Thursday, April 30, 2015

To Coach or To Count

      All through the time that I've spent as a personal trainer, I've taken time to observe trends, to learn from other trainers, to work on finding my own style and my own methods of training and working with my clients.
      Something that I've been reading a lot about lately, it seems to be a trendy topic, is whether I as a trainer am a coach or just someone putting a client through a routine.
      This topic is important to me because I know the importance of coaching. I know that my clients, whether they know it or not, hire me to guide and coach them. If a person came to me wanting to just 'get a workout' I don't think that I would work with them.
      Coaching as the personal trainer takes much more than just putting a workout together for a client. I'm not talking about cheerleading, or being there simply for motivation, I'm talking about taking a client through what can often be a roller coaster of emotions when on a program designed to make long term changes. Guiding and teaching them along the way that are capable and strong.
      I cannot do that if all I do is count reps, or spend my time distracted by my phone.
      As a trainer and a coach, I have a responsibility to be present with my clients. All too often, I see trainers texting or doing whatever they're doing during a training session. I would like to ask these 'trainers' what makes you think you deserve that client's time, dedication and money? Our clients put much trust into us, the least we can do is give them our attention during their sessions.
      That's besides the point even though it's an embarrassing aspect of the fitness industry.
      The point is that we as trainers, I as a trainer, should hold ourselves to a higher standard. I choose to do this for myself and it pays off everyday when I can help a client feel better, when I can assuage their fears of trying something new or of simply returning to better function. That is my job as I see it. I am not just a trainer, I am a coach and I am a teacher and a source of support.

                                                    Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mindset, Change, Opportunity, Growth, Progress

      These words have been spiraling around and through my thoughts a lot lately. I've been in the fitness business for about 6 years now and have been making steady upward progress the whole time. Not only professionally, but personally and intellectually and dare I say spiritually.
     What happens when we start to think outside the box? When we try different things that may be scary or intimidating? These are questions that I've never before tried to answer honestly.
      How can I progress and grow if I'm not ready or willing to step outside my comfort zone? How will I seize any opportunities if I'm too afraid to fail? How will I make changes if I don't try? I won't, that's a fact. I won't.

      In my recent efforts to learn how to lift heavy, I've experienced a few things that have caught me off guard a bit, and have put some of my thoughts on mindset and making changes into perspective. I know that I'm strong and capable when it comes to my workouts, but learning new skills and techniques for heavy lifting and power lifting has lead me to put my trust in another person as well as myself on a level that I've not before experienced. I went into this knowing what I was doing and I set my mind to accepting a new challenge. However, with each workout so far, I've had to re-set my Mindset. I've had to do this because each workout has brought on not only a new physical challenge, but more interestingly to me, a new mindset or emotional challenge that I've had to face, recognize, accept and learn from. I've found that what I don't know is a lot, and that in order for me to learn, I have to give it the time it deserves. This is going to take a lot more time than I anticipated. And, I believe that giving things time is way more worth it than trying to rush to the end.

      I never thought that I'd like this kind of weight lifting, but it's been fun and rewarding. I've never felt such fatigue or stress from a workout. I've never allowed someone else to coach me. I've never felt comfortable enough to allow someone else to coach and guide me.

     So, what's different now that I'm doing just that? Nothing except that I made a decision to try something new. Something that I knew I'd not be able to do without guidance. I've taken steps in my career slowly and with intention (mostly without guidance or help). As I learn more about myself, and what I can do, I'm also learning everyday how my actions and decisions can shape my future. The more I wander outside of my comfort zone, the less scary it becomes. The more I experience new things, the more I recognize that I can handle it, and more importantly that I can rely on and use others to help out from time to time.                                                                                                              
      My point to this is that we sometimes need to seek guidance to grow ourselves. Sometimes someone else's perspectives can help us to think on our own actions and decisions differently. And different is good. Broadening awareness in ourselves is good. It's not easy, but it's good. It's an ongoing process and for me, a welcome one. As I begin to choose to change my mindset more and more, I begin to notice changes in my outlook and perspective. I believe that this is the beginning of a growth both personally and professionally. I believe that my opportunities are endless my progress can be whatever I choose to make it. Right now, personally, I'm going to keep working on learning the new lifting skills. I expect that this new knowledge and skill set will and does correlate to other areas of knowledge and awareness!

                                                   Train Today to Move Tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Bit of Experimentation

So, for the next two months I'm committing myself to work on strength and muscle building in my workouts. I'm very comfortable with how I like to workout and train. I tend to stay well within my comfort zone and only push outside of it once in awhile. I recognize as a fitness professional that any muscle development that I want to see won't happen from my current routines.

