33 The Women of InForm Fitness

InForm Fitness Podcast


Joining us in Episode 33 – The Women of InForm Fitness are Sheila Melody and Ann Webb Kirkland from the InForm Fitness, Burbank/Toluca Lake location and Nicole Gustavson from the Leesburg and Reston, Virginia InForm Fitness Locations.

This one’s for the girls and Sheila, Ann, and Nicole discuss:
  • The main issues they encounter with their female InForm Fitness clients
  • Whether or not there is anything special about the Power of Ten Workout specific to females
  • The battle between a client’s desire for weight loss  or body composition
  • The pursuit for vitality and strength over just being skinny
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Intro:               So to me, it was all about whatever I can to do to be thin. I had never thought about muscle, I had never even given it any thought until I needed it, but even then, it was engrained in my head still that muscle was masculine, it was macho. I didn’t even know what the goal was, that’s the point. So now, when I talk to women and they’re talking about how much they weigh and I say, let’s talk in terms of body composition, and we have the conversations about bulking up. All they want to do is really, they want to lose weight, and of course they want to be healthy but that’s second to looking good, right? The real sell is that muscle is your avenue to reach those goals, whatever they be; whether it’s looking good naked in the mirror, or I want to live as long as possible and I want my quality of life to be as optimal, as superior as possible.

Tim:                 InForm Nation, welcome to Episode 33 of the InForm Fitness Podcast. Twenty minutes or more with Adam Zickerman and friends. I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network, and client of InForm Fitness, and today, we have a very special edition of the InForm Fitness Podcast, because we said it’s Adam Zickerman and friends, but Adam, why don’t you go ahead and introduce the friends that are joining us today?

Adam:             Friends in every sense of the word, friends. So today we have with us three of my favorite women, aside from my wife. We have Sheila with us, which we all know, she’s been with us since the beginning, and we have Ann Kirkland, who’s our senior trainer over at Burbank and she’s a rockstar, and again, sexy, and just all around an amazing person. And of course we have Nicole Gustavson, my partner in crime in our Virginia location, and again, she’s my muse, she’s one of the most honorable and beautiful people I’ve ever met in my life quite honestly, and we’re here today — I’m going to take a backseat to these fabulous women and listen to them talk about everything about women and exercise. Of course we have Mike also who’s going to sit down with us and kind of take a backseat which is very hard for him.

Mike:               Well I could dress up like a woman but you guys don’t want to see it. I look like Sarah Jessica Parker when I do that.

Tim:                 Or her ugly cousin. So Sheila, this episode is for the girls, and this is something you and I have talked about for quite some time. You’re getting a lot of feedback from your clients at InForm Fitness, and sometimes, this podcast, because there’s three men on the show and you…

Sheila:             Three men and a woman.

Tim:                 It’s a little testosterone heavy at times, right? So this one is for the girls.

Sheila:             Well yeah, and I’m always trying to get my opinion in there and trying to be the voice of those women, but I thought, you know what — I’m so excited about today because I have, Adam has a lot of women involved with InForm Fitness, and these two are the most, the strongest women, literally and figuratively, and they’re very dynamic and I cannot wait to have this conversation because we’re just going to talk about how we all got involved in this, and what are some of the main issues that we encounter with our women clients. So I just want to kind of reiterate or refresh everybody’s memory on how I got involved with this. I was introduced to this workout in 2005 where I was introduced to Greg Burns, who’s one of the old school guys. He’s in Calabasas and I used to work out with him. He gave me a book, The Power of Ten by Adam Zickerman, so I was aware of Adam and then Greg kept telling me, you should get certified, you should get certified. You have good genetics, you should get certified, so I finally decided to get certified —

Adam:             Well as everyone knows, [Inaudible: 00:04:19]

Sheila:             I know, Greg’s always talking about genetics which, you know, another one like Ryan Hall. So I decided to do that in 2010, and that’s when I met Adam, and it was literally one of the best things I ever decided to do. Went through the whole certification course, just felt like this whole new world opened for me, and then in 2012, the opportunity came up for us to open the InForm Fitness in Burbank, California. So now it’s my whole world, and I want to introduce now one of the second women that got involved like maybe, just a few months after we opened the InForm Fitness in Burbank, we heard, okay, there’s another location opening in Virginia so I’d like to introduce everybody in the podcast to Nicole Gustavson, who now owns not one, but two InForm Fitness locations. So Nicole, welcome!

