The fitness industry is daunting. Just hop on Pinterest or do a Google search, and you have a million fitness and nutrition websites, articles, trainers, programs and plans at your fingertips.
I fear for you. How are you supposed to know what would work for you or if it’s even legit? How do you know if that program you might try was designed by a certified trainer, or even if that certification is a reputable one? (Yes, you can become “certified” as a trainer, able to create workout programs for anybody, after simply attending a weekend workshop. What?!) Will that plan or program meet the practical needs of a mom with children to take care of, work to juggle, a household to manage, and minimal extra time? When all is said and done, will it even work?
I have been in the fitness industry for over a decade, working with every type of individual and countless moms. I have seen the frustration, heard the obstacles, and witnessed what works and doesn’t work. I have been a liaison between the everyday woman and the scholars, the researchers, and the elite coaches in the industry. I strive to bring my clients the most effective exercise routines and nutrition strategies.
I’m not into trends. I’m into what works.
The Strong Mommas website is my collection of knowledge. It is the result of years of learning, teaching, and doing it myself. Everything I have poured into the pages of Strong Mommas works, and I know this because I have tested it time and time again. You need to know that you have unlimited access to so much information, tools and strategies, plans and routines, that you really cannot go wrong. I'm setting you up for success.
In today's post, I'm going to walk you through the Strong Mommas website so you know how to utilize all this information. With these eight steps you can become a Strong Momma...or an even stronger one!
Let's start with your fitness and then later jump into nutrition...
First: Take stock of where you’re at and where you’re coming from. I harp on learning your identity a lot because it really sets the stage for what your experience will be. (Read this post and this post.) You also need to know if you’re approaching Strong Mommas with a beginner, an intermediate or an advanced level of experience. Read this article to find out what training level you are.
Are you pregnant, too? Great! Determine your training level and then also read the General Pregnancy Guidelines. These guidelines are like a fitness roadmap for these 10 months.
Second: Now you need to pick a workout plan (or two or three). Once you know what training level you are, the workout plans are categorized by level and equipment. Working out at home with zero equipment? No problem, just pick a bodyweight workout. Do you have some dumbbells lying around or even a gym membership? Great, just choose one of the dumbbell or TRX routines.
For most women, working out two to three times per week for beginners and three to five times per week for intermediates/advanced is ideal. So go ahead and choose a couple different workout plans for your training level to rotate through during the week.
Third: Learn how to warm-up and cool-down properly with each workout. It’s not good for your body to just step right up to a workout with no warm-up phase and walk away from a workout without a proper cool-down. The warm-up and cool-down must be part of your plan, too. Choose one of the dynamic warm-ups to perform, like this one, before every workout you do. And then to cool down properly learn how to foam roll your muscles thoroughly, followed up with some good stretching.
Fourth: Double check your technique. As a neurotic trainer with a technique complex, the thought of you working out by yourself without my eyes scrutinizing every move makes me twitch a bit. The best you can do here is learn how to use impeccable technique with my exercise tutorials. Watch videos on the most fundamental exercises to make sure you're doing them properly. Yes, technique can be boring, but it can also be the difference between you having a successful experience and ending up pointlessly injuring yourself.
So, on the fitness front, you have four steps to get yourself pointed in the right direction: figure out your training level, pick a couple workout plans to try, learn how to warm-up and cool down properly, and then check your technique.
Next, we’re going to jump over to nutrition...
Fifth: Learn the basics of health eating. I am strongly anti-diet, anti-detox, and anti-anything that doesn’t promote a lifestyle of good eating choices that can be maintained for the rest of your life (sorry if that ruffles your feathers a bit!). The Healthy Eating Habits that I teach are simple and sustainable. I am a huge fan of making life as easy as possible, especially when it comes to nutrition. This does not need to be complicated.
There are ways that you can fine-tune your eating habits even more, but you must prove yourself to be a master of the basic Healthy Eating Habits FIRST!
Sixth: Choose a meal plan. The best way to make healthy eating a part of your life on a daily basis is to have a meal plan, or a full week of healthy meals at a glance. I have pre-designed several meal plans for you already. This Easy Peasy Meal Plan is a great place to start (Amen for bagged salads and Crockpot dinners!) I even provide you with a template to create your own meal plan.
Seventh: Try some new recipes. On the side of my fridge I have a list of healthy dinner ideas that I can refer to when I'm stumped for dinner. (You should definitely do this, too!) Over the last few months I have been making these meals, taking photos of them and writing out the full recipe for you here. Now you have access to what our family eats for dinners, as well as what I eat for breakfast and lunch. And of course, I have incorporated these into the meal plans.
On the nutrition front, you have three steps to implement right now: learn all about the healthy eating habits, choose a meal plan or create your own based on the healthy eating habits, and then try some new recipes.
Alright, one last step set you up for success...
Eighth: Read, read, read. Once you have everything above in place and ready to go, start reading the fitness articles and nutrition articles. And definitely keep following along with this blog. Also, make sure you're on my email list so you're alerted when new stuff is added to the site. (Sign up form is below or along the side of this page.)
I designed Strong Mommas to be your hub, your go-to site for all things regarding fitness, nutrition and inspiration, specifically for you, momma. All of this stuff is what I do on a daily basis and what I teach my clients when I'm with them face to face. Please, take advantage of everything Strong Mommas has to offer! These eight steps will definitely get you pointed in the right direction.
I also really appreciate your feedback! If there is a topic you're dying to learn more about, a style of workout you'd like to do, or even meal ideas, please comment below. Most likely I'll write about it and add it to the site!
-Still Slaves: The Hidden Slavery of the American Mom
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-Battling a Sweet Tooth: 8 Tips for managing your sugar cravings
-Running for Moms: Where does it fit into your program?
-Balance & Moderation: What does this even mean?!
-Too Much Self Love? Taking a hard look at the "body positive" movement
Megan P. Dahlman
Hi friend! I'm a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Precision Nutrition Certified Coach, Wife to Scott, and Mom to two crazy boys, Calvin & Peter. I train hard, eat well, rest just enough to keep going, and do my best to maintain a heavenly perspective. I'd love to coach you to do the same. Cheers!
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