sugar.

We’re going to be healthier, fitter, and happier if we can keep that basic thing-PFC.

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Self-love

I’ve learned so much and I’m also, of course, a certified personal trainer but I’ve learned so much for myself from my own experiencing with battling life-threatening illness with overcoming so many injuries that I know what it feels like  to process, I knew what it feels like to start  from ground zero, I know how it can seem impossible to get from point from A to Z. But what I know is that the human body and the human spirit has no limits. But it can overcome even the most insurmountable odds and that it starts with us believing in ourselves knowing that we are capable of all things, our bodies are capable of all things no matter where our starting point is.

I’ve started over time and time again and I know scary the human body can be and I know how incredible it can be and that is what drives me. Like I said before, our bodies are our greatest gifts. And what drives me is helping people to have that internal transformation, of healing their relationships with their body, and food and exercise and coming to approach a healthy life from a place of self-love and that is where the real changes happen, that is when the lasting changes happen. It is when greater peace and happiness and joy and gratitude enter their lives.

That is my greatest passion, it’s not only just helping women to get fitter and healthier but helping them to truly achieve self-love towards themselves their body in removing stress and ending the diet cycle forever.  That’s all that drives my passion behind developing the New Thin.  And we are a part of a Facebook group The New Thin Nation which is for all the women in the program and it’s so incredible to see them every day interacting with each other, show their frustrations, share what they’re struggling with but also share their successes and support each other.   I’m in that group every day supporting them, motivating them, giving them tips and tricks. I don’t want to just create a program about women that I had nothing to do with.  I want to be part of their journey because it is something so much bigger than just working out and eating healthy.

And that’s why also with my program I wrote The Food Freedom Playbook which is completely devoted to helping women cure their relationships with food and ending the diet cycle forever and that has been such an incredible journey to really see women finally cure their relationship with food address the role food plays in their lives so that they can heal it and they can fix it and they can get off from the diet cycle. This is a transformation program and it’s been so many ways my life’s work and my greatest passion and I feel privileged every day to be alive and to move my body and to have a chance no matter how many times I have to start over. And I hope to show people how incredible they are and how incredible their bodies can be and to start seeing it as their greatest gift.

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Ashleigh De Lello

@ashleighdilello

RyanandAshleigh.com

Alex Wong | Obsession for Perfection

A dancer-cum-fitness expert has a simple yet effective formula to attain a rewarding fitness lifestyle.

Alex Wong | Obsession for Perfection

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Alex Wong is a dancer and fitness expert who started dancing since 7-years-old. Snapping both Achilles’ tendons did not deter him from chasing his dream and finding satisfaction in what he holds dear as purpose. At thealexwong.com he shares with his teeming visitors a variety of fitness information to help them get through their challenges.  

You might have caught the NYC/LA resident in some TV and film dance flicks. When he is not doing that, you might find Mr. Wong in a gym exercising or taking dance classes. Despite his fixed schedule, he has time to engage his following at @alexdwong on the major social media platforms where he also shares inspired fitness contents.

Fitness, training, and influence

Currently, I usually work mostly in dance for TV and film, and then on the weekends, I fly around the country to teach at conventions. I also created content for my social media with fitness and dance inspired clips – to me that ends up almost being like a live business card.

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Why this fitness journey?

I started dancing when I was 7 and I have never stopped since. I wouldn’t even really consider it a journey but I just consider it life. However, in the early part of my career, I only danced and didn’t cross-train much. I started lifting when I was 24 after I started working on TV just because I felt like it would look better. Then a few years ago I was introduced to group fitness classes because of ClassPass. Currently, I mix all of it together- dance, gym, and classes.

Fitness methods

Because dance is a visual and aesthetic art/sport, sometimes you are not doing things that are anatomically healthy. I make sure when lift or when I’m in fitness classes, however, that I train with good form. I find that I am in the best shape when I am taking a lot of ballet class and then lifting at the gym. Ballet is like a lower body and stamina workout whereas when I’m lifting at the gym I mostly focus on the upper body. Ballet really targets muscles you would not regularly use.

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Dancers, workouts, and satisfaction

Most dancers do train outside of dance. There are a few reasons for that. I think one thing is that our bodies get used to doing the same things over and over again and so cross training will help even out those body imbalances and help prevent injuries. Another reason that speaks to me as well is I genuinely just like to stay active and I find fitness quite fun, so I do it as a “hobby” outside of the whole “dance cross training” thing. A lot of dancers also do pilates or yoga, which most people feel like it compliments their bodies quite well. I don’t enjoy those as much as I like more intense high energy workouts.

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Effective planning

It’s never too late to start, and the first step towards living a healthier lifestyle. Definitely set an initial goal and plenty of small steps. I also find documenting so you can not only feel but also see the difference is an amazing motivator.