Nicole:             Thank you.

Sheila:             Why don’t you explain to us how you got into this workout? How did you find out about this workout, how did you get involved with — how did you meet Adam, how did this all come about for you?

Nicole:             I would say that even being involved in the industry, the health and wellness industry, the fitness industry, was the furthest thing from my agenda. I studied economics in college, I went on to get a masters in economics and business management. My whole focus was foreign exchange, investment management, and I went on to law school. In the fall of 2008, I had twin girls, and the three months prior to the delivery of my girls, I was in pretty poor shape. Without getting too far into it, I was getting told that I was not going to have kids, that I could not have kids. Then much surprise to me, I was pregnant and then even a bigger surprise, when my doctors said that I was having twins. So I had to take some precautions. I was in horrible physical shape by the time that my girls came, not to mention that I now had two newborn kids and my doctor said to me, this is going to sound nuts, but as soon as you can, you have to go see my personal strength trainer in downtown San Francisco, which is where I lived. He said you have got to do this workout because you have no time, you have no tolerance for injury, and you have no strength, and you’re in pretty bad shape. He said to me then that the good news, it’s only 20 minutes once a week, the bad news is that it’s going to be the worst 20 minutes of your whole week, but it’s going to work. So that’s how I was first — before then, I had exercised for the aesthetics, I had exercised for vanity. I had never considered being unhealthy. I had just been so lucky and had never really given any consideration to my own health, no less how I was going to take care of these two girls. So when I moved to Virginia, I moved to Virginia when the girls were five months old. I found another trainer who did exactly this, and four years of being a client myself, I started to delve a little deeper into the research. Which led me first to Ken, it led me to a handful of books that I devoured. Adam’s book was included, and I actually got on planes and went out and met the authors of those books, Adam included. When I met Adam, I said you’re it. I just loved him.

Adam:             Love at first sight.

Sheila:             So when you talk about Ken, you’re talking about Ken Hutchens who was the founder of this super slow movement and that’s who Adam learned from.

Adam:             Among others, yes, absolutely.

Nicole:             So when I said this was not my plan at all, what I actually found was I mean, as a new business owner for years, everyone asks me my why. This has just changed the game for me in every way, this has just changed my life, and it was out of necessity. I was a complete cynic but I tried it because I didn’t really have a better plan, and it was just the product of what happened to me physically and mentally, in the course of five years of being a client, that when I decided — I decided to open up my own business before I knew what my product was, and there it was. It was the game changer, the life changer, for me. When people ask my why, I say this has just completely changed my life, and I can’t imagine standing behind anything else.

Sheila:             Wow Nicole, that is a really powerful story, and all of your clients must be — if I were coming in and attempting to try out the workout, if I heard that story, I’d be like wow, I’m in, without even trying it.

Nicole:             You can’t make this stuff up.

Sheila:             Yeah, exactly. So now I’d like to introduce one of my favorite people of all time too, Miss Annie, Ann Kirkland. She is our senior trainer as Adam said in L.A, and she was a personal friend of mine, and I brought her in on this. So welcome to the podcast!

Ann:                Hi everybody.

Sheila:             What I would like you to tell everybody Ann is first of all, your journey with strength training and body building, and then how we got into all of this.

