Enough – you can’t manufacture fitness!

As I headed onto my blog to write an entry today I was full of ideas.  Obviously, I don’t make it on here very often so there are a ton of topics on which I want to cover.  But, then I opened up safari and up on my Yahoo pops this scandal on The Biggest Loser.  In all honesty, I don’t really watch this show and I’m not a huge fan from what I have seen and heard.  Having said that, I do think it is great for America to see that plain old exercise and healthy eating habits can lead you and keep you in a healthy and fit lifestyle.  Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for Miss Jillian Michaels, she felt the need to provide caffeine supplements to her team.  Her defense on the matter was that it was better than drinking endless amounts of coffee.  Hey Jillian, why don’t you just advise your clients to limit the coffee!  Explore why they are drinking so much and what else can it be replaced with, either another drink or activity or anything other than a supplement?!  Oh, by the way, major rant on its way…

 

As the title of this post states, I have literally had enough of manufactured fitness.  If you can’t make me sweat, make me healthier, make me stronger or make me better without outside assistance then you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re just not doing a good enough job of what you do know.  All of this for the same reason that numerous supplements are banned from every major sporting event.  Accept your body and use your personal challenges to work harder.

 

Supplements should be used like makeup, they should enhance your natural beauty or help in areas where you may be deficient.  Like wearing blush to enhance your high cheek bones or putting on a little cover up to conceal a pimple.  Similar to taking probiotics to keep your digestive system healthy or a Vitamin D supplement to help improve low levels.  Supplements are not “the shortcut” to healthier and more fit lifestyle.  And they should only be prescribed by a knowledgable and licensed homeopath, naturopathic doctor, or nutritionist.

 

But my rant goes far and beyond this little scandal.  If you have to heat up a room, put your client in a sauna suit, or refuse water then your workouts aren’t enough.  Stop manufacturing sweat and create a better workout.  I am all for ways to inspire people to become fit, but each of these new fitness crazes establish routines that are more dangerous one right after the other.  At the core, I think most of them are positive, but somewhere along the way they each lost their focus…

 

I went to Billy Blanks Jr.’s fitness studio up in North Hollywood a couple months ago at the urging of a friend.  I, who started my love of fitness with cardio kickboxing, was more than excited to attend this class.  My friend forewarned me that it was a little unconventional, but she always leaves with a great sweat and burns tons of calories…  Here we go, the instructor moves around the room doing an exercise and you either have to look for him or find someone who looks like they know what they are doing and watch them.  Not my biggest issue.  The room was crowded and small with barely any room to extend arms and legs, which seems not only uncomfortable but unsafe in a kickboxing class.  There were 2 ceiling fans on either end of the room, moving at the slowest pace possible for any ceiling fan to move.  There was no air flowing through this room, it must have been in the 70’s at the onset, but with body heat, it must have risen an additional 10 degrees.  I have never stopped an indoor workout from being overheated, but here i was in the bathroom adjacent to this cracker jack sized workout room pouring ice cold water on my head in an attempt to lower my body temperature and heart rate.  I returned to the room and had to lower my intensity in order to complete the remainder of the workout.  My  sweaty friend turns to me at the end of the workout and says she burned 700 calories, which was determined by a heart rate monitor throughout the class.  Heat speeds up your heart rate, heat makes you sweat.  Was the class hard? Maybe.  Turn on the air conditioning and make me work for my calories and my sweat!

 

I have never been to soul cycle so I have been waiting to attend a class to give my opinion, however, this posting goes along with everything i have ever heard about these classes.  The room is 74 degrees.  People love going because they leave sweaty and under the presumption that they have burned hundreds of calories.  Heat speeds up your heart rate, heat makes you sweat.  Is the class hard? Maybe.  Turn on the air conditioning and make me work for my calories and my sweat!

