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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

Del Mar Personal Trainer Workout Routine

As a high demand personal trainer in the San Diego area I know just how important it is for me to stay in shape and practice what I preach. I see way too many out of shape personal trainers in this area and it pains me every time I see them training their clients at the beach or in a boot camp.

So how do I find the time to stay in such great shape despite working long hours? No, I don’t workout all day with my clients like you might think (this is what bad trainers do…a good trainer watches their clients and corrects). I do the exact same thing as my San Diego personal training clients – I make time for ME.

My workout schedule consists of five days of training per week with two days completely off. Here is an example of what my schedule looked like last week;

Pull-ups with the Cross Core 180

Monday: 4 mile beach run, ballet legs at home
Tuesday: 4 sets of Biceps, Triceps, Chest, & Shoulders, 3 sets of abs
Wednesday: DAY OFF
Thursday: 45 minute Glute Workout 3 sets of squats, dead lifts, plate ham curls, lunges, weighted hip bridges
Friday: 4 mile beach run
Saturday: DAY OFF
Sunday: 3 mile run, 4 set upper body circuit

Every week is different for me. Instead of doing upper body on Tuesday, for example, I did legs on Tuesday of this week and took Monday as one of my days off. I think that training should coincide with the way that your body is feeling that day. I’m not training for a body building show, I am training for a healthy lifestyle. As you can see I don’t do a whole lot of upper body and abdominal work. I am a true believer that your stomach reflects what you eat so I maintain a flat tummy by sticking to a clean nutrition program. As for upper body I am not a fan of the overly-muscular female upper body. I like the look of a waify, but slightly toned arm.

So there you have it, my personal workout routine. If you have an questions, please feel free to comment below or send me an email!

Nipping Fat in the “Butt”

About 8 weeks ago I set a fitness goal and stuck with it – As a professional dancer I never had to worry about my body or losing weight and after having a few years off from the 8 hour dance day grind I started noticing a few changes in my body. Although I had been working out daily with my clients, I hadn’t been doing much specifically for my body. And I was eating properly but not super clean. My once hard, firm thighs were starting to get a bit soft and my glutes were beginning to develop the dreaded dimples that most Women live their whole lives with. I’m not complaining about my body by any means (5’4,” 110 lbs is less than what my dancing weight was proving that muscle weighs more than fat) but the vision that I have of myself is different from this and I was ready to nip it in the “butt.”

My Facebook post at the start of July

I embarked upon a “4 weeks to fierce” program to get firm and flab free by my Birthday, July 13th. I printed out a cute calendar that I use for my clients cardio schedules to write on every day for inspiration. I have to say that I find Facebook and Twitter to be super motivating and encouraging for those with weight loss goals so don’t be afraid to post your workouts there. I also downloaded an app on my iPhone called My Fitness Pal where you can log your meals and exercise. You can even invite and add friends for encouragement!

Moving forward, with some consistency and sticking to my plan I was starting to see results! I was eating clean and loving it and finding time to do my own personalized workouts between clients. After a few weeks it had started to become a habit. I didn’t want to eat bad, it felt good to push myself in workouts and I felt like I was in control of my body again. I started making more time for ME.

B-Day was a hit!

Five weeks in and I was still going strong. My Birthday party was a success and I felt confident again in the way my legs and tummy looked. I even rewarded myself with some amazing Birthday cake. I had my drink sponsor, Sinless Cocktails, send me 2 gallons of their 5 calorie Margarita mix for a tasting party too!

My Birthday has long passed and I am still sticking with the program. I am now 8 weeks in and there is no turning back. I love the way my body looks and feels. Through this journey I have even created new exercises to target those stubborn areas of the legs, stomach and glutes that my San Diego personal training clients are now reaping the benefits of. I am looking forward to seeing the changes that these new exercises make for my clients as well as for myself. I think that as a personal trainer it is important to keep creating…when you stop creating you lose your audience.

Today's bikini body!

