Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Ep 86: Energy, Workout Nutrition, and Performance-Based Strength for Women Over 40 with Steph Gaudreau

July 11, 2023 Steph Gaudreau Episode 86
Ep 86: Energy, Workout Nutrition, and Performance-Based Strength for Women Over 40 with Steph Gaudreau
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
More Info
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Ep 86: Energy, Workout Nutrition, and Performance-Based Strength for Women Over 40 with Steph Gaudreau
Jul 11, 2023 Episode 86
Steph Gaudreau

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Steph Gaudreau, sports nutritionist and lifting coach. I learned about Steph through her podcast, Fuel Your Strength, and was immediately drawn in by her practical science-backed advice for women over 40 who want to step into their strength and her philosophy that “lifting weights is a catalyst for a more expansive life.”

In today's episode, Steph Gaudreau will teach you about lifting, performance, and nutrition for athletic women over 40. She will talk about low energy availability, workout nutrition, carbs, and protein, and why you need to be strength training. She will also address gym intimidation and the unique challenges for women over 40.

Steph Gaudreau is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance coach. She helps athletic women over 40 fuel themselves better, get stronger, and perform better in the gym. Her best-selling book, The Core 4, shares her Core 4 pillars of health which are detailed in the book. She also has a podcast called Fuel Your Strength which started in 2015 and has over 4 million downloads.
__________
Book a FREE 30-minute call with Philip here.
__________

Today you’ll learn all about:

[2:22] Step's wakeup call 11 years ago
[10:34] Low energy availability - explanation, signs, symptoms, and importance
[13:55] Defining an athlete, specifically women over 40
[20:36] Importance of protein - distribution, quality, and timing
[26:20] Unique challenges for athletes over 40
[28:21] Client mindset and weight loss
[31:04] Benefits of strength training for women over 40
[34:43] Personal experiences with setbacks, injuries, or plateaus
[39:15] Dietary restrictions for conditions like Hashimoto’s
[43:38] Menstrual cycle and menopause considerations for fueling and training
[44:59] Workout nutrition - big picture and specific recommendations
[48:59] Overcoming intimidation towards lifting weights and gym culture
[56:56] Basic strength training programs and principles
[59:30] Personal hobbies outside fitness
[1:00:50] The question Steph wished Philip asked
[1:04:37] Where to find Steph
[1:05:13] Outro

Episode resources:

Send me a question for Q&A!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Wits & Weights Podcast
Support the show 🙏 and keep it ad-free!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Steph Gaudreau, sports nutritionist and lifting coach. I learned about Steph through her podcast, Fuel Your Strength, and was immediately drawn in by her practical science-backed advice for women over 40 who want to step into their strength and her philosophy that “lifting weights is a catalyst for a more expansive life.”

In today's episode, Steph Gaudreau will teach you about lifting, performance, and nutrition for athletic women over 40. She will talk about low energy availability, workout nutrition, carbs, and protein, and why you need to be strength training. She will also address gym intimidation and the unique challenges for women over 40.

Steph Gaudreau is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance coach. She helps athletic women over 40 fuel themselves better, get stronger, and perform better in the gym. Her best-selling book, The Core 4, shares her Core 4 pillars of health which are detailed in the book. She also has a podcast called Fuel Your Strength which started in 2015 and has over 4 million downloads.
__________
Book a FREE 30-minute call with Philip here.
__________

Today you’ll learn all about:

[2:22] Step's wakeup call 11 years ago
[10:34] Low energy availability - explanation, signs, symptoms, and importance
[13:55] Defining an athlete, specifically women over 40
[20:36] Importance of protein - distribution, quality, and timing
[26:20] Unique challenges for athletes over 40
[28:21] Client mindset and weight loss
[31:04] Benefits of strength training for women over 40
[34:43] Personal experiences with setbacks, injuries, or plateaus
[39:15] Dietary restrictions for conditions like Hashimoto’s
[43:38] Menstrual cycle and menopause considerations for fueling and training
[44:59] Workout nutrition - big picture and specific recommendations
[48:59] Overcoming intimidation towards lifting weights and gym culture
[56:56] Basic strength training programs and principles
[59:30] Personal hobbies outside fitness
[1:00:50] The question Steph wished Philip asked
[1:04:37] Where to find Steph
[1:05:13] Outro

Episode resources:

Send me a question for Q&A!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Steph Gaudreau:

We have to stop thinking that we're like, too fragile to do this. In fact, doing these sorts of things in a sensible way. With a with a good plan, and paying attention to our bodies and giving enough recovery and the nutrition to support it is how we become more resilient.

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 Wits & Weights community Welcome to another episode of the Wits & Weights Podcast. Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Steph Gaudreau, sports nutritionist and lifting coach. I learned about stuff through her podcast fuel your strength. And I was immediately drawn in by her practical science back advice for women over 40 who want to step into their strength and her philosophy that quote lifting weights as a catalyst for a more expansive life. Who that's so good. In today's episode, we're getting into lifting performance and nutrition for athletic women over 40. And if you think you're not an athlete, think again, stuff we'll teach you about low energy availability, workout, nutrition, carbs, protein, and of course, why you need to be strength training, we will address gym intimidation, the unique challenges for women over 40 And of course the emotional and mental side of it all. Steph Gaudreau helps athletic women over 40 fuel themselves better, get stronger, increase their energy and perform better in the gym. In her best selling book the core four, she details a four pillar approach to getting stronger, embracing your body and owning your power. Steph is trained in biology and human physiology and is a certified sports nutritionist from the International Society for sports nutrition. She is also USA weightlifting, sports performance coach, her podcast fuel your strength started in 2015 and has over 4 million downloads. Steph, welcome to the show.

Steph Gaudreau:

Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Philip Pape:

So one story that you shared on I think it's maybe on your Instagram profiles that 11 years ago, a nutritionist said that you had quote surprisingly low food intake considering your volume and performance level. You said you're struggling with mood swings, soreness, nagging injuries, and that that was a catalyst for learning what was going on with your body, and then eventually helping and educating other athletic women. So tell us more about that wake up call. And then what it led to?

