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How To Choose A Personal Trainer

I get this question a lot.  How you should choose your Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach.  On the surface it seems like the choice should come down to basic convenience and a lot of prospective clients do choose on that, however they could be doing themselves a disservice in choosing their Fitness Coach that way and here’s why:



Many Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches lack the experience in dealing with a wide range of special populations like dealing with individuals with injuries or post surgery or even extremely deconditioned.  Often if you are working with a Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach with less than 5 years of experience then you will really want to ask detailed questions about which type of clients the Trainer or Coach has trained and even possibly ask to contact a client to see what  their experience was like working with the individual, or if you don’t have the stomach for that, ask for a testimonial from a previous client that verifies their abilities.


Also unfortunately not all Personal Trainer certifications are equally as acceptable as a general rule in the industry also.  You want to look for a Personal Trainer who has a certification from an organization recognized by the N.C.C.A.  (Institute for Credentialing Excellence).


How long have you been in your job? Would you consider yourself a master salesperson or graphic designer or nurse with less than 10 years experience.  Of course not, many Personal Trainers consider themselves to be “Master Trainers” after only 8-9 years of actual experience.  As a general rule of mastery, it takes 40,000 hours to master anything.  Your Master Trainers have typically been in the industry for 15 years and up.  They can work with a variety of clients and have probably already done so.  Credentialing only doesn’t make a person a Master Trainer, time, experience and actual hours mastering your craft does.



Let’s not dispel one of the biggest factors in choosing your Fitness Coach.  P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L-I-T-Y, say it with me now…personality.  You have got to like the person who you will be most likely seeing multiple times per week for the foreseeable future.  Eventually you will get to know your new Fitness Coach or Personal Trainer as closely as you know a good friend.  You need to like your Trainer/Coach and you should click with them.  I’m not saying you should be best friends, but being with your Trainer/Coach should be one of the best parts of your day.  You also want to make sure that as you embark on one of life’s hardest journey’s (changing bad habits), you choose a partner who will support you and distract you from the journey and help you face difficulties with competence and class.


So here you have it, don’t just jump right in UNTIL, you’ve applied this blog.  Or you can call us at Next Level Fitness & Wellness 😉 we’ll take great care of you.  Here’s to your success.



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Get the most from your fitness program in 2017

Within the next 2.5 half weeks, millions of people around the U.S. will start to make their New Year’s resolutions.  They will range from trying to quit smoking to improving bad habits to losing weight.  The most predominant of the New Year’s resolutions people make is trying to lose weight.  The harsh reality though, is that for the vast majority of people who set these resolutions will fail within the first 8 weeks into their “new lifestyle”.   How though, can you be a 1 percenter when it comes to accomplishing your goals?  I’ll give you 3 tips that you can use to get the most from your fitness program through 2017 and be successful.


Hire a Fitness Coach

Why go at it alone? Don’t continue to do the same things that you’ve done in the past that didn’t help you achieve your goals.  You don’t have to hire a Fitness Coach long term, use a Fitness Coach for a few months, that will help you gain good habits and it will also help you spring board your results.  Also a Fitness Coach will help provide specific instruction for you to be successful since they will get to know your strengths and weaknesses.


Educate Yourself

Try to find some information online pertaining to your goals, but be careful, all advice is not created equal and you don’t necessarily know the credentials of the person who is giving the advice.  Try trusted sources of information like,, and of course our blog here.


Create Good Habits

I know what you’re going to say, if I could create good habits then I wouldn’t need to seek the advice on this blog.  The habits that we want to encourage you to develop have more to do with mindset and environment than fitness programming.  If you want to truly have a successful year where you accomplish everything you’ve set for yourself to accomplish then you have to adjust how you think about your life and habits in general.  You have to be willing to turn bad days into good days, you have to be willing to forgive yourself if you fail and you will fail.  You have to be willing to look to the end goal and the future with positivity knowing that if you stick to your plan you will accomplish your goals.  Accomplishing a big goals is really about doing all of the little things in between starting and finishing.  Waking up every day 15-30 mins earlier to get a head start on your exercise or your day.  You have to also shape your environment into what you need it to be to promote your goals.  This may include changing your social circle to include those who will help you promote good habits and who are encouraging.  Turn your home and desk into a place where you can thrive by creating order and organizing yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the clutter and mess.  These good habits will hands down have the biggest affect on you accomplishing your goals.


Your mom was right when she said you can do or be anything you want to as long as you put your mind to it, but what I will add to that is, put your mind to and plan to.  Stick to your plan, take action and advance yourself forward everyday.  Overall be proud that you took the step to getting better and becoming a better version of yourself.


Here’s to your success in the new year,




Check out my other blog post where I talk about personal success and positive mindsets


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How to avoid gaining the holiday buldge and no pain no gain

Going into the holiday season there are two undeniable facts….calorie consumption will reach a year long high in just a few short weeks and physical activity can reach their lowest ebb.  Take a look at this  week’s Trainer Talk, Micah address this issue and is the motto “no pain, no gain” actually beneficial.




