It can be frustrating to put time and money into something that’s not moving you toward your aspirations! In order to prevent you from spinning your wheels, I wanted to discuss the most common mistakes that I see women make when choosing a workout plan. You’ll walk away from this week’s episode understanding how to better choose a workout plan that is both effective and enjoyable. So, let’s get into it!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/139
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You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 139.
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Prevent some mistakes when choosing a workout plan 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio, I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today I'm going to prevent you from making some mistakes, some mistakes when choosing a workout plan. So let's be real. Most of you listening probably have some sort of workout plan, whether that is like you go for a walk, you do something at your house, you go to a gym, you have like a really structured plan. My guess is you have some sort of workout plan. Again, it may not be super awesome, but you have to understand that moving your body is an important part of fitness as an important part of just overall health. We all know that. So what really makes me sad is when women take the time, right, because we are all busy, we all have lots of things to do in our lives. So you set aside the time, you set aside the energy because we all know it takes energy to work out. And a lot of times you set aside money, you're investing money in programs or in equipment or in gyms or you know, lots of things. Clothing, you know, like you're putting in the time you're putting in the effort you're putting in money into your workout plans. And so often when I chat with women, about their workout plans, the goals that they have set, the fitness goals that they have set do not align with the workout plans that they have chosen.
Choose the right workout for your goal 2:18
So there's nothing inherently wrong with that other than you're putting time, money, and effort into something and it isn't actually doing what you want it to do. If you did that with anything else you bought like an appliance, and you needed it to mix up your food, and instead you bought like a knife. It's not that knives aren't bad. We'd like knives, but it's not going to do anything to help you mix up your food, right, you got to buy the right tool for the job. And it's the same thing when you get to a workout plan. And so what I see a lot of women doing is putting aside the time, putting aside the effort, putting aside the energy and spending their time doing workouts, and then wondering why they aren't getting the result that they want, why their body isn't changing, why they aren't losing fat, why they aren't gaining muscle.
The right nutrition and workout plans that align with the goal being set 3:08
Now part of that is often nutrition. And I have lots of hot podcast episodes about nutrition, counting macros, and how to make sure that the food that you're eating helps align with the goals that you have set. The right nutrition is a big piece of that. But the other big piece of that that I'm going to talk about today is your workout plans. So ideally, your workout plans and your nutrition would both be aligned with the goals that you want. And I have women come to me who have neither. Neither their nutrition nor their workout plans are really getting them where they want to go. I have some women whose nutrition is if you know, pretty good. It's on point with where they want to go but their workout plans need help. It's not helping them get to where they want to go. And then I have some women whose workout plans are pretty good, but their nutrition isn't on point.
How to make sure choosing a workout plan 4:03
So what we're going to talk about today is how to make sure when you are selecting a workout plan, when you are figuring out what you're going to do for that 20-30-60 minutes a day, a couple of days a week that you are working out how to make sure that you're choosing a good plan, that you're making an effective plan. So today we're going to cover the five biggest mistakes that I see when people are selecting workout plans so that you don't make the same mistake and that you can build an effective plan or at least know that the plan you're purchasing or the workouts you're doing at the gym or at your home that they're actually aligned with your goals.
