For this week’s wellness profile, I had the pleasure of interviewing the fierce beauty behind The Bloom Method, Brooke Cates. Brooke and I met through mutal friends not too long ago, and I was intrigued by her ridiculously amazing abs, and was basically like “teach me your ways, woman.” We did a private abs session in which she taught me one of her basic techniques that she refers to as “static abs.” The best thing about this exercise it is in an internal ab hold, which you can basically do anywhere. I have been putting said method to the test for the past two weeks. This proved very helpful this past week when I was too sick to workout, I still was able to do static abs. Static abs drying my hair, static abs waiting in line at the grocery store, static abs basically anywhere I think about it. The concept is that it helps build the deeper layers of the abdominal core, to help your outer abs lay more flat. I am excited to see how a month of two of this technique plays out, and if I too can get flat abs without giving up the things in life that I enjoy too much and sometimes too much of… (ie. fries and whiskey)

Check out the inspirational story and wisdom of Brooke in her mission to inspire women pre, during and post pregnancy. For more check out her website, and follow her on instagram.

How did you discover this type of fitness and what inspired you to bring it to Boulder?

I’ve always been into fitness and had tossed around the idea of becoming a “trainer” since I was about 18. The only thing keeping me from jumping in was that I didn’t want to be just a trainer, working with all types of clients. As I was nannying through college and esp. once my friends started to have babies, I noticed a trend among most expecting & new moms. Regardless of their activity level prior to pregnancy, they would almost always stop exercising while pregnant. I also noticed how difficult it was for them to regain strength & get back their “pre-pregnancy body” post birth.

I started to gain interest in pregnancy fitness and why it might be important for women to continue exercising during each trimester. Through much research and tons of personal interviews with active moms, I found that the benefits that came with exercising before, during & after pregnancy were more than important, they were crucial and thus my journey began. Little did I know that 3.5 years later, I’d be more passionate about changing the way women lived out their pregnancies than I’d every been about “my work” before.

The Boulder community is full of women who crave an active lifestyle. I knew that if I was going to bring anything new and innovative to the market, Boulder was the perfect place to do so.

What is your fitness background?

I’ve been active for as long as I can remember, and exercise has always been something that has helped me clear my mind and constantly challenged me. When I decided to take the leap and study pregnancy exercise, I knew it was all or nothing. My training has been thorough and will continue as my practice is ever progressing.

I am currently a:

Pre and Post-natal Corrective Exercise Specialist

Pre and Post-natal Holistic Health Coach

Pre and Post-natal Core Specialist

Certified Personal Trainer

Lagree Fitness Method Instructor

What do you love most about your studio and the community of women you work with?

I currently see my clients out of two different locations. One is a small training gym in east Boulder called Inspired Athletic Movement & the other, a small HIIT gym in Denver called FIT36. Both locations provide me and my clients with exactly what we need. They are both small, never crowded, have tons of individual character and an endless supply of functional equipment that allow me to keep my clients challenged regardless of their situations.

Speaking to the community of women I work with is so easy that I could probably write a book. People say that when you choose to do work you’re passionate about, it teaches you amazing things. What I have found even more profound is what every single one of my clients teaches me incredible, soul changing lesson. These women are warriors, undeniably strong women who make a sometimes difficult choice to continue an active lifestyle until 40 weeks pregnant. Each one of my clients experiences pregnancy differently, it never looks the same, feels the same, teaches them the same things and they NEVER have similar birth experiences. In fact, the only constant is how hard they continue to push, how deep they dig and how empowered they feel during & after pregnancy. It’s beyond inspirational for me to be able to guide these women through their pregnancies and even more special to be able to call them my clients.

What is your advice to someone who is looking to stay active during their pregnancy?

MOVE, however, feels good to your body, add squats to every exercise regimen and continue training the core muscles throughout the entire pregnancy. I often find that the mainstream fitness world simply avoids pregnancy core training and that many active women leave this portion of exercise out of their training due to lack of knowing how to exercise with a growing bump. I believe that training the core is one of the most important parts of pregnancy exercise due to the extreme change the core experiences during this time. I’ve created a core training technique called “Belly Pumping” that trains a woman’s core from preconception through post-birth. This technique not only allows the expecting woman to stay connected to her deep abdominal muscles but provides her with many benefits such as:

Preventing abdominal separation

Strengthening the Diaphragm

Almost eliminating low back and pelvic pain

Average 3x faster recovery post birth

Aside from this, I also see birth as a marathon and believe that we should be training for that marathon just as we would any other athletic event. Get Movin’ Mamas!

Describe your fitness activities outside of the Lagree Method.

My personal fitness activities consist of road biking, functional movement training, and LOT’S of lagree fitness.

I love riding my bike. The feeling of being able to cover miles and miles of road with the wind in my face and my legs as my guide is a joy I can’t find anywhere else. Functional movement training is something that I like to incorporate into my fitness regimen a few times a month to keep my body safely moving in functional/everyday ways BUT on the Megaformer is where I gain my real strength. I think that finding a type of exercise that challenges you while feeling good in every part of your body is crucial when adhering to any fitness program. Lagree Fitness is that for me. The movements consists of slow, fluid exercises that apply 0 impact to my joints and require me to dig deeper than I’ve ever had to dig while exercising. You stay in the slow twitch muscle fibers for a solid 45 minutes and exhaust every muscle you work. It has this beautiful way of making me feel like a cross fitter in a dancer’s body.

What is your favorite clean eating meal? What is your favorite food indulgence?

My all time favorite clean eating food would be Bone Broth. Is that boring? Every time I eat it, it’s as if it heals my entire system from the inside out. I even think it makes my skin glow in the winter. During the colder months, I try to start my mornings with a warm glass of lemon water followed by a cup of homemade bone broth. I’m pretty sure it helps me avoid 90% of the colds I’m exposed to during the winter months.

My favorite indulgence is easily Ice cream – Cookies & Cream from Sweet Cow to be exact 🙂 I will never turn it down and always find a way to justify needing it. Yes, I said, “needing.” You must satisfy the mind just as you satisfy the body right? If we’re talking food, I’d have to say that local Colorado, grass fed beef is at the top of that indulgence list. I could easily allow it to be my daily intake of protein, every day.

What does wellness mean to you?

Wellness to me is creating an awareness to what your body needs to be well. Our bodies all react differently to foods, exercise, health treatments, etc. and to truly know what your body needs, is ultimate wellness in my book.

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