How Strength Training Can Heal Pain with Batista Gremaud on The Healers Café with Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND
In this episode of The Healers Café, Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND, chats with Batista Gremaud, CEO / President at Dr Fitness International, and best selling author.Highlights from today’s episode include: Batista Gremaud And what happened is when I reached my mid-40s, basically, I hit a wall. It was like my injuries were so bad, and I was losing the grip on my body. And basically, for me, it was like I was looking at losing my career really because I couldn’t go on like this. And then one day I had a moment of clarity. It was in a meditation class the topic was a body-mind-spirit integration. And I woke up and I said well what do you mean body mind spirit integration?
About Batista Gremaud
Batista Gremaud is the CEO and president of Dr Fitness International, No1 Best Selling author of Feminine Body Design, Empowering Fitness For A Pain-Free Life, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training mentoring system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding, and producer of the Dr Fitness USA’s show; Recipient of the most outstanding fitness program 2019 by The Winners Circle, Mastermind at Sea. Contributor writer for the “In The Limelight” publication; featured as an expert authority speaker on the International Pain Foundation, presenter on various health summits such as “Life Mastery”, “Girl You Are Enough” “The Teen Suicide Prevention Show” and NEXT Global Virtual Summit
Core purpose / passion : I love merging universal and esoteric principles to the art of bodybuilding, according to the teachings and philosophy of International Body Designer Stephen Hercy AKA Dr Fitness USA, as an evolutionary vehicle to achieving wholeness of all elements of the Self and bringing greater understanding to the subject of body, mind spirit integration.
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Dr. Manon 00:24
So welcome to the Healers Cafe. And today I have with me Batista Gremaud, and I’m very excited because she actually originally was a dancer, and then her life has changed from that point. But she is the CEO and president of Dr. Fitness International, and the number one best-selling author of ‘The Feminine Body Design, Empowering Fitness for a Pain-Free Life’. She’s also the co-creator of the feminine body design online strength training mentoring system. So welcome, and I’m really excited to have you here.
Dr. Manon 01:09
I’ve got to ask, I mean, from dancer to fitness, you know, there’s obvious links, but tell us a little bit what was your journey?
Batista Gremaud 01:22
Thank you for asking. It’s actually, I love talking about it, because it’s a funny story when you see and like you said, I am a former flamenco dancer and ballet dancer. So that’s my profession. I started very young when I was three years old, and that’s all I wanted to do. It was my life’s purpose. My mission. My parents were both artists. My father was a mime. My mother was a ballet dancer. I started on stage when I was three years old, and that was my life. What happened though, is in my mid-20s, I suffered some car accidents and some injuries, I broke my foot…life happened like it does to some of us. And, that left me with a lot of injuries. And that thing was my life, my passion so obviously I wasn’t going to quit over injuries. And so I pursued a very fulfilling, long, full dance career. And my life was basically double-sided, right? On one hand, I’ve had the glamour, the dance, the stage. And then, on the other hand, it was the search for healing my injuries on ice pack, doctors, all the modalities, you name it, I did it. From more forward modalities to things more….
unconventional. One of my passions is also spirituality and so I went that route with all the mental positive thinking, hypnosis. Anyway, I did everything, and I worked with personal trainers. I was healthy. As a dancer, I had to keep my weight, my health, because dancing is a very difficult job. Professionally, you’re on your feet, you know, put in hours a day. It’s like no pain, no gain, right? The show must go on. That was my life. And what happened is when I reached my mid-40s, basically, I hit a wall. It was like my injuries were so bad, and I was losing the grip on my body. And basically, for me, it was like I was looking at losing my career really because I couldn’t go on like this. And then one day I had a moment of clarity. It was in a meditation class the topic was a body-mind-spirit integration. And I woke up and I said well what do you mean body mind spirit integration? This is all good but I know all this. I’ve 30 years in studying body-mind-spirit integration, and after that, I got a grip on my body. And so there was a piece of the puzzle missing in my life that was really missing and I made an intention that I was going to find that piece of the puzzle missing. I wanted my body back. You know I wanted that integration and so I prayed, I did everything that I had ever learned about anything. And the next day I met Dr. Fitness USA. So, you know it was by accident. I was waiting to talk to an owner of a restaurant where I was going to have a job dance show. And I was there, it was lunchtime, and this kind of a bodybuilder walked in to have lunch there. And we made eye contact, and he came by my table and he said, Well, who are you? And I said, Well, I’m Becky Scott. And then I say, Who are you? And he said I’m an international body designer.
