Personal Trainer Of The Month: Whitney Barnhill

Congratulations Whitney Barnhill on being our Personal Trainer Of The Month! Whitney was awarded the Personal Trainer of the Month for her commitment to helping her clients achieve their fitness goals!

Personal Trainer of the Month: Whitney Barnhill

Whitney Barnhill Name: Whitney Barnhill
Age: 25
Education/Certification: BA International Business, Sacramento State University, ACE CPT, YogaFit
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact Info:, (615) 448-7132
Number Of Clients: Varies
Rates: $60 per hour

Could you tell us a little about your background - personally and professionally?

Born and raised in Idaho, I grew up appreciating the great outdoors and participating in an array of sports from soccer and skiing to cheerleading. My passion for fitness began to grow when I moved to California. At that point in time the fitness craze that is finally beginning to reach The South was in full force on the west coast.

As a recent victim of the "Freshman 15," I was determined to put an end to my bad habits and feel more confident and comfortable in my skin. I began working in a gym as an administrative assistant to keep myself focused in staying active and healthy, and my passion for the industry has continued to grow since then.

When and why did you become a trainer?

I began training because I love seeing the look in a client's eyes and their sense of empowerment when they push themselves to a new level, or reach their current goal, big or small.

I love seeing the look in a client's eyes when they push themselves to a new level.
+ Click To Enlarge.
I love seeing the look in a client's eyes
when they push themselves to a new level.

What is your training style? What methods do you use?

If I could describe my training style in one word, it would be fusion. I'll use functional techniques like those found in Pilates and yoga to enhance my client's appearance, strength, stability, and grace. I hate being bored with a workout just as much as the next person, so I am always working to incorporate new techniques and movements into my training.

Do you have examples of success stories from clients using your methods?

My clients achieve successes both big and small, from drooping to a body fat of 20% from 45%, to being able to run a 5K without stopping. I recently had a client training for his marathon shave an entire minute off of his mile time in one month!

Who are some of your most notable clients?

I train many clients in the Nashville area for whom confidentiality is key.

Can you please you give me an example diet and training program you put together for your clients?

Each of my client's programs is completely customized to fit their individual needs and goals.

What are the most common mistakes a client makes?

As a trainer I am constantly battling incorrect form and the belief that weight loss is easy. Often times clients are under the impression that hiring a personal trainer is a quick fix that requires nothing more than showing up to a few sessions. They end up hitting the gym hard for the first few sessions and end up burning out or losing steam when they discover how difficult it can be.

What are the most common mistakes you believe a trainer makes?

I believe that passion is a key ingredient for success in anything. While working in California I saw many trainers getting into the industry because they wanted the title of being a personal trainer, and not because they truly enjoyed helping people. Without a passion for the entire scope of training it is difficult to succeed.

Do you set your clients up with a full diet and training plan for them to follow?

Fitness is a lifestyle, and each of my clients is given all the information and guidance they need both in and outside the gym to reach their individual goals.

How do you keep your clients motivated?

As a trainer I emphasize the importance of goal setting with my clients and constantly remind them of their goals. Some of my clients have been known to have as many as 20 sticky notes strategically placed around their house so they can never let themselves forget what they are working for.

I also enjoy goal setting with my clients. Not only does it give them a reason to work hard, knowing we will be competing together, it also keeps me on my toes!

Knowing we will be competing together keeps me on my toes!
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Knowing we will be competing together keeps me on my toes!

Do you train a male client differently to a female?

The training approach I take is based on each client's individual needs and desires and not on their gender.

How have your changed your approach to clients over the years of experience?

I am always growing as a trainer, constantly seeking out and working to understand new training methodologies. And, while I tailor my approach to each individual, when I first began training my focus was more about traditional weight lifting techniques. As I have evolved as a trainer my practice has come to concentrate more and more on the benefits of functional training.

How do you start a client on a new program? Do you do some kind of assessment?

Because the client/trainer relationship requires such a strong base of trust, I like to spend the first f sessions getting to know the client before I really begin pushing them. Our first session always includes tests to determine a client's base fitness level. If we don't know where we began, we can never appreciate how far we have come.

Do you prefer to train male or female clients and why?

Male or female, I love training the individual. Each client, regardless of gender, is a new and exciting challenge.

Do you feel just as much like a psychologist as you do a trainer?

Fitness is just as much a physical game as it is a mental one. Transforming a body begins from the inside out and mental hang-ups can create incredible barriers to success. I love listening to my clients' trials and tribulations; it gives me insight into what makes them tick.

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