Category Archives: Uncategorized
After a long, intense Personal Training session it is essential to stretch out your muscles. Often with my training clients I will stretch them out after the session using some of the techniques I learned as a Ballet Dancer. I always tell my clients that the worst thing you can do on a day where you are very sore from training is to do nothing. I always recommend that my clients do a minimum of a 30 minute leg spin out on a recumbant bike and stretch.
Here are a few basic stretches that you can do on our own at home if you are not fortunate enough to have a trainer.
Back Stretch- Child’s Pose
On a yoga mat or floor, start sitting on your heels, shins and feet on the ground. Open your knees so that they are slightly wider than your hips. Shift the weight of your upper body back onto your heels, and lay down on the ground. Arms stretched out in front of you, head resting on the ground. Relax in this position for 1 minute. You should practice this exercise with absoultely no tension anywhere in the body. This exercise stretch and relax the back while also releasing tension from the hip flexors.
Start sitting on a mat or the floor. Stretch the right leg out to your side, while the left leg is bent in towards you. Slowly stretch the left arm up over your head, and reach over towards the right leg. You will feel a stretch in the side, the hip, and the inner thigh of the leg that is extended out to the side. You will also feel this stretch in the hamstring. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat to the other side.
There you have it. Two simple stretches that you can do on your own in the comfort of your own home! For more information on how you can learn wonderful stretching exercises visit nikolklein.com.
Bored with your salad? If you want your weight loss goals to be a success, you have to eat your greens. Lettuce and the other raw vegetables in your salad contain important nutrients. Romaine lettuce, for example, contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and is an excellent source of dietary fiber. I often recommend a salad a day to my nutrition clients.
So how do you make a boring salad taste good? There are many flavorful natural ingredients that you can add to a salad without adding too much fat or calories. Of course, a variety of salad dressings is a good start. I recommend keeping a few different salad dressings in the fridge so that you don’t get tired of the same one. This way, if you don’t have a lot of ingredients on tap to throw into the salad, you can still enjoy a different flavor.
Here are a few healthy salad ideas for you to try!
Southwestern Chicken Salad: On top of those greens add chipotle grilled chicken breast, corn, chopped tomatoes, black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, and a low fat ranch dressing.
Chinese Chicken Salad: On top of iceburg lettace and shredded cabbage add grilled chicken breast, mandarin oranges, sugar snap peas, carrots, and peanuts topped with a lowfat peanut vinagrette dressing.
Grape and Feta Salad: On romaine lettuce add sliced grapes, slivered almonds, red onion, and feta cheese. Use a simple balsamic vinagrette for dressing.
Have fun trying these simple salad recipes! You can always substitute salmon, shrimp, or steak for grilled chicken. Enjoy.
As the Owner of a 24 hour Fitness Facility for Women, Fit For Her, I am well aware of the precautions that must be taken in order to keep my facility safe for my members. A recent La Fitness tragedy that happened in my hometown near Pittsburgh, PA, hit me hard and just may contribute to the change of security procedures in fitness facilities all over the country. (If you haven’t heard about this tragedy, you can read more about it here.)
This has raised the question, ‘Are gyms really safe?’
Even as a gym owner, I’ve felt a bit paranoid in my own facility after-hours even with cameras rolling. Just the comfort that my facility is in a safe neighborhood isn’t enough. The truth is that there are crazy people everywhere and we can’t assume that everyone is sane. Just because their credit card payments clear every month doesn’t mean that they are good candidates for your facility. There should perhaps be a better screening process.
The information that I am failing to find regarding this situation is what the employees were doing and if it could have somehow been prevented. In my gym, for example, my employees have access to surveillance and key-fob monitoring. If a member visits the facility more than one time in a day a red flag goes up…if the employee is smart and well trained. This is especially true if the member enters the facility, doesn’t workout, then leaves shortly after. Reports that I have read regarding the shooter in the LA Fitness tragedy state that he visited the facility numerous times on the day of the shooting. My employees are trained to look for these signs because more than likely it means the member is stealing from the facility or up to something. I’m wondering what the Owners and managers of this particular facility are thinking. (Please keep in mind that I am not IN Pittsburgh, so I am not getting news…some of these questions may have already been answered by now.)
