Tag Archives: personal trainer

I Squatted Every Day for a Month, Here’s What Happened

One of my fitness-related goals for 2017 is to focus on my legs more: this means more muscle development and time devoted to these suckers. So, to start the year and the goal off in the right direction, I started a program called Squat Every Day by Cory Gregory. Hungry talked me into it and although I’m not a big fan of doing an exercise every day, I decided to give it a try. To give a bit of an overview, this guy has you squatting every day for 30 days, but not every day is “leg day” if that makes sense. You’ll do 10 sets of squats and then do back exercises, 10 sets of squats then you’ll do chest exercises, and so on and so forth. There are a lot of squat variations in this program and Gregory especially loves front squats (did a lot of those!) as well as lots and lots of lunges.

What was the ultimate result? My legs and glutes got stronger, firmer, and bigger which is great! I’m happy with the results it brought. However, there were some downsides to it as well. Below I’ve listed the good and the bad of this program:

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Why You Should Switch Up Your Exercises

First of all, good for you for exercising. Good for you for putting in some work (I know it ain’t easy) into staying healthy and taking care of yourself. After that pat on the back, let’s talk about what you’re doing. It’s hard enough to get in the gym, do a home workout, or whatever you’re doing, let alone planning (and doing) different workouts. But it’s important! Doing the same old routine day after day can kill your mojo!

Why is it important to switch up your exercise? The body is always trying to get to homeostasis, meaning to a point where it has to do as little as possible to keep at a steady state. Humans are also great at adapting. Put those together and your body will try to get used to workouts as soon as it can. Once it “gets used to” a workout, it won’t have to work as hard. Which means YOU won’t burn as many calories, your heart rate won’t go as high, your muscles won’t get worked as intensely as they used to. Are you feeling what I’m saying now? You have to keep your body on its toes!

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ACTION Personal Training Certification

“I want to become a personal trainer, what should I do?”

Well… that’s a loaded question. How much time and money can you afford to allocate to that goal right now? How much knowledge do you currently have about anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, physics, kinesiology, etc? Why do you want to become a personal trainer and are you a motivated self-study course kind-of-person? And those are just the first three that pop into our head. We are asked all the time about ‘how to’ become a professional in the field of fitness and becoming a certified personal trainer is most enthusiasts’ first course of action, but what kind of weight do acronyms actually hold?

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ON BCAAs: The Gold Standard Continues

Gold Standard Whey. Men’s Multi. Casein. Serious Mass. Amino Energy. Platinum Preworkout. 

Optimum Nutrition is one of those supplement companies you actually get a little frustrated with because it always seems like they don’t want your money. That’s almost never the case with other companies that create ten different pre-workout supplements with different levels of effectiveness for different people. That shouldn’t be the case since it’s the same substances that will provide every human the boost that they need. For years and years, people have been waiting for BCAAs (brain chain amino acids) from ON and now they don’t have to wait any longer. 

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Setting Realistic Goals

If you read this post, you’ll know that I am working on some goals for this summer. I really wanted to ignite my fitness drive back up so I decided to plan out some goals to give me more motivation on working out every day. The goals are mostly body weight goals. Two goals, however, stood out a little bit: running 3 casual miles and being able to touch my toes. Along with my other goals, they just didn’t make sense. Just because they’ve been longtime goals, I wanted to throw them in my mix of body weight goals (which aren’t easy, mind you). However, with my busy work schedule and all my home hobbies and chores, I was stressing to fit everything in in one week. 

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Priorities: Putting Your Health First

Sometimes it feels as though we live in a sad world. A world where money and material wealth comes first. A world where personal relations get shoved aside. A world where should-be-top-priorities such as health gets ignored in the dust. Working as a personal trainer, this last one can bother me the most. Here’s why:

People whine and complain about prices of the gym, personal training, or exercise equipment. They complain that the money could be elsewhere spent and that the time working out could be used doing something else more important. I’m certainly not saying that you need a gym or personal training to be healthy (although it does help), but instead towards the overall sentiment about the importance of getting into shape and maintaining your fitness.