Steph Gaudreau:

Oh my gosh, okay, I'll try to keep it sustained. Because I know we have a lot of content to get through. But I've been an athlete my whole life, participating in everything from childhood team sports, all the way up through competing at CrossFit regionals, triathlons, all sorts of stuff. So I've been in it and done a lot of things. And really, no one ever sat me down and said, You need to make sure you're eating enough. And this is how you do it. And by the way, these are also the outcomes that can happen if you if you don't properly fuel yourself. It's not just your performance may suffer. And of course, as a performance minded person, that mattered a lot to me. So I had just come off of a very long period of time, about eight years of racing bikes, I finished off at the sort of like endurance distance level was racing, 12 hour solo races, 24 hour races on teams, like putting in so much work on the bike, transitioned over to also doing extra triathlons, and then kind of burns out from that and didn't realize at the time, you know, looking back, hindsight is always 2020. You think, Wow, a lot of that probably had to do with just being so under fueled to really promote that burnout. And I transitioned over into lifting weights, which I'm super glad that, you know, looking back that that thing happened to me that I burned out and I was like, I need to really get serious about just not basing like all of my self worth on how small I can be. And a lot of the things that I was doing that encouraged that and found lifting and got really into lifting and really into CrossFit, which was great. But again, I still didn't have the knowledge of this is how we need to fuel for this kind of training this, you know, this is like a heavily glycolytic endeavor, or you're doing a lot of heavy lifting like this is how you would approach fueling in that way. My performance was really tapering off. I was starting to deal with a lot of injury. And I eventually said, you know, does anybody here like work with a nutrition person? And at the time I was teaching high school so I wasn't even in this career yet. And I connected with a sports nutritionist and I did a week worth of food logs, sent it into him and basically got that reply back like cool. Wow, okay. You're yours. significantly under eating for the kind of training that you're doing. And that was really, I don't know, if it was like, I think in the back of my mind, I knew something was going on. But again, I didn't know these principles at the time. And it was, it was hard, like, I got a list of things I should improve. And I always tell people, like, I probably wasn't the most compliant client at the time, because I found some of the things were really challenging to be in terms of like, the fears that I had, or, you know, not really knowing how to approach it. So that was a huge turning point for me, and went on a few months later. So that was kind of the end of 2012 went on, in 2013, in May to compete on a team across at regionals. And I will tell you, I was like a different athlete at that time. Like it was an amazing weekend, I felt like I performed probably in the top three performances, like in terms of athleticism, and sport, if my whole life, it was just I really turned it around and making sure that I was eating enough was a huge part of that. So it might sound really obvious to a lot of people like, Hey, you just got to eat enough. But at the time, I mean, it was it something that was really going through the forefront of my mind. So

Philip Pape:

yeah, that's such a great story. There's a lot of things I want to pick out of that. But even just the principle, like I'm a big fan of principles, and just the the, the idea of it as fuel or helping out with health and these other outcomes, and eating enough, like you said, it's simple. Honestly, a lot of people just start there, and they don't need to worry about timing, and, you know, supplementation, let alone everything else. So you said originally, you were told, or you found out that it doesn't just affect performance, but other health outcomes. So what do you mean by that?

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah, for sure. So I think you know, growing up, I was in high school in the 90s. People want to figure out how old I am. I'm 44. And, you know, I had heard about things like, for example, female athlete triad. That was a thing that came out, it was first came out the literature in 1992. So, you know, kind of figured figured out the math there. Like it's something I had thought about, I had heard about, but I thought to myself, well, I don't have an eating disorder. I don't think I have osteoporosis. And I haven't lost my period. Well, I actually don't know, because I'm on birth control. So at that time, right, it was hard to say like, did I actually have what I have had a natural cycle, if I was not on oral contraceptives. So but in my again, in my mind, I was like, well, these are the three things that can happen to you, if you don't eat enough, and I don't think I'm displaying any of these, so I should be fine. So that's not the full story, right. And we know now that instead of just female athlete triad, right, that under fueling can affect athletes and athletic individuals, you don't have to be an elite athlete, you could be recreationally, training, you know, training for fun, just for your own improvement and enjoyment. But the underfilling affects all people, regardless of sexual, like, you know, assigned at birth, you know, male, female, etc. And can affect all these different levels of athletic individuals. So instead of just the female athlete triad, the symptoms of low energy availability, and sort of the outcomes of low energy availability were expanded into something called Red s. So relative energy deficiency in sport, the IOC came up with kind of their first statement on this in 2014. And then it was updated in 2018. And now more people are becoming aware that it's not just performance aspects that are going to take a hit, if you're in this chronic low energy availability state, and you don't also, by the way, have to be a woman for this to affect you. So we see, you know, things happening in all athletes. So it's not just for our performance. So we might have issues with our immune health issues with our digestive health issues with our psychological health, it's really across the board that we may start to see symptoms in what's going on as a result of under fueling, so low energy availability being the driver. And that doesn't always mean that you're, you know, intentionally under eating either, right, you could just have picked up a little bit more training, maybe you're training for something new, and you don't realize how much more energy you're expending. So you may not be purposefully, purposefully under eating. But of course, you may see that there are outcomes because you don't have enough fuel coming in. Once you've accounted for your activity level, which is what low energy availability really is to maintain the optimal health of these other systems. Right. So reproductive system, bone health, right are some of the common ones that we we might know about, but this is really can be a system wide, or across organ systems. Outcomes that people are dealing with in may not even know that it's down to. Yeah, they'll the lack of energy intake.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. And that's huge because it often we often try to overcomplicate things when it comes to our health that we need to addressed these 10 or 15 issues and, and you told us a story about both the mental side of this, like when you're talking about being focused on being small, right, or how small you can be and transitioning away from that, transitioning from high endurance sports to more strength focused, even though they were highly glycolytic. Right? requiring lots of energy, you know, for people who aren't familiar with the term, right, glycogen and so on. And then men and women both face this now, do you find that it's, it's women predominantly that have this issue, and in particular, because so you've got people who are overweight, right, or think are overweight, or whatever term you want to use, that may have been gaining weight slowly over time. And then we have people that are maybe under fed, and then we have people who are sedentary versus active in both those states. So where are we? Where do we break it up? And categorize those different things in terms of the low energy available that you talked about?

Steph Gaudreau:

Well, we really have to look at our activity level, as is kind of driving, you know, part of what's going on here. So we have our basal metabolic rate, right, which is the amount of energy that we're going through if we were completely bedridden, or lying down all day long. And this is such a simple concept yet very misunderstood, right? In that our bodies are requiring energy to run all of our background processes. Even if we're doing nothing, a lot of times we associate, oh, I, you know, I went and exercise. So people will say things like, Oh, I went and exercise. So like I quote unquote, earned like this tree or this desert, right? We have a lot of transactional relationships with like, exercise, therefore, I can eat more, or I'm like burning off that cheesecake. I mean, if, if we had $1, for every time, we've heard those sorts of things, but we need energy, even if we're purely at rest. So we have our basal metabolic rate, then we have things like our non exercise activities, so you know, fidgety, I'm moving around here moving my hands, you know, lifting up a fork, I mean, getting dressed like putzing, around your house, all those things not exercise activity, we have our purposeful exercise or purposeful activity, right? So we're engaging in an actual structured exercise. And then we have our thermic effect of food, which is the small, relatively small amount that we're using energy to actually digest and assembly the food that we're eating. So when we look at those things, like what can we shift the most? So we're talking about the difference between somebody say, sedentary versus somebody highly active, there's, there's could be a few things going on here. You know, the bigger our body is, the more energy we are using. So that's something to consider. But when we're looking at what do we have a lot of direct control over? It is sometimes those non exercise activity. moments, I guess we'll say, so like, how kind of active are we overall? And then are we engaging in exercise? And like, what is the intensity and duration of that? So we still have a, we have a baseline energy need, and then we're going to be layering more on top of that, based on those other factors. And I think that that's something where people can sometimes get a little bit stuck in the weeds of like, Am I doing more moderate exercise Am I getting used to, you know, just a little bit exercise, you know, versus somebody who's has a highly physically active job is on their feet, you know, maybe their labor, a labor of some kinds, like, they're gonna be going through a lot of energy. So it's not always just in the the exercise portion that we need to look. But I think that that can give folks a pretty decent starting point to start kind of estimating where they're at. And then knowing of course, if we're going to be doing something like strength training and trying to build up our muscle mass like, that means that you know, we're taking that longer view, but we are potentially adding more metabolically active tissue like that will raise some of these energy consumption. Buckets, if you will. And we can actually use that to our advantage.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I sometimes talk about it as like increasing the size of the pie, right? When you build that muscle mass. Let's, you mentioned the word athlete a few times. So I definitely want to be on part of this whole thing. Right? Yeah, you know, you're, you're you're a sports nutritionist, you're lifting coach, you have a background in biology, background physiology. And you apply all these principles to athletic women over 40. So now, how do you define athlete in that context? Why why women over 40 as well, I want to understand both aspects of that for you.