As a Woman, I personally would never join a co-ed gym for safety concerns, but in some parts of the country Female only fitness facilities aren’t available. Pittsburgh is one of these cities. If you are worried about your safety, look for an all Women’s facility in your area or hire a mobile trainer.
So the next time you see LA Fitness soliciting out front of Giant Eagle really think before you sign-up for that long term contract. It is quite possible that a mobile trainer is the right choice for you.
Even though I’ve been quite busy over the past few weeks with an abundance of new clients, I still found some time to get some video work done for all of my blog followers. My latest creation is an instructional video showing 4 different variations of a Ballet Leg sequence. All you need to perform these movements is the back of a chair, couch or railing.
You don’t have to be a Dancer to have Ballet Legs! Enjoy!
Best in Health,
Nikol Klein, ISSA CPT/SPN, Professional Ballet Dancer
I see all types of clients and have carefully observed and recorded the patterns of the clients who are getting results. Just because you have invested in a Personal Trainer doesn’t mean you are getting the most bang for your buck. Here are some weight loss trends that I have seen over the past year with my clients.
The clients who are seeing the best results are those who are training 3-4 times per week with me. Of course, this sounds a bit obvious and you’re probably saying to yourself, “I can’t afford it.” The truth is that in the long run, these clients are actually spending less money. Not only are their sessions discounted heavily with the more they purchase in advance, but they are seeing results faster. Fitness becomes part of their lifestyle, they crave it. This means that they can break off on their own a lot sooner.
The other factor that is effecting weight loss is In-Home training versus training at my home gym. My In-Home Personal Training clients have lost more weight, combined inches and body fat than the clients who come to my home. This is another reason why In-Home training is just so convenient! There are no excuses, no cancellations, and the comfort level aids in weight loss. I have found that cancellations are a big factor with the clients who train with me at my home. I highly recommend having a trainer come to your home to train you!
Here are the average statistics from 3 clients who train with me in their homes and 3 clients who train or trained at my home gym. All 10 of these clients are of relative age, weight and fitness level. Measurements consist of Hips, Waist, Calf, Bicep, and Thigh. Time period of 3 months.
3 In-Home clients:
Total Weight Lost: 62 lbs.
Inches: 63 inches
Body Fat: 33% lost
3 Clients at my gym:
Total Weight Lost: 31 lbs
Inches: 21 inches
Body Fat: 19% lost
What does this all mean, you ask? Sure, there are obvious genetic factors that can effect ones weight loss, but these differences are alarming. In-Home Personal Training is clearly more effective!
To invest in your health through In-Home Personal training visit www.nikolklein.com.
Best in Health,
Nikol Klein, ISSA CPT/SPN
Why you are not losing weight…
Every day I am in contact with Women who are unhappy with their current physical appearance. They come to me for my expert weight loss advice, and of course I do everything within my power to share my knowledge with them through healthy lifestyle examples. These include nutrition plans, daily workout routines, cardio workouts, and email support in addition to one-on-one Personal Training sessions, most of which are conducted in their homes.
The frustrating part is that despite all of the help and guidance I provide, there are some who still fail to achieve the goals they set out to accomplish when we first met. The following is a list of common mistakes and ways to prevent them from happening. You wouldn’t want to sabotage a weight loss plan you just spent hard earned money on!
Mistake #1: You get out of it what you put in- I know this sounds very cliche, but it is true. If you are not waking up 100% committed to the program your trainer has you on, you will not be successful in achieving your weight loss goals. Some think that just working out with their trainer three times a week is enough…it’s not. The clients who get results are those who are putting in extra work. This sometimes means working out twice a day! It truly comes down to how bad you want it.
