A Better You with Jen Abreu: Personal Training


Springfield, MO – Motivation. That always seems to be the missing piece when you are thinking about exercising. But when motivation is missing, accountability can come in and get the job done.

In the last few episodes of this series, we showed you group classes: CrossFit, Pilates, and boxing classes for Parkinson’s patients. In this episode, we’ll show you a one-on-one training session. If you want to focus on the right way to exercise, or training tailored specifically to your needs, or if you are starting out, this might be the best option for you.

We went to Pat Jones Y and followed a session with trainer Kelly Johnson and her client Margery West.

West says she chose personal training a few years ago, specifically for accountability.

“I do not like to work out, but I will come if I know I have somebody that I am accountable to,” she said.

Although you are not in a group, there’s still the social aspect of a trainer to talk to and, most importantly, keep you focused so you can get the most out of your 30-minute session. And as you frequent a gym or health club, you will start to know people who are there at the same time as you and create a community in that way.

Johnson designs her workouts for functional fitness. Meaning, you do exercises that will help keep your muscles strong and in shape so they can perform daily activities.

“You have to push. You have to pull. You have to do your lower body moves,” she said. “If you do a squat, that’s getting up and down out of a chair. If I’m doing a deadlift that’s picking up whatever heavy thing is in your life, a lot of my clients are grandparents, so you have to pick those babies up.”

A personal trainer customizes the workout to the person, specific to their ability and health or physical condition.

“You figure out the ability of the person you are with,” Johnson said. “Can they stand on their own two feet? Do they have trouble with balance? Are they strong? Are they not strong? Do they know anything about this room? And then, you build it from there.”

West is almost 72 years old and says she has seen a lot of benefits.

“Better leg muscle, arm tone. You see us working out with weights, I don’t have big bodybuilder muscles, but I have strength in my arms,” she said.

Johnson says exercising is not just about building muscle or losing weight; it’s about improving strength, balance, mobility, and overall quality of life.

“Because you are going to be here, you might as well live to the fullest, but you have to start somewhere,” she said.

West says she is looking at being in a wheelchair in the next ten years or so, and she wants to delay that as much as possible. But if she keeps going as she has been, it’s a safe bet she might not need the wheelchair after all.

“That’s what I’m hoping,” she said.

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