Recently, I had the chance to catch up with Lindsay Cappotelli, personal trainer, long time bodybuilder and recent crossfit convert. She’s currently training for a powerlifting competition and has a wealth of wise knowledge to offer. Lindsay fell in love with weight lifting when she was 13 years old, so it’s safe to say that health and fitness is her passion. I love what she says in the interview about motivation and fitness as a journey, read on to find out!
1. What’s your fitness story?
I started lifting weights when I was around 13 years old. My dad wanted me to strengthen my arm because I was a softball pitcher, so he showed me a few exercises to do with my mom’s set of little 3lb pink dumbbells. I instantly fell in love with lifting weights and have been hooked ever since!
Now, more than 15 years later, I am just as in love with the weights as ever. Well, actually, I love it even MORE! The weights have transformed my body and given me so much confidence. My love for fitness led me to get a degree in exercise science from the University of Louisville, and I have been a personal trainer for almost 7 years now.
2. Would you say it’s easier to stay motivated since you’re a personal trainer?
I wouldn’t say that it keeps me motivated, but it does help that I have no excuse not to get a workout in when I’m at the gym all the time! But even if I weren’t a trainer, I couldn’t imagine not lifting weights-it really is my stress reliever, my outlet, and my mood enhancer. My motivation comes from within, from a desire to be different, and to be the best that I can be. Feeling confident in my skin, being strong, challenging myself and learning new things while improving on others is what drives me to do this every day. And I just love it! I love being strong, I love throwing iron around, and I love sweating and pushing myself hard in the gym. And the physical results are a nice bonus!
3. How do you help your clients stay motivated?
I encourage them to focus on more than just the physical benefits of exercise and nutrition, such as their health, strength, and future quality of life. I try to have them focus on how good it feels to be strong and to fuel their bodies properly, rather than just obsessing over a number on the scale.
4. What’s your favorite workout or exercise?
That’s a tough one! I love the basic lifts like squats, deadlifts, and bench press, but pullups are also a favorite. Of all the muscle groups, I think I enjoy training back the most.
5. What does your diet and exercise schedule look like?
I lift weights 4 days a week, alternating upper and lower body. I also do short conditioning “finishers” after my workouts twice a week and then walk 2-3 times a week on off days. My workouts in the gym rarely last over an hour.
As far as my nutrition, I normally eat starting at 8 a.m and then every 3-4 hours from that point on, which usually ends up being 5-6 meals a day. All of my meals consist of a protein source, and then either a carb source, fat source, or both. I do try to eat mostly natural, unprocessed foods, but I love my protein shakes, Quest bars and post workout treats, like cereal and Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches!
I don’t count calories or macros, but I am aware of them in my head and am watchful of my portion sizes, but I do allow myself to have one meal each week where I let myself eat anything I want. I don’t believe in a super restrictive diet that makes you miserable, as it’s not sustainable. I think that food should be enjoyed!
6. What are your current fitness or physical goals?
Right now I’m training for a powerlifting competition in December, so my number one focus is on building strength in the squat, deadlift, and bench press. But building muscle will always be a goal of mine, especially in my lower body. It’s a lifelong journey!
7. What treat can you not pass up?
Well, I can pass up anything, but for my planned treats, I always love anything with chocolate and peanut butter(Reese cups!!) or Krispy Kreme donuts. And pizza-who doesn’t love pizza?
To have fun and enjoy the journey!
So many people get consumed with reaching the “end” result as fast as possible that they forget to enjoy the process. And the thing is, if you’re only in it for the physical results, you’re most likely not going to last, because when you don’t see results fast enough, you’ll get frustrated and give up. Only when you are willing to be in it for the long haul and can accept that the results will take TIME, will you succeed in making health and fitness a lifestyle.
What I’ve achieved over the years is simply the result of training hard consistently and eating right for a LOT of years, always knowing that there was no “end” in sight. I fell in love with lifting weights and with being strong and fit. I focused on getting better over time, so I pushed and challenged myself continually by setting new goals and learning new things, and I also began to make better nutrition choices, a little at a time. As a result of those things, my body has slowly evolved over the years.
One thing I think that’s really important is try to focus on something besides just the physical results by setting performance goals. A few examples would be to get your first pullup, or to reach a certain number of pushups, or be able to squat your bodyweight. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it, and it’s really a great feeling when you finally reach your goal after all the hard work.
And the cool thing is that no matter how long you’ve been working out, there will always be something new to learn; there will always be new ways to challenge yourself. That’s what makes this journey so fun! It’s what keeps me going!
The bottom line is, if you love what you do and it becomes a lifestyle, the results will come.
Thank you Lindsay for participating!
It’s so true that working out solely for the end result just doesn’t work long term. Learning to enjoy the process and figuring out how to find ways to love being active is important for anyone who wants to get and stay fit.