I have a little secret to tell everyone. Today I accidentally eavesdropped on a conversation at the gym. By accidentally I mean I overheard two people talking about me. I was sitting in the fitness assessment office creating a program progression for a client, with the door closed, but their conversation was loud enough for me to hear.
It was interesting to listen to them talk about my teaching style, what they thought of me as a fitness professional and generally just their superficial impression of me. I actually thought it was funny because it was so very different from how I view myself as a fitness professional or person.
Thankfully the conversation was supportive of my teaching and not the other way around. It made me realize that I was doing my job as a fit pro and some people were motivated to come back for more. I am happy to say that listening in on somebody else’s conversation just made my day
Trust me, I’ve had my share of the negative comments and from time to time still get people who don’t appreciate my style. Although it stings just a little to hear people complain about you I do listen wholeheartedly to what they say and either try to accommodate them or just let them rant. You can’t please them all!
In either case you can be guaranteed that I will take what you say to heart, try to support it in any way I can or figure out a way to make it work. I care about what people think of me as a fitness professional and hope that everyone knows I am passionate, opinionated, educated and know what you need to do to get the job done.
Now if I could only figure out how to get everyone to actually LISTEN to my advice.
In the words of Dr. Frasier Crane:
PS- I listened to what people wanted for classes. Check them out at http://www.fitnessgatherings.com/bootcamp.htm
I’m sure most people who know me would agree that I love to exercise and work up a good a sweat doing something active. I enjoy the physical challenge of movement, the way it makes me feel and the results of working hard to attain a certain fitness or health-related goal. It is the ultimate pat on the back when you accomplish something you’ve set out to do.
I also love to teach, train and educate others on what I know as an 18- year, professional, fitness veteran. I’ve worked in clubs, Y’s, yoga studios, corporate wellness centers, private homes, schools and now in my own beautiful studio. I’ve had the opportunity to work with different layers of clientele, other fitness professionals, mind-body teachers, PE teachers, coaches, athletes, parents and their children. Every experience has made me the person I am today, BUT that’s what has me a little worried!
I get this feeling that I scare some people away because of my enthusiasm for my work. I hear things like, “Oh, I can’t come to your class until I get in shape!” or “I always hear about how sore their butts are from those exercises that you have them doing.” The other impression I get from listening and talking to people is they worry I may be too aggressive or hard on them during their workout sessions. GASP!!! Me? Really- do I make people feel this way? Do I frighten you?
It is never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or afraid to try something new. Especially when it comes to exercise and movement. On the contrary, I work to avoid injuries in classes, sessions and training seminars. Modification, acceptance of all levels of fitness and encouraging individuals to achieve their personal best is what I set out to do.
Ask any of my class attendees how much I walk class and educate on form, encourage different levels of performance, but also give an appropriate amount of challenge to those who want it. Each of my clients gets the same, individual treatment. I want them to be excited to see what they can do next, and learn how to get the most safe, effective and well-rounded workout they can.
I’m not alone in my thoughts because there are thousands of fitness professionals who share my wisdom, compassion and love for movement. Generally, we are cut from the same cloth and have our students and clients best interest at heart with whatever we do.
With all that said, I hope that this encourages interaction with me rather than discourages it. If not, then at least know these 5 things about me as a fitness pro and fitness geek:
1. My classes, camps, seminars and workshops are always built-in layers so that any level can participate and feel accomplished with whatever they can do. However, the individual’s ego can sometimes get in the way and alter performance in a less than pleasurable manner..you know who you are
2. I explain the reasoning for performing movements and why they are beneficial and assume each individual will make that choice to do or not do it based off of that information.
3. Details, details, details. I love them and like to share them, not to be a know-it-all, but to pass along great information so others may benefit from it. Little things can make a big difference
4. My personal fitness philosophy is “You get what you give!” Your efforts will produce results, but those results will vary based on personal motivation, physical abilities and the understanding that sometimes our worst enemy is the “I can’t” monster.