Ann:                Alright, I guess I could take it way back. When I was probably in grade school, I used to watch one of my three brothers on the back patio with all of his three brothers, lifting weights, and over a period of time, I’d watch their bodies change and I’d be like dang, he’s getting pretty sizey. He started getting into bodybuilding, and watching on the sidelines going, that’s pretty cool, and then moving on with my day but then it stuck with me. I hated P.E. throughout my entire life in school. I’d do anything to avoid group sports, then I discovered weight lifting on my own. I always had this fascination with it after being physically introduced to it I guess. I always wanted to do it but never wanted to do it the wrong way, so I put it off until I had a chance to learn it correctly. So I picked up what I could with whatever information I had way back in what, 1984 when I started my first journey with a pair of dumbbells. Then I get involved with a guy who happened to be a certified trainer, wasn’t practicing as a trainer but he had a lot of knowledge, and he said, let me bring you into a gym and train you the proper way. I said, oh God, please don’t take me into a gym, there are people in there, I don’t want to be around people. So reluctantly I went in, he literally dragged me in there basically by the earlobe, and then took me through a workout, and I said where do I sign up? I never looked back, that was a long time ago. That was 1991 when I joined my first gym, and it was the kind of gym where Corey Everson trained there, so it was off the beat and track, it wasn’t a popular scene gym. It was based out of Woodland Hills, California, so I fell in love with the whole — because I had him introduce it to me the proper way, he taught me how to split routine, he taught me proper form. Speed was never allowed — overall to this day, I was introduced to it very well, so I stuck with it and he created a monster, and —

Adam:             Then you dumped his ass.

Ann:                I had to, that’s another podcast, okay? Don’t even get me started on that, but I always will thank him for giving me the gift of proper strength training. So anyway —

Adam:             But you still dumped his ass.

Ann:                I did, I did.

Tim:                 And good thing too because she has a winner sitting behind her right here in the studio.

Ann:                Yes, I do. So I went on with it and I remained an enthusiast and a hobbyist, working full-time jobs and going to the gym after, like most of us do. Then it just — I got involved with going to a nutritionist out in Venice Beach, who was introduced to me by the guy who was the vice president of the company, which I worked [at] at the time, and his name is Matt Mahowald, at New Performance Nutrition, and he changed my life. He was my game changer, so after a period of time of going to him on a weekly basis, first of all, in thirty days he changed my body just by simply having me eat differently, and it was done on a very individualized basis. You don’t go in there and get a book, like go, eat these foods, this is a diet that one should do. That’s not how it’s done, not for me, not for anybody. So that’s a big obstacle for a lot of people, women especially. Needless to say, after a number of months of going to him on a regular basis, my body composition went into almost pre-competition shape, it was amazing what — as long as I did what he said, it was amazing. He sat me down one day and said, what are you doing working in a cubicle, please go get a certification and work for me, and I said, how am I going to ever survive earning — I can’t survive on that kind of thing, there’s no way I can make a living and he said, you want to bet? Go get certified and work for me and you’ll never go hungry and he was right. So I started out as a personal trainer full time in March of 2003 when the company I was working for was going under, and I was going down with the ship and I got the phone call right in time before the Titanic went down. And he said that’s it, I need a trainer. He didn’t even say hello when I answered the phone, he said, so, I need a trainer, so that was my cue to jump ship, go full time, leave behind my benefits, my predictable income, my 401K, everything that I was familiar with, my regular hours.

Sheila:             And then you got thrown into the fire. You got thrown into the fire.

Ann:                He gave me a list of clients that were not easy, not at all. I had a lot of challenging clients and here I was, green. I had been certified a year but never practiced really, so that was — other than training my friends after work, alright. So that changed my life, that is when things got serious. I got very busy and became pretty successful actually, and then time goes on and here we are, and Sheila keeps talking about oh, I got this thing that I’m doing, and like Nicole, I was skeptical. I’m like a once a week, come on. Slow, yeah whatever.

Sheila:             Well Ann was my trainer first.

Ann:                Yeah, I did.

Sheila:             Before I met Adam, before I got into all of this, Ann was my trainer.

Ann:                Yeah, Sheila was one of my in-home clients. She lived about 90 seconds away from where Gene and I used to leave, so she caught me finally. We were across town and we found each other in the drugstore, just by chance, and she says hey, I’ve been meaning to look for you. I’ve got to call you, I’ve got to talk to you, I need a trainer. That was at a point in my life where I was just so exhausted from trying to do the grind, I really did hit a wall, I burned out, and so I said, alright, I’m listening, tell me about this again. So she said, better you just come to the studio and let me work you out. I said okay. So in I went, and I got my first workout and head was blown right off my shoulders. I had never experienced that kind of depth of muscle activation as I did with that one workout she gave me, and I was like alright, what do I do, how do I do this.

