As a badass guy who is busy doing a multitude of things, I can understand busy and trying to juggle tasks on a daily basis. One thing though I’ll always know and respect is, no matter how busy my day is, trying to be a working professional mother can be harder than I’ll ever comprehend. Enter my friend Melanie Elliott-Morgan. In the time I’ve known her, I’ve seen her obtain more and more credentials as a fitness professional, get married to an awesome guy, have a third child and manage to stay in great shape during her whole evolution as a person. A time ago, she started teaching PiYo classes as well up at Team Fitness in Lake Stevens and I can tell you, the classes are amazing and challenging for all levels. But how does this Superwoman balance all these tasks? Read on Metalheads!
MMF: Tell us a bit about how you got into fitness and becoming a trainer:
Mel: I started working out in my early to twenties. Prior to that, I had no experience with fitness. I started at home doing Tae Bo Videos! I was perfectly content for sometime doing that. Then, curiosity got the best of me and I joined a gym. I had all the usual fears. “I’m going to look stupid because I don’t know what I’m doing” or “Everyone’s going to be in awesome shape and I’m not”. Fear and all, I joined with a girlfriend. We played around a bit on equipment.. doing the best we could to figure it out. Then, realizing that we needed help we hired a trainer. And, I was hooked! I then was invited by a group exercise instructor to attend her class. I’m an all or nothing type of person so I started taking every class I could! Eventually the group of girls I worked out with was getting larger and I found myself naturally training them. One of the trainers at the gym told me I should look into getting certified as it felt so natural to me. I first got certified as a Group X instructor teaching Cycle. Then Cardio kickboxing and my certifications grew every year. Personal training certification came next. Then, youth and adolescent training followed by Piyo Live. I refuse to become complacent!
MMF: As a mother and wife, balancing everything along with training I’m sure can get to be a bit of a juggling act. Give us some insight on how you’re able to do it so maybe some women in the same position can understand how it’s possible:
Mel: As a wife and mother, I’ve really had to restrict myself. Meaning, not working nights. As a trainer this can be a death sentence to your career. I’m lucky enough to have a strong following with my group exercise classes that it allows me the ability to meet people who are able to train morning and afternoon. Referrals are my #1 source of business. Classes are #2.
MMF: Who are some of your fitness inspirations, people you site as influences to workout, and stay healthy:
Mel: Pauline Nordin is my biggest inspiration. For one, we’re close to the same size so I can relate to her when she gives advice. She’s a no-nonsense trainer which I respect and admire.
MMF: I’ve taken some of your excellent PiYo classes. How important is it to break away from just lifting weights and experiment with different forms of exercise for people looking to get and stay in shape?
Mel: I knew that I needed to implement some sort of Yoga/Pilates into my routine. Problem was, the classes were hard mentally for me to do. I am a terrible student! I need constant stimulation. Plus, if I’m spending any extra time at the gym it’s to lift. Many trainers will agree that it’s difficult to get their personal workouts in between training clients and teaching classes. I had a client tell me about PiYo. She said “this is right up your alley.” I had expressed to her previously that I needed to learn about yoga so I could get the stretching and body weight training in and then make it my own by vamping it up… Introducing PiYo Live!
MMF: As far as training yourself, what does a typical workout week look like for you?
Mel: My classes that I teach are based around what I would do for personal workouts. Or as close as I can get them. Mondays I teach a Cardio bootcamp style class. Tuesdays and Thursdays we strength train. Fridays we do Power Cycle. Sundays Piyo Live. I like to lift if I can Mondays and Fridays around clients as well. It doesn’t happen as often as I like tho because my baby is in the gym childcare. And again, priorities!
MMF: Music question. No wrong answers here! What are your favorite songs or bands in your iPod that get you moving in the gym?
Mel: Music wise I just have background music for my strength training classes. My cardio class I try to find anything with 130 bpm or higher. Cycling is a mixture of rap and popular music. PiYo is a designated cd provided by beachbody. My personal workout music is a bit harder than I would teach with!
Follow Melanie on IG @ trainer_melanie