Thursday, January 7, 2010

4 Steps To Hiring A Personal Trainer

So you’ve decided its time to get serious about your Health & Fitness goals and hire a professional to help you along in your journey to get back in shape.  The question is, How do you find the right Certified Personal Trainer? 

After working with clients of all different backgrounds, ages, physical fitness levels and medical conditions, I can be confident in telling you that finding the right qualified trainer is VITAL to your success.  I know I am not the right fit for everyone. 

I work primarily with men and women who face the challenge of losing weight, creating a daily healthy lifestyle, improving their health due to ailments caused by their physical condition and challenging their bodies to excelling to a new fitness level.  I do limited work with sports specifics, injury rehab and chronic illnesses that need to be addressed by a Doctor.

With all that said let me make this point very clear, any trainer who claims to be the right fit for everyone and every situation is truly stretching themselves out to thin and you may be the client who gets left behind!

Follow these guidelines to interview and choose the right Personal Trainer and I guarantee your experience will be very rewarding, encouraging and beneficial to your RESULTS!

STEP 1 - Look for the Certified Personal Trainer who specializes in the results you want!  If your goal is weight loss, look for a trainer who has the knowledge and experience of dealing with the many different variables that can affect an individuals body to gain weight.  If your goal is to compete in a sport, find the sport specific trainer who can help you excel to the next level.  If you need rehab for an injury, find the trainer or even physical therapist who has the dynamic background to prescribe the right exercises to strengthen the injured muscle, tendon or ligament.
Its not always the case but a lot of times Personal Trainers find their passion for the expertise they choose to work with because of their own struggles they overcame in their personal lives.  During your interview with a candidate your thinking of hiring, ask how they became involved in helping others with the goals you want to achieve.  You should be able to get a good feel of whether or not they have your true interest at heart with this one question.  The more detail and compassion they offer you, the better.

STEP 2 - Ask for PROOF!   This can come in a variety of different forms but you should be absolutely confident in your trainers ability to deliver on their promises of helping you achieve results.  Do they have before and after photos of past clients?  Do they have written or even video testimonials from satisfied customers?  Do they keep track of clients progress over time by recording body fat percentages and inches lost?  Do they have clients that are willing to share their experiences with you directly?  Ask to see these examples.  Obviously, if you have a friend that has worked with a particular trainer with all great things to say, you have your proof right there!

STEP 3 - Ask for a FREE Workout!  Nowadays most trainers are open to this but it truly depends on the facility they work at or if they own their own company.  By receiving a complimentary workout you can get a taste of the trainers expertise, see if your personalities click or clash and also see how attentive they are to you as an individual.  During the workouts see if they are just rep counters or if they are professionals who explain thoroughly why they are taking you through a certain exercise in detail?  Are their eyes focused on you or are they distracted with things going on around the gym?  Are they boring or exciting?  Trust me.  All of these things will be very important in deciding who to work with.  If you dread going to the gym because your trainer is just not what you expected, you will be the one who ends up frustrated.  You WILL be establishing a relationship with your trainer so make sure its a good fit!

STEP 4 - Finalize the Strategy!  Once you have found the right trainer, make the commitment to your goals and to yourself to follow through with a specific plan of action.  A solid fitness program should include a committed schedule of your workouts, a nutrition plan, regular checkups with Fitness Assessments and a Journal to track your progress. In my experience, you will want to commit to a minimum of 3 days per week to work with your trainer, especially if you’re new to working out and are not disciplined to do it on your own.  This of course may be different for you and your goals.
Make sure your trainer is committed to you!  Get it in writing if necessary that they will not cancel appointments with you, help you along with nutrition and any extra help you may need.  If they don’t have the expertise in areas of nutrition, maybe they have a nutritionist they work hand in hand with that they can refer you to.  Make sure you have your next appointment scheduled and all your questions and concerns answered before ending your first appointment.

