Trainers share advice to achieve goals in the New Year

Trainers share advice to achieve goals in the New Year

For most of us, a brand new year means brand new resolutions, often revolving around getting into shape. But every year, resolutions fade, our excitement ebbs and we find we’re in the exact same shape we were the 12 months earlier.

To help you accomplish your fitness goals in 2011, we spoke with trainers in the fitness field who have helped countless clients achieve success and asked for their advice.

FitTips1_404562907.jpgThe right motivation
Jared Burgess of Tampa owns Underground South Tampa, and won Watermark’s 2009 WAVE Award for favorite fitness trainer. He says that while most people are motivated into the gym for aesthetic reasons, it’s important to look at the overall health benefits of a good workout plan.

“A well-defined chest, chiseled abs, and sculpted abdominal tend to be the desire that drives a lot of men to hit the gym,” Burgess says. “Those are great goals but other benefits of strength training include increased bone density, a lower risk of illnesses like diabetes, stroke and heart complications and more.”

Tera Guzman agrees. The owner of City Gym in St. Petersburg is a bodybuilder and has helped men and women reach their goals. She adds that in addition to weight training, nutrition is key.

“Women and men both want to lose fat in their abdominal and hip areas,” she says. “It helps to have a nutrition program that is specifically designed for their needs. They must also have a cardiovascular regimen and learn exercises to target problem areas.

There’s no rush
Sometimes the hardest part of any new fitness routine is just getting started. Too many people enter the gym, overdo it and are too sore to continue.

“If you are new to strength training you must start slow and work your way up,” Guzman says. “You don’t want to injure yourself or make yourself so sore initially that it distracts from your everyday activities.”

It’s also important to work out the entire body and not just the “vanity muscles,” according to Burgess.

“Focusing on the entire body helps prevent injury,” Burgess says. “The core area is one of the most important areas to build and develop in conjunction with everything else, as almost every movement you make requires some level of tension in the mid-section.  “

FitTips2_836725278.jpgDon’t be intimidated
Walking into a gym or fitness center for the first time can be an unsettling experience for some. Big guys, intimidating machinery and a lack of knowledge may make you want to head for the door.

But there’s nothing to be scared of, according to Guzman.

“I’ve found in my experience that if you look around, you’ll find most members are not any different than yourself,” Guzman says. “Not all gym members are necessarily former college athletes. Your anxiety will remain if you continue to avoid the situation.”

Both Burgess and Guzman say that asking for help is encouraged in the gym and that asking for simple instructions does not lock you into any kind of training contract.

“March right up to a staff member and ask,” Guzman says. “The staff is there to help you and make your workout experience as effective as possible, no matter what your skill level.”

Guzman and Burgess are both available for personal training. For information on Burgess and Underground Tampa, call 813-500-5076. For information on Guzman and City Gym in St. Petersburg, call 727-898-3302 or visit

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