5. You can talk to me about other things besides fitness. I’m a free spirit, who adores and surrounds herself in music, loves theater, photography, fashion, culture, traveling and listening to other people’s amazing stories about their lives. People are cool! Especially when they are considerate, passionate, adventurous and live life to the fullest.
Less frightened? I hope so! It may be what I do, what I say or even the way I describe the classes I teach that keeps you from getting to know the professional me. Don’t be afraid, I don’t bite. I encourage, support and will lead you down the path of success if you give me a chance
Come to the light..all are welcome!
PS – check out the latest camps, workshops and events at http://www.fitnessgatherings.com/bootcamp.htm
In honor of Valentine’s Day I thought it was only right to mention the amazing opportunities available to you by working out with a friend, partner, spouse or loved one. It’s the bomb-shizzle! Even me, the most independent likes to workout alone with her I-pod, loves to get her sweat on with somebody who shares the dream of a good, sweaty, intense workout
OK- so I’m a freak and obviously workout alone- A LOT! Outside of this, there are several reasons why a partner is so integral to your workout and training time. They make you accountable, offer support, inspiration, camaraderie and are a source of challenge because they do better than you in some respects. Did I mention that it is also fun to have somebody who shares a common interest? It is!
Here are 3 easy ways to train with your partner, plus integrate the beautiful holiday known as Valentine’s Day (my favorite) into the equation:
1. Interval Circuit Training- Picture this, you are jogging, walking or running on the treadmill while your partner is performing 30 seconds of the next 3 movements: dumbbell squats, push-ups and lat pull-down machine. When they finish, you switch roles. Add in 6 more, multi-joint exercises and you have yourself one, heart-pumping, body shaping, sweat inducing workout! To make it more Valentine’s Day-ish wear the color red and give one another a butt slap as you change positions to make it more amorous, good times!
2. Partner Strength Workout- You and your affectionate one use things such as medicine balls, tubing and one another’s body weight to make things more interesting, challenging and bond-building. Think of this: you and your partner sitting, with knees bent and feet pressing together, passing a medicine ball back and forth while performing sit-ups (pass the ball to partner, they fall back and sit-up with MB, then pass to you and you repeat motion). To make it more Valentine’s Day-ish, pass a kiss, high-five or knuckle bump every 6th repetition.
3. Partner Yoga- Mix up your flexibility training and yoga practice with a little help from your friend or loved one. Yoga postures and movements become not only a work of art, but an amazing experience when performed with someone close to you. It creates a perfect opportunity to connect, grow and explore a new appreciation for each other. Use one another as extra leverage, support and/or physical encouragement. It is the perfect Valentine’s gift to one another
Whether you want to bond, motivate, encourage, give a challenge or just incorporate some variety into your workouts, grabbing a partner will make it happen. Not only will they hold you accountable, but they will also give you the love, support and sometimes kick in the butt that you need to make it happen.
PS- this “Be Mine” workout is brought to you by the color red, dark chocolate and the verb: love (I love you, Still loving you, Love you..etc.). Enjoy your workouts, your partner and a small indulgence once in a while, but just remember the basics (eat less, move more).
Continuing on my path of observations I have to include the male presence in the fitness facility. The last blog post was about the girls, but this one is geared toward the men who are regular exercisers in the gym. Although there are some similar things that both the male and female do, there are definitely some unique traits many men possess when they workout.
I should also mention, that there are some very well-rounded exercisers (both male and female) that have excellent workout programs and continue to make progress, change things up and are still seeing success with their goals. These blogposts are more just my keen observation on the more common reasons gym sessions are less than optimal for both sexes.
If you are a male who regularly exercises (3 or more times per week) do you take part in any of the following mistake activities when you workout at the gym or elsewhere?
1. Doing too much too soon- jumping into a two hour workout session that includes high intensity activities and large volumes of weight training is going to leave you sore as hell! While some delayed muscle soreness is expected it is important that men understand gradual progression by slowly adding more to the mix. Going from no exercise in 6 months to 2 hours of exercise in the first session is extreme and beyond most high end guidelines. Tone it down a bit!