Batista Gremaud 05:15
Just the night before, I had put together this whole meditation with a group, I was holding meditation in my studio, and we lit candles, and we did this whole thing. Then right there, the next day, this international body designer, just happens to just be in front of me. So I said, well, that’s what I need. And, that was the beginning of an amazing journey, because everything that he was telling me was completely different than anything that I knew about fitness. And trust me, I knew everything, so I thought. And he was telling me about never doing anything that’s uncomfortable, but then you have to lift weights. And sometimes you have to lift heavy weights. But you have to work out from a female perspective. And these were all concepts that didn’t fit in the same sentence. Excuse me. I was hurt lifting weight. That sounds difficult and uncomfortable, and painful. And you know what I mean? So I was puzzled because it was really every day. It didn’t make any sense. But I prayed. And there it was. And I know enough to know that when you pray for something, and then something comes into your life, even if it doesn’t look like what you were expecting, is a good idea to open the door to investigate. So I hired him.
Dr. Manon 05:16
Dr. Manon 05:20
I’m just curious. So you already understood the body mind spirit connection. But did you identify what part of all of this wasn’t fulfilled or wasn’t there? No, you just knew some part was missing.
Batista Gremaud 07:17
I knew some part was missing but I didn’t know what it was. I expected it to come into some type of spiritual vision. I did not expect it to come into a strength training program. Certainly not. I had no clue. Literally, I had tried just about everything. From the mindset aspect of things from the physiotherapy from…everything. And so no, I did not know what was missing. I just knew something was missing. Because, you know, body spirit and your body’s falling apart. That’s, not right.
Dr. Manon 08:01
Interesting to have already been at the point to know that the universe does procure something if you pay attention, right, there’s signs right and to at least go even though there would have been resistance. Like if I had been given strength training I would have been like wait a minute here. Anyway, go on with your story.
Batista Gremaud 08:23
Yeah, I was very resistant, very resistant, because, you know, I had all the misconceptions, the false belief systems, and now I know it is false for them, especially with strength training, bodybuilding for women. I was a dancer and you want to get bulky, I couldn’t even leave. I had a frozen shoulder just right there. I couldn’t move my arm almost at all. And so you want me to lift? You know, I was like, the probably the worst case. You know what I mean? But again, you know, I figured the conversation is different. And I never quite heard anything like that conversation in fitness. So yeah. So you know, I hired him. I said, Sure. You know, I can try it. I’ll do it. And so, a couple of weeks later, I ended up at Gold’s Gym, Venice, the mecca of bodybuilding where all the big bodybuilders work out of all things right? And me with my little tights and yellow like, Oh, it was quite intimidating, I have to say. And in my first session, I leg pressed over 300 pounds comfortably. Me who couldn’t move my arm. I was chest pressing 25 pounds dumbbells. I resisted it. I think it took me at least half an hour to do it. I was going don’t you know I’m hurt. I can’t do it. I can do it. And you just stay there and say, I guess you can and then I did it!
Dr. Manon 09:24
So I mean, that clearly would be a misconception. Could you explain that? Like, because that seems counterintuitive for sure. So what is it like, give us some of these misconceptions that really differentiate the approach that your husband and you are both doing?
Batista Gremaud 10:39
Yeah. Okay. So this is what happened. And I’ll come back to this question: by doing this, within a couple of days, my backache was gone, and all my injuries disappeared. And so I ended up marrying him and researching exactly this question that you’re asking, what is it? Because I was so fascinated about the process that I wanted to know everything? And that has been my journey since then. It was 20 years ago it was 2008 and I looked for the answers in just this question you are asking/ And that is how I ended up writing my book, feminine body design and borrowing fitness for the free life, because these were actually all the myths that I discovered, and basically, I had to relearn everything. So to answer your question, Steven, his name is Steven, also known as Dr. Fitness USA, developed a system that is based on a certain sequence of exercise. That is very carefully crafted together with Ergonomics. So the body is always supported when you do the movements.