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah, for sure. So I think, first and foremost, when it comes to the word or the concept of an athlete, there's a lot of gatekeeping around this term, frankly, and I've seen some hot takes on the end on Instagram or the internet about like, Oh, you're not an athlete, unless you've ever competed in at least something in your life, or, Oh, you're not an athlete, unless you're at this level of competency, or, you know, like, let's say you you compete on a national team or an international team. I mean, there's just so much

Philip Pape:

people want to label everybody there's just so much so much debate.

Steph Gaudreau:

And to me, someone who's an athlete is somebody who's engaging in like intentional exercise and you you may have a goal in mind like You're, you're showing up with purpose in what you do. Period. Right. So that's, that encompasses a lot of people. The problem with that is that that identity, for a lot of people is something that they've taken off the table as an option. Maybe when they were in high school, they had to do the I don't know, we had to run what the mile Presidential Fitness Test all that stuff. And maybe you were like, I sucked at this, I sucked at running, I hated it. And maybe you had a coach that really was like, You're not good enough to be on this team. You're not athletic, I got cut from freshman basketball. So you're totally got it. No, it gets cut from freshman basketball, by the way.

Philip Pape:

So I couldn't do a pull up when I was at age, and it was embarrassing, you know,

Steph Gaudreau:

to climb a rope in gym class and you failed, or like whatever that happens to be. A lot of people have taken that off the table, or we look up to elite athletes as setting the standard and saying, Do you swim like Michael Phelps? Probably not. So you're not an athlete, right? Or do you get paid to work out? Yeah. Are you professional? You know, have you ever been to the Olympics? Probably not. So you're not an athlete. So we have that, that sense of, I'm not an athlete. But that can affect that identity, or that rejection of that identity, that piece of your identity or working to become or not become a person who is athletic, really changes the habits that you engage in? Or how you see the importance of things like making sure we're eating enough. And, you know, like you said earlier, is everybody working out or training to the extent that they need to really worry as much about things like nutrient timing, or supplementation, I mean, it's going to vary. But at the end of the day, for somebody who is working to become a more athletic person, or a more fit person, they might do things like understand that they need to prioritize their recovery a little bit differently, or like sleep is going to be more important. Or making sure that they're not skipping a bunch of meals every day. And these, this is where the rubber meets the road for most people that I work with most of the women that I work with, right? They're trying to figure out, Okay, once I have that knowledge, and I lean into that identity, how am I actually going to do that? Like, what are the systems, the structures, the environments, the social support that I need, in order to make these things happen?

Philip Pape:

So good showing up with purpose in what you do, right? It's kind of like the difference between training and exercise and weight, lifting? Oh,

Steph Gaudreau:

absolutely. Yeah. And so why women over 40 It's hard to define exactly when perimenopause begins, because it's different for every person, right? It could be your late 30s, you start noticing changes, it could be your late 40s. Right, we have this like window of time, for the most part unless it's an early, early onset, which is a different kind of condition to deal with. But looking at that, just that transition that we're going through, right, going through a physiological transition from pre menopause into post menopause. And also, the reason I say over 40, is, there's just a lot of challenges that happen in this phase of life, like, midlife is no joke, right? So you might have mounting pressures at work, you might have shifting family dynamics, maybe you have kids, and your kids are getting older, and they're like leaving the nest, so to say, maybe there's like not leaving the nest, and you have to deal with that. I don't know, you know, relationship challenges, those sorts of things. And then, of course, the biological challenges that are going to come with that, and how it affects how people see themselves as well. So there's, you know, a lot of continued body image challenges that women are dealing with understanding how our training potentially needs to change. So we're looking at how do we, you know, not necessarily make drastic changes, but how are we going to understand why we're shifting in the way that we are, and even things as simple as giving yourself more flexibility. Whereas before, when you were younger, you might have just been able to really power through no matter what. Right, or really just burn the candle at both ends, and not pay as much attention to some of the other stuff like soft tissue recovery and some of the other things that we know we need. And then also, of course, looking at the muscle and bone elements as well. But you know, things are shifting and changing. And are we going to continue to just harken back to what we always did, because it's familiar, which by the way, change is scary. And doing new things is scary. So we need support. But you know, are we going to just keep going back to what we did, because it's the familiar or we're going to evolve our training as we go and yes, the million dollar question.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. And it can be a very exciting new phase of your life. It really can. I mean, I'm 42 So we're similar age range, and I didn't personally focus on my health as much as I could have should have whatever until I was almost 40 When you know the rubber hits the road, you're getting to this, this current turning point in your life and like all the decisions of your youth are finally catching up like they really are you made those decisions at a time when they didn't really affect you. Yeah, now they're kind of accumulating. And but you have some something that you can do about it, which is the empowering messages I think you have. And when you add, like women over 40, into the mix, where there's other things that from because of biological reasons, and otherwise, from hormones that make it that can make it confusing and complicated, but you try to cut through that and, and help them move forward. So it's super inspiring. Let's talk about what do we want to talk about next, let's talk about we talked about fueling your training. But and the importance of just basic energy needs. But now let's go to the next level of importance beyond that, whether it's macronutrients, timing, carbs, protein, all that fun stuff. For those listening, if you don't really listen to stuff, podcasts, like you break these things down in detail each episode, like very clearly, so it's like masterclass, and all this stuff, try. So just just for the different modes of training, what are the basics, basic recommendations here?

