Julie Diamond Aims at Overall Health
Julie Diamond’s focus on wellness is just that: a serious desire to create an all around healthy life instead of obsess over a certain aesthetic. It’s a far stretch from the fashion industry she worked in more than 20 years ago. But when her parents became sick in her 20s, she knew she needed to switch it up and find a more balanced path.
Now, nine certifications later (including NSTA and NASM), she’s bursting with clientele who dig her balanced, accessible approach aimed at treating the body with respect and care. Read on for more from this health crusader.
SBS: How do you think your training approach is different from others on the LA scene?
Julie Diamond: I really push the health aspect, where as many others focus on the look. If you’re treating your body with respect, learning to hear the cues, eating clean, getting your workouts in, sleeping and drinking water, the look will come. The health is the essential part.
SBS: Out of all of the possible classes and workouts, which ones do you think are best?
JD: Whichever one you like and are actually going to do! Some people are creatures of habit and might want to do the same workout every time, while others might prefer to cross train. That’s what I love: You’re working differently each time and avoiding plateaus. But, if you’re a runner and that’s all you like doing, fine! If you can fit in one weight session and one yoga class that’d be helpful, but I’d rather you just run than be a couch potato!
SBS: What are fitness trends you love and dislike?
JD: First, what I love about the fitness industry now is that it’s booming with different ideas to do and try. The fact that there is spin, CrossFit, treadmills, rowing workouts…it’s amazing. People finally have choices!
But, the extreme aspect of the fitness world is what I don’t like. Everything seems so intense. I’m not an extremist, and finding what works for you personally is most important. You won’t see me running on a Saturday night!
SBS: Kettlebells are beloved by some and not so much by others. What are your thoughts?
JD: I love kettlebells, but they can be misused. Often people don’t use them properly, so it’s a bittersweet relationship. For instance, the kettlebell swing is a swing—not a squat. It could be the perfect, full-body perfect exercise if it’s done right. If it’s done wrong, it can cause injury.
[Check out Julie’s directions for correct use below!]
SBS: What’s the benefit of working with a trainer versus alone?
JD: A good trainer won’t let you hit a plateau, which happens often alone. That doesn’t mean you won’t find obstacles, but trainers are incredibly knowledgeable and can help work around that. Plus, they provide injury prevention, correct form feedback, accountability and motivation: They keep you on track.
A good trainer knows how to get in to your mind. They develop the proper routine, so you won’t go through the motions. When you’re looking for someone to train you, make sure you find someone solid and consistent. They should be non-judgmental, too. If you come in and say you splurged, that’s not the end of the world. They should have your best interest in mind and help get you through that.
SBS: What’s your approach to nutrition?
JD: Again it’s about balance. I eat clean, which means whole foods that haven’t been tampered with. I eliminate fine sugar and eat five or six meals a day with a lot of fruits and vegetables. I suggest clients also take away sauces, dressings and things like that.
But, I also, importantly, live by the 80/20 rule, or sometimes 90/10 rule and sometimes 70/30 rule! That means I eat clean most of the time, and weekends, I do what I want! In the beginning for a client, depending on the goals, I start with 90/10 for them.
Clean eating isn’t just for aesthetics. It’s what your gut and organs need. We have so many diseases that start with gut: Your gut is the second brain, and you should always pay attention to its needs, more than its look.
SBS: How do you mentally help your clients?
JD: I remind people: If it were easy the whole world would be fit! When you’re going to the gym, schedule it in your day as you would an important, if not more important, meeting with your boss. Your health is your number one boss. If you’re not taking care of you, everything else will go down the tubes.
For those who aren’t excited about working out, I remind them that even just 20 minutes a day will make a positive difference in your health, the way you feel and look. The consistency is so much more important than anything.
Julie’s SBS Mantra: I love Be Strong. It’s not just physical: It’s mental and spiritual. Find the strength from within to conquer and get out there.
Julie Explains the Right Way to Complete a Kettlebell Swing:
1. Get set: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out and knees slightly bent; look straight ahead. Hold a kettlebell between your legs using a two-handed, overhand grip.
2. Swing it: Keeping the arch in your lower back, bend your hips back until the kettlebell is between and behind your legs. Squeeze your glutes to extend your hips and swing the weight up.
3. Bring it down: Let the weight swing back between your legs as you bend your hips and slightly bend your knees. If it hits you in the butt, you’re doing it right. Extend your hips and knees to reverse the momentum as you immediately begin the next rep.