Thoughts from a Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer

Kettlebell RKC  

It’s that time of year again. The gyms are full, vegetables are flying off the shelf, and you’re on your 9th glass of water for the day. It’s the time when most vow that this is the year they will be healthy. While it is every Fitness Professional’s dream to see a healthy client, we know all too well how hard the journey truly is, and how many people get dispirited. So, I want to take the time to pass along some wisdom that I have seen through my years of personal training. Read it when you feel discouraged!

Feeling good about your body builds confidence, no matter what size you are.

Everyone thinks they have to look like a super model to be desired. You don’t. Feeling good about your body happens at all sizes. Most people come to the gym to lose weight and often get discourage when they fail to see the results they want. Here’s the secret to losing weight: Stop making that your ultimate goal. Instead, set a goal to come to the gym three times per week. Set another goal to be conscious about your eating habits for 5/7 days and splurge just a little on your off days.  When your goals are obtainable and the gratification is instant after a workout or a healthy meal, you’re more likely to stick with it. Celebrate the small victories and after 10 weeks of completing the above, you’ll realize you’ve dropped two sizes without even trying!


If you fall off the wagon, get back on, every single time!

Living a healthy lifestyle is a life long journey, not a sprint! If you inhaled a chocolate cake on a weekend (and this trainer has), don’t starve yourself on Monday to make up for it. Fill your week with vegetables and protein. If it’s been three weeks since you’ve seen the inside of the gym, take a yoga class or two to get back into the groove. We all fall off the wagon, even us trainers, but we don’t stop or give-up. Falling off the wagon doesn’t mean you have to start-over, you just pick back where you left off, over and over again for the rest of your life.


We’re not expecting you to be an expert at exercising and neither should you. We expect you to do your best.

So many times I see new people come into the gym, only to see them get discourage thinking everyone is better than them. What they did not see is how all of us started where they are, uncoordinated and awkward. Trainers are experts at their field because they’ve been doing it for years, not because they’re natural at it. I know nothing about coding, and I couldn’t expect to go into an IT department and build websites my first day. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and compete only against yourself. If Day 1 all you can do is 10 knee push-ups, come back on Day 2 and do two more. Push yourself to your limits, not other people’s limits. Give us your best every time, and you’ll see yourself improve drastically. Those TRX atomic push-ups will come soon enough, then you’ll be wishing you were back to knee push-ups.

*If you want to feel a little more confident in class, take a personal training lesson or two. It’s worth the extra money and the instruction will cater to your needs and provide you with a roadmap for personal improvement.*


Exercising for fitness professionals can be a chore too (for some) but we do it for all the same reasons as you.

We have to spend twice as long at the gym as you to get a workout in. When we teach, we’re demonstrating and making sure you’re safe. For us to get our workout in we have to stay after or come at another time. It’s just as difficult for us to get motivated sometimes, and while sitting on the couch sounds nice, a good workout gives us the same good feeling as our students get. Healthy doesn’t come naturally to us, we work at it just as hard as everyone else. Trainers have realized how beneficial it is, and we relish in sharing that same goodness with our students.


Not all fitness professionals eat lettuce and carrots. We have guilty craving too but we understand balance.

They say that you can never out train a bad diet. This is true. Unless you’re training for full Iron Man or swimming 1,000 laps like Michael Phelps, we all have to be conscious of our diet. Like I said above, a healthy lifestyle is a life long journey. Eating healthy doesn’t mean avoiding all sugars, carbs, or adult beverages, but it does mean that these are luxuries not staples in your diet. We eat healthy because it feels good, not because we’re trying to lose weight. Your diet makes a bigger impact on your life than most people realize. Eating process foods can alter your mood negatively, make you lethargic, and do a number on your overall health. If you don’t believe me, eat an enchilada, fried rice and beans, before attending a kickboxing class and you’ll feel it. Blah. Retrospectively, eat lean proteins, good grains, and vegetables for a week and you’ll feel like you can actually run a full Iron Man at the end of a healthy eating week.

We want you to succeed because we know how good it feels when you achieve your goals!

I can’t speak for all instructors and trainers, but I know that the ones at Brookhaven Fitness Studio really want to see you succeed. Being healthy is not only physically beneficial, it does wonders for your emotional health as well. Succeeding doesn’t mean fitting into your high school jeans (though that’s awesome if you can). Succeeding is making you feel a little more confident about yourself when you look in the mirror. It’s how high you hold your head when you set a new personal record. It’s the vibrant glow you get when you’ve completed a month of Fuel & Movement. It makes you feel good from the inside out, and this is why we love to train. Confidence, along with health, energy and vitality is priceless. Being a part of a gym that strives to build these in you, well that’s just the wisest choice that you can make!

Happy New Year!

Missy Pugh –Contributing Writer

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