Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Stay on Track During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and if you are one of my San Diego personal training clients, you don’t want to sabotage all of your hard work. Did you know that the average person consumes over 2000 calories at the Thanksgiving dinner table? For some of us, this is more than we should be consuming in an entire day!

Here are a few tips to keep you on track with your fitness and dietary goals while not depriving yourself of a good Thanksgiving meal!

1.) Eat lots of skinless Turkey- Keep your protein to carbohydrate ratio in check by eating lots of Turkey. Skip the skin which is loaded with fat, sodium, and cholesterol though.

2.) Don’t wait all day to eat- A lot of people hold out on eating all day for Thanksgiving dinner. If you eat a good breakfast and lunch before Thanksgiving dinner, you will be less likely to overeat.

3.) Portion sizes- If you want to try all of the delicious dishes at the table, stick to smaller portions.

4.) Skip Seconds- If you have eaten well throughout the day and have a good ratio of protein to carbohydrates on your plate, you shouldn’t need a second serving. Resist the temptation.

5.) Say No to Leftovers- If you are cooking, try to properly gauge how much food to cook based on the number of guests you will have dining with you. Then you are less likely to be stuck with leftovers. Still have leftovers? Why not send them home with your guests!

6.) Up your water intake- Chances are you may be having an adult beverage with your meal. To even out the effects of alcohol and to avoid a second glass, make sure you are drinking plenty of water during your meal.

7.) Exercise – Get out there and get moving the morning of Thanksgiving – I know I will be heading out for a run to burn some calories before indulging in dinner.

By practicing these healthy Thanksgiving tips, you should stay slim through the holidays. Next challenge…Christmas!

August Motivational Workout Calendar

August is here! As the weather heats up, be sure to continue with your workouts – set new goals to carry into the fall! Your motivational workout calendar is below to get you through the days with positive thoughts and exercises. Just click and print!

August Motivational Workout Calendar

Don’t forget to stop by my Facebook Fitness page for more inspiration, photos, recipes, and videos!

Last Minute Abs

Get a flat stomach for the Holidays with this quick Ab workout. This workout helped me to get ready for my Fox 5 television debut!

As always, your comments are appreciated! What do you think?

Train Hard,

Nikol Klein, Certified Personal Trainer/ Professional Ballet Dancer

2 Simple Stretches

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

Back stretch

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.

Side Stretch

Side Stretch

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

Spice up Your Salad

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.

Are Gyms Safe?

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.

Get Ballet Legs!

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

Personal Training Trends

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

Best in Health,

Nikol Klein, ISSA CPT/SPN

Weight Loss Mistakes

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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,

Bikini Worthy Legs

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

Plank photos 095

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

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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

Copyright Aaron Riveroll Photography

Copyright Aaron Riveroll Photography

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, or call (858) 598-5157 to schedule your FREE consultation!