How to Conquer Those Early Morning Workouts

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  1. Drink a cup of coffee: this caffeine will give you an energy boost to help you power through your workout. You may also want to eat a little snack to make sure you don’t get light headed and faint
  2. Set your clothes out the night before: Having clothes set out next to your bed will make sure you don’t waste any time in the morning looking for a pair of socks, favorite sports bra, etc
  3. Make it a date: schedule your morning workouts with friends so you are less likely to bail because you are too tired or just don’t feel like it
  4. Personal Trainer: having a personal trainer there to hold you accountable for your workouts could be key to never missing that morning workout before work
  5. Boost your metabolism: working out first thing in the morning jumpstarts your metabolism and allows you to burn more calories throughout the day

Trainer Spotlight: Darius Johnson

Meet Darius: Denver GAIN Trainer whose fitness does not stop at the gym.

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Why did you become a personal trainer?

When I was growing up I loved playing all kinds of sports and have always been very competitive. I soon learned that if I paid close attention to my fitness and nutrition this could help boost my athletic performance. I always had great experiences with my strength and conditioning coaches and I knew that the impact they had on me, I would like to have on others.

Specialization/Certification:

B.A. Exercise and Sports Science – Western State Colorado University

Certified Personal Trainer – National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist – NASM

TRX Tactical Level 2

Favorite way to stay fit:

I really love working out with my clients because they end up enjoying it a little bit more because they appreciate that I’m working out with them. But I enjoy multiple forms of exercise and in a variety of settings.

Motivational Quote:

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Typical Breakfast:

Most of the time, for breakfast, I eat oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins, and coconut shavings.

Guilty Pleasure:

I love me some Pound Cake and BBQ Ribs!

Favorite way to stay fit on vacation:

When me and my family take vacations we always try to plan something that involves physical activity like a hike. A couple weeks ago we stayed in Glenwood Springs, here in CO, and we hiked to Hanging Lake. It was so beautiful and so worth our time.

If you had to choose only one piece of exercise equipment to use, what would it be?

I would easily answer that with the TRX. The TRX allows you to exercise in practically in any environment. Outside, at home, in your gym, and in your hotel room if you travel, are all great places that you can efficiently get a great full-body workout with the TRX. And if you use it correctly by managing the amount of rest time in between each exercise, you can accomplish get a great workout in a small amount of time.

Cardio or Weights?

I prefer resistance training if I have to choose one. However, both are absolutely necessary for me to maintain my fitness level.

Which fitness myths bother you the most?

“Can you help me lose fat only in my butt?” There is no such thing as “Spot Reduction.” Even a woman that is pregnant will tell you how she got to a point where her wedding ring couldn’t fit. When you gain weight you gain it everywhere and when you lose weight you will lose everywhere also…

Favorite part of your work:

Honestly, the favorite part is that I can really have a lasting positive impact on someone’s life that could benefit them for the rest of their years.

In June, I participated in NASM’s Corrective Exercise Specialist Workshop. And a book I recently read that I would recommend to anyone even current trainers, Fitness or Fiction written Brent Brookbush. Look that guy up online he is a super stud!

Favorite meal to cook:

Salmon, Asparagus, brown rice. Easy and quick to make and very nutritious.

Favorite place to workout:

I love 24 Hour Fitness because there are so many people in there that care about their fitness and it is wonderful to be in an environment like that, at least I think so.

 

Want to train with Darius? Email jillian@gainfitness.com for an introduction!

Trainer Spotlight: Alison Corcoran

Meet Alison Corcoran: San Francisco GAIN trainer and kettlebell master, who does NOT stop midway through those Baker Beach sand stairs!

