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
I’ve worked in the fitness industry for over 18 years, and playing gym junkie for just as long if not longer than that. In all my years of teaching, training, coaching and partaking I’ve collected some keen observations and pretty strong opinions- SURPRISE on the opinion part
I value all of my training, certifications, college education and knowledge I’ve gathered through the years and believe it makes me the opinionated, passionate, creative and honest fitness professional that you’ve grown to love (or hate). Needless to say, I will share my thoughts at the drop of a hat, be blunt when I need to, but always have my heart and soul behind the message.
My message today is inspired by my fellow gym goers and people I’ve interacted with over the years as a fit pro. Hang on for a large dose of sarcasm, brutal honesty and of course this trainer’s educated opinion- it’s RIGHT by the way
My Top Ten Gym Pet Peeves:
1. People who wear sunglasses while they workout inside- I tweeted about this a few days back, but it deserves another mention. Nobody is that cool!! Famous or not, you look like a freaking idiot and it is rude and disrespectful. Unless your blind or coming from the eye doctor spare us your ego!
2. Not wiping down your sweat off of equipment- I think this speaks for itself. Nobody wants to sit on a piece of equipment covered in another person’s bodily fluids. Unfortunately, there are still people who think it’s cool to leave their mark and not wipe it up. Don’t be gross- wipe it off!
3. Machine hoggers- if somebody is waiting to use the machine you’re on, then please be respectful and let them work in instead of doing all 5 of your sets while they wait. Didn’t your mother teach you any manners and how to share? Be considerate and use proper gym etiquitte..get your butt up and let them do a set.
4. Ridiculous diet talk- This is really what turns my stomach. Listen to me- CARBS are not the enemy, your serving sizes and lack of nutritional info are. We need a balanced eating plan that is nutrient dense, and supports each of our individual needs and activity levels. Everything outside of this is CRAP, garbage and useless jargon meant to push individuals into buying their products, services, pills and potions. It’s a temporary solution to a much bigger issue- lack of control. Get with the program and find out what your individual nutritional needs are by visiting our website, diet grader, to get your perfect eating plan.
5. 8 minute ab fanatics- I see them laying on the mats doing hundreds of crunches in different directions, longing for the infamous six-pack and I just laugh. This is not a method advised by any certified and educated professional. Muscle conditioning for a specific body part will develop muscle, not dissolve fat from that area. You need a well-rounded fitness program that encompasses proper conditioning protocols to help with that. Besides that 100′s of crunches don’t develop a well conditioned spine or core. The spine needs to extend backwards, rotate side to side, bend laterally and brace correctly to keep the torso in tip-top shape. Trust me, some of the exercises my clients do create more awareness of their six-pack muscles than any crunch has. Get off the mat and come see me!
6. Telling me how to do my job- Seriously, if I could smack somebody upside the head and get away with it this would be the time I’d do it. When I’m working with a client, teaching, coaching, training or just discussing something with a member and an individual chimes in with their personal advice or invalidates my comments with their non-professional education it’s full on war!!! Mind your own damn business! The person I’m working with has individual goals, abilities and motivation factors that I am privy to because I’ve assessed them, know what they are able to do and have developed their own unique program. So get out of my face or risk getting a nice dose of my unfiltered commentary
7. The shadow mongers- This is just creepy! Everywhere you go they are right behind you or watching you. They mimic your moves, follow your steps and try to listen in on your conversations to hear what you’re saying to people. They never say a word to you, they just follow like an unwelcome shadow. I’m not sure if it’s just trying to get free advice from the trainer or they are stalking. In either situation it’s weird. Speak up and say something will ya?
8. The free advice fans- I appreciate people asking me questions and getting more info on exercises, or better details on some of the things I’ve discussed, but it becomes a bit rude when you try to sit me down for an hour and gather up the free advice others pay money for. I offer free advice all the time in my blogs, handouts, classes and training sessions. If you’re looking for intimate details for you personally, then book an appointment with me. My time is valuable, so please respect that.