Build Your Workouts 4:03
So this is a question I get a lot is like how do you make sure they're aligned? Okay. And that is exactly why I created my program Build Your Workouts. So Build Your Workouts is not a generic workout program where you just purchase the program, and then you just follow it, right? There are thousands, if not millions of those programs that you can find and purchase, and is it nice to like, have a printout that says, do this, do this, of course, like, I think we all at some level in our life, just want someone to tell us what to do. However, it's nice until you realize that there is a hidden cost to that. And then oftentimes, like I was talking about, the program you're spending money on putting effort and time into isn't actually optimized for you. It isn't actually created to help you reach your goals, it's a workout. Sure, we're gonna talk about the difference, but it's a workout, but it's not training, which is intentional to drive you towards a goal. So rather than just creating another lifting program, like all the millions that have been created before, I thought, what if I did something totally different, what if rather than just writing a generic plan and selling it to the masses, what if instead of doing that, I actually empowered women, to be able to have the tools and the understanding and the support to confidently build their own plan. That's like 100% customized to the goals they have set to their body, and to the equipment that they have available to them. What if instead of just doing it for you, I gave you the tools to do it for yourself. Then if that was the case, then even if you wanted to just go purchase a program from an influencer, or from a YouTuber, which I get it like not everybody wants to spend time writing their own programming, but even if you're going and purchasing something from someone else, but at least you could be an informed consumer, and make sure that the program you purchase is actually a quality program. It's kind of like when you go buy a car, right? Like I don't know how a car runs. I couldn't tell you what the pistons do. I don't know any of that. But what I do know is I know and understand gas mileage, I understand an automatic versus a manual transmission. I understand the difference between a van and an SUV and a sedan. And I have a basic understanding so when I go into the car dealership, I can make sure I'm getting what I want. Okay, and it's the same thing with your workout plan. Do you need to go and get a personal trainer certification to know how to create an effective plan? Do you need to understand undulating periodization or how to run a microcycle to be a savvy consumer? No, you don't need to know the specifics of that. But you do need to understand things like progressive overload, you do need to understand how much cardio your body needs, you do need to understand what a split refers to in order to not waste your money on programs. Okay, so whether you want to competently create your own programming, your own customized workout plan, or if you just want to be an informed consumer so that you can stop wasting time and money, and energy on purchasing programs that are actually not effective for your goals, then build your workouts is for you. So if you're interested in learning more about Build Your Workouts and purchasing that program, you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/build. And I'm excited to be able to help those of you who are enrolling to be able to create a customized plan to walk through the steps to create a customized plan for you and to be able to be a more informed consumer when it comes to aligning your workouts with the goals that you have set.
5 mistakes in choosing a workout plan 8:38
Alright, so let's dive into these five mistakes that I see women making when they choose a workout plan so that you my friend do not have to make the same mistakes.
Mistake no. 1: Picking a workout based on what workout influencers look like 8:38
So mistake number one is picking your workout plan based on what an influencer looks like. Influencer meaning YouTuber, Instagrammer, tik-toker. I don't know what other clubhouser, probably not the clubhouse because that's not a visual platform. But picking a workout based on what the person who is selling the workout looks like. Now, part of this is like human nature. Especially on visual platforms like YouTube, or Instagram where you're scrolling and you see someone and you're like, dang, her body looks awesome. I would love for my body to look that way. What is she doing? Right? That's always the next question. What is she doing? How can I do exactly the same thing that she is doing as if you did the same thing as somebody else, you would have the same body. Like that's kind of a leap in logic that we make, which is silly, and we know that it's silly, because we all have completely different genetics.
Understand the beautiful world of genetics 9:54
And so my first beef is if you're picking your workout program solely based on what the person selling it to you looks like, you have to understand that even if you did the exact same program as that woman, and you ate the exact same food and you like tried to live the exact same lifestyle as that woman, you probably would not look the same. And that is because there's a beautiful world of genetics, genetics, and body types and we are all different. So selecting your workout program based on what the person creating it looks like, is one of the worst ways to select your program. Because even if you did the same thing as them, you would not look the same way as them. But I get why people do it. Because we buy into this illusion of like, they have the body I want, like, there it is, I found it. Now all I have to do is as simple as doing the same things that she does, okay?
Understand what people have done to look that way 10:52
Here's the other thing that you don't understand. Or no, just by scrolling through Instagram, you have no idea what she has done to look that way. For example, I'll give you an example of myself. If you scroll through Instagram, and you're like, I want to look just like Amber, let me find out what Amber does and do the same thing, you would find out that I have been doing CrossFit for the last couple of years. And you might say to yourself, well, I should go do CrossFit, and then I'll look like Amber. But what you don't understand or maybe haven't been around long enough to know is that before CrossFit, I spent three years powerlifting, I spent a couple of years bodybuilding, I spent years before that teaching group fitness, like the things that I've done to actually build the muscle mass that I have on my body, is not CrossFit. That's what I'm doing now. But it's not what I did to actually build the amount of muscle that I have on my body. So if you looked at me, and you said I want your body, I should do CrossFit, you're missing what actually got me the body, which wasn't CrossFit. Okay, like CrossFit, I can maintain the muscle mass, but CrossFit, which I've talked about before, is not great for optimizing for building muscle. Okay, so you don't know what that person is actually doing. They might not have done their workouts, they probably didn't actually do their workouts to get the body that they have. They might be doing other workouts that actually give them that look and then selling you different workouts. We see that all the time in the fitness industry, where people will build like a glute program or something, it's not actually the program that they use to get their glutes, but they have really nice glutes, so they'll sell you a glute program.