I wrote this story as a bit of inspiration for all of you. Everyone is less than happy with some part of their body. I don’t think that anyone ever feels “perfect.” Whether you are 160 pounds or 100 pounds focus and goal setting is the key to your success on your fitness journey. Don’t lie about your bad eating or lack of exercise. Your trainer knows when you are lying but the worst is when you lie to yourself. It’s not healthy to lie to yourself.

So set goals! Write them down. Post them on your refrigerator so that you see them every time you reach for the ice cream. I wouldn’t encourage you to do this if it didn’t truly work…

Beat Workout Burnout

Starting to feel burned out with your current workout routine? Having trouble dragging yourself to the gym? Frequently canceling personal training sessions with your trainer? Here are 10 ways to beat workout burnout.

1.) Download a new mix of songs for your iPod. Changing up your tunes will give your workout a surge of motivation.

2.) Switch up your cardio routine. Since Spring is here try taking your cardio workout outdoors. You will feel revitalized and you will get to breathe some clean air as well.

Focus to beat workout burnout

3.) Reward yourself. You have been diligently sticking with your fitness routine and it is time to give yourself a reward for all of the hard work.

4.) Hire help. If you are not already working with a personal trainer your workout will soar to new heights if you give a trainer a try.

5.) Take a break. Sometimes the best thing to beat workout burnout is to take a few days off. Start back when you are feeling clear headed.

6.) Invite a friend to workout with you. Go for a hike or a bike ride with a friend and you will find that the conversation makes the time pass quickly.

7.) Write it down. Keep track of your fitness goals, nutrition, and workouts. You will be less likely to go o

ff track if you keep a workout journal.

8.) Look at yourself…naked! Checking yourself out in the mirror after a shower can give you the added motivation you need to stay motivated to reach your goals.

9.) Sign-up for a 5k. Giving yourself something to work towards. Start small and work your way up.

10.) Show off your body. Dare to wear a skirt, shorts, or a bikini. You’ve worked hard.


Try these tips the next time you are in a rut!

Personal Trainer or Friend?

Has your workout session turned into happy hour?

When you hire a personal trainer, why do you do it?

The answer for all of my San Diego personal training clients and most others I would assume is to “look their best” or to maximize their body to it’s fullest potential. My clients are looking for flat stomachs, trim thighs, jiggle free arms, and a solid cellulite free butt because my resume proves that I can do so. My job as an experienced trainer is to give them just that…and in most cases I do. (of course the clients level of commitment comes into play too, but that’s for another blog.)

My clients are also looking for the accountability and motivational factor but in the end, results are what truly speak volumes. It’s not about looking better than before. It’s about being the best that you can be. It’s about a winning attitude…anything less than that is not worth your time/money.

I received an interesting email from a trainer who says that his clients are content with the “better than before” results that they are getting in exchange for his/her great personality and attitude. I’d like to see a client write that testimonial…

While as a personal trainer my job is to be friendly with my clients, my job is not to be their paid “friend.” If I wanted to do this, I would hold sessions at the local happy hour hot-spot. Of course I would never do that because I take my job very seriously. I don’t mislead or deceive my clients and most importantly, I practice what I preach. I do not want to disappoint my clients. I don’t want them to feel better… I want them to feel the best that they’ve ever felt.

So what do you think? Personal Trainer or friend?



Weight Loss De-railers

I would like to address a common issue that I often discuss with my San Diego personal training clients. Every so often I will have someone ask, “I have been training with you for __ long. How come I still can’t lose any weight?” The answer to this question and others related to it are really quite simple…but at the same time hard to grasp for the discouraged client.

The following are some of the major issues that you are not losing weight;

1.) Poor nutritional habits- Chances are, at the time of your personal training consultation, your San Diego personl trainer offered you nutritional advice. In most cases, this is an add-on service that has a separate monthly cost. A simple nutrition plan, kitchen clean-up (when I go to your home and raid your cupboards and fridge), “Sunday pre-planning,” and 100% commitment is all you need to straighten out your diet.

TIP: If you think that personal training alone will get you to lose those extra pounds, you are wrong. In fact, purchasing nutritional services along with your personal training package, while it may seem pricey, will actually save you money in the long run.

