CIF TEAM BLOG
Our concept at Cirque-It Fitness is that movement and wellness should be fun and joyful – a welcome addition of things to your life, not a group of exercises you “have” to do or a list of foods you “can’t” eat.
Elizabeth Skwiot, our founder, suggests adding in to your life new healthy habits. Here are 5 habits she’s added in over the years. Let us know if you try one!
1. She often eats oatmeal for breakfast. A common bowl for Elizabeth contains a tablespoon of ground flaxseed and a scoop of protein powder for a blend of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Check out the items linked here to see some of her favorites.
2. Elizabeth loves popcorn! When she indulges, one of her favorite ways to flavor popcorn popped over the stove is to sprinkle lightly with sea salt and generously with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy/nutty flavor and some extra protein without all the fat of butter. Since her diet is so low in sodium, she doesn’t mind the extra sodium from the salt.
3. Water water water. Elizabeth drinks a lot of water to stay hydrated and stave off cravings. This is especially important when traveling. At times, she’ll use an app to track her water consumption to make sure she’s getting enough. After an intense run or workout, she’ll add Ultima for electrolytes without all the added sugar of other drinks. The little packets (linked here) are also travel-friendly.
4. Even fitness professionals get in a fitness rut! When she needs to mix things up, Elizabeth will take a week off from her normally very disciplined routine and try new classes at her gym or around town. Many studios offer free or deeply discounted introductory offers–plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and workout buddies!
5. Sleep. Rest. Self-care. Adding in wellness doesn’t only mean exercise! Elizabeth makes a point to have some down time each week and focused recovery. This can mean a getting a massage or even some extra time to relax, stretch, or meditate at home.
Do any of these sound like something you already do or would like to try? Let us know!
When I first started my career in fitness, it was for very practical reasons. I needed more money as an adjunct professor (many don’t realize adjunct professors work without health insurance and often earn poverty-level wages). I was always interested in fitness, and I felt working with something: 1. I already knew about, 2. I spent time doing, and 3. would hold me accountable to my fitness goals would be a good idea. I was right, but it – meaning the work – wasn’t always good for me.
I got my certifications, studied material diligently, trained my first clients for free, and slaved away over carefully-prepped class plans. I learned about clients, their lives, their bodies. I researched their health conditions and injuries, then devised specific workout plans to help them. I taught at two to three studios in addition to teaching at a couple of local colleges. My students loved me, my clients loved me, I did good work, and I was changing lives—including my own. But not always for the better.
Not long into my fitness career, I remember coming home after a long day to take my dog for a 5k walk to be followed by my own 5k run. After the walk, I set out for a run. My legs were like lead and I could barely finish the run. At home, I knew I should eat dinner, but I wasn’t hungry, despite eating minimally after an active day. I felt empty.
I shared this with a Pilates instructor colleague: “I feel like a dead battery.”
Her response, “It’s because you are giving out energy and taking on everything from your clients.” She then proceeded to tell me how an energy healer had suggested to her to sit in the sun regularly to recharge herself with good energy.
I’ve also learned now, after years as a trainer, presenter, and program developer, that self-care and recharging isn’t simply a feel-good strategy—it’s good business.
I wasn’t sure I needed to sit in the sun, but the analogy made sense to me. I was constantly giving output – to clients, to my students, to my dog – and there was very little input. In practical terms, I was a machine that wasn’t recharged and zapped of energy.
I realized that my career in fitness would be short if something didn’t change, and soon. I’ve also learned now, after years as a trainer, presenter, and program developer, that self-care and recharging isn’t simply a feel-good strategy—it’s good business. Here are three reasons why:
Burned out trainers and studio owners can get sick. When you are sick, you don’t make money. We don’t have the luxury of sick days in fitness. If we have to cancel a session, that’s money we don’t see. If we need to pay an admin to run the studio, that’s money out the door. I’m not saying don’t take vacations, or that getting sick now and then isn’t a normal part of life…BUT by getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in general self-care, we can potentially mitigate our own downtime and thus, a loss in revenue.
Trainers and coaches who thrive are able to give more in sessions, thus increasing the value of the session themselves and improving retention potential. We’ve all experienced time with a service provider that went well and time that didn’t. If we show up to the studio, workshop, or session tired and spiteful of our career choice, no amount of ‘brave face’ will hide that from our clients. When we are well-rested and present in the session, we have a better time, and so will our clients, thus keeping our value high and clients wanting to come back for more.
Aligning our own practice with what we teach clients can attract new business. I expect my hairstylist to style his/her hair. I expect that my mechanic does maintenance on his/her own car. If I’m looking at hiring a web designer, I’m going to check to see if his/her site is designed well. Get the sleep, eat the food, and do the work just as you expect your clients to do, and you’ll attract intentional clients who’ll invest in their own health with you. This alignment shows your current and potential clients that this is actually more than a business for you – it’s a way of living.
Batteries need recharging, flowers need sun and water, and you need rest, nutrition, and care. By prioritizing our own health, we are then able to give more to others – our clients, friends, family, and even strangers. This giving will return itself to us—in client retention, high value, customer referrals, and – more importantly – the enjoyment of a career so meaningful to us.