Working smarter

I think focusing energy on small incremental fitness goals is the most rewarding. I like having a fitness tracker (like an apple watch) that helps me hit goals. It can be quite fun and also working out with friends definitely makes it more fun and there is someone there with you on the journey.

The 80/20 Rule

A bit part of that 20% is just the effort to get going. There have been multiple times where I have been tired and not wanted to work out and then I forced myself to do it, and not once have I regretted it. In all my years I can only think of ONE time where I really didn’t want to go to the gym, I made myself go and when I sat on the equipment I said to myself, “I really can’t today”. That only happened ONCE. All the other times once I got myself there I eventually started.

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Power of the Mind

I think it’s almost the most important thing! Especially for fitness where you’re pushing your body a little more than what you think it can do every time. It really is mind over matter though. You will surprise yourself over and over again.

Perseverance

If you set your mind to it you truly can achieve almost anything. I had a lot of physical struggles which includes me snapping both of my Achilles’ tendons. I am back from it and stronger than ever before!

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Alex Wong

theAlexWong.com

@alexdwong

Why Your Breathing Plays One Of The Biggest Roles in Your Fitness

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When you’re sitting at your desk working, breathing is probably one of the last things that you’re thinking of. Often we’re so occupied with other thoughts, that we don’t want to take time thinking about things that we think we don’t absolutely need to work on. Besides, it looks like we’ve made it pretty far breathing the way we’re breathing now, right?  I mean, you’re alive – I’m alive…. Although, that’s no reason to neglect proper breathing. According to most studies we’re doing it wrong. We often don’t think that breathing is the most direct way to nurture our body, and that with each breath we are sending oxygen to different parts of our body – and of course, our brain to be able to function. Isn’t our body amazing?? So, why don’t we always treat it like that? Yes – neglecting proper breathing techniques can actually be harmful to your health and especially your workouts. It can create your body to work overtime and can restrict your ability to relax, thus stopping neurological signals being sent from your brain to preform specific tasks, such as healing a part of your body with oxygen or relaxing your muscles when practicing an intensified stretch or heavy lifting. So the question is now – how do you know when you’re breathing wrong? Well, we cover that and how to optimize your breathing in your workouts to preform at your fullest potential – so keep on reading.

 

How Am I Breathing Wrong?

Studies find that there are actually many ways that you could be breathing completely wrong. It seems a little thinking that you could be doing something completely normal, and something we do naturally – completely wrong, but there’s a reason behind that. We are beings of habit, meaning that when something we feel comfortable doing, we actually preform this habit more and more until it becomes accustom to our routine – or until our body doesn’t know any better. Our body will always make sure it’s doing the best of it’s ability to take care of ourselves, but it does not always imply that our emotions don’t overtake the best practises for our body. What I mean by this is that if we adapt an abnormal breathing pattern, such as shallow breathing – than our bodies will automatically get accustom to this, since our brain is sending neurological signals to our body to breath about 20,000 times a day. If we are sending signals to breath shallowly, our body will not know the difference and preform this action. Here are the ways that your mind might be telling your body to breath “wrong”

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  1. Shallow breathing

When we are unable to take deep breaths, due to our posture, we cannot breathe properly. Deep breathing consists of breathing through our diaphragm, which means you need to be able to maximum the amount of air going in and out at a slow pace through your diaphragm to your lungs and out through your mouth. Things such as bad posture, stress in our neck, shoulders or upper back cause us to tense up around our chests, and therefore hunch over. When we’re hunched over we are not optimizing the amount of air that enter our diaphragm, therefore probably preforming shallow breathing.

  1. Short Breathing

Short breathing, similar to shallow breathing limits the ability of air transferring to our lungs. This typically causes shortness of breath and if you have problems with your lungs or heart it is more likely to occur. Although, if you have no health problems and this is still occurring for you, it is because you are simply not breathing from your diaphragm.

  1. Mouth Breathing

This type of breathing occurs when breathing in is orchestrated through the month rather than the noise. It is definitely important to have the ability to breath through both your nose and mouth, but typically you will be able to inhale more deeply when breath is inhaled through the noise, and exhaled through the mouth. By doing this, it is likely that you’ll be able to get deeper breaths that reach down to your diaphragm, rather than stay in your lungs.

 

How To Optimize Your Workouts With Breathing        

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Now that we’ve stated the wrong types of breathing, it is important to adapt a way that is likely to fit in your regular routine, in addition to avoiding shallow or short breathing. The first concept to overcome when changing your breathing is your awareness. It’s quite easy to focus on your breathing for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even a 30 minute window. But, as your day goes on, tasks pile up on your to-do list, it’s very likely breathing is not going to be at the top. So, to overcome this, giving attention and daily awareness to your breath will improve your overall breathing. What dose this mean for your workout? Less huffing and puffing as your lifting weights or doing HITT. This is because we as humans, ironically enough, have a tendency to stop breathing when put under pressure or tension. So, when you’re lifting your weights or trying to finish the set, it’s possible that your body automatically tenses, thus diminishing your breathing.

