Kristin Leffel knows how to stay skinny. She worked as an actress and model in Los Angeles for more than a decade. She ran religiously. “I wasn't really well-versed in lifting weights or anything like that. I was just an avid runner. I ran six or seven days a week. I probably wasn't very healthy because I was stick-thin, not eating after my runs. I was maintaining that model body.” It was until she had her kids—who she calls the lights of her life—that she figured out how to cut down on cardio, embrace strength training, and finally get serious about getting strong.
Like so many moms, Kristin suffered from diastastis recti after her pregnancies. For the uninitiated, that’s a separation in the abdominal muscles that leads to what magazines and social media have unkindly dubbed, “the mama pooch.” Running wasn’t helping her abs, so she turned to virtual sessions—shoutout to pandemic life!—with a personal trainer who TRX fans will recognize from TRX Live classes: Niko Algieri.
“It only took two months of working out three days a week with TRX to see a drastic difference in my diastasis. It was coming back together. My muscles were coming back together.” Beyond correcting her diastasis, TRX opened Kristin’s eyes to the positive impact of strength training.
“I didn't really fully understand it until now: how important strength training is and what it can do for your body. I am more toned than I've ever been. I'm stronger than I've ever been. I haven't cut out running completely. I run two days a week and do TRX four to five days a week.”
Anyone who’s parented through the pandemic—or, really, parented at all—knows that finding an hour each day to exercise can be a challenge. Kristin can relate. “I started out one month into lockdown, and my husband was working from five in the morning until seven o'clock at night.” But the benefits of finding that time, she said, are worth the sacrifice.
“When I started out, it was my ‘me’ time, It was my one hour of ‘me’... I'm a better mom because I work out. I'm a better wife. I'm a better friend. I have more energy. I have more stamina. I sleep better. I'm stronger. I have more confidence.”
Nine months after she started working out with the TRX Suspension Trainer, Kristin completed her training for TRX qualification and has even started teaching a weekly class online for friends. She’s got a full set-up at home—Suspension Trainer, bands, kettlebells, and the Rocker—ready for her daily escape for self-care or to motivate other TRX athletes.
More important to Kristin, the time she spends training now means she’ll be able to stay more active and engaged with her kids in the long run.
“Movement is important to me—especially in this period of my life—because I want to stay fit and have the energy to keep up with my kids. It helps me in all aspects of my life. I'm getting better asleep. I have more energy during the day. I'm just a happier person.”