Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Ep 62: Redefining Personalized Fitness and Breaking Through Barriers with Amanda Cooper

April 18, 2023 Amanda Cooper Episode 62
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Ep 62: Redefining Personalized Fitness and Breaking Through Barriers with Amanda Cooper
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Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Amanda Cooper, and we are going to talk about getting into fitness, physical strength, and mobility, eliminating things that hold you back from getting started, working with what you have, and the value of getting an assessment!

We begin with Amanda sharing how she got into fitness, from her personal journey and struggles with eating disorders and body image, to her experience working in a chiro clinic that gave her a different perspective on coaching, and her business now as a fitness coach.

Amanda shares powerful mindset shifts and actionable tips on breaking down fitness barriers and getting started by keeping it simple. Her clear understanding of what holds people back from pursuing fitness, especially women, gives her an advantage in providing support to those who want to start but don't know how or have self-doubt about starting and being consistent. She believes in the effectiveness of the right motivation in staying in a fitness program.

Amanda is a Strength Coach, Horse mom, Coffee Connoisseur, and Outdoor adventurer. She’s also the host of the Carbs & Coffee podcast.
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Schedule your FREE 30-minute Nutrition Momentum Call with Philip here.
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Today you’ll learn all about:

[2:16] Amanda shares her journey
[6:40] Taking up space in the gym
[8:40] Barriers to fitness for women or people in general
[10:22] Importance of session length
[12:18] How to get over the barriers
[13:58] 3 core components for behavior
[18:05] Strength training, resistance training, and nutrition
[20:12] How training affects appetite
[21:38] What you can do if you don't have a home gym
[23:12] How to be consistent
[26:06] Assessment process
[30:05] Full-depth squats with a band vs. partial rep squats over time
[31:45] Importance of an assessment before starting your program
[33:55] How to get started in improving your strength and physique
[35:35] Two questions Amanda wanted Philip to ask her
[39:01] Where to find Amanda
[40:08] Outro

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Amanda Cooper:

Keep it simple squat deadlift, overhead press. Do the basic movements and progress that over time, don't work through injury don't work through pain, and you will absolutely see progress. Even if it's not as curated or individualized to your needs, you will still be moving the needle forward in the right direction.

Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. Welcome to another episode of Wits & Weights. My guest today is Amanda Cooper. And we're going to talk about getting into fitness, physical strength and mobility, eliminating things that hold you back from getting started working with what you have and the value of getting an assessment. Amanda is a strength coach, horse mom, coffee connoisseur and outdoor adventure. She's also the host of the carbs and coffee podcast, so make sure to subscribe and support her show. Amanda is a fellow nutrition coach that connected with last year in late 2022. And she and I did a live training in her Facebook group back in December about metabolism. Her group is called ambitious women's fitness secrets. So go and join that to check the training out and many other free resources. Amanda found Fitness Through her personal journey in navigating eating disorders and extreme challenges with body image. She found her love for the weight room early in high school, and has been at it ever since. Her initial experience was in the rehab field working in a Cairo clinic as an assistant and personal trainer. And that gave her insight into the human body and a different perspective on coaching. Amanda realized how much of a gap there was in the fitness space for personalized programming and nutrition, and how she could simplify the complexity of health and fitness to make an impact. Amanda, it's great to see you again. Thank you for coming on the show. Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm super excited to dive into all this. So why don't we do that? Why don't we dive into your personal story to start with? Yeah. Yeah, we mentioned in the introduction that you had some challenges early on in your life with eating disorders, issues of body image. And then you discovered lifting rehab coaching, walk us through your journey that led to the current approach you have, which is this personalized approach to programming and nutrition. Yeah, so like high school middle school, I really had a terrible relationship with food. And I think part of it had to do with my dad was a diabetic and both my parents are first responders. So you know how they say medical professionals make for the worst patients, well try being their child. So that made for an interesting, you know, relationship with with exercise and with nutrition. And I found a love for the gym in like late middle school, early high school and I kind of swapped my disordered relationship with food for exercise. You know, my mom always said calories are like a checkbook. So the more you eat, the more you have to work, you know, she said if I go to the gym, I can I can eat what I want when the reality was her relationship with food wasn't great either. So that really influenced my initial relationship with the gym and with food. And then I got my first coach and that was in college. And I was going to the gym five days a week and totally under eating are still didn't have a great relationship with food, it had improved immensely at that point. And that really shifted my perspective on food, like I was given an 1800 Calorie like breakdown with 130 grams protein, and I was just shocked by how much food that was. And now thinking about it like that really wasn't that much food compared to you know where I am now. And then that experience really introduced me into the like If It Fits Your Macros kind of bodybuilding world that you could eat whatever you want, as long as it fit into your macros. And then I got a job in a chiropractic clinic Jim hybrid after I graduated with a management and marketing degree. And working for them was a really great experience. It really introduced me to you know how to personalize fitness to individuals based off of their