9. People who talk to you when your I-Pod’s on- I love my workout time, and love my music even more and really don’t get people who come up to you when your obviously “working out” and start talking to you. If I’m sweating, breathing heavy, pushing weights, or just plain wearing my I-Pod that means I’m working out and don’t want to talk. Wave hello, smile and make eye contact, but let me do my thing. Like I say to my kids- unless it’s an emergency don’t bother me. If I want to work out with you and talk, I will let you know and won’t wear my I-Pod. Nobody should interrupt the perfectly timed sprint on the treadmill to Metallica’s Judas Kiss. Let me get my sweat on.
10. Creatures of Habit- 18 years in the same place, same exercises, same weight, same routine from start to finish. How can you do that? I’m happy they are there doing their thing, as it’s better than nothing, but it kills me to see the lack of progression and enthusiasm during their workouts. Many of them have developed poor posture from only working certain muscle groups (Hello, my 8 minute ab friends), lack of joint mobility and decreased performance. I understand it’s the social thing, but put some punch back into your routine will ya? Give me a call let me see what I can hook up for you. After all, I like to be entertained by member activities, too.
So there you have it, my Top Ten Gym Pet Peeves. Do you do any of them? Make an effort to show a little consideration and wipe it off, leave the shades in the car, stop stalking, interrupting and put a little more gusto into those 18-year-old workouts.
I love, respect and admire everyone who’s ever given me a thought to write about. Thank you!
I like to think that my knowledge, experience and advice is always received with open arms, but I realize this is not always the case. Sometimes my words fall on deaf ears, as people aren’t even contemplating making a change in their life that would support some of the health and fitness advice I try to share. So sad
With the holidays approaching fast (9 days until Thanksgiving mind you) it becomes more apparent to me that I need to make a remarkable blog post to inspire, or at least scratch the surface in an effort to get individuals to contemplate taking care of themselves during this time of the year. So to any of you that are listening, hear this- you need me, my advice and experience to keep you healthy through the holidays!!
5 Reasons You Need Health and Fitness Through the Holidays:
1. STRESS RELIEF- need a I say more? Over and over again research touts the effects of regular exercise and reducing the effects of stress. Nothing works better than a little walk after dealing with your drama queen family member, or a brisk effort activity to clear your head.
2. KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF- extra holiday cookies at lunch, a couple of cosmos at the company Christmas party or some really, rich and gooey spread you normally don’t indulge in can lead to a couple of extra pounds through the next 8 weeks. I don’t know about you, but most of the people I work with do NOT want this to happen so my advice is this: indulge a little, but expend a little more effort/intensity with your workouts, avoid missing any of your regular sessions and add one more day per week to burn some more calories and keep the weight off.
3. IMPROVE MOOD/MINDSET- it’s hard for me to believe, but some people actually become depressed and upset with the holidays. Not having enough money, the stress of decorating, dealing with family, friends and coworkers in their jovial state can actually send some people right into crazy mode. Thankfully, exercise can help combat this and improve mood, mindset and keep stress at bay. So before you attack the nice Santa gleefully swinging his bell in front of Macy’s, go take a brisk walk, decompress and then drop a dollar into the donation pot
4. RELEASE THE KINKS- this time of year can bring increased incidence of lower and upper back, neck, hip and leg tightness. All of this is usually related to carrying extra loads on one side (hello, holiday shopping bags), less sleep from extra activities, stress-related tension and traveling in planes, trains and automobiles (great movie by the way). Regular flexibility training, performed at least 2-3 days per week, will increase joint range of motion and decrease the incidence of developing those holiday related kinks. Try a yoga class or get with a personal trainer who can show you a few stretches to relieve those tight spots.
