Josh Peacock: Our hero today is Kim Lipe, a professional fitness model and trainer who specializes in helping middle-aged women get strong, lose weight, and stay young. This is a big mark it that gyms and studios should be serving but it does require a few special considerations to serve well. In this episode, Kim reveals both the exercise and nutrition game plans she uses to help middle-aged women effectively lose weight, get in shape, and most importantly, stay that way. Without further ado, Kim Lipe.

Alright, welcome to the Gym Heroes Podcast, Kim. Please introduce yourself and your background in fitness and health.

Kim Lipe: Okay, Kim Lipe and I live in Coffee, Illinois. So, my background is I actually started working out when I was 45 and I’m 60 now so that was 15 years ago. Made a major transformation. Ended up having other people in the community want help. So, I left my full-time job that I was doing and opened up a gym in my basement. Got my certifications and just kind of fell in love with helping women be feel better and have more confidence.

Josh Peacock: Awesome. So, you work a lot with women in middle age or that are transitioning into middle age. Which is a group that can have so specific needs. So, let’s start with women already in middle age. What are specific considerations that a trainer or even gym should have in mind when they’re trying to serve that demographic?

Kim Lipe: Yeah. I think for women middle aged and even younger than that too, I feel like I know myself. One thing I was always kind of fearful going into a gym because I didn’t know what to do and I was afraid other people were looking at me. So, I think just being very cautious on helping that person having a community where they feel comfortable and that’s where like my gym is in my basement. We do like group classes, but it’s like having a personal trainer with a group and I think they really love that and that’s why it’s so successful. Because they get to be friends with everybody and they have a good time and they don’t have to worry about men looking at them or they just feel like they’re in their own space too. So, and mindset motivation is really key. Like all over my gym I have motivational sayings and also transformation pictures. Just the gym wall is filled with transformation. So, it gives them encouragement that, hey, no matter how old you are. I mean I’ve got women that are 75 years old that work out here.

Josh Peacock: Wow.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: I lift, but my main thing is really I do jiujitsu and it’s like lifting pretty male dominated. And but one thing that I wish more schools did that I think works really well is women’s only classes. They’re really excellent for kind of introducing women to jiujitsu, because it’s a contact sport. It’s great for self-defense but it is you got to get used to it especially if you’ve never done anything like that before. I really like those classes. They work really well for getting for getting women interested in and a lot of them they’ll go on and they’ll end up into co-ed classes and spar with the guys a little bit too but.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: Yeah. That’s a that’s a great idea.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: So, you mentioned group classes. Are there any other specific specifics around the sort of programs that you like to put women in middle aged on?

Kim Lipe: Well, it definitely strength training. So, all of my classes are just really key in in building muscle and strength. Because that’s something that as we age it’s harder to build muscle and muscle and it’s super important for balance and stability and everything. So, we focused on something different every time, but like mainly like lifting weights and then cardio mixed in with it. So, they might be doing some interval sprints in the one room’s doing interval sprints while the other is doing bench press and deadlifts and all that. So, we do all the major groups and lifts and of course modify as a needed. Women, usually older women a lot of times have knee, hip issues, so we have to modify. Sometimes that I’ve got some people that are 50, like 60, I’m 60 and I can do box jumps but not everybody that age can do box jumps. So, modify and for all fitness levels.

Josh Peacock: That’s amazing. You can do box jumps. You can just jump up there. That’s that is awesome.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: I remember my grandma she’s like in her 70s now but when she was 60, she cannot do that. She cannot do that.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: That’s really good. That’s really impressive. I hope that I can do box jumps when I’m getting up there but.

Kim Lipe: Every year, I take a team to try fitness in Tampa and we have to bench press, box jump, obstacle course like cargo net, monkey bars, and even my 75-year-old lady went with this this past year too. So, anyway.

Josh Peacock: That’s awesome. That’s impressive.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: What about women that are transitioning into middle age? Is there a specific way that you serve them?

Kim Lipe: I think kind of the same concept, because I find that even the younger ones coming in, many of them are struggling. First, a lot of people come to me for weight loss. That’s like the key thing. When women want to start their journey, it’s like they want to focus on losing weight and instead of they don’t think about building muscle at that time, they’re just thinking about losing weight. So, I think it’s just transitioning them into those workouts that are going to help with that. Like I call them metabolic workouts where we’re doing strength and keeping that heart rate up too. And a lot of them too also need modifications and then hormones come into play, no matter what age we are really. And it does get harder as we get older, but we deal. It can definitely be done. I mean, I’ve got so many people that are in their 50s and have had major transformations and look totally different as well so.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, strength training is I’ve been learning over the last few years. It’s very, it’s really underrated highly effective. It’s almost like magic. If you can get on a good program that’s just very incremental and you just keep moving. You really, it doesn’t really matter how old you are. You really can totally change. You could put 5, 10 years extra on your life doing that from not being immobile.