Understand what nutritional issues those influencers have 12:37
You also don't know what nutritional issues they have. Eating disorders are rampant. And for the most part on social media silent, you don't know if somebody has an eating disorder. And so that woman's body that you're saying, I want to look like her. You have no idea what her relationship with food is, you don't have any idea whether she has anorexia or bulimia, or whether she has a healthy relationship with food, we can't make assumptions. I'm not saying go around making assumptions about people. But just opening your eyes to the understanding that you just don't know. Like, we just don't win on social media, you see such a small snippet of somebody's life, and what they are doing that to make a decision, you know, based on an image that is put out onto social media is not a great way to select what workout you're going to do. Okay.
Mistake no. 2: Picking a workout because others like it 13:33
Number two, this is a beef of mine, picking a workout because other people like it. Now, we all love to share and give our opinions on things that we like, right? When you love a book, a podcast, or a movie. You like to tell people about it. You're like, I love this book. It's amazing. You should read this book. It's so good. But, and we can obviously all have opinions and share our opinions, but recognize that that's exactly what they are. They're just opinions. And just because somebody else likes something doesn't mean it's actually good for you.
Let’s consider this example 14:10
My example of this is The Office. I would say probably 99% of you guys listening to this podcast, love The Office. Why do I say that? I don't know, because everybody loves The Office. Except for me. I don't like the office. Now you guys are all going to turn off my podcasts and never listen to them again. But I don't like it it's one of those things that everybody likes and I just don't like it. My husband and I have tried to watch that show at least three times. Like we've started the season. Just trying to get into it. We're like what are we missing? What's everybody like here that we just can't get into? And I just don't like it. So someone could say, Oh, The Office is amazing. You should totally watch the office. You'll love it. That doesn't mean I'm actually going to, it's actually right for me. So people's opinions can be helpful. Great if a lot of people tell you something that makes you more likely to like it as well. But it's not, if 10 people tell you that it's a good thing doesn't mean it's necessarily good for you. Okay? So just because other people like it doesn't mean it's actually effective.
Knowing really what’s your goal in picking a workout plan 15:14
And so where my beef comes in is when people ask for suggestions for workouts to do, and people start throwing advice at them, Oh, I love this, I love this, or I tried this or, like, you should do this. It's a great workout plan, whatever. Before asking that person, one of the most important questions that you should always ask a person when they're trying to figure out a workout program. And that is, What's your goal? What's your goal? If your goal is to have the most fun moving your body possible, my recommendation is going to be very different than if your goal is to maximize your deadlift. Or if it's like to get a PR on a marathon. Okay, like your goal should create your workout plan, whatever you're trying to work towards. And so when people get on things like Facebook groups, and say, What workout plan should I do? And everybody throws advice out before asking the most important question, what is your goal, just recognize, just because someone else likes the program doesn't mean it's actually going to be effective for your goal. So getting really clear on what your goal is, first, is always going to be really important. Alright.
Mistake no. 3: Finding random workouts on YouTube or Pinterest or Instagram 16:29
Number three, just finding random workouts on YouTube or print Pinterest. Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with this. Last week, I described the difference between working out and training. Working out is simply moving your body, go on to Pinterest, find a workout and do it, move your body, get your heart rate up. It's great. Love it. Really good for your health, right? Nothing wrong with that. But it is very different from training. Training has a specific goal. It has something that you are working towards. And so your training is training you for that goal. Okay, so they're very different. If you just want to work out, go into YouTube, and searching for a random workout is great. Go into Pinterest searching for a random workout perfect. Go on Instagram searching for random workouts that you've bookmarked, perfect. There's nothing wrong with that, you totally can keep doing that.
