Show Notes: Kate Galliett – Working (Out) From Home

Listen:

See the full radio schedule here.

Show Summary:

Kate Galliett has over two decades’ experience as a personal trainer and gym owner, and now runs The Unbreakable Body, delivering online-only training to people around the world. All of which means she’s a step ahead of most of us when it comes to lockdown body maintenance. We chatted with her about how to stay fit and motivated in a tiny apartment.

Show Notes:

  • [0:30] How can we adjust our expectations during crisis?
  • [4:19] Doing “perimeter check” workouts in your apartment.
  • [5:20] How do I practice moving my body through its full range of motion?
  • [6:20] How does metabolism work?
  • [6:32] The down-low on NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
  • [8:00] The “something” that is better than nothing during lockdown.
  • [8:52] How to harness a “domino effect” to create a more productive day.
  • [13:25] How to have an explorer’s mindset.

Links:

Comments & Requests

If you have anything to share, we’d love to hear from you – you can comment below, or leave us a voicemail at +1 503 446 6013 – for non-US listeners, this number also works for texts and voicemail in Whatsapp or Signal!

Transcript:

Click to expand transcript

Jimmy

We’re back on Minaal Pirate Radio. Kate Galliett has over two decades’ experience as a personal trainer and gym owner, and now runs The Unbreakable Body, delivering online-only training to people around the world. All of which means, she’s a step ahead of most of us when it comes to lockdown body maintenance. We’ll get into that soon, but first off, Kate, how’s your lockdown fitness holding up?

Kate

Well, it’s, it’s been great because I’ve released a lot of the expectations that I would normally hold myself to, and have sought out ways to appreciate whatever I can get into that day. So it’s been a lot less firm in the expectations and a lot more like what can we do today to make something valuable happen for my body.

Jimmy

Right so it’s Minimum Viable Fitness almost.

Kate

Yeah, and really diversifying as well too. I’m really proud of how much more I’m diversifying my fitness and it’s because we tend to do that right, like you know you when you’re in desperate times you create you come up with really creative solutions. And so I’ve brought in some different kinds of hand and wrist training since I can’t go rock climbing right now. And my partner, he bought some juggling balls. And so I’m learning to do better with hand eye coordination and juggling skills.

Jimmy

How many balls are you up to?

Kate

Oh, I can do three balls for about two circles of throwing them and then…

Jimmy

That’s a good start!

Kate

And then things fall apart but that’s okay. And then figuring out how, you know how to make in my apartment work like if I if it’s cold, it’s so cold here in Utah and sometimes and so, if I don’t want to go out walking, how can I make cardio happen in my apartment? And how can I be creative? We put some sandbags together. So we’ve been really DIY doing some creative adventures with moving our body. And that’s really my whole thing like, find creative ways to move your body. It’s gonna do you a lot better than feeling like you got to stick to something super rigid.

Jimmy

Yeah. And you talk about being inventive in the home. But how much can you really achieve results-wise within home exercise? So a lot of people listening to this, I think can’t leave their back… well, if they’re lucky, they can’t leave the backyard, they can’t leave their tiny apartment if they’re me. But it feels, I think, to a lot of people like a huge hassle to exercise right now. So I think people are asking, is it worth that hassle in terms of results?

Kate

I totally get that. And we have to take a pause for ourselves and recognise that everything that we’re perceiving and receiving from the universe in the world and life right now is like, bizarre. And so you got to give yourself a little bit of a space to breathe on that front. But one thing we have to remember is that your body is always responding. To the signals that you send it. And so that means all the way down to a cellular level, your body’s paying attention to what you’re telling it, it should be capable of doing. And so that goes from moving in gentle ways, like doing a little light yoga routine, or a basic calisthenic stretching routine to doing strength exercise with like a, you have a luggage or a backpack or something like that, that you can put some weighted objects in and lifted a few times or walk around with it. Your body is always responding to those signals. And so think about that when you’re in this time period, what you’re laying down for your body right now, in terms of communication about what you want it to do, is going to be what your body responds to both now and for the future. And so every little bit, it really does count.

Jimmy

Yeah, so it’s not, it’s not like well, I can’t do a full gym workout, so I may as well do nothing. It really is, okay two push ups is going to be better than zero push ups.

