From Couch to Success with Jeremy Jackson: Where do I start?

Morning!  For the next few weeks I will be featuring some helpful posts for those of you who are just starting out on your journey to health and fitness.  It can be a scary thing.  I’ve been there (for more on my story click here).  I know what it’s like to find yourself in a position where your eating habits and lifestyle are simply not healthy.  I know the road you have to go down and the work it takes.  Can I just tell you…. it’s worth it friend.

One of the questions I am most often asked is “Where do I start?”  I’ve also had several requests for personal training.  While I am so flattered and want to help you any way I can(you can always email me, I’m thrilled to answer questions and do anything I can to help you along on your fitness journey, my “door” is always open), I did think it would be helpful to call in a certified PT who I know and trust to offer some guidance and suggestions on where to begin.  
I first met Jeremy 4 years ago.  I had just completed my second half marathon and thought of myself as pretty fit.  I had lost 75 lbs 3 years prior, had kept it off, started running and completely changed my life.  However, I knew I had been missing a few things.  I had never worked with a trainer before.  He approached me and asked me to come try one of his group fitness classes and ya’ll..I almost died.  Literally.  And I may have puked.  
That’s when I knew that while I had done a lot on my own and been successful, it was time to call in some help.  I had some goals and things I still wanted to do and I had no clue how to get there.  Jeremy’s training changed not only my body but my mindset and the way I viewed physical fitness.  With some work and consistency, Jeremy helped me become a stronger more powerful runner.  He is a huge part of why I am studying to become a personal trainer.  So, for the next few weeks pop in and get some great tips on things like nutrition, choosing a personal trainer, and starting a fitness routine.  In case you are getting bored with my sarcasm and constant need to talk about marathon training, Jeremy will be a huge breath of fresh air (I’m joking ya’ll). But really, you will love him!  
Pursuing Success with Accountability….
We all aspire to do the unthinkable, to feel a certain way, and most definitely look a certain way. Many of us know exactly what size clothing we want to wear, how much we want to weigh, and what percentage body fat we would like to be at. Then there are others of us who have no clue what our goals should be or how to obtain them, but one thing we know for sure after looking in the mirror is its time to change.
In today’s blog topic, which will be a part of a Four-Week series, I want to engage in the topic of “where to start.” You have pulled out a page in the women’s or men’s health magazine and have identified your target look alike; You are motivated more than ever to get some results, but one thing is missing and that is the method to how to achieve it all.
·         Choosing a Trainer:
The trainer you choose to work with should have a Science Degree in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Exercise Science, or equivalent in addition to a minimum of 5 years in the industry closely working with various clients. For some health clubs it is not a requirement for all trainers to have a science degree and therefore it is important to look at what certifications and experience the trainer possesses. Here are a few certifications that are highly sought after and recommended: National Academy of Sports Medicine(NASM), American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM), National Council on Strength and Fitness(NCSF), American Council on Exercise(ACE), Certified Strength and Condition Specialist(CSCS), National Strength and Condition Specialist(NSCS), and Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer Certification(CI-CPT)
It is important to find a trainer who not only has the knowledge base to help you reach your goals, but demonstrates effectiveness in his or her teaching and education efforts. A trainer should be able to challenge you and push you in a safe and effective way. Throwing up or not being able to complete recommended exercises is not a sign of a good workout or a good trainer. (in this case, completely ignore my statement above about puking, that was because I thought I was super woman that day and I was very much not.  This was not the fault of the trainer ha!!)
A good trainer should be able to demonstrate an effective plan or overview of the goals the two of you have discussed and mapped out together.
Personal Training is a science-based approach and each phase of a program has specific protocols and adaptations.
 Trainer Check Points: Short term vs. Long term goals should be discussed along with caloric intake, movement assessment, physical readiness or any physical complications that will interfere with exercise, and a body composition check. In later posts I will discuss the importance of each of these segments of a program.

This is one of my all time favorite books.  It’s called “Let’s All Be Brave” by Annie F. Downs.  It’s a game changer ya’ll.  She talks about doing something brave and scary and awesome with your life and your goals and dreams.  Highly recommend.  
A big thank you to Jeremy for helping out with todays post!!  
For more information on Jeremy’s group fitness, personal training and training methodology visit his website here
To visit his blog click here.  He will be posting these tips on his blog as well
We’d love to hear your stories!!
 If you have a transformation story we’d love to hear about it so please share in the comments below.  Reading other peoples stories can be a huge motivator to changing your life.  I know it is for me every day.  Happy Wednesday ya’ll!!

6 comments on “From Couch to Success with Jeremy Jackson: Where do I start?

  1. Amanda, I’m so glad you made your way over to the blog!! Here’s the deal with strength training. I believe it is absolutely necessary to keep it in your rotation in order to make you a stronger runner and to help prevent injury. However, I have found that with 50+ mile weeks it’s impossible for me to fit bootcamp, classes, or extended time with weights into my schedule. I don’t have 3 hours a day to run and strength train. So, I’m adding it in in small doses on my shorter easy run days. I’m doing a lot of push ups, core work/plank, clams, leg lifts, romanian dead lifts, squats etc at the end of easier, short runs..pretty much exercises that strengthen my glutes, hamstrings and core. I know I’ll get back to lifting heavier after the marathon, but I just couldn’t handle a heavy lifting schedule and running this much. Hope that helps. Try to keep it in there but change how you do it during your training cycle. Good luck!!!

  2. Hey! I found your blog through Erika’s 🙂 I am currently training for my 5th full marathon. I have been doing bootcamp the past few months but now that I’m running for my training I dropped bootcamp. In the past I’ve only just run for my training. But I’d love to keep doing bootcamp because I think it’s beneficial for strength. How many days do you run vs strength train? I’m having a hard time finding the balance.

  3. Laura, Wow! 5 boys!!! I applaud you haha. My two keep me busy and pulling my hair out at times=) I think getting up and moving can be the hardest part. Once you start, even if it’s just going for a walk with your kids, you will begin to feel the effects and that will be your new motivation. I know you can do it!!!!

  4. Kelly, I am still on the couch. I eat healthy but I need to exercise. I have 5 boys 4yo-18yo. I am 5’3 and want to lose 10lbs. I will keep reading!
    Laura R

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