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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
I’m Niki Klasnic and I’m 29 years old. I’m living outside of Atlanta Georgia in a tiny place no one ever knows called Flowery Branch! I’m a certified personal trainer specialized in pre and post natal fitness.
We currently have one child and being pregnant with him is what opened my eyes to an entire world of fitness that no one ever talks about. There is so much that pregnant and postpartum women need to know to stay strong and active during and after pregnancy.
So three specialized courses later (plus one in progress), I’m super passionate about sharing how amazing fitness can be for these women and the special considerations they need for optimal health.
That’s the main reason that I created my Your Best Core guide. It’s all about core function in life, pregnancy and postpartum, and helping prevent and heal common concerns like diastasis recti.
My background in fitness really started in middle school and lasted through college as a cross country and track runner. I went on to coach a season of cross country after graduating college but quickly realized that it wasn’t for me.
After lots of odd jobs I finally decided to get my personal training certification and have never looked back! Though I didn’t always love running, I’ve always loved being active and sharing that passion with others, which is what I get to do daily now.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
My training philosophy is shaped by a few main beliefs:
- Just start moving
- Find something you enjoy
- Make it effective and efficient
- Commitment over motivation
I train because I want to stay strong, healthy and functional for life. Not necessarily to look a certain way, though that usually comes along with it. We get so caught up in looking like someone or some ideal and completely forget all the other incredible benefits of training!
I train five days a week currently for about 30-40 minutes a session. It has to be quick or I can’t fit it in. I have a 1.5 year old and he can be a little demanding!
My week is broken up into lower body, upper body, intervals and total body days. I’ll usually add a second leg workout for the 5th day but it shifts depending on time and what I worked most recently.
I train alone and at home so my training consists of dumbbells, bands and bodyweight exercises. That means I get to be creative with ways to challenge my muscles because I only have so much weight to use!
My favorite workouts are always lower body. I love dumbbell deadlift variations that can be intensified by bands or making them single legged, step ups and using bands for intensity.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
When motivation is low I remind myself of how much better I feel after. It may be cliché but it’s a great feeling knowing you got it done and stayed on track. I also remind myself that my mood and energy levels are always better when I’m consistent with my training!
And some days, when I’m really not feeling it, I just go for it. If there’s no real reason not to train, sometimes you just have to turn off your brain and start moving. These things have been so important for staying consistent with my training over time. Along with the fact that I want to stay healthy and strong and this is the way to do it!
It’s been challenging the past year and a half to adjust my schedule to having less time (I get about three hours free for work, daily tasks and training each day). This is something that I knew would affect my training but I also knew that I had to adjust and adapt. I think that’s one of the biggest things people forget when they want to stay consistent.
It’s not always going to be the perfect situation, we aren’t always going to be able to have the perfect amount of time or equipment, etc. What matters is that we adapt and adjust. You can do a lot in minimal time, with minimal equipment if you’re willing to adjust and just go for it.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My current training is great for the phase of life I’m in. I could compare it to my training before having a child but that’s just not helpful in any way. I give my best each session, come up with creative ways to challenge my body in a shorter period of time and give my all in the training phase I’m in.
The near future of my training is looking like it will stay similar since we’ll probably have another child in the near future. My goal is to stay consistent and adaptable to daily life so that I can still get the most out of the time I have.
Outside of training I’m excited to have my Your Best Core guide (a complete guide to proper core function and strength in pregnancy, postpartum and any phase) launching soon along with the Facebook membership for anyone that wants extra help along with starting some small group coaching.
I’m also hoping to create a first 6 weeks postpartum guide and one for moms getting back into fitness. It’s so unrealistic to clear a mom at 6 weeks post birth and tell them to do whatever they want!
I’d love to be able to fill the gap there and help people safely and effectively ease back into the things they love while getting stronger and more functional than before.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
My biggest tips for avoiding injuries and recovering from injuries are the same. Rest, managing stress and nourishing fuel! Our body will rebuild stronger and faster when we give it the proper building blocks it needs and the rest it needs to use them for recovery.
