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Welcome to another edition of Fitness for All with Cam Jenkins, and sponsored by Lebert Fitness. In this episode, Cam talks with Valerie Favier (Val Powaful), speaker, coach, Master Trainer at Lebert Fitness and Metabolic Trainer at MD Studio France. Val talks about how to use Lebert EQualizers, kettlebell, and bodyweight in her journey to fitness.
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How do you know Marc Lebert? How did you become friends?
I met Marc Lebert at a seminar in Munich. I think it was 6 years ago. It was a great seminar - the name was "Perform Better". I met him during a conference and he asked me to become a master trainer and join his team so I went to Barcelona in Spain, and I stayed there for four days to become a master trainer.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey into fitness?
I am the owner of a gym in the north of France. My first job was a teacher in kickboxing. I did a certification around functional training. Now my gym is dedicated to functional training, and loaded movement training. It's been four years now!
Can you explain what "functional training" is?
"Functional training" means training the body for the activities performed in daily life. Trying to prepare our body to be able to use it in everyday movement. It helps us to be comfortable and prevent injuries. It's good for athletes, but also for everyone.
What kind of people do you train? Are they athletes, or is it just somebody that wants to get a better fitness level, or is it all different types of levels?
I have a lot of athletes, and former athletes who want to stay in shape and always win as they did in the past. I have some fitness people, but I have a lot of athletes from fight training, basketball players. In Europe, we have a sport called "Handball"- it's from Germany and similar to basketball but the ball is smaller and the rules are different. I have some tennis players too. Some swimmers and fighters because I come from fighting sports.
As I understand, you are a martial arts competitor instructor?
Yes, exactly. I come from martial arts called Kyokushin. It's a Japanese martial art. After that, I did some boxing.
And can you explain the type of martial arts that you do?
It's like karate and it's similar to Thai boxing. We can't hit at the head, but we can hit the body with low kick, middle kick. It's exactly the same.
As I understand, you were a world kettlebell champion as well?
Yes, I was in the French team for 4 years. I was in Greece, Denmark, Holland, Spain. I traveled a lot with the kettlebell team!
And what was your training regimen like? Was is it different between training for martial arts and training for kettlebell?
Using a kettlebell is a great way to prepare a martial artist. We have a program in kettlebell sport, especially for martial artists. It is very good for balance during the fight. The kettlebell is a great tool to create some balance and to have more precision on the punch. I used to play with the kettlebell for juggling to create hand-eye coordination.
Can you talk about your studio, the FD studio, and how that came to be?
I have had my studio for 8 years. In my studio, I have about ten or twelve people, not more as it's only for small group training. I have some different classes: classes dedicated to kettlebell sports, for conditioning specialists, hand-eye coordination and my new class is loaded movement training (I use the EQualizers in this class). And, I have some classes using only the Lebert EQualizers. My members are absolutely addicted to the EQualizer bars. About 80% have their own EQualizer bars at home to train! During the quarantine, I did some live sessions where I prepared some classes for them since they all have EQualizers at home.
You are a master trainer at Lebert Fitness. Can you tell me what you had to do to become a master trainer?
I had trained for four or five days. There were three parts. The name of the first part was "LeBoot", like a boot camp. Now I know that Marc has changed it all, but there was a boot camp part and it was Marc who managed this part. The second part was "LeBarre". The girl who managed that was Jen. It was for dancers and mobility. Then the last part, interval training, was managed by Sharon Mann. We had 3 parts and each day was dedicated to each part. After, we had an exam. We had to present some exercises to create some programs for youth training, for an athlete, and different kinds of people. It was a very interesting journey to become a master trainer.
It was great doing this master trainer course because I met a lot of people. I met some guys from Singapore, Spain, Israel, and Italy. It made me grow.
At your training studio, there must be all different types of abilities that come in. How do you manage that with people having different abilities and what is your philosophy on training people?
I mix everyone, every level, and I try to follow everyone. I know the best of everyone. I know if they have some injuries. I know that they have different goals.
I think in my studio, people should be able to perform and try to stay in shape. They are very interested in the movements of functional activities. So the goals are the same for everyone. There are some differences, but in general, they have the same goal. It's my aim to help everyone reach their goals.
How do you motivate people?
Every day I have a different class. I change my exercises every day. I like to add some playing. I like it when people take pleasure doing sports. It's very important to me and it's very important for them. I think we have a lot of fun, and we smile during my class. I think they are motivated by the energy of the group. Small group training is a lot of play with a lot of different exercises. It would change every single day because the variety of exercises is important. They say they have the ambition to grow every day with the class. And I think it's a real motivation for them to have the impression to grow every day. Each class they learn something which is important.
What's next for Val?
I want to do more seminars in Europe which I started with Marc. We have some seminars on kettlebell sports. I would love to continue my studio for sure. I don't want to give up my members. But I would like to travel more to propose some certification for kettlebell or EQualizer in France. Because in France we are very late and lazy in sports. I have worked with Marc since 2014 and it's only now that the EQualizers are exploding. Today, they understand that it's very important to have an EQualizer in the gym. But before, it was very difficult to include it.
But you're getting there and that's the main thing. Now people are getting a lot more EQualizers and understanding how important it is to be able to use the tool such as that in your fitness journey.
Yes! People in France think it's only dip bars. And I'll explain to them, "No, we can do a lot of exercises and there are hundreds and hundreds of exercises you can do with the EQualizers." When I did my last certification with the group in France in January, after they learned how to use an EQualizer, they said, "Wow! We can do all that with EQualizer?" With an EQualizer, we can replace a gym. It's crazy what we can do with it.
Absolutely, and in today's day and age, with so many people having to self-isolate or quarantine, using the EQualizer bars is fantastic to be able to use that in your home or your apartment. And it's so easy to store as well.
Yes, quarantine has helped Marc. For me, there are two pieces of equipment that are very important to have at home. It's the EQualizers and kettlebell. With that we can workout every day. We can do a lot of exercises. Your bodyweight, EQualizers and kettlebells are enough to train.
During this quarantine, people say that it's very important to have EQualizers at home. They say that they realize that having the EQualizers made quarantine easier.
Absolutely. If people want to follow you or if they want to reach out to you, to join your gym or your studio, how can they do that?
I canceled my website because the guys who managed it didn't do good work. I use only Instagram or Facebook for now. I will do my website in the future. Not now, but after the quarantine is over, I know I have to manage that.
It will be easier to find me too. I know that a lot of people find me by Facebook or Instagram. My video posts get a lot of requests about my studio.
Good. And what is your Instagram name or handle?
My Instagram name is Val Powaful.
I want to thank you so much for being on the podcast, Fitness for All. We do really appreciate you taking the time for us and we hope to have you on the podcast again.
Thank you very much and take care in Canada. Thank you.
And you take care in France. Thank you so much.
Contact Valerie Favier at: