Name: Clarissa Grobbelaar
Occupation: Personal Trainer, Gymnastics & Swimming Coach
Question 1: What does your personal trainer want you to know, that you probably don’t?
There is no quick fix, so be prepared to commit yourself for the long term. Having a personal trainer does not mean you get the easy way out. You will, however, get the right workout and support to reach your goals and see results faster.
Question 2: What should a person look out for or ask when they are looking for a personal trainer? How will they know if the personal trainer is any good?
What’s love got to do with it? A lot. This is like looking for that ‘special’ one. Finding the trainer in the gym with the most qualifications and experience can give you an indication that it is a good trainer. But that doesn’t always mean that you will stick around and look forward to seeing this person 3 or 4 times a week.
Most personal trainers will allow one free session before you commit for the long term. I would suggest going through with a few of these one-on-one sessions (“dates”) to make sure you can commit to the trainer. Only you will know what type of personality you need to motivate you. Maybe you want your trainer to be aggressive and loud, or maybe you would prefer a gentler, supportive approach. You will know when you’ve found the one!
Question 3: One of the benefits of having a personal trainer is having someone to motivate you. If you don’t have money for a personal trainer, how can you stay motivated?
In my experience I have found that the core motivation behind your goal is just as important, if not more so, than the goal itself. Make sure you understand exactly what it is you want to achieve with your healthy eating and exercise routine.
Whether you want a six pack, better legs, or simply to lose a few kilos, make sure you define your goals clearly. Visualise that six pack, collect photos of the legs you want, and write down how much you want to lose. Once you know your goals, ask yourself why you want to achieve it.
Most people answer that they simply want to be healthy. If this is true, then it is a good reason. Just remember that there is no good or bad motivational factor. If you actually want a six pack because you want to impress someone, be honest with yourself about it.
Know what you want and why you want it. Only you can know what will drive you to stick to your goals. Over time, your goals and motivations will change, so remember to revise them appropriately.
Question 4: This is my first time joining a gym, and I am not sure how or where to start. What advice do you have?
In the week you start, make sure one of the trainers or staff members shows you around and explains how to use the equipment if needed. There should be someone at the gym assisting with this, so use the opportunity and ask as many questions as you need to.
Have a plan – make sure you go to the gym with a planned workout. Without a plan you could find yourself daydreaming your session away.
I know starting at a new gym can be scary especially if you’re a beginner. Don’t be intimidated; no one is judging you accept yourself. Even the fittest person will be more focused on him- or herself than on you not being able to breathe after half a track. The gym is there to help you get fit and achieve your goals, just go in there and do it.
Question 5: If someone can’t afford a gym membership, what can they use around the house for weight training?
The benefits of bodyweight training are endless, and you can find so many fun and easy exercises online to keep you busy. If you feel like adding some extra weights, try filling water bottles with sand and use these as dumbbells. Even using a watermelon to add some weight to your squats, or holding it while running on the spot will give you a good workout.
Question 6: For people who are trying to balance work and family, it is often difficult to find the time to exercise. What advice do you have for professionals with little time left in the day for exercising?
You don’t need to put aside hours of your week to work out. This is a common misconception. All you need is 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Researchers in Canada have found that you can get double the training effect by doing a 20 minute HIIT instead of a 1 hour aerobic session. This means you can get fit even more quickly.
If you still can’t make time for 20 minutes a day, be more active in your daily life by making small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the lift. Or instead of spending family time infront of the television, take the kids and dog for a walk.
Question 7: I can only exercise very early in the morning or very late at night. Should I eat before or after exercising?
Both. Just like cars need gas to drive, your body needs food for energy. Without this fuel or energy you won’t get too far. It is advisable to eat something at least 60 minutes before a workout. A small snack like a fruit, smoothie, healthy sandwich or oats will do.
After your workout it is very important to feed your hungry muscles; have something ready to eat 20 to 60 minutes afterwards. Make sure it’s healthy, to complement your workout.