My trainer shirt ... and Sajah

My trainer shirt … and Sajah

So let’s say you suggest you could be doing something else with your time rather than exercising. Alrighty, let’s look at the building blocks of life. Health…hmmm…if you take away health, it is seeming to my eyes that everything falls apart with it. Take away health, and what do you have? Seriously. Sit on that question. Don’t just brush it off, I want you to think about it. Think about all the other bills or activities you pay for and balance it with the necessity of life: being healthy. If you aren’t healthy, you aren’t going to live the quality life you could.

And then we meddle over to the topic of money. It’s often the biggest excuse I hear. Not enough money for a gym membership? Hmmm, okay, let’s examine that. I want you to take a look at all your entertainment bills–television, cable, internet, etc. I am confounded to think that television (which is equal or more to gym membership cost per month) could weasel its way to be more important than the building block of life–HEALTH. Re-examine what you spend your money on. It could be that you know (deep down), the only way you will get into a continual exercise routine is if you subscribe to a gym. Step up, cancel unneeded entertainment services, put your health first, and sign up.

Health

Health (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

Now, say you’re borderline obese or diabetic, and have a strong dislike for working out. In fact, the only way you workout is if you are held accountable by someone else. Or, say you’re a person open to working out and exercising, but unsure about how to start. In both situations, a personal trainer would be dandy. I have one client who will not exercise unless she knows she’s coming to see me. She knows I’m waiting for her and despite how tough the workouts may be, she shows up each day. And she has gone from borderline obese down to overweight.

Often you find, “Personal training? There’s no way I could afford that.” Don’t be so quick to write it off. Many gyms have discount deals and some even have scholarship forms you can fill out to get a discount. They want you to sign up, so give them the chance to make it easier for you. Let’s take a look at the other side of the situation. Why do you think you can’t afford that? Perhaps because you spend your money on other things. I find so often, it is–ironically–that people go out to eat too much, causing them to be more unhealthy, racking up the restaurant bills and stopping them from hiring a personal trainer to change their life. Because that is what normally happens.

Personal Training Overlooking Melbourne Catego...

Personal Training Overlooking Melbourne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This may sound like a lecture, but it is a plea. A plea for you and/or your loved ones to realize the importance of health and make it a priority over other things like entertainment or dining. So look at your account book and balance the budget to fit getting healthy and active in this year.

How to Make New Years Resolutions that Actually Work

We all know the typical story…we make a nice neat pile of resolutions and then a month later, it’s as if we never made them. It’s okay, it happens to many of us. The key isn’t about persistence (though that is certainly helpful), it’s about creating the right goals. Please don’t say, “I want to lose 60 pounds in a month!” Not going to happen without drugs, crash diets, or other very bad things.

Let’s make SMART resolutions: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely! Yes, this is coming from a personal trainer, how could you tell. So let’s say you want to lose 15 pounds. But specifically, how are you going to do it? Specific terms would be…workout every week, add more servings of vegetables and fruit a day, drinking more cups of water a day, and hiring a personal trainer. That is how you will specifically lose that weight. And why do you want to lose that weight? Let’s say to increase daily energy, increase confidence, and decrease hypertension.

Moving onto measurable goals…this is where we provide a number to all those ways we are going to achieve those goals. Let’s add the frequency of workouts…4 times a week, both cardio and strength training. And we will add 3 more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. And finally, we will drink 3 more cups of water a day. Remember, don’t start crazy big, we want to start in baby steps so we can actually achieve them.

Personal trainer showing a client how to exerc...

Exercise!

Next is attainable…this we have already set forth. Look up, does that seem attainable? Losing 15 pounds? Sure does, because we’ve laid out a plan before us. Then we move onto the relevant step: here we want to ensure that our minor goals and rules make sense with our bigger resolution of losing weight. For example, to stop drinking soda when you already don’t drink soda is not very useful. Instead, think about those weaknesses. Let’s make another limit, only one oreo per week instead of one per day. You still get your fix but it is significantly diminished.

