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Reaching Your Goals – In Fitness & in Life

I was doing some thinking this morning while watching the Olympics – I realized that what you are trying to accomplish with your fitness goals is no different than what an athlete works towards. In order for each to be successful it takes the right mindset and lots of preparation.

As a former dancer, I sometimes forget that not everyone knows what it feels like to be “all in.” To eat, sleep, breathe for a goal. To go after something letting go of all preconceived notions, defeat, hurt and FEAR. Yes, that awful word “fear” is the only thing that keeps us from reaching our goals. Why does the figure skater fall? Because for that one split second before takeoff, she doubted herself and tensed up with fear. Why do we not reach our fitness/weight loss goals? Because for that one split second before we decide what to order at a restaurant or before we are supposed to do cardio, we doubt ourselves, our progress, and our abilities. We slip into patterns, bad habits. He/she who succeeds is the one who is able to break the pattern, break the bad habits.

I have watched both athletes and clients alike hold back because of fear of success rather than welcoming it with open arms. I have had clients quit just when they have started to make a break through. I have watched athletes change their own plans that they had worked on for years. What goes on inside your head is the only thing that can change this. No one trainer, coach, diet, book, or therapist can do this for you – it’s all YOU. Whether you are striving for a gold medal, to lose 100 lbs or 10 lbs.

How do we let go of fear? One word comes to mind – TRUST. #1 is trusting yourself and your amazing abilities as a human being. #2 is trusting and confiding in your advisors, family, trainers, coaches, etc. #3 is communicating to those whom you trust with your goals and how they can help you achieve them.

If it were easy everyone would have a gold medal – and everyone would be in shape. I have news for you: It’s NOT easy!

The moral here: If it is something that you truly want, it is a goal – anything else is just a wish. Life is short so if you have a goal what are you waiting for? Is fear keeping you from going “all in?” For once in your life put 100% into yourself – I promise you will not fail.


Nikol©Nikol Klein Beach Stretch

My Trip to the London Olympics

I was very fortunate this year to be able to attend the London Olympic games. My fiance, who was the coach of two BMX medalist in Beijing in 2008, had another BMX athlete competing in London so I definitely did not want to miss out. Afterall, I had witnessed first hand the hard work and dedication of a coach and his athletes, often feeling that their dreams had also become my own. It reminded me of what it took, when I was a ballet dancer, to prepare for an upcoming show. So I decided to book my flight for the big show…the Olympics!

The experience started on the train. Check out the stadium!

I wasn’t going to London to be a tourist. I was going to support my fiance and his athletes which meant I had to have a job…photographer! (You know us fitness pros can’t just sit around on our butts!) The first few days that we were there were practice days and I was fortunate enough to be one of the few permitted into the venue to watch. It was so great to see all of the different countries, their athletes and staff come together for this larger than life event.

Entrance to Olympic Park.

After practice we were able to check out a little more of the Olympic Park and even Athlete Village. Athlete Village reminded me of the ballet summer intensive programs that I used to attend as a teenager. Just a bunch of the best athletes living together in dorms. I even had a chance to check out the cafeteria which had food selections from all over the world.

At home among other athletes in the cafeteria.

Since athleticism was the theme being that it was the Olympics, it was only right that there were miles of walking to be done. Olympic Park covered a very large area so the walk around the park really gave me the chance to take everything in. Luckily the weather was hot with no rain showers for the three days of BMX events.

One of my favorite sights in Olympic Park. Run!

From our gorgeous hotel overlooking Tower Bridge to a fun filled time at the games, my trip to the London Olympics was an experience that I will never forget!

Tower Bridge.

Olympic Athlete Workout

With the 2012 Olympic Games in full effect, we are all getting wowed by the amazing athleticism that is gracing our television screens daily. If you are not already involved in a structured workout routine, it is quite possible that watching these high caliber athletes compete is going to motivate you to get off the couch and take action. So how do you get started?

I am going to show you several different exercises that I have used with 2008 Medalists and 2012 Olympic hopefuls that you can try yourself. (Even from the comfort of your own home.) Give these exercises a try between commercial breaks while cheering on your favorite team or country!


1.) Plank – Trust me, all athletes are doing this exercise. The plank is a fairly simple exercise that most anyone can do. Try holding the position (pictured above) for 30 seconds to start. Olympic athletes will hold this position up to two minutes! Be careful not to let your back arch and hips sag or have the hips to high in the air. You want to aim for a straight line, although our curves can get in the way 😉

Chest Press on a Ball

2.) Chest Press- Everyone wants flab free arms and pecs like the Olympic Swimmers and chest press will help you achieve this. Try this exercise on a balance ball (as pictured above) starting with 5-10 pound weights. Perform 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions of this exercise.

Hamstring Stretch

3.) Hamstring Stretch- Impressed by the Gymnast’s incredible flexibility? Try this basic hamstring stretch (pictured above). Don’t be frustrated if your leg doesn’t get very high. Consistency pays off with this exercise so don’t give up!

Tricep Push-Ups

4.) Tricep Push Ups- Want terrific triceps like the rowers? Try these tricep dips (pictured above) for 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions. Be careful not to put too much weight into your feet, keeping the focus on the elbows bending. Be careful with this exercise though…it is not meant for those with weak wrists.

©Nikol Klein All photos used in this blog are copyright protected. The removal or use of any information including photographs is strictly prohibited by law without the permission of Nikol Klein.