Go get it!
As with anything, when exercising, you want to ensure that you’re doing something the correct way to get the full effectiveness of it. So, if you need push or external motivation, retaining a fitness professional who knows what they’re doing and will make sure you get the full benefit of what you need, can help you start, and help you stay consistent if you’re not disciplined enough to exercise on your own. The truth is we all need someone to guide us.
So, if you’ve been walking – if you’ve been doing your own thing, and not seeing results, that means there are things you’re doing wrong that you don’t think you’re doing wrong, according to fitness professional Emilio Bullard at Sweat Therapy, a program that focuses on functional and dynamic fitness to fit into a person’s everyday life.
A year ago, my motivation and drive came to a crossroads – which prompted me to begin a journey with Bullard who trains his clients out of the Balmoral Club. The result, I can fit into a dress I hadn’t worn in over a year – and I wasn’t even working out with that as a goal in mind. At a recent physical, I noticed I had dropped double digit pounds and shed tons of inches.
During a year of training with Bullard, he didn’t encourage stepping onto a scale to avoid adding extra stressors to your life, but rather creating markers by how clothes felt as inches dropped.
“I always look for … and this is something I do because I think [it] is more attainable – a tangible thing for individuals, I always look for that pair of jeans or that dress that you love so much, that you have not been able to get into. If you create that mark and you establish you’re going to get back into this, and then have to put this aside because it’s going to be way too big when you’ve done, it creates something that’s more tangible and that’s more long term,” said the fitness professional.
“A lot of people may say only 30 pounds, but what should be realized is that you didn’t just lose water weight … you didn’t just lose weight that will come back the next week, so you essentially created a healthier you. You’re not going to eat something tonight, and tomorrow, be five times heavier – that’s not the weight that you lost. That’s something individuals alone have to pay attention to. If you’re going to embark on a healthier lifestyle, bear in mind that you want the results to be a long-term lifestyle; you don’t want just the short-term burst and two months down the road you’re starting back over.”
When we embarked on this journey, Bullard and I had significant goals that we both wanted to achieve.
From day one through to a year, that meant seeing a 30-second plank able to be held for a minute and 15 seconds through the six-month marker, improve to a minute and 45 seconds after a year, with multiple planks per session. Five-pound kettle bell swings increased to 15-pound swings with multiple repetitions. The dreaded warm-up mile run … my first with Emilio was clocked at a little over 15 minutes, to me comfortably knocking on the door of a sub nine-minute mile run. We set a goal of being able to do 20 weighted jump squats in 45 seconds, and getting me consistently at 23 jump squats in 45 seconds. All around from mountain climbers to jumping jacks and jump rope and step-ups with knee raises, the improvements were seen all around.
“I feel we did a great job getting those goals accomplished, considering there were only twice-a week-workout sessions, but the importance is knowing what you’re doing when you’re not training is just as important as when you are training.”
I was motivated to get started, but knew I needed someone to push me through the times when I just didn’t have it, and the pain that I knew would come with beginning a new workout routine. Bullard provided the push and expertise I needed to get it done. Even with a
trainer, there were days when I didn’t want to climb out of bed for an early morning session, and had to talk myself into it, because I was accountable to Bullard. He says this is true for most people.
“The reality of it is it’s easier to talk yourself out of doing something than talking yourself into doing something – that’s the human brain. You find the easiest way out of anything that has to do with it being taxing on your body. And that’s no fault to any of us, but when it comes to your health, I know that it’s imperative to put that aspect of your life to a different level and understand that you’re not just doing this for right now, you’re doing this so that you can have long-term health.”
On your journey to physical wellness, he encourages you to seek out like-minded people to help you along on days when you’re not working with your trainer, even though he says you will have to be your biggest motivator.
“Have that individual that’s going to send you a message, or give you a call, or ask you certain questions to prod and encourage you when other people won’t. That person that will ask what you ate for dinner or lunch; did you do your run; or did you end with your plank – whatever the case may be. So, having that individual … whether it’s a trainer or somebody that’s going to be your training buddy is important in helping you staying consistent, and being and understanding the perspective of your own health.”
Whoever that person may be, Bullard says you should always work to your ability and never tone down your workouts to accommodate someone else’s level. He said in reality, a person’s own motivation should take over.
“Truth be told, we’re not always going to have that training buddy – we all have our lives. The importance is understanding that at the end of the day you have to do it for yourself.”
He also applauded those persons who in January began hitting the streets with the new year, new rules, weight loss plan in their heads. While he gives those people credit for going out and being proactive, he does not believe in new year’s resolutions which he says comes with a lot of pressure which he said people eventually crumble under, and then stop as the motivation starts to wane.
“They automatically give up, so that’s why I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions. My whole thing is understanding that this is where you’re at – you don’t want to be there anymore, and you need to advance and to progress.”
He also said if people have been walking and doing their thing, but haven’t seen results it means there are things they’re doing wrong that they don’t think they’re doing wrong.
The trainer of nine years reminds people that from the holistic approach individuals should understand that being a fitness professional goes beyond the aesthetics for him and that it’s imperative that he has a psychological perspective when dealing with clients as he has had to deal with individuals with a number of issues and “break them out” of the negative mindsets they create for themselves.
One of mine was going outdoors for runs. I simply didn’t want to with the sun, and people staring and all that. My way around that – I got up earlier, ran before the sun came out, and it’s still dark so people don’t see you as easily.
After a year, with Bullard, I’ve shed a few pounds, lost some inches, and am a happier person for it.
While Bullard helped me and has helped many clients, we’re not the only ones getting the benefits of his expertise, he too says he’s getting something from us as well.
“Being a fitness professional, it goes beyond the esthetics and the physical. There are so many co-morbidities I’ve had to deal with individuals over the course of my career, that it’s helped not only the individuals, but helped me,” he said.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
Education: Saint Augustine’s College, BA in Mass Communication
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