 

If you have awareness of your breath during your workouts, then you’re likely to breath properly, and circulate airflow when stretching or building muscle – i.e. something that is extremely critical for muscle growth or healing via stretching. Once you are aware of your breath, it becomes easier for you to account for it in your workout routine. For example, if you notice yourself short breathing, then you can take a deep breath, adjust and continue with your routine. If you notice that you are breathing properly, you can even draw more attention to your breath as a focus when your workout really starts to tire you out.

 

Although it seems quite simple “pay attention to your breath,” doing this, in junction with the 4-7-8 breathing technique can actually elevate your workout to new extremes! Firstly – what is the 4-7-8 breathing technique? Basically, you inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds and repeat directly after. This technique is known to improve your stress levels because it balances your neuro-transmitter essential for brain function and the central nervous system. Why does this make a difference in your workout routine? When you go into a workout with a neutral level of stress and no tensions in your muscles and joints, you’ll be able to preform much better considering your body will physically move easier, and with a less likely probability for injury. In addition to performance, you’ll be able to overcome the mental aspect of going into yet another workout session on a cold winter day. Just practise this technique for 5 minutes and you’ll be right there, ready to go – mentally and physically.

 

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Still looking for that extra kick? Maybe you just need to level up your workout accessories! With the Slim Clip Case, you can clip, take 5 deep breaths, and go! It’s that easy. Check it out here

 

 


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Crossed Paths with CrossFit | Katrina Leone

Crossed Paths with CrossFit | Katrina Leone

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Imagine walking down the streets of LA and boom you pass a crossfit gym. Well that’s where the journey began for Katrina Leone and now crossfit has become a part of her everyday life. “I’ve been an athlete in the CrossFit community for the past 8 years. I was actually just walking by a crossfit gym in downtown Los Angeles. I thought they were doing some kind of MMA training because of all the tires and the gritty look. I did their intro workout and was hooked,” Katrina exclaims!

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Fitness Meets Fashion

Katrina has a love for fitness, but she did not want to leave behind her second passion of fashion. “I wanted to find a way to merge my loves of fitness and fashion. I felt there wasn’t enough options for serious female athletes who also wanted to look good and feel comfortable in their training,” Katrina says.

This lead Katrina to put some thought into how she could change that. And that’s how Vull Sport was born. “ I started this line because I personally was having a hard time finding pieces that I felt completely comfortable training in. Everything I make is high impact and made for dynamic training. Before I launched the line, I was finding myself section off my training clothes by what movements I could or could not do in them. I had this tiny stack of bras and bottoms that I felt comfortable enough in to do absolutely anything. If I wanted to meet up with friends and join in on their programming, I would go to these clothing items. I wanted to be covered for full range of motion and not be worrying about my clothes at ALL while training. So I started Vull with that concept. We don’t do anything low-impact, no plunging necklines, do thin bottom bands, no questionable sheer areas, no plastic hardware or zippers. You can wear the pieces for yoga, but they’re made for high intensity workouts,” Katrina explains.

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Obstacles

Crossfit is a very demanding practice both physically and mentally. So, it’s expected that Katrina has had a few hoops to jump through. “I’ve been through my fair share of injuries and mentally challenging training. I’ve gone through the loss of a parent, parting with significant others and legal stuff with businesses I own. I am not a full time coach or gym owner so I do need to really manage my time between work and training. To be competitive in this sport pretty much requires constant juggling of priorities and setbacks. Anytime you are doing something that is body AND mind connected, you’re going to have points when those 2 things don’t always match up. And you’re going to need to be resilient during times when general life makes it even harder to get those 2 things in line. There’s no getting around obstacles. You have to move right through them. And you need to do that while still being incredibly consistent with your training, nutrition and recovery,” Katrina says.

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Rewards

Despite the obstacles, Katrina has had a very rewarding experience. She had learned so much from her training and that’s the biggest reward of all! “Being a competitive athlete has really taught me about perseverance, dedication and basically that nothing is going to go to plan. The journey is going to be messy and twisted, but if you keep moving forward, you will keep moving forward. It’s not always perfect. When you’re on a good one, ride that wave as far as it will take you. When you’re struggling, just keep putting on foot in front of the other and believe it will be enough.

Sport has taught me so much about myself and the characteristics I admire in others. Anything you love is worth trying for. Even if you ‘fail’ it will still take you to the place you’re meant to be.

Oh and all the amazing people I now have in my life as a direct result of CrossFit is also pretty amazing 🙂 I have a great group of friends and fellow business owners that are incredibly supportive,” Katrina shares.

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What advice would you give to a young person today who wanted to ditch a sedentary lifestyle and become more fit and healthy?

I’d say do it! Right now, right this moment. Just do ANYTHING. You don’t need to ‘losse weight’ before you start. And you certainly don’t need to ‘get fit’ before you make your way into a CrossFit gym. Whatever is calling to you, go, sign up, show up. We ALL started somewhere.

