The Exercise to Lose Weight Conundrum

Relationships generally interest me, but none more so than those where correlation is misunderstood as causation. This logical fallacy, known as false cause, can be especially misleading when navigating the ‘exercise-to-lose-weight’ conundrum.

It was not all that long ago when it was considered naïve by health practitioners to believe that increased activity contributed to fat loss. Louis Newburgh of the University of Michigan determined in 1942 that a 250-pound man would only burn three calories by walking up a flight of stairs. Newburgh calculated that “He will have to climb twenty flights of stairs to rid himself of the energy contained in one slice of bread!” The only thing Newburgh could say of exercise was that it would make that same man hungrier.

Then, during the sixties, nutritionist Jean Mayer, the future president of Tufts University, contradicted that mainstream thinking arguing that a ‘sedentary lifestyle’ was the primary cause of our Nation’s obesity problem. Mayer and other physicians of the time were shocked to learn that obese patients often ate less food than their leaner counterparts. They also observed that obese people were much less active. Mayer therefore concluded (and heavily promoted) that low levels of activity were the cause of obesity.

It surprises me that today’s medical community still believes that inactivity causes obesity. We frequently hear that as an industrialized and modern nation, we are drastically less active, expend significantly fewer calories, and therefore are overweight.

Our advancements as a society have afforded us convenience and accessibility. True, but this is a perfect example of when a correlation does not realize causation!

Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College, Dr. Herman Pontzer recently put the ‘sedentary lifestyle’ theory to the test. Dr. Pontzer and his colleagues measured the high daily energy expenditure among the Hadza people of Tanzania, one of the few remaining traditional hunter-gatherer populations. Would the Hadza, whose lifestyle is exceptionally non-sedentary, expend more energy than we do?

Unexpectedly, Pontzer and his team found that they don’t expend more energy than us – suggesting that inactivity is not the source of today’s obesity problems. Their findings were published in a study last July.

In a New York Times article (August 24, 2012), Pontzer wrote:

“How can the Hadza be more active than we are without burning more calories? It’s not that their bodies are more efficient, allowing them to do more with less: separate measurements showed that the Hadza burn just as many calories while walking or resting as Westerners do…

We think that the Hadzas’ bodies have adjusted to the higher activity levels required for hunting and gathering by spending less energy elsewhere. Even for very active people, physical activity accounts for only a small portion of daily energy expenditure; most energy is spent behind the scenes on the myriad unseen tasks that keep our cells humming and our support systems working. If the Hadza’s bodies somehow manage to spend less energy in those areas, they could easily accommodate the elevated energy demands of hunting and gathering. And indeed, studies reporting differences in metabolic-hormone profiles between traditional and Western populations support this idea (though more work is needed).”

Asserting that inactivity is not the source of today’s obesity problems, Dr. Pontzer surmises that “the Hadza’s bodies somehow manage to spend less energy” at other times of their daily life in order to compensate for the high “energy demands of hunting and gathering.”

Pontzer is referring to ‘homeostasis’ – the physiological mechanisms that regulate and stabilize all of our biological functions, including energy expenditure. As Harvard physiologist Walter Cannon put it back in the thirties, “Somehow the unstable stuff of which we are composed had learned the trick of maintaining stability”. It is possible that the Hadza slept more in order to maintain an energy balance.

Here’s the kicker folks – most homeostatic regulation is controlled by the release of hormones into the bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone and the primary regulator of how we store fat, is secreted into our bloodstream in response to the carbohydrates in our diets – when our insulin levels are elevated, fat accumulates in our fat cells.

Put simply, insulin can increase the fat our bodies store and decrease the fat we burn, irrespective of our activity levels. Eliminating grains and sugar from our diets is more critical than increasing activity to lose fat because they raise our blood sugar and therefore raise our insulin levels.

