Katie St. Clair, creator of the Empowered Performance program, joins the show today to talk about her journey through the fitness world, community building, strength training for women, body image issues, blood sugar, movement, PRI concepts, and intensity in training.
Based out of Charleston, SC, Katie brings a diverse background to the fitness industry, with 20 years experience ranging from athletic training, corporate wellness, personal training, and group mentorship. This has all led to Katie’s current education platform, Empowered Performance, which is a 12-week community based course in which participants learn to train like an athlete but receive the tools necessary to do it in a progressive manner to avoid injuries. She also offers personal training online and in person.Over the 12 week course, participants go through the basics of anatomy and biomechanics as well as how to program the concepts that they’re learning. The participants use themselves as their own case study, and by the end of the program progress through various strength and plyometric based movements, while using accessory work to drive the body into a better position while acting as their own form of exploration.
We dive in discussing the stigmas involved with women fitness and how they are targeted in the industry. Katie hopes to pass her message along and that it will spread to even more people from there. We all agree that exercise formatting and selection shouldn’t change much from male to female, however the branding and representation of exercise gets in the way of women reaching their goals. The popularity of fitness influencers that spend more time caring about their looks than actual training can blur what women think they need to be doing in the gym to feel and perform better. Katie prefers to use quality content while providing as much value as possible and encouraging women to be strong and empowered.
We then touch on Katie’s path to fitness, which started with a demanding gymnastics schedule growing up. This provided her with the baseline to hop into various team sports and perform quite well during high school. After graduating high school, Katie found herself not playing a sport for the first time in her life and fell into a little bit of a depression. After some nudging from her father, Katie eventually took to running and experienced a dramatic shift. She switched majors from Economics to Athletic Training after transferring to Florida State and graduated with a degree in Exercise and Nutrition while eventually getting her CSCS.
We then dive into blood sugar and carbohydrate tracking. We discuss the importance of keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day, and how this plays into food choices. Most importantly, strategizing to push carbohydrate and calorie consumption as high as possible while remaining weight and blood sugar stable can be extremely effective when pursuing athletic and body composition goals.
We then transition to speak about Katie’s journey through respiration based movement strategies, PRI concepts, and applying them to performance. Katie has realized that early on she was applying exercises that did not match the intensity of the human in front of her. She has held onto the same principles, but applies them differently based on the client. She also aims to create an active assessment and avoid placing clients on a table when possible. Katie stresses the importance of keeping perspective about training when focusing on positioning, and not letting yourself forget why you’re there in the first place - to achieve a training effect. Her goal is to always use the “least annoying exercise” that allows for the most possible overload.
We finish up with discussing some of Katie’s largest influences over the past few years, which include Bill Hartman, David Grey and the work of Frans Bosch.
Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.
5:00 – Katie’s background & Empowered Performance
14:00 – Misleading information for women in the fitness industry
24:30 – Katie’s path to fitness
38:00 – Blood sugar tracking
52:00 – Respiration & movement
1:05:00 - Katie’s recommended resources
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