Batista Gremaud 12:21
And the first principle of every formula, we call them a prescription or formula is to correct postural alignment. Because in the system, that is the foundation of the body, because the spine is actually what is going to hold your body up. And then if it’s out of alignment, or then your muscles are also tweaked and out of alignment, then you’re always going to be out of alignment, it’s going to do a domino effect. And this is oftentimes what is missing, we find with chiropractic treatment or other modalities that work with pain, they can be really efficient, but then if you don’t rebuild the musculature around the spine, then the muscles are always going to pull you off. So that’s one of the first things so the formulas, the strength training, prescriptions that you put together, are always first looking at realigning the posture, and then correcting muscular imbalances. That’s the first thing.
Dr. Manon 13:37
Okay, and I don’t know if that’s possible to explain, without showing, but how does one do that? What’s the mechanism for this realignment?
Batista Gremaud 13:51
Well, I can tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. No, I’m just kidding.
Dr. Manon 14:12
Okay, the general principle, how about that?
Batista Gremaud 14:18
All right. Well, I will give you a couple of examples. For example, a lot of people have bad posture because of society, computers, cellphones, so one of the prominent posture repetitions is forward head position because we’re on cell phones and everything. So the mistakes they make when they work out they’re gonna work out like this. Okay. So let’s say that we’ll do a lat pulldown exercise. They are like this. And they’re going to do it like this. So they will make things worse. So for us, we find a way of depending on the piece of equipment they have, we find a way so the bar will fall behind the back. And we will work on now pulling back and correcting that slowly and rebuilding the muscles that push the shoulder back. Head will realign. That’s one example. There are many others. Okay. Basically, it’s a little bit of common sense. And then some knowledge on your ergonomics. If you look at the exercises that are commonly done in the gym, you will see that some of them really are, forcing the body in that position. And then is finding a way to do the exercise in a different way where the body is in proper alignment and then doing the movement that builds the synergistic muscles that hold the capacity.
Dr. Manon 16:10
So it’s working with the synergetic muscles in like, I’m just thinking of, with Feldon Christ methodology that also is a way of realigning posture, because they have that. I mean, the work that I do, as you know, Bowen Therapy, also realigns posture, that’s one of the mechanisms by which we maintain better positioning to be able to go back to whatever life in general, including exercise. So that’s part of it is slowly re-educating the muscles, that’s part of it.
Batista Gremaud 16:58
Yes. Yeah, the proper position in the proper alignment, and then rebuilding.
Dr. Manon 17:03
And through exercise, it sounds like.
Batista Gremaud 17:07
And through strength training, specifically, You can do things to exercise. But like if you do free exercise, you know, like, right now things like this. You can’t control it as much. You see what I mean? And it’s easier to compensate. We all have a stronger side. And then if you already have that posture, your tendencies to do you know, like, they say, oh, oh, yeah, I want to get strong. I want to work on my posture that I’m doing planks. You see what I mean? So a lot of it is common sense and, or cycling.
Commercial Break 17:51
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Batista Gremaud 18:29
There is a secret second principle, though, that is very important for me.
Dr. Manon 18:46
Absolutely. I want to find out.
Batista Gremaud 18:50
its strength, rebuilding strength. So it goes hand in hand with rebuilding the musculature. But when you rebuild stretchy strength is what we start losing as of age 30. The muscle loss syndrome, if we don’t do a strength training program, then we’re going to start losing muscle mass. And then the hormones start changing. And then you know, it’s kind of again the snowball effect, and then we become weaker and weaker. So in our system, we work towards increasing a person’s strength by 20 to 50%. And when we see people face to face, it can be 50%. And up. Now that we work online, we have to be a little more careful. So 20-30 it takes a little bit longer because we have to first ensure that the person has the technique and the form of the exercise properly so that they don’t get hurt and then we have to increase that strength more gradually. But when the body is grounded, ergonomically safe and Now, and this is what happened to me when I was doing my 25 pounds the first day with my frozen shoulder, or even my 350 pounds in the leg press with my backache, that was horrifying. It had to do with the ergonomics and the sequence of exercise. And what happens is that strength is immediate. And what it does is it produces a sense of calm in the brain. The endorphins, you know, whatever you want to call it, but the mind goes really quiet. And it’s a sense of accomplishment. And that is hard to explain. So it’s stress management. By the way, I also like to explain that this is also part of my research and discovery on all these years of researching this is that it has to do with a nervous system. Because the nervous system is like the electrical panel in your house when it’s overloaded is gonna blow a fuse and most of us are walking around overloaded.