While not offering scientific proof, we did however demonstrate in last week’s blog post, The ‘Lose Fat and Get Strong’ Challenge’, the case of Inform Fitness client David Restrepo, who dropped 40 pounds in only eight months and has since maintained his weight. David’s success was attributable to two things: (1) performing the Power-of-10 workout a mere 40 minutes a week at our prescribed level of intensity; and (2) eliminating grains and sugars from 80 percent of his diet. With absolutely no additional cardio, David’s results belie the cardinal rule of conventional weight-loss ‘wisdom,’ that a high level of activity is necessary for sustained fat loss.

It is more likely that by keeping his insulin levels low, David not only decreased the amount of fat he stored, he also increased the amount of fat he mobilized and utilized for fuel (fat burned during his workouts).

We are all different and have different sensitivities to insulin based on aspects of our diet and lifestyle, as well as our genetic predispositions and age. Given the same food and the same amount of carbohydrates, some people will secrete more insulin than others, and that insulin’s exponential effect on our overall level of insulin resistance will vary. In addition, we all have different sensitivities to foods that may or may not stimulate insulin secretion, such as dairy, nuts, diet sodas and coffee.

So we can be fat and sedentary, or fat and active. The hormone insulin and not our activity level is what governs our body-fat percentage. The positive correlations that can be drawn between physical activity and our health, and even our weight, are many! But, it is more than likely that our physical activity levels are not the primary cause of body fat either being stored or burned. The food that we put into our mouths and its effect on the secretion of insulin will determine our state of fatness.

Once again, it’s those darned hormones that are the blame for everything.

Personal Training the InForm Fitness Way. The top 5 aspects that make us different.

If you’re here, you may understand what personal training is, and are leaning towards it as your fitness methodology of choice to get back in shape, lose weight, gain strength or reach some other fitness goal. As well, you may already understand how you go about evaluating personal trainers and personal training facilities.

In this post we’re going to take a slight departure and talk about why I chose the particular personal training method we use at InForm fitness.

As we discussed, or you may be finding out, personal training approaches are almost as unique as the trainers themselves, but our approach at InForm Fitness is far less about being different, and far more about being effective.

The Noblest of Endeavors.

As I’ve stated before, personal trainers serve a highly noble purpose – helping individuals maximize the utility of the most important asset they will ever own – their health and vitality.

Much like the medical field, our aim is to promote health, prevent disease and injury and make our ‘patients’ as healthy as they can be for as long as they are able and willing.

I can’t think of a more important cause to take on than this, or a more worthwhile endeavor an individual can choose. And frankly, that is why I do it.

But from this common root, many approaches to helping clients maintain their health and vitality spring forth.

And here’s where it’s important to understand InForm Fitness’ approach.

InForm Fitness Methodology – Underpinnings

To maximize the utility of an individual’s health and vitality, the InForm Fitness methodology was designed to achieve certain aims.

Unless you’re in the medical field or have an avid interest, the average person does not understand much about the major systems of the human body and how they work – much like automobiles or other complex machines. However, like automobiles, most people don’t need to know anything beyond the basics to keep it running or know what to do when it doesn’t. Fortunately, your personal trainer should understand these systems. We certainly do at InForm Fitness. 

It’s in this understanding, our fitness methodology was put together based on these core underpinnings:

  1. The Importance of Muscle: The musculoskeletal system is the foundational system of the body and therefore, at the foundation of human health.
  2. Maintaining the Musculoskeletal system: All other bodily systems are there to support the musculoskeletal system.
  3. What is needed to build muscle?: Developing muscle mass, and subsequently strength, requires a specific process by which the musculoskeletal system is strengthened and nurtured.
  4. What is the best way to build muscle? There is a specific way the body creates muscle mass requiring the right environment and equipment.
  5. While gaining muscle mass, injury and/or unnecessary wear and tear must be avoided

Let’s take a look at each of these.

1. The Importance of Muscle: The musculoskeletal system.

Without turning this into a doctoral thesis, we’re going to take a ‘top of the waves’ look at bodily systems.

The musculoskeletal system – our bones, ligaments, tendons, joints, muscles, cartilage etc. – is the foundational system of the body. 