Sheila:             And then we had her talk to Adam, and that was —

Ann:                Yep, got on the phone with Adam. He gave me some — he was sort of vetting me over the phone, asking me questions like, when you train abs, do you wait for the end or what did you ask me Adam, it was funny.

Adam:             No idea.

Ann:                You asked me if I were going to train somebody and I was going to deliver an abdominal exercise, would I do it in the beginning, middle, or end and I said, well, typically in the end because we utilize the abs to help support all the other work we’re doing and that I guess won him over, because he wanted to talk to me after that. Then he said, alright, light is green, let’s go. He asked me my belief system about cardio too.

Adam:             Well you had me at [Inaudible: 00:17:16]

Ann:                Yes, we’re all [Inaudible: 00:17:21], that’s all good.

Sheila:             So Nicole, when you first started doing this workout, tell us a little bit about your experience physically. What happened with you and what did you start noticing and those kinds of things, and your continual experience with this. For me, it’s been something that continues to be refined and continues to be refined over the years.

Adam:             The big question is for me, does it matter? Does it matter that you’re a woman, is there anything special about this workout specific to a woman, or does it matter what sex you are?

Nicole:             Yes, my answer will hit both of your questions. I don’t recall ever giving any consideration to body composition before. I recall all of my efforts in exercise and fitness to be completely about vanity, it was about burning calories, that’s what I was told. I behaved like the typical person, I was gung-ho for a month here and I’d burn out there. I hurt myself in between but for me, it was all about whatever I can do to be thin, right? I had never thought about muscle, I had never even given it any thought until I needed it, but even then, it was engrained in my head still that muscle was masculine, it was macho. I didn’t even know what the goal was, that’s the point. So now, when I talk to women and they’re talking about how much they weigh and I say, let’s talk in terms of body composition, and we have the conversations about bulking up. All they want to do is really, they want to lose weight, and of course they want to be healthy but that’s second to looking good, right? When I can make a real case for muscle, being their avenue to all of their goals, it doesn’t matter how they prioritize them. Their priorities don’t have to align with mine. The real sell is that muscle is your avenue to reach those goals, whatever they be; whether it’s looking good naked in the mirror, or I want to live as long as possible and I want my quality of life to be as optimal, as superior as possible. So my goals have changed but it doesn’t really matter. When I talk to women and I can sell them on muscle, and I can change their reverse thinking about much of the same thinking that I had. That muscle was going to be unattractive, that was meaningless to me. As I said, I stand behind this because I’ve experienced it. I remember times where I did something physically and said well how, how did I do that, or the times that I started to see the definition in my body. The first time I started to think that muscle was sexy, and sexier and now for me, will always be sexier than being thin. Being strong and feeling empowered, and that carrying onto into — it’s like a domino effect into so many other decisions in your life when you’re doing something so beneficial and empowering as strength training. It’s not a hard sell, and women just — they can identify with me because I shared their thinking at one time.

Adam:             Are women still worried about bulking up? Are you still meeting women that come into the gym saying, I don’t want to bulk up, or are you finding that they’re a little more aware of the benefits of building muscle?

Nicole:             I have found more often that when women say, I don’t want to bulk up, what they are saying is, it’s their polite way of saying strength training isn’t for me, let’s not waste our time on that because what I need is cardio. I need to burn calories. That’s their way of saying, I’m going to tell you how to train me.

Sheila:             Yeah, well Ann brought something up yesterday. We were talking about this, the expectations that we have to kind of change those expectations and sometimes they’d never really thought of it that way. Just like we had never thought of it that way before we kind of were introduced to this and experienced it. Never thought about why you would want to have muscle, and that tone, toning up, is actually muscle. So Ann, you were saying yesterday about when you have somebody new come in, a woman come in, and they basically — what was the woman that came in the other day?

