Whether it's after a holiday break or post-summer break, parents always feel a sigh of relief when their kids return to a regular school schedule.
With the kids back in the classroom, you can get "back to ME."
If you've fallen out of your routine or are new to exercise, having a little time to yourself can get you on the right track to health and fitness.
Chris and Heidi Powell, dynamic co-hosts of Extreme Weight Loss
, say it's important to find a fitness activity that works for you.
"We are all about switching it up. Whenever we are working with new people and getting them into moving and exploring fitness, we always encourage them to 'date' every aspect of fitness that they possibly can, from Pilates and yoga to kick-boxing and weight training," advises Chris.
Chris and Heidi join host Lisa Davis to discuss fitness tips, insights from the show, and how you can still eat healthy -- even if fast food is your only option.
Buy on AmazonExtreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days
Back to School, Back to ME with Chris and Heidi Powell
This episode of Talk Fitness is in partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe where knowledgeable health enthusiasts are standing by to help you thrive every day.
Lisa Davis (Host): It is back to school time and back to school, back to me and I have a funny little story to start this with. I don’t know how funny it is, but so my daughter is on the autism spectrum and I found her this amazing school, but it is like an hour away. So, I’m thinking holy crud, how am I going to maintain my sanity, my workouts, my health, everything, driving back and forth and back and forth. So, what I did is I thought okay, I’m going to have to put all my tapings on one day and then stay in town the rest of the week. So, I thought what can I do while I’m here. Well I can bring my laptop. I can work. But I know what I’ll do, I’m going to find a really kick ass gym and I’m going to work out. So, I walk in this gym, it has the most beautiful pool I have ever seen and so I have been swimming laps and then I took some yoga classes. I have been meaning to go back to yoga. So, now even though it is still two hours a day of driving, and it has to do with bringing her to school; I’m able to actually get a lot done and get some work outs in, so I’m really glad that I came up with this solution because otherwise, I would just be sitting at Whole Foods all day looking at my computer. So, anyway, it’s so nice that we could find and that is a wonderful laugh of the gorgeous Heidi Powell. We have got Chris and Heidi Powell here with us. You know them from ABCs highly rated documentary style series Extreme Weightloss and so much more. So, I wanted to tell that story because I found a creative way to not just give in and be like oh well, I guess I’m just a chauffeur forever but to say no, I’m going to still find time and make this work. So, Chris and Heidi, welcome to Talk Fitness Today.
Chris and Heidi Powell (Guests): Thank you so much Lisa. Great to talk to you again. Yeah it is really great. We love being on here. Thank you for having us.
Lisa: We have so much fun. So, what do you think of my idea?
Chris: Right off the bat, absolutely brilliant.
Heidi: Well, and it is so funny because most people – I would say most moms or dads, when their kids go back to school, it’s like they have time to breath so you are kind of shedding some light on a situation that most people don’t even think about. Yeah, the drive to school, and having to maybe wait for your child, it can be a little bit daunting and you definitely took a situation, you took a lemon and you made lemonade out of it. One hundred percent.
Chris: And you know oh go ahead.
Lisa: Oh no I was just saying it feels really good because I have been wanting – I have been a Pilates gal for like six years. I have to admit, I miss my Pilates. I think they have it but it is like the one time I have to pick her up, I can’t do it, but the yoga has been really good for me and it is nice to try something I haven’t done for a long time.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely and we are all about switching it up. You know it is so funny, but Heidi and I like whenever we are working with people and just kind of getting them into moving and exploring fitness, we always encourage people to kind of “date” every aspect of fitness that they possibly can from Pilates to yoga to kick boxing, to MMA to weigh training to whatever, to cross fit, whatever it might be and “date around” find something that you love and marry it for a little while and then whenever you are ready, it’s one of the few things that you can actually separate from and everyone is going to give you the good nod right there. So, but yeah, just keep “dating around” because there’s an athlete in all of us and we always end up finding something that we really enjoy to do; so, and its fun to kind of switch gears and find passion in something else for a little bit.
Lisa: Oh, it really is. Well Chris what are you passionate about when it comes to going to the gym?
Chris: Well, right now, we have definitely got this Physique bug going on. Now, we of course came up, I came up in sports and performance as my formal education and then I found cross fit way back when in like 2008. Dove in for like seven years and had a blast with it. I did a handful of competitions and all that and in fact the cross fit workout was actually me and Heidi’s first date, believe it or not. How is that?
Heidi: it was so romantic, right?
Chris: It was a test to see if she could hang.
