by Heidi Shalek
Let me preface this post by saying that you do NOT necessarily need one-on-one coaching to be successful in the gym. What you DO need is good training technique a program you will actually follow.
A few weeks ago I received an email inquiry from a potential client asking about one-on-one training. This led to the very long-winded (non-edited) answer I am sharing with you now- straight from my Sent folder. If you’ve ever been curious about personal training or wondered if it is right for you, I hope this helps!
Q. “I could really use some one-on-one help and motivation getting back on track. Can you talk to me a little bit about what personal training sessions look like? Is it primarily guidance? Do we try new things each session?”
A. The best way to explain it is a balance between what your body needs and what you want/expect from training. For some people, the needs and wants are completely in line with each other. For others, they can be vastly different. For example, someone could come in wanting or expecting a total body beat down that leaves them in a puddle on the floor, when what they really need is mobility and recovery work. We are always working to achieve this balance so that expectations are met while progress is being made. I hope that makes sense? That’s why we do a movement screen and physical assessment combined with a goal discussion when you start- to determine the best plan forward. At the foundation of all training progress is good movement, so you will be coached to master the fundamental concepts of breathing, core bracing, neutral spine position, squatting and hinging for sure.
by Heidi Shalek
A resolution, by definition, is a firm decision to do or not do something. Sounds simple enough, right? So why is it that so many new year’s “resolutions” don’t stand the test of time? A resolution without planning and accountability is really just a good intention, at best. A want or desire to do something will never come to pass without action. So how do you set yourself up to be successful and take control of all the things you wish you would do? Start by saying goodbye to resolutions and hello to habits.
#1 CHANGE YOUR MINDSET. Be present, make progress. You can’t go back in time and change the fact that you took two weeks off from training or grabbed take out five out of five nights last week. What can you do? MOVE ON. Tomorrow is always a new day, another opportunity to make the best choice available. Practice letting go of what you did or didn’t do, and do something now to make yourself feel better. Missed both of your workouts this week because you were living your life? No problem. Hit some lunges and push ups in your basement and call it a day. Ate three cookies for lunch? No problem. Wash it down with some kale juice. You get the idea…
#2 GET A COACH. Behavior change thrives on accountability. Can’t afford one-on-one training every week? No problem. Identify a coach or instructor who inspires and motivates you. Spend the money on ONE single strategy session. Ask questions about EVERYTHING. Set goals, exchange emails. Now you have someone in your corner who you can reach out to if you find yourself off track. You’ll see your coach in class every week, and you can bet that they will check in with you every time.
by Maren Kravitz
Marci Karplus began personal training at The Training Room in March 2011. Since then, Marci has completed 337 personal training sessions. With the exception of summer travel, a few injuries and life’s minor twists and turns, Marci has remained committed to training twice a week for the past five years.
Beyond her commitment, what makes Marci’s story unique is her late arrival into the world of fitness. Marci picked up running at the age of 58, after a news program mentioned that Jill Biden was running five miles a day. “I thought well heck, maybe I can do that,” Marci said. “Nothing like having a role model.”
Marci got hooked on the exhilarating feeling she got from running. Cautiously increasing her mileage, Marci worked up to four weekly runs – ranging from three to ten miles at a time. Marci loved it. “Running at a slow pace allowed me time to get lost in my thoughts, while enjoying the scenery around me,” said Marci.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
Within the first year of taking up running, Marci began to get sidelined by aches and pains in her knees. Determined to get stronger and continue her running, Marci began training at the TR and enlisted the help of physical therapists.
Marci was diligent, completing her physical therapy exercises and making sure she took an appropriate amount of time off running to rest her knees. Unfortunately, Marci continued to feel the same knee pain each time she returned to running after a break. Unbeknownst to Marci, a foot surgery dating back 25 years was the cause of her knee pain and eventual end to her running career.
Ray Weaver came to The Training Room in March of 2015 with two specific goals – to lose weight and manage his back pain. At the start of his training with me, Ray weighed 245 lbs. With a true belief that a healthy lifestyle will lead to success, Ray stayed the course, and is now 195 lbs while living pain free. Not only is Ray’s story inspiring, but it can remind us all that real change is possible through hard work, dedication and positivity.
