It's important for personal trainers to know all they possibly can about health and fitness. They provide a smorgasbord of information, and if they don't have everything you want, then do you really want them?
Megan Miller is a young trainer from Colorado who continues to add options to her training menu. She has earned all the certifications you could ask for, but none of that would matter if she didn't back it up on the gym floor, when you have a weighted bar across your back. Her training starts with weights, but carries over into diet and greater health. With trainers like these, who needs a lifting partner?
Name: Megan Miller
Front Range College - Associates Degree in Business Management - Westminster, CO
NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer; Elevation Corporate Health Certified Personal Trainer; American CPR Care Association - Health Care Provider; NASM dotFIT Certified Fitness Professional Certification
Location: Denver, CO
Number of Clients: 40
Athletic Background: Competitive Softball 10+ Years, Track and Field, Golf, and Basketball.
Please tell us a little about your background—personally and professionally?
I grew up playing competitive softball year 'round, which led my team to many national tournaments across the country. Shortstop and cleanup batter were my forte, but nothing exceeded the experience and friendships which developed through my passion for sports, teamwork, and a dedication to a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.
When and why did you become a trainer?
My journey to the fitness industry started in 2008, when I learned the benefits of diet and exercise. It led me to continue to educate myself with certifications, seminars, and most importantly real-life success stories.
What is your training style? What methods do you use?
As a personal trainer my goal is your goal! The goal of my training program is to get you from point A (current health/fitness status) to point B (all of your health/fitness goals achieved). I do this using helpful tools and strategies for maximum efficiency in the fastest and safest way possible.
Are there some exercises you shy away from because of complex form? Do you save those for more experienced lifters?
I do not shy away from complex training. I believe it's one of the most advanced forms of sports training. It integrates strength training, plyometrics, and sport-specific movement. It's used for many elite athletes, so, with that being said, yes I absolutely save these training techniques for more advanced fitness levels.
Are there ever days when you don't feel like training people? Do you just take a day off, or power through it?
I am only human. Yes, I do have my ups and downs in my career, but I will never let the day pass me by. If I am having an off day I tell myself, I am only one workout away from a good mood! ... "The only way to do great work is to do what you love"—Steve Jobs
Who are some of your most notable clients?
I've been training clients for five years and I remember each like it was yesterday. They all have a different story to tell, and I'm amazed that these people not only changed their lives, but mine as well. Here are a few testimonials ...
"Megan changed my life through personal training. I bought some sessions to get back into the gym and after a few weeks I realized that I had increased strength, agility, quickness, and power! Today I am in the best shape of my life, and I wake up every morning saying that thanks to my trainer, Megan!"—Versell Wells
"I started Training with Megan three months ago. From the beginning I was skeptical since I had multiple surgeries, including a torn ACL. I've worked with trainers before and they seemed more interested in my money and less on my needs. I was jaded by personal trainers and Megan broke that thought. She was determined to show me that personal trainers are more than just a workout partner. In the short time I have known Megan she has given me a lifetime of knowledge and I developed a friendship with the best trainer in town. Megan and I are working on my future, not anyone else's—mine! This is why Megan will be my personal trainer for months and years to come. She deserves the best, because that is what she made me realize about myself."—Kalpana Parekh
Will you please provide a training program you put together for your clients?
Specific training programs are tailored to each individual, but there are universal helpful strategies I implement with all my clients. You sacrifice muscle growth for a mediocre-at-best cardiovascular workout. Instead, target your sets for 8-12 reps—this rep range is most efficient for muscle growth—and stick to a more intense cardiovascular routine with high intensity interval training (HIIT). You can easily monitor your muscle mass by adjusting the rep/weight range during the coming months.
What are the most common mistakes a client makes?
Believing you can tone your muscles. This is critical to explain in detail that you cannot tone your muscles; muscle tissue either grows or shrinks. Once your muscles grow through correct rep range, and you lose the body fat, your muscles have less fat tissue covering their natural curves creating that "toned" physique.