  1. Why did you become a personal trainer?
    • To help people discover their inner strength by enhancing their physical capacity. Fitness completely transformed my life and helped me find empowerment – it is my goal as a trainer to bring that to each one of my clients. When they discover just how powerful they can train themselves to be, it is amazing at the effects it can have on every aspect of their life.
  2. Specialization/Certification:
    • NASM CPT & ACE GFI – I specialize in core-based movement, functional training, and setting positive goals for a positive life! I also coach clients in swimming and help runners discover the beauty of cross training.
  3. Favorite way to stay fit:
    • Outdoor bootcamps, swimming, Pilates, hiking, and kickboxing
  4. Motivational Quote:
    • “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
  5. Typical Breakfast:
    • Oatmeal and plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a bit of raw honey drizzled on top
  6. Guilty Pleasure:
    • Baked goods. I would fight someone for a decadent warm brownie. Beware. . .
  7. Favorite way to stay fit on vacation:
    • Hiking and swimming
  8. If you had to choose only one piece of exercise equipment to use, what would it be?
    • The kettlebell. It is incredibly versatile and portable. Whether you’re performing swings, thrusters, Turkish getups, goblet squats, or any of the endless types of exercises they allow – you can easily get a total body workout from just that one item. It doesn’t look like much but it has left me sore from head-to-toe on far more than one occasion
  9. Cardio or weights?
    • Both! Variety is the spice of life – and the body agrees! :)
  10. Which fitness myth bothers you the most?
    • Women should never lift heavy weights because they will “bulk up.” I want to throw a heavy weight at all of the “celebrity trainers” who spread that nonsense. It always makes me sad to read the myths perpetuated by magazines and so-called “fitness professionals” trying to prey upon people’s fears. Trainers are here to empower, not frighten.
  11. What is your favorite part of your work?
    • I really do believe I am living my dream so that is a question I could spend days answering . . . but seeing as space is limited I would have to say one of the best parts is helping clients realize their goals. My clients inspire me everyday and I consider it a privilege to be able to guide them on a lifelong journey that breeds so many rewards. When they experience that first push-up or PR in a race, it is the best feeling to see their face and know that they have discovered something amazing within themselves.
  12. What was the last seminar you attended or book you read that inspired your training style?
    • Geez, that’s tough. I read fitness articles everyday (no exaggeration)! I guess if I had to choose it would be Brett Klika’s workshop on small group training. He taught me to get back to basics and help clients master foundational movements, along with incorporating games. Fitness should be fun and we should never stop playing!
  13. What is your favorite sport to watch?
    • Swimming or UMiami football (Go Canes!)
  14. What is your favorite meal to cook?
    • Rosemary balsamic grilled chicken with a cucumber tomato salad. It’s healthy, easy, and delish – just like I like it! I’m always testing out healthier baked good recipes, but those aren’t meals per se . . .
  15. What is your favorite place to workout?
    • Baker Beach – those sand stairs are no joke but the view is worth every groan!

 

Want to train with Alison? Email jillian@gainfitness.com for an introduction

Trainer Spotlight: Chris Moen

Meet Chris Moen: San Francisco GAIN trainer and trail runner, with a mean green curry tacos recipe to add some spice to his life!

Chris leading a GAIN Fitness bootcamp at Sunday Streets in the Mission

Chris leading a plank competition at Sunday Streets in the Mission

1. Why did you become a personal trainer?

A pivotal point in my life was the summer before my 7th grade school-year, it was at this point I had finally decided to address my being out-of-shape. No longer was I going to be the subject of teasing from my peers! I modeled myself after my dad who was a life-long recreational runner and my brother who was a genetically natural cross-country state champion. They ran, so I began to run! I actually started off walking, and then gradually began to add short bouts of running. I also devoured information on proper nutrition from the stack of Runner’s World magazines in our living room.  By the end of the summer, I was able to run 3 miles non-stop. I also was watching my caloric intake and tracking my workouts and nutrition through daily journaling. I frequently reviewed what I had written in previous weeks to track my progress. From there, I kept running and training. Long story short, this running turned into my passion through high school, and set me on a path to pursue a dream of being a successful collegiate runner. I tried my hand in 3 semesters of running cross-country/track at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was at this point that I was considering pursuing personal training, physical therapy or chiropractics. I still was holding out that my running results would catch up with me and perhaps I could follow in my older brother’s footsteps as he began his successful professional distance running career.  At this point, my running performance was far less than I had hoped. I was competitive.. on the Junior Varsity team. Not the person to quit, I had to look at the situation objectively. After speaking with my coach and advisor, I decided I would shelve my collegiate running career and transfer to my alma mater Iowa State University. ISU provided for experiences that only a large campus could provide (Nebraska Wesleyan had ~1800 students at the time I transferred). It was here that my passion for exercise science and personal training blossomed. I was afforded the opportunity of training many different populations on campus, whether it be through my position as a personal trainer and spin instructor for Rec Services or through the labs in my various classes. A range that ran the spectrum from collegiate athletes to 90 year-old clients, and a specific focus on those needing corrective exercise expertise. Personal training perfectly balances my analytical/planning side of my brain with my intuitive/feeling side. I get to plan workouts and programs for my clients in advance which then allows me to train in the moment. Taking an experimental approach, I get to tap into my creativity by figuring out the ways my clients learn best and then tailor my training style towards a balance of what they want and what they need to reach their fitness goals.  