If you think about it, the musculoskeletal system is the thing that gives us shape and structure, allows us to move and react, and protects other bodily systems – think of the relationship between the skull and spinal column and our neurological systems, and the relationship between bone and marrow to our immunological system to name just a few. 

All other bodily systems – respiratory, circulatory, neurological, gastrointestinal and immunological – are all there to support and maintain the musculoskeletal system. In reality, there is a close symbiotic relationship between all these systems.

Through this symbiosis, the more vital the musculoskeletal system, the more vital the other systems and the entire body.

2. Maintaining the musculoskeletal system.

If the musculoskeletal system is a foundational bodily system, muscle mass, and subsequently strength, are barometers of a healthy musculoskeletal system.

If we don’t do anything about it, we naturally lose both muscle mass and strength over time as we age.

Therefore, if we are to maintain optimal health, maintaining and enhancing the musculoskeletal system through increasing both muscle mass and strength as we age are essential to long term whole body health, independence and activity.

And this is the core objective for the InForm Fitness Personal Training methodology – help clients increase muscle mass and strength.

But…. there’s a way to go about it and a way not to go about it.

3. What is needed to build muscle? There is a specific way the body creates muscle mass.

The musculoskeletal system has a highly tuned stimulus/response mechanism built in.

If you stimulate the system in the right way, it will respond in kind – with mass and strength.

To stimulate this system to get the mass and strength outcomes we’re looking for, people need to move heavy weights or objects to ‘stress’ the muscles and bones. In other words, make them work.

If we stress the muscles in the right way, in the right amount, just frequently enough, we will yield the health outcomes we’re looking for.

4. What is the best way to build muscle?

We introduced the idea of moving heavy weights and/or objects to invoke the body’s reaction to ‘stress’. I want to take a moment and clarify ‘heavy’ weights. Heavy is a relative term. We are talking about a). Weights and objects ‘heavy enough’ to stress YOUR specific muscle or set of muscles and b). ‘heavy’ is relative from person to person. What’s heavy to you, and what’s heavy to a professional linebacker may be completely different things.

How much is enough?

So we learned the Inform Fitness Methodology is about stressing the musculoskeletal system in the right amounts to get the response we’re looking for.

But that’s only half of the equation.

The ‘amount’ is just as critical.

With all this talk about weights and stress you may be thinking this sounds hard, even risky.

The Environment

Getting to the point where your stressing muscles to the point of reaction, requires your complete focus. A cool, distraction-free environment is critical to have your full attention on the important work at hand.

Fitness Equipment

As well, you will need some equipment. In most instances, your own body will be the equipment! But other than that most other pieces of equipment are basic and easily available. At InForm, we’ve specially modified our equipment for the precise movement and stress points.

5. While Gaining Muscle Mass, Injury and unnecessary wear and tear must be avoided.

If you’re new to exercise and ‘weight training’, it’s important to understand any type of fitness regimen where you are doing new movements, new activities, exerting yourself in new ways and especially lifting weights does require some understanding of how to do these things properly.

Even something as simple as running can lead to unwanted injury if not done properly.

Weight training is no different. Even if you don’t use a personal trainer, getting an understanding of basic exercise, lifting movements and proper technique will suit you very well.

I also want to take a moment to say do not start any fitness routine, including this one, without consulting with your health care professionals and following their advice.

Weight training does require new movements. However, we want to stress the muscles just enough to get the response we’re looking for. Any more is simply unnecessary. It adds unnecessary wear and tear on the body, especially joints and ligaments and increases a likelihood of injury. Both things that are inconsistent with the health outcomes we’re looking for.

So gaining muscle mass WITHOUT injury and/or unnecessary wear and tear on the body is the optimal exercise state.

The InForm Fitness Methodology

The InForm Fitness Methodology was set to achieve primary health outcomes and avoid health detriments.

It is essentially just enough weight training, very slowly and deliberately, with very strict, proper form, in just the right amounts to stress the muscles to the point of activating the body’s response.

