Shyvanne Delva: How did your fitness journey begin?
Kelli Segars: We have both been active all of our lives; playing sports from very young ages, coaching, and being physical trainers or health coaches for many others.
Delva: You and your husband Daniel started Fitness Blender, where did this idea come from?
Segars: We started Fitness Blender in order to reach more people with our passion. We wanted to make reliable health and fitness information something that was accessible to everyone, regardless of their income or access to personal trainers or even gym equipment.
Delva: You put 100% energy into Fitness Blender. What are the most exciting projects you have done so far?
Segars: One of the most exciting things that we have done involves changing the way that people think about working out and eating healthy. Unfortunately there are a lot of companies and “professionals” who prey upon people looking to get fit; either pushing unnecessarily harsh and often dangerous mindsets, approaches, and/or useless supplements. Too many fitness programs emphasize purely appearance and superficial goals over attaining a strong, healthy, and capable body. We love that we have been able to change people’s minds about exercise being uncomfortable, painful, and dreadful, and instead turn it into something that they are fortunate enough to get to do for themselves, as a means to become healthier, live longer, and move more easily throughout their entire days and lives.
Delva: What sort of exercises you enjoy the most?
Segars: It’s actually kind of hard to choose because all of them (HIIT, strength training, yoga, Pilates, stretching, low impact cardio, kettlebell, etc, etc) all play such an integral part of a well-rounded program, but if we had to pick we would go with high intensity interval training because it’s so efficient and effective, as well as strength training, also because of its effectiveness and for the fact that it can be incredibly empowering to see and feel yourself getting stronger.
Delva: If you could recommend one fitness program to all of the people that want to start their journey with fitness from Fitness Blender channel, what would it be?
Segars: While we do have beginner friendly and low impact programs (check out either our eBooks or our online, calendar based programs) fitness is such a personal, individual thing that we all have different starting places. The most important thing, no matter your starting place or goals, is that you are willing to listen to and respect your own body, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. We always encourage people using any of our many different levels and training styles of workout programs to move at their own pace; finding the balance between pushing yourself, and learning to read your body’s signals, even if that means stopping short a few reps or seconds of an interval here and there. The idea is that you push yourself a little further each time, and exercise never becomes a painful, detestable, or defeating activity, meaning you’ll come back and do it the next day, and the day after that…Adherence is of paramount importance, so you want to be careful to never set yourself up to hate exercise.
Delva: Do you think nutrition is 80% and exercise is only 20%?
Segars: No, we actually hate that saying! We think it’s 100% of both. Sure, you can technically sometimes temporarily lose weight by cutting calories, but it’s not all about weight loss, and you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of deprivation, no wiggle-room whatsoever in terms of intake, and you’ll be missing out on all of the incredible benefits of exercise. You shouldn’t be aiming to be “skinny” or “thin” or even a certain scale weight. You should aim instead for optimal nutrition in the form of real, whole, unaltered foods that make you feel great, and exercise that boosts your mood, your confidence, strength, endurance, and ability to live a long and healthy life. If you focus only on one factor of this two part equation, you’ll be ripping yourself off of all kinds of invaluable benefits. One without the other is a setup for failure or a lifetime of struggling, at the very least.
Delva: What is the best nutrition tip that you ever heard of?
Segars: Eat real food, and lots of it. Stay away from packaged, processed foods and supplements as much as possible.
Delva: How do you think people can improve their overall health?
Segars: Embrace a wide range of workout training styles and implement them often, eat nutritionally dense, whole foods. Drink lots of water and make sure you find ways to manage stress (exercise is an excellent option!).
Delva: Do you think that fitness mania is going to fade easily?
Segars: We hope not! We do however hope that it switches from “mania” to a longer lasting, more permanent mindset that this isn’t a fad, it’s something that you have to really embrace throughout your entire life – not just something that you do before bathing suit season is around the corner!
Delva: Why do you believe health and fitness information is not reliable on the internet?
Segars: There is no overriding authority to check certifications, qualifications or claims with the information being shared online by many people and companies. Unfortunately our industry sees health and fitness as a business and not as a service, and so useless (often times even dangerous) supplements, “vitamins”, and meal replacements are monetized and sold to the masses. Equally useless equipment is pushed as necessary, and borderline comical fitness trends come and go in an effort to do something “new” and flashy, where we already know that a healthy diet and exercise work. We see many online trainers taping into a person’s desire to look a certain way, and then completely taking advantage of it by selling them products that they don’t need, promising results that they likely won’t deliver.
Delva: What are your plans and dreams for future?
Segars: We would like to reach and help as many people as we possibly can!
Delva: What specific message do you have for all the fans of Mess who want to get fit?
Segars: There is no shortcut for looking fit and feeling healthy. It takes work, but it is 100% worth it. You don’t need supplements, fancy gym equipment, or to look a certain way to start exercising; just start and stick with it; it’s a lifelong journey and you should be able to enjoy it, if not at least appreciate it for what it does for you in your life. You can find over 400 free full length workout videos at fitnessblender.com, with difficulty ranging from absolute beginner to very advanced; find a starting place that works for you, and listen to your body as you go. The rewards will be more confidence and energy, improved appearance, better health across the board, and a sense of empowerment from challenging yourself, treating your body well, and finding a healthy relationship with your body.