Today, we’re celebrating a milestone together. This is episode 400! While this podcast has taken on several different forms over years, it has stayed true to its mission — how to help you get strong. So let’s take a look back on where we’ve been, while also looking forward to what’s to come.
Click play to listen right on this page, no app is needed:
Or, listen on your favorite app: iTunes (Apple Podcasts) | Spotify | Stitcher
Want a free week of strength workouts? Click here to get started!
To improve the narrative around fitness we need to:
Educate clients that fitness is not an aesthetic goal
Acknowledge those who have been positive influences
Understand that points of view can change
Incorporate new research while acknowledging the existing gaps in knowledge
Gauging Strength and Fitness Outside of Weight-Loss
Longtime listeners know that I want to shift the conversation away from simply weight loss and towards other markers for fitness and health. Changing the culture around this is not a simple task. I still don’t think I have the answer. However, I feel that if coaches focus on educating their clients on why this is important to expand the conversation, changes for the better will come.
I also know it’s tempting to speak the industry lingo. That’s what many clients expect to hear. Yet, if we don’t speak the truth about this, the culture and narrative will never change.
Changing the Culture Moving Forward
As you can see, there are some things that I really wish would change in the fitness industry. I’d like to see women included more in exercise science and sports research. And I have seen this shift lately. This is a good thing, but there are caveats. Since much of the research is still new, it’s important to really understand the data and its limitations to make an informed decision.
How can you help shift and improve the conversation around strength? What changes do you see happening in this industry? Leave a comment below.
In This Episode
Educating clients on the importance of different approaches to nutrition and strength [4:30]
Some of the most influential women who have inspired me [18:40]
Recognizing and embracing change [23:00]
Looking ahead at the changing landscape of nutrition and strength [28:15]
“We as coaches have to be willing to do the education piece and constantly talk about why we’re not going to do things in this other way and why we’re doing things in this different way.” [4:50]
“Fitness is not a specific look. Fitness is how well you can perform a task; how well-suited to the task are you.” [12:08]
“If you need to make adjustments to your training because you’re not feeling it, that’s okay. But a lot of the things that we hear people talking about are just not grounded in what the collective body of research says.” [32:17]
Featured on the Show
Apply for Strength Nutrition Unlocked Here
Find the full show notes here
Follow Steph on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Pinterest
I’d really love it if you would take 1 min and leave us a rating and review on iTunes!
Podcast production & marketing support by the team at Counterweight Creative
Support the Podcast
Get 20% off Legion Supplements with code STEPH
Get 10% off GORUCK with code FYS10
Rate and review on Apple Podcasts
FYS 399: Are You Overtraining?
FYS 380: From Endurance To Lifting: Top Sports Nutrition & Training Lessons
FYS 3771: Why The Fitness Industry Needs Quality Coaches
Fitness Industry B.S. Transcript
It’s been seven years and nine months since I published my very first podcast episode. And today we’re celebrating a milestone which is 400 episodes of this podcast. Now, of course, the podcast has taken some different forms over the years and had some different names. But at the heart of the podcast, we’ve been talking about how to help you get strong, and what are some of the things that you really need to know in that process. Today, I’m going to be looking back on some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, and really where I see the industry going, and what I wish, frankly, would change. I’m also going to be answering some of your top listener questions.
If you’re an athletic 40, something woman who loves lifting weights, challenging yourself, and doing hard shit, the Fuel Your Strength podcast is for you. You’ll learn how to eat, train and recover smarter, so you build strength and muscle, have more energy and perform better in and out of the gym. I’m strength nutrition strategist and weightlifting coach, Steph Gaudreau. The Fuel Your Strength podcast dives into evidence-based strategies for nutrition training and recovery, and why once you’re approaching your 40s and beyond, you need to do things a little differently than you did in your 20s. We’re here to challenge the limiting industry narratives about what women can and should do in training and beyond. If that sounds good, hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s go.
Welcome back to the podcast. Hello, thanks for joining me today. If you’re watching on YouTube, make sure you hit that subscribe button and ring the bell for more notifications. And of course, if you’re listening on your favorite podcast app, hit the subscribe button as well. If you’re watching, by the way, you probably notice that the setup looks a little bit different. And that’s because I’m really trying to make this little space and you are in my kitchen, to my left is a sink full of dirty dishes. Because that’s just life. And this is kind of a little breakfast nook that we have in the house that we rent. And I’m really just trying to make this my little spot to record.