I do my best to eat nourishing foods daily that are nutrient dense. This of course goes better some days than others but the overall consistency is my goal.
That goes the same for sleep. I’m usually aiming for 7.5-8 hours a night. I’m not a big believer in bodybuilding supplements but I do take a whole foods based multivitamin, magnesium and occasionally add collagen peptides to a shake for some extra protein that day!
Managing stress may not seem to fit in with the other two but I’m a huge believer that stress can cause weakened immunity and prevent the body from functioning optimally.
It’s not that I am never stressed, life is always throwing something at us. It’s the way that we manage that stress. Rather than taking it on and dwelling in it – can we take it for what it is, do what we can about it and let the rest go?
Peace of mind is a valuable thing. For me personally, my faith plays a huge role in allowing me to manage the unexpected and tough situations in life.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I touched on this a little bit already but my main goal is to get in nourishing foods. I don’t follow any type of specific plan or style of eating like paleo or IIFYM. The way I eat would be closest to intuitive eating if I had to give it a name.
I do my best to fuel my body with whole food that I know has the nutrients it needs and still allow myself to occasionally have other foods that I want as well. It’s fairly flexible and it doesn’t cause me any kind of stress or negative associations with eating.
I tried counting calories and tracking macros for about a week and it just doesn’t fit my life or my personality. I don’t like tracking and it causes me to think way too much about my food.
The most important thing for me, and I think most people, is finding out what is sustainable. If you can do something for the long haul, you’re not going to find yourself off and on track constantly and always feeling restricted.
I think the most important part of being able to eat this way is to really be mindful of what foods nourish your body well. So being mindful to get in lots of fruits and veggies, protein and your healthy fats.
What really helped me to get into a good eating pattern is to try and add things I know are great for my health rather than restrict sugary treats or fried foods.
When we focus on adding nourishment it keeps us from constantly feeling restricted and creates a more positive goal than basing our mindset on limiting foods.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
My motivation comes from knowing how much better my life is because of being physically active. When I’m consistent I deal with stress better, I can handle holding my 1.5 year old and all the groceries, I feel stronger, confident and more capable.
I’m inspired by how fitness can change people’s lives. The drastic improvement of not just their physical body but their mindset is amazing. It really can be this incredible positive impact and I want to share that with people.
I don’t necessarily have a fitness book I read that inspires me. I like to read and listen to things that keep me inspired for life in general and I find that it also does the same for my training.
When I’m feeling alive and inspired about life, training is a part of my life so it benefits too. I’m always working on a personal growth book, a devotional and listening to podcasts and YouTube videos that are inspiring when I can – even sometimes during my workouts. If I do need a little boost for my workout, I generally turn on my 80’s playlist.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is not to worry about what other people think. I spent years of high school and young adult life feeling like I needed to fit in and worrying about what everyone thought. Life is so much better since I realized it doesn’t matter.
They aren’t living your life so what does it matter what they think? And even more importantly, they’re probably not thinking about your life at all. We all tend to focus on our own stuff!
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
My best advice to people starting out is to just start where you are. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you’ll improve. Everyone starts as a beginner, give yourself the grace to build up to your goals and take your time. Nothing great happens quickly and it always takes longer than we want!
Remember, you can do it. There’s nothing inherently special about the people who have reached the goals you want to reach with fitness, they stayed consistent over time. And all of this should be considered with the fact that we are all unique and will progress at different rates!
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I’m currently setting up virtual small group training for pregnancy and postpartum core function. These will be targeted on prevention/healing of diastasis, helping with/preventing incontinence and other pregnancy and postpartum issues! I’m not doing any in person training right now.
This type of training is so important for moms in a time when we know that working out is so beneficial for pregnancy and postpartum but we don’t always know the best way to go about it.
Having someone that knows what they’re doing is key, it’s good to make sure the person you’re working with has more than a basic training certification if you fall into this group. They barely scratch the surface of the things needed to train prenatal and early postpartum women effectively and safely.
Specialization is key! That’s why I’m working on my 4th certification. I want to bring the most up-to-date and effective methods to my clients.