Slow and deliberate movement, in the proper form, provides maximum muscle stress, while minimizing joint stress.

Maximum work with minimum movement!

And no more.

Your body doesn’t actually need any more. Although brief in time, usually no more than 20-30 minute sessions, it is high in intensity. 

Clients, even those experienced in fitness, say it’s the most challenging workout they’ve ever done.

I know this sounds inconsistent with the prevailing fitness wisdom of more is better – go to a gym three to four times a week and do a variety of exercises for at least an hour at a time.

Again, at InForm, we’re interested in effectiveness and fitness outcomes rooted in physiological fact.

The secret to InForm Fitness’ Effectiveness? (Actually there’s two secrets…)

The first secret is ‘failure’. Failure is where clients succeed. At first, this may seem like a paradox.

What I mean by failure, is if we’re doing maximum work there will come a point where you cannot move the weight or object any further no matter how hard you try.

This is known as ‘muscle failure’ and is the point where the musculoskeletal system is stimulated to respond.

Minimal movement yet maximum work.

The second secret to the effectiveness of the InForm Fitness Methodology is rest. While resting, the body is reacting to stimulus created by muscle failure and sets about to send nutrients, proteins and other repair mechanisms to taxed muscles to make them bigger and stronger and ready for the next time there’s ‘stress’.

The right amount of stimulus is important, but so is the right amount of rest so the body is fully repaired and refreshed for the next round of stimulus.

Maintaining an active lifestyle.

Giving your musculoskeletal system the right amount of stimulus and rest is only part of the equation.

While, you don’t actually have to spend hours at a gym to get the stimulus/response you’re looking for, you can if that’s what you like to do.

The point is, make sure you are maintaining an active lifestyle, doing the things you like to do. Walk, run, bike, swim, golf, garden, even go to the gym…whatever it is, use your health and vitality to live life to the fullest!

As you look to evaluate personal training resources and/or fitness regimens, make sure it is in line with what you are trying to accomplish.

To your health,


How to find and evaluate a Personal Trainer. The top 5 (or so) things you should be looking for.

In a previous blog post we explored what personal training is and how it fits into the overall world of fitness to help you decide if this is a path, among many fitness options, you should take to help you reach your fitness goals. For those who have either decided or are heavily leaning toward personal training as their fitness path, this post is for you. In this post, we’re going to explore how you go about selecting a personal trainer. At Inform Fitness, many of our clients come to us as referrals from other InForm Fitness clients. Which is not that different from many other businesses, where word of mouth is a key source of new customers and an indicator of a product or service that provides enough value that people are willing to share their positive experiences with friends and family. But let’s say you don’t know anyone that uses a personal trainer, haven’t been given a referral or are just interested in exploring options on your own – how would you go about the process, what are things to look for and how would you evaluate personal trainers to help you find the one that’s right for you?

What fitness category are you in?
First we have to look at the different situations most people are in when looking for a personal trainer. Chances are you may fit into one of these. Most people seeking a personal trainer are typically in one of three categories.

1). Some fitness experience with different fitness facilities, routines or programs, but this is their first fitness experience with personal training and a personal trainer.

2). No prior fitness experience and want their fitness entry point to be supervised and guided by a trained fitness expert.

3). Currently personal training, and while they like the fitness modality of personal training, their current personal trainer is no longer working for them.

No matter the situation you’re in, you are going to evaluate your first, or next, personal trainer in pretty much the same way.

Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves of the role of a personal trainer.

Personal trainers take on great responsibility.

A responsibility as great as their cause – Helping people get maximum benefit of the most valuable asset they will ever own – their health and vitality. It is my personal belief helping people invest wisely in this most precious of assets is the noblest of endeavors.

The nature of working with people regularly regarding their bodies, their health, how they move, respond to exercise and how they progress comes with a good deal of reward, but also a certain degree of risk.

Having a great, not good, but great relationship with a personal trainer is, in my opinion, imperative for success.

So here’s what to look for.