 

And last but not least – I train a client at a personal training gym where trainers pay to use the facility.  One night as I am finishing with my session I see another trainer with his clients who are wearing sauna suits.  If you are unfamiliar with these outfits, imagine wearing a trash bag with sleeves.  These are giant plastic bags intended to help you release water, no moving even required, but the more you work, the more you sweat.  As they completed their session the client removed the suit and the trainer commented how sweaty she was.  Of course they are sweaty, they were wearing plastic!  Make your client run down the street or up the stairs or whatever.  Don’t put them in a trash bag, have them do leg lifts for an hour and then jump for joy when they look like they just went swimming in their clothes.

 

All of the aforementioned classes/trainers are trying to give their clients what they want and each of them has created a special community of fitness enthusiasts that keeps them coming back for more and I think that is great.  I just want everyone to be safe and make their clients work for their accomplishments.  It’s like doing your kids homework for them, sure they will get good grades, but are they smarter for it?  Clients deserve the best an instructor/coach can give them, so work for those A’s, don’t accept a cheat sheet.

And if you do workout in the heat, inside or outside, drink more water than you think!

10 year anniversary!

Last week I celebrated my 10 year anniversary of being a certified personal trainer!!

What an awesome journey it has been! Starting off in an L.A. Fitness, I had no idea where my career would take me… I am so thankful for all the wonderful client I have, who make this not only the best job in the world, but also inspire me to continue to improve my skills to provide them with best workouts!

Since I was 12 years old I’ve had some sort of weight goal, whether it was weight loss or maintenance, I was focused on my food intake and workout schedule because I always felt as though if I didn’t stay focused all the weight would come back.
10 years ago I said I had 2 major goals:
1. To perform 1 full pull up, unassisted.
2. Not to have my upper thighs touch.

So, I got #1 down and I can actually do about 10 pull ups unassisted, so yay!  As for the thighs, well, they have certainly slimmed down considerably in the last 10 years, but I accepted my body many years ago the way that it is… and I have thighs that may always touch no matter what.  But they are strong thighs that have now run hundreds of mile, performed thousands of squats, and walked up countless stairs.  I have a body built for weight lifting and sprinting and I’m good at those activities and I like them, so let’s go thighs (and I guess the rest of my body can come as well 🙂 and we will move on to our next goals!

In the fall of 2012 I realized that I no longer had to work so hard at maintaining my weight and fitness goals.  I had my eating and working out routine and was able to maintain without thinking about it.  Of course, not too long after I had made this realization, I got bored.  I needed a new challenge!

A few months prior my husband got into cycling and very quickly delved right into the racing circuit.  Racing was something I had wanted to do for years, but it always seemed out of my league and too complicated.  But, as silly as this may sound, all you have to do is sign up and you’re done!  Just pick a race, pay, and that’s it you’re doing it.  So, what race to do… I wasn’t a runner back in the fall of 2012, but I had always wanted to do the Camp Pendleton Mud Run.  That race  is only in June so I started researching mud runs and came across the Spartan Mud Run series.  A 5K course with about 20 obstacles testing strength and endurance sounded great to me.  I recruited a couple friends and we were off.  I didn’t think anything of preparing for the race as I felt my workouts would suffice.  However, a friend who had completed  the run recommended commencing hill running as that would be a significant portion of the race.  Um, running?  For more than a minute without stopping?  Fine, I had committed to the race, I would commit to the training.  And off I went…  running outside, which was also a new experience for me.  I was used to controlled treadmill running for short amounts of time.  But to the streets I went and on the first run I went for 20 minutes.  I was just shocked I lasted that long.  I had the attention span of a goldfish when it came to running.  I kept waiting for that “runner’s high” or that existential drift runner ‘s always talk about.  That didn’t come, but I continued with my hilly runs for the next 2 months, running slightly longer on each outing.

