Just look at her. She looks so cute. Perky. Innocent. But do not be fooled by her sweet exterior. Mindy Mylrea is certifiably bad-ass, and she will kick your butt in a hurry.
I'm still grateful to the reader who pointed me in Mindy's direction. I tried her Action Packed/Interval Express workouts and gave them our first 5-star rating. A 5-star rating on a workout that includes step! And we all know I don't do step, so you know it must be good.
Mindy herself has so much fitness cred it's ridiculous. She's a master trainer for BOSU, Schwinn Cycling and Body Bar. She is the creator of Gliding discs (if you haven't tried them, do!). Her workouts—she's got dozens of them—are so tough it's like having a personal trainer in your living room. And at 50, she's in better shape than I'll ever be. Her latest DVD, Workout!, promises to be a "sweat fest," so I'll let you know in my review tomorrow if it keeps that promise.
Mindy was kind enough recently to take a few minutes out of her fitness-y day to answer our burning questions. She might have been kidding when she calls herself "super human," but in all seriousness, I think she really might be super human. Or at least a really, really super-fit human.
FBG: What's your background and how did you get into fitness as your career?
MM: I started teaching mother-and-daughter disco lessons when I was only 17 years old. After attending acting school in NYC, I came to California for an acting gig and started teaching fitness on the side. Aerobics was just in its infancy at that point, so I was one of the pioneers, you could say.
FBG: Your Action Packed/Interval Express was one of the hardest cardio workouts we've ever reviewed. I can only assume your other DVDs are as challenging. How on earth do you get through filming that?
MM: When the cameras are on, the adrenaline hits and I turn into a super human.
FBG: How many times do you have to do a workout to film a DVD, and how do you keep your energy up?
MM: Because I train mostly in an interval fashion, I have an unlimited amount of energy. I just do it—do what needs to get done and then go eat—and, of course, drink some great wine.
FBG: You have three boys. What advice do you have for women who are trying to fit fitness into their busy kid-filled lives?
MM: Schedule in daily workouts and mom time just like we schedule everything else. We seem to be able to schedule everything for everybody else but then don't have any time left over for ourselves. We are the center of the home and need to fuel our fire so that we can keep everything and everyone else going. We need to put our workouts and healthy eating front and center—this will balance the foundation in the household so everything else has a chance at balance, too. Also, I have involved my entire family into the fitness/healthy-eating lifestyle. They are all right there with me. You need this support, and you owe it to yourself and your family.
FBG: How did your fitness life change after you had kids?
MM: I train smart now that I have less time. I am very efficient with my workouts. I think this is why there isn't a lot of missed opportunity for action in my DVDs. Women are busy and need to get the job done.
FBG: Have your sons tried your DVDs?
MM: My kids have actually been in many of my DVDs, and our oldest son is one of the directors/ editors at our DVD production company. Our second son designs many of our sets. And our youngest son works part-time as a production assistant, but mostly he just likes to hang out with his friends—he is only 16.
FBG: When they're in trouble, instead of sending them to their rooms, do you make them go do one of your workouts?
MM: I remember when our oldest son was rotten, I would take him by the hand and run him around the block. At 23 he is an avid runner—go figure!
FBG: What is your favorite Mindy workout DVD?
MM: Oh, that is such a hard question. I actually just shot two new DVDs this past week that I love. We shot in a new format that is more raw and edgy. We used a handheld camera, a main camera and an aerial sky camera. I talked back and forth between the main and the handheld. The workouts were so fun, so intense and so real. One workout is called Workout!, and it is based on cardio mind-body training. This workout is based on a current workshop that I am teaching at fitness conferences. The other workout is Best of BOSU. I asked all the BOSU master trainers to provide me with their favorites moves. I then created the workout based on the master trainers' moves.
FBG: What does your typical workout week look like?
MM: Because I travel almost every weekend teaching at fitness conferences, when I am home I love to run. I try to run every day. I train a group of women in my home two days a week. I also work out throughout the day because my office is one big fitness toy box. Fitness equipment is everywhere. For strength training, I am a huge advocate of body-weight training.
FBG: You're the mastermind behind the concept of Gliding. How did you come up with the idea, and what are its benefits?
MM: My job in the fitness industry is to always provide cutting-edge fitness programming. I used to bring paper plates into my sessions to teach integrated closed-chain, total-body connected strength-training effort . The benefits are so many—Gliding makes every exercise better. The Gliding discs allow ease and grace of movement patterns for the beginner while providing intensity and added challenge for the advanced person.
FBG: I'm terrible at step aerobics and get lost more often than not. Any tips for those of us with two left feet but who would love to be able to step with the best?
MM: Try many DVDs to see who you like. There are so many options—Netflix is a great way to try out various DVD stars.
FBG: What's your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
MM: I love chocolate and red wine. I have each in moderation every day.
FBG: Do you have any embarrassing workout moments you're dying to share with thousands of readers?
MM: I can't think of any off hand but will let you know if I think of any! I think because I never take anything too seriously and I am always making fun of myself—it 's all good material I can use in a workshop I am leading.
I love Mindy's tips on scheduling in workouts. It's true that you have to take care of yourself to take care of others. And chocolate and wine in moderation every day? And she loves Netflix? That's our kind of Fit Bottomed Girl! Thanks, Mindy, for dropping by to share your wisdom! — Erin