The Fuel Your Strength podcast is all about helping women who lift weights get stronger, fuel themselves (without counting every bite of food), perform better in and out of the gym, and take up space. Strength nutrition strategist and weight lifting coach Steph Gaudreau shares how lifting weights is a catalyst for a more expansive life and how to challenge the status quo around nutrition and fitness. This weekly show brings you discussion about building strength without obsessing about food and exercise, lifting weights, food psychology, and more. You'll learn how to eat, train, recover, listen to your body, and step into your strength.
Protein Intake and Preventing Muscle Loss w/ Victoria LaFont
If there is one macronutrient that I receive pushback on, it’s protein. That is because it can be hard to increase your protein intake, but that doesn't mean it is without merit to do. If you want to feel good in your body and go throughout the day feeling strong and capable, you need protein, and that's a fact.
Key Takeaways If You Want to Enjoy the Benefits of Protein, You Should:
Understand the difference between knowledge and implementation when it comes to nutrition science Find a source of protein that works for you and your unique dietary needs Focus on balance and creating an atmosphere in which your body can thrive in longevity The Power of Protein with Victoria LaFont Victoria LaFont is an opera singer turned scientist. Her nutrition-focused copywriting and coaching have helped hundreds of clinicians go from burnout to career bliss. She is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Western States with a master’s degree in human nutrition and functional medicine and is passionate about helping women build strength through balanced nutrition and strength training.
Protein is Primary Protein is incredibly important when it comes to preventing age-related muscle loss, overall health, and longevity. The Latin root of the word protein even means primary, as it is essential to your body's ability to build muscle and function throughout the day.
Victoria is passionate about letting the research speak for itself. She has seen firsthand how eating a balanced, protein-rich diet, and lifting heavy stuff, has helped women thrive for longer and avoid sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss. If you want to protect your muscles for as long as possible, protein is the key you have been looking for.
Making Balance Trendy Victoria's hope is that one day, balance becomes trendy. Women being afraid of their bodies changing is a billion-dollar industry, and the way society projects the way a woman is supposed to look prevents us from having perspective about our own body autonomy.
Don’t let protein scare you. Instead, work to understand the science, research, and benefits behind protein so that you can bring your body to a place of balance and make decisions about your health based on what is right for your body.
Are you ready to embrace the power of protein? Share your thoughts on this episode with me in the comments on the episode page.
In This Episode Why you need to apply the basics when it comes to sports nutrition (14:28) Learn about sarcopenia and why it is such a growing problem for women (19:31) Debunking common myths around protein and getting back to the research (28:33) How to get started on increasing your protein intake if the numbers scare you (35:17) Tips for focusing on the benefits of protein that have nothing to do with the scale (44:42) Quotes "If we are going through those actions, we have to fuel that, or else we have detrimental outcomes. Not just in the gym but in our life." (16:09)
"I want my feet to stay healthy and I want to put on as much muscle mass as possible before I hit menopause because I want to stay functional as I age." (22:21)
"I hope and pray that balance becomes trendy and sexy and sells a lot of products. Because really that is what we need. And part of that balance is we have to intake enough protein for physiological function." (29:41)
"Most women who are after this formula of increasing dietary protein and picking up some heavy stuff, weight gain, that's the thing you want to see on the scale, but it's so much different than what we have been taught." (48:46)
"My job is to present a balanced point of view to people and support other practitioners who are doing that." (55:56)
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Powerlifting and Recovery Tips for the 40+ Athlete w/ Laura Phelps
As we age, we need to adopt our training and recovery programs in order to see continued performance. This is especially true in the sport of powerlifting, where it is critical to equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to keep your body healthy and ready as you age. Key Takeaways If You Want to Stay Strong in your 40’s and Beyond, You Should:
Find a variety of sports such as powerlifting that make you feel good in your body Avoid the common conjugate programming mistakes by listening to Laura’s tips Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and always remember to give your body time to recover Finding Your Power with Laura Phelps Laura Phelps has been an athlete her entire life and started powerlifting at age 23. She currently holds 8 All-Time World Records in the sport of powerlifting and was personally coached by Louie Simmons. Since 2017 Laura has used her knowledge and expertise to help train others through her coaching company, Queen Bee Power. She finds pride in helping athletes both old and new succeed and reach goals that otherwise would have been unattainable.
Staying Strong at Every Age Laura’s greatest hope is for everyone to stay healthy and be strong. Strength and power work to our benefit, especially as we get older, which is why we have to be wise and intentional about how we train in every stage of our life. Powerlifting is proof that you can be strong for a very long time, you just have to do it in a way that can adapt to your needs as you get older.