Heidi: And I think I passed.
Chris: Yeah. I told her, I told her I didn’t know I was going to marry her until I saw her dead lift and her form was so perfect I was like, that’s the one, right there. But so, we were into cross fit for a while and then a couple of years ago, we had a couple of the participants on the show who had gone through transformation, they ended up when the show was over, there is something that we always challenge everybody to, because the thing is the journey is never over. So, one our main requirements in transformation is that whenever they hit their end goal as far as their ideal weight; they have to have something else planned. Some other event. Something that they are constantly working towards. So, two of our participants, actually decided when they hit their ideal weight that they wanted to do a Physique competition like a bikini and a men’s Physique competition and then they actually challenged Heidi and I to do the same and you know we are not going to tell anybody to do anything that we are not willing to do ourselves and so we stepped up and this is like two and a half years ago. We got the bug and we are loving it. So, I’m having a blast just doing old school body building. You know it is something that Heidi and I will head out to the gym in the mornings and we will do it together and we really have a lot of fun doing it. So, we are doing that, but then maybe we will go back to cross fit, maybe we will score some endurance training. I did a half Iron Man a while back and so whenever you do a half, there is always that well I wonder what a full would be like. So, who knows what will go in the future but right now the body building things is a lot of fun for us.
Lisa: Oh, that’s great and Heidi, it sounds like you are enjoying it too?
Heidi: Well, I’m listening to Chris and I’m like yeah, it is true, we have been doing it for a couple of years. I actually though, I just like two months ago to kind of be completely honest, I reached my goal, my body building goal which was – I set a goal a couple of years ago to get my Pro Card after the first show that I did. Because I did horribly in my first show, didn’t even place. I was probably closer to last than I was to first. So, I set a goal and really worked so hard. I made it just as much a priority in my life as I did work and kids and like I was just running at 200% every single day. I am not kidding you. Two months ago, I ended up competing and finally winning a national show, getting my Pro Card and I don’t know if you can tell right now, but I’m fighting something in my chest, and like I have a little bit of a cold going on or something and I swear from the moment I got my Pro Card and I just kind of relaxed a little bit, my body just felt – I think I worked a little too hard for too long.
Chris: You have been sick on and off ever since.
Heidi: It’s true. It is something I have been fighting it about two weeks ago, a week and a half ago, this thing really like hit me hard. So, what I have been doing, I did – I am doing body building a couple of times a week, but for the most part; these days Lisa, I am getting ten minutes in at my house of body weight exercise because like you, when school started I feel like my work load or my load just got heavier, maybe it is running the kids around, whatever it is and so for me, getting to the gym should be easier when kids are in school. It is actually a little bit more difficult for me. I think I might be feeling like I’m without things and work and so I have eased down and gone to more at home training. It’s like if I have 12 minutes, I know I can do three rounds of Tabata, which is, I think we might have talked about that in one of the things. It’s the 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for eight rounds. So, I’ll do Tabata burpees and Tabata squats and I just have to know that that’s enough and it really is enough like whatever I have time for, as long as I’m getting out there and I’m doing something; I know I’m doing my body good and more than anything, I’m doing my mind good. I’m not killing myself in the gym for an hour and a half which I wasn’t before either, I was only doing about 45 minutes to an hour. But so, we go through phases. I went through a two-and-a-half-year phase of Physique. Right now, I’m taking a little bit of an at home training break.
Chris: A little maintenance training here.
Heidi: While I’m healing, yes, let’s let this sickness pass. Let’s let our life ease out or ease up a little bit and I think I will say this, before I started the body building thing as well; I actually stayed in great shape just doing what I’m doing now. Sometimes it’s ten minutes at home, sometimes its only five, sometimes its thirty minutes. It’s like whatever I have time for; that’s what I’m going to do and to the moms and dads out there that are finding themselves busier now than when – I think everyone should have this goal, they are like gosh, kids are going to go back to school, I am going to get back in shape and then back to school happens and they find their selves busier than they ever were before because now they have to run lunches to their kids at lunchtime and go show up at this committee at 1 p.m. and it really is. There is so much going on with school and with kids but the fact of the matter is, you can get your health back. You can get your fitness back. But it’s about making time and knowing that whatever time you have; it’s enough and we can maximize it with certain types of exercise.
