We talked with Lynn Montoya in February, 2020.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi! My name is Lynn Montoya, 50, and I’m a free-spirited health coach and fitness trainer with a zest for life and a goofy sense of humor.
I will not be cliché and say, “Fitness changed my life,” but it has shaped me — literally and figuratively — into the strong, fit, goal-oriented woman I am today. I was in high school when my small town opened its first health club and it was THE place to be.
Like so many others in the ’80s, I caught the fitness fever. Sporting leotards and leg warmers, I’d heel, kick, pony almost daily with the other women.
However, at 5’8″, 102 lbs and nicknamed Olive Oyl, I feared losing weight so I timidly joined the men in the weight room. I quickly discovered that lifting weights changed my body for the better; I became tighter, stronger and more confidant. From that point on, fitness has been a part of my life.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
Now that I’m a trainer, my training techniques are a hybrid of the various styles and knowledge I have acquired over the past three decades. My workout philosophy is simple: Train hard, in the least amount of time possible, focusing on movements proven to produce the greatest results (Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat, Rotation).
My sessions alternate between old school strength training and HIIT. The strength training sessions are performed in supersets and are broken down into Chest/Tricep/Shoulders, Back/Biceps and Legs/Glutes with elements of HIIT mixed in.
For example, kettlebell swings in-between sets to get the heart rate up and burn calories, or pushups to failure after the chest exercises are complete, or jump squats in-between back squats. Performing supersets helps save time so a typical strength session takes no more than 30 minutes.
To date, I’ve created over 500 unique challenging, yet fun HIIT workouts; some are bodyweight only, some use kettlebells, sandbags, dumbbells, even the TRX. I love HIITs! They’re so hard but they’re short and you feel so accomplished when you’re done.
Since I teach several fitness classes and perform the HIIT workouts with my clients, I train a lot – at least 20 times a week.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
Luckily I started working out when I was 15, and now it is such a core part of my life that it just happens automatically. I do make it a point to try and push myself out of my comfort zone in every workout, and that does take a conscious decision each time.
When I go into a workout I tell myself, “Approach this with kid-like bravado!”, and that mantra seems to help me push through and enjoy the exercise even more.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I’m now turning my focus to training older women because of the lack of training materials specifically for that age range.
Fitness programs fall into one of two camps, either they are challenging programs for a younger audience taught by younger people, or they are light programs for older people designed to simply keep the body moving rather than produce significant body changes.
Moreover, most trainers do not have a specialization in age or a full picture of what it takes for an older woman to become her best… it includes strength training & HIIT, nutrition and sometimes hormones (I refer clients to an anti-aging doctor when I believe hormone replacement may be needed).
I have numerous certifications and always keep them up to date so I can provide clients with the latest information.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I try to get at least seven hours of sleep and I use a sleep tracking app to ensure I’m hitting my target.
I’ve recently implemented a nightly stretching routine to help keep my muscles and tendons loose and limber. If my muscles are tight, I’ll foam roll; if there are knots, I’ll use my backnobber to apply deep pressure to the trigger points, along with Souljah CBD Intensive Relief Rub Lotion with Emu Oil.
I believe good hydration and proper nutrition plays a big roll in one’s ability to recover quickly, as well as stretching. I am super grateful that I’ve had no injuries (knock on wood!)
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I eat super clean, primarily vegan. I cook all my own foods and rarely eat out, so I can be confident about what is going into my body, and I focus heavily on beans and legumes in most dishes.
I supplement my diet daily with an Orgain Organic Protein https://tinyurl.com/vkxmfmx to up my protein intake.
I used to take a LOT of supplements, but now I just take the basics… vitamin D, B12, zinc, magnesium and Omega 3/6/9. The only “lifting” supplements I currently take are Doctor’s Best L-Carnitine Fumarate and Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
Honestly, and I hope this doesn’t sound vain, in my earlier years, I was my own motivation. I absolutely loved the way strength training made me feel and I loved the way my scrawny body was transformed.
So I kept at it, training harder, lifting heavier and growing stronger. My strength became my secret weapon as it gave me self-confidence and worth beyond measure.
Nowadays, it’s my clients. Since I train with them during their workouts, we support and push each other in a friendly way to get out of our comfort zones.
Some of my clients can out bench, and out squat me! It’s so awesome! Because of them, I am lifting more than I ever have and can out burpee most 20 year olds! ☺ As of now, I can do 100 burpees at 6:13. My goal is 100 in five minutes ;-P
Training has become such an innate part of my life, it’s like brushing my teeth and washing my face. I will never, ever, not train.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
First, make sure your nutrition is on point! It doesn’t matter how much you work out, if you eat like crap, you’re going to feel like crap, and you’re going to have crappy results.
I could go on and on about proper nutrition, but I’ll keep it simple: Do your best to avoid fast foods, heavily processed foods/meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Author Michael Pollen says it best: Eat real food, mostly plants, and not too much.
In regards to fitness, start following people on social media who inspire you. I really respect @viklarsson, she’s a 50-something and crazy strong! In fact she can juggle a 16kg-kettlebell with one hand!
If you have trouble sticking to a program, find a workout partner to keep you accountable. Group fitness classes are also a great way to keep you coming back. Appointments with a trainer you like and are comfortable with are also guaranteed to get you to show up!
Lastly, I cannot stress this enough, make sure to cross train! This includes strength, cardio/HIIT and stretching. You cannot be fully healthy and strong without all three.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Sure! I focus on older women who I feel I can make a real difference for.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
The best places to find me are my website lynnmontoyafitness.com, YouTube under Lynn Montoya Fitness (where I post free at home workouts), and Instagram under @lynnmontoyafitness.
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