Blog Archives

Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Workout

This month’s print and click workouts will get you looking your best for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day! There are three separate workouts that I recommend spreading out throughout the week.

Workout #1 is for the core.

Valentines Day Ab Workout

Workout #2 is for the legs.

Valentine's Day Leg WorkoutWorkout #3 is for the full body!

valentine's day sweetheartHappy Valentine’s Day and enjoy your workouts! Join me on my Facebook page Nikol Klein Fitness for more daily workouts.

Your Workout Nutrition

Are you showing up for your workout sessions on an empty stomach? Or leaving your training session feeling starving and weak? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions or both, you’ll love this quick lesson in workout nutrition.

Pre-Workout Nutrition– Your body needs fuel in the form of food to function. When you first start a new workout routine along with a healthy diet, the general tendency is to skimp on calories before and after a workout. Most people think that this is necessary to lose weight- this couldn’t be further from the truth. I notice it with some of my clients who show up feeling tired before their training sessions. Either they haven’t eaten in a few hours or they ate the wrong things before the session. I have also seen dizziness, nausea, headaches and overall fatigue which are all symptoms of hunger and/or improper nutritional preparation before their sessions. Nine out of ten times when I ask a client when the last time they ate was, the answer is 2 hours ago or more. This is catastrophic to your weight loss goals.

So how can you avoid this feeling and what pre-workout rules should you follow?

What you must realize is that the energy you get from the foods you eat is ultimately what is going to decide how your workout goes. If your metabolism is already slowing down from hours of not eating, it is going to be difficult to rev it back up and start burning calories, that your body is now clinging onto for dear life, in your workout. You are exercising to burn calories, right? Make it a habit to eat a high carbohydrate healthy snack prior to your training session. This could include an apple, Lara Bar, banana or carrots-NOT a protein bar, save his for post-workout.  You may be saying to yourself that these snacks are sugary, but you need carbohydrates to get through your workouts efficiently. (If you or your personal trainer are pushing hard enough, you will burn off the sugar, so don’t worry.)

Post-Workout Nutrition– Post workout nutrition is for muscle recovery and development. Immediately following a run, for example, you want to replace electrolytes lost through sweat during your run by drinking an electrolyte beverage. Think about it, have you ever seen an athlete NOT with a water bottle? And guess what, that’s not just plain old water in there. There are many electrolyte beverages out there like Gatorade to try. After a workout (think legs, upper body, abs day) you want to support the workout you just did by having a protein shake or protein bar immediately following the workout to aid in muscle growth and recovery. (when i say growth, I don’t mean bulk- I mean muscle breaking through and saying goodbye to cellulite!) You might also want to consider having a snack. The body is in fat burning mode immediately following a workout so it’s okay to consume a few extra HEALTHY calories at this time.

So no more starving yourself before and after sessions, okay? Do we have a deal? Your body will thank you for it in the long run and I know you will thank me when you start to see a major breakthrough in your training results. If you have any questions as far as healthy snacks, brands and recommendations go, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Ditch the Scale

After interviewing hundreds of personal training clients over the past few years, I have found one common concern amongst Women: the dreaded number on the scale. I have met Women who weigh themselves daily and even multiple times per day! The truth is that by doing this, they are sabotaging their fitness goals before they even hit the gym.

Your body is more than just a number, it is a look and a feeling. My mission as a Women’s fitness expert and San Diego Personal Trainer is to change my clients way of thinking that the scale ultimately controls their fitness level. The scale isn’t going to change the way you look. In fact, it may negatively haunt your body image for the rest of your life. We cut off friends and boyfriends when they make us feel this way, right? So why keep such an intimate relationship with the scale?

Let me show you a perfect example: Sorry to get graphic here, but you have to see this.

Would you rather weigh less and look like this? The Woman in the photo below may have a low number on the scale but is what I would consider “skinny fat.” Meaning that while her weight is low, her body fat percentage is high. This leads to just as many health risks as being obese! To top it all off, “skinny fat” victims are usually cardio freaks who do nothing but cardio, no weight training.

Or would you rather weigh a bit more and look like this photo below? Healthy glutes aren’t flabby. Firm glutes are a sign of a great strength training program. If we’re striving for attractiveness and optimal health, this is the ideal shape you should be shooting for. The best news is that you don’t have to bulk up to have a great backside. It’s just a matter of firming up what’s already there!



I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the appearance in picture #2 over the low weight and flab in picture #1 any day! So do yourself a favor and stop obsessing on the scale and stick to a consistent nutrition and workout plan.