What are the most common mistakes you believe a trainer makes?
Distracted trainers—I encourage my clients to go in with a plan. You will never get the most of your workout session if your trainer is distracted and doesn't have a well-thought-out program designed for your specific goals. It's important to analyze and optimize in order to maximize performance and minimize injury.
Maximize performance, minimize injury! I like to find the perfect balance between strength, flexibility, and max performance. There are many avenues of specific training that allow the body to work as a functional machine. I like to find the strengths and weaknesses; fine tune the strengths and focus on the weaknesses.
What was your best day as a trainer? Your worst?
The most well-rounded days are the best days, where every aspect of the fitness industry runs together: hard work, sweat, business, and sales. I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of a healthy lifestyle and try to implement these tools so my clients can live the life they deserve. My worst days are seeing my clients come to me with excuses, and lack of motivation! To turn that on a positive note, I make it clear from the start with my clients that the most important relationship is the one we have together! Trust, support, and reliability are the key components of a client/trainer relationship!
Do you set your clients up with a full diet and training plan for them to follow by themselves?
Yes, I like to paint a picture of success for my clients. I create a plan to bridge the gap between point A (current health/fitness status) and point B (all of your health/fitness goals achieved). This plan includes personal support, cardiovascular and resistance training, and nutritional support. I will not be the reason for any one person's failure. I will only be their personal support! There is no single key to a healthy lifestyle. There are only helpful tools and strategies.
Have you ever had a client quit on you?
Yes I have had clients "quit" on me, but you must understand I am a fighter not a quitter! Not everyone has the same outlook, but that means there's something deeper stopping them from the end results. I will find out what it is and we work together and get past it. The things in life that drive me to succeed will always be my motivation to work hard to overcome obstacles in this beautiful life we live in. "Winners never quit and quitters never win"—Vince Lombardi
How have you changed your approach to clients over the years of experience?
I am at a point in my life where learning through life experiences changes my approach to training my clients. My approach is honesty; it's as simple as that—be true to one another and great opportunities will come your way!
How do you start a client on a new program? Do you do some kind of assessment?
For me to understand my client's needs, I must gather information through a fitness assessment. Clients have a broad range of fitness levels and I tailor the program to their wants, needs, and goals. I specialize in "program design" for both inexperienced and or more experienced exercisers! It's a matter of listening to your clients and acting on their needs.
Do you prefer to train male or female clients and why?
I don't have a preference for male/female clientele. Both genders typically have different goals and training styles they are interested in. "Personal" training is exactly that ... each individual has a personal preference. My female clientele train with more of a functional/weight loss/performance style of training. My male clients show more interest in big, heavy, hard-hitting styles of training. I do not shy away from Olympic lifts, complex training, and specific athletic sport training.
Have you ever used a personal trainer? Do you still?
As silly as it may sound, I had never used a personal trainer until I became a personal trainer. I am always looking for my next challenge, whether that's with a personal trainer, a local mud run obstacle course, or hot yoga. I am a believer in myself and have confidence that if you put me to test, I will try my hardest to succeed at my best! A well-built physique is a symbol of health. It shows dedication, discipline, self-respect, dignity, patience, work ethic, and passion! I am in the best shape of my life and nothing is stopping me from getting bigger, better, and stronger every day of my life!
As a trainer, you are literally on the ground floor of fitness. What do you think the future looks like? Can everyone be fit? Will they?
I think the future focal point should be on child obesity in the fitness industry. Educate the young minds with healthy tips and fun fitness sport camps and/or classes.
To be fit does not always mean being healthy. The first goal for anyone should be to get healthy. Once the healthy lifestyle takes over the sedentary lifestyle, it becomes a part of the past! Becoming a successful health nut is not an easy chore. With the right personal trainer, education, tools, and support system your goals can be heard, cherished, and executed to produce lifelong results ... The sky is the limit!