About 2 weeks before the mud run, I started getting worried that I was being over confident and that this would be more challenging than I anticipated.  I had never done any sort of race and here I was starting with an obstacle course?!  Based on my running times I realized it would take me about 30 minutes to run a 3 mile course, which was very comforting and inspiriting all at the same time.  If I could run 3 miles in 30 minutes, why not just run a 5K…??  So, I did the mud run in December of 2012 and then ran my first 5k in February 2013, but not alone 🙂  As my personal goals changed, so did my personal training.  I now had multiple clients who were running and who had either run marathons or were interested in heading in that direction and thus I started recruiting my training buddies from my clientele.  I and 2 clients ran our first 5k in February and one has ran another 3 5k’s, increasing her time on each race.  The other runner has completed 3 10k’s and is now training for his first half marathon in the fall.  I have since completed a 10k and the Camp Pendleton Mud Run and am looking forward to my next race, the Foam Fest, in just a few weeks, with my 5K running buddy.

Continuously striving to improve my personal fitness goals has made me a better trainer/coach.  I challenge my clients to work harder to reach goals they didn’t think were possible, whether it’s weight loss, running for 10 uninterrupted minutes, or doing a pull up.  I am only here today because 18 years ago I made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle and change my eating and fitness habits and having the ability to share the joy I gain from this lifestyle is what makes this anniversary so exciting.  Thank you to all my clients, past and present, who have made me better, who have challenged me to work harder and be smarter.  This job is only awesome  because I have the world’s greatest clients who show up to each workout and bring 110% every time, laughing all the way through!

Here is to another amazing 10 years!  I can’t wait to see what will come!

 

Skype personal training

People come up with a lot of excuses not to workout… no time, travel frequently, don’t like the gym atmosphere…  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to workout ANYWAY?!

A few months ago I joined a company, http://helpyougetstarted.com/, that does Skype personal training.  Yes, you read that right – Personal Training via Skype.  I just finished my first workout and I think it went great.  She’s going to be blogging about it too, so I’ll post that once it’s up.  But I ran through a typical first session with the physical assessment and first workout movements – she had good form and worked up a sweat in the 30 minutes.

Don’t you hate us trainers… you want to keep coming up with reasons why you can’t workout and we keep coming up with these great solutions to help you stay healthy and active?!

This is not just a great tool for exercise new comers, it’s perfect for frequent travelers, moms, dads, workaholics, and the super duper lazy (you know who you are 😉  I have had so many clients say how much they love that I come to their homes because they can’t escape our session and this is even easier!

AND it’s not just for training… you knew this was coming, right? As I always say, working out is only half of the journey.  Changing your behaviors and eating habits is just as important and oftentimes the more challenging part.  Meeting me at the local coffee place or chatting with me on Skype is just as helpful to discuss all the tools to help you create the new you (and maybe even better because you can be in your pi’s…?)

Wait… and the best part is that this makes personal training available to just about anyone!  If you don’t have access to decent gym facilities or qualified personal trainers – this service puts both of the necessities at your fingertips (literally!).  I always say we are so inundated here in los angeles that we sometimes forget there is a significant part of the country that doesn’t have access to 10 different pilates and/or cardio ballet classes all within 3 miles of their house and those are the individuals who really need the most attention.

Skype with you soon!!

Staying Connected

We have so many thoughts running through our minds every second of every day, but when you go workout it should be your body’s time to give your brain a break from thinking!

Not only is this a great stress reducer, it’s also the best way to ensure you don’t get injured.

When I train clients, they always say I give a lot of instructions – abs tight, shoulders back, chest lifted… there’s alot to focus on… but when exercises are done correctly, they are more effective and get you the results you want!  They are always excited about that part 🙂

It’s important to create and maintain a mind/body connection when you are working out so you can focus on the muscle that is working, think about the fat you are burning off, and remember to keep your body in the correct alignment.

Happy New Year Deals!!

Happy New Year! Were you waiting for January 1 to make a change?!

To help you make that change I want to offer you 50% off my best services!

Check out my Doodle Deal for 50% off stroller exercise classes: http://doodledeals.com/los-angeles/deals/1676/tot-fitness

I am also offering 50% off my private training and/or fitness, wellness, and nutrition counseling:  That’s 10, one hour long sessions for just $500 (normally $1000)!  Call or email me to schedule your appointment today.