Getting Personal – A Moment with Fitness Trainer Mikki Reilly, by Victoria Woodard Harvey

In ALL, Movement, Nutrition, Primal Lifestyle by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

Like many trainers, Mikki derives her sense of purpose from helping people get fit, and she is very good at it. The former Iron Maiden Body Building champion and award-winning coach  definitely does her homework, and her research has developed into a training approach using HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Metabolic Resistance Training to burn fat while gaining muscle and improving cardio fitness. She believes that the quality of foods consumed on a daily basis is the largest determining factor in what we look like, what we feel like, and how long we live. Her book Your Primal Body: Lean, Fit and Pain-free at Any Age is due out later this year.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? My 6 a.m. clients.

Ever been less than fit? Not really. I grew up with two brothers in New Jersey, played hard and never stopped.

Breakfast today?  I had my usual, grass-fed beef and plant foods: zucchini, carrots, broccoli, green beans. with coconut oil and avocado.

Ideal meal plan?  The high-protein, low-carb diet of our Paleolithic hunter/gatherer ancestors was whole foods found in nature, like wild game, fish, vegetables, wild fruits, eggs and nuts. It’s an excellent model.

What’s your “beef”?  Wild game was naturally grass-fed and organic, high in omega-3, the anti-inflammatory fatty acid, and low in omega-6, the pro-inflammatory fatty acid.  Look at what kept early humans functioning optimally for millions of years.  If we returned to the dietary needs and physical activities dictated by our DNA, we could eliminate many cancers, Alzheimer’s, obesity, poor metabolism, low stamina.

Nightmare job?  Anything sedentary.

Greatest fallacy in fitness training?  That doing a ton of cardio is the way to get fit.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Any pet peeves?  The lack of standardization in fitness training is just crazy.  Anyone looking for a trainer should know whether the trainer has a science degree or just got an online certificate in a weekend.

One thing you can’t live without?  Kettlebells.  I’ve weightlifted for 20 years, but kettlebells put me in the best shape in my life.  I recently completed the RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) certification training. Qualifying means snatching 35-lb kettlebells overhead 100 times in under 5 minutes. Pavel was sending home very buff Navy guys– it was austere.

Most underrated fitness tool?  The foam roller. I’ve seen clients increase range of motion and improve mobility in less than five minutes. Self-myofascial release is more than just “mushing out” adhesions in muscle, it signals the brain from tiny sensors in joints and muscle to regulate the amount of tension in tissue.  I can take anyone to a pain-free state in 99% of my cases.  It is truly amazing.

Gyms of the future? I imagine more functional training based on foot-based primal movement patterns, using fast twitch muscles, with plyometrics, cable machines and medicine balls.

Any vices?  This cup of coffee.

5 Tips for Eating Paleo:

1. Focus your meals on high quality animal protein foods from natural sources, such as fresh meat, fish, and poultry. Whenever possible consume local, grass-fed, free-range, organic, antibiotic, pesticide and hormone-free meat, which has a healthier fat profile.

2. Eat an abundance of plant food, such as brightly colored vegetables, berries and low glycemic fruit which are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients

3. Include fresh, raw nuts in your diet, including walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, filberts, Brazil nuts, and pistachios.

4. Eliminate all grains and legumes (beans) Grains and legumes are a source of anti-nutrients, such as lectins and saponins, which wreak havoc with hormonal and immune systems and increase intestinal permeability, raising the risk of inflammatory diseases, such as celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

5. Avoid vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, corn oil and peanut oil, as well as mayonnaise, margarine and shortening. Increase omega-3 fatty acids, especially from fish.

Five Exercise MRT Circuit using only your bodyweight and one kettlebell:

Perform this circuit three times with two minutes of rest between each round, and rest as little as possible between exercises within the circuit (no more than 15 seconds).

  1. Prison Bodyweight Squats (20 reps)
  2.  Kettlebell Swings (30 seconds)
  3.  T Push Ups (10 reps per side)
  4.  Mountain Climbers (12 reps per side)
  5. Lateral Lunge (20 reps per side)

Published in Food & Home, The Central & South Coast Lifestyle Magazine, Fall 2011

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