Congratulations Kim on being our first ever Bodybuilding.com Personal Trainer Of The Month! Kim won an unanimous decision by our visitors to be awarded the Bodybuilding.com Personal Trainer of the Month. We would like this opportunity to let our users get to know who Kim Lyons the personal trainer is all about!
Education/Certification: Colorado State University, Degree in Human Development & Nutrition; Certified through National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Location: Hermosa Beach, California
Check Out This Video Interview With Kim Lyons
|Click The Play Button To Start The Video.|
[ Q ] When and why did you become a trainer?
[ A ] I have a very random story! If you asked me what I wanted to become 15 years ago it would have been an airline pilot. However, when I finished school I didn't want to become a pilot and instead got certified as a teacher. Then I decided to go across the street to a gym that had opened to teach aerobics.
From there everything snowballed because I was in a gym environment; everything was working out great. This is what started me down my path of passion which was fitness.
[ Q ] What is your training style & what methods do you use?
[ A ] I try to use a different style for every client because you do have to adapt to their personality. Some people like a boot camp style while others want to have their hands held through the process. However, the one approach that applies to all of my clients is that there are no excuses.
I do not accept any excuses from anyone about why they can't train. If there's a will there's a way! People that want to become healthy will make it happen.
[ Q ] Do you have examples of success stories from clients using your methods? Any celebrity clients??
[ A ] The success stories I have are unbelievable - as the world has seen on "The Biggest Loser." These people have changed their lives so drastically!
The first day I worked with most of my clients they couldn't even walk up a hill. Now they are running marathons, they are doing triathlons; they are working with the American Heart Association; they are talking to people about weight issues in America, including the problems with childhood weight problems. It's just unbelievable how health and fitness has changed the lives of my clients. It has also been interesting because a lot of my old clients are contacting me after seeing me on the show.
I just heard from a girl that I trained when she was 14. At the time she was heading down the path of an eating problem. Her mother brought her to me and asked me to help her daughter. The mother feared what was happening. I worked with the daughter a lot over a two year period. The girl recently contacted me and said that I had saved her life... changed her life. To hear how I have impacted peoples' lives is a great part of this job!
[ Q ] What are the most common mistakes newbie's make?
[ A ] Everybody freaks out when they hear the word diet. They freak out about it and just automatically believe they cannot do it. This is the biggest mistake people make - they defeat themselves before they even get started. It is frustrating because it is not that hard, it's just exercise!
[ Q ] How do you keep your clients motivated?
[ A ] Each client is motivated totally different. Some of them I will literally go as far as bribing them. For example I might say:
With most people you try to motivate them through their kids, family, friends, and let them know that it's not just about looking good. I try to make them understand that they are killing themselves and that they can't see how bad some of their health problems really are. It is there and is going to affect them if they don't attack it right away. I usually try to put a little fear in them about some of the problems they may face as people gain more & more weight.
[ Q ] What is the average length of a client?
[ A ] I have worked with clients anywhere from 3-4 weeks, only one session, and all the way up to 5-6 years - everyone is so unique and individualized. However, regardless of how long they are with me, they know they can get a hold of me if they have questions.
[ Q ] How do you start a client on a new program or a nutrition program?
Do you do some kind of assessment?
[ A ] I absolutely do an assessment of all of my clients. You have to know what their background is, you have to know what their roadblocks are, you have to know what they have failed at in the past, what they have succeeded at, and what they do and don't like. So basically when I start with new clients the main goal really is to just figure out what makes them tick.
[ Q ] Do you prefer to train male or female clients and why?
[ A ] That's tough! Women want to know everything about an exercise. For example: if you ask them to do a pushup they want to know why. They want to know how, what, where, when, and why. A guy on the other hand will just get down and do 20 pushups.
I like to train both. I also love to train athletes (which are mostly men) and women who may be housewives that are just trying to get their butts smaller so they can fit into their favorite jeans.
[ Q ] Have you learned more during your schooling years for personal training or during the hands-on approach?
[ A ] I have definitely learned more from the hands-on approach. School taught me a lot of the background stuff, but there is just nothing better than experience. Experience I have gained now from 13 years as a personal trainer.
This experience is priceless. I have had the opportunity to work with everyone, ranging from athletes to obese clients and there is nothing that can replace that experience.
[ Q ] Do you feel just as much like a psychologist as you do a personal trainer?
[ A ] Being a personal trainer is absolutely tied in with psychology - you have to know how to get in their brains and make them want this. This goes back to the problem of people defeating themselves before they start. Part of my job as a personal trainer is to figure out why they are afraid of exercise and what is going on inside their head. This needs to be done before they can begin the workouts.
You were on the Hit TV show "The Biggest Loser." Is it the recognition, the money, the clients, the satisfaction of being on TV, or all of the above that draws you to this popular show?
It is definitely all of the above. There are perks to it, of course, but the most rewarding thing about being on The Biggest Loser has been the impact that I have on the lives of people as a personal trainer.
I never realized the impact of what I did for people before I was on the show and now I get so much feedback because I'm able to help millions and millions of people every week instead of just a handful of people every week.
[ Q ] There are a lot of celebrity trainers. How did you make the short list for The Biggest Loser?
[ A ] I still ask myself that question. I think part of the reason is that I am 100% real. I don't have managers and publicists and all of these crazy people. I went into the audition and told them I was a trainer, I am a full-time trainer, and this is what I do. It is that realness I believe, that got me the job.
[ Q ] Is there anything you dislike about training clients on TV?
[ A ] The worst part about training clients on TV is that the viewers can watch a 15-second clip and they think they know your whole theory on training people. What they don't realize is that there was about three hours leading up to these 15-seconds that they see on TV and don't realize what goes on behind the scenes. Being judged is definitely a tough part.
[ Q ] What strategies make you a better trainer than other trainers on the show?
[ A ] I care! I really, really care. I don't just leave work and it's done. I bring home all of their problems and try to solve them. Even when the show is over I continue to try and help them succeed - I get on the phone with them and ask how they are doing, what do you need, etc. I try to make sure they continue to have goals.
[ Q ] Will there be another series of The Biggest Loser and will you be back?
[ A ] The Biggest Loser isn't going anywhere. I will always be a part of The Biggest Loser family whether it's on film or off film. I am not going very far.
[ Q ] Thank you very much Kim and congratulations for being selected as the Bodybuilding.com Personal Trainer of the Month!
Check Out Kim Lyons' Your Body, Your Life Here.
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