Where should they focus most of their energy to get the most bang for their proverbial buck?

Focus on performance. Set performance goals. Decide what barbell and dumbell weights you want to be able to use for certain exercises. Set goals of how many reps you want to be able to do in each workout. And don’t even look at the scale. First you move your body. Then you can figure out diet. Once you start using your body, you’ll actually want to fuel it in a better way. If you focus on diet first, it’s really easy to go back to old habits. Start new physical habits and let the rest follow.    

Think about the 80/20 rule: If you get 80% of your impact from 20% of what you do, what is that 20% for someone just starting?

Be intense in your 20%. Whether it fitness, work, friends, whatever! Give all of yourself when you have the opportunity to. Try hard. I hate that ‘I don’t even care’ mentality. I care so much about all the things that I do. Because I do things that are worth it to me.

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Katrina Leone

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Instagram:

@JustKatLeone

@VullSport  

Twitter:

@KatLeone

@VullSport  

Sparked The Fire | Courtney Ustrzycki

Sparked The Fire | Courtney Ustrzycki

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SWEAT by SlimClip Case yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7 Sparked The Fire | Courtney Ustrzycki workout women fitness
“For years I had been resistance training and what I deemed to be ‘eating clean’ yet wasn’t really seeing much changes in my body. I always felt a little soft and was missing desired muscle definition that I knew I should have had. When I went for my very first session in the Bod Pod (which is an air displacement measurement system) I was extremely shocked to know that my body was 30% fat (and that’s a lot for my body!) That was by no means acceptable for myself, and that was Day 1 of change.” -Courtney Ustrzycki

A wake up call sparked a little fire in Courtney and the flame hasn’t dimed ever since. Her approach to fitness is simple, yet very effective. It has helped her to achieve her desired results and maintain it over time.

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Training

Courtney’s approach to fitness shows that you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym to achieve results. Fitness is more so about learning your body and finding what is effective for you. “I find my training methods to be simple: stick to the movements that are effective and build up weak areas. I don’t partake in those “new and improved” fitness scams or booty-builder leg press pyramids. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull ups; those are the guts of my training programming and I build from there,” Courtney says.

However don’t get me wrong, Courtney can definitely turn up the heat if she wants. While the core is always simplistic, there are many variations that can provide you with more of a challenge if that’s what you are looking for. “As a powerlifter, I focus on squat, bench press and deadlift as my primary movements. To improve those three lifts I will incorporate variations of those exercises in order to compliment and crank up the intensity. But ultimately I stick to the foundation. As I always say, K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid),” Courtney explains.

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Mind

Working out isn’t the only element in Courtney’s fitness routine. Keeping a strong mindset is also very important. “Mindset is everything. Mindset is what can make or break a person, whether it’s in the gym, in the kitchen, or in the office. Your body can push through anything; your mind will give up before your body does. It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of anything that we really don’t want to do. But we need to remember WHY we chose to do this. WHY we need to lose weight or improve our nutrition. There’s always an underlying factor that forces us to make this ultimate decision to start. It takes time to build up the motivation and the dedication, that’s not going to show up at your door every morning. You need to develop that on your own. It starts in your mind,” Courtney declares.

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Advice

Courtney has had much success on her own and she seeks to inspire others as well. I think we all could learn something from Courtney, so I had to ask if she could give me or anyone else looking to make some healthy changes to their life. And of course, she delivered. “To someone just starting to improve their overall quality of life through nutrition and exercise, I would always recommend to start small. Start with small changes over time, because those are the ones that are going to be most impactful and you can adhere to. Going all-out on Day 1 is usually grounds for an overload and usually a crash and burn, and we never want that. For example, when I begin guided programming with clients, we take their current nutrition plan (or what they usually eat on a regular basis) and make small modifications to a few different things. Keeping it simple and sticking to things that the beginner likes will make the changes much more appealing and likely to stick to in the long term. I always say that nutrition is going to trump training when it comes to starting and trying to make a change. The workouts are the easy part, it’s the nutrition that’s crucial for any success. What we put into our bodies is what we can expect to get out of it. To me, it’s not 80% nutrition and 20% training; it’s 100% of each. You need to commit your entirety into your nutrition and training. So even if you only go for a 10 minute walk at the end of the day, don’t only do 9 minutes. Do the whole 10, do the 100%. Commit and follow through,” Courtney advises.

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In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

In my opinion, the most overrated exercise is the burpee. How many people actually benefit from it? The burpee was originally created as a testing method and was only to be performed about 4 times in total. So when I see people being programmed to do 20, 50, 100, at once, I just shake my head. Why does someone who has a desk job need to do burpees? How will that improve their quality of life? I always consider my own programming and programming for my clients with the best intentions; I will create based on their needs and goals, not just how much I can make them sweat or feel like they’re dying. I think the most underrated exercise is the deadlift, and I think that’s because most people do it wrong (hurt their back), which deters people from performing it. It’s one of the most fundamentally sound exercises that requires your entire body to output energy. And in my opinion, it’s one of the most empowering yet humbling for women. Because who wouldn’t want to be able to lift three times their body weight?