Kim Lipe: Right. Absolutely. Yeah. I know I love that seeing that when I’ve got that person that comes here and they literally at the very beginning can’t hardly get up and down off the floor to do something and now they within a month they’re changing that. That’s so encouraging to others because like I said it doesn’t matter how old you are. You can start and make a difference and make a change.

Josh Peacock: Excellent. Yeah. So that’s a great Segway. You mentioned the hormones. As I understand it, talking to my mom, talking to people I know, weight loss is can be a lot more difficult for women than it is for men and I imagine it gets more complicated the farther in life you get because your body continues to change. So, what’s the secret to female weight loss into middle age?

Kim Lipe: Yeah, hormones do definitely play a big part in it and I feel like too, the first thing that I kind of deal with women is, lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes help your hormones tremendously. Like example, I have Hashimoto’s which is a thyroid disorder. So, I have to watch gluten and dairy. I found that those things right there help me so much better than being on those with inflammation and so on. So, I think whenever you start to change your lifestyle and eat whole foods. Try to watch processed foods and chemicals. Even the chemicals that are coming into your household affect hormones. And that that makes a big difference whenever they start taking Those things out and they follow the plan.

I believe in eating like 5 to 6 small meals a day keeping that metabolism going and whenever they start doing that and majority of the women that come to me are not eating enough food. That we kind of live in that world where if you want to lose weight, you just start eating salads and you don’t eat very much and it totally backfires. So, whenever they trust me and they go, okay, I’m going to try this. I’m going to eat more food and it starts to happen. Because they’re putting the right foods in and at the right times of the day and that’s really key for women that are struggling with thyroid or any type of hormones.

Josh Peacock: So, let me see if I understand that. They aren’t eating enough food but they’re eating the wrong kind of food. So, it’s keeping the weight on anyways.

Kim Lipe: Yeah, because whenever you, basically I call it starvation slash binge eating. Because whenever you starve your body not eating enough food.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Kim Lipe: Sugar levels drop and then you’re starving and you’re going to binge eat on sugar. You’re going to crave sugar, crave carbs and then you overeat and then with women it becomes an emotional cycle too because then you feel bad that you did that, because you’re lose weight. So, then you just eat more because you’re in this emotional little cycle where you can’t get out of it. So, I think whenever you fill your body with enough of the good stuff, then you’re not going to be hungry for the things like sugar or the things you might crave that usually you won’t crave that if you like I said are feeding your body good stuff and you’re eating those small meals every 3 to 4 hours.

Josh Peacock: Yeah. So, beyond the pacing and the scheduling of the eating what sort of foods do you recommend for balancing out hormones.

Kim Lipe: Definitely unprocessed foods like lean meats, sweet potatoes, rice, vegetables, all kinds of vegetables, green leafy vegetables are great. Getting enough fiber by having like chia seeds and flax seeds, broccoli, some of those help estrogen levels too. So yeah, just keeping like staying away from anything that has a package and all of the processed chemicals that are in the packaged foods.

Josh Peacock: Good. Cool. So, my next question was to ask if it’s hard to diet properly for this, but everything you just mentioned sounds good to me. So, I don’t.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: Do you do you do you get some of your clients or do they some of them have trouble with that? Like they have trouble with the sweet potatoes and stuff like that?

Kim Lipe: Yeah, I think it is. It’s a lifestyle change and it’s hard for some people like whenever you’re not used to having eating at home and fixing things at home. That’s the biggest problem I find is that not taking time to meal prep and to cook at home because we live in such a fast-paced world that people are driving through with their kids and ball games and all of that. So, I really teach to my clients to keep meal prep simple. Think about making one big pot of chicken and if you have your meats all done for the week, it’s easy to grab other stuff to put with it. So, if I have chicken cooked already, I can pull that out and slice up some zucchini and some broccoli and throw it in the microwave and have a protein bowl or microwave a sweet potato or add something like that with it.

It’s really not that time consuming. It’s just taking being dedicated enough to taking that maybe one afternoon where you can spend an hour two hours prepping up your food and it saves you so much money from driving through places too.

Josh Peacock: Yeah.

Kim Lipe: So, I think it’s probably the biggest key is just learning to cook from home and making your own foods.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, good but simple. That’s one of the lessons I had to learn when I moved out.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: Then it’s definitely the cycle I got into because it’s like man do, I really want to like try and just make something right now. It’s going to take me 30 minutes, I’ll just go to McDonald’s.

Kim Lipe: Right, exactly. It’s just, everything’s just so convenient now and that’s the key.

Josh Peacock: Yeah, DoorDash is the worst. I hate DoorDash. I wish it exist. The company probably subsists on me alone. Cool. Awesome. That’s great advice. So, let’s pivot to your online business. Well, I was told that it’s a really successful business. What made you consider going into business as an online coach?

