Hi everyone, meet Tina, a client who has made room in her busy life for lifting - and setting an example for women everywhere. Find out how she first set foot into the TrueFN studio, and why she's stayed. Oh, and ask her about her favorite exercise (hint: she's performing it below).
TrueFN: How long have you been working with your trainer, Max?
TS: I started working with Max at TrueFN in the fall of 2015. I had to take off January through mid-March 2016 because I tore my ACL skiing, but as soon as I could I started back up with Max doing only upper body while I was rehabbing my knee post surgery.
TrueFN: Why did you start working together?
TS: My ten-year old son started working with Max first in a small group. At the time I belonged to a gym and mainly took cardio classes but wanted to mix things up because I was getting bored and I was turning fifty soon. When I hit that milestone birthday, I wanted to feel good about myself. I started training one day a week with Max and eventually added another day.
TrueFN: How has your physique, strength, and/or mindset changed since you started?
TS: Since I've been working with Max I feel better all over and have more energy. It's easier to do daily chores like reaching down to pick up the dog's bowls, carry groceries, and lift those big Deer Park bottles onto the cooler. My jeans aren't tight (yay!) and I've actually gone down one size in pants.
TrueFN: How many days a week do you exercise?
TS: Each week I meet with Max twice, do pilates once, and take the dogs for their daily walks.
TrueFN: Life gets busy and people miss workouts, what's your strategy to stay on track?
TS: There have definitely been mornings when I didn't sleep well the night before or I have a long to-do list in my head and the very last thing I want to do is work out, but I force myself to go. I think about how I feel when I'm done. That feeling is motivating.
TrueFN: On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work during your workouts?
TS: I want Max to read this: TEN, TEN, TEN! I'm spent when I leave TrueFN. My body aches (in a good way), and I feel happy, energized and mindful about what I'm going to put into my body that day. It's much easier to resist that bagel or scone (most of the time).
TrueFN: What is your favorite exercise?
TS: My favorite exercise, if I have to pick one, is probably the deadlift because it has helped me strengthen my back. I have been afraid of deadlifts because in gym classes they always left my back in terrible pain. Now, of course, I know that I was doing them incorrectly.
TrueFN: How does being strong benefit other aspects of your life?
TS: One of the significant changes I've noticed since I've gotten stronger is that my rheumatoid arthritis doesn't bother me as much. My rheumatologist told me I was "medically boring" at my last appointment. That's a good thing to be.
TrueFN: What’s your #1 piece of advice to someone who wants to make significant fitness progress?
TS: Stick with it, especially on those days when, for whatever reason, you're not feeling up to it. I have learned that consistency is key to seeing change in my body. I think this is one of the motivational signs on the wall at TrueFN - "Every workout doesn't have be record breaking." So true!
Trainer Perspective from Max Berkheimer:
TrueFN: Max, what is it like to work with Tina?
MB: Tina is a great person to work with because she works hard, listens, and is enjoyable to be around. Her training has actually been a great learning experience for me. When she began, many of the exercises I implement with clients were out of the question due to chronic pain that she had. Then, when she was returning from ACL surgery, our selection became even more limited. I had to be a little more creative with what we did, and patient with progressing her on certain movements. However, because of her commitment to the program she is now able to do virtually any exercise that I normally train a client with. For example, her favorite exercise (the deadlift) was not one we could do the first few months due to pain. As she got stronger, we started using a 15lb bar with partial range of motion and moved up from there. Currently, she has progressed to weights as high as 100lb through full range of motion. Tina's progress is a great example of something I've believed for a long time, that progressive strength training of the functional movements can create big improvements to someone's quality of life.
I also have to say that Tina is a great client to work with on a personal level. She is kind and talkative not just with me, but other trainers and clients at the studio. I am a new father, so I enjoy getting "parental advice" from her and talking about raising our boys. It is a great pleasure to work with her, and I am very happy and proud to see the improvements she has made during our time together.