Kendra’s passion for serving mothers is evident in the way she shows up in the Inner Circle, always looking at things from every angle, striving to gain more knowledge, asking questions, and finding any possible way she can to support her clients with the many resources she has. The company she started with her sister, Devoted Mamas, is focused on just that -- supporting mothers by giving them the best tools and support to achieve their goals. Kendra herself is a mother, and she has gone from experiencing prolapse herself to serving other women each day. She most recently has partnered with Daily Burn to reach even more women! Let’s hear more about how the PCES course changed Kendra’s life.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family (kids and ages, how long you've been a trainer, anything you'd like to share).
Hey, I’m Kendra! I live in New Jersey just outside NYC with my husband and two boys, ages 7 and 4. I started as a Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher in 2005, and in 2016 I turned my focus to Corrective Exercise. I spent the first 12 years of my career traveling around New York City training clients privately in their homes, and even owned an in-home fitness concierge company in NYC called Barefoot Tiger. In 2017, I started a new company with my sister Nicole (who is also a PCES grad!), called Devoted Mamas.
I’m a total science nerd and I love everything related to anatomy, alignment, and movement. I love it so much that I took a 75-hour Anatomy & Kinesiology for Movement Professionals course TWICE so I could get a deeper understanding of how our bodies work in movement. But it wasn’t until I found Sarah and her PCES course that I truly understood the depth of what “corrective exercise” really means and was able to fully apply all of my anatomy knowledge. Sarah’s course has changed my life -- both personally and professionally.
One of the most exciting projects (which has been both a test and a testament to the value of the PCES training) is our work with Daily Burn, a world-leading, subscription-based fitness program that offers multi-platform streaming workouts. We developed and programmed a comprehensive, strength-based pregnancy-to-postpartum program for Daily Burn and collaborated with their production team to film it in their studios.
Because of PCES, not only did we have the credentials to be chosen to create this program, but we also felt confident that the knowledge we would bring from PCES to the project would make this a well-informed, powerful pregnancy program that emphasizes strength, pelvic floor and core integrity. Finally, we recognized the opportunity to have an impact on people during pregnancy and to make a big contribution to preventive postpartum health -- because the time to set mothers up for a strong postpartum is during pregnancy!
How did you hear about/find the PCES Program?
Backing up a bit -- after I had my first baby in 2013, I assumed I could go back to “doing what I did before pregnancy” and hit the ground running (literally) as fast as I could. Unfortunately, I ended up giving myself prolapse. I had to take a year completely off from running, which gutted me. I was shocked to learn how different postpartum exercise really is…the hard way. I had no idea that some of the same “core work” I thought would get me right back in shape was actually making my recovery take longer. And exercise was my profession!!
After that experience, I knew there had to be a better way. I threw myself into finding all the postpartum repair theories. I researched everything I could about postpartum recovery, and tried all the programs and trainings I could find (which was not much back then). Then, after 3 years of trial and error training and piece-mealing my recovery together, I was finally feeling strong and “like myself again” at 3 years postpartum...
And then I got pregnant again.
This is when I found Sarah’s first pelvic floor intro course, and I knew immediately as I watched her instructional videos that I had struck gold. They were so clear, well-researched, backed up by science, and immediately applicable. Later that year, Sarah opened the first version of the PCES course, and I jumped right into it without hesitation (and got my sister to register for it, too!).
I started working through some of the postpartum corrective exercise material while I was pregnant, and it was incredible. Not only could I learn all of these specific concepts about exercise for women during pregnancy and postpartum…I was able to apply so many concepts I was learning for postpartum during pregnancy, and my second postpartum recovery was a much better experience. I was back to running within 4 months of my second pregnancy with no pain or prolapse!
How has this program changed the way you train your clients?
PCES has totally changed the way I train my clients. Sarah’s strength is definitely in breaking down complicated research and theories about pregnant and postpartum bodies, making it digestible and easily translatable to clients, and getting us to feel it in our own bodies so that WE can teach it, too.
Sarah encourages us to keep an open mind about what might be going on for a person standing in front of us, and keeps us asking, “what does this person in front of me need?” And the answer is usually...“it depends!" There is no cookie-cutter protocol, but instead lots of inquisitive and thoughtful discussions about all the possibilities, and exercises and movement patterns to help guide our clients in the right direction. For some people this could feel overwhelming, but to me, it’s invigorating. It's like she gives us all the puzzle pieces, and we get to have the fun of putting the puzzle together.
Do you feel your clients are getting better results because of what you learned in PCES/How do you incorporate it?
The best part of PCES (if I had to pick one, which is hard!), is that Sarah has taught me how to see my clients with a deeply inquisitive eye. I’ve learned how to spot and fine-tune movement patterns that could cause issues either soon or later down the road. Then she gives so many options for how to handle each issue, and I feel that I have the knowledge necessary to be creative with how I implement this with my clients so they get the best results. We blow people’s minds (and sometimes our own!) on a regular basis with the results we get by applying what we continue to learn from this course (even 4 years later!). It’s really common to hear clients say, “How can you see that?!” and it’s all because we’ve been trained to take a curious eye with each and every person.
I find this attention to detail incredibly important, because no two clients follow the same path. And honestly, even one client can throw you curveballs in a matter of minutes. No matter what challenge I’ve found with a client, I’ve been able to find an alternative way (or 10!) to address their issue with the resources available within the PCES course or the ongoing Inner Circle group (which is pure GOLD).
What did you expect to get out of it versus what you got?
When I originally signed up for PCES, I thought I would just get a course that was a few videos and PDFs to help me learn more about women’s health. But instead, what I got was more than I could have ever imagined. With training videos, anatomy tutorials, group coaching calls, Facebook group support, and even business training included, the PCES course and Inner Circle knock every other continuing education I’ve ever done out of the water. On top of that, Sarah continues to evolve the course -- as evidenced by PCES 2.0! -- and 4 years later, I’m still learning so much from every group call, Facebook discussion, and course video.
Sarah is raising the bar for the world of pregnancy and postpartum care in the healthcare system and in the fitness world. I can say with absolute confidence that I am a for-lifer when it comes to PCES and Sarah’s work!
You can find out more about Kendra and Devoted Mamas from the links below!
Facebook group for running moms: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unstoppablemomsrunningpainfree
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kendrafitzgeraldtrainer