Finding your course correction
The first step toward success in the gym is your personal mindset. Ray understood that a healthy lifestyle did not have to be all sacrifice and no fun. Wishing for a quick fix or directing too much attention to the past could have easily sidelined Ray’s future goals. As a team we remained focused on the positive while embracing the challenges that lie ahead. Results are not a given, they are earned.
Focus on progress not perfection
If you’re dreading your gym time because it’s challenging, uncomfortable or boring, you may find it hard to stay committed to your goals. With a positive mindset, Ray committed to a training program two times a week at the TR in addition to improving his eating habits. In the gym, Ray followed a simple, straightforward weight loss program including total body strength work, core work, and metabolic circuits.
Moving more often and becoming stronger not only helped Ray meet his weight loss goals, but also helped eliminate his back pain. Like most new clients at the TR, Ray had a specific goal when he walked in, and it is my job as his coach to keep these goals at the forefront of his training program while creating a safe, fun and effective workout. Keeping the sessions focused on what he could do, rather than what he could not do, helped Ray maintain a positive mindset and dedication to his training plan.
When we receive a letter like this from one of our clients, it reminds us what a great job we have as coaches, and how fortunate we are to work in the fitness and wellness industry. Helping people learn how to move well and get stronger so they can enjoy life is quite simply, the best thing ever.
July 26, 2016
To: Training Room
I found out about the TR through a friend. One day I ran into him at work and complimented on how great he looked. He then started to tell me about TR and kettlebell training. He had hurt his back as well and we pretty much experienced the same pain. We both were on the same page how Meds, PT or even a chiropractor wasn’t helping. Seeing how he looked and felt I decided to look into the TR. I asked who he recommended and he told me about a kid, Kyle. November of 2016 I called and made an appointment with Kyle. I had no idea what to expect which I am sure Kyle knew since I showed up in jeans and a sweatshirt for the assessment. Before I started I could hardly walk or stand without having pain. I was miserable every day. I am a very active person and just turned 50 and this injury had stopped me from most activities I enjoyed. At first when I started I thought, “Is this going to help at all?”. The exercises were something I never did and seemed very weird to me. But within the first month I started to feel better and was able to do things I couldn’t do before.
By Chris Mullins
Leiter began training with me back in January 2015 to incorporate strength training into his running routine. He had gone through physical therapy to rehab a calf injury sustained while running back in August of 2014, but was still experiencing some lingering effects. His initial assessment revealed some common imbalances, as well as high training volume. Put these two elements together–repeated overload on a compromised foundation–and it’s not surprising that Leiter’s body started to break down. So the approach was simple:
- Address imbalances
- Reduce training volume (# of days and total weekly running mileage)
However, as always the approach may be simple but the implementation is rarely easy. Fortunately, Leiter is a fantastic client with an aptitude toward structure and routine. Without further ado, here is Leiter’s story.
Whitney’s struggle with anxiety and depression let her to pursue exercise as a way to improve her mental health. We’re so grateful that she took the time to answer a few questions and share her story…
What initially brought you into the The Training Room?
Mental health. Like many people, I have anxiety and depression and last June, I decided to try exercising as a way of managing. I felt anxious about joining a large gym and knew I needed one-on-one attention. I sent an email to the TR explaining my situation and saying that I desperately needed help. I put myself out there and within hours received a response from Heidi who scheduled me for a fitness assessment and set me up with personal training. She suggested I start with Kyle, and almost a year later, I feel better than ever! Now, exercise is a way of life – my friends even jokingly call me Ms. Fitness, which is a far cry from the person who ran off a treadmill a few years ago shouting “I will never set foot in a gym again!”
What has been your favorite part about your training?
I love the education I’ve received since joining the TR. Each trainer spends time explaining what we are doing and why, taking the time to increase my knowledge about fitness, exercise, and movements. I bring out of town friends to the TR at times and I love that the trainers are consistent with teaching proper form and educating guests. They show their passion and knowledge and in turn, it is passed down to their clients. That, my friends, is my favorite part!
