👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi, I’m Mallory! I’m an occupational therapist and personal trainer currently living and working in Manhattan. Everyday I am inspired by children with disabilities in school and adults in rehabilitation who challenge themselves to become stronger. I carry this same energy determination into my own training.
I learned at a young age that the mind and body are correlated. I was diagnosed with depression at age 13 and discovered that being physically active helped settle my mind and anxieties.
In my late teens into my early 20s, I was an endurance runner and yogi, which taught me how to clear my head. It was Crossfit that really ignited my passion for strength training. It’s how I began learning that I was stronger than I thought during lifting and high intensity workouts.
Moving empowered me. Clear your mind with running and meditation then continually challenge your self belief with strength training. That’s what worked for me. Feeling better made me want to help other people feel better too. My goal is to empower people to become physically and mentally stronger so they can live a high quality, fulfilling life.
In 2015, after earning my undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Wellness Management, my career began. I became a certified personal trainer and coached through graduate school at Stony Brook University.
I chose Occupational Therapy because it matches my life mission most. As an occupational therapist you work with people of all ages who are injured, ill or have disabilities.
Our job is to use everyday activities in a therapeutic way to increase the independence and quality of life of our patient or client. It was also super fun to be taking anatomy, kinesiology and neurology classes- then train clients and see how the body and mind work together.
While getting my masters, I gained extensive training in physical rehabilitation, mental health and pediatrics. Now I work as a school based OT in Harlem. I help kids be the best students they can be through working on physical and mental skills. Sometimes I also work in skilled nursing facilities, which is really grounding and rewarding.
Before and after school hours and on the weekends, I train clients in the city. Education and empowerment best describes my style of coaching. Training others to lift and work with kettlebells are my favorite.
And of course you can’t take the therapist out of me, so I love to help people who have been hurt before or are new to working out to connect with their bodies.
In the future, I wish to work at a facility that can combine both occupational therapy and personal training.
Also, fun fact: I am a hand therapy nerd. So, my long term goal is to specialize and
become a certified hand therapist and continue helping people of all ages do what they love and
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I go through phases of following a structured training program and intuitively moving. I move every day. My priority lifts are barbell front squats, hip thrusts and strict press. I also make sure to deadlift and bench weekly.
Kettlebells have always been and probably will always be my favorite. I work with kettlebells almost every day whether I’m working on strength skills, conditioning or mobility. I also have been making calisthenics more of a priority.
As for cardio, I run but for mental health. I go on a long distance run about once a week and sprint often depending on my mood and the music I’m feeling. I never track my runs. I just run out the door and do what I feel.
For each workout I set my intention. For example, today I will front squat for strength. I’ll prime my body with some mobility work, preparatory movements, make sure I’m warm and know what music I’m feeling before lifting.
After I’ll pick a skill to work on and do some stability work. Most days I try to keep my workouts efficient but if I’m craving a long workout, I’ll do that too.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I’m disciplined in my training because after 10 years of practice, it’s a part of my routine that I don’t need to think about. Some days I work out at 5 a.m., sometimes 9 p.m., sometimes I split training into smaller bits.
Training gives me focus, connection to friends, confidence, humility, regulates my sleep and helps me make good food choices. To me, it benefits every niche of life so I prioritize it.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
In the next year, I want to be an Iron Maiden. In the next two years, I want to earn my SFG II certification. In the next three years, I want to begin work on my hand therapy specialization.
From there, we’ll see where life takes me. A pattern I have is to set goals for my career, education and strength… meet them, then set new ones.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I have a cool advantage of being a therapist and having therapist friends. So often I will give myself manual therapy or ask a friend for help. I do active range of motion work everyday and be sure to take time to stretch when I need it.
Working a lot, my sleep routine is not perfect but I do try to get quality sleep. Clean sheets, a cool and dark room and a book before falling asleep are key for me.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I eat simply. I buy what I know I will eat and not waste. I eat a sweet potato a day. I enjoy frozen berries as treats. I love lean proteins. I like to mix up the vegetables I eat each week.
The only supplements I take is a protein powder and pre workout. Brands like Pescience, Ancient Nutrition, Celsius, Ghost, Alani Nu, and 1st phorm are my go-tos.
Sometimes I use a plant-based protein, sometimes whey, sometimes a bone broth. I mix it up. I love caffeine and I love preworkout. It just is fun and gets me in the zone for my training sessions.
I don’t follow a strict fasting plan but I do think not eating between meals is important. I feel best and most focused when I don’t snack and let myself get hungry between meals.
I used to track my food and I think it’s an important step as your learning about your body and its relationship to food but personally, I stopped tracking years ago.
I give myself a psychology pep talk instead. If I feel like I am going to binge I ask myself “why are you being so gluttonous?” Most of the time there is a deeper reason than hunger to binge eating.
I also ask myself “will this food fuel me, make me better at my job, make me feel more focused, perform better?” If it’s crap food and the answer is no, I don’t eat it or waste my hard earned money on it.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
Music is a MAJOR motivation for me to get to the gym. On my Instagram highlights, you can find my “run faster” Spotify playlist. It’s filled with Slipknot, Bring me the Horizon, I Prevail and other rockin’ gems. Nothing gets me moving faster than a catchy riff, drum beat and a little bit of screaming in my ear. 🙂
Why should you motivate yourself to train? Well, it’s an opportunity to be present and give time to better yourself. Not everyone is blessed to have a functional and capable body.
Never take for granted the benefits you gain from moving and training. If you have that opportunity, take it.
Some advice that I gave to my friend the other day that I will share with you is: Move your body, heal your mind. You can do that and you should.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If you’re new to training, my advice is to not overthink it. Find what you enjoy doing and keep consistent with that. I recommend taking classes with coaches that will give you good feedback, getting a personal trainer or working out with a friend.
Pick something that helps you learn about your body, your strengths and weaknesses. But also, don’t be closed minded. There are MANY ways to get from point A to point B.
You don’t have to define yourself as one thing, “keto”, “crossfitter”, “runner”. You can do it all. Eat in a way that gives you energy to help you be the best version of yourself everyday.
Move in a way that you feel empowered then take that empowered feeling and carry it into every other facet of your life.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I am taking clients! I want to get to know and empower as many people as I can. If you’re in or close to Manhattan, let’s get together and work in person.
If you’re not that’s okay, I offer online coaching as well. My online coaching includes exercise videos, tracking, phone calls, ebooks…everything I can to help you as much as possible.
With that said, I only work with serious, committed individuals. We’re not in the business of wasting precious time.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
Find me on Instagram @musclesbymal. Mostly all of my posts are videos. I share mostly educational content, captions to get you thinking and my own workout videos.
My website is musclesbymal.com. You can find more detailed information about coaching and my e-books.
The Guide to High Intensity Interval Training comes with 12 workouts, workout videos and a training schedule.
The Strength from Within Challenge is a beginners guide to strength training. The challenge comes with accountability, exercise videos, a training spit and nutritional guidance.
I also have a Beginners Guide to tracking Macros.
You can also connect with me via email [email protected]