      So, in an effort to stick with my commitment and to see it through, I've hired a trainer for the next two months. I will put my trust in him, the same way my athletes put their trust in me. I will do as I'm told to achieve my fitness goals and work outside my comfort zone during each workout.
      I'm good at creating workout programs for my athletes, but pretty terrible at it for myself. I don't particularly enjoy the more traditional weight lifting, hypertrophy training that I know works great for building muscles, adding strength gains and possibly reducing body fat percentages. So, I'm hoping that I will have success in following a program that isn't made up by me.
      Just like you, I need motivation and accountability to do this. I know I won't do it on my own, so I will allow my trainer to guide me. I want to know that I can achieve something that I've always felt to be somewhat of a barrier. Putting on muscle has always been an agonizingly slow process for me. I've given myself every excuse as to why it doesn't work for me from genetics to injuries. But, it's time to stop making excuses and try another way. For me, it's having someone else to guide me, to encourage me, to push me beyond my own perceived limitations and come what may, I will know that I stuck it out and completed it.
      Tomorrow will be the start and I'm nervous and excited to go into an area that is a bit intimidating, but I also know that I'm strong and capable of training hard and will commit to my trainer's programming without excuses.
      Here's to new adventures in 2015.

                                                      Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just about 1 more year.......

      And then I turn 40.
      I'm not one of those people that fears getting older or hates my birthdays, but as the years go by I find myself continuing to put off any real goal setting for my future.
      When I was younger, I truly did not believe that I would be around this long. So, I never really gave much thought to my future or what it could look like. When I turned 30 and I realized that I was still young, healthy, smart, capable and able to do whatever I wanted, I simply had no idea what that was. I had no idea, and still don't, how to set a plan into action. How to want something for myself and then go about getting it.
      Now, I've got my career of choice in place. I'm still young and healthy and I'm still capable of making any goals or dreams into realities. I still may not know what goals to set for myself and my future, but I do know that there's nothing in my way to achieving anything I want. Nothing.
      I know that once I do set a goal for my future, that it is possible. That it's never too late and I'm ready for my future.
      I hope you are too, athletes!

                                                              Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A few thoughts as we end 2014 and start fresh in 2015

      A few years back, I decided to put myself first above all else. Selfish? Maybe, some may think so, I don't. And it was what I needed to do to become a better human being.
      I needed to invest the time and energy into sorting out my troubled soul and to find who I truly am. So, I dug my heals in, dug deep, uncovered many truths and faced them head on. One of the things that I needed to find was a career path that I would enjoy and thrive at.
      I had no idea what would come of this choice, I just knew that I had to do it. Now or never. I was at my rock bottom for sure.
      Fast forward to the present, I have learned so much and filtered through many foggy, confused memories and life experiences. I've found my work that I love and can freely say that I am far better off now than I was five years ago. I am by no means finished with this work, but it's been a good start to what will most likely be a long journey. One that I intend to continue to face head on and with relish.
     One thing that I didn't anticipate going into making such a change in my life was that I would lose support and openness from people that were friends. It's unbearably sad to know that in the time I took to better myself for myself, and for those around me, people that were in my life would vanish. Maybe those people were not the ones for me after all. I'm no less saddened by it.
      I have no regrets, however, and would do it all again if I needed to.
      My point in saying these things here is that the people in your life, your friends, your family, your loved ones should be able to show support and care through all life's ups and downs.
Admittedly, during my process I didn't go out as much, my schedule changed drastically so I no longer was around the usual scenes. Maybe it was just the old 'out of sight, out of mind' thing, I don't know. But that's besides the point. The point is that true friends don't turn tail and disappear when things change.
      I suppose those that are willing to stick it out with you are the ones that you know always will. The ones that don't, well in the end I guess they don't matter much anyway. I also know now, full well, that I'd prefer no friendships than ones that are dishonest. If you know me, you should know all of me. Not just the parts that are comfortable for you.
      I don't ever declare New Year's resolutions, but if I were to this year, it would be to continue on my path of being better. To keep moving forward with integrity and a sense of courage to do so. And, I will do it all alone if need be.
      I believe wholeheartedly that happiness and contentment starts with an ability to know yourself and like yourself. And, to put yourself first. Why not? You're worth it.
                                                          Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Shameful? HELL NO!