Dr. Manon 21:13
Waiting for an accident.
Batista Gremaud 21:16
And so then we go to get in shape. And then we want to get well and we got so we go and we go work out. And now we’re gonna do the No pain, no gain thing and push ourselves, you know, do all these things. And this is just like plugging in an extra appliance on an already overloaded system.
Dr. Manon 21:38
Batista Gremaud 21:39
So we don’t do this, everything comfortable, everything, quiet everything safe everything with a proper form, the proper postural alignment, you know, and then when that happens, and you put all that together, then you can do things that you never thought possible.
Dr. Manon 22:02
So I’m very intrigued with the frozen shoulder particularly. Because that’s definitely how in practice, sometimes you have one person and then suddenly you’ve got 400 people with the same issue and you’re like, oh, my goodness, okay, now I need to really understand this phenomenon. And some of the things I’ve witnessed with people with, you know, diagnosed not just by me, but by other doctors with frozen shoulder. I would not believe, though, I saw it that people can heal so quickly because we’re told it’s gonna take two years, there’s going to be enormous pain, etc, etc. And I have noticed that sometimes it takes a little bit longer, yes. But many people respond in like three to five weeks in a significant way and don’t have pain. So my challenge. And my desire is to understand, so I’m seeing you with frozen shoulder the way most people walk in, then they just like, they go like this. And then it’s like, ah, I can’t, I can’t, and you try and get them to move their entire body moves because they can’t lift it further. How does that work like that? I just don’t know if it can be explained, but so you’re positioned perfectly well so that the right muscles are activated? But how does it work? Did you feel pain?
Batista Gremaud 23:42
No. The frozen shoulder? I think was…I had a lot of injuries. Okay. Yeah. back injury knees, Achilles, my hips. problems. shoulder. So I had a lot of things. I think the frozen shoulder is the thing that took the longest to heal.
Dr. Manon 24:06
Right, which is normal. Yeah.
Batista Gremaud 24:09
I think maybe, but I saw improvements almost immediately, like in the first week.
Dr. Manon 24:16
Batista Gremaud 24:16
The movements that I was doing that were specifically put for me in my exercise program. never hurt. Okay. Even the first time when I went to do this 25 pounds and I said I can’t move my arm. How do you want me to do this? At 25 pounds, you know, tell you 25 pounds you just can’t. And, I was petrified. And it was the fear that prevented me from doing it. Because when I actually walked through the fear, and you know, at one point I knew that I was not going to go home unless I did it. You know, because they were there. They had all day, you know? And so I said, Okay, you know, they know what they’re doing. They’ve been doing this for a while. And if, if they didn’t think it was possible, then they wouldn’t ask me to. And then I just kind of took that leap of faith, but also because I wanted to go home eventually also. And no, there was no pain. And you know that later, a little bit of soreness and sure, you know, that’s normal. More. So I think because of the muscles now be reactivated
Dr. Manon 25:34
Exactly, yeah, the lactic acid and whatever was stored.
Batista Gremaud 25:37
Yeah, exactly. But I think, for like, the first week, I started regaining more motion in the shoulder, and they were able to add more exercises and some of them were painful but then there was always a way of adjusting the angle of the movement so that we could bypass the pain. Still do the movement without pain. And slowly it just reactivated. Because when you don’t move, actually, that’s the worst thing you can do. Because everything atrophies. And so I think after, I think six months, maybe then the pain was entirely gone. But progressively better really fast. And you know, to answer your question, it’s really part of the formulas and the sequence of the exercise of what comes before.
Dr. Manon 26:41
Right. You’re preparing the body, basically.
Batista Gremaud 26:47
Because we also notice that a lot of times people come in, they have a pain somewhere, and then they just want to treat the pain. Right, the pain could come from somewhere else, imbalances that happen. And so that’s why we don’t ever look at just the pain, we always look at the whole body and prepare the body for that experience.