Level Up Your Programming, Conjugate Style Adapting your training based on where you are now is nothing to be scared of. Powerlifting can be incredibly beneficial to your overall health and longevity, and Laura’s adapted version of the conjugate method can help you feel empowered while taking care of your body's needs.
By building strength through supportive exercises, taking time for recovery, and introducing variation into your training routine, you can experience the restorative impact of conjugate-style programming.
How are you adjusting your training program to the needs of your body at different stages of life? Share your thoughts with me in the comments on the episode page.
In This Episode How the methodology of powerlifting training is different from bodybuilding and other sports (13:44) Common ways the conjugate method of powerlifting can be used by athletes (18:26) Tips for adapting your training as you get older (23:22) Explore the difference and benefits between conventional deadlifting and sumo deadlifting (33:45) The biggest form issues found when sumo deadlifting (37:50) Quotes “I just had this supreme confidence, not arrogance, but I had this unbelievable confidence in what I was doing because I loved it so much.” (12:37)
“If you are doing everything right, following these principles and the right percentages and whatnot, and the recovery, it is set up for longevity.” (23:50)
“Any time your body is imbalanced, you are putting yourself at risk for injury. So if we can make everything more balanced, I just think it is more functional.” (27:36)
“If you don't bench press now as much as you did 10 years ago, it's okay. It's all relative at this point.” (32:03)
“Powerlifting is proof that you can be strong for a long time, a really long time. You are just pushing yourself to your limit at that time and whatever your circumstances are.” (33:00)
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Overtraining, Injury, and Burnout w/ Dr. A'Naja Newsome
If you have ever been injured in your sport as an athletic person, you know how challenging it can be to get back into it. Not just for your body, but also for your mind. Movement, exercise, mental health, mindset, self-efficacy, and burnout are all connected, which is why it can be extra difficult to come to terms with a change or adaptation in your training routine. This is why it is so important to find harmony in your training, and recovery, as an athletic person.
If You Want To Overcome Injury and Avoid Burnout, You Should:
Look for new or interesting ways to experience the mental benefits of exercise in a way you haven't done before Remember the importance of proper recovery in order to maintain your ability and motivation Take a step back and look at your environment and how it affects your goals, lifestyle, and mindset
Overcoming Injury with Dr. A’Naja Newsome
Dr. A’Naja Newsome is an exercise scientist, coach, and educator who is passionate about helping people like you to optimize your strength, mental health, mindset, self-efficacy, and balance training with recovery. She knows firsthand the struggles that adapting your training and understanding how your body is healing can take on an athlete. If you have ever been injured and noticed it took a toll on your mental health or identity, this episode is for you.
The Mental Benefits of Movement
Often when people think about the benefits of exercise, they focus on the physical benefits without realizing all of the amazing mental benefits movement and exercise can have. Improved mood, cognitive function, memory, and overall happiness are just a few of the ways that exercise and physical activity can benefit your life.
However, when we have to change the way in which we train, it can feel like an overwhelming task. This is where your mindset, lifestyle, and goals come into play.
Building Goals Against Yourself
Dr. A’Naja is an advocate of adjusting your training to where you are right now. Instead of trying to compete against others or an old version of yourself, she recommends taking a step back and re-evaluating your training goals. By building goals against yourself, you can align the things that matter most to you so that you can improve your ability and performance while avoiding burnout, overtraining, and poor motivation.
By adjusting your mindset, you can adjust your training and recovery to your lifestyle. Because life is always going to happen, and as athletes, we need to find ways to improve our self-efficacy while taking a step back and checking that our actions are moving us towards our real goals.
Are you struggling with overcoming an injury or changing your training routine? How do your lifestyle, mindset, and goals play into your recovery? Share your thoughts with me in the comments on the episode page.
In This Episode
Explore the connection between movement and mental health (9:56) How to develop the motivation, self-efficacy, and mental skills to promote longevity in your physical activity (16:06) Advice for those having difficulty adjusting their identity to a new training regime (21:34) Mindset and mental health strategies to help you adjust to a change in your physical activity (29:36) The importance of social support when it comes to self-efficacy (35:34)
“Enjoyment, happiness, those are all things we have seen a connection with increased physical activity.” (11:15)
“It is really important to understand that physical activity and exercise is not just about physical improvement. There are mental and psychological improvements as well that can be had.” (13:02)
“[Overtraining] is not worth it in the long run. For your physical health, but also your mental health. It is not good in the long run for the longevity of being an athlete to overtrain.” (20:18)
“Your lifestyle is going to constantly change. Your mindset is going to constantly chang
Peri-Menopause, Fasting and Low Carb in Athletic Women w/ Dr. Stacy Sims
It is so easy to fall into common nutrition traps or trends that we think are serving us but that are really stopping us from reaching our fullest potential. Common diet and nutrition trends like intermittent fasting, keto, and low carb are not designed for everyone, especially women entering perimenopause or menopause that are athletic.
