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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Cheating weekend

Our clients believe that us, Personal Trainers, are perfect; we exercise like crazy and eat right all the time. Just remember that we are human as well. It's true that we may exercise more than others. It's also right that we watch what we eat. At the end of the day, there are so many classes some of us teach and we have to be in shape to make them happen for you, our clients. 

I was an athlete. I used to train for fun...and for living as well, but that was such a while back. I had to be in shape then for the sake of the game and I have to be in shape now because I want it. There is no such a thing as perfection and who aims to be perfect would get badly disappointed. I never ask my clients to reach perfection, because this means living in an imaginary world. One can live in a virtual world for a while, but the fall is huge when reality kicks back. I ask my client for excellence; I truly want them to be as excellent as Apple or Adidas or Roger Federer are. I push them to live the socratic advise, to know themselves! 

As a trainer, I want excellence. As a former athlete and as an average human I want normality. Many of my clients constantly ask me where are the boundaries in fitness and how can they reach goals in a normal, 21st Century life. The truth is that cheating is part of normality and I don't mean cheating in a relationship. I believe that honesty, integrity an morality  in human rapports is sacred. Therefore, where are the boundaries? It is even simpler than you believe. Be 100% during the week, workout hard and eat right and allow yourself a cheat day in the weekend. Don't go crazy; give the body a rest time and indulge in something you craved during the week. Our bodies function as a perfect mechanism. They know when we starve them, so giving the body a little bit of junk would make it think "well, all good, he/she doesn't starve me anymore, so, yep, I am feeling just fine". Always remember that even Zeiss clocks need some grease from time to time. Not laird, just a little bit of fatty stuff. 

It's long weekend here in New Zealand. Have a little bit of fun, indulge a little bit of crazy craved food and back to the real life on Monday. See you all in the gym. Remember that you are doing it for yourself only!

Friday, 31 May 2013

Go hard or go home!

I never liked players. They lie, they cheat, they make things look worse than they really are. Even when they exercise. I may be a softy, but not when it's about my work! I wake up before 5am and keep going to late in the night . I love my job, but my house, my rules; nobody cheats on me in my studio! All my clients know how hard they had to work out with me. I may make it fun, I may laugh and joke a lot to help my clients forget for a second about the pressure of their workouts, but I ask for excellence. Because I give them excellence. 

I remember one of my dear friend who used to train with me a while back. Anytime I asked for a set of 12, he replied really serious "I am happy to do 5". Haha. Nobody decides what and how the workouts are because, behind the scene, I design every session according to the weak and strong points of my clients, based on their level of fitness, health and injury screening and focusing only on their goals. There is a science behind every workout; I don't just make it up on the spot. Same with my classes: I choreograph them and my clients know that every class is different, harder and harder in time. 

There is a written contract between me and my clients and an unwritten one as well. This one is based on the ethical code of my profession, but it also says that if you want to reach your goals you have to go hard or go home! There would never be half measures or cheating! During the years, I had clients who came to their sessions looking weird and, right after they entered the studio door, said that they "feel sluggish". So I sent them home because I knew that with that attitude there would be no achievement. I would never understand what sluggish means as well as "not to bad" is. Is it bad but not very bad or good but not so good? Anyway, this is just me. 

Thus, if you decide to change something in your life and you want to make it through fitness, go hard. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time. Put your heart where your mind is or vice versa and give it your best. Amaze yourself, make yourself proud of how committed you can be and just go for it! As said it so many times, but I will do it once again: my clients are my models, they inspire me, they are part of my life and they are really important. My clients are my champs! 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Fitness starts in your head

We were made to keep moving. The desire to be better, faster, leaner was implemented in our heads ever since humanity appeared on this planet. There is no human who can affirm that has invented fitness. Fitness was a reality centuries back when we were just hunters and gatherers.  Fitness is in our genes. 

At the beginning of life on Earth, humans exercised to survive. And what bodies they had! Just have a look at the Spartans and their exercise routines. Us, trainers, are still inspired by Spartans "bootcamps" and our desire is to help you, our clients, to look at least as an average Spartan. Once again what gorgeous bodies, what speed and what strength!