2. Using less than optimal form or movement speed- more often than not too much weight is the cause of poor exercise performance. There tends to be a hang-up on “how much weight” one can lift, rather than how well the performance is. Injury risk is dramatically increased when poor technique or too fast of speed is executed. Ask a certified pro to help you gauge a proper starting weight and use correct form ALWAYS.
3. Not warming-up properly or at all- a proper warm-up is crucial to preparing the body for more vigorous activity, for lubrication of joints, for gradually increasing heart rate and improving the body’s ability to neurologically connect to muscles and movements. Jumping in at full speed or lifting heavy without warming up is also an excellent way to pull and/or strain a muscle, plus decrease activity potential as the body has not gradually worked into the higher intensity levels.
4. Ignoring the lower half and the trunk- Similar to how women will do tons of exercises for their problem areas in hopes to dissolve away fat, men seem to spend more time and energy building their upper body, arms and shoulders, but barely touching those highly important lower body muscles and their core. Neglecting any of the major muscles groups leads to imbalance, potential for injury and disproportion of the muscles in the body. Besides, you don’t want to be called “chicken legs” now do you?
5. Practically running away from the stretching area- very rarely do I see men finishing their workouts with appropriate stretching. Over the years this will take a toll and decrease joint range of motion, may lead to back pain, stiffness and a decreased ability to perform day to day functions like taking off your T-shirt. All the major muscle groups should be stretched at the end of the workouts and held for 15-30 seconds each.
Of course all of these mistakes have proper guidelines, activities and opportunities for repair. Seeking the advice a certified fitness professional or just making a conscious effort to heed some of the tidbits of advice I have offered will be beneficial. Do your best to make adjustments, work efficiently and enjoy your workouts mistake free!
I’ll be watching!
In health and fitness- Amy
AAHHHH bikini season. It’s here already and I’m sure some people are thinking they should have been doing a little bit more to prepare for baring the flesh for all the world to see. It’s OK, you’re not alone! Although the sun is up and shining bright, you can still get yourself beach body ready if you take the following suggestions to heart:
1. Move your body- like yesterday!
Seriously- everyone should be doing something that gets their heart rate up at least *30 minutes per day to a point you can tell your exercising. If you begin doing this today, you can expect to see weight loss with each passing week. *Can break this up into 10 minutes bouts throughout the day
2. Cut it out- all white sugars, flours and artificial ingredients.
Not only do they offer little to no nutritional value, but they lead to inflammatory responses in the gut, on the skin and in other bodily systems. They contain empty, less than optimal calories and most people eat more than they should; which leads to extra weight in unwelcome places. Instead choose whole grain, organic (whenever possible) and pure ingredients that haven’t been hydrogenated, refined or processed. These foods contain optimal nutrition for your body, plus more fiber to keep you fuller longer and less likely to fill up on junk foods. Pay attention to what you eat and READ your food labels!
3. Get some iron- lifts weights.
Strength training all your major muscle groups is a critical element to building lean tissue and keeping the body revved up and burning more calories at rest. Think of this: a pound of muscle can burn 50 calories per hour, while a pound of fat is 2-3 calories per hour. HMMM? Not too hard to figure out is it. More muscle is brought to you by strength training!!!
4. Watch the liquids- they have calories
Yes, juice, lattes, iced teas and alcoholic beverages contain calories. They add up quickly, too. Two beers can easily add up to an extra 300 calories, and you can double that if your indulging in one of those fancy umbrella drinks that include fruits juices and a few shots of liquor. If you’re trying to lose weight then watch those liquid calories and stick to plain water to quench your thirst.
5. Spray it on- self tanner
I’ve heard this quote over and over again from my client’s, friends and family members, “Tan fat looks better than white fat!” I don’t necessarily agree with them, but I do support the use of self tanners. They are a safe way to build a bronzed body -minus the sun exposure- and if it makes somebody feel more comfortable in their skin and willing to come out and play in the summer, then so be it. Spray, rub or dust it on!
Summer ready? Maybe not, but you still have time to get there. Get moving, watch what you eat and drink, lift some weights by joining a fitness boot camp or class this summer and spray on some self tanner.