Mistake #2: Not following Meal Plans- Following the Diet/ Meal Plan that your trainer designs for you is crucial to your weight loss. In fact, it’s even more important than the workouts. Meal Plans take your Trainer or Nutritionist hours to design. This is why they are so costly. A common mistake that clients make is thinking that if they workout, they don’t have to diet. Put the Krispy Kreme’s away…you are what you eat.
Mistake #3: Canceling Sessions- You’re not hiding from anyone but yourself. I’ve heard every excuse in the book from “I have to stay late at work” to “I’m hungover,” which is by far the worst thing you could ever say to your trainer. Do yourself a favor and don’t even think of canceling, and if you absolutely must cancel, give advance notice. Remember, everyone involved in Health charges for less than 24 hour notice…this includes Personal Trainer and Nutritionists!
Mistake #4: Not Doing Cardio- In addition to strength training with a trainer 3 times per week, you should also be performing a cardiovascular activity for at least 30 minutes per day. This is essential to any weight loss program.
Mistake #5: Not keeping a Journal- To most of my clients, I suggest that they use a journal to write down everything they eat…every day. Successful clients are bringing these journals to their workout sessions for me to review and critique. These are the clients who are making changes to their diets and feeling confident in their new healthy choices.
I hope that you are able to identify some of these mistakes within yourself and correct them for a successful weight loss program! Stay committed to the program you have bought into and you will reach your goals!
See you at the gym!
Nikol Klein, ISSA CPT/SPN
It’s that time again…Summer! Most families take a much needed vacation to the beach, but that doesn’t mean you have to take a vacation from your workout routine! You don’t want to sabotage all of the progress you have made, gain pounds back or lose muscle all in a weeks vacation.
I am going to show you a few exercises that target the legs. Turn heads this summer by performing 3 sets of each exercise. Your legs will be bikini worthy in just a few weeks!
Quick tip: Try an early morning jog or intervals. You can even throw in some lunges or squats in between jogging intervals!
Exercise One: Hip Bridges
Laying on a mat or towel, feet on the ground, knees bent, gently peel your hips off the ground as pictured. Return back down to the starting position. Make sure that you are lifting your hips so that there is a straight line running all the way from your knee to your shoulder as pictured above. Repeat 20 times.
Exercise Two: Single Leg Hip Bridge
Start lying down on a mat or towel with your Right leg bent, foot on the ground and your left leg at a 45 degree angle in the air. Bridge hips up and down. Repeat 20 times. Switch legs.
Advanced Bonus: To really give your tush a boost, try this exercise with your weight on the supporting heel rather than a flat foot!
Exercise Three: Simple Squat
Start standing with your legs slightly wider than hip width apart. Toes parallel. Holding a 5 pound ball or free weight. Bend the knees or squat while simultaneously lifting the ball or free weight to shoulder level. Return to starting position! Repeat 20 times.
Advanced Bonus: Try this move with your feet “duck” or turned-out!
Try these exercises at least 3 times a week, 3 sets of 20 in addition to your regular cardiovascular and strength training routine.
See you at the beach!
Nikol Klein, ISSA CPT, SPN
For more information on how you can get Bikini Legs, visit Nikol’s website, www.nikolklein.com or call (858) 598-5157 to schedule your FREE consultation!
This is an article that is currently running in a local San Diego Bridal Guide. Enjoy!
When it comes to the big day, brides-to-be really only want three things—the perfect groom, the perfect wedding, and the perfect dress. Nikol Klein, a San Diego Personal Trainer, is helping brides out there who want to add one more thing to that list of perfection—the perfect body.
Let’s face it, even the most svelte of brides includes “lose a few pounds” to her wedding planning to-do list. Every bride wants to be the best version of herself on the best day of her life, and that is where Nikol comes in.
As a personal trainer who caters only to women, Nikol devises her fitness routines to enhance the female form, focusing on toning and tightening. As a Professional Ballet Dancer, she offers brides-to-be workouts that incorporate graceful Ballet moves with unique exercises.
