New York Personal Trainer Michelle Cady helps businesswomen stay in shape in the city
Michelle Cady understands the disconcerting effects of failing to meet fitness goals whilst maintaining a high-powered, stressful job in the city.
A few years ago and Michelle was working in the financial sector at a top Asset Management firm in Manhattan enduring long hours in the office and with little time to eat or sleep.
After experiencing her ‘aha’ moment Michelle decided to pursue her growing passion for health and wellness. She became a Certified Personal Trainer and after graduating from Nutrition School at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition she quickly established herself as a personal trainer in New York City.
Today, Michelle is a sought-after trainer, nutrition coach and running instructor who also offers results driven and effective treadmill workouts.
I know what it’s like working in an office environment and have been that girl who was skimping on sleep, overtraining at the gym and not seeing results and dealing with a ton of external and internal stress.
Here Michelle tells Nativa World why she’s helping businesswomen throughout the city beat burnout, feel happy and achieve the fitness goals they deserve…..
Michelle, what does the word ‘Enrich’ mean to you?
It means to add vibrancy to your life and to live the life you know you were meant to live. There are so many ways to add vitality to your life while also enriching your daily experiences and even your wallet! When you feel better, you work better! My favorite quote is, ‘Live the Life You Love, Love the Life you Live.’
What’s your background?
I majored in English in 2008 and moved into Finance, starting at Goldman Sachs in London followed by six years in Investor Relations in New York City.
By 2014 I knew I had to pursue my passion for health and wellness so I made the big leap and became a Certified Personal Trainer at Equinox. I also graduated from Nutrition School at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
What services do you offer as a Personal Trainer?
I offer nutrition health coaching programs for private clients globally, personal training in New York City, treadmill running instruction at Equinox and private outdoor run coaching.
What’s your forte?
I love training legs with my clients because it’s the most efficient way to build lean muscle, increase resting metabolic rate and lose overall body fat. I encourage my clients – and especially the ladies – to lift heavy weights. This doesn’t make them bulky but will lead to lean muscle and and confidence. I also teach treadmill high intensity interval training running workouts whereby clients can do this in under 20 minutes and throw in 10 minutes of strength training.
What’s your fitness philosophy?
People should MOVE five days a week. For this I recommend two days of strength training, one day of high intensity interval cardio, one day of long cardio and one day of stretching / yoga.
How do you train your clients in the city?
With certain clients I’m their trainer for two days of heavy strength training a week, whereas with other clients I teach them high intensity treadmill running workouts. I also have clients where I do a slow long-distance run with them each week as their pacer.
With my virtual health coaching clients, I help them organize their workout schedule to fit movement into their busy lives. I then hold them accountable for making it to certain fitness classes and reporting back to me when they’ve checked their five workouts off the list for the week.
What’s usually happening is a combination of them waking up super early to hit the gym, sleeping less than 5 hours a night and doing too much of one form of exercise.
What issues do most of your city-based clients come to you with?
Stress is the #1 thing working against the goals of so many of my clients. Many women come to me because they’re they’re gaining weight when exercising. What’s usually happening is a combination of them waking up super early to hit the gym, sleeping less than 5 hours a night and doing too much of one form of exercise. Their nervous systems are suffering and they’re not eating enough to fuel their workouts.
On top of this they’re racing through meals while on-the-go or answering stress-inducing emails while at their desk and not chewing their food. There’s also living a ‘fat-phobic’ lifestyle when they really should be adding healthy fats IN, living in fight or flight mode and experiencing cortisol-driven sugar and carb cravings, plus using alcohol as a crutch for stress and release.
Stress is huge in today’s modern world, especially among high-achieving women who are trying to do it all. I work with my clients to unwind some of these patterns, adjust their eating and workout patterns to support their hormones AND lose weight by doing less. It’s phenomenal really.
What’s special about your method?