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

My go-to snacks on the run are either Canadian Protein sample protein packs or Bounce Balls! Both so very healthy, nutrient-packed and satisfying!

What’s your beliefs on performance diet like?    Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?

I believe that everyone is individual in terms of nutrition. There’s no one best way that I would ever recommend. I follow a flexible dieting approach where I can really eat what I want while achieving specific macronutrient ranges on a daily basis. I fuel my body for performance and my workouts. I don’t put foods off limits because having that ‘good food versus bad food’ mindset I find to be very unhealthy. I do avoid foods that I have been tested to be sensitive too (cow’s milk, wheat, peanuts, almonds), but other than that, I think it’s all about a healthy balance that works for each unique person. When I work with clients, I customize their nutritional goals based on both their past and current lifestyle, nutritional needs, goals, any limiting factors like digestion issues, and habits. The single most important bit of advice I can give for the ‘best’ diet is: whatever truly makes the person feel good.

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Courtney Ustrzycki

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Walk the Walk

Walk the Walk

Drew Manning Walks the Walk to better understand the struggle of his fitness clients
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Health and fitness coach Drew Manning doesn’t ‘Talk the Talk’. When it comes to finding out what it’s like to be out of shape, unhealthy, and to struggle to make fitness gains he has taken extreme measures to ‘Walk the Walk’. Drew actually decided to get fat (that’s likely not the most politically correct term for it, so “overweight” or “unhealthy weight”) on purpose to experience what it was like to be overweight. “I was overweight for the first time in my life so I could better relate to my clients” Drew says ‘and so I wrote a book about my humbling experience and it’s now a TV show.

Drew started his journey of Fit2Fat2Fit (Fit to Fat to Fit) on May 7, 2011

The whole purpose of this journey was for Drew to gain a better understanding of what it was like to be overweight. He wanted to better relate to his overweight fitness clients.Drew says he didn’t know what this experience was going to lead to but. “Once I was asked to come on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is where it finally felt “real” and that this idea wasn’t just some stupid idea that no one would pay attention to” Drew says.

The ‘Fit to Fat to Fit’ Journey

“I decided to get fat to better empathize with my clients. I grew up my entire life in shape and never knew any different. I had no idea how hard it really was for my clients so I decided to completely let myself go for 6 months and gained 75 lbs in 6 months. I also wanted to inspire people in a totally different way by doing something so completely different. I didn’t do it to disrespect anyone or to pretend to know exactly what it was like for people who are overweight and have been overweight for years or even decades, but at least I can say I have more empathy and a better understanding for having done this.”

“I grew up in a very strict/black and white culture of either ‘You do or do not’ and there were no excuses” Drew tells me, “So it helped to be strong and push past any pain or weaknesses. We were a very large family of 11 siblings. I learned how to work hard and my parents instilled us with great discipline. That discipline really was essential in this journey.”

“When I started gaining weight there was no way for me to know how poorly it would make me feel. I wanted to quit when I hit the 70 lb mark. I felt so horrible and disgusting at that point. I also wanted to quit when I saw my first stretch marks come in because I still cared way too much about my physical appearance at that time. What kept me going was knowing that there were people watching me and were counting on me. So that accountability helped me push past those hard times.”

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“The whole process helped me realize that transformation is much more mental and emotional than people think. It’s not so much about the meal plans and the workouts and the diets, etc. It’s about loving who we are and knowing that we are more than what our bodies look like.”

In the end, Drew says he’s most proud when people come up to him and thank him. “People tell me their life story of obstacles that they’ve overcome in their past. Seeing how many people have been inspired by this crazy journey. It’s so touching and rewarding to see people so inspired and motivated to transform their lives.”

Focus on the Process

“After going through this process and looking back on what were the most important elements of a successful comeback.” Drew says “I advise people to stop worrying about what other people think. You must let go of your ego and to stop attaching yourself to outcomes. Instead just focus on the process and the growth that comes from putting in the effort no matter what the outcome is. In the end, if you keep that focus, the results will come.

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Drew stays busy with his television show but there’s even more to his busy life

A Day in the Life

Morning

I wake up and meditate and do positive affirmations. I drink my water with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Then I brew my coffee and add in butter and mct oil or coconut oil sometimes. Then I’ll work for a couple hours and get ready for my workout and I’ll take my exogenous ketones an hour before I workout.

Afternoon

I’ll get my workout in and come home and get my first meal in, which will usually consist of eggs, sausage/bacon, butter, cheese sauteed with some spinach and broccoli. Then it’s a shower and back to work.