This is actually where I record all of my podcasts. But because we’ve added video back to the show rotation, now trying to make it look a little bit more aesthetic, and nicer, if you will. So I’ve got some more things coming in. We’ve got some cool different colored lights that my husband got me and I have a kind of a cool little sign that I ordered. And you know, we’re trying to make it. We’re trying to make it look cool. So that’s why you’re noticing things changing. And today, we’re really going to be talking on the show about this 400th episode, answering some of your questions, and really taking kind of a little bit of a look back. But also look ahead. what do I hope?
What am I working toward being my small part of the change regarding this industry and what we tell women as possible for their strength and athleticism over the age of 40? And how do I wish that this industry would change? And what are some of the things that I think we’re doing well, and some of the things that I frankly think that we’re not doing really well at this point? So stay tuned for all of that as well. Before we dive into some listener questions, of course, if you are really looking for some strategy for your changing physiology, you want to be able to build muscle, add strength, you want to have more energy, and perform better both in and out of the gym, you want to be more athletic, build more fitness over the age of 40.
And you’re sort of not sure how to do that, how to really integrate all of the pieces that you know it’s going to take and do it in a way that makes sense that you have coaching as well. You have guidance, you have a community you have support, then go ahead and check out strength nutrition unlocked. This is my group coaching program. And we would love to have a chat with you to see if you’re a great fit. You can apply for that program over at StephGaudreau.com/apply. Alright, the first question which is kind of a meaty one is how can we as trainers and coaches start to move the conversation away from calories in and calories out or just simply weight loss and really have a conversation with our athletes about proper nutrition and using other markers as a gauge for strength and fitness? How do we start that conversation and culture shift?
This is a hard question to answer and I’m not going to come out and say that I have the answer to this question. But the first thing is that we as coaches, in my opinion, have to be willing to do the education piece and cons gently talk about why we’re not going to do things in this other way, and why we want to talk about doing things in this different way. In other words, for example, I hear a lot of times, you know, women just say I want to be toned. And yes, I do agree that there is this like, meeting people where they’re at peace of that, you know, Oh, okay. Well, what do you mean by that? What does that mean to you? That’s a great question to ask but what I see a lot is coaches and trainers feeling like, there’s just pressure, or they get too much pushback when they start to educate about things like, well, actually, we want to build muscle mass, for example, and we get a lot of pushback, or sometimes people are afraid.
And so we ended up backing away from that because we feel like it’s easier to market our services, based on the languaging people are already using. So this is tricky because I don’t necessarily think that it’s wrong for people to do this. I personally know that I cannot, based on just my values, I will not and cannot go out into the world and say, Okay, ladies over 40, like let’s shred and tone, and here’s how we’re going to do that. And then kind of behind closed doors, we, we teach what we really mean, I don’t believe in that, I believe in talking and teaching about it upfront. And that means that on my plate is the responsibility to educate. And that takes time and effort. And a lot of people are not going to understand or maybe even care.
And so I think there’s there’s pressure on coaches and trainers, you know, especially in the online space to use the words that people are already using in the culture to try and get clients. And, again, that’s a that’s a tricky situation to be in. Because you have to in order to have a business, you have to have clients. So I’m very understanding and empathetic to that struggle of, Wow, if I start talking about strength training, and my ideal client is talking about getting long and lean muscles and getting toned and shredding, or using terms like you know, losing my bra bulge and all of these things.
I want to be able to speak the language of my ideal client. But at the same time, how else are we going to shift the narrative? How else are we going to shift the languaging? How else are we going to shift the conversation and the culture? And the reality is, at least again, in my opinion, that women are we use codified language to sell fitness to women in a way that we do not to men. And I made an Instagram post about this recently. And I’ve also talked about it at length on this podcast and in different episodes. But we don’t say oh, hey, Joe, what brings you to the gym today looking to get toned? We don’t say those things. And so what does it come down to? Does it come down to sexism? Does it come down to patriarchy?
Does it come down to the unrealistic body and beauty standards that are still so prevalent in our world and in some ways that are getting worse because of things like filters and Photoshop and all of the things that we know people do to retouch their images and their videos? So this is a very big conversation. And can one person on their own shift the entire culture? I don’t know. Does Kim Kardashian have a lot of power to shift culture based on beauty and body standards? I think so. So in this industry, though, in terms of the fitness industry, does one person alone hold all the power No.
