NDG | Right Away Monday! MGPT Interview.
Updated: Apr 12
That ‘New Year, New You’ resolution is coming up faster than Usain Bolt running 100 metres; what happened to 2019, anyone else feel like it zipped by? “Right away Monday I’m going to the gym!”; for some reason the promise of a new year or a new week feels like the right time to start accomplishing our goals. You don’t have to wait until next Monday, next month, or the New Year to plunge into a new fitness regimen, so I asked a few NDG fitness experts at MGPT Studio (Maxine Grossman Personal Training) what their best advice would be for those looking to get active and stay active.
Whether you are a fitness devotee, or a lifelong couch potato looking to get your heart beating, finding a fitness home in NDG is less than optimal. Our borough is huge and not well connected by public transport, it’s hard to find what you need, where you need it, when you need it. Our hectic lifestyle in Montreal means that with exercise, the more convenient your options, the better your chances for success. Fortunately, MGPT studio is conveniently located on Sherbrooke across from Girouard Park.
MGPT offers personal training if that suits your lifestyle, schedule, and budget, but they also have an impressive collection of dynamic small group classes that will make your muscles burn hotter than a Billy goat with a blow torch. With no more than 8 people per class, you feel as though you are getting a personalized workout, and the more you go, the better quality training you get. Their attention to detail is both a blessing and a curse because there is no way to phone in those kettlebell swings when your trainer remembers how much you can lift!
Maxine, the owner of the studio and absolute fireball of a personality, is super knowledgeable about exercise and is incredibly welcoming to people of all backgrounds. She has gathered a group of fierce and inspiring female trainers who will motivate you to give it your all, every time. I was able to ask Maxine, Myriam, and Christina a few questions to help get you started on a successful fitness journey, whether you want to start today or are thinking ahead to your New Year’s resolution.
Question: What advice do you have for someone who NEVER exercises but might be interested in starting?
Myriam:I'll do it with you. (And she will, I can attest to this).
Maxine:Find a coach who will get you started at a pace that is appropriate for you. People often make the mistake of going too hard, too soon, and then they get discouraged or even injured. On the other hand, if you stick with too easy for too long, you won’t see results, and that can be discouraging too. A good coach will challenge you at a level that allows you to improve while continuing safely. That's fun.
Question: What is the biggest mistake fitness newbies make?
Maxine:The biggest newbie mistake is skipping workout #2. It’s not the first one that’s hard; it’s the second. You’re sore, you’re tired, you realized results didn’t happen overnight. Now you have to go back and do it again. The time between workout #1 and workout #2 is what separates coach potatoes from heroes.
Myriam:They want results NOW and overdo it. It is a lifetime commitment to yourself.
Christina:Too much too soon. Unrealistic expectations. No foundation work.
Question: What would you tell someone who is intimidated by the gym?
Maxine: Find your tribe. There are lots of places with people just like you: friendly wierdos who want to work hard and support your successes.
Myriam: I'll go with you!
Christina: Come to MGPT. It’s a great environment and you will feel welcomed right away.
Question: What do you think is the key to developing a successful healthy lifestyle?
Myriam: In this order; joy, moderation, routine, healthy diet, daily exercise, plenty of sleep and water.
Maxine: Treat it as a non-negotiable. Like flossing. At first you do it ‘cuz the dentist said you should. But once it becomes part of your routine it feels so good and you hate to miss it!
Question: Why do you think people find it so difficult to maintain an active lifestyle and how can they overcome those challenges?
Maxine: Because it’s HARD! Humans evolved to conserve energy. That was super useful when you might need those energy reserves to chase down a saber-tooth tiger. These days saber-toothed tigers are rare, but our evolution has told us to keep choosing the path of least resistance. Zoom in to the individual level: if you don’t challenge yourself, you don’t adapt or evolve. That’s true in exercise, in business, and in life.
Myriam: It always boils down to poor time management, prioritizing, and not establishing routine. Without these in check, people move from one thing to the next without completing anything, perpetually looking for fulfillment because achievement is never really reached.
Christina:They complicate things and think it takes a lot when a little can go a long way. They just need help at the beginning and I recommend getting help.... a bit of help goes a long way when it comes from the right coach!!!
Question: In your opinion, what is the best reason to be active?
Myriam: Stay alive
Christina:To live life fully!
Question: Tell me about your favorite success story.
Myriam: My first 'private', a lady named Alba, she was so unhappy with herself and her body image, she was told she was borderline diabetic and she was having problems with her eldest son, but knew that if she didn't invest in herself, she would not be able to cope with more. 3 sessions per week plus surprise pop up sessions on weekends, changed eating habits, a lot of laughing and heart to hearts between us brought her from a size 42 to a 28 in a year and a half and she hasn't put any weight back on. She made exercise a daily habit and built it into her routine along with healthier eating. We remain good friends.
Question: What drives you to keep coaching?
Maxine: There's nothing more rewarding than when a client tells me they were able to get more joy out of their everyday lives. Skiing down the whole mountain without tiring. Feeling stronger at their favourite sport, from tennis to curling. Feeling the independence of not needing help shoveling the driveway or at the grocery store. That's the stuff that tells me we are impacting real lives.
Question: Anything else, you’d like to add about yourself, what you teach, or what you’d like people to know?
Maxine:So often we spend our lives giving and supporting others. That's a beautiful thing, but people - especially moms - have a tendency to put themselves at the bottom of their own priority list. We try to make it easy for busy professionals to put fitness back in their lives.
Myriam: I used to pigeon hole age clusters together but have realized that strength and conditioning change very rapidly after 50, and the things you were doing at 50 can become more challenging at 53 and becomes more challenging as the years pass. The key is to not stop moving and train smarter, tweak your nutrition accordingly, get more sleep, stay socially active, and keep learning. I am a peri-menopausal 53 year old woman with degenerative osteoarthritis and I coach all ages, and my classes are challenging as I know what it takes to get yourself to a fitness level that is sustainable and enjoyable. I have changed the way I train to suit my condition so I am doing more bodily maintenance work than building. I push myself and am frustrated at times as pain in my joints becomes intolerable but I know if I succumb it will be worst. Whatever makes you feel great in the gym or after a class always comes with a little pain, but it's definitely worth it!
You don’t have to wait for the perfect time to feel stronger, happier, and healthier; find a fitness professional near you to help you get started on the right track. MGPT is a great place to start; when I was ready to get back at it after my C-section, Maxine and her exceptional team of coaches helped me feel safe, confident, and driven to get my strength and endurance back. MGPT offers a wide variety of classes to keep things interesting; from kickboxing, cross training, HIIT, Animal Flow, or sign up for their 6-week fitness challenge.
MGPT Fitness 5582A Sherbrooke St W