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah. So I mean, I think if we're thinking about being over 40, in general, the first thing that we need to think about is our protein intake across the board. I mean, whether you're, yeah, there's some variance like, are you heavily into like, endurance words, ultra endurance sports, like how you slice and dice sort of your protein versus carbohydrate, and fat is going to vary a little bit. But what we know for the most part from the research is like, if we're looking at aging, and we're looking at things like basic protein needs, we're going to need more protein as we age, not less, which surprises a lot of people because they're like, You know what, like, I maybe I'm not as active or I'm not lifting as, quote unquote, as heavy. But we, especially if we're going through the perimenopause, into menopause transition, we're starting to see kind of a shift in the balance of unless we're doing something about it right of more muscle parts, protein breakdown, versus muscle protein synthesis, the loss of estrogen, and its effects on, you know, muscle satellite cells and kind of getting nerdy about that science. And now,

Philip Pape:

let's get let's get one extra nerdiness on that. Because I always wonder about this. I know that muscle protein synthesis slows with age. I know and women, I believe that that accelerates also with the age. Is it? Is it solely a function of the things you just mentioned? Or is it also because you have not been building that muscle mass? Yeah. And then that correlates with age,

Steph Gaudreau:

I think we're seeing, you know, a push to include that in the conversation like, is it is are we? Are we slowly seeing like aging, and that loss of muscle mass, and then potentially, like clinical levels of sarcopenia? Which is muscle loss, like is that solely due to inactivity? And like lack of lifting and so on and so forth? Or is that just natural aging? And so on and so forth? And I think the answer, if I had to make a guess, is probably it's a little bit of both. And so of course, if we stay strength training, for example, through our 40s 50s 60s, like, can we maintain a portion of what we've built? Right? Can we build more tissue? Yes, like, does it mean we're going to experience no loss of, for example, muscle tissue or bone? It seems to be as far as I'm aware that we're still going to have some loss, right, as far as what the research is saying. So it's probably a little bit of both. And I think this is the thing that makes it exciting, slash hopeful for people is like, there are things we can do. And I think that that's, I will keep coming back to that. Because if we feel like it's hopeless, like that's where we get a little bit into those mindsets of like, what's the point? Why bother? And then we know that we can positively affect that. So yes, like having adequate protein intake to help drive muscle protein synthesis. And in combination with resistance training, we see so many studies where they're looking at the things like sort of the effect of whether it's creatine supplementation on bone, and I was just talking to Dr. Darren Kando. About this, they did this big study in Canada on this and they looked at creatine supplementation, along with resistance training. So if we know if we have that mechanical tension, from resistance training, we have that microscopic damage to our muscle tissue that then causes growth and repair. We have an adequate protein intake, to support that, that we're going to see a better outcome. So you know, women in general, you know, I think, again, what it comes down to for people is like not in the knowledge of like, oh, I need more protein, but then what does that actually look like? And how do I do that? In all of the habits that I have, but yeah, looking to have that adequate protein intake. And you know, just like ballpark here, we're kind of looking at 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kg body weight range. There's lots of ways that you're you're going to like customize If this were you so but but that's more than even kind of what the going level for sedentary individuals is these days, which is more like that 1.2 Maybe a little bit higher. So, yeah, we need more protein for sure. And then looking at carbohydrate intake, just based on again, like what what is our training look like? What is our activity look like? Are we endurance athletes that we're, you know, training for a marathon or something of that nature, where we're doing a lot more just, we have a lot more energy expenditure and output? Are we doing a lot of glycolytic? Training? You know, if I'm, for example, somebody who's mainly lifting weights and walking, does my carbohydrate level need to be at the level of somebody training for an Ironman? No, unlikely, right. So understanding how we have our total energy needs, and then how we divvy that up, protein is kind of stay, it's like the middle of that seesaw, like kind of staying consistent? Because we have that absolute need for protein, and then how do we, like raise the carbohydrate need, and then sort of, like, balance it out with our fat intake, so that we're, we're in that, you know, I so caloric range? We're trying to build a little bit, we're maybe a little bit over, but we're making sure that like, those pieces come together?

Philip Pape:

Yeah, quick follow up on the protein versus carbs for endurance athletes, I don't know how many of those types of athletes you work with, versus just the run of the mill Gen pop, who lifts and walks into some cardio? Is is the concern more toward, like lead up to an event and then the event itself? Or is there a continual period during the training that you kind of have to sacrifice a bit of that protein to get the carbs in,

Steph Gaudreau:

um, I tend to not work with people who are really in that very long Ataris slash ultra endurance crowd, I am working more, with more people now, though, who are understanding the importance of just cardiovascular training and like, you're doing more of that cardiovascular training, Is it always like an intense level? No. But again, it's like, you may have to shift again, looking at the, our sort of like total energy need, and then how we partition that out. So there are some people who are doing ultra endurance type pursuits, and they end up shaving a little bit off of their protein need just to account for the extra carbohydrate need. But I think we're coming to understand that like, we need to kind of keep that as as high as possible, without sacrificing you know, any, any muscle mass in the process, or as little sacrificing as little muscle mass in the process. And that is definitely something that I experienced when I was doing all my endurance training. And again, I was doing kind of like ultra, ultra, but like longer endurance events, I was just like, could not hang on to muscle mass muscle was just like sliding off my body at a certain point, because I just was not keeping up with my overall calorie needs. And my protein I like I had have no idea if I had to, like even think about how much protein I was eating, but it wasn't very much.

Philip Pape:

So priorities. You have priorities, you know, for that, for that mode of training. Yeah, yeah.

Steph Gaudreau:

So sometimes they'll will, they'll scoot it down, they'll scoot protein down a little bit to account for like the the higher calorie allotment that needs to go to carbohydrate.

Philip Pape:

Okay, what now? Do you work primarily? So let's say a client comes in who has kind of a, I guess, traditional narrative of like, feel the need to lose some weight? Are you working primarily in the kind of body recomp and lifting and muscle building side of the phases? Or do you also dip into fat loss regularly with your clients?

Steph Gaudreau:

I am pretty much solely focused on how do we help get you stronger and put some muscle on your body? Yeah. There are a lot of clients, or a lot of students that I have, who will have a desire at some point to do some body recomp and you know, I think like that's, if there's if they want to go and like seek that out like secondarily. But I think there's this notion that we have to we have to diet down and then we're gonna go to muscle building that a lot you know, so I'm like, let's focus let's get you focused on building what you need to build like get your strength up like lay the foundation of getting some more muscle on your frame so that you are able to see your metabolism be a little bit more resilient and like less leveraged down into this like little box of I don't know that like 1000 to 1300 calorie range and a lot of women are in this like they're like I I can't seem to like eat anymore or I see my my body composition start shifting in a way that I don't like and I'm like we need to you know slowly get you eating a little bit more like relaxed some of the those like restrictive rules that you've had, and get you to a place where you're more you're more stable like I've what I would basically call more like maintenance and then And if you want to go and pursue that other stuff, but if you try to just go on, you know, try to do a fat loss phase, your protein is not adequate. And you're not resistance training. Yeah, we're going to end up in the same exact situation that you've been in. Right. So yeah, so that's the, the tactic that that I personally take with, with my clients and my students is like, let's get you to that. More to that mean, as level, like, let's get you feeling strong, let's get you feeling like you can sleep again, your recovery is better, you're feeling better overall. And then like, then if it's necessary for you to kind of dial things back. But the problem is, like I said, a lot of my clients come in, and they realize they've been under eating, they don't have a lot of distance left to cut, if any at all. And if they do, they're gonna end up eating less than their basal metabolic rate, or pretty close to it any attempt to feel not so hot if you're doing that for not a good thing. periods of time. So, you know, that's my approach.