And so I think that it’s really up to us, us collectively as coaches and trainers that if there is a change that we want to see that we have to be willing to maybe lose some clientele because we’re not going to be advertising with the whole fix this body part kind of languaging and fucking clickbait Here we go. It’s gonna get spicy clickbait that we see on social media on tick tock on Instagram Instagram reels. Recently there was this guy who was like exercises for bra bulge and I was just about to lose my mind about this because the way fitness is marketed to women is very as I said, languaging is very kind of codified and very limiting.
It’s all about how we look. It’s all about fixing problem areas. is, again, nobody is talking to two men in the same way they’re talking to women and is you’re under but is one that I heard recently, or saw on Instagram reels target you’re under, but nobody is doing that. For men. It just seems ridiculous, right? So are we willing to potentially lose clients? Because we’re not speaking their actual language? I don’t know. For me, the answer to that question is yes. Maybe your answer right now currently, in your current space in your business is no. You might also work for, for example, a gym where you’re really instructed on the ways to talk to people. And the question is, are you in a position to actually try to be part of that culture change?
It’s obviously a very messy question. It’s a very messy answer to a messy question. So I think the one thing though, that we can all do is talk about things in a very scientific way. We can be empathetic, and listen to our clients. But we also have the duty to educate them about what they really mean. So again, some people will come in, they want some kind of body composition change. So they’re coming to fitness for that reason. And it gets messy again because we have an overlap. For example, we have aesthetic-based sports, things like figure competing and physique, and bodybuilding, where these two worlds collide. Right. And I can’t speak from personal a personal place there. I’ve never participated in these sports myself.
However, having many friends who have and listening to their stories, it becomes very enmeshed, right is, is that we start to associate or they start to associate, right fitness as how you look. And so I think one of the things that we can do as coaches and trainers are to continue to hammer home the point that fitness is not a look. People say this all to me all the time, I want to look fit. And I’m like, Huh. But fitness is not a specific look, fitness is how well you can perform a task, and how well suited to the task, are you. So for example, if I don’t run, and until recently, I had not run for a long time, many, many, many years, recently, in the last couple of months have started running again. But until recently, my running fitness was pretty poor, even though I’m an athletic person, and I do call myself an athlete. So are we willing to continue to repeat ourselves over and over and over again, and be part of that conversation? Be part of that culture shift?
And to just constantly put it out there that if we want to perform? And then, by the way, performance doesn’t always mean competition? Right? There they are two separate things, right, we can perform well, but does that always mean competing with some people it does to other people, it doesn’t. But for our ability to show up and do well, in our training, and our workouts even, we need the right fuel on board. And unfortunately, eat less move more has been drilled into our brains so much, that it’s really hard to tease these two things apart. So I think the first thing, well, I’ve talked about many things here. But I think another thing that coaches and trainers can do is if they’re not if you are not trained, like really trained in nutrition, maybe it was included as a module in your personal trainer certification.
Or it was, you know, included in some other kind of training that you had, but you’re not really super confident about it, it’s not something you’re actually allowed to do based on your certification is to like counsel people on how to make certain dietary changes, that you stay in your lane and you refer out it’s okay to not know how to do everything. And this is a little bit of a personal bugaboo for me is that there are a lot of clients that I talk to who come in to work with me, and they’re like, oh, yeah, my trainer told me I should be on 1200 calorie a day diet and I’m like, No, this is not okay. So if you’re not well trained, or, you know, it’s not something that you’re able to even counsel clients on, like be okay with referring out that’s totally fine.
But to really kind of know what you are versed in and what you aren’t, and even if you’re in the nutrition space, doesn’t guarantee that you’re well versed in things like sports, nutrition, performance, nutrition, and so on and so forth. So, even within this space, we have people that specialized in different air arias. So if you’re not well specialized, if you’re not well educated in those particular things, then it’s okay to say you know what, I’m not sure. But I can refer you out to this other amazing coach or this other person that I know of. On Instagram, they have great posts or something of that nature. So be okay with saying, I’m not really sure. But here’s maybe who you can go to as the next step. So that was a very messy answer, a very messy question.