Ann:                Well she just stated firmly, I need to look and feel different in four workouts. I said okay.

Sheila:             Thirty days.

Ann:                I said you might feel different, I don’t know how you’re going to look in four workouts because that’s basically a month. Depending on how you’re eating and what your genetics dictate, it’s going to be a lot of factors going on. How much sleep you’re getting, are you doing all the right things. I can’t control what people do once they leave the studio, but trying to get people to understand is well… as realistically as I can, how on Earth do we get it into everybody’s minds to settle in and enjoy the journey, and stop looking for that overnight change. It’s not something that — it may or may not happen quickly. For some, it’ll happen faster than others. What is it, define it. It could be, for them, like Nicole says, weight loss. Usually that’s generally the premise when people come in, I just want to lose weight, how long will it take? It’s a really tough question to answer because there’s a lot of things that you have to factor in, but the one thing I will tell everybody who comes in with that accelerated timeline in their head. I’m going to say look, you’re going to be stronger next week than you were this week. I’ll tell you that, and if you do this every week, your strength gains will be very measurable, and in a time period that’s probably sooner than you can imagine, and you’re going to get very strong, and then we get into the, oh but I don’t want to get bulky. I’m like no, no, strength and size are not necessarily synonymous.

Adam:             When I do a consult with a woman, they always say they don’t want to bulk up, and my answer to them actually is yes you do, and of course they’re like what, and I go into the whole benefit of muscle, but I say, you should be so lucky that you’d bulk up so quickly. That’s a dream to be able to bulk up. That’d only mean we can workout less if you have that tendency, but most women don’t have that tendency. So I say it for kind of like the shock value to wake them up a little bit.

Sheila:             Then you have to explain to them why, why do they want to be strong, because they might not have put those two things together; why do I want to be strong, and then as you get older, that’s why I think some of our, the majority of our clients are middle aged to older women because they start to finally go, I want to just be able to know that I’m not going to injure myself. I want to be able to do the same things that I was doing before. You feel more energetic, you’re able to lift things, carry things. You’re more autonomous, you don’t have to have help from people.

Adam:             We had a ninety year old woman client who fell down a flight of stairs and literally a week later, she came in all bruised up, on her face and everything, but she actually was able to work out. Her doctor asked her, like how did you do that, how did you not get seriously hurt, and she said well I’ve been strength training with high intensity exercise. He said well, that saved your life. I’ll never forget that story, for women and men. To be ninety years old and fall down a flight of stairs, again, that’s usually a very serious situation.

Nicole:             And how long had she been a client, Adam?

Adam:             Good question. At that point, she was a client for several years. She used to — another point about her actually, now that you bring it up, is when she first started working out with us, she was unstable on her feet. She used a cane and a walker to stabilize herself, and towards the end of her tenure with us — she moved, she moved out of state eventually, but towards the end of her tenure with us, she didn’t need to walk around the gym with a walking stick anymore. She just felt fine on her own two feet, and again, she just felt so much more secure with her walking and her balance. A lot of people think they have to stand on some unstable surface in the gym to work on their balance, but of course really balance comes from just getting stronger, and that’s what happened with her.

Ann:                Here’s a little story that I can share, if that helps anybody that might be listening. I’m 51 years old. I had a tonsillectomy on March 30th, just a few months ago, and that surgery, I was told, was going to be hell’s hayride, which it was, I’m not going to lie. It was not easy to wake up in the recovery room with your tonsils freshly cut out, but I was back at work in two weeks. I was told I would be out of work a minimum of two weeks and by week three, maybe I’d be out of my pajamas. So my recovery, I think, I truly believe with every fiber of my being that my recovery turnaround had a lot to do with the fact that I had been tending my muscle garden for all the years I’d been tending it, and it’s never too late to start. Working on the center point of your body’s economy, the very structural tissue that matters, that dictates so much as far as how well other subservient systems are going to be up to snuff. So I believe I made a great turnaround on a health basis. I could have been in much worse shape than I was, and I was like nope, I’m back, get out of my way. Give me my stopwatch.