Check your workout program if it aligns with your goal 17:40
However, if you want to train for something, if your goal is maximizing fat loss, maximizing muscle gains, improving your PRs, getting stronger, getting faster, you know, any of those things that are very specific or like you're trying to accomplish this, then your program needs to reflect that. And you cannot just go to YouTube and get random workouts that are going to help you get stronger, okay? Or get faster or whatever. A training program is structured as created to be able to drive an end result. And when you're doing random things, you're not creating a structure that is actually going to drive you towards the result. My example here, I'm going to actually relate it to my business. So when I started a business, and a lot of business owners do this, I had no clue what I was doing. Let's just be honest, I really had zero clues what I was doing. And so what did I do? I just threw spaghetti at the wall, metaphorically. I just like to try things. I didn't know what was gonna work. I didn't know how I was supposed to do this. I didn't know what the right way was. So I would just do things. And, you know, some of those things really worked and I got some results. But I got to the point where I was like, I don't have any concept of moving forward or strategy of what's working to keep moving forward and keep growing because I've been throwing things against the wall. And yeah, some of them. It's been sticky, but I have no idea why they're sticking, or what's gonna stick in the future. And so I remember when I hired my first business coach, the thing that I told her was, like if by the end of this year, I feel like their strategy is behind what I do, then I will be a success for me. I just want to have some strategy behind what I'm doing instead of just guessing and throwing things against the wall. And that's what I see a lot of women doing with their workout plans is they're just guessing and they're just throwing things against the wall.
“Newbie gains” 19:42
Now, here's the beautiful thing. Just like when I started my business, and I had no clue what I was doing, and I was throwing things against the wall. Some of it was working like it, some of it was working. I just was guessing but it wasn't like all of it was bad. I just didn't really know. And the same thing happens when you take an untrained individual and give them any sort of workout program. When you take an untrained individual and when I say untrained, I mean someone who hasn't been actually effectively training hasn't been like intentionally training. So, you know, maybe you've picked up a couple of dumbbells, but you've never actually done anything like an effective training program that actually builds muscle or actually lifts or actually builds strength, okay. So if you take someone who hasn't ever lifted before, hasn't ever really worked out before and you put them into any, any program, crappy, effective, what, like you just put them into any program, that untrained individuals still get results. It's like your body can't help but like, start to build some muscle. So whether or not you're actually lifting effectively, or actually having effective programming, your body will start to build some muscle. And so here's where the deceit comes in. People purchase crappy programs, they start seeing results and they're like, Oh, this program works. It's amazing. Not recognizing that they literally could have done any program in the world, and it would have worked because they were untrained. And the body just like that first little bit of muscle, like your body, very, very easily puts on it doesn't have to have a lot of stimuli to put it on. But then what happens is there like, Oh, this program works. And then they see a plateau. And they're like, Well, wait a minute. I look the same today, as I looked six months ago. I started this program a year ago. But the first six months, I saw great results. And then the next six months, I didn't see anything. And that is because after that, like little, that little point of like, your body will add muscle based on any program that you do, then your body actually has to have effective programming to continue to build muscle. And this is exactly what I saw with the body pump. I taught body pump. Many of you know I taught body pump for eight years. And the first couple of years, I wouldn't say the first couple years, maybe the first year that I taught body pump, I saw a lot of progress, I was putting weight on the bar, I was seeing more muscle like I saw my body change, and then it stopped. And like for the next seven years, yeah, maybe my weights on the bar went up a little bit, I was able to lift a little bit heavier. But all in all, my physique didn't really change much during the next seven years. And that is because once I had tapped out on those, we call them “newbie gains”. That's what people call them, you'll hear people refer to newbie gains. That's like an untrained individual touching any type of resistance training will have some gains. But then once you've maxed that out, then if your programming is not actually effective, it's not going to actually keep going. So this is what happens when you do things like choosing a random YouTube or random Pinterest, you may actually see really good success initially with that if you were an untrained individual, but very quickly, you will hit a plateau and then stop changing because those aren't actually structured as an effective training program to drive an adaptation.
