Blog Archives

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.

XOXO,

Nikol©Nikol Klein Beach Stretch

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Hot for the Holidays Workout

Everyone wants to look their best during the holiday season. Seeing family and friends or traveling out of town are big motivators for your workout. Here are 3 workout circuits including core, legs, and upper body that you should try in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years!

Make sure you warm-up properly before attempting these workouts!

hotfortheholidays belly buster ©nikolklein

 

Hot Cross Buns Workout ©NikolKlein

 

Nikolkleinholidayarmworkout ©nikolklein

I hope you enjoyed my Hot for the Holidays workout circuit. Be sure to stay tuned to http://www.facebook.com/personaltrainernikolklein for more workouts including New Year’s Fitness Solution workout! And as always, please leave your comments below!

This is Why You’re Bloated

The foods that you put into your body directly effect your ability to lose, maintain or gain weight. While  fast foods, frozen foods/prepackaged foods may be convenient and quick for your schedule, these foods are making your fitness goals less convenient…in other words slowing down your potential progress.

This is why you’re bloated- Lack of fiber, cheese and over-processed foods are blocking up your system and inhibiting natural digestion. The liquids that you are drinking (soda, alcohol, etc) are the exact ones that are dehydrating and bloating you. Our bodies weren’t designed to handle some of the foods that are now popular to the majority.

Beat the bloat- Eating balanced meals is a challenge if you allow yourself many hours between meals. Keep healthy snacks like sliced celery, carrots or fruit on hand so that your body doesn’t go into starvation mode/fat storage mode. Have you ever noticed that if you wait many hours before eating dinner, when your meal is finally ready to be consumed, your stomach hurts and you end up bloated after the meal?

Drink lots of water – You should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. I don’t believe in the “don’t drink water if you’re not thirsty” saying. Stay hydrated to beat bloating.

Stay regular- This means eating lots of fiber, especially in the mornings to enable healthy digestion and elimination. Add flax seed to your morning oatmeal or some leafy greens to your morning smoothie.

Limit sodium intake- This means straying away from any pre-packaged foods, frozen foods and sauces. These foods are loaded with sodium to preserve their taste. They will do nothing good for your body.

Eating balanced meals, keeping track of your portions, and drinking your daily quota of water will help you manage bloating and stay on track with your fitness goals. Consult with your personal trainer or nutritionist to find the best plan for you!

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.

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)

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…

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!

Unhealthy Eating- The Joke is on You

Just in time for Christmas I want to discuss a pet-peeve of mine: Unhealthy eating and those who brag about it. I offer nutritional guidelines to all of my San Diego personal training clients and individualized nutrition plans to those who need the extra support. Unfortunately, sometimes the need for help is beyond my realm of expertise.

I look at eating as the classic angel on one shoulder, devil on the other scenario. Before every meal, you have the opportunity to make a wise, healthful decision or a disastrous life-shortening one. Put simply in writing it is obvious which choice you would make, but come meal time impulse can override any good intentions.

The best advice that I can give is to stay true to your beliefs. If you’ve recently embarked upon a new health and wellness routine you know that it’s never going to be easy, but if you keep giving in to unhealthy temptations you will never win the weight loss battle. If you allow yourself to change, it can be as easy as flipping a switch if you choose to eliminate unhealthy foods and patterns from your life. Make a choice and stick with it.

Food is not an emotional healer. Food can however act as a destructive enabler.

Committed to Your Health,
Nikol Klein
www.nikolklein.com

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!

Eating Made Simple

Eating Made Simple- For the Working Woman

If you are like most San Diego Women these days you work, take care of the kids, enjoy the company of friends, travel or all of the above. We all know that eating healthy is about planning and preparation. Not all of us have the time to prepare a healthy meal each night, so we often fall short of our nutrition goals by eating out. The following is an idea that I have developed to help you set up an entire week of healthy eating in advance! It’s called the Sunday Pre-Pack.

The Sunday Pre-Pack is setting aside 3 hours or so every Sunday to write out your menu for the week, shop for the week, and prepare your meals for the week.  Once you have decided which meals you will be having (your trainer can help you with this), hit the grocery store. Make sure you get enough because this grocery list will have to cover 7 days. When you return home, start cooking!

Lunch, daytime snacks, and shakes often present the most problems, so they should definitely be made in advance. You can cook all of the meat and chop up all of the fruits and veggies that you will need for those meals on Sunday. Have them ready in storage containers so that you can grab them in the morning before heading out to work regardless of the kind of day your boss may have in store for you.

If you don’t have a blender set up at work, check out hand held blenders like The Magic Bullet. This way you can make your protein shakes on-the-go. If this isn’t ideal, you can even pre blend your shakes at home and store them in the fridge at work.

The Sunday Pre-Pack will ensure that you do not go hungry or skip meals during the day. With a few hours of preparation and careful planning you will be sure to reach your weight loss goals!