The first cut: Personal Training Licensing and Certifications. As we discussed, personal trainers take on a heavy, yet very necessary responsibility and perform a very valuable service to the public.

Even in the eyes of state and other governing bodies, they see the role of personal trainers as performing an important function – one that needs specialized knowledge, skills and experience to perform correctly. This may come in the form of licensing – authorization to operate a business (think restaurants or auto repair shops as examples) or practice a profession (think nurses and teachers as examples) within a given field and within the geographic boundaries of a state, city, county or municipality. And/or it will also come in the form of certification – acknowledgement from an accredited body that a professional has met educational and/or practical requirements of the given profession.

So licensing and certification are important, albeit foundational parts of becoming a personal trainer. Each state and/or municipality has its own licensing requirements. Sometimes it’s either, sometimes it’s both.

Sometimes, neither are required.

Where licensing is required some must-haves may include insurance requirements and certification from an accredited national body, like NASM, the Nation Academy of Sports Medicine. The requirements can range from strict and well defined to, as mentioned, no real requirements at all. In other words, requirements for personal training vary widely, repeat, widely by state and municipality.

Your first pass is to check with your state or city authorities to what, if any, licensing/certification is necessary and, if so, what is REQUIRED in order to practice personal training in your state or city.

This step is really just the starting point and a first cut at all the options out there. But it’s an important step to separate those personal trainers who meet the requirements, and dedicate themselves to the profession, and those who don’t.

For example, in New York state, where InForm is located, a relevant educational background, certification from a nationally recognized accredited body AND practical experience are all required prior to obtaining a license to practice personal training.

As I mentioned, there are some states and facilities that don’t require any of these at all.

A simple online search for personal or ‘athletic training licensing requirements in [your state/city/area]’ should get you to information about what’s required where you’re located.

There are several organizations that provide accredited programs to certify personal trainers.

Some of the largest and most recognized professional certification organizations for personal trainers include:

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

A word of warning. Don’t get hung up on the details or which program is better/worse and try to compare the component parts. There’s no need to look into these deeply. Just know the requirements in your area and use it as a basis of discussion.

Remember, it’s only the starting point.

What is Your Personal Trainer’s Fitness Philosophy?

Where the first part is about separating those who have taken the steps to get an education and certifications, and those who haven’t, this second aspect starts to get into how they specifically approach the art and science of personal training.

Here, we’re not only looking for those personal trainers who have dedicated themselves to personal training as a career and continue to seek to advance their knowledge and skills.

But also, based on their experiences and studies, what is their specific point of view of how they go about the fitness process that works for them and produces results for their clients.

For those who know me and the InForm Fitness process, certainly know we have a very specific point of view on how people should invest in their most precious asset to get the greatest return. (To say the least lol.) Very simply our philosophy is helping clients receive the maximum benefit from the fewest movements in strictest form. At the center is focused muscle engagement in strict, slow, controlled movements to maintain and grow strength – the bedrock, foundational objective of health and vitality. The slow, strict, controlled movement allows for maximum muscle engagement with the fewest moves, therefore maximizing benefits while minimizing the risk of injury. The risk of injury takes clients away from our prime objective of health and vitality and why we actively seek to minimize it.

There’s a simple elegance in our approach to maximizing results and minimizing injury. It’s why myself and the InForm Fitness team continue to believe wholeheartedly, this is the optimal approach to fitness for most people at any stage of their fitness journey. 

As you interview prospective trainers, they also should have a specific point of view, an overarching approach, as to how they go about the process. Which they should be able to explain to you simply and in layman’s terms.

This should all lead to… 

“How would their fitness philosophy apply to me”?

 As you interview trainers, what they tell you regarding their philosophy is important, but not nearly as important as what they ask.

They should be interested in getting to know you. Some of the basics like your current fitness goals, fitness experiences, basic health background, how you found them, expectations etc.

Where this should lead to is how their overall fitness philosophy would apply to where you are on your fitness journey and what you’re trying to accomplish. The goal of this part of the conversation… start to outline a nearterm plan for beginning with you, ramping and progressing.

