A true believer in the mind, body connection, R.J. Rotante is a private trainer focused on providing over-stressed executives and entrepreneurs the fitness training they need to keep their heads in the game. From his personal experience, navigating the relationship between health, entrepreneurship, and CBD, R.J. shares how CBD can play a major role in achieving optimal success.
Toast: Welcome RJ! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us about CBD and Fitness. How long have you known and been working with our CEO, Punit Seth?
RJ Rotante: I've known Punit for about six years. I'll see him on and off when he's not traveling, maybe twice a week — but he travels a lot!
Toast: Tell us a little about who you are, what business you run, and where you’re located.
RJ: Well, I’m from Stratford, Connecticut. I went to college for exercise science at the University of Eastern Connecticut, and after graduating I decided to start my own personal training business.
Since I wasn’t very into the gym atmosphere, I’ve made it an effort to work with clients outside traditional gym settings and get fitness really integrated into their daily lives.
At first it was just a part-time thing. But it quickly became a full-time thing, and today I have clients anywhere from Greenwich, Connecticut to Westport, which is where I’m based out of now.
Toast: Cool, cool! So what do you focus on with clients?
RJ: It depends on the person. If I see someone who’s overly stressed out, I’ll work on their breathing and movement. I’ll try to get them activating what’s called their parasympathetic nervous system, get them out of fight or flight mode. Things like that. If someone’s in a good spot, on the other hand, I’ll focus on strength training.
Toast: Yeah, definitely.
RJ: And I’m not a fan of big groups, because they make it hard for each person to receive the attention they need. I like small groups where I can really focus on helping the individual.
Toast: Makes total sense. What about CBD?
RJ: I think CBD would be good for everyone, not just athletes. We’re a pretty stressed-out society.
And as far as fitness goes, I think CBD can go two ways. It can be used as a pre-workout designed to improve focus...and as a post-workout designed to improve recovery. So it’s a no brainer to me.
Toast: How much do you get involved in people’s diets? If someone needs diet advice, are you able to help them?
RJ: Yes...but there’s only so much I can do. I’m dealing with very, very busy people, and I feel like too much ‘supervision’ can stress them out further. I don’t want to be like, “did you do this, did you do that?” They probably get that from their boss!
And you know, CBD would help someone focus on their diet. When I take CBD I have fewer cravings. It helps me not overeat, I think because my brain’s not focused on sugar or processed foods.
[Editor’s note: Several good studies indicate CBD may reduce drug cravings by inducing neurogenic changes within the mind.]
Toast: That’s really interesting, let’s focus on that. You think CBD might help curb cravings. Is the effect noticeable?
RJ: Yeah. I’ve noticed a lot of things with it, in addition to reduced cravings.
I’m a person who can get kind of anxious. They’ll be times I’m just sitting there, playing with my daughter, and my mind is all over the place. I’ll think about snacking on sugar, or about work. But with CBD I can stop thinking about a million things at once and just be present in the moment.
Toast: That’s awesome.
RJ: Even just with the daily commute — CBD makes a difference in dealing with that.
Instead of getting tense, I’ll just think, ‘well, he’s driving like an idiot...but it is what it is.’ CBD lets me just go on with my day. It’s more than just a fitness thing in my eyes.
Toast: Have other personal fitness people caught on? Is CBD in the fitness industry yet?
RJ: It is, but it’s more on the West coast. Around here people kind of, well, it’s different. Some people actually like living in that stress bubble. So maybe CBD’s not for them.
Toast: [Ponders how anyone could like that.]
Toast: How much of being fit has to do with stress?
RJ: Well, a decent fitness level would help anyone deal with stress.
On the other hand, there is such a thing as overdoing it. If you’re just obsessed with your body...obsessed with your workouts...obsessed with your diet...how happy can you really be? It’s all about laying a firm foundation and keeping things in balance.
Toast: Are there other things, other than CBD, that people have done to get ready for a workout?
RJ: Oh yeah: preworkouts. But they have all sorts of side effects. From observing thousands of hours of training I’ve seen what they can do to you.
Let’s say you’re anxious, you’re tired, you don’t feel like working out. You can still get all revved up by one of those crazy energy drinks…but that’s not ideal. You’ll just end up digging yourself into a hole if you complete workouts that you couldn’t complete otherwise.
Toast: So you think CBD is better, physiologically?
RJ: Oh yeah. If you have overly toned muscles — tight muscles — and then you’re feeding yourself pre-workout, you’re basically asking to get injured. You can do that in your 20’s, but after awhile your back is going to start to hurt! And that pre-workout is going to start hurting you more and more.
CBD is different. It enables you to produce energy organically, in the moment, by being more in tune with your body.
Anything where you have to use your mind to go through a movement — yoga, pilates, rehab, even — CBD is just amazing for that. It enables you to focus on what you’re doing so much better.
I notice a difference if I’m taking CBD or if I’m not...without it, I’m just not as focused on what I’m doing.
CBD is basically a reset switch. It almost feels like you just took a nap or meditated or something! And people in today’s world really need that sort of thing.
Toast: Yeah, it can be difficult to calm yourself down.
RJ: I see it a lot. While I can’t walk around telling everyone to try CBD, I’d like to! So I’ll just make suggestions, like, “you know, CBD could help you.”
To Sum Things Up…
- CBD’s benefits can be applied to your fitness routine in two ways. You can use CBD as a pre-workout designed to improve focus, and/or as a post-workout designed to improve recovery.
- CBD is different from conventional pre-workouts. It enables you to produce energy organically by getting you in touch with your body.
- Exercise is only part of the optimal fitness routine. Thankfully, CBD has shown, in some cases, to complement healthy eating by reducing cravings, too!
- Finally, CBD may be great for enhancing the mind-body connection. Try taking it before yoga, pilates, martial arts, or even a HIT program!