I think I could probably do an entire podcast episode on just this question alone. But it’s gonna come down to, you’ll be willing to have the conversation, being willing to not know everything and say, just, I’m not sure, can I look, look some of this up and kind of get back to you, can I get you some more resources on this. And also being willing, if we want to be part of the change, to be more upfront with people and say, This is what I stand for, this is what I teach, or this is what I coach, this is what I do, and don’t do. And it’s for these reasons, and that’s that.
But I also understand the fear of losing clients, or people getting scared, because you’re not showing up on your Instagram or on your website, or when you’re having that initial consultation with them, and saying, Hey, like, we’re just going to get you toned. And if you don’t believe that, it’s going to come across as very hollow to that client. So find a way, to speak about things that really resonate with your values and who you are, as a coach, as a trainer, or, you know, the business values that you really believe in, and find a way to continue to work toward those values being part of what you do. I know, it’s hard.
And believe me, I have had moments where I think, gosh, if I just could take everything I’ve learned about sales and marketing and all of the rest of it. And, you know, I wanted to just make it quote unquote, easy for myself, I can think of a lot of ways that I could probably make a lot more money by doing things that I don’t fully believe in advertising my services as based in, you know, quick weight loss, for example, I cannot do that. At my core, I cannot do that. So I think there’s the flip side to that as well, which is being willed to be okay with not following everyone else and what everybody else does. And it’s fucking hard. It really is hard when you feel very alone.
And I can think of a few colleagues off the top of my head that I always go to, and I we have conversations about this stuff because we feel very similarly about these issues and about these topics. And I just, you know who you are out there are we’ve had tons of conversations about this of like, how much easier it would be on the other, you know, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But, you know, if we could, if we were willing to sell out if we were willing to make those clickbait videos, or you’ve seen them on Instagram, you know, would things be a lot easier? Maybe. So, I hope whoever asked this question, I hope gave you some amount of an answer. Although I think I probably left more open-endedness to this question than I did provide an actual, real concrete answer. So thanks for asking. Okay, next question.
A woman who has been influential to me and my success, oh my goodness. Well, I don’t know I think a difference depends on how we define success. But I can tell you who some really influential women have been to me along the way. The first person I can think of off the top of my head is my coach, and on and off coach over the years, and now very dear friend Allegra Stein. Allegra was a coach of mine at this very pivotal moment in my life when I walked away from my teaching career to pursue working for myself. And I just really appreciated and still do her questions and her guidance and the way she really helped me to move into this new phase of my life. So a shout out to Allegra I think in terms of, athletics, there have been so many women I’ve really looked up to over the years.
And I was really trying to think from, you know, sort of lifting weights onward a few people who were really influential to me in my early years and they probably don’t know this. But the first one is a woman named Nicole DeHart. She is someone who used to be an athlete at CrossFit Invictus here in San Diego, and she’s still a coach. And I remember one of the first times I walked into the gym, and I saw Nicole lifting weights and I just thought, holy shit, she is so strong. And I want to be like her when I grow up because Damn, she is an amazing, Nicole DeHart. her married name now is Nicole cribs. So Nicole, thank you so much for just being I’m just gonna get really emotional about this for being somebody who was so influential just based on showing up and doing your thing. And like quietly being that inspiration.
Another person I can think of in the local community here is Mary Everett. So if you’re familiar with OG, CrossFit world, Josh Everett, this is his wife, Mary, who is just a beast. She’s amazingly strong, an incredible athlete, and a really cool person. And I remember going to an event at CrossFit Chula Vista which is the first CrossFit gym I belong to. And we were doing a Helen meets Grace charity workout. And Mary showed up and she did grace, which is 3030 clean and jerks for time. But at the time, she completed this workout as a partner workout I think with Josh her husband at the men’s weight. And I just thought, oh my like, oh my gosh, that is incredible. So Mary Everett, another person who really was just super influential. I remember watching sage Bergner lift in Olympic weightlifting as well just thought sages amazing Amy Everett as well, another Olympic weightlifter and she’s also now this incredible world-class, Olympic weightlifting coach.
So just a lot of women like that they’re not, you know, maybe not like famous athletes, in terms of being known like Serena Williams, but they are famous to me because they were so they were just people I really looked up to so strong, so incredible, so gracious, and humble and willing to really break barriers. I mean, at the time, in 2010, when I first started in CrossFit, it was just like, No one knew what kind of I mean, this is like so new for so many women was exploring their strength in that way. So just a shout-out to some of those amazing people. Another coach here locally, Don Fletcher, again, was so helpful to me early on, really thinking about the psychology of being athletic and the psychology of a competitor.
And yeah, without Don’s coaching, I don’t know that I would have left teaching, and started my own business. So another person that was incredibly impactful for me there. Okay, another question that got submitted If I knew then, and I’m assuming that’s when I started this podcast, what I know what I knew now, what changes would I make? Ooh, oh, this is a hard question to answer because I feel like a lot has changed. And I think that the one thing that has really been constant in this podcast has been changing, change in and of itself, I think the if I knew then what I know now I would just say, as you feel the need to shift and change and update your worldview, or update your view on coaching, or update your perspective on things to continue doing that.
Because as I said, at the top of the show, this podcast used to be called something completely different. It’s actually had this is now the third name that started as Harder To Kill radio back in 2015. And then we had a short period where this is called the listen to your body podcast. And then we’ve switched the name, we the royal we me, switch name, to Fuel Your Strength podcast. And along the way, we’ve talked about a lot of different topics and had a lot of different guests. And I think that the one thing that I didn’t expect back then is that things would continue to evolve and change. And a lot of you have told me, Hey, you know what, I’ve stuck around throughout many of these years, or I’ve stopped listening for a while and then I came back because what you talk about now really resonates with me.
So I think I could give some advice if you’re somebody who’s thinking about putting something out into the world, but you’re worried that one day you might change your mind. That’s okay. It’s okay to shift and change and allow your creative pursuits, your art or your podcasts or your blog or your vlog, or whatever content you’re making. It’s okay to shift and change. And that’s probably the one given is that it will shift and change. And if you’re afraid to change, then, at least for me personally, I don’t feel like I’m being I’m living with integrity. If I were to say, You know what?
I used to think this. And now I think this based on what I’ve learned, but I’m, I’m not going to share that with anyone, because I just don’t want to look stupid, or I don’t want to look like I’ve made a mistake, or I don’t want to look like wishy-washy, because I changed my mind. I also don’t think that’s doing you a great service as the listener because it’s necessary to change. You know, and I talked about this. And another answer to this question would be, I think I would just, you know, do what I did at the beginning, which was just to start.
If I knew then what I know now, right, I probably would have, at the beginning thought that it had to really be, it had to be really great right out of the gate. And, of course, I was trying to do great work. But I did put a lot of pressure on myself to try to be the best, frankly, and have the best show. And the reality is, is that I got better at podcasting as time went on because I practiced. So I didn’t necessarily wait and put it off in terms of put off starting until I thought I was, quote-unquote good enough at it, I think I did put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best.
And I did get picked up really quickly at the beginning by iTunes in terms of the new and noteworthy list. And I at one point was, you know, in the top 10, top 20, of fitness podcasts. And over the years, that’s really changed. But the funny part is, I can probably count on one hand, how many people who were podcasting back then are still running a show. I think I wished that the show, maybe was known by more people. And I never really shifted my content based on that. But I always wished or I thought, if I just make it good enough, maybe more, more people will listen or it will become this popular thing. And I really had to wrestle with that, I think I would have put less pressure on myself to try to have this viral show. And never went viral. I don’t even know how we measure virality anymore.
But I think I definitely would have put less pressure on myself to try to be on the top of the charts, be on the top of the charts all the time, and just really share my message share what I need to share with all of you. So I would say those are some of the biggest maybe lessons. The side question here was what’s the biggest lesson to date? And I think those things I would wrap all together with the biggest lesson and what are some of the things that I I? I know, I know now that I would make changes based on? And then the last question I wanted to kind of tackle here is another hard-won, which is related to sort of how did we get here? How did we get here about nutrition and tariff terrified of gaining size and getting bigger?
This is submitted by a listener as well. How did we get here? I think I’ve touched on some of those things in the first answer. But here are some things that I wish would change some things I don’t like about this industry that I think we need to be aware of as we are going forward. So I wanted to kind of turn this into a teachable moment because yes, we learn a lot from analyzing how we get to this point. But I also think, how do we create a different outcome? How do we shift the culture? What do we need to be aware of moving forward? So a couple of things. Oh, okay. The first thing I can think of is that historically, in terms of sports and athletics, women have really been left out for so long.
