We Are Going To Be Friends

I’m a nosy bitch. I need to get to know you. We’re going to be spending a lot of time together, and you are paying me to boss you around in a way that will be LIFE TRANSFORMING. I’m going to ask you a lot of questions when we first meet that might have you feeling a little guarded – Medications? Injuries? Does your job have you sitting for long periods? What do you eat for breakfast? Are you afraid of heights? Is your husband/wife a jerk?

Okay, that last one maybe not in the consultation, but you know what? If we’re five sessions into it and your emotional state is interfering with your self care, there’s a good chance I will ask you that question, albeit with a little more tact. By then, though, I will already know enough about you to have both of us feeling comfortable enough for me to ask that question. If not that one, it might be an inquiry into how your mother is doing after her surgery, or if your boss is still pressuring you about that project that you don’t have enough funding for, or if your dog needed to be put down. I will ask you these questions and encourage you to talk about them because a) I am genuinely interested and b) that exchange will help me help you take care of yourself and get to your goals.

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Yours truly and friend/client (frient?) Veronica Triplett, aka Barking Bunny, at The Space Ball.

Conversely, if you are smiling more than usual and have more energy, I’m going to say something along the lines of, “Your partner must have really come through for your birthday!” or “OMG, did you get that raise?!” or simply “Okay, what gives? You are on fire today!” I will tap into that energy and push you a little harder, because when you are happy, you will do more.

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Good friend BBC, me, and long time frient Andre Sam-Sin, aka DJ Sun, celebrating his 50th birthday at The Flat.

I will ask you questions about where you live (is it jogging/biking distance from the gym?), whether or not there are stairs in your house (can you go up and down them more often than you already do?), how you carry your baby (you know that strain you feel in your left hip? Mhmm.), what restaurants you like to eat at (I like to eat out and want recommendations… oh, also, how are you eating when you’re not doing the cooking), what kind of music you listen to (I like music and want recommendations… oh, also, here are five songs similar to what you like that are great for running to), if you stayed up late the night before (sleep is Very Important to fitness goals), how your trip home for Xmas was (code for – how much of Mom’s peach cobbler did you consume?).

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Me (and my beau) with frient Carrie Ann Sanders at the anniversary party of her boutique in Uptown Park, Carrie Ann’s

I am both an empath (we make great personal trainers because we often know what your problem is before you even know have a problem) and a people person. I am going to be your coach, your ally, and your biggest cheerleader. Bonus: I will support you in your goals throughout your life, not just in fitness. I’ll be at the grand opening of your business. I’ll bring you soup if you’re sick. I will text you a novel’s worth of encouragement and pep talk when you text me and tell me you are feeling out of shape and terrible about yourself. How comfortable you are in our relationship, how vulnerable you are willing to be with me, will have an enormous impact on your success with your goals. We, dear client, are going to be friends.

The Most Effective Workout Ever

I am frequently asked by my clients, “What kind of workout should I be doing when I’m not in session with you?” I give each one of them the exact same answer – do something you like. No workout will be more effective for you than one you actually enjoy. If going to the gym is an absolute chore for you, if you dread it with all of your being, you will not reach whatever fitness related goals you have. You will give up, and you will feel justified in giving up. You’ll say it’s because of money or time or something the gym was lacking. Here is something I know about people – we have money and time for what’s important to us. Period. If  you give up on your workouts, it’s because they became less of a priority than other things in your life (notwithstanding injury, illness, or tragedy), and that can be diluted down to one issue – boredom.

Think of the people in your life who are very fit. Now go talk to one of them and ask her what she does to maintain that fitness. She will not tell you that she has a gym routine that she hates, that she suffers through. She might say it was tough in the beginning, but then she will tell you that she does ____________ and she LOVES it so much! She’ll list reasons why. She’ll try to convince you to come along. It could be anything from yoga to kickboxing to Crossfit to Zumba to power lifting to cycling to parkour… the possibilities are endless. You do not have to go to the gym and grunt your way through a machine circuit if you don’t like that (but it’s okay if you DO… it’s just one of many options!).

It’s the beginning of a new year. Rather than trying to teach yourself some hard won lesson about sticking with a plan and being disciplined, be kind to yourself. It really, truly doesn’t have to suck to be effective. Be introspective. Ask your body what it needs and what it LIKES. Does it want to stretch and become more limber? Do you want to punch and kick the crap out of someone holding Thai pads? Do you want to become strong enough to lift your own body weight? Are you interested in being able to traverse anything in your path? Do you want to dance? Do you want to play outside, like when you were a kid? Do you actually like to be in the gym, but need a trainer? Maybe the method isn’t as important to you as being in a group that supports each other, so you need a class that’s a genuine community, regardless of whatever crazy thing they’re doing. All of this is available.

If you’re not sure what you’d like to do, try ALL THE THINGS! It’s fun! Most gyms, dojos, and studios offer a free one week pass to new comers, so you can try out different classes, see what works for you. Personally, I like ALL THE THINGS! Okay, not all of them, but a whole lot of them, and when I am at my fittest, it’s because I’m immersed in a physical discipline (or two) that’s fun and that teaches me new skills.

So tell me, what do YOU want to learn to do with your body this year?

An Indoor Day

Even though I train most of my clients in the studio, I almost always exercise outdoors, use my own body weight to challenge myself, lots of cardio, etc. I also almost always work out with a friend or two or ten. I wouldn’t say that I actually dislike working out alone, but I definitely prefer to have company. Today my workout partner had family obligations (Kills’ sister just had a baby! Congrats, yo!), so I stuck around the studio for a change and did a gym (gasp!) workout… all. by. my. self (double gasp!).

So. This is how it went down…

warm up – 6pmh on the treadmill for 10 min, no incline

10 pullups with 40 lbs. assistance

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12 butterflies – pec flies w/ 12 lbs each hand while simultaneously doing straight-leg reverse crunch w/ ballast ball between ankles

alternating w/

Squat side kicks – 12 each side

3 sets of each

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Hanging knee tucks – 10 each side

alternating w/

10 broad jump burpees

3 sets of each

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15 hip thrusts with leg raises

alternating w/

30 walking lunges while w/ 10 lbs each hand doing hammer curl to overhead press

3 sets of each

It was a perfect, not-too-intense morning routine to start the day, but not annihilate me so that I’ll have reserves for parkour training tonight at Rice.