10 Things I’ve Learned as a Personal Trainer

Assistant Personal Training Director, Lauren Roy, shares some of her top tips that she has learned over the years as a personal trainer and after spending more than a decade in the fitness industry.

  1. Understand your goals. Everyone is going to have different fitness goals whether it be to train for a marathon, get stronger, or simply just move more. Know what your goals are and match your efforts to those goals. Find a plan that will serve your time wisely and make it worthwhile.
  2. You don’t have to kill yourself in every workout to see results. An indicator of a “good” workout is not how many calories you burn or how much you sweat, but rather how you progress. Progressive overload, executing form correctly, time under tension, and tempo are all ways to increase the intensity of your workout without simply adding more time. There is no rule that working out for an hour or more is needed to see results. Some of my best workouts can be done in 20 minutes or less if I am intentional about my plan.
  3. Find what YOU love. I used to think that I had to be a runner in order to be in good shape. I realized that I actually hated running, but what I did love was strength training, HIIT, and cycling. Find whatever it is that YOU enjoy doing and do it well! You will be so much more likely to stick with it.
  4. If weighing yourself is going to set you back, find other ways to measure your progress. The number on the scale is such a small factor in terms of our overall progress and can be very inconsistent. Try to increase your weights or sets, go for a faster PR in a race, take pictures, or track your body fat and lean muscles mass rather than just the number on the scale.
  5. Cardio might burn calories but weights will change your shape. Variety is key.
  6. Choose your habits wisely. Good or bad, you choose your own habits. You decide what you do everyday. You may not have chosen the body you were given but it is your responsibility to take care of it.
  7. Food is fuel! Dropping calories too low will have a significant impact not only on your workouts, but also on so many other factors in your life. Your sleep, your weight loss, your recovery, your overall health…. eating too little will have a negative impact on more than just feeling hungry.
  8. You can’t turn existing fat into muscle. Muscle and fat are two completely different tissues and we can’t take our fat and magically turn it into muscle. But we can BURN fat and BUILD muscle.
  9. Lifting heavy weights will not make you bulky. A lot of women think toning and lifting are two different things. Muscle is muscle. The idea of lean muscle vs bulky muscle is often misconstrued to imply these are two different types when that’s not the case at all. To build muscle, you need to be incorporating consistent weight training with enough protein in your diet. To burn fat, you need to create an energy deficit – mostly through manipulating your nutrition. Your weight training can include a blend of both heavy and light weights, and if progressive overload is achieved over time, muscle will gradually build out.
  10. There is no magic diet or way of eating that is going to guarantee success. What will yield results is consistency and adherence. BE PATIENT. More than anything be patient. Change takes time. It is so important to realize and accept this as you are trying to reach your goals.