My name is Maura Shoop. I’m a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. I’ve taught group classes for twenty years and I’ve recently started my own business. So, now I’m here, to help you through your exercise woes. Everyone’s got ’em so let’s get started on the first module of the year!

As you can imagine, January is notoriously busy for me. And you too. Who doesn’t make some kind of resolution to improve their body?

I must confess though, for years I resisted becoming a personal trainer. I can’t tell you how many people I talked out of getting a trainer because I believed and still do believe, changing your body MUST come from within. Not from some person breathing down your neck, pushing you to do something you don’t want to.

Self-motivation and discipline are the ultimate keys to success.

What I’ve found is that scheduling and showing up for appointments is exactly the kind of motivation some people need.

But realizing trainer’s are expensive and will not be the SECRET to success. I want to offer some weekly suggestions and also take your questions. I can help stir some of the motivation you might be lacking. All I ask, is you give it a try.

There are no quick fixes or magic diets. You have to take in less than you put out.

If you eat Big Mac, fries, and a thousand other calories one day, get off your ass and move. Cardio! Cardio! Cardio! is the way to BURN UP CALORIES!

The more intense the cardio the more calories burned. You can do it! Get off your ass and move.

I’m calming down. Time for my tip of the week. Again, not that there are easy answers…but some of these strategies can create a cycle of good choices and make weight loss easier.

TIP #1
Think Airplane Emergency Procedures–“Put your mask on before assisting others.”

Same goes for when you’re feeding the kids. Especially breakfast. That way you won’t pick at their food and indulge because you’re frustrated and hungry and don’t even realize it. This might mean eating a little earlier. This is good. Finish eating all meals by 6:00PM. Go to bed a little hungry and repeat Tip 1.

You’re not going to starve to death. Use some discipline. Save yourself first. You’ll be so much better for it.

As the week goes by, use the comment space to leave me questions or updates on how the tips are working for you.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy training. You can do it.

11 thoughts on “Welcome to TRAINER’S TIPS OF THE TRADE!!!!

  1. Hi, Maura. Thanks for offering your advice here! (I love Tip #1, BTW.) Here’s the deal: I belong to a gym and have been going fairly regularly during my lunch hour for almost a year. I feel good about this, but *sigh* know I need more cardio. On “good weeks,” I do 1 day circuit training, 1 day body sculpt and 2 days yoga – all in classes. I don’t want to give up any of these, but I seriously need more calorie burn. I like walking on the treadmill with a good incline, but have been thinking about running at intervals. Any advice on how to begin doing this and build up the pace without killing myself; how long of a workout;, or even how to make a walking workout more effective. I’m at a plateau, and while I need to cut back on the food, I’m trying to make the most of my time at the gym, too. Can 2 days of cardio be enough? Thanks!

  2. Thank you for that. #1 is a great place for me to start.

    Here’s my question: I have been extremely active in the past and have lifted a lot of weights (college athlete), so I still have a lot of muscle mass, albeit soft. Is there a diet/exercise regime suited toward losing both muscle mass and fat? I’m now a mom of two and have made time for 4 workouts per week, but more than that is a little beyond me now.

  3. RESPONSE TO SUSAN- Walking ona treadmill will burn calories, however, if you dont have a lot of time to give then think SPEED. Walk briskly 4.5-5.0 miles/hour….play with the incline, but concentrate on pace. The faster you move, the faster you burn calories. You should feel “winded”, breathing heavy and needing a short”recorvery” period. In time, your “recovery time” will shorten allowing you to keep the fast pace for longer intervals….good luck and keep up the good work. ps, your “good weeks” sound great , a nice cross training mix…add the cardio and cut some calories..YOU WILL SEE A CHANGE!

  4. RESPONSE TO MIGNON- You DO NOT want to lose muscle mass! You have a great “diet advantage”- make the most of it! You didn’t mention what type of exercise you were doing but I suggest you start with an equal mix of cardio and muscle conditoniong. Your cardio can be anything you enjoy, spin, aerobics, treadmill etc. but your muscle work should come in the form of lighter weights and a lot of repetition. Any sculpting, pilates or muscle class would be perfect. Try getting BOTH (cardio and strength) in the same workout , rather than alternating days. By keeping your muscle mass, your body is much more efficient allowing for greater calorie consumptoin and burn. Once you begin to lose the fat, you will see the underlying muscle tone. You are a great example of one that should ditch the scale and take out the measuring tape. Your results will show more dramatically in inches lost, rather than pounds….muscle weighs more than fat! good luck and keep me posted….

  5. Maura, thank you so much for validating my hatred of the scale. I was on a rigorous work-out schedule for a month in which three or four times a week I would do the treadmill for 30 minutes then sit-ups/push-ups, but now I’ve lost my babysitter, so, well, it all went to waste (waist, haha!). But, as you said, the scale never changed more than a pound over that month. And I weigh a lot!
    I’m stuck at home now, having lost access to the gym, so what do you think would be better, climbing the long, steep hill with the baby on my back, or buying a work-out kickboxing video. My muscle mass is all over, but I was a soccer player and have a generous helping in the ass/legs.
    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the advice (and thank you, too, to Kathie!).

  6. Maura, thanks for your response and advice. My top treadmill speed is usually 4.1/4.2 (albeit with a pretty steep incline), but I’ll kick up thes pace a few notches as you suggested and not worry so much about the incline. I also bought a jump rope yesterday and figured if I could jump even 10-15 minutes a day, that would help too. I did it today and didn’t end up tripping myself, which is always a good thing. Thanks again!

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