5. SUPPORT- fitness professionals want to help, encourage, motivate and keep you happy, healthy and prosperous through this holiday season. One of our job responsibilities is being your personal motivator and coach. We walk the talk, understand the demands that can be placed on people during this time of year and will adjust and modify your workout regimes to fit your time availability. If nothing else, we are there for accountability and reassurance. Consider us the resource to make your holidays fit and healthy. On a personal note, I think some of my clients may think of me more as the Grinch who steals their ideas of second helpings of Christmas fudge and eggnog
Whatever your state of mind is this season, just remember I will be watching, observing and taking notes. After all, if it weren’t for all of your fabulous holiday mannerisms both in and out of the fitness facility I wouldn’t have any advice to offer. If nothing else, just remind yourself of the 5 reasons you need to know of me and my work.
Embrace this holiday season with smiles, cheer and a little sweat!
Gobble, Gobble, Jingle, Jingle, and a big BOOM to you and your loved ones.
PS- check out the FREE holiday events happening at FIT Launch
I have to admit I’ve been slacking on my job lately. My personal life has been full with some unusual circumstances that have me doing many extra things and taking my precious work time away from me. I’ve felt challenged, sad but mostly just angry becaue I haven’t been doing my optimal job as a fitness pro.
I always spend extra time checking in on people, writing articles, coming up with blogposts based on my observations or just taking a moment to appreciate the awesome people I work with, train and teach. You all mean so much to me and make my job fun, challenging and ever-changing. Thank you!
My sharing is an effort to show everyone that even those that appear healthy on the outside can be suffering from some major emotional stress and drama that will affect their inside. That, I’m afraid, is where I’ve been the past month. Sorting out my time to take care of granny and her needs, handling my business professionally (already covered how that hasn’t been going too well), managing my family and let’s not forget my own personal health and workouts.
Yeah, they’ve been hard to get to. BUT- I make them a priority because if I don’t I will be a wreck. The physical movement and exercise helps me let off steam, feel better and allows me time to think alone and sort things out. I know for a fact, if I didn’t have it, I would be just like the person who’s been giving me the most drama over the past month.
So, I admit it. I can’t do it all, but I want to. I’ve learned some valuable lessons this past month and have listened to my own advice many times. It’s easy to give up and not prioritize your health when life gets full of unexpected challenges. This should never even cross your mind. Also, learning to prioritize and let go of things you know you just simply don’t have the time to do. There is no need to stress over getting the laundry done or dusting…it will still be there.
Although my life has been a challenge, my efforts not to my standards and my house is a mess I still love my family, friends, work and outside interests. I’m hoping things will settle in the next few weeks and all the energy I’ve been putting toward personal will be back to professional.
Look out when this happens. Usually challenge breeds creativity and deep thoughts from me. Hope you are all ready for it!
Stay balanced and focus on your health!
PS- Did I mention my eating habits are pathetic..don’t forget good food breeds good brain and body activity. Coffee, candy and bread do not make a balanced diet.
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
Happy Cinco De Mayo! I thought it was only appropriate to serve up a healthy blog post in honor of this special holiday. I find most of my friends, colleagues (myself included), and family like to indulge in the celebration of the 5th of May with some extra cheese, chips, salsa and of course something that contains lime and tequila.
Having a good time hanging with friends, joining others for a social celebration, eating fine authentic food and a little cocktail can just make it a great day don’t you think?
Because it is the 5th of May I thought it would be clever to share my 5 secrets to staying fit and hopefully inspire some of you to enjoy them, too.
1. I break a sweat every day (through exercise) for at least 30 minutes, but mostly longer
2. I strength train more than I do cardio; very important to maintain lean mass
3. I change my workouts continuously so I’m never bored and always challenged
4. 90% of the time I eat balanced, regular meals that include proper portions and calories for my level of daily activity and exercise routines. You won’t see me skipping meals!
5. I stay happy, positive and look for the best in negative situations. Being flexible and adaptable makes it easier to handle a crisis and go with the flow when things change or don’t go as planned.
These 5 little beauties have kept me fit, happy, healthy and allowed me the ability to do many physical/mental things other can’t. I think it’s important that we understand it’s not just exercise that matters, but also what you eat and how you handle life. It’s a package deal really.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and fun filled Cinco De Mayo. Indulge a little and embrace every moment.