I Will Be Like Dr. Phil, But With More Hair and People Will Like Me

31 03 2008

So I have been poking around the internet in search of fitness blogs that I would enjoy reading. Mizfit is great, (hello!) but she is the only one I can find that I myself would (and do) read, and if I, a personal trainer, find other fitness blogs a self-righteous snoozefest, Im sure you all do, too.
 
I think my main qualm is that everything is too calculated. Its anything you can pick up in a magazine and read, and everything is broken down into minutes, heart rates, incline, reps, sets, calories, ad naseum. I think the fitness community is too elitist. Those that are knowledgable and have that information to offer seem to be more interested in showing the reader that working out is hard, and since they are so buff, they work out harder than you. If you are not working out as hard as them, you are weak, get out of here. Be intimidated by me because all of this information is confusing to you, but I am writing about it like its nothing because I am smarter than you, there for you do not deserve to be fit. Run away, puny weakling.
 
Or they just know how to cut and paste.
 
Our job is to take this information that admittedly is a bit confusing and involves a lot of variables, and break it down into just what you guys need to know. In order to lose weight or gain the health benefits of exercise, you dont need to know your maximum training heart rate, your VO2max, or your “fat burning zone.”
 
I feel this is why people dont work out. They hear all of this information floating around, get confused and intimidated, and think they cant ever do it.  This is what leads them to quick fixes and easy tricks. The terms quick and easy insinuates that weightloss and fitness without gimmicks is hard, if not impossible, without them.  I dont think we in the fitness industry are making an effort to bridge this gap. 
 
Which leads me to my million dollar idea, because everything I do is in hopes of getting a million dollars. This is completely irresponsible journalism here, which is perfect because I am not a journalist, because I havent technically read the book, but I will write the fitness sister to Skinny Bitch. It will be called Shut Up and Move. Or just Shut Up.
 
I have some insider info: for all of you that are not athletes, and I mean college or pro, or for the younger readers, highschool athletes, you dont need to know your heart rate. You dont need to know what moves are going to bulk you up and how to avoid it. If you aren’t training to be a figure model or a weightlifter, women, you will not bulk. There’s just not enough testoterone in your lady body. You don’t need to know your fat burning heart rate zone. Stop making it harder than it needs to be: just move.
 
Move all day long. I do not pay any attention to my heart rate or my mileage for running, or any of that, and i consider myself a non-competitive athlete. I wear a pedometer everyday because I am a busy gal. If I can sneak in some movement a little throughout the day, it just adds a little boost to my workout at the end of the day.  I do not substract how many calories I burned from every day activity from my workout at the end of the day. This would instill doing the bare minimum all of the time. I keep track of nothing except how I feel. In the morning, I reset the pedometer with no thought of how many steps I did yesterday. I run to relieve stress, I weight train to be able to get through everyday activities with ease, I work out to improve my quality of life. Its as simple as that. I just want to live a long time to bother you all for as long as possible.
 
A good workout is one that makes you sweat and leaves you wanting more. You may hate it while you are doing it, but afterwards, if you can nod your head and say with certainty, that was a good workout, you’re there. People do this with food also: how many grams of fiber and protein do I need a day? That’s not your biggest problem right now. Just eat less or cut out the crap. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. As you can eat intuitively, exercise intuitively.
 
You may scoff and say, “But wonderful all-knowing Kelly, you do not need to lose weight, so of course it is easy for you,” to which I would reply, “but, alas! While I do not need to lose weight, I create plans and routines for people that do all day long: this is my career. And I find that through instilling this principle of exercising to feel better, about your day, your body, or yourself, people stick with it longer and enjoy their workout.” I want everyone to get to the point where they look forward to their workout, and the only way people are going to do that is if the focus is off the numbers. They will follow, I promise, but only if you stick with it. The only way you will stick with it is if its fun and makes you feel good. 
 
And if you don’t have to think too much. Because at the end of the day, we are still Americans.

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Tony Little cracks me up.