Philip Pape:

I mean, that's one of the reasons I wanted to invite you on, because I think we need to have more of that message. There are many, many, many, you know, dieting type coaches out there. Not enough talking about building first and I've seen it with clients as well came in wanting to lose weight and hold on, let's just hang out here for a while started lifting weights and you just see a transformation in their mindset in so many ways. I think just the act of lifting and the physiological and hormonal response from that just elevate your mood. There's, there's, there's, there's actual pathways, right, that make us feel better about what we're doing. And then as the waist size decreases, anyway, like, okay, as a side benefit, it is improving my body composition. So

Steph Gaudreau:

sure, yeah, yeah, people I think just ended up coming to a bit of a more, I'm not gonna say it's without challenge. I mean, people are always like, Oh, would you started lifting weights? Like, did you did you get smaller? Did you lose weight or, and I'm like, No, I got bigger, I had to get bigger, close. But I was way was way happier, felt way better. So you know, I think it's important to have those conversations too. And recently, I was chatting with a friend of mine on her Instagram post, Jen Hossler. And we were talking about, you know, we're like, women, you will get bulky if you lift it, it's like, but we had to also be nuanced about this, like, if your, your muscles are probably going to grow. Like, you're probably gonna grow. I know, for me, I used to be a teacher and I would have all these, like, cute blouses with like, the little sleep cap sleeves, like, you know, and I was like, I can't wear that stuff anymore. I had to I had to get new shirts, and you know, those sorts of things. So yeah, it's no

Philip Pape:

muscle tissues dense. No,

Steph Gaudreau:

there is that, and it just makes you all around better at life. And, you know, we were talking earlier about, like, a more expansive life. And that's really, you know, you're, you're, you're feeling like you can, you can be with people and like, focus on the moment and not be worried about like, what your weight was on the scale this morning, or, you know, feeling like you can put that suitcase in the overhead bin. And it's nice that someone offered to help you, but you could do it on your own if you had to. Just like little things like that. You have experiences

Philip Pape:

if I saw you on a plane, I would not really you got it.

Steph Gaudreau:

You'd be surprised you'd be surprised by that. But yeah, it's uh, it's, you know, that idea of like, getting back up to that maintenance level or of, you know, shifting in terms of like your mindset on things. And I have a couple of newer students who on their own accord their boyfriends, and they were like, Oh, we decided like to get rid of our scale. And then they went through their closet and like, took all the clothes that weren't fitting them and put them aside, and those sorts of things. And it is a shift in your mindset is shifted, and like your approach, and especially if you've been used to being really restrictive, flipping that around saying like, having a an inclusive or an additive approach or thinking about like, what can I What Can I include here that I haven't included before? Yes.

Philip Pape:

By adding things in Yes. Yeah, for sure. Hey, this is Philip. And I hope you're enjoying this episode of Wits & Weights. If you're looking to connect with like minded listeners on their health and fitness journeys, come join our free Facebook community. It's a supportive space where you can share your experiences, ask questions, and access free guides and weekly trainings. Just search for Wits & Weights on Facebook, or find the link in the show notes. Now back to the show. You mentioned much earlier when we started that you when you started working your nutritionist you weren't entirely compliant because of fears and fears and limitations is this Yeah, we're talking about

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah, so when he came back to me and we looked at my food logs and I've like literally taken screenshots of these so people can see like I'm not just making this up, there was definitely a day in my week where I was like about 1000 calories. Fish, there were many days where I was, like 60 grams of carbs. And I'm trading, I'm training for competitive level CrossFit.

Philip Pape:

And that's keto, basically.

Steph Gaudreau:

But I had done so much. I had been eating so low carb for so long that that was just kind of how I again, it wasn't even just a, well, everybody's talking about, you just need to like cut your carbs. So you can be lean, which was one of the things I definitely talked, I was like, I just still want to like saline, I was like really concerned about body composition, which, again, is we're talking about performance here. But also this like mixing this with aesthetics, right. So that's something to be aware of. But my cars were really low, my protein was pretty low, as well. And that just gave me an overall really low energy intake. And so the thing I was like running headfirst into was to change my protein intake, which is generally what I recommend for my clients anyway, is like, if we're going to start any more like, let's, let's start with a little bit more protein and see how that goes. But when I kind of like went through this three phase approached to working with him, the next time we checked in, and he's like, so what's going on with this, like carb intake, and I was doing a little bit better, but still far too low. I mean, again, looks like less than 100 grams of carbs a

Philip Pape:

day, and you had to be it was in the two hundreds or something, right? Yeah,

Steph Gaudreau:

like it was. It was a, it was definitely the thing that I was the most resistant to. And this was back in the day, like we weren't doing, you know, we wouldn't have Voxer or WhatsApp check ins or those sorts of things. It was like, once a month, I would email him with like, Margaret. So I think what I what I needed was more support in terms of just talking through those those challenges, those mindset challenges, or the beliefs that I had, or, you know, even something as simple as, and he did talk about this, like in the feedback. But again, you kind of need to talk to a real person to just work through it sometimes or hear that other people are going through this. But it's like, well, this is why we need carbs, especially in our post workout and those sorts of things. But it was still it was still scary because I had been in that, like, eat low carb, low carb for so long. That shifting that was was a mental bit of a mental hurdle. At that time it took it took a lot of time.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I hear you're saying I and I've seen that as well. And it does seem to be more of the case with women and men for whatever reason, both the protein side with like, meat eating habits, you know, like, happiness scarfed down just tons of meat, that thinking about it, there's a difference, right? And then and then the carbs, especially especially if you condition with the low carb or the keto diet of late. And when you make that change all of a sudden, it's like, Why is everything feeling better? Why am I sleeping better, all of a sudden, I can lift more than that it just spirals into good stuff? Well, I'll tell you

Steph Gaudreau:

this, some of it is very cultural. And I've even had clients tell me that they would go out to eat. And this is actually happened to me go out to eat your order, someone else brings the food out. And they give you the wrong dish. Like I've had, for example, I've gone out and ordered, you know, a steak with potatoes or something and in my dining companion who's a guy or a salad, and they bring it to me, right? There's just assumptions, or I had a client tell me one time that she was she was reluctant to eat all the food on her plate because she felt it would be emasculating to the person she was eating with. So we have all of these really. Yeah, narratives about like, if you're a woman you have to eat release dainty tiny portions and how that intersects with diet culture, and then how that affects how we eat as as athletic people. And it's impossible to just talk about it in a silo when we start to pull back and see all those layers and how they they affect each other.

