Qualified PT, pre and post natal specialist, Nicole Chapman is the creator of 6-week online workout programme, Power of Mum, designed to empower YOU to be fitter and stronger in body and mind, through strength training and high intensity cardio.
What inspired the birth of the ‘brand’/ workouts?
The ‘Power of Mum’ was born from a place of understanding how busy mum lives are, the guilt from allowing ourselves to be a priority and feeling unable to switch off from mum mode. My daughter had just turned 1 years old and we had just entered our 2nd covid lockdown – with no access to gyms, mother and baby classes or even the ability to socialise! I wanted to create a programme that brought mums together with a full support group and sense of community. Having signed up myself to online programmes, paid the money and with the lack of accountability and external support I would be very inconsistent with my training and ultimately stop. For this reason it was important to me that the workouts were quick and effective (just 30 minutes), gave nutritional support for long term change and established a routine they would fall in love and want to continue.
I am passionate about women training to be strong and functional so the programme is designed with strength training at the heart of it – the benefits at any age are significant that your future self will thank you (reduces aches and pains, reduces stress, increases bone density, builds lean muscle, effective in weight loss and improves sleep) to name a few reasons.
Is it important for new parents to work out?
If you have just had your first baby your world has understandably been turned on its head and if your family has just increased then you are busy navigating a whole new world. Take the time in those early weeks to focus on resting (when possible) recovery and settling in to a routine. Getting out for some fresh air and a nice walk for mental wellbeing I would recommend. Once you have been given the all clear to exercise by your GP, then providing you feel ready start building up slow. 10 minutes of movement a day can be a total game changer for energy, mood and fitness.
If you were active pre baby then in those early months you can understandably feel trapped and less like your old self. Consider setting yourself a challenge, with a realistic timeframe to allow for the weeks that don’t go to plan – the juggle is real – or you are just too exhausted. Take the pressure off – remember it’s YOU vs YOU so see every workout you do as a win, rather than the one you didn’t as failure.
What are some of the benefits?
Working out as a new parent is ‘You time’ which is so important, exercise comes in many forms so find something you enjoy. Strength training for me has been pivotal in my mental and physical health I no longer chase a figure on a scale – I chase PB’s – I set myself goals and challenge myself and everything else falls in to place.
As a mum, how do you balance working out and being a PT?
The juggle some weeks can feel crazy but the beauty of my programme is that it keeps me accountable too. It is a brand new 6 week programme every time – with 4 workouts a week and just 1 week off between finishing a programme and starting the next. I have filmed over 200 workouts now and every workout is only used once. So I am literally with you on the same fitness routine – so we really are in this together!! I have some ladies who are currently on their 7th ‘Power of Mum’ programme so it’s important to me that it is new workouts constantly to keep it fresh and motivation high. It is suitable for all fitness levels, you progress by increasing your weights as you become fitter and stronger. I even have some men doing the programme too – I should rename it the ‘Power of Parents’ I love that couples are doing my workouts together.
Your 6 week programme – The Power Of The Mum – has seen some great results by mums across the country. How does it make you feel looking at before and after photos?!
Having worked in the film industry for 16 years, working on some incredible films as stunt department coordinator including (Star Wars, Jurassic World, World War Z) – I can honestly say ‘Power of Mum’ is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
For me seeing the before and after results has a whole different meaning than simply weight loss as I truly know the mental impact the results mean to them. An important part of the programme is my initial 1:1 chats with every lady who signs up. We do it over zoom to discuss the programme, any struggles and how this programme will be successful for them for long term change – not just a quick fix. I want to arm them with the tools for a sustainable healthy lifestyle. The conversations often get emotional as the ladies vocalise how they are truly feeling mentally and physically and how their relationship with their body has often hit a low.
I often get emotional at seeing the results, one particular result springs to mind – Anna after finishing her third consecutive ‘Power of Mum’ programme having lost a stone on each can now wear her engagement and wedding ring, that she hasn’t been able to wear for 3 years. She cried the day that happened and I cried when she text me to tell me. That truly hit home the impact the ‘Power of Mum’ is having.
Any advice for new mums?
I would like to remind them that firstly they are doing an incredible job and secondly that they can’t pour from an empty cup. It can be very easy to forget yourself through motherhood, so please remember that you are important too.
Ask for help when you need it and communicate with your partner – by nature we often feel this force to juggle it all without asking for help. But by having support and getting that ‘You time’ the family can only benefit from a happier, heathier mum. Consistency is key – go for long term habits that are sustainable. Don’t make dramatic changes. Small changes amount to big results. Routine is important if you are struggling to find time to exercise – put it in your diary as a meeting. Establish healthy habits and goals that fit in to your lifestyle do not change your life to fit them if it doesn’t make you truly happy. Unsure where to start – invest in yourself and hire a professional whether that is a therapist, personal trainer, online programme, educational course or simply more self -care, supplements, training equipment and skincare products. The best investment you can make is in your wellness.
Do not fall down the comparison rabbit hole and compare your body and postpartum journey to anyone else’s. You are unique and wonderful for it. Do not wish for your pre-pregnant body – your body hasn’t gone anywhere it has just evolved and can 100 percent be stronger than it ever was. It took nearly a year for your body to grow your baby, allow yourself at least this timeframe to feel strong and healed again.
My biggest advice to new mums is that it is ok and normal to feel a disconnection to your body postpartum. Combine this with feeling sleep deprived and overwhelmed and you might feel less attractive, and even a sense of loss of identity. Stretch marks, cellulite, weakness in your pelvic floor, leaking nipples, and a body that still looks pregnant once you have given birth. You have a right to not feel sexy! Take each day at a time, understand that these feelings are ok and might even stem from unrealistically high beauty standards we have had to navigate through our whole lives, and that impact on our mindset. Knowing this is normal, can power you up to change that mindset to have a new respect for your body and admiration for all it has done for you and your baby.
Focus on non-aesthetic goals, find something you enjoy and celebrate the win’s along the way as you get fitter and stronger, something I advocate on my ‘Power of Mum’ programme. Consistency is totally key and if you can establish an achievable weekly routine, with balanced healthy eating – you will hit your weight loss and fitness goals. Patience will be your best friend.
What’s next for you and your brand? Any personal or business goals?
Very excitingly next month we will be celebrating 1 year of the ‘Power of Mum’. I cannot believe how much it is evolved in that year. We are now on an app, have a nutritionist on the team, as well as two guest trainers offering boxing workouts and pilates as an alternative to the weekly cardio workout. So I have some very exciting plans to acknowledge the support from the ladies who have trusted me with their fitness journey’s – this programme would be nothing without them. Plans include a huge giveaway on instagram and live workouts with some very special guests.
This is just the start for ‘Power of Mum’ – I would love to eventually have retreats and take the programme on the road for live workouts. But for now my priority is to keep working hard to make the programme the best I can.
To find out more about Nicole’s online strength and high intensity cardio programmes, designed for all abilities, visit www.nicolechapman.com and for more tips follow @iamnicolechapman on Instagram.