10 Trainer Tips That Will Transform Your Body

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In 2011, I was both shocked and honored to be named America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch in the first-ever contest of its kind, which was run by Life Fitness and the American Council on Exercise, and I have continued to be involved as a judge and consultant for the contest in recent years. It has expanded outside of America to search for and name the best trainers across the globe. A few weeks ago, Life Fitness crowned 2014's top personal trainers to watch and a new winner in yet another amazing competition.
I recent caught up with the top 10 finalists (and the winner himself)—the crème de la crème of fitness pros—to share their best exercise tips with you! From time-saving exercise techniques to the best workout you can do when you're short on time, these must-read ideas are like consulting with the most inspiring and credible fitness trainers around the world without leaving home.
On Making Morning Exercise a Habit
"First, be sure to get enough sleep (at least seven hours) and wake up an hour before you plan to start exercising. Eating a good breakfast is important, too, as well as picking an exercise activity that is revitalizing and not stressful or grueling. For beginners, I advise walking or running at a constant and rapid pace, approximately 30 minutes a day. For an added challenge, alternate running, biking or swimming during different days a week." – Isaac Rojas Rivero, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.

On Staying Motivated to Stick to an Exercise Program Long-Term
"Understanding the way our body works internally, in a very deep way, is something I've found motivates and keeps people working out long term. With this knowledge, people will start doing it, and will feel the need to keep doing it. To become a consistently active person, study your body." – Cristiano Arthur S. Parente, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch winner.
On the Muscle Group Too Many People Ignore
"Everyone ignores the back! It is one of the biggest muscle groups in the human body. People tend to forget about this part of the body because they can't see it in the mirror and if it is out of sight it is usually out of mind. When you pay attention to developing your back your strength, posture and overall functionality will improve. Don't ignore back day!" – Austin Toloza, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.  
On How to Get Back on the Fitness Wagon
"A quick and easy way to get someone motivated after a long absence from the gym is to start with a smaller goal. Most people can handle devoting just 20 minutes to fitness to start out and then from there can start adding more. This could be logging their food, intervals of cardiovascular, strength, or abdominal exercises. Twenty minutes is realistic for anyone and will give people the push they need to get back in the game!" Andreya Tornes, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.  
On Squeezing More Exercise into a Busy Day
"First rule: prioritize. Prepare your clothes, gym bag, etc. the night before. Second rule: Make your life easier. Find a gym as close as possible to your house/work. Third rule: Training must be compatible with the rest of your life; sometimes less is more." – Adrián Cardín Pereda, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.  

On Choosing a Personal Trainer
"When picking a personal trainer, first and foremost you should determine if their passion and knowledge will support you in reaching your goals. As well as having the appropriate credentials, it's important that a trainer utilizes motivational techniques and can connect empathetically with your fitness and lifestyle, putting themselves in your shoes. Treat the first consultation like an interview: Look them in the eye and make sure they not only have a high level of physical training knowledge, but a true desire to help you optimize your health and performance." – Rachel Hobbs, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.  
On the Single Best Exercise for Time-Pressed Individuals
"I recommend the kettlebell swing. It allows you to do cardiovascular and weight training in one exercise, helps to protect your body against injuries, hits most of your muscle groups and gets your heart rate soaring. A kettlebell swing is a perfect choice of exercise for Tabata or HIIT training. This very short but intense style of training burns up to three times more calories than any traditional cardio workout." – Nick Freemantle, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.  
On the Best Exercise for Weight Loss
"I recommend total body interval training at an intensity level that is appropriate for the individual's experience level. Pick a few of your favorite multi-joint exercises utilizing large muscle groups (running, squatting, bench pressing, etc.) because this will require the most energy to perform and elicit the greatest hormonal response possible. Progression from light weight or moderate speed to moderate weight and high speed coupled with variations in work: Rest ratio (1:5, 1:3, 1:2) will ensure enough variation for long term progress in fat loss." – Matt Parvis, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.
On What's Missing from Your Strength Training Routine
"Recovery. If you are lifting weights, be sure to give your muscles a break. Strength training causes microscopic tears in muscle tissue. These tears are normal and are necessary for muscle growth, but try to give your muscles 48 hours of recovery before your next strength training session." –  Ryan Vivar, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.  

On How Parents Can Commit to Exercising
"If you are a new parent then walking with the stroller is a perfect way to restart the fitness regime while taking care of baby. Parents with slightly older children can get to the park for sports, such as soccer, which the whole family can do. Make sure you are doing most of the running around! Add a few pull-ups on the goal posts or playground for a bonus! Both kids and parents benefit from time together and great for kids to see parents getting sweaty!" – Fiona Ross, 2014 Personal Trainers to Watch finalist.  
Congratulations to all the finalists in this year's competition!
Great tips! What was the best fitness tip you ever heard or read? Share it in the comments below!