Does my style match with theirs?

Beyond the factual knowledge of how they go about personal training and what you’re looking to accomplish, you should feel like you can relate to this person not only as a professional, but as a person.

Needless to say, personal trainers have specific ways of being that may work for them and their clients, but may not work for you.

For example, a high energy, driving trainer may work very well for A-type personalities but may not work for someone who is more laid back.

No style is right or wrong, just whether a particular style works for you or not.

You should be able to gauge a sense of whether their style will work for you in your introductory conversations.

What kind of clients are they looking for?

Relately personal trainers should know the kind of client they are seeking and match up best with.

Bottom line this is a perfectly legitimate topic to be discussing with your trainer.

Remember this is going to be a close and, hopefully, long-term relationship with a professional who will help you through really important goals and challenging work.

Relating as people will make this process easier.

Everything Else

And finally the last area you should explore is more about their business mechanics. For example, do they make it easy to do business with them and/or their organization? Scheduling, invoicing, reminders, changes all the things that facilitate the maintenance of a successful business relationship in today’s digital world.

In other words, are they running a business…. or is personal training a gig?

Should you be discussing track records on client results?

Before we go we should spend some time on client results. This has always been tricky. There’s a saying in our industry “No one can exercise for you.” The short answer should be “For those who commit to, and stick with the process, it works.” But sometimes a client’s initial enthusiasm wears off and what seems like steadfast commitment at the outset, softens over time.

Maintaining motivation is part of the job and something many clients deal with as they advance in their respective fitness journeys.

Again this should be an open conversation about customer success, longevity, progress and goal achievement. And motivation. How does this personal trainer keep clients motivated over time? You know yourself and how committed you can, or can’t, be to things.

Perhaps maintaining fitness motivation is why you are seeking a new personal trainer in the first place.

Step into the process.

Selecting a personal trainer should not be taken lightly. You have a lot of options out there, but it is an important relationship where you will be focussed on important goals and executing important work.

Use these topics as a starting point and guideposts to make educated decisions on who, what and how works best for you.

To your health,


Understanding personal training and if it’s right for you.

I distinctly remember a recent conversation with a long-time client about a new ‘fitness training’ watch he had just gotten as a gift for the holidays. We spent a considerable amount of time going over the features and all the ways it measures and tracks things about your body condition and movements. He seemed really excited about it. He then went on to say “I never thought I’d see the day where Adam Z is replaced by a watch”.

Lol. Time out…

Truth be told this is not a unique conversation. I constantly have clients raising topics of a new fitness this or that. And while they may be exciting, shiny and new at the moment, everything you want to achieve from a fitness standpoint comes from a fitness program that’s rooted in solid fundamentals. No matter which fitness path you choose, in some way shape or form, whether you realize it or not, you will be involving the fundamentals.

I figured we can use this post to get things back in perspective from a fitness standpoint to help you understand these fitness fundamentals.

Obviously for those who know and train with me, I have a very distinct point of view on what fitness is, how people get back in shape and how to go about the whole process. More on that later.

But for those who are new to fitness – maybe want to get back in shape, gain muscle mass, get stronger, lose weight or some combination of all of the above – this perspective may be helpful on your fitness journey.

This time of year, there’s no shortage of ways that promise to help you get in shape.

From inexpensive ‘big-box’ gyms and health clubs, to new at-home connected fitness equipment, to books, videos, blogs, bootcamps and everything in between. This is also not a new phenomenon. (Anyone remember when Jane Fonda’s workout videotapes were all the rage!)

In the ‘fitness options’ mix is this thing called ‘Personal Training’. At the surface it’s defined precisely as the name would suggest. One-on-one fitness training where a certified fitness trainer prescribes and guides you through a fitness routine and supervises your activity. They may also keep records of your activity.

