Being a fitness coach takes more than the love for working out and having good and disciplined nutritional habits. Like any other advocates, personal trainers are committed to educating people on healthy lifestyle choices, and this ultimately means that the work does not end with the last person they train.
Take for example Strength and Conditioning Coach Joseph Guevara whose commitment to his craft – and his clients – starts with himself.
“I train like any other fitness coaches,” he says. “I have an average of five clients per day. After waking up at around 7 am, I start to stretch before I go to my first, and succeeding, clients – and this lasts until noon. I make sure that the gym workout that I implement with my clients is progressive, which means that the capacity or the weight keeps on increasing week after week. Take note, of course, that being fit and healthy are two different statures – you can be fit without being healthy and vice versa. You need to be both.”
As for his diet, he optimizes his micronutrients – vitamins and minerals – and stays away from simple sugars or anything that turns to white such as grains, rice or cereals. Coach Joseph also gives importance to his insulin level which is directly correlated to glucose.
“Insulin in the body is a hormone that displaces certain nutrients to the body,” he explains. “For instance, you have lots of sugar in your body. Insulin brings sugar to different parts of your body such as your liver, which eventually turns to fat, and because of that, you sometimes get sick. Why do I eat food that is detrimental to my health in the first place?”
The workout phase
According to Coach Joseph, working out or exercising depends on your goal. If your goal is balance and flexibility, he suggests doing yoga. If you want to do some dance movements, join some Zumba classes. If you want to do some cardio exercises, run around the track.
“For those who want to lose weight, however, I suggest that you do some High-Intensity Resistance Training because your goal is to gain more muscle than fat,” he says. “By doing this, we get to train our muscles.”
Coach Joseph adds that there are five basic muscle movements that you should follow: pushing muscles which involve upper body push such as push-ups; pulling muscles such as pull-ups and chin-ups; lower body push such as squats; lower body pull such as deadlifts and hip raises; and stability muscles such as core and abdominal exercises.
“These exercises are important because aside from the strength that they bring, you also become more agile and productive at work,” he says. “Whenever you want to lift something such as a sack of rice or a gallon of water, you can do it with ease.”
Taking care of what you eat
According to Coach Joseph, there are four types of food that you need to avoid in order to keep fit and healthy. You need to stay away from simple sugars and fruits that have high sugar content or glycemic index. “Keep in mind that not all fruits are good for you,” he says. “Like any other things, you need to take it in moderation. If you eat too many bananas, mangoes or oranges, you need to be careful too as these contain fructose, something that the body can’t metabolize – not readily available for the muscles to use.”
Among the fruits that you can eat include avocados, the berry families (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries), and watermelon.
Second, stay away from carbohydrates or grains such as rice and pasta – anything that has gluten, he says. “There have been studies that state that dementia and autoimmune disease are also linked with eating carbohydrates.”
Third, avoid dairy such as milk – even fresh milk as sometimes cows get injected with unnatural substances. He does recommend drinking almond milk though. And fourth, avoid eating canned goods or preserved and processed foods.
“As much as possible, everything that we should eat should be natural,” he says. “We may not feel the effects of these processed foods but in the long run, it’s going to be a different story.”
Everyday health tips
A fitness coach who has been training students, professionals, and the older generations for almost two years now, Coach Joseph has learned many ways to keep fit and healthy. Aside from exercise and eating the right food, he shares tips to live a productive and vigorous lifestyle.
- Getenough sleep. At least seven to eight hours a night, he says. “Don’t think of this as sleep, but think of this as a recovery period, especially if you are working out. Your muscles need to rest too.”
- Surround yourself with people who motivate you. Especially when trying to keep fit and healthy, you need to have people who can inspire you to do better. Coach Joseph often throws quips that push his clients even more that allow them to grow as individuals. “In contrast, avoid toxic people or people who put you down. Avoid that kind of environment because it can be contagious.”
- Be honest with yourself. “If your coping mechanism is you eat too much or you smoke, you need to acknowledge these so that you can move forward so that you can do something about it,” he says.
- Focus. In working out or trying to do some strenuous activities, you need to keep your mind on what you are doing and away from distractions.
- Learn to say no. You don’t have to do everything. Prioritize what’s important to you.
“The bottom line is you need not only to keep your body healthy but your mind and spirit as well,” Coach Joseph stresses.