Winner of the 2016 Todd Durkin “Mastermind Trainer of the Year.”
BodyEvolver Video Interview With Amanda Mittleman of Mo-Mentum Fitness.
Listen, watch or read her inspiring story.
Amanda’s Interview Trailer!
Amanda Mittleman is a vibrant, passionate trainer out of Huntington Beach, California. Her excitement and enthusiasm for what she does is absolutely contagious – just watch this video interview she did with Mike, and you’ll be itching to get after your goals!
Amanda’s interest in anatomy and physiology came out of necessity when her son and daughter (twins!) were born with health issues. Doctors were cautious about their outcome, but Amanda took it upon herself to research and learn everything she could to make sure her babies stayed healthy and so she understood everything the doctors were (and were not) telling her. “I developed a love and appreciation for health,” she says.
When the twins had grown up a little, Amanda decided to focus on her own well-being and started teaching step aerobics classes at a gym to get the free membership. She fell in love with the feeling of community in her classes and felt empowered by helping others. The rest, as they say, his history! After starting to train out of her house, she grew into rented space, then opened her own facility, Mo-Mentum Fitness.
Today, she’s a grandmother (though you’d never guess by looking at her!) and she and her granddaughter rock matching Wonder Woman outfits. You could say Wonder Woman is her alter ego – years ago, after a bad week, she came across a leftover Halloween costume on sale and wore it to teach her afternoon classes. It kicked her out of her funk and empowered her – now she hands out a red shiny cape when someone needs an extra boost. “You can’t help but feel powerful,” she says. She’s definitely passing along her positive attitude and youthful outlook on life!
Amanda jokes that she is her father’s oldest daughter and only son. She was always the adventurous one, leaving her sister behind when they would go skiing to scope out the double black diamonds with her dad. Today, she cites Sheryl Sandberg’s popular female-empowering book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” as a representation of her own attitude, towards fitness and life in general. She realizes, though, that she’s been “leaning in” long before Sandberg ever published her book. Her father encouraged her when they would go skiing.
“He told me to ‘lean into the downhill,'” she says. “Lean in to what you’re afraid of. Look two feet in front of you and where you’re going to carve your turn, make your turn there, and that’s ALL you focus on. Don’t look to the bottom of the hill and the distance you have to go, because that’s scary. If you lean into your fear, rather than away from it, you see those hills weren’t so powerful. Once I saw myself making the turn and stopped seeing myself fall, I didn’t fall.”
Today, Amanda uses the “lean in” philosophy with clients and staff as a theme to serve as a reminder that any journey – fitness or otherwise – is all about taking small steps, addressing your fears or insecurities head-on and overcoming them to move forward. She knows that sometimes looking at the “big picture” is too much, so taking a step back is less intimidating.
Amanda’s current project is a program specifically for women over 40. Besides physical health, it also focuses on mental health – following dreams and achieving goals. “Fitness isn’t a one-time quick, I’m-going-to-lose-twenty-pounds. It’s a lifelong adventure. You gotta to make it fun, because you’re going to do it for the rest of your life, but you just need to concentrate on today. Then you’re going to show up again tomorrow.”
We love this raw motivation!
She recognizes that physical activity has its root in vanity and wanting to look good, but also leads to a happier, more fulfilling life. “Ok, I’m just gonna put it out there – I don’t want my kids wiping my rear end when I’m 90!” She’s laughing, but she’s dead serious – she noted common exercises like squats and lunges, and how they’re a movement that’s done nearly every day in daily activity, and how important it is to maintain that level of ability throughout life.
For how serious she takes physical fitness and well-being, Amanda also knows how to make it fun. Group classes are still her favorite – she said that when she goes to a gym while she’s traveling, she’s bored and doesn’t know what to do with herself. It’s no fun to do it alone – group classes keep you motivated and excited, and they’re easy to switch up! She teaches a spin fusion class – an hour long class that has participants switching between high intensity interval training on the bike and lifting heavy weights off the bike. “We’re dancing and laughing, and they’re complaining, and I ignore them,” she laughs. “It’s fun, we laugh and have a good time! We call it ‘fusion’ because I can do whatever I want! It might be bands, tubing, weights, TRX – I like that because you don’t know what you’re going to get when you get in there. It’s a little adventure.”
Shout out to Mr. Todd Durkin:
What most of her client fear:
Amanda says for a lot of people, the biggest fear is being the only one in the room who can’t do something. By talking to them and focusing on the positive, she’s able to get them out of their own heads and enjoy the workout and thrive. When she’s teaching classes, she focuses on the person in the back row, in the corner, by the door. “They need to feel successful,” she says. “You find one thing they did right, and you let the rest go. It’s not going to be perfect, it takes awhile. You find the ONE thing and make a huge deal – I jump around and cheer, ‘YES! You got it!’ and they think, I’m not that bad. And they come back again.”
Some quick questions:
Least favorite exercise: “I hate mountain climbers. I rarely do them. I don’t know why!”
Favorite exercise: “Burpies! Nobody likes burpies but I loooove burpies. They work everything, they’re like the multi-tasking exercises! Even my ladies who don’t jump can do it! What happens when you throw your back out? You crawl. So burpies are great for everyone. They’re not going to hurt your back. You don’t need to jump, just walk it out – they open up your hips which is great for back pain…. I just love them!”