Sheila:             People may look at Ann and go oh well you look great, you’ve been training for a long time, but when she came to InForm Fitness, when we first started working together at InForm Fitness, she looked great, but she was exhausted. She was exhausted and she was not strong.

Ann:                Nope.

Sheila:             So now, not only is she not exhausted, well I can’t speak for that, sometimes we are still exhausted —

Ann:                I’m stronger, it’s a different story.

Nicole:             I think Ann brings up such an important point and Ann went into a surgery in excellent shape. The majority, when their preexisting condition is deficiency of muscle, any sort of trauma or critical illness, we can’t control these things. You set yourself up for maybe your normal function to never recover. I kind of think of strength training as I’m arming myself for the uncontrollable, the unpredictable. I could get really sick, I could get hit by a car tomorrow. My kids could attack me any minute. I want to make sure that I’m going into life trying to contribute to one of the factors that I can control.

Sheila:             Yeah, exactly.

Nicole:             So you can recover from those things.

Ann:                Got to have reserves.

Sheila:             And not to mention the bone density, that is a huge thing, and especially it accelerates for women, after menopause, it accelerates. So if you’re doing this strength training, you’re going to be continually, as Ann said, tending that garden of strength, with your bones, and your tendon and your muscle and every — and then it becomes, you’re much more vital. We have clients, I know they have them in New York too, that are sixty over. I have a 79 year old client, she just came in yesterday, and she’s been coming for four years, and she’s still very vital and driving around doing everything. She said she doesn’t want to be that hunched over, you start to get hunched over, you start to shuffle a little bit and it makes all the difference in your quality of life.

Ann:                It does, and I have a lot of women, more women than men, that have a fear of falling. Some of them aren’t even, they’re not even in their golden years yet, they’re just afraid of it because they know someone that it’s happened to and they’re terrified of the repercussions, when you don’t have a body that’s — you have weak bone density, you have reduced muscle strength. You don’t have the ability to catch a fall because you don’t have any reflexes. Your stabilizing muscles are trashed.

Sheila:             Yeah, because women are always trying to be skinny and lose the weight and then they — so they end up getting older and then they’re just frail.

Ann:                And that’s a problem here in Hollywood specifically. This celebrity crowd, we have a lot of people who want to get as tiny as they can. They don’t care what they’re made of, they don’t care that their tiny weight is comprised of bone and skin. They just want to have a certain number on the scale, they don’t care, they don’t care, and that’s been a battle of mine as a trainer for years, is trying to understand — and then they’ll turn around and say to me, I want more like you, and then I say you better start lifting like a man, because that’s — my genetics are not —

Adam:             That is terribly sexist.

Ann:                It’s good, whatever, but it’s true. I deal with a lot of that in my past where oh, I don’t want to — they’ll do two or three workouts with me, and this is not a Power of Ten workout, but just generally personal training. Prior to coming into this studio and doing this with Sheila, I had run into that a lot. Oh, I think my thighs are getting too big already, and I’m like, I’ve trained you for two weeks. Oh my gosh, what is this.

Nicole:             I’ve actually heard that, in two weeks’ time too.

Ann:                My pants don’t fit, I don’t think this is good for me. I’m like okay. It’s just really…

Sheila:             It’s a constant battle, but maybe with Wonder Woman out now, maybe more younger girls will start to get into this a little sooner and be a little stronger.

Ann:                Take a look at Robin Wright’s shoulders and go, yeah.

Sheila:             She looks hot.

Ann:                Nothing wrong with the way she looks.

Nicole:             There’s definitely a [Inaudible: 00:32:39] change happening, I think.

Ann:                I hope so.

Mike:               What are the obstacles in making that transition in thinking? The ladies here are over forty, fifty. If you’re communicating to women in their twenties or in their early thirties where — I guess the pursuit to be really, really skinny is kind of always there. To be attractive and sexy or whatever, obviously things change when we get older with hormones and stuff like that, but the thing is, you all have profound stories of getting a sense of vitality, a sense of strength, where strength became more important to you than maintaining a certain image. Maybe some of you were able to maintain the image while in the pursuit of being strong, but I guess my — as a trainer, I train lots of men and women and I battle a lot of these questions as a man, and trying to be empathetic and understanding to a woman and basically I guess, going back to the original question, is the transition… like what are the obstacles of that transition in thinking, and what are the breakthrough moments, like when they do actually happen. From going for vanity or being the thin, sexy thing to really valuing strength.