Kim Lipe: Well, after when I started my gym, I started my gym 10 years ago. And like I said, when I was 45, I was that middle-aged person that I tried everything to get in shape and lose weight and every year the pounds were just coming on. I remember in 2007, at Christmas had this picture come back of me with my family and I was like oh my gosh Kim what has happened, you’ve gained so much weight that is it. So, 2008 New Year’s resolution was I’m going to the gym. So anyway, I did and I found real quick that I needed to put good food with it. Because I put all the hard work in at the gym but I still didn’t eat right. But anyway, after about 10 months I dialed in on the food. I made a to get in the Oxygen Women’s Magazine.

So, that was my focus and I worked really hard and like I said made that transformation so then other people were hey I need your help. I want to come. So, I decided to shift my whole career to fitness and health and it became so successful. People were driving. I live in a small town in Illinois that’s only like 600 people. And my husband farms, so we’re in a farming community. So, people were driving an hour to come to my gym and I was like what if I could just help more women? I just real passionate because I know there’s a lot of women out there that are like me at 45 thinking, okay, Kim either you just keep doing what you’re doing and you’re going to be gaining weight every year or you change and you do something about it.

I’m so thankful that in 2008 that I made that transition and it’s probably the only New Year’s resolution that I ever kept was this was that one. But anyway, so that just being real passionate. So, 2017 as when I decided to go online and create meal plan workouts and now, I have like a membership where we have a great community too. That’s what I love about it is everybody is real supportive and it’s a positive atmosphere and I think that’s what is really key for women.

Josh Peacock: Yeah absolutely. So, I’m always, I love side hustles. It’s always for you, it’s not really side hustle. That’s just your whole, it’s your whole career but I like these kind of business concepts. What is a typical consultation or onboarding look like with your business?

Kim Lipe: Like if it’s an on inline or in studio client and stuff like that too. I just mainly a lot of times talk to them about food. We just kind of set some goals, like even with my online client and all that. That’s kind of the number one thing is I feel that if you yeah, everybody can say they want to lose weight, but why do you want to do this? I mean, is it for health? Is it to get into those genes that you have event? And I think really focusing on your why is really key. When the why is strong enough, the how happens. That’s where I think of myself is that that Oxygen Magazine not only changed my life my health, but it changed my whole career. Because then, like I said, I gave up a sales career that I had to work as a personal trainer in my basement just because of that passion. Because I know that women feel like, at 45, okay, there’s no hope for me. I can’t get in shape and it’s like I just want to change that concept and give people that hope that it doesn’t matter if you’re 55, 45, 65, whatever, you can change.

Josh Peacock: Awesome. I was thinking about your personal story for a second and you said you’d, you had for years you’d really tried to do all kinds of different things and it just didn’t seem to be working. What was it that really changed you? Was it, does it the dedication or was it the nutrition change or what really allowed you to reach that goal?

Kim Lipe: Yeah. Well, I think first of all yeah, the desire to want to do it first of all and then of course definitely nutrition. When I found like because I had tried like Weight Watchers and I had tried counting macro and all that nothing just seemed to resonate with me until I went to my plan is all about just real food. Serving, we go by serving sizes, you get a cup of this, you get four ounces of that. So, I know the serving sizes it all works out with calories and macros but it’s simple. And because women don’t like to track, they want something simple, they want good recipes and we have amazing recipes and that they can cook for their family too, because they don’t want to cook two meals.

Josh Peacock: Right.

Kim Lipe: So, we have like a recipe library of lots of food. So, but I think in the beginning definitely a goal is I wanted it bad enough and I just kept in fact I actually booked my photographer for my photoshoot before I was in shape. So, I it gave me that goal. I was like okay, I got 10 months to get in shape here for this photo shoot.

Josh Peacock: You clenched yourself in.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: That’s amazing. That’s really cool. Awesome and that that’s a key detail too because like if you look at like a recipe website online, most of its kind of oriented at like people that, like young single people almost.

Kim Lipe: Right.

Josh Peacock: They don’t have the cooking healthy for not just you but your entire family.

Kim Lipe: Right.

Josh Peacock: It’s not always in view in this website. So, that’s really good.

Kim Lipe: Yeah, and I know some husbands don’t dial in on it but I always tell how my gals that, you just keep doing what you’re doing and try to change habits at home. I focus a lot on just changing habits because that’s really what it is. If instead of focusing on weight on the scale, let’s focus on, I call it my daily 5. You do your workout, you follow your meal, plan, you drink water, takes up your supplement, and then you check in with us on Facebook. That’s your daily 5 and when you follow that every day, you’re going to have that transformation on the scale.

Josh Peacock: Great. Cool. Well, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people find you if they want to reach out?

Kim Lipe: Yeah, we’re at Fit Bodies 4 number four, Life. Fitbodies4life.fit. That’s my website. You can go in there and like I said, I have online or you can just contact me to we do one-on-one coaching online as well too.

Josh Peacock: Excellent. Cool.

Kim Lipe: Yeah.

Josh Peacock: Awesome. Thanks again for coming on and well, I hope we can actually do this again sometime.

Kim Lipe: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for inviting me, Josh.

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