We sit down with fitness celebrity chef and cookbook author Caithleen Heffernan. Talking about her latest cookbook, her plans for the future, and more. Don’t let her fool you, beyond the world-class bikini body is one of the best entrepreneurs in the fitness industry today.
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People starting their fitness journey can be hard on themselves for their lack of knowledge. They fear they don’t have the experience to work out properly yet will only gain it if they begin. As a veteran, how would you recommend they bypass this mental tick and get started?
I would say just start! We all had to start somewhere. I started about 25 years ago in the gym. Maybe it’s best to start at home if you don’t want to be awkward. I used to read fitness magazines and started doing crunches on my bedroom floor with my sister all sorts of clutter around. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t know for sure if our form was right. But when you do it, it’s hard and you learn from doing what feels right and what feels wrong. I’d recommend now going on YouTube and doing some follow-along workouts and getting comfortable with movement if you are really new. And maybe when you are comfortable go to the gym with a friend or talk to a trainer at the gym to put you on a specific program to show you how to do the moves. And actually, show up and do them over and over so you feel comfortable. Repetition is the mother of skill – Tony Robbins says you need to keep consistent and that will grow your confidence to try new things.
What is your workout regimen like these days?
Right now I’m working on developing 2 fitness app programs. So, I am doing the workouts, researching moves, and usually training about 6 days per week with weights for about an hour. I mix it up. I’m also creating content for my youtube channel so I shoot those workouts as well. I generally train my upper body 2-3x per week and lower body 2-3x per week and abs 3x per week. I do cardio light right now and a lot of walking.
People looking to work out are often intimidated by the relationship with food they’ll have to manage. As someone that’s written their very own cookbook–the successful The Bikini Body Cookbook — is that really true? What kind of changes would one need to make to their diet?
I haven’t really found that. People seem actually unaware of the relationship with the food required until they actually get into it and that seems to be an epiphany, I’ve found that for most of my clients, not the other way around.
I don’t try and push any one way of eating on anyone. I believe people are going to naturally gravitate to certain types of diets based on spiritual beliefs, belief systems, and preferences. There are 4 main diets that I have been working with and that is regular, pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan. In all 4 of these, I do recommend the core of it to eat whole and natural foods. Unprocessed and in its natural state as much as possible. You definitely need to eat up. Being hungry and training is not good!
What inspired you to begin your fitness journey?
I honestly just wanted to look and feel my best. I started in fitness in high school and my diet was not in check. I had a lot to learn. So, I read a lot of fitness magazines probably in the hundreds and the girls in the magazines and their success stories and the model’s stories inspired me. Seeing people before and after photos made me feel like it was possible for me too. I continue to learn to this day.
When preparing for a shoot, what are some differences in your workout regimen?
I definitely show up more for my workouts. Push a little harder. I do more cardio than I would normally. I also get more sleep! Which is uber important. I usually try to make my workouts my #1 priority if I have something coming up. So that being said I go first thing in the am so it’s done and out of the way before anything makes me too tired to get my workout in.
If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
That’s a very tough question to answer. It’s always easy to give advice when you think the outcome would end positively. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing is as it seems, and life is short. Very short and unpredictable. I would honestly tell myself to go to church every Sunday and possibly more in the week. And to follow not just what feels right but what is right.