Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Personal Trainers will ROCK YOUR WORLD!

I might be a little biased, but I think that hiring a personal trainer is something everyone should do at least (at the very least) one time in their lives. I'm speaking from experience because before I became a personal trainer, I hired one myself and it was eye-opening. Here are my top 5 signs that you could benefit from a personal trainer.

1) You have no idea what to do with that big rubber ball at the gym.

This also means that you could probably use advice on other equipment, too. A personal trainer can help by showing you the gym's equipment and by demonstrating how to properly use it. What's the point of having a gym membership if you don't know how to use all the cool stuff that's available, like a foam roll, cable machine, stability ball, etc.?

2) You want to lose or gain weight.

A trainer can personalize a program to help you lose fat and build muscle mass. This takes away any guesswork by you and gets you using your time at the gym effectively. They will also give you advice on what to do outside of the gym. Results will soon follow. Bonus: You also don't have to think about what you need to do for exercise, because your trainer will do all the thinking for you. Your workout will be planned, efficient, and you will be in and out of the gym before you know it.

3) Accountability is a motivator.

If you have someone waiting at the gym for you and you're paying for their time, you're more likely to go. If you skip the gym, not only are you letting yourself down, but you wasted your trainer’s time and threw money away, too.

4) You're training for a race.

Whether you're running a 5k or a marathon, racing for a cure or racing for yourself, you could be pushing your body in ways it's not accustomed to. Unfortunately, if you don't train for something properly, injuries (like iliotibial band syndrome, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, etc.) are sure to occur and that can cause distress for you down the road. By having someone in your corner to help to you train properly, injury prevention is possible. Your trainer will make sure to work on the proper muscle balances to keep you injury free and feeling great on race day. You will ensure that your racing experience is a positive one and that will inspire bigger/better/stronger races in the future!

5) Simply being able to function better day to day.

Having a sore back, knee, hip or wrist is not fun and it hinders your daily activities. Maybe you’ve realized that hoisting your 2 year-old to your hip bothers your shoulder. Or that you’re walking around the neighborhood slower than you used to. A trainer should be able to assess why this might be happening and can work on correcting muscle imbalances that are causing you problems. This should help make day-to-day activities easier to perform, making life easier to navigate. Not so bad!

Usually when you join a gym, a free session with a trainer is included in your new membership.
Use it! You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it and how much you learn. Just make sure that your trainer has the proper certification before you start. Ask him or her what certification they hold and if it's NASM (that's my certification), ACE, or even AFAA, you're in the clear as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise, you might want to check more into their background to make sure they are qualified to properly instruct you.

Stay tuned for my next posting about in-home training and Be Well!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kicking and Boxing...Kickboxing

My first college roommate, Angela, introduced me to Billy Blanks. I'm not sure if you and Billy have been acquainted. He's the creator of Tae Bo. This is Billy here to the right. If you haven't heard of Tae Bo, you just might be living in a cave, because it was one of the biggest mass-marketed exercise phenomenons in the 1990's. In fact, an estimated 1.5 million sets of Tae Bo videos were sold by 1999. Tae Bo helped to start a fitness craze of cardio kickboxing--a combination of martial arts, boxing, and aerobics--that has become popular in most gyms today. I have to say, I love kickboxing. And I love that Billy Blanks introduced me to it. Er, well I guess it was Billy Blanks via Angela, but Billy stayed in my life a lot longer than Angela did, so we'll say it was pretty much Billy.
So, the other day, when my good friend and fellow personal trainer, Josh Campbell, asked me if I wanted to complete a kickboxing certification with him, I realized that Billy and I haven't spent time together in a long while. I've been neglecting the cardio kickboxer inside me, and I have been needing to bring that kickboxer back out. Josh's inquiry flooded me with memories of days spent in my dorm's lounge area where girls from my floor and I would throw Billy into the VHS player and spend an hour kicking and punching our Freshmen aggression out. Those memories then took me to when I transferred schools and I explored live kickboxing classes in my new University's Rec Center. I started to use boxing gloves and I was hitting bags then. Kickboxing became a bit more intense.

After I graduated college, I moved to Las Vegas for a while. I had been running outside a lot, but my fitness routine seemed stale. My VHS Tae Bo tape had died from overuse and also, I didn't even own a VHS player anymore. Then one evening, while couch surfing and flipping through TV channels, I came across an infomercial. The star was my good friend Billy Blanks, and he was hocking his new Tae Bo "Boot Camp" routine. Minutes later, I was on the phone ordering the set for $19.99. A steal in my opinion. Billy and I had reunited. And it was good.

I've taken some kickboxing classes here in NYC at my gym, New York Sports Club throughout my four year residence. They aren't really cardio kickboxing classes, though.The teachers that I've had are usually former kickboxers themselves, so the classes are pretty fierce. Gloves are needed for punching bags and plyometrics always make an appearance. They're great classes, but not the same kind of deal as my beloved Tae Bo. For some reason or another, I can never make it to the plain ol' cardio kickboxing class times offered at my gym, but after Josh mentioned getting certified, I knew I had to make it a priority to see if it was something I still wanted to do.

I have yet to dust off my Tae Bo DVDs from days of yore, but I found a class time at NYSC that I could make, so I went. I was definitely a little rusty but it was fantastic. The teacher was spunky but chill at the same time. She kept the movements basic but hard hitting nevertheless. The great thing about kickboxing is that you need to use every muscle in your body to kick and punch your heart rate up. You're also moving through all 3 planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse), so you're working your body more diversely than you would if you were to just plop yourself on the elliptical for an hour. Let me tell you, I'm feeling this today. My body is sore in places that I forgot could be sore! My abs, legs, arms, shoulders, back...Most of my muscles are feeling that I worked hard and it feels great.

The moral of this blog post is to try out some kickboxing if you haven't already. And if you have tried it but it's been a while, it's time to revisit. You can even spend some time with Billy if you want. I won't get jealous, I promise. Oh, and if you're interested in a full private kickboxing session, you can give me a call soon because I'm pretty sure it's time for me to get certified.

Be Well!