Key Takeaways If You Are Ready to Adjust Your Nutrition in a Way That Will Actually Serve Your Body, You Should:
Remember that women are not small men and the diet and nutrition trends out there are not for your female physiology Change your mindset around fueling and recovery practices that are tailored to your unique body Stop being afraid of carbohydrates and feed yourself with proper whole foods that are going to improve your training
Understanding the Science Behind our Bodies with Dr. Stacy Sims
In Part 2 of my conversation with Dr. Stacy Sims, she is breaking down the science behind why these common nutrition and diet trends are not working for your female physiology. Stacy T. Sims, Ph.D., is an applied researcher, innovator, and entrepreneur in human performance, specifically sex differences in training, nutrition, and environmental conditions. She is passionate about teaching the world why women are not just small men and empowering women to make choices that are supporting their bodies through every phase of life.
If You Aren’t Seeing Results, It’s Not Your Fault
If you have ever thought to yourself ‘why is this diet working for my male partner but not for me?’, you are not alone. The truth is most of the diets out there like intermittent fasting and keto do not take into account our unique female physiology. This is only amplified even more when our hormones start to change as we approach our 40’s and beyond. There is a reason that these common diet and nutrition trends are not working for you, and it is not your fault.
Embracing the Female Physiology
Females have a different threshold for calorie intake, oxidative stress, and countless other biological responses than men do. This is why we need to take a deep dive into what is going on with our bodies at every phase of our life so that we can mitigate the symptoms and see the results from our training that we are hoping for.
How are you fueling your body to ensure that you are supporting it in every way possible? Share your thoughts about this episode with me in the comments on the episode page.
In This Episode
Learn what the research says about intermittent fasting when it comes to women who exercise (5:25) Why it is not your fault if you are not seeing the same results as a man using the same nutrition methods (10:51) The problem with a keto diet as an active woman getting close to menopause (14:36) What you should be putting on your plate if you are a woman who exercises in her 40’s (18:50) How to stop focusing on the scale when you are not seeing the results you want to see (28:06)
“If you look at the longevity data of exercise, it is more stimulating and more robust than intermittent fasting or time restricted eating.” (6:16)
“When we look at ketogenic and the lack of diversity and a huge overgrowth of the fila that promotes obesity, then it is definitely not a win for women, especially when we start hitting this change over of our hormones.” (16:25)
“If you don't have carbohydrates, you are not going to hit your training measures. You can't hit high intensity, you can't lift well, your body needs carbohydrates.” (20:11)
“I don't want people to think that I say all this stuff and I do it all the time and it is easy for me. Because it's not. It's hard for everyone, you just have to be very cognitive.” (27:05)
“The weight on the scale is not representative of what is actually happening. So we have to live through that little bit of transition and freak out in our minds that something negative is happening. But know that w
Strength Training Changes for Peri-Menopause and Post-Menopause w/ Dr. Stacy Sims
Many women dont realize that as we age, our training and fueling routines need to change with us. But how do we do this when there are so many nutrition trends out there that are so easy to get sucked into? The answer is in this 2 part episode where we dive into the research beyond how to fuel and move your body in peri-menopause, menopause, and beyond.
If You Are Looking to Change Your Training Routine as You Enter Your 40s, You Should:
Remember that women are not small men and most guidelines out there need to be adjusted for your changing body Drop the moderate intensity crap and focus on high-intensity speed and power to see the results you want Take a step back to re-learn the difference between being tired from exercise or tired from stress
Women Are Not Small Men with Dr. Stacy Sims
Stacy T. Sims, Ph.D., is an applied researcher, innovator, and entrepreneur in human performance, specifically sex differences in training, nutrition, and environmental conditions. She is a regularly featured speaker at professional and academic conferences, including those hosted by US Olympic Committee, High-Performance Sport NZ, and USA Cycling, she is a Senior Research Associate at AUT University and resides at the beach in Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand with her husband and young daughter.
Listen To Your Body and the Research
When a woman enters her 40s, her body composition starts to change. Many people associate the symptoms of these changes with low sleep, high stress, and try to do more training to counter it. None of these are the appropriate types of stress that your body needs in order to mitigate these changes. Women need specific changes to their training routine, along with nutrition, to support their bodies throughout their 40s and beyond. Proper sleep, high-intensity workouts, and polarizing your training in order to recover are key.
Change Is a Good Thing
Often as women are approaching peri-menopause they are nervous about getting bulky or are told to switch to moderate intensity workouts. Dr. Stacy is here to say that is absolutely not the case. Physiologically women respond better to speed and power, and if anything we should be increasing the intensity of our workouts when we can, and bookending them with softer workouts for our recovery. This is just one example of the necessary ways you need to change your training routine in order to support your changing body and hormones.
