Canada's first IFBB fitness champion, Mindi O'Brien, obviously has the intestinal fortitude it requires to be one of the best in the fitness industry. With a list of world class competitions behind her name now Mindi has all the makings to be the fitness industries new Monica Brant.
Mindi is both inspiring and motivating. If you need some of both then this interview with Mindi is a "must" read.
Gabrielle Reilly: What do you do to keep motivated?
Mindi O'Brien: I write out daily/weekly/monthly goals to help me stay organized and motivated..It allows me to continue moving forward and growing as an individual, personally and professionally. My son Alex and my husband Dennis keep me motivated on a daily basis.I want to be the best mother and wife that I can be for my family.
Gabrielle Reilly: What does your normal weekly workout schedule look like?
Mindi O'Brien: We recently opened a new private training studio and are currently putting in some insane hours! My day starts at 2am!!
2:00am-2:30am-cardio or reply to emails.
2:30am-3:30am-get ready for work
4:00am: out the door and ready for work
4:45am: arrive at work and our first client starts @ 5am-noon
3:00-7:00pm: train clients-some days we stay later for camps and don't finish until 9:00pm
Get home normally at 8:00pm- respond to emails, computer work (programs, nutrition plans etc) prepare meals for the following day, spend time with our son Alex and then go to bed!!!
It's a long day, but we truly love what we do.
Gabrielle Reilly: Do you change up your routine to fight boredom or do you use straight discipline and stick to the same regiment?
Mindi O'Brien: My weight training routine changes on a daily basis. I don't believe in doing the same programs or exercises on an ongoing basis. As far as nutrition goes, I usually eat clean Monday-Friday and have a small treat on the weekend.
Gabrielle Reilly: How do you fit your overall training/dieting into your lifestyle?
Mindi O'Brien: The gym is my sanctuary.this is where I am the happiest. I fit my workouts in from 1-3pm. That is a time in the day that I truly look forward to. When I am preparing for a competition, my schedule may change slightly to add in my routine practices and extra cardio, but for the most part I fit my training in during the afternoon.
Gabrielle Reilly: Do you have days when the last thing you want to do is step foot in a gym?
Mindi O'Brien: The gym is my sanctuary.I love being in the gym.it's my home away from home!!! I do take Sunday's off from the gym and spend the afternoon hiking with my mom and my son. It's something that I look forward to at the end of a busy week.
Gabrielle Reilly: Do you have allocated binge days/meals?
Mindi O'Brien: Usually on Sundays we will pizza night at our house. Sometimes on Sundays after our hike we will have the occasional treat.ice cream.mmmm!!!
Gabrielle Reilly: What do you do when you feel like breaking your diet?
Mindi O'Brien: I don't consider my eating/nutrition a "diet". I consider it a way of life..it's what fuels your body to allow you to perform at the optimal level. I have always eaten very well and will continue to eat well for the rest of my life.
Gabrielle Reilly: What/who was your first inspiration to begin in fitness?
Mindi O'Brien: My first inspiration to begin living a healthy life style or athletic lifestyle was my gymnastics coach, Lise Goertz. She was my idol! Her drive, dedication and determination to excel and succeed in everything she did was contagious and inspiring. When I learned about "fitness competitions, I looked up to Monica Brant and Mia Finnegan. I thought they looked strong and athletic..My husband/coach Dennis Beitler has been a huge influence on my fitness career and has been my biggest inspiration and supporter on this amazing journey. I am now working with Mike Davies and Dennis..they are the best coaches and I am constantly being motivated and encouraged by both of them to continue to succeed in this sport.
Gabrielle Reilly: At what age did you start training?
Mindi O'Brien: I started lifting weights at the age of 10. I broke my elbow learning a new tumbling pass and was out of gymnastics for a year. My coach Lise Goertz hired a personal trainer to help me stay fit and help speed up the recovery time. I fell in love with weight training then and joined Gold's gym with my dad not long after that. I have been lifting weights since I was 10 yrs old.I am now 34 and am still plugging away!!
Gabrielle Reilly: Were you really active as a child/teenager?
Mindi O'Brien: I competed in gymnastics for over 15 yrs at a provincial level and competed in track & field throughout public school and high school. I was a kid that could never sit around.I always had to be doing something!!
Gabrielle Reilly: For parents out there concerned about their children's health and obesity what word of advice would you offer them on fitness, motivation and diet for children?
Mindi O'Brien: I believe that parents should lead by example. Find activities to get the entire family involved (bike riding, hiking, swimming, playing games etc). Have the children be involved in preparing the meals.the more they participate, they will be happy to try their own food!! We have had to set time limits on the video games at our house...My son finds other things to do to entertain himself.reads, helps out with chores, goes outside to play or goes for walks with me and has his friends come over to play road hockey or basketball.Setting limitations and leading by example goes a long way!!
Gabrielle Reilly: What age do you think is ideal for children/teenagers to start lifting weights?
Mindi O'Brien: We work with many young athletes (ranging from 10-18yr olds), including hockey players, figure skaters, gymnasts, rugby players, swimmers, etc. Our programs mainly consist of plyometric training, cardiovascular training, stretching and we really focus educating our young athletes on nutrition. We do add some weight baring exercises to their programs depending on the individual and their experience, but our overall goal is to educate and help create a healthy, happy and positive lifestyle.
To see more of Mindi visit her site at Mindi O'Brien.
Gabrielle Reilly: Thanks very much for your time Mindi and I wish you all the best for your future.