Give your workout a boost with a personal trainer

  • Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 7:28pm

<b>YOUR HEALTH | </b>By Katie Murdoch Herald writer

Having one-on-one face time with a personal trainer – or even in small workout groups – often gives people the extra push they need to meet their goals and see results, said Tiffany Elias, a fitness trainer at the Lynnwood Recreation Center.

People are more likely to commit to their workout and work harder if a trainer is there challenging their limits, Elias said.

“A personal trainer will push that extra second or those extra five reps,” she said.

Working one-on-one with people starts with an interview where Elias susses out people’s goals and their health history. For example, two of Elias’ clients have pacemakers, which she is mindful of while tailoring their workouts.

“A (medical device) circuit could be the same but no two people are,” she said.

Helping clients can also include empathizing with them.

Jan Kavadas, a fitness trainer at the Frances Anderson Center in Edmonds, is recovering from hip surgery.

“I am more so empathetic now and can connect with clients,” she said.

Kavadas has watched clients who have undergone hip, knee and shoulder replacement surgeries get stronger through aquatic workouts, which are easier on joints.

“It’s good to see people recover from injuries that kept them from doing what they would typically do,” she said.

At Edmonds CrossFit it’s about finding the balance between encouraging clients and pushing them to their limit for trainer and co-owner Morgan Bellinger.

The family-owned and operated workout spot offers martial arts and sports performance training.

A trainer can’t create a one-size-fits-all program and expect it to work, Bellinger said.

“In small-group training or one-on-one I have the ability to tailor a workout to what they need,” he said.

The bottom line is that people want to see results, Bellinger said. And they can achieve that if they’re willing to work.

“I see what they need and push them in the direction they’ll grow the most,” he said.

Jennifer Adair had been through an array of emotional struggles and came out on top. Training at CrossFit seemed like a way to become as strong physically as she was emotionally.

However, her perception of CrossFit left her feeling intimidated, at best.

“It seemed like a place for men to flip tires,” the Edmonds resident said.

Adair worked with Bellinger to get past her self-doubt, which he countered with encouragement.

“He tells me to ‘keep going’ and ‘yes, you can do it,’” she said.

A trainer’s job is to protect clients from themselves, Bellinger said, adding that Adair started as fragile and thinking she couldn’t do anything.

“I saw a spark and I fueled the fire and pushed her without her getting hurt,” he said.

How to choose a personal trainer

Here are some tips to help you choose a personal trainer:

• Make sure you and the trainer are a good match

• Check the trainer’s credentials

• Ask the trainer about his or her education and background

• Let the trainer know if you have a medical problem and ask if he or she has experience with that problem

• Find a trainer who listens carefully

• Be wary of trainers who give diet advice

• Ask about scheduling, cost and cancellation policies

— Richard Weil,