I believe it is safe to say that 2020 was a remarkable year of unpredictability — politically, personally and professionally — for all of us.
When the lockdown began, my husband and I decided it was smart to try some new ideas in our respective businesses rather than watch time tick by. As self-employed entrepreneurs, we both stepped out into new waters and took some chances with a variety of ventures, including live talk shows. My personal show has been streamed once a week since April 2020 on Tuesday evenings via Facebook (@monicabrantfanpage), simply titled, “The Monica Brant Show.” My special guests include my industry friends who are also legendary athletes who helped create and form our beloved bodybuilding and fitness community across the globe.
My October birthday shifted me to a new decade, and I am looking forward to tackling it with as much gusto as all the previous.
In addition, I started a new, live bodyweight-only class via Zoom that focuses on joint mobility and strength, posture correction and glute activation, where my clients can join from the comfort of their homes while following along at their paces and abilities.
With these new live sessions in place, it has been nothing but rewarding to connect with and encourage others while working on new business opportunities. As much fun as it is to start new, it is equally rewarding to revisit previous relationships and opportunities.
So, when AFM’s publishers reached out a couple months ago to inquire if I was interested in helping showcase Austin’s finest training centers and coaches once again through a reboot of the former feature “Kick Mo’s Butt,” I was delighted. It feels great to be back with Austin Fit Magazine getting my booty kicked — and now with a new perspective as a 50-year-old. After all, it has been almost a decade since a “Kick Mo’s Butt” feature.
When I learned the first session was booked at Onnit Gym, I was eager to visit as I had heard great reviews over the last few years but had not actually experienced it for myself.
Upon arrival for the session, I met with one of Onnit’s top coaches and director of fitness programming, Juan Leija. Instantly, I could tell this was going to be a great workout.
Juan started the session with my favorite warm-up activities: mobility movements for the entire body coupled with dynamic stretching. This is a great way to “lubricate” the joints and prepare the full body (and mind) for the actual workout. We moved from there into some sprint-style foot drills which, thankfully, are in my wheelhouse.
After completing the warm-up, the actual workout started with the failproof deadlift tool, the hexagon deadlift bar (which is so smart to use with clients that may not be familiar with the actual deadlift), supersetting with box jumps. Somehow, Juan knew my love for jumping and tested my mental and physical strength to move through these with correct form on the boxes post-deadlift.
After these were completed, we started the EMOM portion (15 minutes) with five exercises using kettlebells and Onnit’s Steel Mace (which was new for me).
It’s been a while since I’ve worked with kettlebells, but the form seemed to come back relatively easily for me, and I enjoyed the increased heart rate while performing the movements.
Juan ended the session with some decompressing movements and information on why it is important to incorporate these into the ending. For instance, decompressing movements creates a separation of the vertebrae, which can help remove pressure off the spinal discs while also creating more space for the nerves that are exiting the spine. This may even lead to a possible decrease in pain levels. With Juan’s impressive understanding of a vast amount of quality exercises, he easily explains why each is incorporated and can demonstrate them effectively.
This was a terrific session all the way around. I felt worked but not exhausted and was able to gently feel my muscles the next few days without being too sore. As I type this article, I am planning on heading to my gym to recreate this exact workout.
I highly recommend Onnit’s facility and setting up some training sessions with Juan if possible. However, I am quite sure any of the coaches would have similar qualities and experience.
Stay fit, love life & God bless!
IFBB Fitness Olympia & International Fitness Cover Model
To contact Monica Brant, find her on the following social media platforms:
Official site: www.monicabrant.com (currently under construction)/www.themonicabrantshow.com