Philip Pape:

So I want to get a little bit into some couple questions. My community wanted me to ask you because it's super excited that you're coming on the podcast. Just have a few others then what about food intolerances. So yeah, you know, I've got clients, for example, and Hashimotos. Right, we have to avoid all sorts of things. Gluten, grains, beans there, it kind of sounds like the Paleo diet that, yeah, you're even more limited. And that limits are carb options, which is exactly what we're talking about why I want to segue. It's like, okay, well, we need 300 grams of carbs. I almost no foods that can give me carbs. Well, yeah.

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah. This is yeah, this is tough. And I do have a lot of students who have food intolerances clients as well. So like you said, whether it's it's dairy, which can make protein a challenge, or just harder, right delimits your options, or you know, like, like you said, Um, gluten containing grains, I think that the end of the day, you have to just find what works. And run with that. And that could mean for example, if you can tolerate, I don't know, we're talking about like tubers, so potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. Like, let's get you as much variety within your limitations as possible. And, and work to toward the most variety as you possibly can get an understanding to and I see this a lot with these, with individuals that have this challenges. Sometimes they gravitate a little bit, they lean into I'll say, because of necessity, really fibrous, LivePerson vegetables as, as kind of the basis of what they're doing. And again, if they're doing long training, endurance training, or you know, intense training, it's like, how do we get the how do we get the density of carbohydrates that we need, especially around training? digestibility? Yeah, yeah. And so sometimes it's like, you know, this food is just so high volume, which is fibers great. Right, we need a fiber, or something else. Yeah, like, so it could be, for example, like, maybe they're able to tolerate something like banana. So eating banana postworkout, or something like that instead of fluffy salad. Because the salad might have some carbohydrate in it, and primarily from fiber, or what you put on top of it, but maybe they're able to tolerate something like white rice. And so like looking for those options. And yeah, I have so much empathy for people who are in that position, because it's just a little bit more limited in terms of what they can oftentimes tolerate. But usually, you know, if we work closely enough, we're able to sort of, like explore other options. And I'll say this, too. There were definitely foods that gravitated away from when I was eating more low carb, not not necessarily because of necessity, but because like, that's just what you did. And I would go to the grocery store, and it was like, I couldn't even see these. Yeah. He just blanked it out. Right. And so I oftentimes have that conversation with people that are like, Oh, I stopped eating fruit. Really? Right. So you know, potentially, potentially, you know, could you add in maybe some fruit or like I said, potatoes, I know so many people that were like, Oh, I you know, I reintroduced them and new on autoimmune protocol, I think that's one of the things you eliminate for a while, and then you can kind of welcome back in potentially, and just test and see how you do. And there are some denser carbohydrate options that aren't like gluten containing grains for people,

Philip Pape:

so No, that's good. Regarding variety, I just what came to mind is, of course, there's many ways to cook things, too, right? So if you're gonna eat potatoes, like in a prison, where they're gonna give it to you the same way every day, you get to try and this you're not fried, but you know, cook them a million different ways. Yeah,

Steph Gaudreau:

totally. And I will say, for people that are trying to just get in enough calories, like that's a concern for them. You know, sometimes we talk about like, oh, liquid, like don't eat your calorie or don't, don't drink your calories, you should be eating your calories. And it's like, actually, to some people that can end up working against them. So if you're somebody who is struggling to get enough food to meet your activity level, and you do have some more limited options, like could you put it in a smoothie and drink it? Post post workout or something just so you're able to like, chew a little bit less? And increase the density? Yeah, yeah. Again, oh, some people will be like, I need to do the opposite. And that's why customizing and personalizing is so important.

Philip Pape:

Cool. Yeah. And there. I mean, there's something like there's highly branched cyclic dextran, too, I guess as an option for Yeah, for carbs. Yeah, totally. And then what about women fueling or fueling their training based on their menstrual cycle? Or menopause status? Things? Yeah.

Steph Gaudreau:

So this is really, really interesting. Because if we look at, for example, what happens in terms of the menstrual cycle, and we're looking at protein oxidation or carbohydrate oxidation. So for example, let's take protein, protein oxidation or protein breakdown seems to increase in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. And I have seen that's like a bad game of telephone. I think people are well intentioned. But what I have seen on social media is it that translates into literally I saw one time, there was a post that said you should eat twice as much protein in the luteal phase. And I was like,

Philip Pape:

this massive reaction to it. Wow, like,

Steph Gaudreau:

oh, that's, that's right. That's a big, that's a big leap, especially if you're already getting a pretty adequate amount of protein. So I think we need to be a little bit cognizant of this cycle like cycle based eating cycle based training, even like we do not currently have enough research to draw universal recommendations on exercise. Like how to how to shift all of your exercise depending on what week of the menstrual cycle you're in.

Philip Pape:

Would there ever be because it's content vary so much from person to person.

Steph Gaudreau:

Well, that's the thing that, as of as of what we know, right now, the best recommendations that we have are an N equals one approach to that training, yeah. And again, this is kind of where you see like those circle graphs on social media, it's cut into four, four pieces. And each wedge is like when we hit the menstrual cycle. And it's like, in week one, you should do this. And week two, you should do this and be three, you should do this. And I'm like, most people are struggling to even find, like, some kind of consistency in their schedule than to have to plan for different weeks of like exercise. Now, does that mean we shouldn't be flexible? Of course, not like there's going to be some days where or so weeks where maybe you feel great, the last week of your cycle, maybe you feel terrible, you, you kind of play it by ear and give yourself flexibility. And that's where that n equals one approach is really important. You know, there are some things you can think about in terms of just overall nutrient intake, like, making sure and but I think what it comes down to is, again, like those basic principles, like you said, at the top of the show, and I'm really big on principles as well, like, when we include more variety we get we cover more of our micronutrients, right, versus having a just a few different foods that we eat, you know, making sure we're getting adequate protein intake and getting as high quality protein as we can means we're getting adequate amino acid intake. Right? So yes, there are some some things to consider you mentioned menopause, I mean, we have a risk of cardiovascular disease that increases as women, once we're in that menopause window, which is then going to be for the rest of our life, we see an increase in cardiovascular risk. So saturated fat intake, for example, could be really important to just kind of keep an eye on that calcium intake going to be important for bone health, along with other factors, right. So these these things don't exist in a silo in terms of how they're being metabolized and used in the body. That protein intake we talked about, if somebody's experiencing, for example, insulin resistance isn't necessarily Is it necessary to like not eat any carbohydrates ever again? Probably not, it's probably not going to be really work for people. There are some people who I think are like, I find this incredibly liberating. But that's where we had to be really careful about making sure you're eating enough again to like cover your, your carbohydrate need, but that might just be less sugar, less like refined sugar, less alcohol, or Whole Foods, more fiber. And it doesn't sound that doesn't sound trendy, slash sexy or proprietary. Unfortunately, this is just kind of like common sense or basic, like sound nutritional advice and

Philip Pape:

principles. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And oftentimes, people ask these questions. Sure. It's the wrong question. Because yeah, doing these other things first,

Steph Gaudreau:

right? Well, you know, there are things like energy balance. So you know, if weight weight increases, is a concern is like, are we just meat? You know, how are we helping you kind of eaten a volume of satiating foods, right, so that you're, you know, not just constantly eating because you don't feel satisfied. So those things can be on the table, depending on what the person comes in with. But I will say, a lot of people who I run into in this category are also dealing with, like food is an emotional coping mechanism. And other things that are, are more than just knowing how much food to put on your plate, which is, again, why I support and working with somebody who can who can help you tease through all these things can really be useful. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

I agree. I mean, we can we can shout from the rooftops all the strategies, exactly what you need to do from A to Z. And you're gonna have you answered every single question. As you know, that isn't always enough when you're dealing with these other issues. So underlying, underlying all of this is being an athlete, and aging and how we maximize this phase of life is lifting, right? We haven't really talked too much about lifting like in specific, but let's do it. Yeah. So what are the I mean, and I've talked about a lot on the show, too, but I want to hear from you like, what are the real big benefits of lifting, especially for women over 40? And then we can segue into some basic recommendations on getting started there.

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah, so I think I mentioned earlier, we need enough mechanical tension, as part of, you know, how our muscle is actually going to like, grow and repair and build. So it's important that we're we're lifting challenging enough weights. Again, like a lot of people are like, ah, like I already know, I already know this, but lifting challenging enough weights so that you're able to have the stimulus to then rip, you know, you have your repair, you have your fatigue, you have your repair and then you have your adaptation. So we need enough stimulus to provide that adaptation, unfortunately, because society has a narrative that people who are like over 40 are basically one foot in the grave, which is ridiculous. You know, we should only do easy stuff, you should only do gentle exercise, you know, this is going to hurt your joints like we have, we've had. Like, if you've got a bad knee from, you know, something that happened when you were 20 Like, and of course, there can be pain without injury and injury without pain. And like, that's all a pain science is very complex. And I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in this. But disuse is also a huge problem. Like, if we're not using our muscles, we're not using our body, like things are gonna start to hurt. You know, we get those aches and pains. Do you need to go benchpress 400 pounds in your garage? Of course not. But we need to be sensible about this stuff and understand that physiologically, if we expect our bodies to get stronger, we have to apply a stimulus that we can then get an adaptation from. And so if we're only ever lifting tiny little weights, and I get served these reels on Facebook, Facebook must think you know, it knows I'm in my mid 40s. And it serves me the craziest reals. Like, I can't even tell you I saw one the other day that was like, Do this exercise to tone your turkey neck and I took a screenshot and synthesis of this is the content that we're getting, right? Where it's all everything is a tiny weight. Yeah, colored colored dumbbells and everything is done for like 20 to 30 reps, which is, isn't it? You know, is muscular endurance invalid? Of course not. But when we see these things, again, as women over 40, we're like, there's still a lot of verbiage like I want to get toned, I want to, you know, book XYZ, and then painting the picture of what it takes to actually get there is very misleading. So are we do we have enough stimulus? Are we lifting heavy enough? Are we following progressive overload? Are we taking care of our soft tissue, right? Because as we lose estrogen, through the menopause transition, our our ligaments, tendons, and you see I have, I've hurt my finger at jujitsu a couple months ago. So I'm dealing, I think with some of this as well, but it's like, we're just those, those connective tissues aren't quite as forgiving as they used to be. Right? Maybe our the rest of our life has become very sedentary, then we go into gym, and we expect our body to do a lot of stuff. So are we taking care of our soft tissue? are we introducing exercises that help us to stay stay powerful, and to also help with our bone? Density? Right? So plyometrics? are we including those again, these are like things that I'm talking to my, my students and my clients about, and they're like, Oh, by her jumping is bad for you. And I'm like, Well, we are going to have to help you start doing it with good mechanics. But sitting and doing nothing is also not helping, we will tend tend to lose type two fibers, right? That shift from type 2x sensor to slide toward type two, type one. And so are we able to move powerfully? Are we avoiding that? Dyna Peenya. Right, which is the kind of sister to sarcopenia, which is the loss of explosive power, you know, for feel like we're slowing down. But are we training in that way? Are we doing cardiovascular training, and that's like a whole other thing, too. But it's not like one or the other. There's a reason why the exercise guidelines in this country as well as in Canada, and I'm sure other countries includes both. So we have to stop painting one against the other, we have to stop thinking that we're like, too fragile to do this, in fact, doing these sorts of things in a sensible way. With a with a good plan, and paying attention to our bodies and giving enough recovery and the nutrition to support it is how we become more resilient. Physically. Yes, you may have to adapt things. And so I hear this a lot also from people in my community, which is like, I can't do squats. And I'm like, guess what, there's like 100 other ways we can work your you know, like muscles. So like, let's

Philip Pape:

find out even if that's even a true statement and you want to be empathetic. You also want to unravel that and be like What do you mean because I know I just had somebody like three weeks ago who was saying that and it was like my hip flexors and this and that and the other end like can you squat to a box without any weight? Yeah, no problem. You can squat the squat put a broom handle and add a little weight let's see if you can do that and then the next step in the next step, but I think a lot of people are afraid because they haven't gotten haven't squatted since they were like eight and it's just a weird position and there's lots of balance issues and all this other stuff right so

Steph Gaudreau:

scary to right people are free to paint is like a not a fun thing. And unfortunately and this is like even kind of a shift in like how PT is being addressed. And again, a non physical therapist, but friends with people who are more in the new school, which is like we had to be really careful about psychologically what we put in people's minds about, about pain or about what it means or about, like, giving them that like, then lifelong sense of limitation that you can't or shouldn't I have a client who was told she shouldn't hinge and I was like, Well, how do you do your How do you do your farmers carries? How do you sit farmers carries the chemicals like well, how do you do your farmers carries? And she was like, Oh, yeah. Okay. So she's like she's hinging, right. How do you how do you? How do you do anything? How to pick something up off the shelf? Yeah. So obviously, like, are we going to load this client with her Max, conventional deadlift, like on day one, of course not. But looking for ways to, to modify movements to work up to movements to, you know, drill sound mechanics, but without making people afraid, I think is so lacking in, especially in people over 40. And then like, just learning that, hey, if you've been I see this all the time, it's like, you've come off a period of inactivity, which is fine. But we also had to like, pull you back a little bit. Sometimes if you have that athlete mentality. Sure. The other side of it, yeah, because you're like, Alright, I'm gonna go go. So like, my first workout back was Murph, like, let's not do that, because you're probably not gonna walk for three weeks? Oh, yeah. Right.