Dr. Manon 27:13
Obviously, there will be some compensations like you pointed out early. That is fascinating and I’m really curious to learn more because one of the big pleasures I have in the methodology I teach in my college is that we don’t cause pain. And people believe that pain is gain and hard is better. And, you know, and all these misconceptions, and I get the pleasure of seeing that that’s not true. And I have not really come across a modality that works with strengthening the muscle, which is complementary to what we do, because we don’t focus on that part particularly. I can’t see similar principles that deal with the same misconceptions. It’s fascinating to me. And then what I also really think is interesting, it’s a mental block the fear. It really is that and, I understand trust and all that has to come for you to surrender to it. But you know, how much our minds can because of our beliefs or because we believe we’re going to injure ourselves, how sometimes that’s not wired properly. They’re really unquestioned thoughts. Anyway, what a fascinating story so then what happened?
Batista Gremaud 28:50
Okay, I married him. I started researching and I came up with all these answers. And then my vision was to be able to offer the system to more people basically because back then, the knowledge was entirely in Steven’s head. He was very intuitive and everything was one on one and he was like each project, each client was kind of like commissioning a beautiful piece of art to the person except that the art is their body, right? So very one on one customized and investment was quite high. And you know, for me, like, I was desperate, it’s not like I had the money but, you know, I figured if you have your body and your health, you always can make more money.
Dr. Manon 29:45
But not everybody agrees with that or thinks that through. You’re right.
Batista Gremaud 29:57
So for me I had a vision to expand and I had the vision to be able to scan all this and with the research that I’ve done, and then I started teaching the clients, I became a personal trainer. And then I became an apprentice body designer, where I would design the programs for the people and then compare notes, and then learn like this, of basically learning to think like him and to see the body like him. So that I graduated into a body designer. And together, we were able to actually scale the system into something that we were able to put online. So we put the system online about five years ago. That was a good thing.
Dr. Manon 30:56
Impeccable timing again. Prepared, right.
Batista Gremaud 31:00
Yes. Even though we were not prepared for the gyms to close…………..
Batista Gremaud 31:04
Because the system was still based on gym equipment. And, you know, and so, of course, last year, with the gyms closing, we had to really reinvent a lot of things to do them from home. And we’re pleased with the work we did last year. But yeah, so that’s, that’s what happened. We’ve been scaling and online and this year, we are actually expanding to corporate wellness. So we’re really looking forward to scale even more and reach even more people because we see the need with what’s happening and a lot of the workforce now that’s working remotely at home and a lot of depression.
Dr. Manon 31:11
So for people who would want more information or to be in touch with you or take one of your trainings? What do you have for people to have a look at what you do?
Batista Gremaud 32:11
Yes, as a matter of fact, I put together a gift for people. It’s called the Are You Zoomed Out gift. And it’s a five-day roadmap to basically get off the chair and start moving and strengthening those areas that get atrophied when you sit for long hours on your butt.
Batista Gremaud 32:36
But also wrists like carpal tunnel, you don’t see it coming and then one day it’s there. And there’s simple things that people can do to prevent or even reverse. So the five-day roadmap is just very small exercises and stretches and things that will take no more than five to 10 minutes a day. So it’s not like this huge commitment. But if you start doing it, then you’ll see considerable changes in the way you’re feeling your energy level, and also even neck tension, back pain, wrist pain. And that’s a great place to start and that you can find the information on our website, which is drfitnessusa.com. Or drfitnessinternational.com. One is for individuals, and one is for corporate wellness. So whoever you are, if you’re a CEO or HR department of a medium to large-sized company, and you wanted more information for your employees, that would be drfitnessinternational.com. And if you are an individual, Oh, and by the way, we do really well with professions like dentists, golf, tennis, that have these types of overuse injuries. We’ve had amazing results.
Dr. Manon 34:09
Wonderful. Okay, well, I’m definitely going to find out a bit more. And thank you so much for sharing this with my community.
Batista Gremaud 34:18
I am excited to be here and thank you for having me.
Dr. Manon 34:23
Yeah, and I think we probably need to do a follow-up discussion. I have some ideas.
Dr. Manon 34:32
Thank you, very much!
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