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39 responses

31 03 2008
hk

awesome post, I totally agree! I’m right there with ya, “girls, we’ve just gotta move” 🙂

31 03 2008
hk

Also-I’m putty that pesky little pedometer to use, what should I “shoot” for. I’m in total agreeance that it’s not about the numbers, but when you’re ignorant like me, I need to know at least ballpark..because right now I have no idea what any of that means at the end of the day…haha so you ask why wear one? well, I don’t know..I don’t need to lose weight, and I run every day at least 4 miles…so I’m fine on cardio, but I don’t know..the little bugger seems fun..any tips on what I’m looking at? thanks!

31 03 2008
bikergurl125

Thanks for putting things in perspective! I can say from first hand experience that even as a competitive athlete, all that scientific training can get to be too rigid. I found that it took away from the joy of sport and one of my new goals for myself is to have more fun with my training.

31 03 2008
freepersonaltrainer

It is said that you should aim for 10,000 stepsa to be considered active, and 12,000 for weightloss. i aim for atleast 12,000 though because I like to be SUPER active and I also like to eat. 12,000 equates to about 5 miles. I wear it while i am exercising, too. so shoot for around 10,000-12,000. And they are fun. Its like a game to me to see how many steps i can get.

31 03 2008
freepersonaltrainer

bikegurl- good for you, I feel the same way. Its hard to relax while you are crunching numbers. Just feel the workout.

31 03 2008
MizFit

amen

on all accounts (the cut&paste remark? I practically spit my metrx out. so true.)

M.

1 04 2008
chandra

Have I told you yet that I love you? lol Not in a weird lesbian kind of way, but in an “oh my god she is always so right and I so want to be a trainer like her” kind of way.

When I gained weight in college I knew I was gaining, and I wanted to start losing – but everything made it seem so hard. Either telling me I had to have a certain heart rate or intensity (which I could never calculate correctly, or maybe just didn’t want to put the time into) or I had to eat a certain % of my calories from protein, a certain % carbs, etc… THAT is too hard. Knowing what I know now is so much easier, and this year alone I have already lost 10 pounds.

Anyway, I’m rambling. All I’m trying to say is I would be first in line to buy your book. 🙂

1 04 2008
chandra

Oh, and I TOTALLY didn’t mean being lesbian was weird, two of my best friends are lesbians (and I was maid of honor in the wedding!) – I totally didn’t word that correctly… sorry!

1 04 2008
freepersonaltrainer

Aw man, not in a lesbian way? Thats the best way. Are you sure you weren’t the best man?
I love lesbians,too. I got hit on by one and somehow it wasnt as creepy as when a guy I have no interest in does it. They must have some secret.
Anyways- thats exactly what i mean. It seems so daunting because everyone is trying to find some equation for weightloss. It shouldnt be that hard. Just suck it up and move. Good job dropping the weight by the way, thats a big accomplishment.
i will sign your book “I love lesbians-chandra.” then no one will think you dont like them.

1 04 2008
LisaR

hahahaha

1 04 2008
chandra

Oh I love it. Perfect, just perfect. I can’t wait!

1 04 2008
apollocreed

Tony Little is an inspiration to me. His hair at least.

1 04 2008
Kiala

That was awesome. You is my hero.

1 04 2008
Robin

Great post Kelly!

I tell my clients the same thing. No matter how complicated it seems, between what you hear in the media or the movements that we do, you can always stick with the basics. Keep it simple. Move more. Eat your fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. It’s not black and white and it’s certainly not what I say goes. Just because you can’t get in a full workout one day doesn’t mean it’s not worth it to go out and walk for 15 minutes, even just for the mental benefits. And if you can’t remember how to do an exercise, or any of them for that matter, don’t worry about it. The point is that your moving and feeling better.

Sorry, I think I went on a little bit of a tangent there but your post hit close to home. I’m very lucky to work at a club with extremely well educated and kind trainers. None of those meathead bootcamp people.

Your blog is coming along great! A suggestion- why don’t you do a post on properly working the core? You know, how to engage TVA and more of the lower abs and obliques as opposed to just doing basic crunches (or worse, sit-ups) and only engaging the upper portions of Rectus Abdominus (or worse, only hip flexors). That is probably one of the biggest things I come across with my clients, is that they do 3000 crunches and back extensions a day and can’t figure out why they still have lower back pain. Or about the imbalance that many people have between their chest/ant delt and their upperback and post delt, and how to correct that. Just a couple of thoughts!

Again, great post!