Evening

This is where I’ll have my second meal of the day and usually this will be around 7-8pm. This will consist of maybe a couple beef patties with some avocado and cheese on top and I’ll sautee some cauliflower in 100% full fat coconut milk.

Night

I’ll wind down by watching an episode of Game of Thrones and then I’ll read one of my books before bed.

Workouts

Most recently I’ve been training for a Spartan Race and doing a mix of HIIT / Crossfit style workouts 3 days a week. I’ve been running, sprinting and climbing hills 3 days a week and one rest day. When that’s over, I might get back to Crossfit / Super Set Style body building lifting. I like mixing those two up.

Diet & Nutrition

Currently, I’ve been loving Ketosis and not for the reasons people might think. I’m not doing Keto to get leaner or to lose weight, but for the improvement in cognitive function, mental clarity, focus and energy. I’ve done Paleo and Whole30 in the past and still think those are great. Most people will benefit from Paleo and Whole30 for sure. I do think different diets work differently for different people and I preach all the time to find whatever works for you and make it a lifestyle change. I just love not being a slave to food, only eating twice per day and never feeling like I’m starving or ‘hangry’ all the time if I don’t have food.

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Change & Mindset

When people are trying to make healthy changes and become physically fit when they haven’t been so before, they need to make major lifestyle changes. That being said, establishing inroads to attaining a fit body is going to be different for each person depending on their goals and their past history. Finding a support system is probably the first step. Even before that, you have to be mentally and emotionally ready for the lifestyle transformation. Finding either a trainer, nutritionist, a group fitness class would be a good place for people that have no idea where to start and need their hand held for the first little bit.

Once you’ve gotten started and established new habits is where accountability comes into play.

I advise people to keep yourself accountable to friends, family, or an online community to help you in these moments. It’s not a magic pill, but it’s easier to get through setbacks if you have a support system to help keep you accountable. No matter who you are, you’re going to have setbacks and that’s why it’s so important to have this support system to keep you accountable during these hard times.

When setbacks come, one thing is to remind yourself that you are progressing whether you see that progress or not. Also, you’ll be so much happier if you detach yourself from outcomes and focus on the work and habits you’re developing during the process.

Life is too short to define yourself with weight, body fat percentage, etc.

I think measuring is fine, but I don’t believe that the scale is the best way to do that. The best ways to measure results are bloodworm (try Everly Well for at home convenient and affordable testing if you are too busy to make doctors appointments), Dexa Body scan or Bod Pod for body fat percentages, and improvements in fitness (i.e. doing the same workout 2-4 weeks apart to measure progress in time/efficiency/recovery)

The Future

I’d love to see myself still doing what I’m doing. I feel that the Fit2Fat2Fit brand could eventually become a household brand with many more seasons of Fit2Fat2Fit on television. I’m working on building Fit2Fat2Fit join up groups in some small areas across the nation. I’d love to have “an army” of Fit2Fat2Fit trainers that come from a place of empathy and caring first before helping their clients.

Who knows though…the sky is the limit!

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Drew Manning

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No Tummy Mommy | Trisha Enriquez

No Tummy Mommy | Trisha Enriquez

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This one is for the ladies with the babies. That’s right; I’m talking about all the mothers out there. Trisha Enriquez is helping mothers all over the world to get healthy and stay fit.  

“I started a small business that focuses on providing fitness and nutrition coaching for mothers – all done virtually – essentially helping women to be healthier and happier mamas,” Trisha says.

Inspiration

Having a baby is one of the world’s greatest gifts. Holding your little miracle for the first time not only makes everything you have endured in life so far worthwhile, but it can also spark you to want to go above and beyond from that point. Babies are truly inspiring and are also the world’s greatest supporters.

Inspired by the birth of her own child, Trisha dove deep into the world of fitness. While health and fitness has always been a part of Trisha’s life, having a child sparked an even deeper interest for Trisha. She not only wanted to keep herself fit, but she also wanted to begin to help others. Hence, “No Tummy Mommy” was born. Not only does Trisha get to train and advise moms all over the world and help them reach their fitness goals. She also gets to bring her daughter along for the ride too! “Having my daughter involved in the No Tummy Mommy brand makes the journey way more fun and rewarding,” Trisha exclaims.

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Motherhood

As I said earlier, motherhood is an amazing gift, but it definitely comes with a lot of changes. This even includes how you maintain your health and fitness. A lot of times when people hear about personal training for mothers, they assume it is just for mothers who have to previous background in fitness. That is completely wrong! Whether you have never been to a gym in your life or you were one of the top female body builders in the world, having a baby sort of resets any previous (or lack thereof) workout plans you have already established. You have to learn to adjust your workouts to the way your “mommy life” works now. “Motherhood has really changed how I stay fit and healthy. Of course, there is a lot of time management skills required, but it’s also a lot about our mindset. I schedule workouts in my calendar and stick to them like I would a meeting. Also, as a mother you are so tired most days so the last thing you want to do is work out; I also suggest recruiting another mommy friend who has the same goals in mind as you do. This helps so much,” Trisha advises.