What distinguishes Nikol’s program from simply going to the gym or working with other personal trainers is something that is particularly appealing to busy brides. Nikol brings the gym to you.
So after a long day of working and micromanaging the planning of a wedding, brides don’t have to worry about mustering up the motivation to go to the gym because it’s there when they get home.
“In-home training is wonderful. I’ve found that my clients have better results and it forces me to get creative. I get bored, so I’m always trying to stay at the top of my game,” Nikol admits.
Currently in the process of training three brides, and being a bride-to-be herself, Nikol has gotten very familiar with what problem areas to focus on during her routines: “I target the upper body, because most brides go strapless. I combine Pilates work with simple, light weights.”
Along with herself, Nikol brings physioballs, free weights, elastic bands, mats, and kettle bells and has her clients do fun cardio blasts, like skipping on a treadmill.
As a part of her program, Nikol puts together nutrition guidelines and gives clients suggested recipes. She creates individual meal plans based on what her clients like and dislike.
Nikol also offers online training for the busiest of brides, which allows them to utilize the program even when she isn’t around.
Working mostly in the San Diego area, Nikol covers Del Mar, Leucadia, La Jolla, Cardiff, Carlsbad, Escondido, Encinitas, San Elijo, Rancho Santa Fe, Poway, Solana Beach, Scripps Ranch, La Mesa, and Chula Vista. She also trains with clients at her home gym for a discounted rate. To add even more incentive to look glowing in their gowns, Nikol is offering brides a special wedding package to get buff for the big day. They can choose a three month, six month or nine month long program which includes in-home training twice per week, and nutrition and online programs.
As for some quick tips on how to get in shape and stay slim for the big day, Nikol emphasizes that it is all about consistency and mindset: “You have to believe in it- whatever program you are doing.”
So set aside those seating charts, stop obsessing over the hors d’oeuvres, and let Nikol work her magic to help you look dazzling in your dress.
You can learn more about Nikol’s Bridal Fitness on her website.
Interviewer: Angela Atkinson
Expert Trainer: Nikol Klein
Bright Hub: As a Professional Ballet Dancer and Personal Trainer, you must have a lot of creative ideas about exercise. If a client came to you saying that they hated “traditional” exercise and were looking for something different—something fun that would get and keep her in shape—what would you advise?
Nikol Klein: Potential clients who come to me know they are going to get something different. Being a Professional Ballet Dancer all my life, I have experience that other trainers can only wish for. I can design unique individual programs to suit each client’s specific needs and body type.
My workouts incorporate dynamic warm-ups, strength training, Pilates, and stretching (to name a few) to give my clients the most effective workout…all without having to set foot into a gym!
Bright Hub: Many women avoid strength training because they fear the bulky, muscular look that is more common in men. How important is strength training for women?
Nikol Klein: What women fail to realize is that they do not produce enough testosterone to build large, bulky muscles. Chances are, at one point in their lives, they saw a picture of a female body builder and thought that is what happens to a woman’s body when they work out!
Strength training is important for women as it increases bone density and lean muscle mass, helps aid in injury prevention, improves cardiovascular function and slows down the aging process. These are just a few of the wonderful benefits to strength training!
Bright Hub: What fitness advice for women can you offer to those who need help shaping up?
Nikol Klein: My workouts incorporate techniques to create a lean, feminine body without the grunting and heavy weights that are sometimes associated with strength training. I also have a background in Pilates which I incorporate into a lot of my strength training workouts.
Bright Hub: In your experience as a personal trainer, what would you say are the best strength training exercises for women?
Nikol Klein: This is a tough question, as the answer truly depends upon the client and her individual goals. Someone who is looking to drop 50 pounds, for example, would have a completely different workout routine from someone who is just looking to tone up their abdominals for summer.