Kate

100%, and I think as soon as we step out of that, it has to be an all or nothing mindset, the entire world opens up. And so I actually tested this out on myself recently. I was like, Okay, I personally, I can go to the park across the street right now, because the US has totally different roles and a lot of other people, for better or worse. But what if I couldn’t? What if I couldn’t do that and so I have a tiny apartment, and I figured, okay, I’ll set my timer for a few minutes. And then I will do what I call perimeter checks. I’m going to go to the edges of my apartment and work every single edge around the chair, then around the door, then around the edge of the desk, and do it continuously for three to five minutes moving as many different ways as I can. How about crawling, skipping, hopping, swinging my arms around walking like a crab like you would do in gym class as a kid. And I did that for cycles of time with inner spacing, like core exercises in it and I was like, dude, I just got a great workout and my mind was not thinking about work or worrying about the pandemic or worrying about my family or being bored, and it was effective. So finding those things that are small or different or varied, are going to be as impactful as that full gym workout anyways, you’ve got nowhere else to go. So you may as well use your body and think creatively about how you can do it.

Jimmy

And you talk about all or nothing. So what is the base level beyond nothing? So what are the first things that you would say that we can do to stay mobile and stay healthy while we’re stuck in place?

Kate

That’s a great question. And I think the simplest and most basic level thing that everybody can do is to move their body each joint through its full range of motion every day. I actually have a little follow along video, I’m happy to share it with your, your audience if you’d like that, and the the way to move your body through its full range of motion is gentle. It’s light. It’s something that you think do while you’re doing something else like listening to a podcast or reading your email or preparing things in the kitchen or eating your lunch. But moving your joints through their full range of motion every day not only tells your joints and your brain and your body to maintain those tissues, it raises your energy levels. It also can clear your mind. In addition, it helps boost your metabolism. We always forget that our metabolism is benefited not just by calories in and out and all that kind of stuff. But it’s also benefited by something called NEAT, which is non exercise associated thermogenesis and that’s all the little things you do that isn’t working out and eating. So gardening well. Some of us don’t have a garden. So daily movements like yoga, fidgeting, sex, these are all things that are moving your body but in such a light level that the calorie burn isn’t significant. But what it does do is add to the overall equation of your metabolic capacity for the day, in addition, they tend to reduce your stress. And when we have less stress in our body and less responsiveness to stress, we tend to be more likely to maintain muscle and keep our fat at a healthy level, as well as feel good in our body and have less tension in our muscles.

Jimmy

So it really is, it really is, any movement you do can be sending the right message to the body.

Kate

It really can. And you know, there are purists out there who are like, well, you have to do a push and a pull, in a yes sure, do all of that if you actually can, but also, every human right now is operating from a place of, you’re not at your most ideal life. And you might be creating that now as we spend more time in these stay at home orders. But let’s be real, like nobody really enjoys the fact that they can’t go do anything they want anytime they want, that they’re worried about family or friends or their business. Nobody really is thriving in that yet. And so what we have to recognise from that is that you’re doing the best you can. Small amounts make a difference, even if it’s as small as you get up from the desk, once an hour, you do a circle with your neck, like you’re making a big circular motion with your head and your neck, and then you sit back down. That’s something and that’s still better than nothing.

Jimmy

Yeah, and there are people. There are people who, like me, I think, lean on routine to stay healthy. And now obviously, everyone’s routines are completely scrambled. So what would you say to people who are struggling? Because they can’t just go out for the regular run or gym session? How do you rebuild that routine?

Kate

I love that question. Because I am a creature of habit as well. I have. I have been the person who’s like if I can’t go do XYZ, then the entire day gets thrown off and I never seem to recover my energy. And what I’ve learned is that if I create a domino effect, I can save my day. No matter what I can have an entire day that goes really well even if challenging things come up. And here’s how you create that domino effect. First you figure out are you someone who’s driven more by the peacefulness that going for a run or workout gives you? Or are you more driven by the amped energy that that going for the runner or the weights training weight training workout gives you? Once you figure out which one of those you are then set up from the moment you wake up until whatever time you’re going to start your work, whether it’s right away or an hour later, two hours later, and create a domino effect by creating some sequential actions that amp you up, or that bring you to peacefulness. So for example, if you get the peacefulness out of a running, you’re like, wow, it clears my head and I just feel really sound afterwards. I feel really steady. Maybe you start your day by getting up, fixing a coffee in a really slow, thoughtful way, reading something out of a book or praying or meditating or something like that. Maybe spending some time looking out the window to give your eyes a bit of a practice that looking at distance instead of the close up features of your computer, and then move towards some gentle movement that feels really innate and good or maybe like a yoga sequence that you feel. And then the last thing, whatever that is, that feels like okay, I feel really peaceful. And then the next thing you do is sit at your desk and that has completed your domino effect with one last domino that you have to then tip over which is no phone, Twitter, Facebook, text, notifications or anything for 60 minutes. Let yourself live in that domino effect for an hour. And I bet you will see that it tends to cascade through the rest of your day.

Jimmy

It’s a very, very pleasant sounding morning to me actually, I’m quite excited about it. And at what point I mean, are you prescriptive at all about time of day for integrating movement and exercise? Is it best to be sprinkled throughout? What do you prefer personally?

