As a trainer myself, I believe that every person requires a personalized regime. Not everyone is at the same level of fitness, nor should they be, and their exercise routine should be reflective of their ability.
Even trainers need a trainer…sometimes
Linda Cunningham and I have been working together at Fitness Incentive for a few years. She started her career at FI as an instructor and had been teaching classes for ten years when she decided to obtain her Personal Trainer’s certification in 2018 through NASM. She loves teaching classes but wanted to be able to work with members on a different level and help them reach their fitness goals. I was super excited for her to expand her horizons. I knew she would be successful as a PT. If you have ever met and spoken to her, you instantly realize she is kind, personable, and has a great sense of humor, a great combination of characteristics when working one on one with a client! She is also very knowledgeable and really good at what she does; that’s why I was surprised when she approached me and wanted to train with me.
We trained together for 16 half-hour sessions, and our initial focus was strengthening her shoulder (which was causing her pain and weakness). She had also been through a few surgeries, which caused her to rethink and change up her workouts, and she thought maybe I could help. As we continued to meet, she also expressed to me she wanted to change some of her habits. She was interested in finding ways to find time for her own health and wellness goals. At that point, our training changed a bit. I started to help her find ways to get her own cardiovascular workouts into her schedule, increase the intensity of her current strength routine, and coached her on behavior modifications as it pertained to her diet. Every week we checked in either in person or by text, and she would give me her progress as well as ask me any questions. We would brainstorm ideas if there happened to be a roadblock in her progress. It definitely was a team effort, and in the end, she became more consistent with her own workouts, changed some of her eating patterns, and lost 15 pounds. It wasn’t truly about weight loss but about making long-term positive health and wellness changes. She is feeling great and now has some tools to help keep her on her wellness journey.
I “sat down” with Linda and asked her a few questions about her experience training with me. Here is what she said:
“I reached a point where my body was no longer responding to my routine workouts, and I decided to seek out fellow trainer, Sue Brunjes. For years, I have admired Sue’s training style and, of course, her physique! After a few conversations with Sue, I decided the change that I desired would have a better shot of happening if I learned how to challenge myself through a different style of training. I also had to learn how to “schedule” my own regular workouts, and by training with Sue, I had the time carved out. By working with Sue, I learned that I am capable of a competitive level of strength training, and by combining that training with additional cardio (I’m currently obsessed with the Stairmill) and a healthy diet, positive results happen! As a trainer myself, I believe that every person requires a personalized regime. Not everyone is at the same level of fitness, nor should they be, and their exercise routine should be reflective of their ability. Once that is established, together, the trainer and the client can build upon that foundation.”
It has been a pleasure working with Linda, and I’m honored she chose me to help her navigate her health and wellness journey. Our training was fun and productive, and it just shows you that we are all in this together. We all can benefit and learn from one another’s help and support.
About the Author
Sue Brunjes has a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and is Personal Trainer with 15 years’ experience in the health care industry. Three of those years were spent working in the Cardiac Rehab field.