When the pandemic hit, personal trainer Mike Chabot watched as gyms were forced to close their doors. While many in his industry were forlorn by the news, Chabot saw an opportunity to meet the demands of millions. “For months, people were stuck at home, gaining weight, losing shape, and they had time to think about getting healthy,” he explains. “They started to exercise at home and realized they need help for it. I noticed a big change, as more people were contacting me and I benefited [from becoming] an online coach.”
Chabot adapted to the pandemic by moving his in-person clients to online and tailoring his coaching to our new normal. Unable to put in those hours at the gym training people face-to-face, he’s catered his approach to the online world. He’s been leading free workouts on YouTube and offering one-on-one sessions through Zoom. He’s also replaced machine-focused workouts with exercises anyone with a body can perform at home. “All of the workouts I recommend are body weight workouts,” Chabot says. “I would suggest that everyone invest at least $50 into bands, a yoga mat and a jump rope. These minimal materials can get you into good shape and make you lose fat.”
Many people say they’re going to get in shape and may even financially commit to the process through a gym membership, workout gear and equipment, without realizing the key to getting in shape is a diligent mind. “People think there’s a secret formula to getting in shape, but it’s a lot like creating a business,” Chabot shares. “You can say you want to make a million in the first year, but is that reasonable? People focus on the goal instead of the journey. If you’re not 100 percent in, you’ll lose motivation because you don’t appreciate the journey.”
If you want to get in shape and stay in shape, you need to find a workout that doesn’t feel like work. “All workouts have their own benefits,” Chabot says. It’s all about being healthy, moving your body and treating your body like it’s your temple.”
Regular exercise is only one of the commitments you need to make in order to get in shape. In addition to working out regularly, Chabot takes a holistic approach to wellness that has transformed his way of life. “I practice health in everything around me,” Chabot says. “I meditate every day, invest in quality organic food and try to only give my body raw food. I don’t eat anything processed—no sugar and no dairy.” It took time for Chabot to build his lifestyle, and he cautions clients that it isn’t wise to transform your entire life overnight. By making incremental changes it won’t feel like an extreme change and you’re more likely to stick with it.
Treating your body like a temple through fitness, nutrition and wellness is paramount—but every temple deserves some art on the walls. Chabot believes in taking care of his body through everything it endures, and that includes sitting through a grueling tattoo session. “I preach learning [from] and listening to your body,” Chabot says. “I always bring some good food and water before getting a big tattoo. I want to supply my body with as much water as possible and eat carbs before my appointment because it will make me sleepy. After a big tattoo, my body is really exhausted and I don’t work out after the session. You need to relax, because you’ve been very rough with your body.”
If you learn one thing from Mike Chabot, it’s that we can all benefit from looking inward and making wellness a priority. Taking care of your body is one of the best decisions you can make in life, and we’ve all learned this year we cannot take our health for granted.