For over 28 years, Personal Training is the fitness path I’ve chosen to take my career and my preferred way, among all the other possible ways out there, to help clients master the fundamentals and get the fitness results they are looking for. At InForm fitness, we have developed a very unique approach to how Personal Training should be done. There’s several reasons for this and, oddly enough, the reasons I chose personal training as my career are very similar to why my clients chose personal training as the fitness path they want to pursue. (It’s nice when a plan comes together.) I think these reasons can help you as well, as you evaluate your fitness path.

Here are the fundamentals.

1. The body works in a particular way.

Biomechanically, the human body works pretty much the same for the vast majority of folks. From the systems of joints, movement, muscles, skeletal, circulatory, neurological, nutrition – all of these systems work, in principle, in similar ways from person to person.

The body’s systems have rules, and these rules need to be taken into account when seeking a fitness regime.

Not only to achieve your fitness goals as efficiently as possible, but also avoid injury while doing it!

2. But each body has its own idiosyncrasies.

While the systems of the body may work in similar ways, each person’s body has its own idiosyncrasies that also must be taken into account.

For example, you may have issues with lower back pain, or back issues, or perhaps knee or joint issues, that will take your fitness path in a different direction in order to help you reach your goals, while not exacerbating your issues further.

Your body’s own individual idiosyncrasies, and overall fitness level, must also be taken into account when designing a fitness program. Like a physician who understands the larger picture of how the human body works, but prescribes a specific treatment for your own particular health situation, a Personal Trainer understands the larger body/health picture, but takes into account your idiosyncrasies.

3. Personal Trainers get to know you as a person.

The relationship between the body’s systems, your particular body and your fitness goals all come together with a Personal Trainer.

We get to know you as a person, know what you’re trying to accomplish, know how your particular body works and how you respond to exercise. And also how you’re tracking toward your fitness goals.

4. It’s easy to get lost, or have false starts.

Because fitness is the intersection of your goals, your body, the program you choose, and the fundamentals of each, there is a lot of information swirling out there in ‘fitness world’ and lot’s of information you will need to process to get to a program that’s right for you and stick to a program that’s effective should you choose to go it alone.

Personal trainers understand most of these fundamentals and can help put in the right perspective all the ‘fitness noise’ and get you on a fitness path without all the trial and error.

With our InForm program specifically, our trainers put a specific emphasis on efficiency in workout routines – the maximum results in the fewest movements and time.

And doing things in a strict, controlled, supervised fashion in order to avoid injury!

5. You will need direction, motivation… and some accountability.

While many people are excited and motivated with their fitness goals at the outset, many times the initial enthusiasm wears off over time.

Your attitude may change and so may your behaviors. Perhaps allowing your fitness routine to fade or dissolve away completely. Pushing your goal further out. Only to make a new goal at some point in the future.

Personal Trainers help keep your goals in focus and you accountable for sticking with a program. Which is probably the most important aspect of any fitness protocol. Consistency.

Matching the internal body mechanics, your individual idiosyncrasies and the goals you are trying to achieve and doing it consistently is what Personal training can bring to the table.

As you continue to explore which options may be best for you, keep in mind the intersection of these fundamental areas and use them as a framework to cut through the fitness ‘noise’ compare and contrast fitness routines.

(BTW, My client doesn’t wear his fitness watch anymore…but we still workout regularly.)

To your health,


  1. How to evaluate a Personal Trainer?
  1. Is Personal Training right for me?
  1. Are Personal Trainers worth it?
  1. I have an old injury, should I consider a Personal Trainer?
  1. The top 5 things to look for in a Personal Trainer.
  1. Can a Personal Trainer help me get back in shape?
  1. Can Personal Training be done virtually?
  1. Can Personal Trainers help with weight loss?
  1. Can Personal Training help with gaining strength?
  1. Is Personal Training effective compared to other fitness methods?
  1. What is the best way to gain strength?
  1. What is the best way to retain muscle mass?
  1. What is the best way to get back in shape?
  1. Can Personal Training help with lower back pain?

Can I exercise with an injury?

