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Personal training FAQs

1.     Are you certified? For what? With whom?

I am certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Physiologist. In addition to a full range of personal trainer skills, I have special expertise in reducing or reversing disease and injury progression. I am also aware of what might be outside of my field of expertise, and am happy to refer you to another health professional for help, or work with your existing providers. I want you to have the best exercise experience possible, and to meet or exceed your health and fitness goals!

2.    I'm gym-shy. Can you help me get used to what is a scary place to me?

I understand that not every client feels comfortable at a gym, especially if you've never been to one or it's been a long time since you have. My goal is to make the exercise experience fun as well as productive. We can figure out what would make you more comfortable, and I will work with you both as a buffer and a focal point.

3.     I am under care for back issues. Can you work with that? With my docs/therapy?

 Honestly, MOST of my clients have had back issues at some point, including me. I will help you determine some of the specific problems that may have contributed to their development, and will gladly work with your doctor or physical therapist as needed. Helping to alleviate back problems is one of my specialties.

4.     I've been training for years, but can't seem to gain/lose weight. Can you help?

In a word, yes! I've worked with many people who, due to health issues, have needed to lose weight. This requires a "judgement-free" attitude, and a willingness to help with the issues that may have fostered the weight gain in the first place. I believe that potential weight loss is a multi-faceted issue and I am more than willing to be supportive as well as inspirational, along with teaching you more about how metabolism and changing habits can work for you.

I can also help with weight gain. Many folks are "hard gainers", who have a hard time putting on muscle. Whether it's for health or aesthetic reasons, I can teach you how to increase your exercise efficiency and how nutrition can work to your advantage to help you add the muscle you desire.


5.    I have an arm/neck/shoulder disability. Can you work with me?

Shoulder and neck problems are far more common than they used to be. They are often a result of some type of repetitive stress (computer work, driving, etc.), but can have other causes. Along with dealing with back issues, this is also one of my specialties. I can help figure out what may have caused the problem, and can definitely help find a solution.

6.     I'm no longer 25; in fact, I'm in my 50s/60s/70s. Do you work with older clients?

Recently, there have been several studies proving the benefits of regular exercise (including weight training or progressive resistance) for older adults. As a woman in my 50s, I am a firm believer in this. ALL adults, regardless of age, can benefit from regular exercise, and I truly enjoy helping older clients make this happen.


7.     I have HIV/cancer/autoimmune disease and I'm struggling to get enough exercise with my limited
        energy. I'm also on meds/chemo that leave me weak and tired.

 I've worked with clients like this for more than 2 decades. Working with clients with active disease is definitely a specialty, especially when medications are involved. If you like, I can help you consult with your doctor, and we can find a way for you to incorporate more exercise into your treatment program. One of my mottos is that "ANY movement beats NO movement"; I can offer a gentle program that will help you feel better over time, and as you regain strength, we can work harder while following your doctor's guidelines.

8.    I'm a serious bodybuilder. I'd like to add 25 more pounds of muscle, but have plateaued out.
       Can you help?

I actually started out as a bodybuilder before I went into working as a trainer/exercise physiologist full time. One of the difficulties many bodybuilders encounter is trying to put on more mass while keeping bodyfat low and avoiding injuries. I can assess your current program, including the biomechanics of your movement patterns, so you can gain size without risking injury, and can help you establish and reach your goals.

9.     Do you work with pregnant women?

I can and have worked with pregnant women. It is a special challenge, but has the added reward of keeping both expectant mother AND her child happy and healthy.

10.   I am recovering from a major injury/surgery. Can I still work with you?

 With your doctor's permission, exercise is a great recovery aid. I highly recommend that you have your doctor or physical therapist sign off on your activity, and that you check in with them regularly to make sure your healing is steady.

I have worked with clients with injuries or surgeries, including (but not limited to) car accidents, concussions, broken wrists, dislocated shoulder, rotator cuff tears, shattered (and reconstructed) patella, ACL tears, cervical spine surgery, spinal fusion surgery, gall bladder surgery, heart surgery, and many more. It is wonderful watching someone recover from a serious injury or condition and regain control of their bodies and their lives, and I enjoy helping people get back to their daily lives.

11.   I have body issues. Can you work with/around that?

One of the most important things a trainer or bodyworker can do is respect the client as an individual. A client can have any of a variety of concerns, from negative body image to realizing gender identity. I am very comfortable working with clients like this, and my only desire is to help them feel strong and comfortable in their bodies. In my opinion, a healthy body can definitely contribute to a healthy self image.

12.   I'm a transplant patient. Though I'm active, life's a bit different from what it used to be.
       Are you comfortable with that?

Like other post-operative patients, I am committed to working with the recommendations of your doctor, and may even ask you to have them contact me to let me know if you have any special restrictions of which I should be aware. Working at YOUR pace and energy level is key, and I want you to have as much challenge as you feel you can handle at each session.

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