Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 41, Ed. 1 Friday, February 24, 2006 Page: 84 of 100
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Rescue from men of steel
Hiring a professional trainer can assist you in losing weight and stayng in shape. How do you find the one that's rigthf or you? Here's how
By Stevsn Lindsey Contributing Writer
For many people, New Year's resolutions have
been made, broken and all but forgotten. The ini-
tial motivation that causes Americans to put "get
in shape" at the top of their lists year after year
can be hard to maintain. Even with warmer
weather, it's still easy to hide behind bulky
sweaters and jackets and put off the reality of
one's physical conditions.
Then it hits: Swimsuit season is close. Very
Most people know what we need to do to lose
weight and improve their overall health. But for
those without extreme will power, the discipline
to eat right and get to the gym, it can seem like a
more arduous task than the actual process of
Enter a personal trainer. Whether self-motivat-
ed or not, the support and encouragement of
another person can aid tremendously in achiev-
ing personal fitness goals.
And because a trainer can push his or her
clients hard, it's key that both jibe on a personal
"It is important that you get along with your
trainer and that you have confidence in them,"
says J.R. Brown, managing partner of Flex
Fitness and a certified personal trainer for more
than eight years. "After all, they will be coaching
you, in spiring you and motivating you to become
the person you want to be."
There is a process to follow when picking
someone to help out. Brown stresses the impor-
tance of determining a trainer's qualifications.
"Ask about certifications, first aid and contin-
uing education," he says.
Simon Rajwani with Fitness Evolution has
been a personal trainer for five years. He also
emphasizes the need for checking certifications,
which run out after one or two years and have to
be maintained through continuing education
"A good trainer is one who has continued
learning and who can assess your fitness level
and design a program for your specific goals,
whether that's gaining muscle, flexibility or over-
all fitness," Rajwani says.
Next, someone in training should make sure to
inform his trainer about his personal health histo-
ry and make sure he customizes a workout based
on individual abilities and goals.
"If you have back problems, for example,
make sure to ask the trainer if they have experi-
ence working with that," Rajwani says.
" A good trainer is a person who is willing to
commit themselves to their client. Share in the
responsibility with clients as far as reaching and
exceeding goals, providing answers to all nutri-
tion and supplement questions," Brown adds.
"Doing some behind-the-scenes research on any
special conditions that a client may have such as
blood sugar disorders, HIV, pre-existing injuries,
fibromyalgia" and the like are signs of a good
There may not be specialized certifications in
most of these areas. However, doing some
research and talking with doctors "will go along
way to help your client achieve their goals,"
A varied routine is also beneficial to maintain-
SEE SPOT: Personal trainer J.R. Brown of Flex Fitness spots one of his clients during a workout routine.
ing motivation and targeting different muscle
"A top-quality fitness professional does more
than just 'take you through a workout.' Anyone
can count to 15 by themselves and hold a clip-
board," Brown says. "Look for a coach who will
educate you about all the components necessary
to achieve optimal health and a fitness result."
A personal trainer should be expected to
review nutrition education with his client, edu-
cate the client about proper supplementation and
employ a variety of exercise options.
"He should review resistance training, whether
that be balance training, core work stability
balls, medicine balls, cardiovascular exercise to
maximize fat burning, flexibility to avoid injury
and speed recovery, and really walk you through
all the steps that encompass the mental develop-
ment side," Brown says. "Goal-setting, putting
together a plan of action and then holding you
accountable and supporting you through the
entire process is absolutely critical to the suc-
There are also specific things to avoid in a
trainer, and there are a few key signs to look out
"Don't judge a book by its cover. Just because
a trainer has a great body doesn't mean he's a
great trainer, " Rajwani says.
Avoid trainers who are unwilling to provide
references or who do not explain themselves well
when demonstrating an exercise.
"A good trainer can motivate and educate you
but let's face it, using the big medical terms is not
impressive if you don't know what they are, too,"
There are enough professional trainers in the
market that no one should stick with one who
doesn't train for a living, Rajwani and Brown
"Avoid part-time trainers. They may be doing
this only long enough until something better
comes along. Do not always assume that a great
physique on a guy makes him an expert. He may
have lost weight with recreational drugs or
unhealthy eating disorders," Brown cautions.
Selecting a gym is also an important part of a
successful training program. Sometimes, it's pos-
sible to find a trainer who can work among mul-
tiple gyms. If that doesn't work out, though,
select a gym first and then look for the best train-
er at the facility. Rajwani and Brown have tips on
"A great gym depends on the person's idea of
'great.' If you like to take classes, look for a gym
with a well-rounded schedule," Rajwani says.
"Some people enjoy a lot of cardio equipment
variety, but everyone likes a clean gym."
Brown advises finding a gym with convenient
hours and a good location, such as on the way to
or from work but make sure to try out the gym
before signing any papers.
"Most places will allow non-members to work
out for a couple of days before making any com-
mitments. Take note of things such as cleanli-
ness, working condition of equipment and floor
staff standing by to assist with any machines.
Working condition of the wet area such as sauna,
spa and showers is important, too," Brown says.
When shopping a gym, there's more to the
experience than just assessing the staff and facil-
"It has to be said, check out the other mem-
bers. These are going to be the people you will be
seeing every time you go in to work out, so if you
think they bug you now wait until you work with
a cell-phone queen with an attitude," Brown
No matter what, there is not an "all-things-to-
Confinued on Page 11
A$ SUN -
M ABC TV'S
JUST 2 WEEKS
TO A TOTAL TRANSFORMATION!
A BETTER BODY IN TWO WEEKS
With reports of American obesity at: significant levels and
fast food readily available, sticking to a weight-loss or exercise
regimen can be like fighting the serpent's temptation. With
busy schedules and empty calories everywhere, it can be chal-
lenging to stick to weight-loss or workout plans.
David Kirsch, celebrity trainer and author of the book "The
Ultimate New York Body Plan," offers an intense nutrition and
fitness system to Improve the body in as little as two weeks.
As the trainer on ABC's "Extreme Makeover" reality show,
Kirsch had to turn hopeless into hopeful in 14 to 21 days. To
get results, he "modified the traditional nutrition and fitness
program that I generally prescribe to be much more intense,"
The program generates fast results, but is also hard work.
Here are three steps to getting started.
1. Motivate yourself. It takes commitment and stamina to
transform your body in two weeks. The trick is to find and
identify a challenge — something that evokes passion and
meaning in your life. To find your true source of motivation,
ask yourself these questions:' (a) Why am I taking this two-
week challenge? (b) What do I hope to accomplish in 14
days? |s) What do I hope to discover about myself in the next 14 days? (d) What mental and spiritu-
al strengths do I hope to build upon during the next 14 days?
2. Stay In touch with yourself. Keeping track of your thoughts, feelings and progress throughout
the 14 days in a journal will help keep you honest. It may also help you get through the toughest
days, as expressing your thoughts and feelings on paper is often the best way to correct a problem.
3. Schedule your exercise time, Kirsch advises to get your day planner out now and for each of
the next 14 days, schedule your exercise time. Writing in your exercise appointments will help keep
you from backsliding. "Once you've written in your appointments and they're staring you in the face,
you are less likely to stand yourself up," he says.
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 41, Ed. 1 Friday, February 24, 2006, newspaper, February 24, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238897/m1/84/: accessed August 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.