Post Session Stretching

As a former professional ballet dancer I know just how important it is to incorporate a stretching routine into your workout schedule. Since I recommend thirty minute training sessions to the majority of of my San Diego personal training clients, stretching is often something that is left as a “homework” assignment. The following are a few rules to keep in mind while stretching.

The great thing about stretching is that it can be done anywhere!

Rule #1: Never stretch BEFORE your workout – Scientific studies, my experience as a professional athlete, and my expertise as a personal trainer have proven that stretching before a workout can actually increase risk of injury and overuse. What you should do in place of stretching is a proper warm-up routine.

Rule #2: Don’t over do it – Your trainer knows just what stretches you might need to do before leaving your session. If you feel like you need more time to stretch, let your trainer know. Sometimes stretching is best left for later in the evening. Ask your trainer what stretching program might be best for your specific needs.

Rule #3: Work the kinks out before bed – If your muscles are feeling heavy, tight or fatigued before bed you might want to do some light stretching to ease the soreness you may feel in the morning.

Rule #4: Monitor your nutrition – Be sure to stay hydrated and steer clear of alcohol after long workouts. Consuming alcoholic beverages or foods high in fat can lead to muscle cramps or spasms if you are not careful. Have a protein shake in the evening to help aid in muscle repair and recovery during the night hours.

Remember, you are in charge of what happens after you leave your training session. Stretching and healthy eating are your responsibility to maximize your fitness goals!

Personal Training Session Length

When it comes to workouts, sometimes less is more. Most personal trainers sell only hour long personal training sessions. I have a bit of a different philosophy when it comes to session length.

Most of my San Diego personal training clients and those who come to my Del Mar personal training studio workout with me for 30 minute sessions. In fact, I don’t offer sessions that are longer than 45 minutes anymore. Why, might you ask? Through my hands on testing with clients over a three year period, the clients who train with me for shorter session times see faster and better results. They are also less likely to get injured and less likely to build-up unsightly bulky muscles while freeing up more time in their day.

My group workout clients stretching after a training session.

A great trainer should be able to incorporate a warm-up, workout and cool-down into a thirty minute time period. This trainer should also be able to “kick your butt” in this thirty minute time period. (when I say kick your butt, I mean leave you sweating and fatigued)

I have also found that sessions lasting longer than thirty minutes tend to be less aerobic which will do nothing in terms of supporting weight loss. A thirty minute session keeps the trainer on his or her toes and allows for a quick, dynamic and cardio boosting session. This is how you burn calories and ultimately lose weight. There should be nothing slow and methodical about a training session for weight loss, for example. (This isn’t Yoga or Pilates we’re talking about here…)

How many trainers have you been to who spend the first 15 minutes of your session watching you warm-up on the treadmill and waste the last 15 minutes chatting about what’s on TV? Does your trainer walk around with a clipboard? If you are purchasing sixty minute workout sessions you are wasting your time…and your money. There is absolutely no reason why you need to spend an hour with your trainer and unfortunately this has become the industry default session length. In other words, I would prefer to see someone for thirty minutes, 4-5 times per week as opposed to sixty minute sessions, only twice per week. Results come through frequency and with frequency is commitment.

Ask yourself this the next time you are working with your trainer: At what point in the workout does the workout actually start and when does it end? How much total time did I actually workout? Am I wasting my time and money?

Trainers ask yourself: Can I give my clients effective workouts in a short period of time? If not, what am I doing wrong? (*hint-walking around with a clipboard could be your problem)

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!

Lululemon Favorites

This week I am on vacation as my Mom is in town visiting from Pittsburgh. While I feel like I’m going through a bit of workout withdrawal, I have been getting plenty of exercise through shopping. This afternoon I had a chance to visit my favorite store, Lululemon La Jolla. There are a few Lululemon stores here in San Diego but I feel that the La Jolla staff is the friendliest and most knowledgeable (the Carlsbad store is super stuck-up in my experience).

Here are the new items that I picked up today just in time for Summer!

Lululemon Speed Shorts- These shorts are so cute in pinstripe. They are perfect for running. Nice and loose in the legs, lightweight, and the perfect length.

Speed Shorts

Lululemon Define Jacket- I love the way this jacket contours to my curves in just the right places. It is also fleece lined yet breathable so it will keep you warm but also cool you off. I love the new colors they have for Summer!

Define Jacket

Lululemon Do it All Short- This is my favorite purchase of the day. In fact I bought these shorts in two colors. I love to wear loose comfortable workout clothing when I am training my San Diego personal training clients and these shorts are just right!

Do it all Short

So there you have my Lululemon purchases today! I urge you to check out your local store for more fabulous items like these!

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!