IDEA Personal Trainer Institute

Completely exhausted. Completely sore. Completely worth it.

This past weekend in Alexandria was crazy! So much was learned in this 3 day conference because some of the best trainers and presenters in North America were there. I had over 20 hours of learning so trust that I’m an even smarter trainer than I was last week! Booyah.

Peeps in the above photo:

Marc Coronel, me, Fraser Quelch, Sherri McMillan, and Jorge Ivan Maren
Google their names if you want to know how awesome they are. What you don’t trust me? Whatev.

I’ll be back to blogging regularly after this weekend, I swear! I have two trips in two different cities this weekend, starting Thursday so things are crazy, but my travel schedule mellows out once March hits! I miss you, blog world!
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Is your trainer the bomb or a dud?

My friend Doug posted this video on Facebook this morning and it made me laugh out loud… a couple of times.

Now the sad part: I’ve seen people like this. Not a ton, but people who think like this and actually HAVE clients. I just hope their clients are getting results, not injuries. Soooo it prompted me to write a quick post on personal trainers and whether they’re good for you and know what they’re doing, or not. Here are some things to look for in a trainer you’re thinking of hiring:
  • Are they certified?
I’m not saying that you need a certification to know what you’re talking about, but would you let a surgeon operate on you without having passed their board exams? Seriously? This is your body we’re talking about. It shouldn’t be in the hands of somebody that hasn’t passed a test. It’s not expensive, it’s not that hard if you’ve learned your ish, and it’s not a big deal, if you have a professional attitude and are serious about becoming a trainer. If they haven’t taken the time to study and take the certification tests, will they take the time to make a good program/workout for you? I’ve met trainers who haven’t taken their exams because they already know everything… but if they know everything already, what’s keeping them from a taking a test that should be easy?
  • Do they have a degree in a related field?
Same as above. Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to have a degree in Physiology to get certified as a personal trainer, however, the people that do have degrees in the field tend to have a greater understanding of how everything works and are a bit more well-rounded in area. They also tend to get hired at higher positions. It’s not imperative, but it helps.
  • Do they listen to your goals?
You want somebody who is going to give you the best plan for YOU and what you want to achieve. Not what they gave to every other client that day. It’s called PERSONAL training and every person’s different. If you already have a steady workout regimen and just want somebody to give you some new ideas, are they talking you into training 3 days a week? Because you probably don’t need that much. You want somebody that’s going to listen to you and not just try to sell you packages/sessions.
  • Do they make corrections to your form?
I’ve seen trainers just chat away with somebody else while their client is doing lunges the most AWFUL way possible and not say a word to them. Out of all my clients, I have about 2 that don’t need many technique corrections, but still, they’re not perfect and I end up fixing them at least a couple times per session. No offense, but you’re probably not perfect at things and if you go through an entire session without so much as a peep from you trainer about form, they’re not paying attention. They should be telling/showing you how exercises are supposed to look, feel, etc. And how it’s not supposed to feel.
  • Do they advise you on what to do in the meantime?
You may need additional cardio time/ stretching time as well with your program so if they haven’t given you any ‘homework’ to do without them and you feel like you’re not making progress, ask them!
If you’re trying to lose weight or are a competitive athlete, you will need nutrition advice as well as workout advice. Your trainer can give you some guidelines to follow on your off time if you need it. Having said this, in most states, it’s illegal for a trainer to give out a written diet plan unless they’re also a dietician/certified nutritionist. They can give you suggestions, but should really be pointing you to somebody that’s in that field. They shouldn’t be writing out meal plans for you unless it’s in their scope of practice.
The same goes for injuries. They can probably point out some things that you might do to help an injury, but we’re not all physical therapists/doctors, so if you’ve got a serious injury, take it to your doctor, not your trainer.
  • Do they push you or kill you?
Every trainer pushes you, that’s how we get you to try harder and be stronger. But if your trainer is giving you the hardest exercises in the world or not listening when you tell them something hurts, they’re going to be doing you more harm than good. You’ll be sore after your sessions but you shouldn’t be debilitated for a few days after every session (excluding your first week… first week’s always the worst. But you shouldn’t be HURT hurt). If you’re doing an exercise and you have joint pain and you tell your trainer, they should fix your form first. If it still hurts, they should give you a different exercise. If they tell you just to keep going, suck it up, you might want to look for a new trainer.
  • Do they attend continuing education courses/conferences?
Sure they might have been a great trainer 20 years ago, but things have changed since 1990. Scientists and physiologists are discovering new things all the time and re-creating guidelines constantly. If your trainer hasn’t attended a continuing education course or trainer conference in the last few years (or ever) that could be a bad sign. We are required, in order to keep our certifications current, to attend courses to get credits every year, just like doctors, nurses, dentists, etc. It keeps us up to date on contraindications and safe techniques, as well as cutting-edge training protocols. If we don’t, our certs expire and we have to re-take our certification test. Make sure whoever is training you is somewhat current in their cert. Then you’ll know if they’re up to date… or if they’re a hot mess, like the one in the video up there.
Hope this helps! And I hope if you’re working with a trainer now, you’ve got a great one that’s taking good care of you!
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Personal Training Giveaway!