And now, timely! You want to lose 15 pounds in 3 months. That is 5 pounds per month, an extremely attainable goal. So let’s put it all together.

By March 1st, you will lose 15 pounds, by losing 5 pounds a month in order to increase daily energy, confidence, and decrease hypertension. You are going to do this by strength and cardio training 4 times a week, increasing your fruit and vegetable serving intake by 3 a day, adding 3 cups of water a day, and hiring a personal trainer. You are also going to limit yourself to one oreo per week. 

So there’s just an example of one resolution. Make a whole list of them! Make sure you know how you are going to achieve them and that there are baby steps for you to follow. You can add more limitations of course, like fast food only twice a month. You can also add more ways you will achieve the goal such as walk the dog twice a day for x amount of miles. And keep track of everything! Weigh yourself, measure your fat percentage, however you would like to.

Happy new year

Happy New Years!

Please feel free to share your own resolutions and how you are going to achieve them! Happy News Years!!

The Importance of Enjoying Work: Love What You Do and Do What You Love

I know these are hard economic times. I conducted five interviews on Friday with lots of amazing candidates with tons of experience in different fields to accompany their college degrees. People are forced to apply to any job that can pay the bills, whether they know how to do it or don’t, whether they’ll love every minute of it or wish the nightmare would just end. Alana and I both recently went through a lot of interviews of our own trying to figure out post-graduate work situations that would sustain our life in Boulder and, most importantly, for now, help pay off the student loans as soon as possible. But we were either smart or lucky, or a little bit of both. Our stubbornness in terms of applying to the right jobs and choosing the right jobs amongst a sea of interviews and offers seems to have paid off well.

 
Alana and I worked three jobs at one point over the past few months; one full time, one part time, and one very part time unofficial off-the-books job. Alana stopped doing her off-the-books job because it was just too much work for her when she was going seven days a week. Although, it was work that she enjoyed, it was too much and it’s important to know yourself and to know when to say enough is enough. Money is important, but we’re not the kind of people that enjoy the finer things in terms of clothing and cars and the flashy stuff. We’re happy with good food, good exercise, good family, and some nice books and video games. So our income doesn’t need to be excessive or even average, because it just needs to be coming from jobs that we enjoy.

Things we buy

Things we buy

For our personal update, without saying too much, Alana is working as a full-time certified personal trainer at the Longmont YMCA, Monday through Friday. On Sundays, she works as a caregiver at an assisted living home in Boulder. She loves training and this YMCA is very warm and friendly, so the job makes perfect sense. The commute is a little bit long for her liking, but it’s worth it. She works her second job to gain experience in the health care field in order to make her training in becoming a nurse a little easier. She just recently registered as a student with Front Range Community College so that she could take her pre-requisites for nursing school.

 

I am working as a full time swim teacher at the Swim School of Boulder. I also will be, or already am, the head coach of the Swim School of Boulder Club Swim Team. It officially launches January 1st 2013, but I’ve been working hard to make sure everything is prepared. Secondly, I work one or two days and seven to fourteen hours a week also at the Longmont YMCA as the instructional swim coordinator and aquatics advisor. I am trying to rebuild the aquatics department in order to provide the services to the community that I feel they deserve from an Aquatics department. Third, I walk a large dog in North Boulder, some times seven days a week typically for an hour at a time or some weeks not at all so it’s very on and off.

Despite working 45-50 hours a week each, on average, we’re extremely happy with our jobs and employers. It makes the rest of life a lot easier and even though we don’t make as much money as we might be able to, we appreciate the fact that we are employed and able to feed ourselves and stay warm at night. We try not to take anything for granted and remember we’re just the same as everyone else in terms of having to face this struggle.

So even though I can’t do anything to make you as lucky as us, be stubborn, and try your hardest without starving to find a job that you really enjoy, because it will make you that much happier.