Keep this in mind, a trainer is there to motivate you, direct you, encourage you, address problems you are having and design and implement your workouts that are catered to your goals.  If you want REAL RESULTS, YOU MUST BRING YOUR HEART INTO IT!  Do not allow negativity to interrupt your progress or distract you from doing what it takes to get the job done.  You HAVE to bring the intensity and desire yourself each and every day!  Stay focused, stay driven and use your Certified trainer as a means to GET RESULTS!  Thats what we are here for and trust me on this, we LOVE and THRIVE off of the hard workers!  So BRING US YOUR BEST EACH AND EVERY DAY!  God Bless you and Best Wishes in 2010!  DRIVE ON CHAMPION!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Can't STAND Being Sick

Well my friends, its true, I came down with a cold yesterday and it has lingered on into today.  Without hesitation though, I got ready to tackle this cold Monday morning and trained my clients with their workouts, while trying to hide and battle the congestion, headache and fluids that come along with being sick.  Since 4 am this morning I have probably gone through an entire box of tissues and a gallon of Orange Juice.  I have kept up with my regular nutrition and supplement regimen but after this constant annoyance of a simple cold I got to wondering, “Why do people INSIST on getting sick over and over again throughout the year?”

Ok, maybe that is a strong statement to make, I mean, who honestly likes being sick?  But, hear me out on this.  You see my friends, I am the type who hardly ever gets sick and when I do, it really ANNOYS me!  I mean to the point where I actually get very aggravated and even angry.  Pretty ridiculous right?. 

Maybe so, but the fact is, I live a very healthy and active lifestyle (as if you didn’t know right) so when I do get a virus that takes my energy levels down and hinders my normal routine its actually rather hard for me to handle.  Well, today I’m taking some of that negative energy and turning it into something positive here so please, don’t feel like I’m complaining, I do have a strong point to make.

My question is, How do people who get sick 2, 3, 4, maybe more times per year handle it?  Think about it?  Do you know of anyone who ALWAYS seems to be sick?  Is it that they are just so use to being sick that they’ve gotten accustomed to it and learn to live that way?  I really don’t know the answer but again, Why would anyone want to live like that while at the same time say things such as, “I don’t have time to exercise,” or “I know I should eat healthy but I just don’t like it.”  Is leading and living an active lifestyle filled with healthy choices really that hard that someone would “rather” be sick?

You see, to me, if someone is constantly making excuses why they “can’t” exercise or won’t eat healthy then they are actually saying, “If I get sick, I’ll deal with it,”  And that just blows me away!  I mean, guys!  I’ve got a cold and I’m hating life!  It’s not life threatening, its not even preventing me from getting things done today, but its just SO DAMN ANNOYING! 

If you are sick of getting or being sick then listen to me, 20 Minutes Guys!  20 minutes a day is all you need to revive your energy, boost your immune system, sweat out toxins and poisons in the body and reclaim your health!  Of course, I recommend a minimum of 45 minutes or training typically but if you are just getting started with your New Regimen, then I CHALLENGE YOU to see for yourself what 20 minutes of intense activity will do for you!

I tell ya, I would MUCH rather eat my egg whites, chicken, fruits and vegetables and train hard 3-6 days per week than to EVER feel like this again!  And so, I WILL!  I will do anything and everything within my power to prevent feeling like this any longer than I have to.  After all, I have a LIFE to LIVE and I want to live it to the fullest!

Now I know some things are just unavoidable and the human body is susceptible to getting ill BUT if you aren’t doing anything to strengthen your body and your immune system then you are INDEED inviting and welcoming a virus to attack you, and that my friends, is a mindset I will NEVER understand!  In fact, it is rather ridiculous to me so please excuse me if I shake my head at you and look at you in disbelief as you try to convey any type of excuses to me why you “can’t” live a healthy lifestyle.

So, thats my little rant for today.  Its 20 minutes till 1, just about time for my workout.  YEAH!  I told you I would do everything in my own little power that I have to get rid of this virus!  So, its time to get the sweat on!

Drive On Champions!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

4 Crucial Steps To A New Fitness Program!

January 2, 2010

Its that time again, the holidays have come and gone, The New Year has begun and for almost everybody it seems that means a NEW beginning and refreshed start to personal goals and that includes getting in shape!

It never fails that year after year I see men and women who begin the year with a vigorous attitude and excitement towards a New Years Resolution of finally achieving their weight loss and fitness goals; And it never fails that by March, all those high expectations and desires slip aside once again and more than 90% of those people slide back into their old lifestyle habits and give up on their once ambitious New Years Resolution.

