The TrueFN team is coming back at you with another shining Client Spotlight, this time featuring the fabulous Michelle Olson. Michelle is committed to intelligent movement and strategic exercise intensity with her trainer, Elliott White, and shares with us her motiviations for working hard - and working SMART. Read below and check out Michelle's awesome deadlifts!
TrueFN: How long have you been working with your trainer, Elliott?
MO: About 2 1/2 years
TrueFN: Why did you start working together?
MO: I had recently had a baby and wanted to shed some extra pounds. Someone told me that lifting weights actually burns more calories (and keeps burning them well after the workout) than the cardio type of exercises I was used to doing. A friend had experienced great results with Elliott, so I thought I would call him up and try weight training. I am now officially addicted and appreciate the fitness efficiency it offers.
TrueFN: How has your physique, strength, and/or mindset changed since you started?
MO: can work out half the time I used to and get superior results. I feel fit and strong. Hopefully others think I look that way too. My body looks and feels more toned. Elliott is the only person I have ever worked with that I have been able to stick with. Each training session is a combination of work out and education. I learn something new every day and am stronger and more nutritionally balanced than I was in my 20s.
Regular workouts and conversations about exercise and nutrition with Elliott have inspired me to look beyond my old fitness goals. I have improved my flexibility, balance, and posture- things I never thought about when I was younger. I've also increased my water intake. The better hydration has made me more malleable and am less inclined to get aches and pains.
TrueFN: How many days a week do you exercise?
MO: Minimum of 3. Often I will add a power walk with a friend as additional exercise.
TrueFN: Life gets busy, what is your strategy to stay on track?
MO: Planning! I plan time for my workouts well in advance so I can schedule around them as much as possible. I also plan meals in advance- making enough of a healthy dinner to serve as lunch the next day. I also minimize carbs and desserts.
TrueFN: On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work during your sessions with Elliott?
MO: 9, though it doesn't feel that aggressive. Sometimes we only do 4 or 5 exercises in a training session, but those exercises are performed with strict attention to form and amount of weight.
TrueFN: How important is smart nutrition in your life?
MO: Very important, which is why I plan my meals in advance. Even if I am traveling, I think about what and how I will eat. If I am going to indulge in something like McDonalds, it will be planned in advance, rarely on the fly (though it has been known to happen). I eat a lot, but it is quality food. I love animal protein, veggies, and fruit, so it's not that difficult to maintain smart nutritional habits.
TrueFN: Does your family prioritize fitness and nutrition too?
TrueFN: What's your #1 piece of advice to someone who wants to make significant fitness progress?
MO: Show up!
Trainer Perspective - Elliott White
TrueFN: Elliott, what is it like to work with Michelle?
EW: Michelle is such a joy. She always comes in with a smile on, and a positive attitude. She may not always feel awesome, but she is always ready to get some work in. Training isn't always fun, and requires a stick-to-itiveness even in the face of challenge. Michelle gets this and puts in the work because she knows the benefit it will have to her body. We talk often about how most women are presented with the More Cardio Less Carbs solution to fitness and this just doesn't work. A lean, mean body needs hard, heavy resistance training 3X a week, and plenty of quality calories to keep it fueled, to build muscle and strong bones. She recently came within 2 seconds of the all-time gym record in a tough, tough conditioning event. She decided she was going to do it, and she did. I'm still proud of her for it, can you tell?
Michelle also works out on her own, and still makes progress even with scheduling difficulties and jet-setting. Life has a way of obstructing the perfect workout plan, and so we work regularly creating strategies to stay on track. She is an absolute joy to all who surround her, and she brightens the room. I'm lucky to work with her, and can't wait to see what else she has in store.