Kate

I think everybody benefits from moving their body every single day in a light fashion, whether, if you can walk in your yard, or if you have restrictions that allow you to actually leave your house and go for a walk, or like I was saying earlier, like yoga flows or a little movement sequence. But then also, you want to make sure you’re stressing your system a couple of times per week, we need to have cardiovascular health, regardless of a pandemic, we need to have cardiovascular health. And it’s good for us to build our muscle tissue so that we have a healthy metabolism, strong bones, good energy and the capacity to be able to do something. So make sure you’re stressing your system two to three times per week. And that would be for elevating your heart rate and feeling some burn in your muscles. So that way, you know if it were normal times, I would say okay, so you’re going to do a resistance training workout two to three times a week. That’s a great baseline to work out. You’re going to maybe elevate your heart rate two to three times a week as well plus new daily movement, but we can’t do that. So what you need to do is go okay, the objective is elevate my heart rate. So if you’re the person in the apartment, play my perimeter check game and see if you can go three to five minutes with different kinds of locomotion around your apartment, intersperse in some push ups or some core holds or planks or whatever. And see if you do that five times and how your heart rate will get elevated from that so elevate your heart rate and then get some burn in your muscles, get some pump going in your muscles. So does that mean put your backpack on with everything you own in it and do squats until your legs get tired? That could be a great option. Do you have a sandbag like I do and you could maybe do some rows and some deadlifts with it? That could be a great option. think creatively but think from the baseline of I need to stress my system both my cardiovascular system and my muscular system.

Jimmy

And I think the difference for you is that you’ve had a past and with in person training, you ran a gym in Chicago for five years, but even before all of this, you were coaching over video chat. And I’m interested in what the biggest change you had to make versus coaching in person was because obviously a lot of people might be looking into this sort of thing now, right? They might not have the motivation to work out alone, or they want to be told how to move or taught how to move. What is key to that transition if you’re used to doing stuff in person or being trained in person? And I guess I’m asking both from the trainer’s perspective, and also the client perspective, what changes in that change of medium?

Kate

Hmm, yeah, that’s a great question. And the best answer I can give you is this. I developed something called the Explorer’s Mindset a number of years ago. And it’s, it’s, it’s a lot of which I’ll just do a brief one right now the rest of it will be in my book in the future. But the Explorer’s Mindset basically has you think of yourself as an explorer of an entirely new land. And it’s your job to figure out how to make this new land, hospitable and capable of being, you know, thriving so that you can live in it and feel really good. So when you’re training on your own, what you’re trying to do is explore. And you’re trying to figure out what it takes for you to stick with the routine or challenge yourself when your trainer isn’t right there. Next you go and come on a couple of more, hey, let’s get back to work now or something like that. Your job is to explore everything and figure out what is it that would make this life this body this world I’m living in? Extremely hospitable. And when you do that, you learn a lot about yourself, you learn like, oh, well, the timer says I’m supposed to go again. But I don’t really want to hmm, what could I do as an experiment to make it so that I want to go again, or that I could challenge myself to go again, when you start looking at everything as experiments you can do and things that you can explore. You’re going to develop more of your own autonomy as the caretaker of your body and the autonomy is really what I want you to have anyways I don’t want you having to be reliant on me as the coach forever, I want you to be like I got this, I can push myself I know when to pull back, I know when to think more creatively about the ache or the pain that I’m feeling, and try to deduce what might be causing that. And so if folks can do that now, they’re going to really build a skill set that cannot be taken away. And that will be incredibly useful, both now when we’re maybe training online with a coach, but also in the future when you’re creating your own fitness programmes or your own skill based learning programmes, or even applying it to your job. And for me as a coach, that has also been true for me. I’ve been exploring what my students need more of and listening to what they’re telling me both with their words, but also with what they’re saying in between their words, and what they’re kind of hinting at without actually telling me and as I do that, I realised that helping them create more of this autonomy through the internet, but on their own time is really what’s making a big difference for them. And they’re really craving it and loving it and feeling more empowered than ever, which, which, honestly, is not what I thought would happen. I thought people would feel really disempowered. And I was worried for them that they would just drop off. But in turn, I’ve listened and responded and helped them find out that they’re the one who’s in charge of this whole show. Anyways, I’m just here to support the journey, and it’s actually improved the overall training experience.

Jimmy

Yeah, and it really does sound like cultivating that level of curiosity is the key to eventually getting to this stage of ownership.

Kate

Yes, absolutely.

Jimmy

Yeah. Interesting. Okay, well, thank you Kate. You can find Kate at her website, www.theunbreakablebody.com . And we’ll also be posting the audio from this conversation at minaalradio.com/kate.