Work Like A Personal Trainer / Sweat Like A Woman
How many of you had New Years Resolutions related to fitness? Get in shape. Lose 10 pounds. Use gym membership for a change. Eat better. Join a workout class. Do any of these sound familiar?
Most of us know what it takes to be healthy and we’ve heard the benefits of small changes over a long period of time. Still, knowledge and action are two different things, are they? So we lean on our go-to excuses: no time, no money, no motivation.
It’s not often that you hear people say that they are too overwhelmed with everything to get on track, or that they really don’t know what to do at all. Or that everything they’ve tried doesn’t work. The admission that you can’t do it on your own is a tough one to make. Maybe even more so today, with all the resources we have, quite literally, at our fingertips. Surely, something could make things easier.
The missing link could be human connection. It creates an energy so powerful that Amazon’s Alexa and YouTube videos can’t replicate it.
This week we are shining a spotlight on a woman whose professional success lies entirely on an important kind of human connection: her ability to help others live a more healthy lifestyle. She works with them to accomplish their goals and is by their side every step of the way.
Those resolutions we are guilty of breaking? This wonder woman helps end that cycle for her clients and she does it with positivity and encouragement. Not exactly the image you may have of the ex-military boot camp trainer with bulging biceps shouting at you to drop and give him fifty, is it?
Yes, our featured woman is a personal trainer, but she doesn’t see this as just her job. Beyond the title, you’ll find a woman who not only practices what she preaches to her clients, but also listened and took notice of where her interests led her to find the perfect career fit. A woman who learned from others, perfected her craft, and then had the courage to venture out and start her own business before she’s even turned thirty!
MEET JULIANNA, A PERSONAL TRAINER FROM CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA.
Julianna, how did you get your current job? Did you actively pursue it or was it one of those jobs you stumbled into by accident?
It took me a year to study for the three personal training licenses I have:certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and fitness nutrition specialist (I also have certifications with TRX suspension trainers and the rip trainer). Once I completed those, I worked at 24 Hour Fitness as a trainer for just under three years. While there, I learned a tremendous amount through the company and gained a lot of knowledge.
I value the time I spent with 24 Hour Fitness because I had a fitness manager that was really focused on personal growth within the company and he encouraged me to want to seek out constant growth for myself as a trainer. Working with other trainers with different backgrounds and specialties helped fueled my desire to want to learn more and be a better trainer. I was exposed to clients with varying goals, lifestyles and health concerns that gave me more practical experience. I really started to understand the importance of building strong relationships with my clients and realized that in order to be successful in this industry it was not just about what you know about fitness but how you connect with your clients in order to cultivate a new appreciation for their health and fitness.
Still, I knew that I didn’t want to be there forever. I wanted to manage my own business and create more opportunities for myself by going down my own path in the fitness industry. I started to look outside of 24 hour fitness back in 2016 and found out about a private gym facility very close to home. I reached out to the owners of San Diego Premier Training and inquired about the rental costs and logistics in order to bring my business to their facility. I thought about it often, began to look into what the process would look like for me to uproot my business to become independent. It took me at least six months of research and planning to finally take the plunge and walk away from a more comfortable setting into deciding to build and run my own personal training business.
Tell us about your first job? What did you learn from it that you still apply to your work today?
My first job was when I was 16 years old at a local ice cream shop called Maggie Moo’s in Leesburg, Virginia. Since I was still in high school, I worked super part time. I mainly got the job so that I could spend time with my boyfriend, who also worked there! Looking back, I really feel like that job helped me enjoy meeting new people. I loved getting to know our regulars, having conversation with the customers and cheering them up. I mean, who is really unhappy when they are eating ice cream?
My career now is a huge shift from promoting ice cream as an important food group! I do quite the contrary now, but what hasn't changed is my motivation to build relationships with my clients, cheer them up and hopefully have them walk away from that hour workout feeling better and “hungry” for more.
How did your personal life and experiences lead you to personal training? Where did your passion for it come from?
I never would have guessed that one day I would be training people, and that I would have such a passion for health and fitness.
I grew up playing many sports: ballet, softball, but soccer was my one true enjoyment. I played for nine years up to my senior year of high school. Other than running around on a field and learning new ball drills, weight lifting and eating right wasn’t something I enjoyed or even gave a second thought.
It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year of college when my mindset really shifted. I became much more aware of and desired to create a healthier lifestyle and encouraged others to do the same.
One thing that helped make the change was when I took a running course in college as a filler class. On my first day, I was surprised to see that my teacher was an older man, in his late 50’s. He shared with all of us his running regime and I was stunned. This man, who was in outstanding shape, was running, on average, 26 miles a day! Although I knew I never would be running like he could, I was really inspired by the fact that he had so much energy, passion and drive to encourage that same fuel in all of his students.
From that point on, I got more interested in running. I started signing up for races,first a 5k, then 10k and over the next few years,I completed 4 half marathons.
