Going at it alone?
For many of us, we wake up in the morning, drag ourselves to our various jobs and responsibilities, and then, if we're lucky, we get to the gym and drag ourselves through a workout to get another item checked off of our list.
Others of us may want to reach goals way above our means or abilities and we don't know how or where to even begin or we lack the motivation to see the journey through to our desired results.
Some are more dedicated and self-motivated and have no problem making and exceeding personal fitness goals. But, it's a rare few of us.
For the rest of us on our fitness journey, we may need to look into the help of a professional. Many in the business world hire coaches to help them in a particular area or to help them achieve a new level or position. The opportunity exists in the fitness world as well--you can hire a nutritional and/or a fitness coach to help keep you motivated, accountable, and reaching your goals.
Today, we're excited to welcome Kristyn Knapp to Diehka Fitness Fashions to share her story on how she realized her need for a trainer and the benefits she received. You can find Kristyn on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.
Kristyn, thanks for joining us today. You're transformation has been amazing! Can you share with our readers your mindset initially? Where were you physically? Mentally? What seemed to be standing in your way?
I was overweight (just under 200lbs), eating like crap and had absolutely no idea where to start. I would go to the gym just to sit on the recumbent bike for 15 mins, get discouraged and leave. Cardio was all I knew how to do but I wasn’t seeing any results. I was getting more and more frustrated every day. I hated my body and was not in a good place mentally. I was struggling with anxiety and depression and self-medicating with alcohol. I knew something needed to change, fast; I just had no idea how to take that first step.
Why did you think you couldn’t do it on your own?
I didn’t know how to get started on my own. The gym--and exercise in general-- intimidated me. The thought of actually weightlifting terrified me; I didn’t want to do something wrong and look stupid. The idea of being embarrassed in the gym was probably what kept me away for so long. I needed someone to keep me accountable and honestly to yell at me when I was slacking or trying to give up again.
How did you find your coach?
I found her through Facebook initially but I also asked friends and friends of friends that I knew competed in NPC bodybuilding before. I interviewed a couple coaches and picked the ones I felt the most comfortable with.
In what ways has your coach helped you? (E.g., nutrition, specific exercises, stretches, etc.)?
Literally everything. I had already build a small base of knowledge before actually getting started with my coaches, but I had been receiving really bad nutritional advice so we had to correct that. They helped me with meal plans, which I followed religiously in the beginning. Now that I have a better understanding of what I’m doing I mostly follow the macros they give me for more flexibility. Lindsey (at Accelerated Fitness) writes out training plans for me, which change every 6 weeks. I follow the exact exercises that she has laid out including sets and reps (adjusting the weight on my own as needed), unless there is some reason I can’t do it (not available where I am or injury) then I modify and substitute accordingly. Honestly the support has probably been the biggest help to me. I didn’t realize what a difference it would make having someone to check in with weekly and push you when you need it. The feedback from check-ins really helps. You see yourself every day and it can be difficult to be objective when it comes to your own physique. Having someone to bounce ideas off and ask any questions has been amazing as well.
How long did you work with your coach? If you’ve reached your goal, are you still working with a coach? Why or why not?
It has been a year since taking my first check-in photos with my coaches. I’ve reached many small goals along the way, but my first big goal is to compete in an NPC bikini competition, hopefully next spring. I will definitely continue to work with them after to insure a proper reverse diet. I also plan to keep competing so I will continue with them to build and improve for the future.
Where are you now? Mentally? Physically?
I am in a much better place now, both mentally and physically. I don’t even recognize the person I used to be. I have been able to transform [not just] my body, but also my entire mindset and outlook on life. I have a completely different relationship with food, alcohol and the scale. I was kind of a mess 2 years ago and getting into bodybuilding has changed my life more than I ever thought possible. I am doing much better in my career and also going back to school now as well. The girl I was 2 years ago would never have been able to live the life I am living now. I am 100% a different person--for the better.
Has your view on coaches/coaching changes since going through this experience? Why or why not?
Absolutely! I had a bad experience with a “coach” when I first started getting into fitness. She owned a bootcamp-style gym that was a franchise. The corporate headquarters set incentives for each location, which were measured in the total weight loss of the clients/members. As a result, she gave us bad nutritional advice and extreme caloric restrictions (under 800 calories a day, for EVERYONE, not based on weight/age/gender etc., so a 130lb female had the same diet as a 250lb male) knowing this would cause extreme weight loss in a very short amount of time. I know it’s my own fault for not doing research and not questioning any of it, but this ended up causing me serious metabolic damage. Sure I lost a lot of weight fast, but it took a long time to get healthy again after this and I now need to be on medication for the rest of my life. Finding coaches that were knowledgeable and put my health as a priority was definitely worth it in the long run. I think I may have given up after the bad experience had I not found my current coaches. It can be discouraging when someone you thought was helping you ends up betraying you. Having a coach that understands your goals and actually cares about you is much more important than any quick results.
Would you recommend coaches/coaching to someone else in the same situation?
Without a doubt! I would just say be careful and make sure you do your research. Your health is the most important thing and you want to have a coach that keeps that as the number one priority. Talk to other people and see how they like their coaches. Interview multiple coaches. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you think they might be crazy--the coach will probably appreciate it anyway. When you do find a good coach, trust them; you may not be seeing the results you want right away but it’s all about consistency and trusting the process.
Thanks again, Kristyn, for being willing to share your story with us. Congrats on your hard work and dedication and best wishes as you continue your fitness journey!
So, if you are looking for accountability, motivation, or some additional knowledge on your fitness journey, then a trainer might be the answer for you. Have you used a trainer currently or in the past? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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