Kimberly Wyatt is a former member of one of the most successful girl bands of all time: The Pussycat Dolls. She has been a dancer since the age of 7, and also taught dance for many of those years. Her own journey into fitness started when she was 16 and started working out to develop muscle mass in order to accomplish more difficult jumps, turns and tricks. She pioneered the #Mumonamission campaign and, alongside fitness instructor Glenn Ball, has created the Mum On A Mission: 24/7 workout programme on InstructorLive. As well as regularly being featured in fitness magazines, Kimberly is a columnist for Women’s Health and an ambassador for Maxinutrition.
Can you tell us a bit about how the #Mumonamission campaign came about?
The funny thing is #Mumonamission happened quite organically. This all started as an online campaign, I’d use the hashtag when I was working out or cooking healthy food. What #Mumonamission did was really inspire other Mums out there to comment, get excited and share their own photos and explorations as their own #Mumonamission. That’s how it was born. It organically became a fitness programme because I wanted to offer something to this online community that was already buzzing.
What about the workout programme?
It’s called Mum On A Mission: 24/7 because it’s dance-infused HIIT training, 24 minutes a day 7 days per week. Going through the transformation of becoming a mother is quite a big thing to take on; it does a lot to your body and mind. I wanted a programme where I felt like I was having fun rather than just doing the hard work, which led me to infusing dance with fitness. I also wanted something where within an 8-week period I could get results, feel good and take a step towards being the best me I could be, and in turn that means being best Mum I can be.
Why did you choose the InstructorLive online platform for the workouts?
The great thing about teaming up with InstructorLive is that we can always add more programmes and exercises at will, and it goes straight to everyone on the programme. It’s available on so many different platforms – phones, computers, iPads and tablets, and is available wherever you are. You can work out in the comfort of your own home, which is especially important for Mothers not wanting to leave their little ones.
The days of the fitness DVD are somewhat over; something like 85% of DVD’s are never opened! The new way is online fitness because we want that accessibility. The fact we offer a 10-day free trial means people have the chance to give it a try. We’ve really made an effort to make it super affordable; at £5.99 per month and you’re getting a workout every single day, so when you break that down its pence per day.
Why is this proving so popular with Mums?
In order to feel good and not allow your body to disintegrate after having a child, you need strength and fitness so that you can pick up your child, and do everything that you need to do every day.
Fitness carves out a bit of time for yourself every single day so that you can deal with those ailments and continually build the muscles that you need in order to be the amazing Mum that you want to be. On top of that, the stress relief fitness brings to a person’s life is second to none, and I think that parents and Mums are really tapping into that.
What I’ve noticed after being here for 5 years is that a lot of Mums get into the mindframe of thinking that they just don’t have time for themselves. I’d like to inspire them to make time for themselves. You’re just as important as the rest of your family, and with that foundation, you have to work at being you and feeling good. It also allows Mums to lead by example by doing the best they can and being someone their little ones can look up to.
Why do you think that these Mums have traditionally been neglected by the mainstream fitness industry?
The way that fitness has been portrayed in the past has made Mums feel neglected and inferior. It’s put a lot of pressure on them to look a certain way. For a long time it was about the sculpted body and being the woman that everybody desired; that’s what the fitness industry felt sold fitness. What’s great is that we’re creating a change in conscience, and people are understanding that fitness is about more than dating and the body, it’s really about mind, body and soul.
That change is not just about selling magazines and the perfect picture, it’s about people’s stories, being engaging, and finding people that you can relate to. There’s a whole world of Mums out there that really want to feel good, feel confident, and feel supported. Finally we’ve entered an age where we can do that. Fitness is now about how you feel, not how you look.
How can the fitness industry do more to engage these Mums?
Cater to their needs. We just had a big event to launch #Mumonamission and invited a lot of Mummy bloggers and journalists, and their kids came as well. We offered lots of information on questions they had about things like pelvic floor exercises, what happens to a woman’s body during pregnancy and after she gives birth, and ab separation.
There’s almost a bit of outrage because there’s just not enough information out there for women to learn about their bodies and just how important it is to work on these things so that they’re able to recover gracefully after having kids. If it goes unnoticed there are some really bad ailments that can happen to women, and in the past we’ve unfortunately been unable to offer this incredibly important education and knowledge.
It’s nice to think that #Mumonamission is allowing these topics of conversation to inspire women, bring this knowledge into their lives, and hopefully share it with other Mums. I know I felt I was in the dark with some of these things when I was going through it myself, but now that I have this knowledge I can pass it on and inspire other Mums out there as well.
Mums don’t really want a drill sergeant, they’ve already got so much stress and pressure, so with #Mumonamission we’re just trying to create a kind of camaraderie. That’s why it’s great to have Glenn Ball involved, we developed #Mumonamission together, but he’s sort of the fitness instructor, which allows me to be the Mum instead of just the instructor. I’m there to inspire, be their friend in the gym, and help them get what they want out of fitness.
What could other less-known fitness brands with smaller budgets do to get your attention?
Make me believe in your product and what it stands for. The ethos of the company goes a long way, so make sure your ethos is aligned with the people that you want to target. A great social media campaign is killer – #Thisgirlcan is a really good example of that. It’s a campaign that speaks to women; it really spoke to me and still does. If you can come up with an idea as engaging as #Thisgirlcan, it will get my attention!