Amanda Cooper:

needs their injury history. And I started to see this gap between the service we were providing and their goals. So most people came to us they had like shoulder pain, back pain, whatever their issues were. But underlying all of that they really wanted to lose weight. And working as a personal trainer and a strength coach, those were the ways that I could support them, I really didn't have the capacity in that situation to help them with nutrition. And we know that that is the the main driver of fat loss that and habit change and all these things that I really couldn't do, because I saw these people twice a week, three times a week for an hour for a workout. And that was it. So then they made some management choices. And I was like, Alright, I'm out of here. I had no plans to leave, I thought that that was going to be the place that I worked until, you know, I had kids, and then I'd figure something else out like there was no plan to start my own business. And then I was like, nope, things have turned in a direction that I'm not interested in heading. So I jumped ship, I started my own business. And now we're here. So now I really focus on helping women, one learn to take up space in the gym, because I think it can be a really intimidating place. And I help them diet in a way that does not destroy their relationship with food so that they can have the body that they want while still enjoying the foods that they love. Yeah, thank you so much for sharing all of that. It's funny how life throws you curveballs like it did in your case. And then it led to something even greater that probably was unexpected. So what talking about those two things that you just mentioned? Tell us more about, I guess, let's start about the space in the gym. I'm really curious about that phrase. I know, I've seen it used. And I think a lot of people know what it means. But maybe elaborate on that. Yeah, so a lot of the women that I work with really struggle, even getting into the gym, like I've had clients that have legitimately gone to the gym in the back, or sorry, gone to the bathroom at the gym and had a panic attack, because they were so overwhelmed, and had so much anxiety about going to the gym. And that was something that I worked through myself and through following a program and having a coach and I see it all the time, go, you know, go in after you know, New Years, and you'll see the cardio room is filled with people and there's hardly anybody in the weight room. And when you don't really know what you're doing in the weight room. It just makes it that much more intimidating. So really, we approach it with one education, like teaching people how to do those things in the weight room. So they feel confident doing it. And you know, empowering them to to understand that they deserve to be there and they deserve to take up some space in the gym and not be like they have to hide in the corner at the gym. Because other people are judging them because the reality is everybody's paying attention to themselves. But sometimes it takes that outside voice or a coach or a friend to tell you, nobody's watching you. Yeah, yeah. Not not like what these fitness influencers would lead you to believe with filming things in the gym and criticizing people. I think reality is maybe not like that, right? And maybe even people in the gym, depending on the culture are more supportive than you think it really depends on the culture. So that sounds like education and empowerment, you talked about as to ways to, I guess lower the barrier to fitness, especially for women. What would you say? Are those the big ones? Are there other big barriers to fitness for most people? Whether it's emotional, physical or logistical you know, like just getting to the gym? What walk us through? Yeah, no, I think that two biggest barriers for women specifically, but I think people in general, because I know you speak to men and women, but time is a big one. And then competence is the other which I think is really rooted in not having a plan not having any structure to what they're doing. So time to get to the gym is huge. You know, we work with a lot of moms and dads and people that have so much going on. And so time is the biggest barrier. How do I get an effective workout in in a period of time that doesn't take so much away from everything else that I've got going on. And then competence to go in there and execute because you could have a this 30 minute block in your schedule, but if you don't have a plan, you're probably not feeling like very competent or very even motivated to go in for 30 minutes and get a workout in because you You really have no direction and what you're doing?

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I love the use of a plan for confidence and competence and confidence. It probably permeates everything we do, right even nutrition and food and everything else. But at the same time, you're, you're telling us it'll solve a significant problem with time. Because you know what you're doing right? You have exactly your sets, reps, whatever. What about you mentioned session, session length has been important. Do you talk about having a home gym versus commuting to the gym? Things like that?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, absolutely. I think having a home gym is not reasonable for everyone. And I think having you know, some dumbbells and maybe some bands could go a really long way for a lot of people. And, you know, I tell clients, when they sign up, if they've got, you know, 15 pound 20 pound dumbbells, we can work with that for a while, eventually, you're gonna outgrow that, and you're gonna want to either invest in additional weights, or a membership at a gym. And luckily, a lot of the women I work with, there's a planet fitness around somewhere. So that cost them you know, 10 or $12 a month, and they can do that reasonably, and not have to drop hundreds of dollars on on gym equipment. If you can invest in a home gym, I think it's a great option for a lot of people. But there's also value in going to the gym, especially for moms and for dads to get a break a mental break from all of the chaos at home. So it really depends on what is going to work for, for your situation, you know, do you have the finances to invest in equipment? If not, is there a gym that's within a reasonable, you know, distance from you that you can go to?

Philip Pape:

So you're saying it's personalized all of these things? And of course, you, you know, people are overwhelmed. Women are overwhelmed with all these decisions that sort of, you know, somebody like, like Amanda has been through it all, and in some ways, has lived through the experience of every single one of our clients and can bring to bear that experience. So how do we how do we lower this barrier? Then? You talked about a few examples already in terms of planning and time in the gym or whatnot? Are there other things that come to mind? We talk about women who say there's a certain reason or excuse or some explanation that they can't find time or some other reason for getting into fitness? Yeah, well, I think there's a lot that we could dive into there. But I think the biggest or best solution to that is having a plan that is specifically curated to your needs. You know, I have people come to me on calls where, you know, they're looking at potentially working with us for coaching. And they're like, Well, what are the workouts look like? And I'm like, it depends on what does your schedule look like? What equipment do you have access to? On your worst week? How often could you go to the gym, and we take all those things into account when building out their program. On top of that, we do several assessments. So it really is curated to their needs into their body. But having some kind of a plan is, I think the first step in lowering that barrier.

Amanda Cooper:

No matter who you are, follow some kind of a plan, whether that's writing out your workouts in a workout journal yourself, or using a template program. They're not my favorite, but it is better than not going to the gym at all. And optimal, like the optimal plan would be curated to your needs.

Philip Pape:

Sure. Yeah, that's huge. And as the more detailed the better, right. I talked to a client earlier yesterday who she was either warming up too much or not enough. And I said, Are we writing down our warmup sets ahead of time? Oh, no, you know, maybe that would help, right? It's little things like that, as you mentioned, go a long way. And then your other comment about? You know, it depends. How many times does somebody come to you and say, just tell me what I need to do. Like, okay, well, here are the principles. Okay, well, for this principle, what do I need to do for this, this, this this scenario, because that's what I'm going through. Right. And that's where you get to the individual level.

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely. And I think a lot of This Just In a lot of the words that we've been using comes down to the like, three core components of behavior change. You know, I think we can all make a lot of excuses as to like, why to not have like, why we don't have time to go to the gym. But I think if it's something you really want to do, it is something that you'll make happen, and I really liked that you said He's just telling me what to do, because I hear that all the time. But the reality is, is us coaches, like, we don't want to coach you forever, right? We want you to build sustainable, lasting changes so that you don't need us forever and ever and ever. And the three, like main components of behavior, change our autonomy, relatedness and competence. So are you taking control over your own journey? And are you plugged into a community? And do you understand like, why you're doing what you're doing? Those are the three main things that are going to drive your motivation, and that are going to keep you consistently working towards these things when you don't want to, you know,

Philip Pape:

cool, so that I'm taking note too, that autonomy relatedness and competence. Yeah, yeah, arc. That's the arc of your story in successful,

Amanda Cooper:

yes, it's actually pulled from the self determination theory, which is basically the theory of motivation. And I could really dive into this right now. But I really think that a lot of coaches come out and say, you know, discipline is more important than motivation. And I really think that that is not accurate at all. It's the kind of motivation that you have that really matters. And if you have these three core components in place, those should be the drivers of your long term behavior change.

