BN Fitness

Personal Training: What I’ve Learned Thus Far

I was riding my bike this morning when a frantic “My Wedding is in 4 Months!” call came in. After the call and doing business, it dawned on me: I’m a Personal Trainer! People depend on me. People trust me. People pay me — which means they expect value. People obey me. Some of my clients don’t lift a weight without me…. drives me nutz, but I get it. Have you ever had one of these moments?

Just 3 years ago, I was in the same place of depending on a professional. Paula Reiss challenged me as my trainer and then as my professional mentor. I thought back to teaching my first Cycle/Spin classes, then Step… and then my first Personal Training client, Jeff White, and then Crystal (Veronica’s son and best friend. Love you Veronica!), and on and on. So yeah, I’m a trainer. I’m compassionate. I’m professional. I’m creative. I get results. I know when my clients have been sneakin’ sugary, syrupy, bready treats! And yes, I call them out. I’ve also made some friends through fitness. We laugh. We cry. We pray. We talk. Or not talk — Khaalida!

Ah, what a journey. So today I just wanted to share some of the things that I’ve personally learned about health and fitness, in no certain order.
  • Switch up your routine. Play basketball. Bike. Hike. Walk. Hurdles. Swim. Step class. Jog on the beach. Jump rope.
  • Hire a Certified Personal Trainer who is knowledgeable and who switches things up.
  • Pushups are the best upper body workout — which no machine can replace and you can do them anywhere.
  • One can work super-hard but DIET is 85% of where results come from. Ask me how I know.
  • Most people do not lift heavy enough to make stronger muscles.
  • It’s never too late to build muscle, and lifting is more important as we grow older.
  • The only real cure is prevention.
  • Good form is the only way.
  • If you eat whole foods that have been around for 1000s of years, you don’t have to worry about counting calories (avoid processed food).
  • Sugar is not our friend.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup is making people fat and sick.
  • The biggest 2 threats to our health are inflammation (silent and chronic) and insulin resistance.
  • Our dependence on cars is keeping people overweight. When was the last time you opted to walk or ride a bike somewhere that wasn’t that far away?
  • Fear and procrastination keep people unhealthy and overweight. The journey of 1,000 miles begins with that first step. START!
  • If I had to pick one sport for a child to start with it would be gymnastics, the strength/speed/balance/body control they will learn can be applied to any sport down the road.
  • I hate to run; I love to jog.
  • Never listen to any advertising telling you what is healthy. They’re just selling something. $$
  • There is no such thing as spot reduction… ab-reclining chair anyone? $$
  • Supplements were a waste of a lot of money for me. $$
  • To build muscle, throw away your Whey protein and eat more whole foods. Fish and veggies. $$
  • More people are taking muscle building hormones than will ever admit to you.
  • I was skipping breakfast long before I ever found out about intermittent fasting (IF).
  • It’s a lot easier to stay fit and strong — once you get there.
  • Muscle size does not tell a person’s real strength.
  • Muscle size is mostly glycogen and water.
  • Whole foods can never be replaced by a multi-vitamin.
  • Most people need some Fish Oil to control inflammation. Not everyone, but most.
  • Many brain functions may be vastly improved with a diet of no sugar/higher fats (esp DHA from fish/fish oil).
  • Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day.
  • Eating 6x a day provides no metabolic advantage for losing weight than 2-3x a day; it’s still about calories and blood sugar/insulin control.
  • The eat low-fat advice is the biggest health disaster of the last 30 years.
  • The saddest thing to see is someone crippled by a preventable disease while they are young which keeps them from doing simple daily activities and on multiple medications.
  • Mountain biking is fun; snapping off my derailer and making it a single speed is even more fun.
  • The smartest trainer I know does not have a website or best selling ebook, as she is too busy training real clients.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar is the only medicine I take if I feel sick.
  • I can go up and down up to 10 lbs in a week depending on glycogen and water balance.
  • The first big amount of lbs you lose in the first week of working out/dieting is mostly water.
  • If you want to get better at running, you run; biking, you bike; etc.
  • I know a professional athlete making millions and a star on his team, yet he can’t do a pullup, but he doesn’t need to.
  • There is no one right way for anything, as 20 different ways can get you results.
  • 80/20 rule is so true! 80% of your results come from just 20% of the exercises and 20% of the food in supermarkets… and spending 20% of your time working out.
  • Losing more than 2 lbs a week is probably not all fat.
  • Gaining more than 2 lbs a week is probably not all muscle.
  • All diets fail over the long run, but lifestyle changes last!
  • All diets books are saying the same thing in general; just a new presentation. $$$$$
  • Bill Phillips is a marketing genius.
  • Fads are created to sell more specialized equipment/gear, lifting/throwing something heavy and running fast has been around for 100s of years and still works.
  • Want a strong “core”? Lift something heavy over your head and walk around trying to stabilize it; the motivation to not drop it on your head will work wonders.
  • There should be a law against selling any dumbbells less than 5 lbs. Or ones in neon colors.
  • If your trainer cannot get you to lose weight — and you’re not eating crazy! — fire him/her. You are not paying for excuses.
  • The best thing anyone can do for their health is to just try new things. See how your body adapts and then decide.
  • Blogging is more effort than I would ever imagine.
  • Regarding the picture below, switch it up and have fun.
Snorkeling in Diamond Cay, St. Thomas July 2011
  • reply
    Keith Smith (@matthew5and9)
    August 16, 2011

    I looked at myself in the mirror during workout and laughed, “you’re actually working out”. Amazing how just showing up will start to show results.

    Trainer started me on oatmeal and hard boiled egg without yellow, (hate eggs period). But I will do anything to look better than now. Including learning how to ride a bike. My family would love to see that.

    Thanks for encouragement ByronNichols.