1 04 2008
Cait

So this might be a dumb question but if you shoot for 12,000 steps a day and that does not include running on the treadmill or doing vigorous exercise, will you still lose weight or be fit?

1 04 2008
Erik

Hallelujah sista! Okay, I’m not a fellow sister but I get similar questions as to what is the right way to move or stand etc…My response is that the correct way is if you know what you’re doing (I’m now moving my right foot in front of my left..I’m holding my breath when I stand up…etc.). I or anyone else can’t tell you what’s right for you. You can be of any size and still enjoy your body, the decision is yours only.
Just move (hopefully with awareness)!

1 04 2008
ChocolateCoveredVegan

“I work out to improve my quality of life. Its as simple as that. ”

Your philosophy ROCKS! (As do you.) I’m super-active, but I am always doing activities that I WANT to do; activities that are fun, like playing tennis or running around after my dogs. When I go out running, I don’t count miles or heart rate, but I DO pay attention to the scenery around me– the kids playing in their front yard, the way the clouds are formed in the sky, how I feel so much less stressed after I get back, etc. I think people would be a whole lot more active if magazines/doctors/etc. didn’t make exercising sound like this big, bad chore.

Chandra, can I share her with you? ;o)

1 04 2008
freepersonaltrainer

apollocreed- i bet if i gave it a tug it would come right off. Thats why he wears the hat all of the time. Dont get me wrong, I think its hot. Think of all the things I could do with it….

Robin- its so true. i just got back from 24 hour fitness where I work out (not work) and i hate watching the trainers there. Its like im almost embarrassed to tell people at the gym what i do because I dont want them to think I am some supplement pushing, ego maniac that wont remember their name after their session is over. My work focuses on the one on one interaction: no intimidation factor because its all sessions. you cant just come in and workout and you are in a private suite. I dont think I could ever work in a box gym.

Cait- thats a fine question. If you get 12,000 steps, and say, take your pedometer off during your workout, you will lose weight for sure if you dont counter act it with more calories. Thats a lot of steps though, you have to tell me how you do it.

Erik- EEK! Boy! Welcome, male. Its ok, you can be my sister if you want. i dont judge.

Chocolate- first off, shorten your name. My fingers are lazy. Second, that is the perfect attitude. i think keeping track of all the numbers and mileage only sets you up for disappointment. what if you dont do it fast enough/go far enough/beat your old time? Then you feel like you failed even though you just did something amazing for your body.

1 04 2008
Cait

Thanks for the response! I might just not be understanding your answer but, I mean, if you get 12,000 steps in by just walking about and doing your daily routine MINUS working out like running on a treadmill, is that sufficient to stay fit and/or lose weight?

1 04 2008
freepersonaltrainer

oh- without working out at all? In order to reach 12,000 steps, unless you have a really active job, is going to take some effort, such as an extended walk, or marching in place (which i do sometimes) I consider that a workout, but you want to get your heart rate up to achieve maximum results.

Erik- Im intrigued. i bet we are neighbors. Have you heard of Systema? its a russian form of martial arts that uses the pricipals of breathing to allow the body to move more efficiently. Its all about doing more with less. Its really neat, a fellow trainer of mine is also an instructor and he gave us all a private lesson.

1 04 2008
Robin

That is so funny! I often work out at the yoga studio I practice yoga at because they have a really nice and quiet gym attached that is included with my yoga membership there. While that place is great, and they only have one trainer who just does some basic orientation stuff, I still don’t like people knowing I’m a trainer because of the many steriotypes associated with it. I don’t want people to watch me work out and question every thing I do. It makes me self conscious!

1 04 2008
Robin

And 24 hour fitness is so bad with the whole supplementation thing. I would never recommend ANY supplementation or specific diet plan to anyone to anyone. I’m not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian and that would be completely inappropriate and unethical if I did. I used to work out at 24HF and they would constantly push these ‘metabolizers’ on me. Gross. They probably had ephedra in them. I’ve also been asked many times by companies to recommend their product to my clients and I ALWAYS straight tell them no and I refuse to endorse any products.

So to all of you- never fully trust a trainer who recommends anything (supplement or diet wise) that goes into your mouth unless they also happen to be an RD or a medical doctor. For most trainers with most PT certifications it is out of our scope of knowledge and not appropriate for us to suggest. Be wary of one who does!

