Fitness became a staple in my life from a young age. I started playing soccer at the age of 8, started competitive dance at the age of 5, and was a cheerleader through high school and college.
I have always loved to be active and constantly on the move.
In the winter of 2005 I received a gym membership as one of my Christmas presents. And with this gym membership came 5 sessions with a personal trainer.
Now the first thought that went through my mind was, "I got this. I don't need a personal trainer to show me what to do. The treadmill is my best friend and will not let me down."
Well, little did I know that after I was done getting my butt kicked with these 5 sessions, it would lead me to my calling in life. And that's when I looked into getting hired on at 24 Hour Fitness.
I started training in the spring of 2006 and have loved every minute of it since! Man, I am so glad that I took their offer up on those 5 sessions.
My training style tends to be a bit different than what you would see in the typical corporate gym setting. I like to do a lot of functional training mixed with plyometrics.
Anything that is outside of the box, I definitely will try! I have my clients doing a lot of battle rope work, kettlebells, as well as bodyweight exercises.
One of my greatest success stories to date comes from a client named Bev. She started out in February of 2009 weighing in at 214 pounds and ended in August of 2009 weighing in at 137 pounds!
We definitely tested the limits with her! I had her doing all kinds of functional movements in order to target as many muscle groups as possible as well as switching her cardio up.
I had her swimming, rowing, using a weighted vest while on the stairmaster, as well as jumping rope. You name it, she tried it! This is positively a rockstar client…couldn't ask for more!
Two notable clients who stick out in my mind are Shay Sorrells from Biggest Loser Season 8 and Amy Wolff from the Biggest Loser Season 3.
Shay was in town on business and joined Amy at the local gym I worked for.
Not only did I get to train these two in a boot camp, but I also had the pleasure of training Shay one on one for a few sessions while in town.
It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!
As far as a training program goes, when writing this for a client, I go off of the frequency of how often they are training.
I believe the most common mistake that a client makes when it comes to achieving results would be their nutrition.
It is VERY easy to say you are eating clean and following a strict diet, but in all reality, most people including myself previously are not educated on how to read labels and what you should be in taking and what you should be avoiding.
Every person's body is different, so you need to find what works best for YOU, not what works best for somebody else.
Also, another common mistake I find clients doing is way too much cardio. Knowing how much cardio you should be doing is critical.
If nutrition and weight training are in check, not too much cardio is needed. You don't want to over do it and back track on your results.
The most common mistake most trainers make is they never fully understand what motivates the client. Losing weight and body fat as well as looking better are all common goals, but what drives those goals?
Most trainers will meet with a client the first time, ask what their goals are and do some measurements and then proceed to the floor for a workout. If you don't ask the right questions you may not know what makes the client tick, which will leave you with an unmotivated client with lots of cancels and no shows.
The psychology of personal training and motivation is by far the most important aspect of our jobs. If we can't motivate people to make a change, we cannot be a trainer.
Trainer = Motivator!
I see most of my clients 3 times per week which leaves them to do cardio on their own.
As for the clients I see 1-2 times per week, I do give them a copy of what we have done over their last few sessions and have them pick a workout or two to do on their own until they see me again the next week.
I believe in order for them to progress they need to have done the same movements a few times before stepping it up with progressing the exercise.
As far as diet goes, I am lucky enough to be sponsored by Elite Performance Nutrition here in Omaha and they do a fabulous job with creating meal plans for my clients as well as providing them with great supplementation as well.
I am not a nutritionist, so I leave that part to them.
Motivation is the key to success! Every month I run a contest between my clients where they are teamed up or compete as individuals and they fight for a prize. I have found this to be great motivation for them to keep working as hard as they can in order to be the best!
I also set a goal for them every month to meet and of course there is a consequence if not met. Emails, text, and cards here and there are also a great way to let them know you are thinking about them and that you do value them as a client.
To be honest, I don't train too many male clients. My clientele is mostly made up of females.
Males and females in most cases tend to have different goals, so for this reason I do believe that you would train a male client a bit differently than a female.
I most definitely have changed my approach to clients over the years.
I used to be very shy and didn't like confrontation with my clients if they would slip. Whereas now I have no problem getting in their face and telling them like it is.
It is my job to get them to where they want to be, so if I won't push them along the way, then who will?
When a new client comes in I start with asking them basic questions about their background, workout experience, goals, etc.
I then have every client go through a push, pull, squat, core workout to evaluate where they are at. From there the workout is designed around their goal and fitness level.
I prefer to train female clients mainly because I feel I can relate to them on a different level than I could a male.
Being a female myself I have gone through some of the issues that some of my clients have and I understand what they are going through and how to help and coach them in achieving their goal.
Funny thing about this is my degree is actually in psychology. So this ends up playing a big role in my career as a personal trainer. I do at times have to get into a clients head and try to understand what they are going through and figure out how to help them in the best manner possible.
On the flip side, training can turn into a therapy session sometimes as well. Just like with a hairdresser, we tend to hear all kinds of stories and events that are going on in our clients lives. But this is what I feel helps build rapport and in the long run will help you retain that loyal client.
The more you know about your client, the better you will be able to relate and retain them. Personal Training to me is all about building relationships, motivating, and helping people along the way.