Lisa: Oh, I think so too. And you know what’s funny, with the yoga, like my husband does yoga every day. He has been telling me for years, Hon, you got to get back to yoga, it will be really good for your mind because you know having a child on the spectrum is very stressful and so he is more centered than I am and I need to do this. So, just even taking a few classes, now at home, when I have ten minutes, I’ll be like oh yeah, I can do that little routine I did in class. So, even if you can’t get back to the class, you don’t want to throw in the whole towel, whereas I could have just put on something online and just did some yoga, but for me I needed to have like the on-hands in the class kind of thing to sort of get my engine revved up to be like whoo-hoo. Let’s do some yoga. Speaking of getting revved up, I want to talk about your Transform with Chris and Heidi, Start Your Journey. This is a transform – you have an app and I want to hear all about it because it is so nice when you can be guided by experienced wonderful people like yourselves. So, Chris, jump in and tell us about this.
Chris: Yeah, my gosh, so we – for everyone who is listening who actually watched our show; it was amazing and we were blessed to have the opportunity to be able to train these people, these amazing 15-19 people a year through a yearlong journey of transformation, but the only thing that was really painful for Heidi and myself is that when the show starts off with these individuals writing us a letter and asking for help and when it’s aired in 148 countries around the world; you can imagine the letters that came pouring in from the most lovely people around the world asking for help. And we could only pick 15-19 of them and that hurt. Because like who are we to choose who gets to transform and who doesn’t and it was incredible working with our people for five years but we promised ourselves after season one we said as soon as we can, we need to create a platform so that we are not just working with 15-19 people; we are working with 15 million people because there are millions- tens of millions of people out there that really need this, that genuinely want this. So, two years ago when ABC ended up selling the show into syndication to TLC, the Oprah Whinfrey Network and everything like that we said okay, we have the time now; let’s build a team.
So, we built this incredible development team. We spent two years in production and we shot over a thousand videos. We spent literally two years developing the most robust transformation app ever created and it is – it will take everyone through that journey of transformation from beginning to end, step by step, day by day. There is a video where we engage you every single day that you are working out with us and we are talking you through the workout. We are having fun. There is a community – it is so cool because when you onboard, it is the process that we used exactly with all of our people on the show. So, when you onboard, it is going to take all of your biometrics and then it’s going to create a whole custom nutrition program specifically for you. We have got over 350 recipes there in the app as well from quick to grab and go menus to full gourmet menus.
And with all of them though, it’s like when, say Lisa, when you log in and when you enter your biometrics; it will scale all of those 350 recipes specifically to your goal. If I log in, it can scale them up to my goal. And so, your meals will be very different from mine and as you are going through the process, because documentation is so important in the journey of transformation. For a lot of reasons, for bragging rights, for trouble shooting, for all kinds of different things. But the app recognizes that you are not getting results as fast as you want it will automatically adjust your portions and adjust your plan to keep you going. So, there are no more plateaus anymore. So, it will take you all the way to your goal.
So, so much thought has gone into this, that’s why I mean it was two years in the making but and a team of about 35 of us to make this thing happen. But we just launched it a few months ago and the best part about it now is that we have got tens of thousands of people now following this app and we are. Let’s see we launched it early April and the testimonials and the images that are coming through now of people who have been doing this for just four months – it is mind blowing. I mean it is the coolest thing in the world because these people like that we have never even met before but we’re connecting with them every single day. They are sending us pictures and they have lost 50 pounds, 65 pounds, they have lost 5% body fat and they are shredded now. I mean it’s just – it’s the coolest thing for us to be able to see that so and we developed transformation not just weight loss transformation but women’s Physique transformation, men’s Physique, cross training transformation because everyone’s goals are different.
So, we just pulled from our resources and for our Physique and cross training, we actually teamed up with our coaches to offer those different programs. So, we teamed up with Pro Physique who they put more people on stage at the Olympia than anybody else. They helped create all of our Physique programs. And then Brute Strength who has put more athletes in the cross fit games than anybody; we teamed up with them for cross training. And so, it has been so much fun because offering transformation to the masses and really guiding people through with integrity.
Lisa: Yeah, see that’s it and you guys have such integrity. Now let’s say somebody is 350 pounds and because I know you have worked with people who are overweight; how does it work in terms of the workouts or someone like me who I’d like to maybe lose 10 pounds and have a little more muscle mass. So, it is going to be a totally different situation obviously, so talk to us about that.
Chris: There is no one size fits all approach.
Heidi: But one of the best things about the way that we train is every single workout we do is completely 100% scalable for anyone from beginner like someone that is maybe four or five hundred pounds to an elite athlete. People don’t – I don’t think that they understand how every move really can be modified even something as intimidating, Lisa as a burpee for example.