Ok. I am done here now. I promise. 🙂

1 04 2008
freepersonaltrainer

No, thanks for pointing that out. My ACE certification states I AM NOT ALLOWED to recommend supplements, even if i wanted to (which I never would.) Which means I could never work at 24HF because I would be in violation of my certification. They make all their money on selling that crap because they are commission based, so I would also get fired if I refused. You can get evert nutrient you need through a healthy diet. You never need supplements.

1 04 2008
Kelsey

Can I just say that Tony Little picture totally made my day. He’s got some junk in the trunk, and I’m not talking about that ponytail.

1 04 2008
Erik

Never heard of Systema or is it System a?
However, feldenkrais (Moshe was russian) is based on Judo, physics, and most importantly child development or how a baby learns how to adapt to its environment (learning to learn) as it teaches itself how to roll, crawl, sit, stand, walk, etc. One of our tenets is to learn to use our whole selves (breathing is part of it) in any action, this way we don’t overburden individual joints or muscle groups (we use big terms like ‘bone’ and ‘muscle’). Another is learning how much effort we use for any action, thus learning to use less once we become aware.
Usually when we’re working out or strengthening ourselves, whether it’s in the gym or running or at the PT clinic, is that if we’re not aware of how we do it then we’re just reinforcing existing habits. Habits are necessary but they can also lead us to hurting ourselves physically and mentally.
Blah blah blah, I could go on forever…lol.
I guess you can call me ‘sister’, I call my male dog ‘girl’ sometimes.

1 04 2008
Liz

oooo Kelly T….you make me smile!…and so does Tony Little…but an awkward “I would never want to be alone in the same room as you and your man pony” smile…

1 04 2008
Jana

Right on. I love your blog. And I haven’t seen a pic of Tony Little in forever, thank you for that. I almost feel dizzy now. 😉

Speaking of bulking up.. I have been doing resistance training (3x/week) as well as cardio (mostly running, 3 – 5 x/week) for six months now, I told me trainer I want to look more like the dress-up dolls they have the Nike Super Store. Ahem. Yeah. So, my clothes are getting TIGHTER by the minute, it seems. I actually also wanted to lose some weight, instead I am getting heavier. Am I seriously bulking up that fast or am I just gaining weight for some reason? I am really watching what I eat now and I am almost 10 lbs heavier than one year ago. I know not all of that is muscle, some of it is pasta too. *lol*

1 04 2008
katie102006

Oh my gosh! I LOVE this post. I am so sick of people making excuses and making things SOOO hard on themselves. I’m ALWAYS saying “cut the crap and move your butt!” That’s it! Like when my SIL goes to the gym and REFUSES to do any chest work (pushups, etc) because she doesn’t want to “lose” her boobs. And my friend who doesn’t to any arm work b/c she doesn’t want “man arms.” All these horrible misconceptions! Just move your butt, lift some weights and eat good foods and you can do it! 🙂

1 04 2008
Ash

Great post! So, so, so true! I work out first thing in the morning most days of the week because it makes me feel good. I get a good amount of cardio as well as strength training. I never count how many calories I burn or keep track of my heart rate. I just do it because it makes me feel better and I know I will be sitting on a** most of the rest of the day in front of a computer! I eat to fulfill my nutrients of protein, dairy, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It is not about keeping up withe the numbers for sure. That will drive a person nuts!

I have a question about knots in my muscles in between my shoulder blades. I know it mostly comes from typing, but it is disturbing my upper body work outs! ugh! Any stretching suggestions?

1 04 2008
Carrie

Kelly, I am in need of some new running shoes. Wanted to see if you could recommend a good pair. Only problem is that I have very flat feet, no arch whatsoever! Thanks!

1 04 2008
GreenTea

I love this post. It’s SO true.
PLEASE tell me dang doctor that?! Please?!

My doctor recently recommended I stop doing cardio exercise for more than 30 mins per day. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS DOES TO MY STRESS LEVEL? Clearly you do, since I typed in all caps, and all caps are the way to get your point across clearly and firmly. I should have typed in all caps to my doctor when I told her this was unacceptable. Instead I told her calmly that this could send me straight into the therpists’ office after a panic attack and she laughed that fake laugh and said “too bad”.