Want to work out like one of your favorite pop stars? You’ll love Cirque-It Fitness classes. The company’s circus-inspired circuit training sessions are the brainchild of today’s guest, Elizabeth Skwiot, and co-founder Dreya Weber, who has worked with Madonna, Cher, P!nk, Taylor Swift, and Britney Spears on their performances. In this episode you’ll learn two ways to bring this fun, effective, innovative 45-minute, full-body workout to your city. Cirque-It Fitness is currently working to expand its training centers for certified fitness professionals interested in offering this unique class and has set up a CrowdFund page for this purpose. Want to be the ‘star of your own show?’ You will love some of the generous perks offered as a thank you for your backing to this crowdfunding campaign on the iFundWomen platform. Be sure to share with your friends in the 5 key cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and New York who want to change up their fitness routines in a fun way. Don’t live in one of these metro areas? You can still bring this innovative workout to your hometown. Share the episode with your fitness professional friends. Instructor workshops are ACE-, NASM-, and AFAA- approved and can be completed with no added equipment. Come one, come all to the future of fitness!
Hi Team CIF,
One question that friends, clients and coaches have asked me a lot is how to stay motivated to workout, eat well, etc., when we just don’t feel like it. The truth is, most often we won’t feel like it. Here are a few of my suggestions for staying motivated on any day, and not only on #motivationmonday. Do any of these resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below!
1. Chalk up wins. Too often our day is busy and we say we ‘only’ have 15 minutes to workout so why bother, or we avoid the gym because we feel slow, squishy, don’t know how to use the machines, what have you. Instead, make it a goal to chalk up wins. If you only have 10 minutes, do an 8-minute circuit (add a minute of warm-up and stretching on each end) in the living room (any Cirque-It Fitness class participant will tell you that you can do a LOT in 8 minutes!). If a gym machine confuses you, ask a staff member to help you. If the free weight section intimidates you, start with walking over, doing a simple exercise, and leaving. Find ways to do what you can and OWN IT.
2. Enjoy new swag. If I get in a rut, sometimes I’ll go shopping and get myself something new to wear. It doesn’t need to be expensive…even if I get a single pair of new running socks, or a tank off the clearance rack, or a water bottle that’s easy to hold on my runs, I’ll get excited to wear and use my new treats. If you have shoes that work and gear you enjoy wearing, you’ll be more incentivized to workout. Discount stores (like TJ Maxx and Marshalls) can be a great place to get started, and a lot of websites have sales and online clearance ‘racks’ where you can shop from your own home–for example, Alala has a great sale going on right now!:
Summer Sample Sale - Up to 80% Off select styles at ALALA, and did you know everyone’s favorite shapewear now has leggings?
Top 5 Best Selling Leggings!
3. Try something new. If we’ve been doing the same workout routine for a while, mixing things up can help us get excited to move. When I re-wrote my Cirque-It Fitness program, I tried all kids of classes at various studios to learn about what I liked (and didn’t) so I could make the program the best it could be. Find introductory deals at local studios and gyms for free or low-cost classes to shake things up and meet some new people.
4. Make a fitness happy hour. That friend you’ve been wanting to get together with but say you never have time? Make the time. Have them meet you at a new studio (#3 above), wear a new tank or legging (#2), celebrate the win by taking a photo (#1), then get a healthy juice or meal afterward. You save money on drinks, cut calories, have fun, see a friend, try something new, and get a workout in. BAM.
5. Be nice. I find clients say things to themselves they would NEVER say to a friend or even a stranger. If you told a friend, “working out is too expensive, you don’t have time, you are too weak, you are too fat, you are too slow…” how motivated would they be to start? Not very. Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to your best friend who’s on a fitness journey. “Some workout is better than nothing.” “It’s not selfish to take care of yourself.” “Remember when you were sick and couldn’t work out the way you wanted? You can enjoy it now. I’ll join you.” etc. etc. Be your own coach, cheerleader, and best friend. Sounds like a motivated team to me.
Always move forward!
Do you want to experience more joyful movement and help others do the same? Do you want to see a fitter, healthier, happier world?
Cirque-It Fitness is growing, and we need your help! We are expanding our program to cities across the US and starting with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and New York. Please visit our crowdfunding page on iFundWomen–a great platform for female entrepreneurs to raise capital and grow their businesses.
We have a number of great rewards, including:
*Private, semi-private, and group training sessions with Dreya Weber in Los Angeles
*For trainers and studios–group training and equipment packages so you can bring Cirque-It Fitness to your gym or club
*A webinar with Dreya Weber–ask her what it was like to perform at the Olympics, get Pink ready for her Grammy performance, or any number of questions!
*swag emblazoned with our beautiful logo
Thank you for your support and for sharing our campaign with your friends. Step right up and join us in creating the future of fitness!
Take a listen to the recent interview our Founder, Elizabeth Skwiot did with Mariah Prussia, a fitness professional, model, MMA fighter and boxer in Fargo, North Dakota. Mariah and Elizabeth chat how they met, how the circus influenced Elizabeth’s self-image, working in the fitness industry, the CIF ‘Dream Team’ and how Cirque-It Fitness benefits trainers, studios, and clients.