We’ve been left out of research, about sports, about exercise science, and some of the nutrition stuff, right, of course, that goes along with that. And so we have things like Title Nine, right, we just had the 50th anniversary of that last year. And that really made a lot of kind of like paved the way for a lot of shifting and changing and progress. And of course with the understanding that even with the invisible sports women’s study that came out in 2021, there’s precious little research being devoted to female-only cohorts in terms of exercise science. ports, athletics, sports, nutrition, and so on. So there’s just a lot we don’t know. And I think we’ve just felt really left out of the conversation. Naturally, right?
We’ve been left out. So we’ve felt really left out. And at the same time, I see this really interesting pendulum swing. And I haven’t really talked about this on the podcast before because they’ve chatted about it in private conversation with a lot of people. I don’t know if I have the right thoughts formulated, but to my point of doing things imperfectly, here we are. So because we’ve had this, you know, historically been left out of the conversation situation, what I see now is the kind of, again, pendulum swinging to the other direction.
One example I can think of is in terms of the menstrual cycle, and exercise. So there are a lot of people on social media, who are saying things like, Well, we, here’s how we should change our exercise for every single week of the menstrual cycle. And the reality is, is that with the current body of research that we have right now on making generalized exercise recommendations across the menstrual cycle, we don’t have the research to be able to make those generalizations. And yet, on social media, we see that a lot, right? We see apps that are like, Oh, here’s how you should change every single thing you’re doing every single week. And I think that that feels like progress to a lot of people like, Hey, we’ve been left out of the conversation.
We know the menstrual cycle affects how we feel, of course. And we’ve been, frankly, gaslit a lot and told that it doesn’t have any effect. We’re all in our heads and we’re making it upright, no one believes us, it’s not that big of a deal. And I’m so I can see where that has caused a lot of people to think, well, we just we really should have dictated week by week, what we exactly should be doing in terms of our nutrition and our training and, and this and that. And I’ve recently contributed, I’ve recently contributed to an article that’s coming out about this, on this very topic. And the kind of takeaway is that if you need to make adjustments to your training because you’re not feeling it, that’s okay.
But a lot of the things that we hear people talking about, are just not grounded in what the collective body of research that we have at this current time says. So I see a lot of this with women’s specific sports or women’s specific apps, were in an effort to feel finally included and understood and like Yes, like this makes sense. And it’s almost been in some ways over-engineered or oversold to us as like, here is the way when in fact, it really comes down to more of an N equals one situation, how do you feel? You know, do you need to make adjustments?
I know, I’ve talked about this with several friends, where sometimes that last week of the cycle, you’re like, Fuck, yeah, let’s go. burden the chips, you know, do the hard things, and you feel awesome and your workouts. And then on the flip side, there are a lot of apps and magazines and articles that are like, oh, you should only do gentle exercise for half the month, you should only do gentle exercise in this last week of your cycle. To me, that sounds really deterministic. And again, not really supported by the research.
So I think that it’s kind of a natural swing from this idea that we’ve been really left out. But at the same time ends up becoming really limiting in and of itself. Or it’s like no, you can’t No, no, you shouldn’t live for half the month. Like we’re, it’s not even supported by the evidence by the research. And at the same time, how are we going to get stronger if we’re only lifting half the month? Like is that even necessary for many people, that is not even a necessary thing based on how they’re feeling. So I think that we have to come to a better place of nuance and discernment by acknowledging these things by incorporating the research that we have to date and acknowledging where the gaps currently are.
And being attuned to where we are frankly, some businesses really looking to profit off of this kind of new growth in the market. Yes, we’ve been underserved. But do we need to be sold to things that aren’t really a solution to problems? We don’t really need solutions for all that it really takes is making some adjustments to your training based on how you feel and I know that can be hard, even just kind of paying attention to how your body meals. And of course, you want good information. So it’s just a really sticky situation in my opinion.
Another place we see this a lot is in the messaging for women over 40, or women in menopause, post-menopause, etc. There are so many crap products out there. And my very good friend Amanda Thebes’s talks of health are extensive so I highly recommend you go follow Amanda and her work because she’s fearless and calls these instances out. But we see a lot of things marketed to women in post-menopause or the perimenopause transition, or just over 40 that are just, they’re just garbage or not, they’re not necessary other than again, we’ve been, you know, collectively left very out of this conversation, menopause still seems very taboo. And not a lot of people want to talk about it.