Total Body Workout in Less Than 5 Min

If you need help and want to arrange a virtual workout with us, contact us at

Low Carb Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream


This is delicious, healthy, full of good fat and only about 15 grams of net carbs per serving. I recommend you use the, ‘Hu Kitchen Dark Chocolate Bar’ –they are super clean, made of only cacao, coconut sugar and cocoa butter. This makes 2 servings (although it’s one serving for me). If you want to make larger amounts, you can proportionately increase the ingredients. I don’t recommend storing this ice cream in the freezer for more than one week, as the consistency will degrade.


  • 2 ripe avocados 🥑 peeled and pitted
  • 1/2-cup full fat coconut 🥥 milk
  • 2 tbsp. coconut 🥥 oil, melted
  • 1 @hukitchen dark chocolate bar 🍫 melted
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • A pinch of sea salt

Step 1: Blend the avocado, coconut milk and coconut oil in a food processor until smooth.

Step 2: Add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder and vanilla extract and blend until combined.

Step 3: Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and let it mix until thickened for about 20 mines. Eat immediately, for a soft and creamy texture, or put in an airtight container and freeze for a firmer consistency (thaw for 5-10 min. before eating). If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can instead put the mixture into a container and freeze it for minimum 4 hours or until set.

Link to Instagram post with videos and pictures:


Spinach, Chicken and Turkey Quinoa Bowl


First off, I hope everyone reading this is safe and comfortable. We’ve all been given an opportunity during this Corona virus lockdown to spend more time with family, embrace hobbies, learn a new skill or if you’re like me, grow a sick, pandemic beard. Aside from to not shaving until this whole thing blows over, I’m going for nice scenic walks, exercising regularly and cooking every meal.

To be safe, Georgia and I have been trying to minimize our excursions into town, and we were stripped pretty low on food. So I scoured the cabinets, freezer, and pantry and managed to put together enough to make a healthy satisfying dinner with enough leftover for lunch. Just because we’re all trapped in our homes doesn’t mean we should let our diets slip. This is an opportunity to get creative with your cooking. Here is what we found:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 package chopped spinach, frozen
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (Never let a recipe tell you how much garlic to use, you make that decision with your heart)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

1) Add quinoa too small pot with a ration of 1:2 quinoa to liquid. Use water or chicken or vegetable stock for added flavor. Bring to boil, and then reduce heat to simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes stir to check if all liquid is absorbed.

2) Sauté onions over 2 Tablespoons of preferred cooking fat until translucent.

3) Add meat and sauté until no longer pink

4) Add garlic and spinach. Cover for 3-5 minutes until spinach defrosts.

5) Uncover and stir entire pot. Once quinoa is finished, add to pot and mix everything together.

6) Season to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper if you like spicy.

Quarantine is no time to let ourselves fall off of our diets and exercise routines. In fact, working from home and a complete disappearance of social engagements, it should be easier than ever to stick to your diet*. We’re all in this situation together. Please keep yourselves and your families safe.

*Unless, of course, you’re playing the triple role of parent, employee, and teacher. In which case, are you OK?


Alternate Home Workout with Instructor Shayla


Alternate Home Workout with Instructor Shayla

We hope everyone is OK as we ride out this Coronavirus pandemic. I have been asked a lot about how we can workout at home without all of the InForm Fitness custom equipment. With the help of Shayla McGrady, InForm Fitness Instructor, we put together this small video that you can do with some dumbells.

Just remember to go slow, breathe, and work hard. Good luck! Have fun! Stay strong! If you need help and want to arrange a virtual workout with us, contact us!


Alternate Home Workout Due to Coronvirus Shutdown


Alternate Home Workout Due to Coronvirus Shutdown

We hope everyone is OK as we ride out this Coronavirus pandemic. I have been asked a lot about how we can workout at home without all of the InForm Fitness custom equipment. With the help of Robert Francis, InForm Fitness Instructor, we put together this small video that is a series of exercises using a chair, small step, and set of dumbells.

The sequence of workout matters, just remember to go slow, breathe, and work hard. Good luck! Have fun! Stay strong!

If you need help and want to arrange a virtual workout with us, contact us at