The medical/ chemical industry cheats us every year by throwing on the market a new magical pill; one that can make us be leaner, stronger, faster, better! The advertising industry stays behind every pill created; a supermodel or a famous socialite "borrows" her/ his look to prove that the new pill is something that has never been invented before. The bees knees! Once the illusion created, people buy more and more of the new pill and, before they realize that it doesn't work more than the one invented a year before, another miraculous pill is advertised by social media. If I would have only one penny for every slimming pill that I have seen during my years as a Personal Trainer, I would be a multi multi multi millionaire. But I am not!

Don't let yourself lied by overnight fitness. There is no pill and no three minutes a day workouts that can make you leaner or fitter. There is no machine that can give you a six pack in just few minutes a day. Abs are made in the kitchen! There is no cheating when it's about fitness. Fitness is no sophisticated thing. Remember that we are moving beings and at the end of the day fitness starts in our heads. If you want to make a change in your life, if you want to live better, move easier, look your best, then follow the Spartan's example. Exercise smart, don't under do it, don't overdo it. Just do it! Eat smart, dream to be fit and go for it.

 I truly believe that everybody can be as fit as it can be. There is no fitness standards. I also believe that fitness is a way of life. I wasn't be in this business if I would have a doubt. As a trainer, I look up to everybody who choses the  fitness path, especially these days when it is so convenient to live in mediocrity. These people are my inspiration in being a better trainer. 

What if there is no tomorrow? Chose to be fit today and have lots of fun.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Sweat is fat crying

There is no more sophisticated runaway than the gym. Yes, it is. The rule is simple: the shortest the better! If you want to see what's new on the market, what's the year's most wore color or what's the way of showing more than enough, then you definitely should go to the gym. All the brands are in your face there! 

I remember one of my training buddies years back who was barely able to return the ball on the tennis court, but the tops and shorts and dresses she used to wear, my oh my,  would made the world's tennis champ red of envy. Another one, a guy I met more recently, absolutely adored brands. Not made in China ones! For him a Nike T-Shirt for example had to have imprint the name of the brand as visible as possible. And in as many colors as the rainbow. Otherwise how would you know it is a Nike shirt? I always hated advertising  sports gear for free. I still do and I still believe that the gym is a place where people should exercise, not make others feel underdressed. The rule is not complicated at all. You go in, do your workout and go home! 

Tattoos are personal; why show everybody who you once loved and broke your heart or what part of Europe you have visited as part of your OE? It's fine if you decided to have a belly button ring; why should the whole gym know you have one that  sparklier than your workout buddy's one? At the end of the day, you are there to burn fat and get fitter. 

Grand mania is so visible in the gyms today. These days people prefer posh gyms and posh workout clothes. Remember that big champions trained in garages with no air cond and no flash machines and they still made it to the top! And if I mentioned posh, another buddy thought that his sports knowledge would increase and his dignity and honesty restored if he builds the most expensive training studio. Skills and knowledge comes with hard work and morals develop in a lifetime. Like your clients results actually! 

So, let's just cut it straight: you can wear the most expensive sports clothes when you workout, you can put your flashes lippy on if you don't workout hard and sweat. Because at the end of the day, sweat is fat crying! This is something my clients know very well! Once again, I salute you, my clients, for working out with me for the sake of the hard work, focusing only on being better! You are my champs! :)

You are limitless

No better time than Winter to start exercising. If you want that great beach body closer to the Summer holidays, then you have to start now! If you are like me, you would start analyzing how long it takes to achieve your goals, how hard it is and what you have to give up to have enough time to get where you want to. 

So, let's take it slowly. Firstly: your goal. You want to lose some weight. 5kg, 10kg, 40kg, it doesn't really matter how much as long as you realize that you have to do it. Secondly: the work you have to put in. I won't lie. It is hard work and you have to kick your arse even before you see any results. Visualize your dream body; wouldn't be nice to get it? My advise as a Personal Trainer is to remind yourself everytime you feel weak that you are doing it for you only. Nobody lives your life and nobody has the right to push you, not even your lover. Only you can to push yourself. The good news is that there are no limits when it's about you. You can do things you never thought you can! And let's be honest, it is fun to go beyond boundaries. Risky, adventurous and super fun! 