Mistake no. 4: Building plan all around cardio and forgetting about lifting 23:18
Okay, mistake number four, building your plan around cardio. If you want to build muscle, that's my caveat. If you're like, if your biggest goal is to PR your marathon, you probably should have some you well, you should have some weightlifting in there. But you may be building your program around your cardio like that may be the priority. Okay, so my caveat here is the mistake is building your plan around cardio if part of your goal is to build muscle, okay.
Importance of building a muscle 23:50
I talked about why building muscle is so important in Episode 137. So you can go back and give that a listen, if you're not convinced about the importance of building muscle, but understand that when you're trying to build muscle, cardio is catabolic, meaning it breaks down muscle tissue. Lifting is anabolic, meaning it builds muscle tissue. So if your goal is to build muscle, yeah, we need to include lifting, but understand that cardio doing cardio actually almost counteracts the lifting because it breaks down muscle tissue.
The balance between cardio and weights 24:29
Now, does that mean that you shouldn't do any cardio ever and cardio is the devil and I hate cardio and nobody should do it? No, of course not. It's a balance. And it's always going to be a balance based on your goals. based on what phase you are in. So are you cutting? Are you maintaining? Are you bulking? Are you reversing? Depending on what phase your cardio is gonna look different in all of those phases. The balance is different based on your body type. different body types have different needs for cardio. If you want to learn more about body types, go listen to episode number 45, where I break down the different body types. But understand that there's a balance between cardio and weights. And that balance is going to be a little bit different for everybody. So building your whole plan around cardio, if some of your goals is to build muscle is a mistake, and we want to make sure that balance is right for you, so that we don't have too much cardio, or too little cardio-based off of your goals, your body type, and the phase that you are in.
Mistake no. 5: Sucking it up and doing something that you hate 25:39
Okay, the last and final mistake is sucking it up and doing something that you hate. Okay, I am not sitting here saying that you should do something that you hate because it's effective. Okay, you probably have heard somewhere, somewhere on Instagram, I don't know that the best workout is the one that you will actually do. And that is true to an extent, right? If it's like I will either do this really crappy workout or I won't work out at all, then, of course, the crappy workout is always going to be better than nothing. Okay. But if you could find a workout that you most loved, or you loved just as much that was more effective than of course, wouldn't that be a better use of your time. So I'm not asking you to go all the way too well, I hate barbell lifting but Amber said I have to do it. So I'm going to do it. No, no, it's not what I'm saying. I'm saying we need to find something that you like and enjoy at least moderately, I don't think that you have to love it every single time, I don't think it has to be the most fun thing you've done every single time so that you don't hate and is actually effective. And there is a balance there like we can find something that is something that you actually enjoy, or most enjoy. And something that is actually effective for your goals as well.
What does enjoying workouts really mean 27:06
Now, I do want to speak a little bit about this idea of enjoying your workouts. I think there is a difference between enjoying the process, the workout process, the results that you get from the workout, and actually thinking that every single workout is fun. Those aren't the same thing. So plenty of my workouts. I'm not sitting there giggling like, this is so fun. No, it's actually hard, and it kind of sucks at the moment. And I don't want to do it all of the time. Okay, that's one of the beautiful things about working out is like doing hard things. Hard things kind of suck. Sometimes they're not always fun. But when they are fun in the long run, right? It's not fun for me to put 200 pounds on my back and squat it like no part of that is actually fun. What is fun is getting stronger, what is fun is seeing PRs, what is fun is challenging myself with what I thought I can do and what I actually can do. And realizing that I'm a lot stronger than I thought. What's fun is telling myself I'm going to do something and showing up and doing it. So you do whatever you want with your workouts. But I don't want anybody to listen to this podcast and think like every single workout has to be super fun and giggly and like a ball like a party. Okay, it doesn't have to be that way.