2.) Weekend Splurging- Just because you spent 3 hours with your trainer during the week doesn’t give you the right to go out and blow all of your hard work on a weekend splurge. Weekend splurges include but are not limited to; eating out, partying, binge drinking, binge eating, not exercising, not getting essential rest. This is why it is best to eliminate alcohol from your diet altogether.

3.) Week-Day Splurging- See “weekend splurging.”

4.) Trust- You should believe in your trainer 100%. This means getting information from other trainers, websites, or programs should be out of the question. It takes dedication to one program to get you results. How will you know what method works for your body if you do a la carte training? Worse yet, this sabotages the results that your personal trainer has periodized for you!

Tip- If you have questions, ask your trainer…afterall, that’s what you are paying them for!

5.) You’re Toning Up- I know you’ve heard it before but muscle weighs more than fat. So the more you tone up and gain strength in your muscles, the less fat you have!

Alert- This may cause a slight weight increase…but it’s not a bad thing! Stay on the right path and you will eventually lose weight!

6.) Laziness- You should be exercising at least 5-7 hours per week. This means that if you can only afford to work with your San Diego personal trainer for 90 minutes per week, you need to supplement the remaining hours with cardio! You need to exercise every day.

7.) Genetics- I know you are tired of hearing this one, but genetics play a huge part in your ability to lose weight. A twenty year old and forty year old for example will lose weight, gain strength, etc. at a completely different rate and through different techniques. Your San Diego personal trainer should be able to design a program based on your individual genetic qualities!

I hope that I have been able to clear up some of your questions about weight loss and ease some of your fustrations. Voice your concerns with your personal trainer and you will feel much better about continuing your weight loss journey together!

Reebok Easy Tone Experiment- Day #1

My New Kicks

I am finally going to share with you my experiences with the Reebok Easy Tone shoe. As a San Diego Personal Trainer, I have been waiting almost 2 months to start a Reebok Easy Tone experiment! Today I was fortunate enough to actually find a pair of these sneakers in my size at a local San Diego Foot Locker. These shoes are close to impossible to find in stores and online (unless of course you wear a size 10 shoe). Are you ready to find out what all of the hype is about? I am.

I am going to take you on my day to day journey, as a San Diego Personal Trainer, to test out how well the Reebok Easy Tone shoes work. All of the reports or commercials on TV talk about simply wearing the shoes walking. I want to see what they can do for my daily activity level and hopefully be able to recommend them to my Personal Training clients in the end. And let me just tell you…I’m on my feet all day.

I’ve been wearing my Easy Tone’s since I bought them and plan on wearing them all day. The shoes feel great. They are very cushioned…almost too cushioned for my taste. I expected a more torturous feeling, but they are surprisingly comfortable. Their weight is a bit on the heavy side so running will be a lot of fun.

I am getting ready to work with an evening full of personal training clients, so we’ll see how it goes! Check back in tomorrow to see what happens.

How Original is Your Personal Trainer?

One of my Ballet Strength exercises

As a San Diego Personal Trainer who started strength training during my career as a Professional Ballet Dancer, I know that originality is what gets results. When I first started experimenting with weight training, I knew that the typical exercises that other types of athletes did in the gym would not work for me. This is how I came up with my own training method.

My training method simply put is this; There are no two bodies the same. The clients movement patterns and genetic makeup should determine how you choreograph the right exercises for each individual. No two individuals should be given the same series of exercises. Since a lot of my unique exercises are Ballet based, I am able to easily determine what types of movement patterns each of my clients bodies are comfortable doing, and which areas they will need to work on.

This is why Dancers make such wonderful trainers. If you haven’t studied movement in the form of dance, it is hard to accurately design a precise strength training program for an individual using my training methods. Tracey Anderson is a wonderful example of a former semi-pro Dancer who is using her Dance smarts as the most trusted personal trainer of the stars!

Your San Diego personal trainer should be a leader, not a follower. Originality is the key to your clients success.

