TrueFN is launching a new online feature today, profiling a client whose fitness story is an inspiration to others. Our first Client Spotlight highlights Katherine Day, a busy mother of two, who takes her health seriously and has the body to prove it. Check out Katherine's interview below, including words from her trainer, Dylan Smith, about the secrets to Katherine's success. (hint: it isn't magic!)
TrueFN: How long have you been working with your trainer, Dylan?
KD: I have been training with Dylan since January of 2014.
TrueFN: Why did you start working together?
KD: I moved here from California in 2012 and for the most part was just playing tennis. I had worked out with weight for many years but I wasn't motivated and missed living in California. When 2014 was approaching, I knew it was time to get back on track. I overheard some women at the gym saying what a great trainer Dylan is and that they were in the best shape of their life when working out with him. In our first session, I couldn't do a bench push up and I was shocked and embarrassed at how weak I was!
TrueFN: How has your physique changed since you started?
KD: My physique looks better now and I have a lot more muscle definition. I actually have lats now and my legs are more toned. The most important thing though is my overall strength-especially my core. Sure I can squat and bench decent weight, but where I see it is in the everyday activities. As you age you realize how important it is to be able to pick up a large case of water or pick up a heavy piece of luggage without straining or hurting yourself. I never want to feel weak again.
TrueFN: How many days a week do you exercise?
KD: I exercise on average 4-5 days a week.
TrueFN: Life gets busy, how often would you say you miss a workout?
KD: If I miss a workout I make sure I get back at it the next day. I listen to my body now and if I really feel exhausted (and not just an excuse) I won't exercise. Sometimes after a hard training session with Dylan I will have to nap late afternoon and I know my body is telling me something. The only time I have cancelled on Dylan is when I had a severe sinus infection and one time my car got stuck in the snow.
TrueFN: On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work during your sessions with Dylan?
KD: Dylan always gets 100% from me. I take my sessions very seriously and am always asking him questions. I show up 15 minutes early and I get all my stretching out of the way. I never drink alcohol the night before a session (no way!) and I make sure I eat well and hour and a half before. I you constantly show up late and/or hungover you are wasting your money. Show up prepared like you would for work.
TrueFN: How important is smart nutrition in your life?
KD: Smart nutrition is extremely important to me-it goes hand and hand with exercise. You have to make a commitment to do both if you want results. I started dieting in 7th grade. I have tried a lot of diets: Scarsdale, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Zone, the fat free craze of the late 80s and in college I remember eating only fruit for a week until my mouth was full of sores. I am not saying these diets are bad. The key word is I "tried" them only to go back to my old ways of overdosing on sugar-my addiction of choice. I had to completely overhaul the way I ate and it did take time. It is worth it and I feel better mentally and physically. I really don't eat processed food at all and I eat as many vegetables as I can. I eat clean, don't eat sugar and average 1.5 drinks a week unless I am on vacation.
TrueFN: Tell us about your upcoming project with Forks Over Knives.
KD: I signed up for a plant based eating online cooking course by Forks Over Knives. Dylan told me to watch the documentary on Netflix and I have been hooked ever since. I have their cookbook and have made several recipes. I do not have plans at this time to to go strictly vegan, but I would like to incorporate more interesting vegetable, grain, and bean recipes to my repertoire.
TrueFN: To date, what are some of your proudest fitness accomplishments?
KD: My proudest fitness accomplishment this year has to be carrying 240-lb farmer's handles and performing 100 kettlebell swings in under five minutes. Outside of the gym what I love the most is when my daughter's college friends ask me for fitness advice and/or recipes. My favorite comment a couple of weeks ago was when my daughter and her best friend used my credit card for lunch while out of town. Her friend said, "Oh no! Mama Day is gonna know we ate at McDonald's!" That's what I love the most.
TrueFN: What's your #1 piece of advice to someone who wants to make significant fitness progress?
KD: Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself how hard are you really working and how good is your diet? We all know we can do more. Pay attention to what you are eating and how much-it adds up quickly. Cook more at home and quit going out to eat so much. You don't have to drink every weekend. Great Falls Park is right around the corner-go walk it.
Trainer Perspective - Dylan Smith
TrueFN: Dylan, what is it like to work with Katherine as a client?
DS: It is a rare occurrence to find a person, let alone a personal training client, who is as persistent and dedicated to health and fitness, both in and out of the gym, as Katherine Day. In all the time I have trained Katherine, she has consistently shown up 10-15 minutes early for sessions to complete necessary foam rolling, mobility, and warm-up work and is always prepared for sessions. Katherine always gets a solid night's sleep, stays well hydrated, eats well, and goes for extra workouts and hikes during the week. Katherine works extremely hard during our sessions and I seriously doubt even my clientele in their 20s could keep up with her. Not only does she give every minute of every session her absolute all, she asks questions constantly so that she can expand her knowledge of training and fitness. For Katherine it is not enough to just DO a workout, she wants to know the WHY. Above all, Katherine gives no excuses. Her diet and lifestyle is dialed in so much so that she can go out once in a while and "pork" as she says and it doesn't even phase her training or physique. I know that no matter what challenge I give Katherine, she will rise to the challenge, and no matter how difficult, she will achieve it. Katherine truly exemplifies what it takes to get the most out of training and it is a pleasure to train her.