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I like is article article. I like to read customer comments on all articles too. Report
TERMITEMOM 7/28/2020
Great! Thank you. Report
NANASUEH 7/28/2020
thanks Report
NEPTUNE1939 7/28/2020
ty Report
Good info, thanks Report
SURFTOSEA 5/4/2020
Nice Report
I need to pack a gym bag to leave in my car so I have no excuses! Good to hear 20 minutes is great just starting out 😊 Report
Great tips. Report
SPINECCO 1/4/2020
Great article. Report
RO2BENT 1/4/2020
Doing the hard work Report
KATHYJO56 12/31/2019
Congratulations. I met you once a few years ago and was very impressed. Report
ONLYME33 12/19/2019
Congratulations to all of you-Thanks for all of your great wisdom...I will take what I can use... Report
LIDDY09 12/17/2019
Thanks Report
KOALA_BEAR 12/3/2019
Best fitness tips are: you can get fit just walking; if possible once in the habit to alternate workouts for different muscles groups or at least to vary your activities - swimming, cycling, walking/running/hiking, horseback riding, skating, dancing, tai chi, yoga, bowling hooping, etc both to prevent boredom & overuse of any one muscle but also to mimic what our ancestors did w/ manual labor. Report
now, if i could just stick with it Report
Great Report
Recovery & Back Muscles, best advice for me! Report
Anything that helps you do the hard work Report
On how to get back on the workout habit...that's what I needed Report
Great article Report
Thanks for the Great article! Report
Best info from my PT was about all of the changes on the inside--upping heart rate, oxygen flow, lowering cholesterol, bp, a1c. The best changes are often on the inside. Report
Good information Report
Some can't afford a personal trainer, wish that I could but don't have any money leftover from paying bills. Report
All good comments. I particularly appreciate the suggestion to treat the first meeting with a personal trainer as an interview. If you don't feel comfortable with the trainer I think it makes it harder to train under them. Report
Great tips very helpful & useful Report
Liking all the different takes from different trainers... You also have to do what you're comfortable with..... Report
Great article! Thank you! Report
Very good article and great tips that I am already using or will use in the future. We do forget about the back. I will need to look up some back exercises. Report
Great tips. Thanks. Report
Thanks for the info. Report
I agree with a couple of Alukowsy's comments- it does not have to be mornings.That being said right now I do run in the morning-And I can't have breakfast before if I do that I won't get a workout in. I eat after- when I am hungry. Austin is right about the back being ignored- good advice there! Report
For me now reluctant to risk injury in a crowded studio, and a certified group instructor, the change to solo has been tough. My best advice - change. Don't get stuck in a rut. Report
I liked the tips in general, but what IS it with this "morning workout" obsession?? Mornings are NOT "best;" the time of day that fits into YOUR schedule is, WHENEVER that might be. For those of us with hour-long commutes and early start times (teachers, for example,) lunchtime or evenings are a much more realistic option. I also found it puzzling that at least a couple of these personal trainers looked less than optimally fit, even a bit paunchy. While I don't expect ever to have the physique of, say, Ronda Rousey, I'm just an every-day, average lay person who simply needs to achieve the level of fitness to enjoy good health. I'm not sure I'd trust the advice of a PROFESSIONAL who can't even get him or herself into peak fitness. Report
This is a great article. Thanks Report
Great information!! Report
Great information Report
Stretching before and after exercise. Report
Thanks for sharing these! Report
Believe in yourself like we believe in you! Report
Virgil was right when he said, "The greatest wealth is health." Report
I can't exercise in the AM. I have a bag packed with shoes, tops, bottoms, socks, hair bands, so all I have to do is grab the bag. Work clothes go back in the bag when I get to the gym. I couldn't agree more about getting one close to home. Report
Read somewhere that making exercise non- negotiable means you'll do it regardless. that is my motto. Even if I don't want to do a thing I remind myself that exercise is non negotiable and to go for a 10 minute walk. Always end up doing more! Report
Stay with it - maybe that seems trite or easier said than done BUT it all boils down to effort and persistence. Most lasting changes take a long time even to become habits and longer to achieve results. Report
Great info! Take it one day at a time! Report
I liked what Rachel Hobbs said about looking the trainer in the eye. Report
Weight loss and Time-pressed i like Report
Is it just me, or is that first tip a little unrealistic for people who work in the morning? Going to bed at 9pm to get up at 5am is really not feasible for most people. Report
Great tip on not forgetting the back. I'm one of the many people with back problems, and wish I had done exercises to strengthen my back.
I also liked the tip about the 20 min of starting back into exercise. People with physical limitations can't always do 30-60 minutes of exercise. 10-20 minutes is doable.
I like the exercising in the morning, but when you go to bed after 11:00 pm setting the alarm early (5:00 am or before) to exercise is a problem. At least it has been for me. Report
I always get my workout clothes out the night before so in the morning when my alarm goes off I can jump into my clothes and be ready to workout. Report