2. Specialization/Certification:

  • Running/Biking/Triathlon Training
  • Sports Performance
  • Corrective Exercise (post-rehab exercise program take-overs)
  • Rocktape/Kinesiotape
  • B.S. Kinesiology
  • ACSM-CPT
  • USATF – LVL 1 Coach
  • TRX

3. Favorite way to stay fit:

  • Trail-Running, Parkour, Skiing, Yoga, Pilates

4. Motivational Quote:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

- Mahatma Ghandi

5. Typical Breakfast:

  • 1-2 cups of vegetables stir-fryed with two eggs cracked on top and one chicken sausage link with a large glass of water. And ketchup, a lot of ketchup.

6. Guilty Pleasure:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies, they’re one of the many motivating factors that motivate myself to keep moving.

7. Favorite way to stay fit on vacation:

  • Running, foam roll ab workouts, and my ol’ reliable go-to lateral band-walking exercise.

8. If you had to choose only one piece of exercise equipment to use, what would it be?

  • I would have to say the foam roll, although the TRX is a very close second.

9. Cardio or weights?

  • I crave moving fast, jumping, and dodging.. Gotta go with Cardio.

10. What is your favorite part of your work?

  • When one of my clients or trainers eyes’ light up after having spent a considerable amount of time and effort confronting a physical/mental obstacle and then them succeeding where they haven’t before. From that point on, that’s a changed person you’re collaborating with.

11. What was the last seminar you attended or book you read that inspired your training style?

  • “Daily Rituals” by Mason Currey. Gives insight into how the people and personalities behind these great minds approached their daily organization. Extremely beneficial for me in helping coach my clients how to make their daily habits support their fitness, career, relationship and life goals.
  • Earlier this year I read “Coaching the Mental Game” by H.A. Dorfman. Whether training or competing, the mental aspect of a client/athlete is always the most important asset in determining whether someone reaches their goals or not. Figuring out how to tap into that potential and getting him/her to apply it to the given situation will yield the results they’re looking for so long as they have a competant coach/trainer.

12. What is your favorite sport to watch?

  • College football. We don’t have pro sports teams in Iowa where I’m from, so Saturdays in the fall are dedicated to following my Iowa Hawkeyes.

13. What is your favorite meal to cook?

  • Turkey meatloaf or green curry fish tacos.

14. What is your favorite place to workout?

  • Trail-Running in California, specifically Yosemite has been my highlight.

Chris' trail run in Yosemite

Chris’ trail run in Yosemite

Want to train with Chris? Email jillian@gainfitness.com for an introduction

Trainer Spotlight: Andrew Cheit

Meet Andrew Cheit: NASM certified personal trainer by day, grill master by night. Andrew is a GAIN trainer in San Francisco and we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on him! 

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  1. Why did you become a personal trainer?
    • I have always been really active, and played both soccer and rugby in college, but it really started for me when I tore my hamstring about 3 ½ years ago. I realized that I wasn’t taking care of my body in the right ways and had a lot to learn. After going through the rehab process, I saw a big change in my strength and conditioning, and wanted to take that experience and help other people realize their fitness goals.
  2. Motivational Quote:
    • To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
  3. Typical Breakfast:
    • Either a frozen berry, milk, chia and flax seed smoothie with granola, or a bulletproof coffee.
  4. Guilty Pleasure:
    • Burritos
  5. Favorite way to stay fit on vacation:
    • Hiking/exploring on bike or foot.
  6. If you had to choose only one piece of exercise equipment to use, what would it be?
    • TRX – portable, versatile, great for functional exercises and hardcore strength training alike.
  7. Cardio or weights?
    • Weights
  8. Which fitness myth bothers you the most?
    • Weightlifting and running are mutually exclusive
  9. What is your favorite part of your work?
    • Seeing the positive changes in my clients, and helping clients reach goals they didn’t think attainable
  10. What was the last seminar you attended or book you read that inspired your training style?
    • Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett. A must read for any avid weight lifter and aspiring trainer. One of the best how-to guides out there for proper lifting technique, movement patterning, and achieving new levels of mobility and flexibility.

 

Want to train with Andrew? Email jillian@gainfitness.com for an introduction