Let’s all embrace what we got and enjoy the long, summer nights, bountiful fruit season, family, friends, sprinklers at the occasional smore. Now get out there and move it!
Here’s to a healthy, happy summer-
I was talking to one of my students after yoga class today and one thing came up in conversation that inspired a brilliant comment from her. We were discussing my mother and her recent back injury, as well as my struggle to support her with her unhealthy lifestyle choices, hence part of the back injury.
She said, “People will treat their back, but not their weight.” I almost screamed I was so impressed with that statement. I told her I just had to go home and blog about it..so here I am.
I do find it strange that symptoms of extra weight, such as increased incidence of lower back pain, chronic, knee, ankle and foot issues, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and decreased ability to function with day to day activities are more commonly treated with ignorance rather than being pro-active.
The statistics are out there, healthcare professionals support it and fitness professionals are screaming it at the top of their lungs. If you lose weight, these issues will not be such a nuisance in your life. You may still suffer from the aches and pains of too much, too soon or experience a case of muscle reawakening from doing a new activity, but the chronic symptoms that plague so many overweight individuals will no longer be an issue.
So why are so many still treating the symptoms of being overweight rather than addressing the culprit itself? It’s like bandaging up the wounds from your attacker, but the attacker is still free to roam and injure you again. I’m not sure about the logic, but I do know this:
Exercise works for everybody. We have parameters, guidelines, exercises and programming for all of you no matter where you are in life. If you have an injury (chronic or acute), medical concern, previous to no exercise experience, or are a former athlete there is still something that you can get started with immediately.
Certified and educated fitness pros can help guide you in the right direction and develop a sound program based off of your current state of fitness and health, help you formulate your goals and design a specialized routine that will work for your individual needs.
I know some people dread exercise more than anything in the world, but you just can’t avoid it. We have to move it to lose it, and we have to move it to stay healthy. The alternative is continue down the path of treating your individual symptoms and enjoy the lackluster lifestyle.
I’ve picked my path and hope you will all join me in an occasional day of delayed muscle soreness from exercise. I feel great and look forward to a long, happy life!
Make it a happy, healthy, fit day!
OK- I admit it, exercise is hard sometimes and doesn’t always feel good. BUT- it beats the alternative of feeling lethargic, lackluster and carrying around extra weight that is not only unnecessary (unless your pregnant), but unhealthy. Besides making most people feel less than attractive, extra weight contributes to heart disease, metabolic disorders like type II diabetes and orthopedic issues. Enough said!
As a fitness professional I create, deliver and administer dozens of programs every month for my clients, classes and camps, which will and do deliver results. These results vary based off of each participant’s abilities, commitment and willingness to participate and stay engaged with their programming and/or group activities. I can lead them to the water hole, show them the way, but ultimately it is up to them to drink in my advice and reap the benefits.
Being brutally honest I often find that individuals are layered with excuses for not doing something, or they use their current state of health/wellness as one BIG excuse for not being able to comply to actions necessary to find results. Professionally speaking, I would never ask anybody to do more than what they are physically capably of doing- that would be irresponsible and disrespectful. However, it can become frustrating when people do not let go of their current state of health and use is as a crutch to keep from making progress.
We have the power to let go and we have the power to hang on. The question is why are people still hanging on to unhealthy habits and throwing up their hands so easily when results don’t show up after one week of effort? It takes weeks of effort to see results, and the effort put forth will show vast differences in those results. Not giving in to old habits and staying focused on what you can do and doing it well is what needs to happen.
By far, I think my best and most in your face piece of fitness advice is this, “Get over yourself!” You don’t like where you are, then change it and stop making excuses for why you can’t. Exercise can be modified and created for anybody regardless of age, gender, health or physical ability. It just plain works! No BS!!
It is ultimately everyone’s choice to do something or to not do something. Look forward and focus on the things that can happen if you take action, rather than what has happened. If your happy where you are, keep at it, but if you want more from your health, fitness and appearance then take my advice..Get over it and make a change!