A month ago, if you had told me I’d be working with a personal fitness trainer, I might have said, “Yeah, right. At my age?”
But, when a new fitness facility went in only a two miles away, when the Dallas temps soared past the century mark and it was too hot for this wimp to walk outside, when I felt my muscles tightening up, (and not in the good way), and finally when I received a discount card in the mail, I decided to go have a look.
As soon as I walked in to YouFit Health Club, it brought back memories of the days when I got up at 5:00 a.m. to go to the gym, every single weekday before going to work. Well, that’s not exactly the part of the memory it brought back. What it brought back was the memory of how good I felt–how much energy I had.
And so, I joined…and got myself a personal trainer, Mitch Heaslip.
I’ve never had a personal trainer before, but thought at my age, it would benefit me to have someone who knows what he’s doing telling me what I need to be doing.
I thought you might like to meet him…just in case you’ve thought about doing the same thing.
By the way, I highly recommend it. There have been many times Mitch has pushed me past the, “I don’t want to do this” stage. One day, after two sets of push ups, as I groaned and grunted, grateful to finally get that last painful push up over with, he smiled and said, “Okay, one more set.”
“Whaaat? Seriously?” I thought. But, I didn’t say it out loud.
I did it. Another set.
Oh, and let’s not count the time I was sitting at the pool with my sister and had an appointment with Mitch. If I hadn’t had that appointment, I guarantee I would have stayed at the pool, sipping margaritas between my naps.
So, here’s a little bit about Mitch, followed by a Q & A.
What’s up guys? I’m Mitch of Mitch Heaslip Fitness and I’m extremely honored to be interviewed by Jan here on her blog and I’m excited to be here.
A little about me; I’m currently living in Dallas, Texas with my new wife Maria but I’m originally from Ottawa, Ontario Canada. I’ve been in Texas for about one year and I’m loving it. I’m also lucky enough to make my living training clients in-person as well as online.
Let me backtrack a little bit. I got started in the fitness industry at 19 years old in a tiny town called Petawawa. Here I began assisting in the training of Canadian soldiers in a group setting for the purpose of job performance. This was an amazing start to my career in fitness and exposed me to a huge variety of clients.
From there I moved onto a commercial gym setting in Ottawa, Ontario where I worked with clients in one-on-one and group settings.
There came a time when I felt I wanted to diversify a little, so I became a certified firefighter/EMT. I worked as an Oilfield Firefighter for two years. And while this was an incredible experience, I never really let go of the fitness industry, and maintained online clients throughout this time.
I eventually realized that training, teaching and coaching are my passions, and dove right back in head first.
This brings us to current times, where I am lucky enough to train wonderful clients like Jan in-person at a club called YouFit Health Clubs. I also coach clients online, planning their training and nutrition and helping every step of the way during their fitness journey.
Thanks again, Jan, for the opportunity to interview on your blog!
Mitch Heaslip Fitness
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
JAN: Can you give us three benefits to having a personal trainer?
MITCH: Absolutely! The first benefit would be the accountability. This comes in many forms, depending on what the client needs. I can’t tell you how many clients have told me that they would NOT be at the gym if they didn’t know I was there waiting for them. Showing up is a huge part of the battle, and setting an appointment with a trainer will make sure you show up. Clients also tend to work a little harder with their trainer than they do by themselves. This is true whether or not the trainer verbally pushes the client.
The second would be that the knowledge and experience of the trainer is now at your disposal. We live in a very interesting time where information is in the palm of our hand at any given time, but even with that, you can’t replace many years of experience with Google. Regardless of the obstacles you come across in your training, nutrition or lifestyle, you can pretty much bet that your trainer has helped many others work through that obstacle, and they’ll help you too. This keeps you on track, and gets your results as quickly as possible.
Finally, the third would be the fact you can outsource some of your decisions and planning. In 2015 we are all busy, hustling our faces off, working long hours and making decisions all day long. Hiring a trainer places a very important aspect of your life in the hands of an expert, and it means you don’t need to plan your training or your nutrition. Your trainer will take that on, and you just need to shut off your mind and execute the plan. This means you can save your mental and emotional energy for your family, friends, and work.
JAN: What is the one piece of advice you can give us to make our workout routines a success?
MITCH: This is far and away my best piece of advice for making sure your fitness routines are a success. Learn to love the process, and focus on daily execution. This means once you establish your end goal, and plan out your path to that goal, forget about the goal, and focus on the small daily steps that keep you on that path. Focusing on the end goal can cause anxiety realising how much work needs to be done, and it takes your mind off of the things that will get you there. Consistently hit your workouts, eat the right foods, and keep going. And love the process!
JAN: List the top three most beneficial exercises.
MITCH: This answer may vary from client to client, but I can certainly think of a few that will apply to most people. The first would be the squat. The squat will teach proper posture, glute activation, hip function which tends to be lost in adulthood, and serves as a foundation for all other exercises. The squat also strengthens your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, and to a lesser extent, your abs and upper back. This means a huge bang for your buck.
The second movement I would go with is the lunge, and this could be any variation of the lunge. This exercise has many of the same benefits as a squat, but because it is a single leg exercise it will also improve muscular balance between the legs, activate the glutes a little more than a squat, and teach some more balance and coordination which is very helpful in the gym and everyday life.
Finally, I’ve got to show the upper body some love with the push up. This is like the squat of the upper body. You’re going to strengthen your pecs (chest), triceps (back of your arms) and your deltoids (shoulders). Unlike a bench press, in the push up your shoulder blades are free to glide across your back as nature intended, which encourages healthy shoulder function and shoulder stability. Just an amazing movement in general.
JAN: I’m 57 and you’re the first personal trainer I’ve had in my life. Any words of wisdom?
MITCH: Absolutely, and it is the same piece of advice I would give to most people who are just getting started. Be patient with yourself. Focus on progress and not perfection. If you’re eating a little better today than you were yesterday, or doing a little more in the gym this week than you did last week, then you’re on the right path. Give yourself the pat on the back you deserve, focus on what you’re doing well, not on what you perceive as failures because positivity breeds more positivity.
Finally, when you engage in self talk in your mind, speak to yourself like you are your best friend, not your worst enemy. Be gentle, and encouraging. That’s it! Adherence is more important than anything, and making sure the experience is positive is vital for long term adherence.
See? I’ll bet you can tell by Mitch’s answers what a positive influence he is. In less than a month, I can already feel a difference. I highly recommend having a personal trainer, at least to get you started.
Here are some of Mitch’s links. He even has an app that can help you if you’re not in the Dallas area.