So it’s that time of year where everybody (well, most people) make those New Year’s resolutions to whip themselves into shape. This tends to be a very busy time of year for me and I love it. I love seeing people motivated to make a change for the better in themselves. That being said, it’s also time for another Personal Training Giveaway! And what better time than New Year’s Day?!

  • Wanna win two FREE personal training sessions with me?
  • Wanna learn some cool stuff that you can add to your current (or non-existant) fitness routine?!
  • Live in the Louisville, KY area?! (Sorry, rest of the world, but I can’t be everywhere)
Yes? Sah-weet! Well then here’s how you can enter to win:
1) Leave a comment below.
For extra entries:
2) Become a follower.
3) Follow me on Bloglovin’.
4) Tweet about it! (And leave a comment to let me know)
5) Facebook about it! (And leave a comment to let me know)
6) Send me an email to telling me why you’d like to win. Don’t write a book, just a sentence or two. ; )
So there ya go! 6 Ways to enter and win! Don’t need it for yourself? Enter for somebody you know that might like it! Especially if you didn’t get them a Christmas gift and they got one for you…
I will draw the winner on New Year’s Day! So you’ve got until midnight, New Year’s Eve. Go!
photo via
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Appreciate the little things…

“So when I took my jeans out of the dryer this week, I was able to put them on without having to hop around the entire bedroom. ” SCORE.
Remember that if you’ve started a new training/weight-loss program, keep in mind the little things, not just the number on the scale. For instance:
  • How your clothes might fit differently…
  • How you might have a bit more energy than you used to have…
  • How your skin might be clearer from eating more natural foods (if you’ve changed your eating habits)…
  • How you’re able to sleep a little better at night…
  • How you feel good about yourself because you’re doing something for YOU.
The quote above is what one of my clients told me this week! Victory. We’ve been training together for about 3 weeks now (this is the 4th), 3 days a week. She’s following food guidelines, she’s doing cardio on her own 3 days a week when we don’t meet, she’s listening to what I tell her, and she’s seeing RESULTS.
Try not to obsess over the scale. Weighing yourself every day isn’t going to make you feel any better about things. You might lose a pound one day and have it right back the next. (heck, you could lose a pound during a bowel movement… gross, I know. but it’s possible) And if you’re not 500lbs to begin with, you won’t be dropping a ton of weight at the beginning (like they do on The Biggest Loser) so don’t get freaked out if you only lose a pound a week, or every other week. That’s good! That’s progress. And you’re not gaining, so appreciate it!
The client I mentioned at the top hasn’t looked at a scale since we’ve started training. We’re going to do a 5 week assessment and see where we are then. So if you’re in the same boat, be patient. And appreciate the little positives that are happening to you because of the hard work you’re doing!
*image via this website
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Who wants to win 2 FREE Personal Training Sessions with me!? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Well you should, because they would normally cost you $130. AND you’ll learn great things that you can do on your own! AND you can ask me questions! I’ll answer them! : )

All you have to do is leave a comment below or email me at and tell me why you need/want these sessions. No need to write a book, just give me a couple sentences.
Contestants need to live in or around Louisville (sorry everybody else!) and must have the availability to complete these within two weeks. Make sure you leave me your email or other way to contact you! Entries must be received by midnight on Monday, September 20. Announced on Tuesday! Good luck!
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and the winner is…

***SHANNA! ***
Congrats to Shanna for winning 3 free personal training sessions with me! Thanks to everybody who entered. Shanna, please shoot me an email so we can connect and begin.
If you entered and didn’t win, but would like options on how to train with me, I have several for you. Some more pricey, some less pricey. I’ve got a solution for everybody though so don’t give up!
Have a great day everybody!
image via Lumaxart
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Last Day for the Give Away!

Today’s your last chance to win 3 FREE Personal Training sessions with me!

Leave a comment at the bottom of this post or send me an email ( to enter. Leave a sentence or two telling me why you want/need a trainer.
I’m drawing the winner in the morning! Good luck!
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Give Away!

Who wants a personal trainer for free? Dumb question, right? EVERYBODY does. So here’s your chance to get one. It’s simple:

Just leave me a comment, below, telling me why you want/need one. You don’t have to write a book, just a line or two.

I’ll draw a winner in 1 week and they will have 3 FREE PERSONAL TRAINING sessions with me. A $195 value!

*This only applies to those who live in Louisville, sorry CA peeps!*
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