Philip Pape:

Got it? Yeah, I've also heard it said that, you know, people think we always need the motivation to take action. And I think you've already alluded to the fact that we just need to have a plan and take that action, and maybe that will produce the results that then give us more motivation, and insight into these principles. So I, I like I like the I've always liked the quote, don't let the perfect don't let perfect be the enemy of the good, I think is what it is, you know what I'm trying to say? Don't let perfection be the enemy of the good, are doing somethings better than nothing. So how do you I've heard some of that in what you've been saying, how do you apply that approach to exercise and training?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, so the first thing that we look at is, you know, what are you capable of doing? And what do you have the time and the capacity for? So we're, we're looking at things like your schedule your equipment, do you? Are you going to a gym or are you not, and we're also going to look at your body. So we're going to look at your joint mobility, we're going to look at your baseline strength, so that we can build a program that meets you where you're at. So we're looking at your squat, your deadlift, your push ups so that we're not giving you exercises that you physically cannot do.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, in your Do you have personal trainers on staff? Are you a personal trainer? Amanda?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah. So I'm a personal trainer strength coach. Yeah, the list the list goes on. But yes, we do it all.

Philip Pape:

And what is what is your what is your thought or opinion or philosophy, I should say, on strength training and resistance training with nutrition, you know, where they kind of meet? What is your philosophy on that?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, I think it's funny, I put a poll in my Facebook group the other day about, you know, which is more important diet or exercise, and I didn't specify for weight loss at all. So it's really interesting to see everybody's response. But I think both are really valuable for one reason or another. So nutrition obviously, is going to drive really your response to training. So training is going to really influence your body composition, it's also going to influence your decision making. So exercise has been shown to actually influence your your hunger hormones for one, so hunger cues, and it's also influencing your ability to exercise self control. So they really go hand in hand in so many different ways that, you know, your nutrition might be perfect, but if you're not resistance training, you're probably never going to look, you know, quote, unquote, toned. But if you're training but not doing anything with your diet, again, you're probably never gonna look lean enough to have that toned look. So there's so many components that you really need from both to achieve that that longevity in in your body and the changes that physical like visual changes that most people want to see.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I love that, that that is so important. It's why I brought it up because I know you're a huge advocate of that. And there there are coaches out there that maybe try to separate the two for whatever reason. And like you said, you can't have one without the other. I know from personal experience when I first built strength for the right way the right way in the first time. I didn't have the nutrition down and I you You know, I was just overweight, but I was a lot stronger overweight. And I had to learn the other piece. You mentioned something about how training affects appetite. For example. Can you elaborate on that?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah. So they have found that those that consistently exercise actually have decreased appetite. So what the specific context is, I'm not entirely sure right offhand. But essentially, you're able to exercise self control better. And you're not, it will actually influenced cravings. So you won't crave those foods that, you know, most of us do. As much if you're consistently training, how it specifically works, I'm not entirely sure. But it does really influence those, those hunger hormones and your hunger cues. So you're not going to be reaching for those things that maybe don't support your goals as well as something else might. Does that answer your question?

Philip Pape:

Yeah, does I think and it makes a lot of sense if people are listening, just, especially if we're in a fat loss phase, just movement and training can actually stave off the hunger. I think that's, that's awesome. And all of these things seem to help each other. Like it's hard to find a scenario where one sabotages the other in any way. And so what you said is, is makes a lot of sense. What if going back to the you talked about capability and capacity. So from the capacity standpoint, what if you don't have access to a gym like a nicely equipped gym or fancy training program? I know, we talked about a home gym, but what are some alternatives or creative and effective ways to still improve your health and physique?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, so I think the first one is walking. And I know you talked about that one a lot. I talked about that one a lot. Walking is probably one of the best things that you could do for your health, especially. And if I could only give someone on one exercise to do it would be walking. But in terms of you know, doing something without a home gym, there's a lot that you can do that would still fall under the umbrella of resistance training at home. You know, if you're a mom, grab your Kids backpack, fill it with some, you know, canned soup and do some squats and do some rows. And you know, it's one of those like, you can still make your environment work for you. If it's something that you really want to do.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, go go back to 2020. And look at all the creative way. And we went to Home Depot to find because they were one of the stores that were open. To build. Seriously. Yeah. Cool. Hey, this is Philip. And I hope you're enjoying this episode of Wits & Weights. If you're finding value in the content and want to stay up to date with all our latest episodes, be sure to hit the Follow button on your favorite podcast platform. By following you'll get notified whenever a new episode comes out. And you won't miss out on knowledge and strategies to level up your health and fitness. All right, let's get back to the episode. It sounds like a lot of this is predicated on the idea that we talked about people tend to make excuses but that there's like an antidote to that in having a plan that's individualized toward you. And that you can take control of your situation. So how do you deal with? How do you deal with people who once they understand that still find ways to sabotage their progress or make excuses or, you know, keep falling off the wagon to have trouble with consistency?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, well, one of the first things that I tell people that come to me and say, Hey, I'm just one of those people that keeps falling off the wagon, like I started a program and I stick with it for six to eight weeks. And then I fall off the wagon. I say, you know, the same person that's always falling off the wagon is the same person always getting back on the wagon. So there's a little mindset tweak that can really impact people that are really struggling with that. I'm this person that falls off the wagon. No, maybe identify yourself as resilient. I'm the person that keeps getting back on. And then back to that self determination theory, it's really the theory of motivation and motivation is it is important, like, not the amount of motivation that you have, but the kind of motivation that you have. And there's a whole continuum of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and the different kinds that you can have. But what's most important is finding what things within your health and fitness journey and within exercise and within changing your diet are actually psychologically fulfilling. They're adding value to your life and you are feeling fulfilled through doing it and you're finding joy through doing it. That is the Like core component of intrinsic motivation. And if you don't have that, and you don't understand what that is, then you probably will keep falling off the wagon, because it's not rooted in your needs and what's going to fulfill you

Philip Pape:

psychologically fulfilling that. So there's a lot you mentioned there, and I'm learning myself, this is good stuff, the idea that you can. So at first I thought you were going to talk about really just relabeling or identifying your future self or your aspirational identity I've heard it called, but you you put a twist on it, that, hey, there are things about your personality or the way you've done things in the past that you can now turn into strengths. Right? If you always get back on the wagon, oh, then you're resilient. So of course, you're just going to keep going and going and going, let's use that. I think that's awesome in people who are listening to maybe inventory, those strengths, most people know them themselves better than anyone else. Right. And those strengths, and then take advantage of those. Awesome, dropping some some truth bombs here, Amanda good stuff. All right. So I want to talk about your assessment process a little bit more. Yeah. And you're like metabolic and physical strength, mobility? What does that look like for someone working with you? Or can someone even maybe do this on their own?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, so the big thing that we do is to kick off somebody's program is a metabolic assessment. So we're looking at stress, sleep, how much food they're taking in most women that we work with, are not eating nearly enough food consistently. And so that's the first thing that we look at, because I think nutrition really is going to support the the rest of the process. And so we look at that first. And then we go into their strength and mobility assessment. So we're looking at things like, can you reach your arm overhead? Like if you pulled your arm up straight up overhead? Can you see your ear in front of your arm? If not, you probably don't have great upper, you know, upper body mobility. Either your shoulders are limited, or your thoracic spine is limited. So we're looking at all these things. We're looking at your your cat cow, we're seeing how your spine moves in segments. So does it move pretty well? Is it pretty stiff, and we're also taking into account do you work a desk job, because that's going to influence those things. So we're looking at your squat, we're looking at your deadlift, your pushup, and we're giving you very basic exercises to do to so it's going to be like a goblet squat, or a kettlebell deadlift. So something you can do with a kettlebell or a dumbbell. And then bodyweight exercises, so we can evaluate just your, your motor control. So your ability to actually like, control your joints and control your body through these movements, your core stability. And then we're also looking at your mobility and flexibility. So all of those things are going to influence how we build out a program for you. If you are somebody that maybe doesn't have good shoulder mobility, you can't reach arm overhead, we're gonna give you exercises, one to work on that improve your spinal mobility, improve your shoulder mobility, and maybe instead of giving you an overhead press, or gonna give you an incline bench press, because you're still able to get close to that overhead motion without compromising your your mobility.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, so a couple of things. How do you actually do the assessment on the strength since you're an online coach?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah. So we have an entire library of exercises and assessment videos that I've done in my studio, Jim, on how to do them, what you should feel what you shouldn't feel how to set them up. All of our videos go into detail on whatever the specific exercise is. So we send clients it's basically laid out as a workout would be on their app. And they look at each video, if it says to record it, we tell them like how to record it, what angle we want to see and then how to do the exercise, it's really simple. It's going to be like standing against the wall and then bringing your arm up overhead. And then we're also going to have you lie on the floor and bring your arm up overhead. So we can kind of get an idea of your mobility, as well as your flexibility, which could be a whole other tangent. We're looking at the videos that you send us to to build out that program. So that's how we we go through that process. Right? Yeah,