How does this happen? Why do people who have such great aspirations and ambition to make positive changes tend to “fail” over and over again year after year? Is starting an exercise program and getting in shape really that hard that it causes people to give in and quit?

The answer surprisingly is NO! We just make it harder than it needs to be. The truth of the matter is most people do not have a solid game plan to reaching their aggressive goals and they quickly find out the challenge of establishing a weight loss plan is overwhelming and stressful. Who needs the added stress to an already very hectic and busy lifestyle right?

I challenge you this year to instead of cluelessly jumping into a fitness regimen, take time to plan out a realistic and attainable workout regimen.

Follow these FOUR CRUCIAL STEPS so that you can be sure 2010 WILL be the year you make the positive changes in your life and establish a TRUE fitness resolution and FINALLY get the RESULTS you have been wanting.

Step 1 - Interview Yourself - This will be the most crucial step you NEED to take in order to getting started on your journey. You need to be real with yourself and ask the embarrassing and emotional questions that will drive you towards starting TODAY! Questions like, “What do I not like about myself?” “What actions or circumstances caused me to gain this weight?” When you ask yourself questions like this you’ll most likely find out a lot more about yourself than you want to, but thats a GOOD thing. Write down these questions and answers and even the feelings you experience. You’ll want this list to look back on throughout your program to remind you of just why you’re on this new fitness program.

I challenge you to come up with a minimum of 10 questions to ask yourself that will force you to search deep within yourself to seek the truth of why you NEED to get started on your health and fitness regimen today. When your emotional about getting results, you will have the fuel, the FIRE to do what it takes to get the job DONE!

Step 2 - Write down your Goals - You now have the answers of WHY you need to get started but now you need the MOTIVATION, that's where writing your goals down comes into play.

I’m most certain you have heard this before with just about any important goal in life you want to accomplish but there is a reason for that, this method WORKS! When you have your goals written down you can tackle one thing at a time before moving on, plus it will help you stay accountable to your actions each and every day. Review your goals multiple time per day, especially when you find yourself giving yourself excuses not to workout or reaching for that sugar and fat laden desert. When you have your goals written down your much more apt to sticking to your regimen and getting the results you want.

Step 3 - Establish your game plan - Now you have your why’s, you also have your goals, but now what? Is it time to jump on the treadmill and start pounding out 5 miles per day? Not quite. Its time to put it all together and establish a realistic game plan that fits YOU! If you are someone who has never worked out before you cannot expect to train like an athlete. Going into a fitness regimen with an all or nothing attitude is a sure fire recipe for disaster! Start easy and build yourself up. Start by walking a mile 3 days per week and cleaning up your nutrition. Once you have that down and it becomes easy add in weight training and a more strenuous cardiovascular workout like jogging one mile, 3 days per week. Once that becomes easy, jump up to 4 workouts per week, maybe adding in a day of Yoga and so forth and so on.

The idea here is to build up your stamina and strength over time and increase the intensity without burning yourself out. You should also keep a daily journal of your progress so that you can keep track of progress.

It’s a great idea to hire a personal trainer in the beginning and have an all inclusive Health & Fitness Assessment conducted. This will show you your exact starting point and give you direction of what you need to do to reach your goals.

Step 4 - Start Today! - Even if your not sure what the right step is, start with something today, RIGHT NOW! Clean out the kitchen of the junk foods, make your grocery list of healthy food choices. Get out your calendar and mark the days you are COMMITTED to working out and what time you are going to do so. DO NOT CANCEL ANY APPOINTMENTS YOU MAKE WITH YOURSELF!!! Pick up the phone and call your local health club and set up an appointment with a professional trainer. Do what it takes right now to make sure you are COMMITTED to YOURSELF! Did you do any of these things yet? What are you waiting for? THE TIME IS NOW!

So there you have it, the four CRUCIAL steps you need to make sure you stay on track with your New Years Resolution, Health & Fitness Goals. No more failure or excuses because now you are armed to face the challenges and meet set backs head on with the proper tools to be successful. Still, if you find yourself needing extra guidance, motivation or direction, I cannot stress enough the benefits to hiring a professional Certified trainer. Look for Part 2 of this article by January 15th, “How to Find The Right Trainer For You!” I wish you the most success and a very Happy New Year! Make 2010, YOUR YEAR to excel! God Bless and DRIVE ON!

Sean Murphy