Committed to Your Health,

Nikol Klein

Choosing a Female San Diego Personal Trainer

As a San Diego Personal Trainer, I specialize in working with Female clients. Whether I am doing in-home personal training or training them here at my Del Mar home gym, I find that Women typically see better personal training results with female trainers.

A female Personal Trainer can help you reach your goals!

There are more Women interested in losing weight and getting fit than there are men, so why are there so few female trainers out there? First off, before I answer this question for you, I want to say that I am in no way sexist. I am just making an observation after my 8 year career as a trusted and successful Personal Trainer. In any case, here is my idea: If you are a guy and you’re a Personal Trainer it’s kind of like a status thing. A lot Male trainers are usually the guys who had the ego problems in high school or were on the Football team. This isn’t the case for all of them…there are some truly wonderful male trainers out there. (think bob from Biggest Loser) But I see this a lot in San Diego and hear about meat-head trainers from a lot of my female clients who now refuse to sign over checks to them.

Women on the other hand usually become Personal Trainers because of a huge change that they made at some point in their lives. Since strength training isn’t necessarily seen as a part of life for Women growing up, female trainers like to promote this to other Women to show them the benefits. Men on the other hand, are taught “weight lifting” from age 12 as it is now introduced in gym class.

Here are the reasons why I feel that Women should train with Female personal trainers.

Not every San Diego personal trainer is created equal– When it comes to choosing a personal trainer, you will find that the market is over-saturated with male trainers advertising their services by the size of their muscles. Women typically are looking to lean out their muscles, so why would they choose to train with someone who is advertising a bulky product?

Women know Women– Sure you have to study anatomy to become certified, but there are certain things that you just have to experience in life in order to grasp a true understanding. Take female hormones and menstruation for example. Need I say more? A male trainer will likely have no idea what it feels like to hit the gym hard during “that time of the month,” thus he probably will not know how to adjust your workout program accordingly.

Knock, knock– If your San Diego Personal Trainer does in-home training, how comfortable do you feel having a man that you barely know come to your house to give you a one on one personal training session? Even more, how does your spouse feel about that?

Choose a specialist– If you are looking for real results, you are best off choosing a trainer who specializes in weight loss for women. This trainer should be able to get your body to the desired look you are going for. More than likely this will be a female trainer.

I hope that you are able to better understand how a female San Diego personal trainer will have a better understanding of female clients, thus get them the desired fitness results they are looking for. Now go out and find one!

Del Mar Personal Trainer Nikol Klein, specializes in Personal Training for Women. She conducts in-home Personal Training, Weight Loss and Nutrition programs in addition to Boot Camps. She is also an accomplished Professional Ballet Dancer.

Holiday Travel Fitness

Traveling for the Holidays this year? If you’re like most people, you find that your workout routine gets thrown out of whack during the Holiday season. With some planning, you can stay on track with your fitness routine, and not feel so overwhelmed come January 1st.

Don’t have much time to workout? Keep it short. Here are a few ideas to keep you fit in a minimal amount of time.

Workout at Home- Choose three exercises for the Upper Body, Legs, and Abdominals that don’t utilize equipment. If you’ve been working with an In-Home Personal Trainer, this should be a piece of cake. These exercises could include lunges, squats, push-ups, tricep dips, and pilates abdominal work. Do two sets of ten to twelve repetitions to keep the workout quick yet effective.

Involve the Family- Lets face it, it’s not fun to workout alone so get the whole family involved. Show them some of the new moves that your Personal Trainer has been teaching you.

Tune in- One of my favorite travel workouts includes the TV…Exercise TV! These channels are free on most cable plans and are also offered in hotels now too! Choose a 30 minute fat blast or aerobic workout to keep it short and sweet.  You can also check out YouTube or do a simple workout like my Ballet Legs Workout.

Head Outdoors- Whether you are shoveling snow or sand, this is a great way to sweat out some extra holiday calories while increasing core strength.

Lastly, enjoy your Holiday travel. Don’t let obsessing about getting your workouts in distract you from your family and friends.

Happy Holidays!

Nikol Klein, Certified Personal Trainer/ Nutritionist