Philip Pape:

like people don't understand the logistics of it. And then you mentioned things like when you have a mobility issue, trying to work as close to the full range of motion as possible at the angle or with the implement or variant that you can do, which is good for people to hear because I think some people think Again, in a fixed of a fixed mindset that you are what you are. And what you're suggesting is you can work up to something. So I have a very specific question about the squat, because there's always a little debate on this. Would you rather somebody work up to a full depth squat? By doing full depth squats with like a band, or by doing partial rep squats are getting deeper over time?

Amanda Cooper:

That's interesting question, I'm trying to think of a specific client scenario. So typically, I'm going to look at their bodyweight squat as well as their loaded squat. And that's going to tell me if it's more of a core control issue, or a mobility issue. And so, if they, a lot of times, if clients really struggle with core stability, which a lot of them do, their bodyweight squat might look awful, but you put weight in front of them, it forces them to engage their core, and it can really clean up their squat and make it look a lot better. So we're really finding out what the root of the issue is, I always would rather clients squat to full depth, if they can, if they are very limited in their hip mobility, or their ankle mobility, one, we're going to raise their ankles so that they can squat full depth. But if their hip mobility is an issue, then I would just have them squat to the depth that they can while maintaining a neutral or a flat spine so that we can still progressively load them. You're

Philip Pape:

obviously an expert in all of this. So I want to, I wanted to I knew it wouldn't be a trick question, even though I province demand ahead of time when thrown into questions. And I knew it wouldn't be because she knows what she's talking about. So there you go, I love it. What would you say the value is of having this assessment versus just, this is kind of a rhetorical question at this point, versus just jumping right into like a training program or nutrition, you know, template or something like that.

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, totally. So I think the first thing is it lessens your risk of injury, you know, having a plan curated for you takes into account all of your potential limitations, as well as current limitations. And then it's also going to incorporate things to improve those things. So if you don't have the ability to reach overhead, we're gonna work on that so that you can. And then on top of that, lessening the risk of injury I think, is really huge. And that's probably because I come from a chiropractic clinic, gym background, but 90%, if not, all of the clients that I see have some kind of history with low back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, you name it, or they've tried beach body or some other template program and gotten hurt doing it. And that's because they've had either a little instruction on how to properly do the exercise, or they have some underlying mobility issue they didn't know about, or core stability issue. You know, we work with a lot of postpartum women. And usually, you need a decent amount of time postpartum to really regain your core strength. So there's so many things that really influence how a program should be laid out, depending on you and your body. Really.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I think that's great, because you do hear a lot of people who jump into something and, you know, kudos for people to people for taking action and wanting to improve their health. But there are some complexities here, and there's individualistic things to think about, especially if you're in your 30s 40s 50s. And you've had many years to experiment and beat yourself up with maybe the wrong movements over the years, as I can attest personally. Yeah, I'm talking about my heartstrings with the overhead the constant overhead press, you know, mentions because that's like my favorite movement, so. So for everyone who's been listening, everyone who's listening who has been frustrated or spinning their wheels, or they're struggling to make progress, and they want to get motivated right now, you know, they're listening to this. They're in their car, in the gym, maybe between sets, whatever. They want to get motivated and start improving their health and physique. What's an easy way to do that? How should they start?