I would tend to give a more cardiovascular workout for the client looking to lose a lot of weight, and a more Pilates based workout for the girl looking for the bikini body.
So the real answer to this question depends upon the client, her health history, genetics and injury prone areas. This can all be determined during the initial client consultation.
Bright Hub: If a woman needs to lose a few pounds, can it be done with exercise alone or must she make changes to her diet? Do you recommend a specific type of diet for effective weight loss?
Nikol Klein: First of all, I don’t use the word “diet” because it tends to have a negative connotation. When you hear the word “diet,” you immediately think of deprivation. I don’t want to deprive my clients of foods they love; rather, I restructure their meal planning. In most cases, I find that my clients are not eating enough!
Bright Hub: So is there a secret to eating right for weight loss?
Nikol Klein: In order to lose weight effectively, you must also make changes to your meal plans. This usually consists of 5 small planned meals per day.
Bright Hub: As a personal trainer, do you offer nutritional counseling to your clients?
Nikol Klein: Of course! In addition to my personal training services, I also offer nutrition evaluations and meal planning—which is included in many of the packages I offer.
Diet is another thing that truly depends upon the client, the amount of weight they want to lose, their health history, their preferences and the time they have to invest in preparing meals.
This is something I discuss with my clients individually during their first consultation with me. I can then design a meal plan based upon their BMR and food preferences.
Bright Hub: What about women who are within a healthy weight range? Do they need to watch what they eat in order to maintain it, or can they eat what they like so long as they exercise?
Nikol Klein: I do not feel that anyone who is within their healthy weight range is eating “whatever they want” the way that most people might interpret it. When you hear that someone eats whatever they want, you think fast food…McDonalds. Perhaps eating “whatever they want” consists of grilled Salmon!
Bright Hub: So, even women who don’t have weight problems should concern themselves with eating healthier?
Nikol Klein: Being a professional ballet dancer as well, I know quite a few girls who swear by McDonalds and Wendy’s. The truth is that though they can eat whatever they want, these fat filled, sodium loaded foods are not benefiting their sport performance. These foods make you tired, bloated and can cause you to feel sick.
Bright Hub: What are some good general guidelines that women can follow for a healthy diet?
Nikol Klein: Though the French fries may temporarily fulfill a craving, they will only leave you with a stomach ache in the long run. Stick with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, fish, and lean protein.
Bright Hub: What is the secret to staying motivated and on track with a healthy lifestyle?
Nikol Klein: The key is keeping the refrigerator stocked with lots of fresh fruits and veggies and lean proteins such as fish and chicken.
A great way to hold yourself responsible for what you eat is to keep a daily food journal.It may sound silly, but when you actually see what you have eaten written down, it makes you think!
A funny thing that I used to do is put a sign on the refrigerator that said, “Why do I eat when I’m not hungry?” Try it, it works. Don’t give me credit for that one though…I think I saw that on Oprah or something ten years ago.
Bright Hub: I notice that you’re in great shape. Do you think that it helps to encourage your clients?
Nikol Klein: I think a lot of believing in a trainer has to do with the way the trainer looks too! If your trainer is out of shape herself, how can she motivate you, the client? I see this all too often at the large local corporate gyms.
Bright Hub: If a friend were seeking a personal trainer and you weren’t available, what advice would you give her to help her find the best trainer possible?
Nikol Klein: Beware of “too good to be true” pricing. Chances are, if a trainer is offering personal training for a ridiculously low price like $25 per session, they are not certified. Worst of all, you could get hurt! Make sure that the trainer you choose to work with is certified, insured, has a website and can provide testimonials and references!
Bright Hub: Any other fitness advice for women?
Nikol Klein: You don’t need a gym membership to get a great workout! Trainers like me specialize in in-home personal training. If you do insist on getting a gym membership, I recommend a fitness facility for women only such as the gym I own in Oklahoma City, Fit For Her.
-Contact Nikol for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-This article has recently been published on Brighthub.com by contributor, Angela Atkinson here.