Thirdly, the time issue. We live in such a stressful and fast era. It's 21st century and an hour seems a second...when you don't prioritize. How many times have you skipped your gym sessions just because you were too busy doing something else?...Like a cuppa here, another one there, a few minutes listening to a goss, another few flicking through a useless girlie magazine....Add all these minutes together and here it is the hour you missed at the gym today...and maybe tomorrow. Pull yourself together. Everybody has an hour a day when it is about doing something for yourself. Let's be fully serious: your gym time is your time only. There are no children asking you to do something for them, no partner demanding attention, no work mates or bosses asking you to perform more professional. It s only you, your thoughts, your music, your goals. And I would remind you if you forgot already. You are limitless. You can achieve whatever you focus on! I would tell you what I always repeated to my children : dream big, start your journey and never stop. 

I'll be your best friend!

A beginning of a relationship is like a miracle. Nobody sees it coming and definitely nobody knows where it goes. A client/ Personal Trainer relationship is no different. It is an honest  agreement between two individuals: one has to achieve and the other has to design the way to success. 

As a Personal Trainer, during the years, I have worked with many people. Hundreds, thousands? Much more! But any time I met and assessed a new client, I had the same butterflies in my stomach because I knew I would be hired by a human, a person who may have insecurities about their look, a person who has to achieve a goal and who doesn't know how to get there. And I also knew that it was my head in the smasher if my client would not reach success. I knew that this was a beginning of a relationship that in time would become pure friendship. I also knew that my client is scared, threatened by the thought of hard work or just embarrassed. Therefore, because I've been there more times than any of my clients, I told them all "I may not make sense to you now, but you'll see that I will become your best friend". All of my clients have heard the same thing and you know what? I became their best friend right after they reached their goals. In the same time, they became my best friends as well because they listened to what I've said during the long training hours, worked their buts off, achieved their goals and I was there to see them sweating, struggling, tearing, crying or laughing. We've been on the same path together! 

No champion is born. A champion is made through hard work, perseverance, commitment and desire to be the best you can be. If you are just starting a fitness program, a weight loss one or a conditioning one, just visualize yourself at your absolute peak. How much can you achieve? The world is not enough for how far you can go. The sky is the limit! Everybody started one day. This may be your day!

My clients are all champions. Gold medal, first class ones! My clients knew that I sold them a dream and I was able to make it reality. My clients live their dreams every day! So, hat off, for you, my clients. I admire you, I salute your achievements and I celebrate your success every second! 

Fit is the new skinny

Every decade brings a new stereotype of the perfect body. In the '30s, boyish look was the ideal for every woman, the '50s brought the curves, the '60s the "free your mind body", in  the '80s and 90's the colors and complicated outfits covered the possible fatty parts of bodies. Some years back, anorexic skinny was the desire for every woman, who was decided to use not matter what to get there. Nothing was to much: slimming pills, hot patches, hours of sauna and aerobic classes. 

These days however people got smarter about their look. They realized that a great body without health worth nothing. This is how the idea of fitness for wellbeing grew more and more with every day. Now, let's get to the point. Would you like to be skinny and pale and unfit? Would you like the clothes you are wearing to look like hanging on a stick? I really don't think so. The 21st Century brought a phenomenal concept regarding our look: fit is the new skinny. Who doesn't want to look and feel fit? 

Being fit means being confident about yourself, but also means working on your body on a smart way. You don't have to spend 5 hours a day in the gym, nor to attend every possible fitness class in the world. Being fit means being active and it starts with small changes in your daily routine. Walk more instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator, wash windows instead of paying somebody to do that, do some gardening, play a sport for fun, move as much as you can instead of watching TV. I know it's not easy, but make a change every day. Fight stress and depression by being active. When all these are part of your daily life, go further. Set a goal, lose some weight, start a proper fitness program, do some weights, eat right, pick a trainer, ask for some help, be honest with what you want to achieve. Not long after, your body will start changing and your mentality as well. And after a while, I can assure you that you will become your dream. Fit is truly the new skinny. As a Personal Trainer,  I have seen so many fit body and believe me when I say that they looked skinny just because they were fit. Don't worry if you are overweight. The fittest people in the world were like you one day. It is just a matter of time and perseverance. If you really want to make a change in your body, you will get there. 

Start your changes today!