A trainer who coaches postpartum mothers on how to get their bodies back after birth says being at home with a baby is no reason to let yourself go.
Niki Zoumpouli, 28, makes six figures a month teaching women, many of whom are mothers, how to get back into shape and has over 100,000 clients who use her fitness app.
During her complicated pregnancy, Niki had to stop working out and gained weight. She said she felt ‘weak’ when she resumed her workouts after giving birth, but eventually built strength and slimmed down.
While she understands the struggles of being a mother, she says women shouldn’t use it as an excuse. Instead, they should incorporate their baby into their workouts – even using toddlers as ‘free weights’.
Greek personal trainer Niki Zoumpouli, 28, from Miami, pictured after having a baby, said being a stay-at-home mother is ‘no reason to let yourself go’ after shedding the weight she had gained during her pregnancy
Pictured: Niki during her third trimester. The trainer admitted she had a complicated pregnancy and gained 30lbs because she couldn’t work out
‘Home workouts will save you a ton of time and stress getting a babysitter,’ she said.
‘I have built a top-of-the-range home gym in my garage because this is my career, but all you really need is some dumbbells and a resistance band to get started.
‘I want my daughter to watch me make the time to train and eat right.
‘Your kids will do what you do so lead by example, start where you are and use what you have at home.
Niki started working out at home when Aria, pictured, was just a baby, using her as a weight. She later returned to the gym
The personal trainer likes to use her baby daughter as a weight when she exercises from home, and said that all busy parents can do the same
Before her pregnancy, pictured, Niki had the time to workout, and after her daughter was born, she made sure she kept that time to work on her body
‘Being an at-home mother with a newborn is no reason to let yourself go.’
The fitness influencer knows exactly how it feels to struggle with weight after pregnancy; after giving birth to her daughter in May 2019, she had gained 30lbs – the most out of shape the PT had ever been.
The mother also had a tough pregnancy with ‘all day sickness’ in the first trimester and deep pelvic pain as her pregnancy progressed.
Niki now regularly shares videos and pictures of herself working out with Aria on her social media channels, including Instagram where she has 175,000 followers.
Niki said: ‘You would have thought that I’d have been able to train throughout my pregnancy with my background in fitness but things turned out to be different.
‘I was so tired, I had to listen to my body and rest.
Pictured left: Niki shortly after giving birth to her daughter two years ago. Pictured right: Niki showing off her body now
Niki, pictured with Aria now, said she felt ‘weak’ and disheartened when she resumed her workouts after giving birth two years ago
‘Then I returned to training six weeks after birth and I never imagined I’d be so out of shape.
‘My body felt foreign – I couldn’t move or perform the same. It was heartbreaking to see years and years of hard work vanish.
‘I remember laughing in the middle of my workout because I felt so weak. It was one of those moments where you had to laugh or cry.
Niki during a workout at home with her daughter Aria. The mother-of-one said she liked to lead by example and show her daughter she took care of her body
‘Looking back, I’m so glad I had that hard experience because it made me understand my clients a lot more and cater to their needs.’
Together with her partner, in 2018 Niki founded her business, the GoodFitness app, working with women who want to lose the pounds they gained during pregnancy, focusing on strength training.
She said: ‘Most of my clients are mothers who want to lose their pregnancy weight and gain confidence again.
‘So many women message me saying they are depressed and don’t know where to start.
‘They don’t think they have the time but I show them how to work out around their baby.
The personal trainer pictured now. Niki has her own app, used by all her clients, and makes a living training women and other moms
The personal trainer’s body during pregnancy, left, compared to what her body looks like now, right.
Niki, pictured with Aria, said her daughter was her biggest motivation. But the trainer said she didn’t believe being pregnant ‘ruined’ women’s bodies
‘I even use my daughter, Aria, in my workouts.
‘She has been around me through the whole journey of growing my business and while I worked on my own postpartum body goals. Aria is my biggest motivation.’
However, while Niki believes in getting back into the gym after pregnancy, she wants women to embrace their ‘imperfections’ – and realize the power of what their bodies can do.
She said: ‘I resent women being told that having babies ruins their body.
‘I do have stretched skin, stretch marks and don’t get me started on the eye bags but I am not ruined and neither are the women I help.
Niki on a shopping trip with Aria. The 28-year-old said she felt her body was ‘powerful’ and says she feels sexier since becoming a mother
‘My body is powerful, it made me a mother and in fact I feel the sexiest, strongest, most confident and most healthy I have ever felt.’
When taking on a new client, Niki will first ask them if they are concerned about any health issues in particular and to first speak to a doctor.
Once they are cleared to get started on their fitness goals, she takes them through a two-stage process – a fat loss phase, followed by a muscle building phase – through her Mom Body Program.
She said: ‘Our bodies can’t lose fat and build muscle at the same time so we have to focus on each goal separately.
The trainer said new mothers shouldn’t give up on their health because being mother make it harder to achieve their weight or body goals
On the go! Niki pictured with Aria at the gym shortly after her daughter’s birth. She said it took her a year following Aria’s birth to achieve her body goal
Nikki, pictured now, said that people should take responsibility for achieving their dreams and goals and living a healthy lifestyle
‘When my own postpartum fitness journey began I focused on dropping body fat first.
‘I used my own program to drop fat and it took me about four months to drop the weight.
‘Then I focused on building muscle and giving my body the shape I wanted.
‘Between the fat loss and muscle gain phase it took me a whole year to get to my goal physique.
‘I tell my clients change won’t happen overnight. It takes time and consistent effort.
‘It is hard but mothers shouldn’t give up on their health because they are in a season of life that makes them feel their goals are too hard to achieve.’
‘If you have lost hope, then remember your dreams, your passions, your lifestyle, it is all your responsibility. You decide.’
The personal trainer now. Niki said gaining weight during her pregnancy made her understand how her clients felt even more
Niki showing off her impressive physique now. She said most of her clients were mothers who wanted to lose weight
Niki in the early days after her pregnancy, left, compared to how she looks now, right. She said her clients wanted to regain confidence, just like she did after Aria was born
The trainer taking a snap of her toned abs during a recent trip to the gym. More than 100,000 clients use Niki’s app
Niki and Aria relaxing together by the pool. The mother-of-one said her daughter had been ‘around [her] through the whole journey of growing [her] business
Niki showing off her baby bump during pregnancy. She revealed she suffered with sickness for the whole duration of her first trimester
Niki, pictured pregnancy, said she didn’t like the claim that being pregnant ‘ruined’ women’s bodies