Nicole:             I think they have to feel it, Mike. The biggest challenge in my experience with this age group of women, 30-35 who are — I have seen the lightbulb go off is after they haven’t tried it and they actually — they physically feel different for the first time in a long time. I mean granted they have looked how they have wanted to look for some time, but have probably felt like crap the whole time. A few workouts in, whether they’re still questioning whether this is for them or not, the lightbulb happens when they start to feel different. Physically, they don’t feel exhausted and sick and run down, and I think the physical empowerment comes first. The mental empowerment comes second, and that’s been my experience, but I’ve definitely seen that switch flipped.

Sheila:             Yeah, I think one of the big things too, and I always tell women this when they first start, younger women especially. When you come in here, you’re going to lift these heavy weights, you’re going to do something every week that you didn’t think you could do before. You’re going to be lifting a hundred pounds on the chest press which is like, amazing and we give out these little awards kind of, but it literally makes you feel mentally stronger and emotionally stronger. I think these women come out of here, all the women, older women, just kind of celebrate the fact, like Mike, if you’re trying to celebrate that fact that they have just achieved something that they probably never thought they could do, and they’re strong. Now they can go into their life and deal with whatever they’re dealing with, with that knowledge.

Ann:                I had a client not too long ago. Before we began her workout, she was in our lobby, our waiting area, and she said, wait, before we get started, check this out, and she stood up out of her chair. She said do you see what I just did? I said, I do, because she came in with really, really tough knees. She said, I have not been able to get up out of a chair without an arm, without arm rests or anything like that, in a long time. Then she said, I’m going to do it again, watch. That’s one of her breakthrough moments, that sometimes resonates with them when they have a victory like that. When they’re coming in because they hurt, they’ve got a compromised joint and it’s getting in their way of just doing the things that make them happy. Recreational hiking, cycling, whatever they like to do, and they can’t do it anymore. So they have to come in and they finally have to face the music, which is let’s get your muscles strong, let’s get you strong. Then things will fall into place.

Sheila:             I also think that women take on a lot of — obviously we’re raising the children and not that the men don’t, but it’s — we traditionally are more nurturing, we give more, we take on more, and so this is something that can fit into our schedule, that we can do just for us, that will help us really feel good and feel really strong. To help with all of those areas.

Ann:                It’s very sustainable, that’s another thing. Women especially, if they’re busy in their lives and they’re dealing with that three ring circus life which they often have, which is the full time job, the kids, the thing, the husband, and again, not that husbands don’t have that role too, but, from a woman’s standpoint, the people that we retain the longest are those that can’t stand working out and those who really don’t have the time for it of course. The once a week, deep dose is something that they’re willing to go through so that they can have the liberty to go off and take care of life, and that’s what keeps them coming back, because then, a week later, they’re coming in and doing more weight than they did a week prior, in most cases, and they’re starting to make serious progress. The journey is amazing for them, and it’s amazing for me as an instructor to watch it happen. I see it time and time again, and often times I’ll take somebody back to the first day of their visit, and I’m like this is what you did on the leg press that first day, look what you did today. Look how much time has gone by, it’s not even been that long, and they are completely thrilled that they were not tethered to a gym four or five days a week and stuck on a hamster wheel doing tons of cardio. Again, if that’s what you like to do — I’m just saying, this is not something that we focus on. We focus on getting you as strong as possible, so that you can actually take care of life, take care of the things that you are dealing with as a woman.

Mike:               That’s a fun demonstration because usually when people come here for the first time and you’re baselining them on a relatively lower weight, and then they still feel thrashed by it, and then you bring them back to it and it feels like a pillow. You have to bring them back to like, oh my god, I can’t believe it, I remember that  first day when it was impossible to do this and now it’s like a piece of cake. It’s an awesome demo to see.

