I’d like to inspire a movement to improve nutrition in schools…I would want to improve school nutrition and teach the importance of healthy school options for children along with helping to update school cafeteria menus. There is a disconnect with the lunch menus. I would want kids to have sugar fewer options, give vegan options in school, and give vegetarian options to the children. I would love to start a movement around that, managing stress and educating others.
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Super Trainer and Lifestyle Fitness Expert Amoila Cesar.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
Iwas in college and I came home from school on a holiday break, my brother was doing P90X at the time. He was in great shape! I joined in with him and did that particular training program with him and fell in love with the process with how the body changed from exercising. I fell in love with training and from there I got into fitness and it took over my body. I graduated ended up switching my major and graduating with a Bachelor degree in Exercise Science and that was the beginning of my fitness journey.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
When I was younger, I thought I was going to play in the NBA. I thought I had the skills to play professional basketball. I suffered multiple injuries, yet I held on to hope I would be playing in the NBA as an adult. Now, fast forward to adulting, years later, and I still made it to the NBA. It is just that I am an NBA strength coach instead of an NBA player. Now, I get to work with some of the most talented athletes in the world.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
One of the things I had to learn in the beginning, as a trainer, was to realize that each person trains different and nobody trains the same as me. At the beginning of my career, I would just jump out and make someone do a burpee, the mistake was trying to train people the way I train. I had to realize every client is different and will start at different fitness levels. In the beginning, it was a learning process, I learned to properly do an assessment on every client before properly training them. I developed a whole new approach and as a result, I do a great job with each and every client. Every person has a program tailored directly to them.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I think what makes me unique is my approach to training. 60 percent of training is the knowledge, 30 percent is psychology… I must understand the client and understand how to motivate the person, and 10 percent is the personality. What makes me unique is the style of training I do. I study the movement and base the movement that only uplifts them when they get on the court or field in life. I work with professional athletes, and literally, every single one of my clients gets the exact results they asked for. I have never ever worked with a client who didn’t get the results they asked for. I have never failed with my clients.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Julius Randle, a professional NBA player, is the reason I am here now. Three years ago, Julius was 14 percent body fat and when I finished working with him he was six percent body fat… but it took us only three weeks. I got call calls from so many athletes, and celebrities after that because his store of fitness went viral. He went from fat pack to fit pack in three weeks. I would say Julius Randle is the reason I am here.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc . But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
What interferes a lot with people is consistency over intensity. When I say consistency here is an example. I want to run a marathon, but tomorrow I should just run 5 miles to get going. It doesn’t work that way. You have to gradually get there, gradually get to the goal. People need to be consistent by finding a sustainable foundation. Another thing which prevents people from daily habits of good health is social and cultural environments. We don’t realize culturally we may have grown up a certain way and eat from that place of learning. My girlfriend is Columbian and so she grew up with a cultural-specific way of foods in which she eats and is familiar to her. In my household, I grew up eating fried chicken and I was skinny as a child, but then why can’t I do it now. We have to learn how to get out of our own way. Consistency, cultural upbringing, and changing your behavior from lack of knowledge are the culprits. Create healthier habits, have an action plan. Tell yourself every day you are great… everyday practice affirmations. It works!
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
The power of belief or self-management and setting up and strategizing yourself. Throughout the day prep your meals, wake up earlier and prepare for the day. Goal settings and setting sustainable and short term goals first and then following that plan daily is the key. It’s not just what do you want to accomplish in 6 months, but what do you want to accomplish in 6 weeks?
- Read labels
- Structure your day with meals in the same way you structure your day for conference calls. It’s like a car — be proud of the work you are putting in for your body — just as you put in gas in your car. Your body is your car and the food is your fuel.
- Release your alcohol intake, drink it in moderation.
- Try and reduce your calorie intake.
- Improve your daily activity, walk a little further to the office. Park a little further in the parking lot. Utilize the stairs instead of the elevator. Change your daily routine by being more active. Think to yourself, “how can I burn as many calories without having to go to the gym.” Do little things every single day that will improve your self-management. The moment I started owning my excuses was the moment my life changed!!
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
Benefits of daily exercise is a multi-prong benefit. The psychological benefits are that it promotes a positive mood, feeling good, and more energy, loses anxiety, helps me relax, reduces stress. I am able to focus, I am able to have clarity. Stress is the outcome of challenging situations in our lives. If you are feeling stressful, working out will help. In the morning, I am going to work out to prep my day to have a good day. If I had a long day of stress, I would work out at night which will improve my mood and sleep that night. Stress, sleep, anxiety, and depression are all decreased simply by working out.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
I would recommend rear elevated split squats, planks, and pull-ups.
In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards . What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?
I would recommend a joint lubricant and allow your body to have an adequate amount of rest so you are not feeling lethargic or sore after exercise. I also recommend just staying on top of vitamin deficiency and no less than 6 hours to 8 hours of sleep a night.
There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?
I do intermittent fasting personally… so throughout the day, I would go thru crazy hunger curves. This is what I do for myself, I go 18 hours without eating and I have a six-hour window where I eat. I stay lean and it regenerates muscle as a result. It is something I don’t recommend to my clients but is my personal regimen. What I recommend to my clients is to stay away from box foods. If I am going to recommend a beginner who eats one meal a day is the following: get your omegas, your fats, your lean protein, your carbs. The diet that works best for my clients is based on this… eat as organic as possible, have an alkalized diet, eat more of a plant-based diet, have a hyper allergenic diet. I eat a lot of citrus beverages, I drink a lot of water. I modify diets based on the clients’ lifestyle. I try different diets with every client. No milk, no dairy, no alcohol is consistent.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
The Alchemist had a significant impact on me, it guided me to make every choice in life. The Alchemist was a book I picked up and it taught me how to read the signs the universe gives you.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Nutrition in schools…I would want to improve school nutrition and teach the importance of healthy school options for children along with helping to update school cafeteria menus. There is a disconnect with the lunch menus. I would want kids to have sugar fewer options, give vegan options in school, and give vegetarian options to the children. I would love to start a movement around that, managing stress and educating others.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
I think its a quote from the great Les Brown. Les Brown said,” The wealthiest place in the world is in the graveyard.” So many people are afraid to go after their dreams. It was important for me to look at life and say I will not die without chasing my dreams. Chase your dreams and that is just living proof, I am doing what I love to do. The moment I let go of the fear in my life is the moment everything takes off! Fail forward, when you fail you just learn from it. You learn to grow, failure is the opportunity to get better.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Will Smith, influenced my entire childhood. Everything about Will Smith…from the way he approaches life, how he parents, his professional career, and even the glimpses of his personal life he shares with the world…inspires me. I grew up watching The Fresh Prince of Bell Air show. Watching that show helped me find myself as a kid. The way he promotes to just live life fearless… I love. He is so fearless.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Instagram — @amoila_cesar