Or they didn’t have family members or friends that talked about it. And so again, this there’s a lot of mystique, there’s a lot of taboo, there’s a lot of misunderstanding, there’s a lot of folklore that isn’t really helpful. And it’s scary, it’s a scary time of life it can, it feels so unknown, and you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop. And so of course you’re like, I don’t feel good, I just want solutions to help me feel better. And then these companies come in and try to sell you shit is not it’s just it’s like the pink it and shrink it movement has just graduated and gotten older, and now targeted older demographics of women, pink it and shrink it is this idea that we can make things for women, as long as they are just, they’re just made in a feminine color or a pink color. And then we’re going to bite away at the upsell you on those pink razors that do exactly the same thing.
So again, I don’t think I have all the answers to this or have all of the nuances to this. And I’m sure that there are things I’m not even seeing in this conversation that are pieces of this puzzle. But I think that we’ve been left out for so long, we’ve been ignored, we’ve been, like I said, frankly, gaslit on a lot of this stuff, we’ve been told we’re making it up, it doesn’t exist. And now it’s like, Oh, finally, we finally seem to be getting paid attention to the right. Like things are shifting, we’re getting savvier, we’re taking this willingness to talk about these things into our menopause transition, for example, into post-menopause, or just even trying to understand how our menstrual cycle affects us. And at the same time, there’s just a lot of stuff coming into the market that is just like, let’s just take advantage of this.
And let’s take advantage of it with solutions that are just a waste of money or a waste of time and don’t really work. You know, again, a lot of this stuff that I talked about in terms of women over 40. It’s not that these, you know, internal, this takes strength training, there are some considerations and things you kind of need to think about as you’re just getting older. Right? What’s going on hormonally, the ease with which you can build muscle, like some of the nutritional considerations. But a lot of it comes down to the same stuff that applied. When you were in your 20s and 30s. It’s just you can’t, you don’t have as much leeway to kind of abuse your body as you did back then, and right, you’ve got to just be smarter about things.
But at the same token, I think the reason I use a lot of terminology for women over 40 is I am trying to get your attention in a space that is also trying to tell you that you are completely incapable, that the only thing you’re capable of doing is doing a gentle exercise and lifting teeny tiny weights. And so I’m trying to also be like a wave like this big leg band or like, Hey, look at how sweaty I am, by the way, like, Hey, over here, are you over 40. There are other possibilities for you other than just teeny tiny weights and stretching. Stretching is great.
By the way, there are there is a time and a place for small weights. But when we’re sold, that’s the only thing we’re capable of doing. That’s where I have a problem. And that’s why, for me personally and in my business, I’m really trying to get your attention in this very loud, very crowded space and say hey, by the way for over 40 Like, instead of just doing stretching, as you’re thinking that’s going to be strength training because some people will say oh, stretching and strengthening strength while stretching strengthens your muscles.
Okay, well, it’s not the same thing as strength training. We need to have a conversation about this. And by the way, you can do hard shit, you can do challenging things. And, by the way, secondarily, you need to challenge your body. If you want to get adaptations, no, you know, walk into the gym on day one and try to benchpress 200 pounds. That’s not how this works. Here’s how we get there over time. But like we’d need to challenge our muscles, we need to subject our bones to load if we want them to strengthen, we want to lay down minerals if we want to strengthen our bones by applying force in our muscles are tugging on our bones as we’re doing hard weights, right?
We want to strengthen our muscles in that way, we want to improve our cardiovascular function, which sometimes means maybe we go out and do exercise that makes us get out of breath, right? It’s, it can be uncomfortable at times. But the discomfort is also where we grow. Sidenote, we need good nutrition and adequate recovery, which is of course what the rest of this podcast is about. But we’ve really been undersold, in terms of what we are capable of. And frankly, that’s part of this that I want to be a part of the change about. So strength training is a kind of strength training across the board. Right, there’s, there’s kind of a range of reps, there’s a range of loads, there’s progressive overload and how we can get there.
And it’s gonna be a lot of it’s going to depend on the individual. But progressive overload is kind of progressive overload, whether you’re 15, or you’re 75. In terms of concept, how we actually go about doing it for a 15-year-old and a 75-year-old may be very, very different, from how we progress it for you. But to think that we just don’t need any of that, that we’re not capable of doing any of that is just absolute bullshit. We should continue to challenge ourselves. That’s how we stay sharp. That’s how we, that’s how we grow. That’s how we stay active. It’s how we stay more independent, right, there are some things we can’t control. But there are a lot of things that we can control. Somebody asked the question, What am I going to, or what am I doing to ensure the 64 or 84-year-old me is still a badass?