I know what it’s like working in an office environment and have been that girl who was skimping on sleep, over-training at the gym and not seeing results and dealing with a ton of external and internal stress. I suffered through elevated cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue and healed myself in the last couple years.
Learning to relax is a hard thing and learning to ‘workout smart’ is a hard thing. I love being the educator and helping my clients avoid my prior mistakes and make the most of their time by fitting in smart workouts and supporting themselves with proper nutrition. In short I want them giving 80-90% consistently, sleeping well at night, managing their stress levels, eating well, seeing results and enjoying this beautiful life.
It (SimplyFit) is a great thing to travel with since you can bring the short videos and downloadable PDF on the road with you.
I paired up with the Food Blogger, Alyssa Rimmer, from SimplyQuinoa.com to create SimplyFit, our 28-Day Wellness Plan based off of her delicious plant-powered recipes and meal plans and my workout philosophy. I’ve used my core concept of five workouts a week and recorded videos of my favorite strength-training moves, cardio routines and foam rolling and stretching movements. It’s a great thing to travel with since you can bring the short videos and downloadable PDF on the road with you. We rely mostly on bodyweight movements but encourage our community members to use weights when available or when they’re ready for them. 0ur next 28-Day Wellness Program kicks off April 2017.
What are your thoughts on fitness tech?
I’ve heard great things about SkyFit for interval training, Strava for tracking your mileage pacing and a Garmin GPS watch to make sure you’re hitting your miles when you’re in a new city. I love using Google Maps to find Health Food stores near where I’ll be traveling!
Michelle’s Fitness Tips For A Business Trip:
- Plan before the trip, look up where you are staying, what meetings you have on your calendar, what the weather looks like and what workout clothes you need to pack
- For overnight business trips, I used to sleep in part of my workout clothes and then I’d be ready to hit the gym first thing in the morning. That also saved room in my suitcase or overnight bag because I ALWAYS pack my sneakers! No excuses!
- Try to schedule your meetings so you can fit in a morning workout. Otherwise it’s easy to let the day run away from you and after several back-to-back meetings, it can be hard to motivate to workout and shower again, especially if you have entertainment drinks or dinner on the schedule for later.
- If you’re solo and crunched for time, the best bet is a 20 minute interval training workout and 10 minutes of strength training.
- If you’re feeling jet-lagged and have a gym where you’re staying then walk uphill on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Set it at level 6%-10% incline and power-walk for 30 minutes. You’ll feel better, I promise!
- I love running outside to explore a city! Take a look at a map beforehand and let yourself imagine where you’ll run / walk. See a new route or park that looks interesting? Run there!
- Schedule a group fitness class! This can be so fun when in a new city and you might feel like a bit of a rebel on a business trip. (I scheduled a Barry’s Bootcamp Class on one of my last finance biz trips to London and it was the best thing that had happened to me in months. They called me the ‘Fast American’!
Michelle’s Nutrition Tips:
- Pack Snacks. Having healthy “security” snacks — like a kind bar, nuts in a ziplock bag, an apple, an RxBar — will make sure you don’t fall prey to airport food or overindulge at a big dinner.
- Drink Water. Planes are super dehydrating. So drink up! Sometimes you think you’re hungry when you’re really just thirsty.
- Play the Greens Game: How many greens can you get in to your day today? Do you have to order a side salad at dinner to get more in?
- Consider Breakfast in your Hotel Room : Pack little bags of oatmeal, ask the concierge for an apple or banana, add in protein powder and nuts and make little breakfast bowls for yourself.
- Bring a spoon with you. It’s a nice quiet start to the day and makes it easier to fit in a workout. The hotel I stayed at in London would even deliver me hot coffee in a teapot at this time! You just need to ask!
- And Sometimes you just need to SLEEP. Carb and sugar cravings are created from lack of sleep. Can you fit in a nap? It will help your nutrition!
Photography Courtesy of Michelle Cady
Look out for Michelle’s essential hotel room workout coming soon in our Nourish section