      A couple of weeks ago, I read a headline that popped up in the Yahoo News feed and it's been bugging me ever since. So, I just need to get it out and say what I need to say on the subject.
The headline read "How to lose that shameful underarm flab", with a photo of a woman pinching her triceps. I didn't read the article, I didn't need to. The headline says it all.
      I'm so sick of this nonsense. It's no wonder that we have such strained relationships with our bodies when this is the kind of crap that we're constantly inundated with. Whether you read these kinds of articles or not, we all still see them. We see it on the news feeds, in almost all advertising, especially if the ad is for some so-called 'miracle' cure for weight loss.
      Let me just say right now that it's all nonsense and the more we ignore it and learn to love ourselves the better.
      There is nothing, let me repeat NOTHING, shameful about your body.
      I understand that we all have things about ourselves that we may not love, but at some point in our lives we do have to accept that we're human, we're not all perfect, we all allow body image thoughts to creep in. Whatever it is for you, it's still not shameful. Nothing about being a human being should be shameful. The idea of shame stems from more nonsense. I won't go into that rant though.
      If you strive for health, strength, well being, or satisfaction of any kind shaming yourself or allowing media to interfere with feeling good about who you are must stop.
      This angle that's taken by media and product marketers has always bothered me so much. But, now that I'm in the business of helping and guiding people to better health, it bothers me even more because all too often I have to have a conversation with someone where I feel the need to convince them that these types of articles are nothing but nonsense.
      If you want to try and change something about your body, by all means, do it. But, do it in a healthy way. Not because some article or TV show spouts off crap about how awful it is to have some body fat, or cellulite, or gray hair, or wrinkles. It's life people. And, I promise that you will remain unhappy and unsatisfied if you buy into it.
      So, let's learn to love or at least like ourselves and our bodies. It's the only one we have. It's not easy, I know that. I have days where there is nothing that I see in the mirror, I like. And, others where everything is great. That too is part of being human. I have a plethora of things that I could point out as being wrong or not good enough, but what good does that do me? None whatsoever. So, I will do my best to love my scrawny arms, and my cellulite and my wrinkles and I will keep feeling good about who I am. I encourage all of you to do the same.

                                                           Train Today to Move Tomorrow!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 Simple guidelines for healthy living and making it a habit

     Any of us that have ever struggled to make a change in our lives, our routines or our habits know intellectually what is needed and how to go about it. But, implementing any change whether short term or long lasting is another story all together.
      When it comes our health, our fitness and our eating habits, making lasting changes can be very difficult. I believe that it doesn't need to be extreme or even very regimented to make long lasting habit changes.
      It all comes down to our habits. If we're used to eating dessert after dinner, it can feel strange not doing that. If we're not in the habit of regularly exercises, getting up and doing it can feel like an unwelcome chore. So, how can we change our habits for the long term to be more healthy inside and out?

      Here are 5 simple things to consider, that I feel when implemented, real lifestyle changes will occur.
      1. Drink more water. Build up to drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces everyday. You may not get that much each day and you will be running for the toilet more often, but if you keep that thought--1/2 your body weight in ounces--on your mind throughout the day, you will drink more water and staying well hydrated is essential for good health.
      2. Become calorie conscious. This is especially important if you are trying to lose weight. Learn where your calories are coming from. The information is out there. I use phone apps like 'myfitnesspal' and 'myfoods' which have been great for discovering what nutrients are in different foods. The more you learn and know, the more likely you'll be to make better food choices.
      3. Eat more protein. This is also especially important if you are trying to lose weight. And, as you become more calorie conscious, you'll also become more aware of how much protein you're getting in the day. Protein is a great source of energy and will help to keep you feeling fuller, longer. If you're not trying to lose weight, these things are good to implement anyway.
      4. Eat less added sugar and less processed foods. This one is not as easy as we'd like it to be. We want convenience and ease. However, for overall health and longevity, less is best. Read labels, know what you are buying and consuming and again, you'll be more likely to make healthier choices.
      I'll give you a quick example: Yesterday, I was at the store and wanted to get some yogurt. I usually eat plain yogurt and add my own fruit to sweeten it, but I was in the mood for fruity yogurt. I picked up a brand that seemed ok, then after a few minutes thought I should check the label only to find that a 3/4 of a cup serving had 19 grams of sugar. That's too much, I put it back on the shelf.
     5. Exercise. Everyday. Just get up and move, and try to get your heart rate up a bit. Even if you take just 15 or 20 minutes for some sort of exercise. Anything is better than nothing and you will find with exercise that as you do it more, you'll want to keep doing it.
      These don't need to be done all at once, but if you think about it more often, and try making small, manageable shifts in your daily routine, the routine will become habit and before you know it exercise, good eating and staying hydrated are things you won't have to think about doing.
      I tell my clients often that what we do in our training sessions often has more to do with our brains than our muscles. The same goes for our daily habits. Start with simply thinking about things differently, give yourself the information by being proactive and over time the thing we're trying to do becomes a habit and part of our lifestyle. It can take a lot of time, and it should. That's why fad diets don't work. They're not designed to help you make long term changes. Try using these 5 guidelines and find out for yourself that exercising and eating healthier is not only doable but also not the unattainable mountain peak that we sometimes feel that it is.

                                                          Train Today to Move Tomorrow