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Mindset

Just as it is important to stay mentally strong as a mother, health and fitness require that same mentality. It’s not just enough to do the workouts and try a diet or two. If you really want to see results, you have to make it up in your mind that you can achieve them AND maintain them!

As a strong and entrepreneurial mother, Trish knows a thing or two about being mentally tough. She does her best to guide all of her clients in the same direction. Her number one rule when training? “The mind is everything. What we believe, we become. For someone starting out – if they truly believe they can make a change in their lifestyle, they will do it!” And she’s totally right! That’s why before starting any workout plans or diets or even hopping on the scale, Trisha always suggests one thing as the first steps to health and fitness. “Focus your energy on setting a plan for yourself (ie. Times you will work out, prep meals, recruit a friend, decide on a workout routine, etc). I believe that if you spend time up front planning and organizing how you are going to implement your routine, you will be that much more successful,” Trisha explains.

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What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

A skipping rope

A kettlebell

A yoga mat

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

The most overrated exercise is the bench press. The most underrated exercise is the pull up!

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

I love almonds or almond butter mixed in Greek yogurt!

What are your beliefs on performance diet like?    Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?

In my opinion, there is not one best diet because every person is different and each dietary protocol has its pros and cons.  Plus, something that worked great for one mother might not work as well for you. Ultimately it’s finding a nutrition routine that suits your individuality and of course, one that includes foods you will actually eat and enjoy.

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Trisha Enriquez

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The Proper Way

The Proper Way

Danny Dreyer developed a running style that elevates the experience of running 
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Danny Dreyer is a running coach and author (based out of Asheville, NC) that teaches people (both runners and walkers) how to move their bodies more efficiently.  The basis of Danny’s methods are anchored in Tai Chi, hence the name ‘Chi Running’.   Danny has studied Tai Chi for over 15yrs and is still filled with passion when speaking about the ethos of Tai Chi.  “Tai  Chi is all about moving from your center, your core, and not from your arms and legs” Danny tells me, “Most people think that running is all about moving your arms and legs but when you change that way of thinking and movement running becomes a much more enjoyable and safer activity.

With the Chi Running method Danny teaches how to use your powerful core muscles and engage those muscles to facilitate running more efficiently and with less effort.  “When you’re using this technique you’re using big strong core muscles that don’t tire out as quickly as your arms and legs” Danny teaches.

Danny estimates that he’s taught over one million people the Chi Method of running.

“Most people run really well when they are kids” Danny says, “but life takes a toll on your body over time and it changes the way you tend to move your body.”  Starting out in the Chi Running method is like hitting the reset button at first.  “If you watch kids run, they typically run with a natural forward lean as though they were sort of falling forward,” Danny explains, “Because kids don’t have strong leg muscles kids lean forward and utilize gravity to assist them in moving their bodies forward.”

It’s important that your body has really good posture in order to make the method work.   Your body has to have a strong core in order to have really good posture and in order to apply the Chi Running method.

Body Listening

You have to mindful of your body and what is trying to tell you.  It’s not enough to just listen to your body, you also have to respond to what your body is telling you.  “For example, if you’re working at a desk slumping forward and your neck starts hurting, you need to correct your posture and sit up to correct your posture and relieve that tension and pain.”

Danny developed Chi Running while training as an ultra-marathoner.  While training for his first 50 mile race he was introduced to his first Tai Chi instructor.  “After one class I applied some of the body movements from Tai Chi to my running form.  After one application the results were remarkable.  I ran the same time but my body didn’t feel like it at all.

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Before and After the application of Chi Running Technique

Body Sensing & Mindfulness

The traditional methods of physical therapy and training are centered around strengthening the muscles around the area of injury.  Chi running is a mindful practice that trains you to listen to you body and correct the problem before it becomes an injury.  If you feel a twinge or problem, you listen to your body and change it so that you can keep moving without doing any further harm.

Having a clear mindset is knowing ahead of time what your goals are and developing a plan to get there.

If you want to do something in your life, have a reason for it.  Have a reason that benefits you.  This makes all the difference once you get into a training program.  The person that get’s in the middle of a training program without clear goals is going to struggle.  They’ll struggle to get started, maintain momentum, and struggle to recall what they are working for and working towards.

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Chi Running

Chi Running reduces the amount of impact when you run.  Two-thirds of all runners get an injury each year that interrupts that runners’ training program.  Two-thirst is a LOT!  “If the CDC got a hold of statistics like this, they might consider banning running” Danny explains.

There are two ways that people get injured while running:

1) Impact: Simply banging your feet on the ground can cause knee and back problems for the high impact effects of movement.

2) Overuse: These are people that push too hard, train beyond their limits, do not allow enough recovery for their bodies.