Lisa: Oh, that’s right. Yeah, we talked about that. Right, yes, because I’m afraid.
Heidi: We told you our piece on the show the very first workout we do with them is that seven minutes of burpees and they feel so like we talked about, they feel so empowered that they are able to do a move that even the most elite athletes can do and granted they are doing it at a fraction of the pace and even a modified version but it gives them something to feel proud of and something to work toward and work forward to. So, now I will say this too, while we have all of the workouts that are completely scalable, no matter if you are 150 pounds or you are 550 pounds. They really are completely scalable and it is like if you have a knee issue, the app will show you a modification so you can do a move that won’t affect your knee, etc.
But weight loss doesn’t necessarily happen with the squats, the burpees, the pushups, the pull ups. That’s not where weight loss happens. Weight loss happens number one in the kitchen. But how we accelerate the rate at which we burn fat is just by moving with walking, or running or elliptical, maybe its bike, maybe a Zumba class, whatever it is, just – it’s a little bit boring, but just get up and start walking. That is the hands down the very first thing aside from the seven minutes of burpees to show people how powerful they are. But that’s what we have them start doing every single day. Just get up and for some individuals, it is just walks from your house to that light pole and back and that’s enough for them to just get them moving, get their bodies moving, do something that they haven’t done in a really long time. And then as they become fitter and they start to drop a little bit of weight; they are able to go from your house to the next light pole and back and then your house down the entire street and back and then around the block and then before they know it, they are picking up the pace and they might be doing a slight jog for a little bit of it. And I’m not kidding, that is how we have gotten people that are completely sedentary to do marathons within six months of meeting us. Full marathons where they run.
Chris: Yup but for anybody that is looking to complete one of our workouts; we’ll put it this way, there are over 450 exercises in the app alone and each exercise there is a full video, we are explaining it and there’s also text tool description for every single one of those movements, there is an alternate or modifier. So, there is nothing. There is no workout that people cannot complete, no matter what your situation.
Heidi: And then I want to say this too because we had one woman in particular, she was part of our beta testing. So, she started the app, the actual app before it was even released to the general public and she was about 68 years old. She had been doing Weight Watchers for 32 years, I believe, 32 years and she had been stuck at whatever weight she was at, she was completely stuck at. She still had about 35 pounds to lose. Started the app, did not even do the exercise component, just followed the nutrition component, dropped all of her weight within how many months did Barb lose her weight in?
Chris: Well, it was about four months. Four months to lose 35 pounds.
Heidi: Four month, the weight she couldn’t lose in 32 years she had lost not even doing any of the exercises, just following the nutrition plan. That goes to show you how important nutrition is in the transformation equation.
Lisa: Wow, yeah, isn’t it huge? And so, you mentioned that you have the recipes, right and so that helps people. That’s huge.
Heidi: Absolutely. Absolutely. Did you tell her about the fast food locator?
Chris: No, I didn’t mention that part. Go ahead.
Heidi: See this is probably right thing because I am not.
Chris: Well, let’s get real.
Heidi: Well, I am not mom. Most of us are. We are so busy. We are out and about. We planned on being home at 3 o’clock but something came up and it’s 7:30 at night and we are still not home. So, we never had a chance to go grab healthy food. Chances are in those situations; the average person is just going to stop by the nearest drive through because we need something. So, we actually took that excuse out of the equation and we have a not only a fast food locator, but a guide. So, we will actually guide you to the nearest fast food restaurant around you, click on it and say you want to go to Arby’s or Arby’s is around you. Click on Arby’s, we actually give you a list of approved items that you can eat at Arby’s. We teach you how to build a high carb meal and a low carb meal at the most popular fast food chains.
Lisa: Oh wow, I didn’t think it could be done, like I’m stunned.
Chris: And a lot of people, especially like other trainers and nutritionists are like why would you do that? And we are like guys, we have been doing this for 20 years, let’s get real. We have been making meal plans and so have you for how long and 9 out of 10 people take the meal plan and go thanks so much and then they drive to Chick Fil A. So, you know what I would rather do is let’s get real with them because the thing is, a lot of your fast food restaurants; they are opening up their eyes to the fact that people are wanting healthier food and they are offering healthier options and even if they are not; we can manipulate the foods that they do offer and we can make them healthier options and we can make sure they fit into our macros and they can get us where we want to go. And so, we said, you know what, if you can’t beat em, join em and then and we can totally take this and we can manipulate it to get you where you want to go. So, let’s create a whole fast food menu and a locator so when you are on the go and you are like oh shoot I have to stop at MacDonald’s, okay where’s the closest MacDonald’s. Just hit the locator, it’s going to pull up the closest one to you and it’s going to tell you what to eat when you are there so you can still stay on track. Because now you are hitting the drive through, it doesn’t mean you are off plan anymore. It doesn’t mean just throw your arms up, you give up. No, you can go to MacDonald’s, and you can stay right on track and your one meal closer to your goal.