Since my injury, I had countless doctor appointments, saw 2 back specialists, 3 sessions of acupuncture, massage therapy, 20 sessions of physical therapy and 1 epidural injection…all of which did NOTHING for me. In fact, one back specialist told me I had three choices: learn to live with the pain, live on pain killers, or surgery because there is no “magic pill.” I refused to accept any of these options.
Meet Sallie, a student at Wheelock College who is wrapping up her studies this spring. Sallie ran on the Wheelock cross-country team for a few seasons and had begun to experience some discomfort that is all too common with high-volume running. She came to The TR looking to incorporate strength training into her routine to get stronger, improve her running mechanics and, in her own words, “make the most of my body.”
One of the best things about training Sallie is that she always shows up to her sessions with a big smile and a fantastic attitude. (In fact, she has been known to smile in the middle of a Turkish Get-up.) We put together a training program that would fit into her busy schedule and address areas that have caused her problems in the past. Last fall, a stronger, leaner, and more badass Sallie completed her first two half-marathons six weeks apart, injury-free.
Here is Sallie’s story, in her own words:
Say hello to 5:30PM Wednesday Night– one of our longest running small group training sessions at The Training Room. Although these six ladies did not know each other before starting SGT, they have since formed friendships that extend far beyond the TR walls. (above: Carlee, Amy, and Kelly at the Jingle Bell Run last month)
Here’s what they have to say about Small Group Training:
“Small group training is really the anchor of my weekly routine. It seems that all my other workouts I try to “fit in” to my schedule (which sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t- need to work on this!), but SGT is just part of my schedule. What amazes me is not only that I go to SGT consistently, but that I also consistently look forward to going!
Our latest client spotlight focuses on Stefanie G., who is one of our favorite, and most entertaining, clients. When Stefanie walked into our Somerville Ave location this past January, she had hip pain, back pain, as well a history of problems in both shoulders.
Fast forward eleven months, and Stefanie’s hard work has paid huge dividends.
When did you begin working out at the TR and what prompted you to start personal training?
Honestly, Tyler could have picked a far more successful “success story.” I am chubby and klutzy and I routinely whack myself in the head doing halos. Oh, and I’m 20+ years older than most everyone else there.
I asked one of my fave clients, Stephanie, to answer a few questions about her experience with weight loss, fitness, The TR, and most importantly, getting strong! Before you dive into her funny, thoughtful, and inspiring answers, take a look at Steph- BEFORE I even knew her, then when she started training
Danielle began training at the TR in July of 2011. She was determined to loose weight, but one of the biggest challenges she faced was her crazy schedule. Danielle works at MGH, and her schedule is insane. She often works for long stretches with no days off, or she works nights one week and then days the next.
Allison came to the Training Room in July of 2011. Her goals were to get back into healthy shape, lose fat and gain muscle. At the time she weighed in at 170lb and 30% body fat.
Allison had a couple obstacles that were preventing her from being in the kind of shape she wanted to be in – her knees.
It’s been a LONG time coming, but this blog entry is finally going out. I asked my client Sarah Shugars to answer the questions that follow back in May. And yes, she sent them to me back in May. Needless to say, it is not Sarah who lacks any punctuality, drive, determination, or follow-through. As much as she credits me and The Training Room for helping her achieve her goals, I am truly inspired by her dedication, organization, and discipline. Sarah’s positive attitude and strict adherence to her training program has led to 68.5lbs of weight loss… and counting!
Amy W’s transformation at the Training Room has gone beyond the physical. Amy has not only changed her body, she has also completely shifted her mentality about food and her attitude toward working out. She has learned the ins and outs of fitness and nutrition and has really taken the time to understand the changes she was making, rather than just going through the motions. Oh, and along the way she also managed to lose 35lb and 10% body fat through a LOT of hard work and determination- not too shabby huh? Here’s her story:
Taking a look back at 2010 as a whole, we have seen some amazing things from our clients at the Training Room. Our whiteboard has been filled with goals set and goals met. These included losing body fat, competing in athletic events, achieving new personal records for lifting weights and more. Everyone who has stepped into the TR has made an impact on themselves and those around them by improving their health and for that they should be extremely proud.