Do new things that you enjoy 29:25
And if it isn't that way doesn't mean you're doing it wrong, doesn't mean that you need to go find another workout. Some workouts are hard and like I said they suck and it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. But what I don't want is you just continuing to do something that you like dread and hate and don't look forward to and try to get out of just because you think it's the most effective. There are ways to lift weights that can be enjoyable for you. There are lots of different ways to lift weights. You can train for muscle endurance, you can train for building muscle, muscle hypertrophy, you can train for strength, you can train for a marathon, but including weights to train helps you build muscle to train for that marathon like there are lots of ways to go about it. It doesn't have to just be like, I don't know the bro workout that you think of showing up at the gym, squat, deadlift, bench, go home, it doesn't have to be that way. And you know, I can speak to this a lot because I've done lots of different styles of training. I've done group fitness, I've done bodybuilding, I've done powerlifting, I've done CrossFit. I've done some Olympic lifting like I've done lots and lots of different styles. And one of the reasons I moved from style to style is because one of my goals changed. But two, I'm wanting to do new things and I'm not willing to stay with something that I don't enjoy anymore. I go out and find another modality that's going to challenge me and that I'm going to enjoy. Okay, so please do not just do something that you hate, just because you think I told you to. Find something that you actually enjoy or that at least you enjoy the side effects even if you don't enjoy every single little workout.
Alright, so just as a recap, the five biggest mistakes women often make when choosing their workout plan one, they make the mistake of picking their workout based on what the workout creator looks like. Number two, they pick a workout because other people like it. Number three, they pick a workout by just finding random cherry-picking workouts off of YouTube or Pinterest, or Instagram. Number four, they build their plan all around cardio forgetting about lifting. This, again, is if you want to build muscle, and then the last one is a mistake is sucking it up and doing something that you hate.
So hopefully, what we'll do now, because you've heard this as I can prevent you from making these same mistakes, or maybe if you've made those mistakes in the past, or you're currently making one of those mistakes, now your eyes are opened a little bit and you can make some changes. Awareness is always the first step towards change and some of you may have had some aha moments during this and you realize that what you thought you were doing that was really good, and you thought you were you know, doing a really good thing doing this workout, it may be actually isn't the most effective workout for you, for your body, for your goals.
Come and join Build Your Workouts program 31:33
And if that's the case, then I really encourage you to come on into Build Your Workouts. Build Your Workouts is going to help give you the tools to be able to create your own customized programming like you'll be able to do that you'll be able to create your programming, you'll be able to know how much cardio you need based on of your goals, and your body type, you'll know how many days of lifting that you'll need to do you'll need, you'll know how to break down those days of lifting and select the right exercises and the right rep ranges. I walk you through all of that inside build your workout. So by the end of the course, you're able to have this built plan that is customized to you, to your goals, to your body type to the equipment that you have access to, and is going to actually be effective, it's not going to, it's going to actually drive you towards the result that you want. Remember, we're all about creating training plans, not just generic workouts. If you just want a generic workout, go to YouTube and Pinterest and Instagram like there's a bajillion and one workout that you can do. But if you're looking for something that actually drives a result, helps you to build muscle helps you to lose fat helps you to get stronger, helps you to hit PRs, helps you to run faster, like any of those things, if you want your workouts to actually drive you towards a result, you need a training plan. And that's what I help you to create inside of builder workouts.
The importance of understanding the basics of a workout plan 32:57
And again, if you're like Amber, I like when someone tells me what to do, I just want to go buy a workout plan, totally get it. But you need to understand at least the basics so that when you go out there as a consumer, you are buying a plan and you can look at it and say yes, this is gonna get me where I want to go because there are so many workout plans out there that aren't bad, but they aren't going to get you where you want to go. And so you gotta understand this just like I gave the analogy of going to the car dealership, you got to understand the basics of like a van versus an SUV so that you get what you need and what you want. I don't have to understand how a car works. But I do need to understand the basics so that I can make sure what I'm purchasing actually aligns with what I need in my life. And it's the same thing with your workout program. So if you want to come to join build your workouts go to bicepsafterbabies.com/build and I will see you there. That wraps up this episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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