Lisa: Wow, see I’m totally shocked, but you’re right, I mean we have to live in the real world, right and it kind of reminds me of something I learned when I got my Master’s in Public Health. There is something called harm reduction and it’s sort of like looking at what you’re doing, right like we don’t want people to eat fast food but they are going to, so let’s make it less harmful, right so it’s like engaging in behaviors that people are going to do that you are not necessarily thrilled with or that might lead to danger so like with hep C, people let’s make sure people have access to condoms or because otherwise you are going to spread disease, so it’s like a public health thing. And that is immediately what I thought of. And I never thought of that with the fast food.
Chris: Now, ultimately would we like people to not eat so much fast food? Absolutely, if we can pull them off of that and getting them eating real whole natural foods, guess what, you are just going to be that much happier and healthier. And so, but the thing is, I mean, we’re at point A, in order to get people to point B, you don’t make a quantum leap. You just take them to B and then to C and then to D. It’s baby steps. So, ease them into this lifestyle, show everybody that transformation is amazing. It’s enjoyable. It’s fun. It’s not deprivation and restriction and we can truly make a lifestyle of this and you know what, if you hit step K or L or M and you are like you know what, I’m at my ideal weight, I did it eating fast food, I did it drinking a diet soda here and there, this is totally enjoyable for me, guess what, more power to you because you have come a long way since you were at point A and that’s transformation and we couldn’t be happier for you.
Lisa: Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. You know in the last few minutes, I’m curious about some of the workouts. Are these more body weigh exercises that you take people to? Are they HIT exercises, high intensity interval training? What is it? Or is it a combo of a bunch of stuff?
Chris: Great question. It’s all of the above. And so, when I said we took two years to develop this thing and over 1000 videos. It’s because we know that some people want and all they have access to is just body weight exercises so we built a whole library of body weight exercises. But then there are some people out there they want an Iron Gym. They want to focus on Physique transformation, so we have got a whole library of Iron Gym exercises that you are going to do when you go to any commercial big box gym. And then we even have cross training exercises for people who have all functional training equipment like you are going to find at a Cross Fit gym. So, there is a whole library of exercises there. So, we created all of the above depending on whichever transformation that you want to follow.
Heidi: And I will say, we are very involved with our community, very involved so as people give feedback and they tell us what they want, what kind of workouts they want to see; we actually incorporate them into the app. So, we are coming out with the new program within the next few months that I’m really excited about that basically takes body sculpting and brings it home because so many moms don’t just want to lose weight but they want to sculpt their bodies as well. So, we are always listening and always modifying based on what our fans and our supporters and our clients really need.
Chris: Yeah, tell us what you want and we will film it and we will structure it and we will build it into program for you.
Lisa: Oh, you guys could do some yoga.
Chris: Yes you are spot on.
Lisa: I would love that.
Chris: Yoga is phenomenal. I must say that, not to talk about myself here, but one of the greatest experiences of my life, I bought a yoga
Heidi: No it was marrying me. The greatest experience of his life was marrying me and then the second greatest experience was buying a yoga package.
Chris: I did a yoga package for three months and oh my gosh, I have never felt so good physically. My strength went up. My power went up. I mean basically, I started doing yoga and it improved my fitness across the spectrum. It was incredible. I mean huge fans and believers in yoga.
Lisa: Oh, it is. I can’t wait for you guys to come on again. The time goes by too quickly. Chris and Heidi, tell us all the ways we can follow you on social media and how we can get this great transform app.
Heidi: Yes, of course. So, the app you would go to www.thetransformapp.com and on social media it is @thetransformapp and then Chris and I both are it is @realHeidiPowell and @realChrisPowell on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Lisa: Wonderful. I love having you guys on the show. I can’t wait to have you back. I want to thank everyone for listening to Talk Fitness Today. You can follow us on social media on Twitter and Snap Chat @TalkFitness2Day. Thanks for listening everyone and stay well.
This episode of Talk Fitness was produced by The Vitamin Shoppe where trusted health enthusiasts help you thrive every day. Visit one of 800 stores across the country or head to www.vitaminshoppe.com for all your wellness needs.