Our guest on this episode is Maggie Fazeli Fard. Fazeli Fard is the senior fitness editor at Experience Life, an Alpha Strong coach, strength coach, and certified kettlebell trainer.
Fazeli Fard defines being fit as living a proud, respectful, movement-filled life. There are many different aspects of fitness: Whether you’re dealing with a chronic health condition, have a disability, or are a star athlete, you have the opportunity to be either fit or unfit.
People typically dive headfirst into exercise without first doing an assessment of where they are. This is an approach that often backfires.
Fazeli Fard and Life Time Talks co-host David Freeman both discuss how they go about working with training clients, helping them to determine — and move forward from — their starting point. An essential first step is identifying the client’s “why.”
For many, aesthetics is a primary reason for working out. That tends to be the focus in our society, but if you can understand your “why” and identify with yourself first, that can be a game changer. Health is about so much more than aesthetics — it’s about what’s going on inside of your body.
There’s no bad goal. If you want to pursue aesthetics, there’s a coach out there who can help you do that. But you want to make sure that’s not at a cost to you, whether that’s a physical or mental cost.
The pursuit of perfection isn’t realistic — there is no such thing. We idealize this optimal physical representation of health, but what that looks like has changed so much throughout the ages. And your individual body may not be set up to perform or look like who you idolize — but that doesn’t mean you can’t perform well and feel good about yourself.
There’s been a movement toward functional fitness, with the intention to really help people live the length of their lives the best they can. It’s also a fitness approach that’s often more sustainable for people.
A lot of people go all in on one type of exercise — cardio, strength, yoga — but there’s a real case to be made for a balance of all of those pieces. Especially if you want to function the best you can.
Recovery is something we’re increasingly hearing about — and it may not mean what you think it does. It’s not taking the day off from movement; rather, active recovery plays an essential role in a well-rounded fitness routine.
It’s critical to first establish proper form and consistency in the mechanics of your movements, then you can add more reps and more intensity. Begin with a focus on quality, then you can add quantity. And what perfect form looks like for you may change depending on your life stage or circumstances.
What does it really take to make fitness progress?
Fazeli Fard is very much of the opinion that we all need to move in one way or another every single day. That doesn’t mean high-intensity workouts every day, but several times a week. Then, on the other days, partake in active-recovery workouts.
There are a lot of internal health improvements we can experience from regular exercise.
The community aspect of fitness can be extremely powerful and a big reason why people keep up with fitness, wanting to do and achieve more.
It’s important to ask for help. Fazeli Fard’s first strength coach likened not asking for help with your fitness to trying to get your law degree using only the public library as a resource. You might be able to pass the bar, but you’re really going to struggle. We can make it much easier for ourselves.
The one non-negotiable healthy-living habit that Fazeli Fard incorporates into her daily life.