Are you excited for Part 2 of Dr. Stacy Sims' knowledge and experience? Share which of her tips you loved most from this episode with me in the comments section of the episode page.
In This Episode
Why the phases of your menstrual cycle should impact how you train (11:35) Some of the changes that you can expect to see when entering peri-menopause (14:49) How to shift the way that you strength train as you enter your 40s and beyond (18:42) Why the ‘moderate intensity’ for women in their 40’s is the exact opposite of what you should be doing (26:22) Tips for changing up your training and eating routine in order to stress your body and see results (33:52)
“They attribute it to life stress, but it's not. Well, some of it is life stress of course. But when we pull it back to physiology and we see this change over these ratios, and our bodies are also trying to adjust.” (16:26)
“What we are trying to do when we get into our 40s is look for an external stress that is going to help support what the hormones used to do, or augment what the hormones can do.” (19:55)
“You need to work with someone who knows how to do proper movement.” (23:26)
“We don't know what it is like to be uncomfortable. We have air-conditioned houses, we have heating in the winter, we go outside in the summer, and we don't know what it truly means to be uncomfortable, so our bodies never adapt.” (32:05)
“We are really trying to get people to understand what it feels like, and
Overcoming a Strength Plateau w/ Brittany Sterling
Hitting a strength training plateau is so frustrating, especially when you feel like there’s nothing you can do to push through it. I’m joined by one of my students, Brittany Sterling, to talk about how she benefits from the support of her community to help her overcome her strength plateaus.
We also talk about cheering on other women, the surprising benefits of strength training, and why you need to eat more food!
Key Takeaways What Can Change by Applying the Program Information: More compliments from your partner Huge strides in your fitness goals Feeling like a nicer person with more stable emotions
About Brittany Sterling Brittany Sterling is a member of my community. I asked her to come on to talk about her experience with Strength Nutrition Unlocked and how she’s developed her fitness routine through strength training.
The Support of Community is Second to None
Strength training has always been a part of Brittany’s fitness routine, but she talks about how she hasn’t always been hitting her goals and often hit plateaus. One of the biggest things that Brittany can attribute her success to these days is the power of community.
Community is the best support system when you’re serious about your fitness journey. It’s there for motivation and support when you’re feeling stuck or you’re injured. And each community member brings their own resources, perspectives, and experiences that can help fuel you forward.
Surprising Benefits of Strength Training
When Brittany started working with me in my training programs, she learned how to apply the knowledge she knew from books in a more practical setting. She started seeing the gains she always wanted to and felt supported in all aspects of her life.
One of the most surprising changes for her was that she started to feel happier and more joyful in her life - and her partner even said she was a nicer, more fun person to be around. When you’re balanced in your fitness routine, including eating enough calories, you’re going to notice those awesome differences!
Your fitness journey doesn’t have to be perfect. When you take that element out of it, ditch the all or none thinking, and start enjoying your body now!
Let me know in the comments of the episode page what you’re doing to overcome your plateaus and what role community plays for you.
In This Episode Why a support system or supportive environment is so beneficial [8:00] How community can help get you through rough periods in your training [11:15] Why it’s so crucial for you to fuel your body and eat more food when you’re working long, hard days [20:00] What prompted Brittany to seek help with her fitness routine [24:15] How calorie tracking might lead you into a scarcity mindset, leading to overeating [27:00] What happens when you apply your book fitness knowledge to your fitness journey [29:00] How following a balanced fitness plan with proper nutrition can help you lead a more balanced life [34:00] How your fitness journey can inspire other women [39:00] What happens when you remove the element of perfection from your fitness journey [41:30] Quotes “Having people that continue to support and push you, even when you feel down and out, you have people that you can learn from. You have people that have been there. That no what it’s like to slog through things. Maybe what you need to do today is not what you want it to look like. Maybe it’s just doing a little something. Anything’s better than nothing. Then you come out on the other side feeling so much more accomplished and better about yourself that you were able to overcome the emotional obstacle.” [9:06]
“In the last seven years, I’ve had multiple physical injuries, both work-related and gym-related, and it feels like starting from scratch all over again. You get very frustrated because you know where you were going, how well you were doing, and think ‘I know I’m capable, but I just can
A great podcast!
Thank you Steph for these talks and interviews. They’re real, grounded and yes, thought provoking. Congratulations too on your new business and all the best with it!
The content really resonates with me. Steph's no BS approach to her subject matter, where she deals compassionately with people and herself but also tells it like it is. This, coupled with real life advice and tips you can actually use, make for some really informed listening.
What a superb podcast!!!
Really love Darryl’s work with your latest episode on play. Love it!!!