We teach people to run across the ground instead of into the ground.  You want to glide across the running surface instead of banging your body against the surface causing high impact stress on the body.   We change running techniques from pushing themselves around with their legs to falling forward and working to keep from falling.

You don’t see elite runnings running with their legs out in front of them.

The moving parts of you body need to loose, lean, and relaxed so they can openly flow when the core needs to be very strong to super very good posture.

Chi Walking

Chi Walking takes the same principles of Chi Running and applies those principles to walking.  “If you notice people walking around you will notice that most people lead with their hips and their legs.  Their shoulders and back and they walk leading with their hips and legs out in front” Danny points out, “If you throw your leg out in front of you, you lock out your knee in front of you.”  A little lean added to your gait will engage your core and increase the efficiency of walking.

This method shortens your stride length and decreases the impact with your walking surface due the effects of ‘rolling on the soles of your shoes’ that occurs while leaning forward (ever so slightly).

I love half-marathons because it’s just long enough a distance that it forces a person to seek out a more efficient technique of running.

The effects of improving your running spill into other aspects of your life.  “Can you imagine improving your posture and core body strength while safely improving your running efficiency?”  Danny asks, “Now imagine that same person needs to go ask their boss for a raise.”  You can imagine the improved perception and confidence that person gains through running safely and efficiently.

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“It’s not running that hurts your body, it’s the way you run” Danny Dreyer

Danny Dreyer | Chi Running

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Compound Effect leads to Big Gains | Christmas Abbott

Compound Effect leads to Big Gains | Christmas Abbott

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Christmas Abbott is a crossfit pro & fitness enthusiast that encourages others to use fitness as a means to turn their lives around. She does this through as many channels as she can find: she’s written books, started fitness programs, she tours, does motivational speaking, and nutrition consulting.

I’m using my personal turbulence I’ve experienced through life and applying it to the wellness and fitness industry. I want to help people wake up and realize that they have the opportunity to change their lives every day,” Christmas says.

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Start

Growing up Christmas had many challenges through life. By the age of 13, she was drinking, smoking and doing drugs. By 21, her habits lead to her doing meth and becoming an alcoholic. She didn’t really consider the damage she was doing to her body at the time. It wasn’t until she took a trip to Iraq as a civilian consultant that she had an epiphany. “I realized I was continuing to make bad decisions and continuing to put myself in compromising situations. I was going to end up killing myself because of the decisions I was making. I decided to make a better decision. I decided to quit smoking. I decided to work out and I discovered fitness and health and wellness. That became my new addiction,” Christmas explains.

The moment that Christmas realized she was capable of achieving a state of health; she started with the realization that she had positive power. She was able to commit herself to a 30 day regimen. For 20 minutes a day, three times a week, Christmas would work out on an elliptical. “This was like my gateway drug to fitness. It was a very subtle transition into fitness but by the third week, I noticed a difference in myself. It wasn’t necessarily physically fit, but I just felt better. I felt proud of myself for the first time in my life. That’s when I caught the bug of positive reinforcement,” Christmas says. Since then Christmas admits it’s still been a bit of a struggle. However through her transitioning she has gained self-worth and confidence. “I love myself fully and I want to enrich my life with positivity,” Christmas declares.

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Childhood

Christmas grew up in a poor household, however her parents loved her very much. Her mother named her Christmas Joy because she brought joy to her mom’s world when she was born.  Christmas’ father was the epitome of a biker. And the biker lifestyle that the family lived, while very exciting is what lead Christmas to picking up some of the habits that she felt was taking away from her life.

Of course, Christmas doesn’t blame her parents. They just didn’t know of a healthier way of living. “For me, when I saw that I had an option to change that, I felt more empowered,” Christmas says. However Christmas still remains very close to her family. “I wasn’t a product of a healthy lifestyle growing up. And I want people to know regardless of what upbringing you have, you can still change your future,” Christmas says.

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Obstacles

Christmas had to overcome a lot of obstacles in her journey to being as fit as she is now. For her, the hardest one was to find self-worth. “I had to believe that I was capable and had to believe that I was worth something more. Once we find ways to feel proud of ourselves, that’s when we get on a path to loving ourselves. As soon as I started to love myself, that’s when the opportunities starting presenting themselves,” Christmas says.

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Wellness Wheel

According to Christmas, the keys to living a happy, healthy lifestyle comes from within. “I tell people you have five fingers and you usually have five obligations that you can commit to before it becomes overwhelming. You have to take care of yourself.

Sleep well, eat well, exercise, and meditate.

All of this comes into play. You can be eating well and be stressed out at work and still gain weight. So when one thing is out of whack, it has a ripple effect. Living a perfectly balanced life is pretty much unheard of, but you can get pretty close to it when you create this balance. It is a mental fortitude of tenacity. When bad things happen, you can actually navigate through them in a faster and more efficient way,” Christmas says.

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Christmas Abbott

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