“Bite the Bullet and Be It.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Certainly, words for life and the favourite words of Zap Fitness Newton “Active-ist” and PT, Juliette Ronsisvalle, “I love this quote because it reminds me that to be a strong, fit person I must first behave like a strong, fit person, then strength and fitness will follow. To change as a person, you must first change your habits, and then your habits will change you.”
Experienced trainer, Juliette, has been coaching and developing people in the fitness industry since the 80s! And despite huge changes in the way people decide to get fit and healthy, Juliette remains all over it when it comes to her own fitness and that of her clients.
“As a more mature aged person, my own training is health focused, with maintaining my mobility and strength being my primary goals. I lift six days per week, so I employ an upper/lower split, but I also enjoy running with my dog, an endlessly energetic Irish Setter, so I try to fit in regular high intensity interval training as well, so I can keep up with him.”
So, if we’re talking about the ways to help my fellow sistas crush their fitness goals, having Juliette’s opinion on the matter puts us in pretty good stead. Right!
The first thing I ask Juliette is to give us a run down on how she would help a female client set their goals, “With females, I think it’s important to look at ALL of their commitments and decide if their goals are achievable.Lots of the women I see work full time as well as looking after a family, and unfortunately it is all too common for them to not be getting the support they need so they can devote a few hours a week to their health. It can be difficult for the ladies to juggle all their commitments, so asking them to add too many hours of training to their already impossible schedule can be setting them up for failure. Small changes built up over time is the way I like them to approach their goals – small changes that their family need to get used to as well as themselves, so sometimes it can take longer, which also needs to be factored into goal setting! Working with their partners can also be helpful, getting them to buy into their loved one’s health journey and understand the importance of what we are trying to achieve together.”
We should point out that when we’re talking goals, Juliette reveals the most common goal for females, “Weight loss is the single most common goal I come across in my business, although the reasons for the weight loss can vary from aesthetic reasons to important health reasons such as treating type 2 diabetes or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Another less common goal is to reduce pain – I see a fair bit of lower back pain, shoulder and knee issues among clients.”
I guess that isn’t a surprising answer, but as Juliette mentioned above, there are so many levels to that goal and every woman has a different motivation. Juliette addresses below her top ways her clients can tackle their goals…
“For weight loss, I always recommend keeping a food diary for a week, so we can identify potential dietary issues. Keeping a diary can also heighten awareness and make a person more mindful of what they are eating. Working with a personal trainer on a regular basis is also incredibly helpful for keeping motivation high and ensuring your training is designed to meet your goals.Another thing that can often be hindering weight loss progress is sleep quality – I always like to ensure clients are getting sufficient sleep for optimum recovery and stress management.”
“For pain, movement is key – modern pain science research has thoroughly debunked the idea that rest is efficacious in treating any kind of injury or pain. I like to encourage my clients to continue their “normal” training with minor tweaks to accommodate the injury or painful joint, very gradually progressing load and movement to restore normal function to that joint. With pain it’s also important to monitor recovery, assessing each day how the previous training session has affected pain levels and adjusting the training appropriately. And as with weight loss, never underestimate the importance of sleep!”
But if you ask Juliette there’s a perfect storm that every female client needs for success, and it’s this, “Get support from family and significant others – even if it means getting them to help out more around the house so you can spare an hour for your training;
use the services of a personal trainer – training is much easier if the planning is done for you and all you need to do is show up and perform the physical part; and focus on the process, not the outcome – Just showing up and doing the work should be motivating if you know that work is taking you one step closer to what you want to achieve.”
Ladies, for some serious goal crushing, go and visit Juliette at Zap Fitness Newton. But if you’re not a local, take that last paragraph and commit it memory. Stick it on your bathroom mirror. Heck tattoo it on your arm (jk). Because when you’re armed with a plan, your goals are simply waiting for you to demolish them!
– by Prue Houston