I was wrong... I can't train everyone

     When I first started training folks my goal was to be something for everyone. If you know me personally, this should make sense. I generally enjoy people. I like to engage with people, so it’s very easy for me to ask someone what their fitness goals are, and what do they expect from our training. After I ask those questions I typically follow up with an important step. I listen. If they want to drop fat, then I draft a program that will assist in fat loss. If they want to be stronger, we focus on strength. If they want to improve their overall cardiopulmonary strength we strive to improve their lung capacity & efficiency. I do my best to let people know that they are in the driver’s seat. I work for them. I recently met a gal that wanted to drop a significant amount of body fat. She was obese and out of shape. Trying long bouts of exercise out the gate were out of the question. I recommended we focus on strength training for caloric burn plus the added benefit of speeding up her resting metabolic rate. I also recommended that it would be more valuable for her to try brief (20-30 seconds) of intense work, followed by a 1 minute rest interval. My reasoning was that pushing yourself is a bit easier mentally when you know that the set is going to be brief. I explained that 12-21 short burst of intense exercise could be completed in 30-45 minutes, and would give her more benefit than slow & steady workouts that could last an hour or more. Slow and steady workouts create minimal disruption to your metabolism, and burn minimal calories. This isn’t just my opinion, but rather what the research has proven. She gave it some thought and decided to opt for water aerobics because it was easier. Not that it was better for her or would give her the results she wanted. The “hard work thing” just didn’t gel with her. 

     I try to always learn from every experience, and what I learned from this is that perception is very important in fitness. Working hard has become perceived as hardcore. Hardcore to me is working out twice a day 6 days a week. Hardcore to me is an 1 ½ hr workout. I may use a sandbag with someone and have them learn how to deadlift it off the ground. This is not only a great functional exercise but also a useful  tip in life - how to pick something heavy up off the ground. Not hardcore, but functional. But because it’s not a shiny machine, some people may question it’s usefulness. I’ve learned that kettlebells, as great as I believe they can be, are not for everyone. In an exercise program I believe that you need to embrace that training modality. Be all in or out. I’ve come to understand that some people may opt not to use kettlebells, sandbags, bodyweight, or the TRX for exercise. I’m not a Pilates or Yoga guy, but I understand their benefits, and respect those who choose those forms of exercise. That being said,  I still don’t get Gyrotonics.

     There was a time that I would try to persuade people to follow the training programs that I believed in. But I’ve learned it’s like picking a restaurant for a large group of people. Everyone is going to want something different and have a different tolerance level with menu selections. This is probably why the fitness world is so segmented right now. Spinning, Barre, Cross-fit, Yoga, Hot Yoga, kettlebells, suspension training, mixed martial arts…. and those are only the popular choices. My only suggestion, in my new state of mind, is to pick something. Embrace, it. Enjoy the journey and try to master it. If your goal is fat loss using the TRX, kettlebells, and sandbags I’m your guy. If it isn’t, I now understand why you may try water aerobics.


For more information on our New Torch Workouts in Las Vegas please contact me at

Still Not In The Shape You Want?

In my 30 (+) years of personal training experience, one of the most frequent complaints I hear from soon to be or existing clients is that they are not happy with the shape they are in.  I listen as individuals talk about their frustration at the slow progress they are making in getting in shape.  They swear they know what to do and are exercising and eating the right amounts. 

Usually, with a bit of further investigation, we can both come to the conclusion there is a bit of inconsistency with their fitness programs. Life sometimes gets in the way and workouts are missed and eating gets off track.  If they could be more consistent on a daily basis they could see better results. Alas, no one always feels motivated to exercise and eat healthy.  To be consistent requires making small goals. Instead of planning to do an hour of cardio every day, try committing to doing 30 minutes. Give yourself that much of a range of possible time to do your running, biking, etc. If you do the 60 minutes, then you have made a great accomplishment.  If you do the 30 minutes, you are still doing terrific and have remained consistent.

If consistency is one of the major missing keys to a successful program, as I feel it is, then accountability is a very close second. It can be extremely hard to remain consistent without that accountability. It could be a trainer or a friend who helps you be accountable. Small group exercise classes are terrific for accountability.  Not only do you have an instructor to nudge you get to class but there are other members who can motivate you as well.  Larger group classes can work but sometimes people get lost in the crowd and therefore lose accountability.

A safe fitness program is definitely built on sound knowledge of exercise and nutrition, which can be successful for many people. The reality is that even with all the knowledge available, most people will not have success unless they have consistency and accountability.

J & D Fitness
4180 South Fort Apache Rd,
Las Vegas, NV 89147