Ann:                It is. I did a hundred pounds on my first day, Sheila brought me in that first day. I had twenty years of body building. She puts me under these protocols, gets me on leg press, and all I could do was a hundred pounds and I tapped out in two minutes, and right before my surgery, I was just about three hundred pounds on that thing.

Sheila:             That’s amazing.

Ann:                And no, I did not have quadzilla thighs, and that’s what I have to remind, especially the ladies. I’ll ask them, how much weight do you think I can left on that thing, and they’ll tell them and they’re like no way. I’m like, do I look like a beast? And they’re like no, and I’m like no, I’m not a beast but I am very strong.

Adam:             Sexy beast.

Sheila:             It’s just genetics too, like how are you built, what are your muscles, how are they shaped, how is that going to look on you. I can say for myself as well, I’m up to 290, which I can’t believe, and I’m still wearing the same size.

Ann:                Sometimes you might go down a size.

Sheila:             I need to adjust my nutrition, but I believe that that’s, just as you get older, you have to constantly kind of gauge, okay, what’s going on now and just learn to deal with your body as it is now.

Nicole:             I can honestly say — I just had a birthday, I turned 39. I don’t think I have ever felt as good or looked as good, and I love if I can fit in an extra workout here and there, but the truth is, twenty minutes, once a week. If it weren’t for that luxury, I wouldn’t be doing anything, and I would not be in the shape that I am now. It’s incredible.

Ann:                It’s a life changer. I just kind of want to remind the ladies especially since this is a female bent episode that to remind them of the simple fact that your cardiovascular game changes when your muscle improves and not when you get on a treadmill for several hours a week. So please, if you’re hearing this, please understand that you need to target your muscle in order to become a more cardiovascular efficient beast. That’s got to happen, you can’t skip weigh training, I mean strength training specifically. You can’t skip that. Please, if you’re hearing that, don’t skip and stick to the treadmill and do nothing else. That’s my one wish for this world, that’s my changer.

Sheila:             Very good point.

Nicole:             I echo that.

Adam:             Well ladies, thank you so much. Thanks for giving me a break today and taking the floor. It was wonderful listening to you and always lovely seeing you guys. Thanks.

Ann:                It’s been a pleasure, thanks for having me on.

Sheila:             Always a pleasure, Adam. Thank you!

Tim:     And we thank you on the other side of the speakers for joining us for The Women of InForm Fitness. We’ll include links in the show notes to Sheila and Ann and Nicole’s bio pages which can all be found at informfitness.com. And if you happen to be near the Leesburg or Restin, Virginia area, we invite you to pop on over and say hello to our guest Nicole Gustavson, tour their facilities, and give this Power of 10 workout a try for yourself. Or perhaps you’re out here on the West Coast and in the Los Angeles area. I’m sure our very own, Sheila Melody, and our guest, Ann Webb Kirkland, would also love to show you around the Toluca Lake, Burbank location. That is where I usually spend my Sunday mornings. There are several other locations across the U.S., such as Boulder, Colorado, Denville, New Jersey, Long Island, New York, and of course, headquarters for the InForm Fitness empire, Manhattan. There you’ll find Mike Rogers and InForm Fitness founder, Adam Zickerman. You know, Adam also is the author of a New York Times bestselling book, Power of Ten: The Once a Week, Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Adam’s book will come in handy for those who are not near an InForm Fitness location, because inside the book, you’ll find several demonstrations of exercises that you can perform in the comfort of your own home, or even at a local gym. We’ll have a link in the show notes to pick up Adam’s book through Amazon. Okay next week, our guest is Doug Brignole, a professional bodybuilder for over thirty years. Doug has deep knowledge of biomechanics and training principles and some of Doug’s training methods are very different from those that we talk about here with the Power of 10 protocol. Adam, Mike, and Doug will compare and contrast the various training principles for what promises to be a very interesting episode. Thanks again for listening, and for Adam Zickerman, Mike Rogers, and Sheila Melody of InForm Fitness, I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network.