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Friday, May 20, 2016

A New Level of Motivation

I was able to work with the most amazing personal trainer while I was working in California this week. I’ve worked with a few trainers in the past, including a few in my home gym, but Eugene is not just a personal trainer - he is also a Command Fitness Leader for the Navy Seabees.

I’ve worked out with trainers that treat you like a number and just move you from machine to machine and occasionally tell you that you are doing a good job. They don’t take the time to explain what muscle groups you are working on, what the exercise is doing for your body, or how to take the exercise to a different level by adding an additional move. I wanted someone who would challenge me.

I contacted Eugene a month prior to my trip and explained that I was basically looking to get my ass kicked for a week while I was in town and that I wanted to be able to take a new program home that I could work on in between my trips.

From the second we met at the gym, I knew I made the right decision because I had that same magnetic connection with him that I had when I first crossed the threshold to my own gym back in October. I knew I was about to have an epic week.

Eugene asked me what equipment I had in my Anytime Fitness gym because he wanted to make sure I could perform the same exercises when I returned.

As we were walking through the gym, I told him that most of my strength was in my thighs (Pete and Repeat can carry their weight) and that my upper body was pretty weak so we dove right in and started working on my arms, back, shoulders, and chest.

He walked me over to the cables and, to my surprise, I didn’t leave that spot for the entire hour. I was able to do all six exercises on the same cable using different configurations.

My first workout consisted of super setting: Standing Isolated High Row and Standing Isolated Cable Press; Standing Level Cable Row and Isolated Cable Curl & Press; and finally Forward Shoulder Cable Raise and Kneeling Lat Pull Down.

I did three sets of each (15-20 reps for most) and at the end I did one more of each all over again for good luck (and to show him that I remembered how to set each one up by myself).

Because I had told him my upper body was weak, he started me off with a very low weight. He could see that I was easily doing most of the exercises so he kept adding weight…and adding more weight. After our session was over, he told me I lied and that I was a lot stronger than I had admitted.

Apparently, pulling is my thing because I was able to pull 72.5 pounds on my standing level cable row. May not seem like a lot to some of you body builders but he seemed pretty impressed with that number.

We worked on my core on Day 2. I explained that I hadn’t worked on just my core in more than three years and I asked him to go easy on me. He just smiled that grin that people give you when you are in for a surprise.

For a millisecond, I thought about faking a cramp and running when he said the word “plank”.  Just kidding. I was actually looking forward to the challenge.

The only planks I had done in the past were just the good old standard plank on my forearms and toes. Well, Eugene wanted to challenge me so he had me doing suspended planks. As he was getting my feet strapped in, I couldn’t help but make the wisecrack, “our second session and you already have me in straps”. HA!!

Again, I was super setting my exercises. I did TRX planks on my forearms and then hands (push up). Then I did Lay to Sit sit-ups and Ankle Hold Leg Lifts (he stood above my head while I was on my back and I held onto his ankles as I raised my legs to touch his hands). Those were followed up with what we decided to call Fold-ins (basically a combo lay to sit sit-up with a leg lift…very hard to do) and Bosu Ball Sit-ups. The last set was more forearm and push up planking but this time with the Bosu Ball.

Day 3 was the dreaded leg day. I had the videographer out with us to film scenes for my upcoming documentary. Eugene wasn’t sure if the gym would allow the camera in so we utilized the park.

My normal leg day consisted of nothing but weights so I was curious what he was going to do. I kept asking him and all he would do was flash that “you’ll find out” grin.

I thought maybe he was secretly plotting to kill me because leg day consisted of: TRX Jump Squats, Bosu Balance Squats, Bosu Foot Transfer Side Squats, Wide Kettle Bell Squats, Single Leg Step Ups, and Hill Sprints.

Yes, folks…not one, not two, not three, but FOUR types of squats annnnd…I had to do all of that while being filmed. WHAT THE FRENCH TOAST WAS I THINKING?

The footage of me on the Bosu ball is hilarious. I’m determined to master that damn thing. I still had a smile on my face when we finished and it wasn’t because the camera was rolling.

We decided to take our final workout on Day 4 outdoors again so we went back to the park. Despite the wind that kept my hair going crazy and tossed dirt in our eyes – it was a beautiful day for battle. And I mean that literally. I did Battle Ropes Doubles, Battle Ropes Alternating Singles, Slam Ball, TRX Pull-Ups, Dumbell Curl & Press and then I got to put on the gloves and throw some Combo Punches. I’m sure he is still laughing at my lack of coordination because I know I am. I am super happy that I didn’t have the camera rolling that day. Hee hee!

Now, I’m sure y’all are wondering why I didn’t do this in my own gym. Well…when you workout in a gym where everyone feels like family, you tend to get too close and reaching out for help gets a little tougher because you don’t want to bother them when you know they are so busy. At least, that is how I have grown to feel. Must be that Superwoman thing again...

I needed some outside motivation from someone who could see the fire in my eyes and push me harder than I believed I could be pushed.

Someone who could see my potential even though I couldn’t see it myself.

Someone who could match a program to my goals.

Someone who would show me, step-by-step, what I need to do and why I need to do it in a certain way to avoid injury.

Someone who wouldn’t look at their phone during a conversation or tell me to hang on while reading/replying to a text.

Someone who would take their time to really listen and then thoroughly explain things in a language that I could understand.

Someone who would train me like an athlete and not a body builder.

Someone who would stand next to me, behind me, or in front of me and tell me to dig deep, push, and keep going.

Someone to tell me, “you got this”.

Someone to give me a whole new level of motivation.

I definitely found that in Eugene and I cannot wait to go back and work with him again. Because when you find that in a trainer, you do not let them go!

I got this!


  1. Get it girl. I love that you of all people still seek motivation. You are so inspiring to many. Thank you.


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