And I think that it comes down to kind of that concept, which is like, continue learning, continue trying new things, continue growing, continue challenging your brain, continue to find what you can do, instead of only focusing on what you can’t do, you know, I’m looking for ways to keep my body sharp to keep my brain sharp to try new things. And to, in some ways, return to some of the things that I’ve done before. So I mentioned recently, I’ve been running again. And this isn’t something I’ve really talked about on the podcast yet, but for many years, I associated running with trying to get skinny. And eventually, over time really just kind of lost that enjoyment and running.
And because it was really for one purpose, which was to get skinny, after my triathlon season, which I’ve talked about before, too, and I was just kind of really burnt out, Well, turns out that burnout was also down to under fueling and, you know, not recovering well, as well as the overtraining. But I think for me, I was really, I felt like I was allergic to running for so long, like I just, I had that strong association of running to trying to get skinny and trying to exercise my body into submission, and really, like almost punishing myself. And, of course, you would think I’m going to not like to run if that was the case. And so recently, I just said, You know what, I want to do some of these go rock events with my husband.
He’s actually been really just kind of quietly encouraging me through leading by example, he started running last year. And it wasn’t until about a year later, where I thought, you know, what I might, what was that program that you used to start running again, and I just thought, you know, it’d be cool to have better cardiovascular fitness in this way. And of course, I get through some cardio through jujitsu, but it’s a different kind of time domain. And I thought, you know, this, I just need a little bit more kind of steady state, cardiovascular endurance, to go like that longer kind of slightly more intense efforts. And so for me, that really helped me to redefine the purpose of running because by running, I get to improve my cardiovascular fitness in this way. And that’s going to allow me to do cool things.
Right, and to experience things. And of course, it has a purpose in and of itself like, okay, yeah, cardiovascular fitness. But I see this a lot with my clients where they want something to connect to. And so I would just encourage you if you’re, if you’re like, What am I, what am I going to do to ensure that I’m, I’m a badass, you know, in that way, if that’s something that you want is thinking about, have there been things you’ve put off, you’ve taken off the table, for some of you it is lifting weights. So you’re like, I lifted weights when I was younger, but maybe I got tired of it, or it just, you know, I got injured.
And so I think, Oh, it’s just going to injure me, if I start again, we’ll think about what it can bring to your life. And see how that changes it for you. I don’t know, for me, redefining the purpose of running to something that made sense in my life. Now. That felt really good. And so when I go out and run now, it doesn’t feel like I’m going out for this purpose of just trying to make myself skinny, or punishing myself because of it, because of what I ate. Right, and like having to like burn off my food, we can redefine those things. We can create a new relationship between those types of exercise, maybe something we used to do for, I’m going to call it quote unquote, the wrong reasons.
So those are some of the things I’m doing to keep you know, to keep growing, to keep challenging myself as an athletic person, to stay strong to stay mentally sharp, as well. And always learning I am a lifelong learner, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop with that. While we’ve been quite a few places on this 400th episode, a lot of imperfect thoughts, but I just wanted to let you know what is going through my mind these days. And what are some of the things that I’ve learned? What are some of the things you can take away from those lessons? What can you learn from this whole experience of this podcast of listening to these episodes? What can you apply to your life?
What can you take forward? How can you be part of the conversation and culture shift around athletes and nutrition? And what is fitness? How do you know who inspires you? Who is inspirational to you? What are some changes you would make? If you could start all over? Or what are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned? So I really want you to think about those things for yourself. What is the teachable moment for you? I would love to know your thoughts on this. So definitely hit me up on Instagram DM’s and share your thoughts, or here on YouTube. Leave a comment in the comments below and let me know your thoughts on these issues.
Thanks so much for being with me on this or the 100th episode, will we make it another 400 beyond this, who knows? I’m just going with it for now. But I really appreciate that you’re here. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast both on YouTube and on your favorite podcast app. Leave us a comment here and share this episode with your friends, your family, and the people that you care about. Let them know about the Fuel Your Strength podcast. And of course, if you’re ready to apply for Strength Nutrition Unlocked to join our community to really learn how to put these principles into action and get support and coaching, and accountability around your own strength. Then go ahead and submit an application over at StephGaudreau.com/apply slash apply. All right, until the next episode. Thanks so much for being here. Have a great week and stay strong.