If you’ve spent the last several months looking for creative ways to workout in the comfort of your own living room, then you’re in luck, because this concept isn’t going away anytime soon.
Monique Bell, a fitness competition champion and personal trainer, encourages her clients and followers to continue exploring amazing options online to exercise, and challenge your body in dynamic ways.
While at first it may have felt like a drag lifting weights in your living room, or gathering your friend group together for a Zoom class, Monique is confident that if you take the time to really explore what’s out there, you will find the perfect fitness match for you to fit into your lifestyle, skill level, and meet your goals.
But if online isn’t for you, Monique’s alternative suggestion is enjoying the great outdoors. Whether you’re walking your dog, hiking, playing sports or simply stretching, Monique believes that this unique time in the world will make us enjoy being in nature so much more, as it’s something that seems so small, but we really took it for granted.
COVID has given us the time to re-evaluate our priorities, and our approach to reaching and exceeding our goals. If fitness is your focus, read on for Monique’s prime advice on all things online workouts, embracing your journey, incorporating balance in your life, doing lots of cardio, and why you should never skip a warmup.
What sparked your passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle? Was this always important to you, or did a certain instance in your life inspire it?
I’ve always been passionate about fitness. I played sports growing up and enjoyed being a part of a team. I’ve always understood why it’s important to be healthy.
Embracing living healthy as lifestyle is something I value more as I got older.
Falling in love with ageing gracefully as your body changes is a beautiful thing, when you’re consistently active and giving your body the proper nutrition it needs to maintain.
What is your current fitness regimen, and your nutrition plan you use to stay in shape?
My current fitness regimen consists of doing my cardio first thing in the morning, this can range from 30 to 50 minutes depending on what events I have coming up, or if I am training for a competition.
I like doing my strength training midday after at least 3 meals and a half gallon of water. As far as nutrition it’s all about balance.
The only time I’m really strict is when I’m on a bikini prep. However, I do try to stay away from alcohol and processed foods.
What’s the one thing you’d never skip in your workout?
I never skip the warm-up. It's the most important part whether it’s through dynamic movement or static stretching. You want to be sure that your body is warm and that the muscle group your training is ready to go.
How would you describe your philosophy on health and fitness, and how has it evolved?
My health and fitness philosophy revolves around maintaining “Balance”. A healthy balance is being able to enjoy yourself and have fun with your nutrition and workouts.
If you’re not having fun, you’ll most likely be stressed out, liable to relapse, or take long breaks from training because you're not enjoying yourself.
Understanding nutrition and practising a healthy diet reflects a healthy balance and is more important than constantly dieting, or counting calories.
My philosophy evolved because there was a time when I would do extreme crash diets, and couldn’t maintain a healthy physique all year-a-round.
Who or what gives you the most inspiration and motivation to achieve your fitness goals?
What gives me the most inspiration is seeing results and the feeling of getting stronger, having more energy, and watching my body transform and get better over time.
What specific fitness goal are you currently focused on?
I am currently focused on strength throughout my body. I track my progression with monitoring my one rep max, back squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts. For my upper body strength goal I test myself with push-ups and pull-ups.
What's the best way for someone to motivate herself to get fit?
The best for someone to motivate himself is to simply focus on your individual progress and how far you’ve come and constantly celebrate your small achievements.
Health has many different variations and you shouldn’t compare yourself to someone else who could possibly be a professional.
You’re not always going to be motivated and I recommend finding a support system of people that like to do the same thing you do so that you guys can push each other. Even when you don’t feel like working out, just show up every little bit counts.
One of the key elements for staying consistent with working out is accountability. Who keeps you accountable for working out consistently?
When I’m on a prep I have a coach that I check in with every morning and that’s the best accountability one can have. I’m not always on a prep and I do have a circle of friends that like to workout.
However, I think about the feeling, the afterburn, and the endorphins that make my day so much better and it keeps me consistent.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to live a more healthy lifestyle?
Tips for wanting to live a healthier life is simply starting with the basics... getting 30 minutes of movement in everyday, Drinking more water, and staying away from processed foods.
What are your favourite fitness methods to use with clients and what inspired you to use these methods?
I don’t have a favourite method. I like to handle clients on an individualized basis taking in what they need to make their body move better along the things that they genuinely like doing. We always add cardio, strength, and mobility for a balanced body.
Given the pandemic, how should we approach fitness and working out post-COVID?
Definitely utilize the Internet. Everything is online now, it’s the way the world is going to be until further notice so adapt accordingly.
Continue to get out the house and take those walks to stay active. Post-COVID I’m not rushing back to the gym and will utilize outdoor training as my primary way to stay active.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know that I love Ice Cream!