Now that being said…I can stretch as much as I want and maybe even yoga some. It’s not the same as cycling or running or kickboxing but…Can you post some good stretches…so I don’t get bored doing hours of the same ones…since I can’t work out…like I said earlier.

1 04 2008
Allison

Love it!
When I first joined my gym (huge corporate monster Gold’s Gym) I was “approached” by one of the trainers, she was really friendly, and told me that if I hadn’t yet “cashed” in the free fitness assesment that went with my membership, she would be happy to do it for me.
I’m too nice…so I met with her. I wish I would have known that it would have been a damn sales pitch…I would have run the other direction. All she did was promote supplements and the “fitness package” oh yeah, and tell me that my goal weight was what I weighed in Junior High, when I was 12. Right.

Thank you for this enlightening blog, and that fantastic post.

1 04 2008
creatingadiva

oh this post is awesome! I’ve never been one to care too much about the numbers…I started working out enough to “Sweat” and boy am I addicted…nothing, NOTHIng beats a good post workout high! That being said, I am thinking of investing in a heart rate monitor b/c as much as I’m not a numbers junkie, I think it might be nice to have some sort of benchmark on how much I’m doing since I’m in weight loss mode (with a lot to lose!).
Any suggestions on good HRMs or thoughts on getting one?

1 04 2008
Laura

Has anyone ever actually used one of those Tony Little Gazelle things? Other than Tony Little and his fellow infomercialists? Just wondering…

1 04 2008
Alex

Carrie,

The running shoes that are proper for you depend very much on your arch type, running gait, etc. I would recommend that you go to a specialty running store, where they should watch you run (on the treadmill or outside, depending on where you normally exercise) and then make suggestions.

1 04 2008
Carrie

Alex

Thanks, I wish I could do that, but all we have here in Tuscaloosa, AL. is Athlete’s Foot and Hibbet’s. The sales people know nothing except how to work that cash register.

1 04 2008
Alex

Carrie,

I’m sorry to hear that! Such a bummer!

Generally, runners with flat feet tend to overpronate and so my best guess is that you need a stability shoe. I use the Nike Triax Air Structure and LOVE them, but I think what shoes work for different people can vary greatly. I know Aasics just came out with a new stability shoe that got great reviews, so that might be something to look into as well.

Here is a link to a Runner’s World guide: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?UAN=481 that might be more helpful. Good luck!

1 04 2008
Betsy

well said!!!! i work out with the same mentality…cause it makes me feel good!

i go to a really crappy gym in NY (cause it’s the cheapest, cause I’m like that) and the trainers are awful. I remember I was on the elliptical once and a trainer was talking with a girl on the elliptical next to me, asking her about her diet, and the girl said that she drank coffee with skim milk, trainer said that she should drink creamer cause it’s better for you for losing weight, the girl looked at her shocked, and the trainer kept going on and on how it was so good for you. obviously she knew crap. and once a trainer kept coming up to me 4 times during my workout basically begging me to become their client so I could pay them out of my ass. The 5th time I told him to stop, I didn’t need a trainer and I would complain to management if he kept it up. The asshole still glares at me whle flirting with other girls and giving them poor advice.

So, as this as grown into a rant against trainers…I normally hate trainers. But I like you lots!!! and your post above made me like you even more 😉 but, like Chandra, not in a lesbian way. sorry to get your hopes up!

And thanks for all your great info!

1 04 2008
SarahF

Kelly- absolutely love the blog! I’m new in the world of working out (literally, I went to the gym for my very first time 4 months ago) but I’m starting to get super frustrated and need your advice! I’ve started doing cardio 4-5 times a week, usually for around an hour (sometimes more, sometimes less but it averages out to around that hour mark) but I haven’t noticed any difference! I’ve weighed myself a couple of times and I’ve gained some weight-and the only thing that’s gotten smaller is my chest (which is NOT a good thing)! I’m eating healthy 6 days a week, though I’ll usually have 1 day where it’s pretty bad (I figured out I’m eating 1800 calories on the healthy days, and anywhere between 2500-3000 calories on my bad day) but calculators tell me I should be eating between 2200-2400 (I’m 5’10 and 140 pounds). I don’t want to lose weight but I want to lean & tighten. What’s the best way to do this? (Holy crap this is long-sorry)

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