Philip Pape:

So funny. And there's a, there's a cause and effect, that sometimes it's turned around, like you mentioned a bad like, my knees are bad. So I'm not going to squat. Whereas it's like, Well, why don't we squat to help your knees? You don't like that mentality? How many? Do you find that this is just so common still, that people don't understand the very basic premise of lifting heavy and, you know, stimulus, adaptation, recovery and all that like I do? So do you?

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah, absolutely. Crazy. Yeah. This is the reason why it's a principle that I teach in my course, yeah, I teach to my students, because I, they might very well not be programming for themselves. In fact, there's a very low likelihood that they're doing their own programming. And in fact, some of them I'm like, stop, stop making up your own workouts. Yeah, follow this plan, or go work with this coach, like, because they're credible. And there's good coaches, there's even good templates just stop Bulgarian split squatting six times a week, or stop heavy, deadlifting, five times a week, like, if it's truly having enough, you're not gonna be able to recover from it any way that would that frequency so, but I want them to feel empowered, when they go into a gym, or they work with their coach or their trainer, they see the workout of the day that they're able to understand and rationalize also how the recovery pieces and the nutrition pieces fit in there. So that they're able to sometimes make that choice of like, you know, what, yeah, I haven't slept great. In the last few days, like I've been having hot flashes, it's keeping me up at night, or work has been bananas, and I've not really eaten very well, like, I don't feel great, my energy super low. Maybe today isn't the day that I'm going to push for a one rep max or something like that, I'm going to, you know, leave it to RPE a little bit more, or those sorts of things, and adapt the workout. So helping them understand physiologically How it works is really important, because a lot of people aren't professionals in this field, like they don't have that, that education and adult learners really need to understand the rationale, the reasons why, if they're going to adopt something, especially if it's a new thing, and it's a little bit like, I don't know, this kind of contradicts with, like, a lot of the stuff I've ever seen out in the world, or I've been told about how the body works. So

Philip Pape:

I totally agree, because otherwise you're left in this, this level of uncertainty where the information out there just comes in fast and furious. And if you don't know any of it works, you're just going to pick something right? By explaining it and saying, This is why this is the absolute absolute best, but really, it is I mean, there are some principles that are just superior, right? And with confidence, like we do in podcast and like you're doing it with your coaching and training, then they can you know, maybe do it on their own, that's cool, or maybe get the help that they need. So an hour has flown by really fast and stuff. I've really enjoyed talking to you. Yeah. Yeah, so and you've got your podcast too, that reaches out to a lot of people as well is there what do you do for fun outside the fitness space?

Steph Gaudreau:

Gosh, a lot of the things that I do even for fun are our fitness focus. I feel like you know, I was I was put on this planet at this time to encourage encourage people to, you know, to be active and, and to feel like the benefits of that whether or not it's Whether or not you ever compete is just like how movement benefits your life and it doesn't have to be horrible and something that you paid or that you know all that kind of stuff. Yeah so out let's see, I really like to I really like Lord of the Rings I really I really

Philip Pape:

trilogy ever right?

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah, the best trilogy ever. I like secretly like to put together Legos. Lego sets in and stuff with my husband. Yeah, I like live a pretty, pretty low key life like it's, you know, it's I'm just trying to enjoy every day as much as possible. And, you know, do Brazilian jujitsu outside of lifting. I do rucking and I'm involved with some racking events as well. So yeah, right. Yeah. Well,

Philip Pape:

well, just to respect your time, I'm gonna ask you my the same question I asked every guest. And one question Did you wish I had asked, and what is your answer?

Steph Gaudreau:

Oh, gosh, okay. I think one of the things people, one of the things I wish people would talk more about is this idea of optimizing, sort of like biohacking, and like, what my thoughts are on that. So, you know, it's really easy to see this list of like, 18 things you're supposed to do before eight o'clock in the morning. And, you know, recently I made a mean Instagram story about, you know, this, this concept of like, you're not supposed shouldn't drink coffee for 90 minutes upon waking, and those sorts of things. And yes, there's like a physiological basis to this. But the person I saw talking about it said, like, drinking coffee before then is literally pointless is the words that this person used. And I was like, Wait a minute. So I think you know, we have to be a little bit careful sometimes in our zest to biohack everything because of a few factors. But one of the most important ones, I think, is like we kind of miss some of the other strategies and principles, as we talked about that are even if we can nudge them a small percentage, are going to pay back dividends to like how we feel our health and well being much greater than some of the like the little hacks in you know, optimizing things that we see a decade popularity, you know, or they come back around like, yeah, like cold plunge, or, you know, like morning sunlight and red light therapy, like all these things, like they're, you know, in a lot of ways, like there's a basis for these things. But for a lot of the average more average folks that I've worked with, and I don't say that in a negative way, like I consider myself to be an average person who just really likes fitness, I'm not, I'm not incredibly gifted at any one thing, and I don't get paid to work out. I think that sometimes we we kind of see like, what's hot, and what's popular and things like I feel a lot of pressure, like, I should do this thing, too. And if I'm not that I'm not doing a good enough job, or I'm somehow somehow failing at this, or I'm feeling a lot of undue like stress or anxiety about having to do all of these things. And so I guess if you have like the money, it feels like real fun to you. And it's something that you're curious about, and it feels like it fits in really well with your life. That's cool. But I also want to encourage people to sometimes just like, take a beat. And think about like, Am I doing some of these basics? And can I nudge these basics a little bit better first, before I put a lot of stress and pressure on myself to have to like, go through this list of biohacking things and optimize every single strategy. So yeah, I think that's just one that I'm seeing a lot lately, and I'm hearing from people is a lot of pressure to do all of these things. And I'm like, what if you did like, three things and did that really well? Yeah. And they're like, oh, yeah, I didn't think about that.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I mean, there's so and there's so many like grounding, and there's everything else. If you just did it all you you'd spend four hours a day just by the right kind of it gives you this little bit of anxiety, like all this stuff. So I like what you said, you know, the nutrition and strain pyramids are there's very, very, there's similar models to that, where supplements are at the top. So biohacking hacking would be like, like a beetle on top of the pyramid, you know, like standing on the tip. Totally. Okay, cool. So, where can listeners learn about your stuff?

Steph Gaudreau:

Yeah, so you can check out my Podcasts, it's fuel your strength podcast. Fun fact is that this week is the eighth anniversary of the podcasts in his different iterations. Feels like really long time. So we have a podcast. I'm probably most active on Instagram, on social media. And then of course, my website, Steph gaudreau.com.

Philip Pape:

All Awesome. Those will definitely go in the show links. And yeah, you were super responsive to me, so I appreciate it. Yeah, it's awesome having you on the show. Yes, refreshing take on women over 40 lifting and being an athlete all this awesome stuff fueling yourself. Thank you again for coming on the show.

Steph Gaudreau:

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Philip Pape:

Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits & Weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up their Wits & Weights. Please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong.

Podcasts we love