Stay healthy and find your Next Level,




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Pushing through your limits

Everyone has varying levels of confidence, some of us can just walk into the bosses office and ask for A raise, while others agonize for weeks over how exactly they will approach the boss to ask for the raise.  While limits and modesty certainly have a place and help us maintaining focus on where we currently are, we should always seek to continue to exercise the limits we place on ourselves in a positive way to test and see whether or not we have the chance to push through our current level of tolerance.  Often I deal with clients that have these self-imposed limitations, The limitations that they experience are usually just mental hurdles that they put themselves through almost like a safeguard.  The reality is that we must consciously push ourselves mentally to be better. One of the best ways to do this is to spend time changing your daily narrative. Every day you have to believe that you’re going to make a greater impact than you did yesterday, every day you have to believe that you are valuable, every day you have to believe that the world can learn from you and you have something to share with others. The best way to push through your limits, is to not act like the limits don’t exist, but to Believe that your will is stronger than your limit. That’s why every morning being the best starts with mental prep work that includes meditating on the positive aspects of things that bring joy and the small accomplishments you’ve made the previous day, but to also realize that you have the ability to make similar changes today.  People who are not successful use limits as an excuse, people who are successful use limits as a gauge to figure out just how much harder they have to push themselves to accomplish their goals.


Practical Steps to take


So here are three exercises that you can use to help you push through your limits:

  1. Visualize your end goal
  2. Embrace the difficult, and use it to build your will to accomplish your goals
  3. Eliminate anyone or anything that prevents you from being the best version of yourself that you can be.

Here’s to your success,



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The power of yes!

Much has been written about the “power of yes”, but I wanted to give my take on this motto.  Over the years I have succeeded and I have failed.  I’ve been given opportunities that many people would dream of and some people would cringe at.  The biggest factor, though, in my professional life and in many ways in my personal life has been my ability to say “yes”.  What does saying “yes” refer to?  Well often this refers to taking advantage of  the opportunities that come your way and instead of defaulting to our natural pessimistic, fearful view of things we should say yes.  Now this doesn’t meant that you say yes to something that is harmful for you, but when the opportunity presents itself for you to do something bigger than is normally in your natural scope, than you seize it.


I’ve realized that many of the opportunities that I’ve had in my life have come first from people who believed in me and my abilities.  By rejecting these opportunities you could be closing doors before they are even opened to helping you move forward.  In my experience this is the worst form of regret to have, the feeling that you didn’t take advantage of something that could have shown you who you truly could be if given the “opportunity”.  When you say yes to things and start to think outside the box, you will truly discover your full self and what you have to offer.  The restraining of oneself for reasons of fear of the unknown is what separates people who leave a mark or accomplish life goals, from those who just exist in their space, claustrophobic since they are crowded with regrets.


You will truly experience what life has to offer once you start saying “yes”, once you start believing that beyond the fear, negativity and short sighted thinking lies what we truly strive for, accomplishment and satisfaction.  The satisfaction of knowing you’ve done all you can with everything you’ve been granted.  The question is, will we allow negativity from others or even our thoughts prevent us from being the best form of ourselves that we truly can be?  The answer dwells with your response to Yes or No?  Say Yes!!


Here’s to your success,



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Can you lack soreness after a workout, yet have had a good workout?

Is the idea that lack of soreness means lack of improvements in the gym really a sound philosophy?  In short the answer is no.  This mantra of no pain no gain came out of the body building era when those fitness enthusiast were so focused on hypertrophy (muscles getting bigger) and taking performance enhancing drugs.  The theory behind the mantra is that if you work harder or in excess when you are in the gym, then you will see the resulting effects in greater measure.  One thing that I’ve learned over the years in the Fitness industry, is that there are very few absolutes when it comes to the health and fitness of people who are working out.  I have had clients who have come in to work with us who have put many hours in at the gym and didn’t see the results that they wanted to see.  These individuals would probably reject the notion that more time in the gym = more results.  You may be wondering then, how can I measure my effectiveness in the gym if more time doesn’t = more results?  The key lies in “what” not in the “how”.  Meaning the key to your success in the gym lies in the “what you do for exercises in the gym”, and not “how much time you are there”.  Research has shown that the best way to burn fat and keep it off is to increase lean body mass, the number one way to do this is to engage in strength training.  Why in the world if the best way to burn fat off is to do strength training do we still constantly see hoards of people running on the treadmill instead of moving weight around the gym.  You may be saying well it seems like Micah you are rejecting the idea of doing cardio for burning fat, no, i’m not saying that, however, the most efficient way to burn fat is to engage in strength training that elevates your heart rate and makes multiple muscle groups work and body systems.  Soreness when you workout is a direct effect of lactic acid build up in your body, however over a period of time your lactic acid threshold gets pushed back as your body adapts to the workout you are doing.  The result of this is a corresponding lack of soreness.  However just because your body isn’t as sore as it used to be, doesn’t meant that you didn’t actually get a good workout.  Your muscles still have to contract and flex to produce movement, you still have to engage your musculoskeletal system in order to do something like a lunge or a sled push.  Your focus instead of soreness in the workout should be: “am I making every exercise count while i’m working out”?  That is the biggest question we fail to answer when we workout.  By doing the right exercises your body will respond regardless of if you are sore or not.  Just make sure the way you eat supports your work in the gym……(but that’s a topic for another blog post)



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