*Special Guest Interview: Upgrading Your Health & Fitness Behaviors with Joy Victoria*

Posted by: Eric  /   Category: Special Guest Interviews   /   No Comments

By Eric Buratty | Published May 29, 2015

Want to know what it’s like to be a woman who’s a total fitness badass?

Or how about a man that wants to be totally supportive of the women in their lives that actually care about their health?

Then look no further than Joy Victoria for advice–one of the most mentally and physically strongest females I know in the fitness industry.

What makes Joy both mentally and physically strong is the fact that she emphasizes long-term behaviors rather than short-term habits to get the results she’s looking for with herself, with her clients and with her children.

I’m very excited to have her here with us today for our special guest interview.

Let’s kick things off with a topic that keeps it real for everyone.

1.  One of the main excuses people give is not having enough time for fitness.  Once men and especially women finally stop lying to themselves about time, what are some other reminders you like to offer to reinforce continued behavioral change over the long run?

In order to change anything you want to change, you first have to accept reality.  Everybody has the same 24 hours in a day, so the way you spend your time is the best reflection of your priorities.  

A lot of times, people just have a disconnect between what they want to get and how or when they go after it.  

So, at the end of the day, people need to ask themselves:  “are my actions matching up with my words?”  Once you figure out what you need to change and realize that it’s for YOU and no one else, you’re going to find a way to do it.  Finding the time becomes a ‘must’ rather than a ‘maybe.’ ‘No time’ is really just an excuse.


Joy knocking out some pull-ups on a tree–gotta get those reps in anytime she can!

2.  As a female strength coach and mother of two, you’re obviously pretty busy yourself.  What are some things you do to set that positive example for your kids from a health standpoint?  Do they lift weights or move their bodies regularly?

Young Kid Sled Push

Joy’s son putting in some sled work–no authoritarian parenting required!

What I’ve learned through both research and life experience is that kids learn by example. They are the product of their environments. As parents we have a lot of power to directly influence how they think about something like health, exercise etc.

I’ve set my home up in such a way that regular activity and eating well are considered normal.

A lot of people might think I push my kids to work out, but I really don’t. Exercise and physical activity are a normal part of the day.

My kids see me practicing yoga in my living room, playing around on bars at the park or lifting weights.

Since kids are a product of our environment and attitude, these actions are a reflection of the care that I show for my health as a parent.

One of the best pieces of advice I can offer from a parents’ perspective is: don’t worry about kids as much; worry about you.

The more you care about yourself and the way you show it will speak much louder to your kids than words.

One other thing for moms especially, who struggle with taking care of their health or having time for themselves is that exercise doesn’t always have to be formal. With small children it can be a challenge to find time to care for your health and sanity, but control what you can control. Walks, park play, a living room workout, or a jog with the stroller are still beneficial and still count.


Joy’s daughter playing around on monkey bars at a park 🙂

3.  I’m sure many moms out there will find that info helpful!  Moving forward . . . assuming finances are in order, what are some ideal qualities that people need to look for in a trainer?  Since elite and Olympic-level athletes already understand the value of quality coaching, are there any criteria that the average person should place higher value toward—besides credentials and name titles?

For sure!

1.  They do a good assessment.

  • They understand that everyone is different. The best programs are individualized.

  • They run through a questionnaire, movement assessment and are strongly willing to get to know the client FIRST—figure out what their goals are and what is it that they need to know about their clients before putting together a plan of action.

  • Depending on the type of population that the trainer works with, that needs to dictate the level of intensity, frequency and exercise section that are used.

2.  They let their client pick the goals, and then they pick the methods.

Sometimes as trainers we can get caught up in our own agenda or passions, but at the end of the day the client gets to choose what goals they want to work towards. They get the say!

How you program, and the exercises and progressions you choose need to reflect that.

3.  They are evidence-based and results-driven.

A coach cannot be dogmatic in their thinking.

Results are how success is measured.

If the coach ties themselves into just one aspect in fitness, they end up relying too much on measuring success by some arbitrary standard.

As a client/student, you should want someone who’s willing to explore several areas in fitness in order to cater to their wants AND needs in the most balanced manner.

4.  They invest professionally with continuing education.

This one is really self-explanatory.  No matter what career field you’re in, never stop learning.

5.  They integrate a holistic approach.

This really just means that you help a client understand everything else in their life that directly impacts their goals, nutrition, sleep, relaxation, . . . even therapy. A lot of those factors will have nothing to do with you, but they will be a huge part of someone’s success. Clients also need to be asked to take responsibility for areas of their life that matter to their goals.


4.  Good stuff.  It’s amazing how these qualities can translate into clients/students who are more invested in their whole health & fitness experience as well.  How about comparing the approach men and women take with their training and eating  . . .  what are some key similarities and differences more people need to be aware of?

Well, let’s start with what should be some fairly obvious similarities:

  • We’re all human.  So we’re all different—but not THAT different.

  • We all start out with the same baseline approach—highly specialized macros or weight training are not as important in the beginning as is building a strong foundation.

→If we don’t get the basic requirements in place first, none of the other stuff that follows will be as effective.

→At a baseline level, both genders need strength training.  Both genders need protein, fat and carbohydrates.

  • Accepting these similarities and then actually doing something about them will probably clear up about 95% of the confusion that women have especially.

Joy Sumo Deadlift

Joy representing for all the strong ladies out there with the sumo deadlift!

As for differences, it’s all about considering other specific variables.

  • Variations in reproductive system & anatomy need to be considered (e.g., monthly menstrual cycle, hip structure and Q-angle, hormonal profile, prenatal, postnatal, pelvic floor integrity, . . . these are other key aspects that good trainers need to be aware of).

  • Women seem to benefit from “hyperstability” training to counteract “hypermobility.”

  • Backgrounds in psychology/eating disorders also seem to be more prominent in women—which can affect their ability to increase lean muscle or burn fat later on down the road.

  • Other structural differences play a key role in determining which lower/upper body movements work best for the individual.  

5.  I’m so glad you emphasized having a strong baseline in place first before worrying about other details in the similarities section above.  One final question for you today that I’m sure will grab the attention from a lot of people: Is good posture and/or perfect form overrated in fitness media?  Why or why not?  Feel free to give throw in your executive summary of how twerking comes into play as a bonus-lol!


Posture is not overrated, but the term posture often gets confusing because people have difficulty understanding what it really means, and the discussions can get quite nerdy .

In the grand scheme of things, posture and form are relative to the type of exercise that the individual is doing and what he or she wants to accomplish from doing that exercise.

Exercise is supposed to make you feel better—not make you “hurt.” In this day and age, we train people who are very sedentary and stressed a lot of the time. So in a sense, we are starting further back. We get people to work with who need to spend more time opening up their posture, getting back regular range of motion in their joints and reducing aches and pains, not just loading them up with weight, or making them do fancy exercises. Strength and form is about what that body needs at that point in time, and then you progress from there.

  • Stay open-minded and learn from many professionals with different approaches. There are many ways to define “strength” or “fitness.”  

  • You gotta realize that the answers to most health & fitness issues all depend on the context and what that person’s goals are.

It’s always much simpler than you think—but much harder.

People think of hard as complicated.

The best coaches know how to apply the basics in an appropriate manner.

Thanks for joining us today, Joy.  

For further questions and requests of working with Joy, you can head over to her Web site HERE.


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