If you’ve been reading Angry Trainer Fitness for a while now you’re probably pretty familiar with my story – and everything I stand for!
But recently I’ve joined forces with fitness entrepreneur Kelly Olexa who’s invited me to join the amazing team of fitness and health ambassadors at her new FitFluential venture. I’ll be talking a lot more about the FitFluential site in the weeks and months to come as we have LOTS of exciting plans in the works!
In the meantime Kelly asked me to write a few lines to introduce myself to her audience and to jump start all the new trainees out there with a few key tips for their fitness journey ahead. Well you know me – I can never settle for just a few lines! Turns out I enjoyed writing the piece so much that with Kelly’s blessing I decided to also share it with all of you here – so here we go…
First the basics. If you don’t know I’m 37 years old, and a 20-year career personal trainer. My story is similar to many other fitness professionals. I grew up in a house watching my dad work out with weights and with coffee tables littered with muscle magazines of the day. And I used to hang off my dad’s biceps! I idolized Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone – I mean what boy didn’t! I wasn’t a particularly athletic kid so I turned to weights because I wanted to be bigger and stronger– you know, look like the guys on the cover of the magazines. I picked up my first dumbbell at 13 and 24 years later, I can honestly say that single moment changed my life – and led to the building of Angry Trainer Fitness.
We all know things are never as simple as they seem – there’s always more to everyone’s story. Simply saying, “eat less and exercise more” doesn’t cut it. People trust me to help them with their health and fitness, because they respect my ability to say I was wrong and recognize that my passion for fitness has led me down a path that’s given me a great perspective. As I tell everyone that follows my website and journey, I’m open-minded and I definitely don’t know everything. I can adjust and reevaluate my thoughts as new information becomes available. I call the shots as I see it. But what I think makes me truly unique, is my ability to interpret and decipher information and share it in an easily understandable way with others.
I have my ups and downs in this industry and I’ve learned a heck of a lot through all my trials and tribulations. But I can sum up my feelings best with this: At the end of the day I care about our nation’s future, our children and their terrible eating and lack of exercise habits. I care that most of us have been lied to by industry pros trying to make a buck. I care that the world has no idea who to believe or trust with regards to their health and fitness. And I care and have passion for my profession – personal training, as I know it gets nowhere the respect it deserves. And that anger is why I’m called The Angry Trainer!
People seek out fitness professionals for direction and help, and I can’t express how much satisfaction I get out of seeing people accomplishing goals they’ve previously failed at. It’s truly fulfilling to me knowing that all of my mistakes and experiences, good and bad, weren’t in vain. And I now have a forum to help others live a better life. I can honestly say I’m doing exactly what I was put on the earth to, and in the process, have found it to be as much a spiritual journey as a physical one. I’ve learned to preach being fit, not just looking it, and emphasize variety in training programs. Everything has a place.
So here are some tips to I’d like to share with any new trainees out there that may be feeling a bit lost. And for all of you that are seasoned fitness pro’s, this will serve as a great refresher!
1. Read! – For years I read every magazine, article, book, principle and philosophy on training, diet and exercise that I could get my hands on. As a new trainee, you should be making informed decisions, not just believing something because you read it or because a trainer said so. Take nothing at face value.
2. Ask –Find someone in your local gym, workplace, or even an old acquaintance that’s fit and healthy, or has a look you’d like to achieve. Perhaps they lost weight, or reshaped their entire body. ASK them how they did it, what plans they follow, and pick their brain for ideas that may work for you. There’s nothing better than first hand, real world experience.
3. Train for Health – Too often people start an exercise program because they want to LOOK better, but truthfully exercise is about health, vitality and longevity. Your primary focus should be on improving your overall fitness, not just slimming your legs or building bigger pecs. When you train for health, you WILL look better – it’s inevitable.
4. Focus On Your Strengths – It’s human nature to dwell on what we feel is a shortcoming or trouble spot. And many times, there just isn’t much we can do about our genetics, but we can ALWAYS improve. Focus on what makes you feel strong and able, rather than knocking yourself down because your arms don’t look like you wish, or because you may have loose skin somewhere. Harness positive energy for what you can do, don’t waste it on what you can’t. Perfection does not exist.
5. Have A Goal – Without setting a goal, you’ll just be wandering in your exercise endeavors. Achieving a goal requires a plan, and plans require structure. Structure requires consistency and dedication, which will keep you focused in your program and during your workouts. And the beauty is a goal can be anything – to jump rope for 1 minute, a weight loss target, a strength gain, making it through a Spinning class, or simply to be able to touch your toes. Set a goal, form a plan, adhere, and achieve!
6. Don’t Do A 180! – Often times new trainees go from one extreme to the next, meaning they go from a fairly sedentary lifestyle, to being gung – ho! They hit the gym 5 or more days per week and completely overhaul their diet. This is a recipe for disaster! Your best chance of success in leading a fitness driven lifestyle is to gradually acclimate yourself to a new way of life. For those new to the lifestyle, I suggest no more than 3 days of 30 minutes of exercise for the first few weeks. If you don’t miss ONE workout, then increase the time to 45 minutes and add a fourth day, Continue on that path until you reach 5 days per week for an hour workout. And with diet this is even more important. I suggest small incremental changes in your diet plan so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and have the best chance at success.
7. Don’t Rush – Yes we’re a nation obsessed with a want it now mentality. But you need to realize that you didn’t fall out of good health or get out of shape overnight, nor will you become your former self or see huge improvements that fast either. Look at fitness like a bank account, with you adding pennies per day. At first it won’t seem like much, but over time, it adds up, compounds, and continually builds on itself day after day. Achieving health and fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.
So if you’re new to Angry Trainer Fitness – welcome aboard! And if you’ve been with me for a while – thank you for your support. We’re just getting started here at ATF and I can’t wait for what the future will bring!