I also started getting more educated by reading online or in health magazines about weight lifting. I also started to frequent the gym at my university, going five to six times a week. I was one of the only females in the weight room with all the other men. Of course I felt intimidated at first! However, I realized the only way I was going to get more comfortable in an uncomfortable setting like that was to continue going and not allow fear get the better of me.
I changed my diet too. I started to become more aware of good nutrition and focused on living a healthier lifestyle. With all of those changes, I began making lots of friendships with people at the gym with similar attitudes about their health.
I realized that I really enjoy giving people advice, showing them things inside of the gym and motivating them. My passion for the health and fitness industry became more and more apparent to me as all these changes in my life became my routine and lifestyle. From there, I knew that one day, I would get into personal training.
What do you love most or find most rewarding about your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is the excitement I can create in my clients from the progress they see happening on a daily basis. Anything from being able to lift heavier weight with a certain movement than they did weeks or months prior to them not caving to certain cravings they once did, purely because they know their health is more important that the junk food presented to them. I love receiving texts or calls from clients letting me know that they bumped into someone they hadn't seen in awhile and that person reacted to their healthier physique and told them how great they look.
The whole goal of my line of work is to make my clients realize that they are far more capable than they think. I strive to create a confidence and fire inside of them that motivates them independently. My clients thank me all of the time for pushing them past what they ever thought they could do, encouraging them or just being there to listen and that is why I love what I do. I am always reminded that I went into the right career when I can impact someone positively and make them realize their own inner strength, mentally and physically.
What are some misconceptions about your profession or the field you work in?
A lot of people think a trainer is very similar to the ones you see on the TV show, The Biggest Loser. We are so different from what you see on reality TV shows. Yes, sometimes we may raise our voice to encourage our clients, but most of the time, that is not the case at all. We want to push you, challenge the limits you put on yourself, but we are not trying to make you puke. We are not that intimidating and hardly ever yell in our clients faces...unless you like that sort of drill sergeant training style, haha!
If you are performing an exercise and its hurting in a way that it shouldn’t be hurting and risking injury, we are not going to make you keep going. We will stop and reevaluate the movement and find a way to modify the movement so you are engaging the right muscles.
What are your goals for yourself professionally? Where do you see yourself going in this profession - best case scenario/dream?
I love being a trainer and I feel in my five-year career I have already accomplished some of what I wanted to do, which was becoming an independent trainer.
That said, I still have further goals and interests to pursue in my business to keep growing. I would love to get more involved in corporate wellness. There are too many adults who sit too long at their office jobs, snack too often due to unhealthy food temptations in their work setting, and people being too tired to devote time to the gym before or after work.
I want to inspire more people and have them realize that through daily proper nutrition and exercise, they can help decrease sluggish feelings simply by moving more. Too many people deal with ailments contributed to a sedentary lifestyle like low back pain. Those ailments can be eliminated with exercise, a stretch and foam roll routine, and by sitting less.
Looking back at the way you have approached your professional development, education, and decisions, what would you say is your philosophy about work? What do you believe people need to do in order to succeed? Where did you learn this?
I feel that, in my five years in the health industry, I have learned a tremendous amount and still learning more and more along the way. I continually seek out opportunities to surround myself with like-minded people in the industry. At least once a year I attend a conference or an online training. I am currently studying for a Level One Functional Movement Screening Certification, which will allow me to be able to assess my clients one step further in their mobility. That way, I can work with them through their workouts to become stronger and any reducing pain in their day to day life.
Some things I’ve learned through prior jobs, school or trainings made a big impact on my success, but a lot of my momentum came from passion and a true desire to help people.
The most important thing I have learned in my career as a personal trainer is that every client you come across is going to have different goals and different ways of being motivated to achieve those goals. It’s so important to take the time to figure that out and find ways to encourage each client. That really is the best way to get long term results!
I've also learned that building unique relationships with your clients is so important. Connecting with them and being more than just a trainer, but a friend. I have been blessed with amazing clients who I truly know would be there for me just as much as I would be there for them. That is what has made my career feel so fulfilling. We are in this journey together and I want the best for them in all aspects of their lives, not just seeing them grow stronger physically in their workouts, but in their mindset on life and feeling good from the inside out.
Before you go, can you share some information about health and fitness that we may not know about?
- More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity.
- One pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories.
- It is estimated that only 22% of American adults participate in regular, sustained physical activity for at least 30 minutes, five times a week (which is recommended).
- Muscle is about three times more efficient at burning calories than fat, even when at rest. That is why strength training is more beneficial to lose weight and gain muscle!
Julianna was born in Northern Virginia but has lived in Carlsbad for 15 years. She graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelors of Science degree. She moved back home to Carlsbad upon graduation and she spent a year in the corporate world until she realized her passion lied with fitness and pursued her licensing through NASM. She began working for 24 Hour Fitness in 2013 and worked as a Master Trainer there for 3 years. During that time, she was also promoted to Assistant Fitness Manager. In late 2016, Julianna began her private training business as Adams Active Personal Training and currently works out of a private training studio in Carlsbad, Ca.