How I Train: Cari Shoemate, Co-founder of Bombshell Bootcamp

How I Train: Cari Shoemate, Co-founder of Bombshell Bootcamp


Cari Shoemate is a personal trainer, fitness expert, and media consultant; her workouts, advice, articles, and videos have been featured on CBS, Fox, NBC, E!, Dr. Phil and TMZ among others. She contributes writing and videos for several brands and magazines and her own blog, Cari-Fit.com.

Currently a brand ambassador for Oakley, Shoemate also runs Houston’s popular Bombshell Bootcamp and trains both NBA and NFL cheerleaders.

How do you start your own day? Do you have any daily rituals or routines?

I start my day with my favorite alarm clock: my 1 year old son. We usually have a light breakfast of cereal or fruit and then I do my workout. I almost always do my workouts in the morning because I just don’t have time to fit it in the rest of the day and I also have a lot less energy as the day progresses! I usually go for a run with my baby in his jogging stroller or I do a HIIT weight training and jumprope circuit in my home gym. I do try to get to the gym a few times a week to take advantage of the weight machines that I don’t have at home (leg press, smith machine, lat pull-down, etc.).

What are your eating habits like? Do you follow any specific program of eating?

I was a lot more strict before I had my baby. But, as a new Mom, it’s been a challenge for me to eat as healthy because I have a lot less time to plan and cook. However, I’m still a pesectarian (I eat fish and dairy but no meat) and I’ve eaten this way for about 6 years now…the fittest 6 years of my life.

There’s so much research being done and advice being published, how do you tell what’s real and what’s fake? How do you decide what’s relevant and what isn’t?

Well, I think I look at the source first and if it’s from a company or someone I trust, then I listen a little more. There is a lot of information online that can be confusing. I listen to doctors, trainers, and registered dietitians when it comes to health and fitness. There are a lot of good bloggers out there that offer good advice and are motivational if they have lost weight or have become healthier—but it doesn’t always mean their way will work for you. When making any big health or fitness changes, I advise consulting your doctor first.

Is there any current thinking about diet and fitness that needs to be challenged?

I think that anything that seems like a fad should be challenged. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. But in general I think we are getting pretty smart about diet and exercise and most humans know by now what works: staying physically active and having a healthy diet. I think that one of the misconceptions is that you have to do extreme workouts to be healthy and look fit. You should always start off at a level that’s challenging to you, but doable. If you don’t sweat and aren’t challenged, you won’t make a change. But, if you kill yourself and get injured or burnt out, you won’t stick with it, and won’t change that way either!

Is there anything new you’ve started doing recently, or anything you’ve quit?

Not really. I took a hiatus from yoga just because I couldn’t find time to go take a class with a new baby and home yoga workouts weren’t the same. So, I’ve recently started taking a weekly yoga class again and I feel so much better.

How do you make adjustments to your workout? It’s hard to know what to do when you’re tired or having a bad workout.

I set goals for myself each week and each month and make adjustments depending on how my progress is going. I was really hoping to be back to running marathons by now (I’ve done 6 plus 1 ultra-marathon) but it just hasn’t happened. I haven’t been able to get in long runs and most of my running is done with a jogging stroller, which can be a challenge! It was kind of depressing for me over the last year to not do a marathon. But I know it’s just temporary and I know that since it’s a passion of mine I will eventually get back to doing them. Right now I may have to settle for doing shorter distances and it’s ok! Many times I start a workout and can’t finish it because something else comes up or the baby needs me. It’s very frustrating, but I know a small workout is better than no workout! You don’t have to do an hour a day to change your body. Just challenge your body and if you can do that in 10 minutes you are making your body stronger.

Can you share some of the specific things you notice top performers doing differently in their fitness routines than the average person?

Most top performers and serious athletes make their workouts priority. They don’t let work, vacations, happy hours or errands get in the way of their workouts. They schedule those things around their workouts. If it’s important to you, you have to make it a priority. If you want to run faster and get a medal in your next race, you have to be consistent with your workouts and put that first. It’s all about priorities and the top performers put their workouts and diet at the top.

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