Amanda Cooper:

Keep it simple. I think, you know, even myself and what we do, we can really overcomplicate things and tell you, you know, you need a curated plan and all of these specifics. And while there's a lot of value in that, I think moving, getting your body moving is better than nothing. And like I said, Keep It Simple squat, deadlift, overhead press, do the basic movements and progress that over time, don't work through injury don't work through pain, and you will absolutely see In Progress, even if it's not as curated or individualized to your needs, you will still be moving the needle forward in the right direction.

Philip Pape:

Cool. Yeah, I like how you said you said keep it simple move. And then, as part of keeping it simple doing squat deadlift and press, I really appreciate that, Amanda, because, you know, people make excuses like, Oh, these are so complicated and what, but they're so fundamental movements, and we'll go so far and everything you do so awesome. All right. I like to ask this of all my guests, just in case you've been listening to my podcast, maybe not. What one question Do you wish I had asked, and what is your answer?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, well, I think, you know, I have two in mind. But I think one we answered really well, and that was, you know, why you shouldn't follow your favorite fits those workout. And, one, that's because usually, the workouts that you see online are meant to get attention. They're not the actual workouts that got that person, their body, and they're not curated to your needs, and not having a plan laid out in front of you. So just following YouTube workouts, your favorite fits Bo's workouts, it's going to pretty easily lead to burnout, because you don't have structure. So it's gonna be really easy to, you know, fall off the wagon, because of that lack of structure. And then the other question I brought you to, was why we why we don't start most people with a barbell in our program. Because I know, there's two very clear ends of the spectrum. There's the very pro barbell barbell every movement, you know, squat deadlift, overhead, press that end, and then you have the complete anti barbell end of the spectrum. And I think I come from more of that end of the spectrum because of my background. But that's not where I sit in my philosophy with my clients, I think I sit somewhere right in the middle. But most of our clients would think it comes back to that gym intimidation, the idea of picking up a barbell, or dropping a barbell I've had clients tell me just that sound is like intimidating to them. So taking that into account, and then taking into account their their mobility and the way that their body moves. Most of the time, we don't start with a barbell deadlift and a barbell back squat or front squat, or a barbell overhead press, we start with more simple like, Well, I think compound movements are simple. They're still intimidating for a lot of people. So we try and bring it back to their needs, psychologically, and their needs physically. So maybe, you know, I need to take into account that Susie doesn't have a bench right next to the squat rack. So I need to pair two exercises together that she can do in one corner of the gym and not feel like she asked to walk around because that's overwhelming for her. So that's part of the reason we don't include a lot of barbell movements when people are just getting started.

Philip Pape:

I mean, it makes total sense. It's consistent with what you said earlier about capability and capacity and meeting people where they're at. And the fact that you are there for them as a coach means you can walk them through that process and step them up to it and get them comfortable. Bit by bit until before you know it, they'll probably tell me if I'm wrong, they'd probably like asking to go into the barbell in some cases.

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, the goal is definitely to get them there.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, absolutely. And that that's the way to do it. So I really appreciate everything we've gone over today, I've learned quite a few things and ways to frame things myself. I always like to take something out personally. And then the listeners, I'm sure got a ton of value from this episode. So where can listeners learn more about you and your work?

Amanda Cooper:

Yeah, so probably the best place to connect with me and our coaching crew is our free Facebook community, which is ambitious women's fitness secrets. And inside there we've got honestly a ton of free resources but specifically to what we talked about today, you know, we have a Beginner's Guide To Strength Training, if you're feeling intimidated and need that, like extra support. We even include all of the videos on how to do everything so you can go into the gym competently and set up to squat or set up to deadlift.

Philip Pape:

Awesome. So Beginner's Guide To Strength Training, and all the other secrets behind the ambitious women's secrets. The Women's secret fitness, fitness secrets group and Yeah. And I'll include all those links in the show notes so listeners can find you. So Amanda, thank you so much for coming on the show. Yeah,

Amanda Cooper:

absolutely. Thank you for having me.

Philip Pape:

If you've been inspired by today's interview, and are ready to take action and build momentum on your health and fitness journey, just schedule a free 30 minute nutrition momentum call with me using the link in my show notes. I promise not to sell or pitch you on anything, but I will help you gain some perspective and guidance so we can get you on the right track toward looking and feeling your best

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