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6 things I've learned in 6 years of personal training

In my six years of business as a personal trainer, there have been many trials and errors on my part. I always joke that I'm sorry to my first few clients I had because I didn't have the knowledge then that I have now (whoops!). But, you don't know what you don't know until you do know! Here are a few things I've learned along the way: 1. Treat everyone as an individual. Yes, most clients will perform some sort of push, pull, squat, hinge, and carry, BUT each program will be different based on goals, fitness age, abilities, and schedule. What works for one person doesn't mean it will work for you. Even within my templated Trail program, members have the ability to tailor the training to their needs by opting for modifications, scheduling their workouts to how they see fit in their calendar, and selecting frequency of workouts. 2. No one has the same 24 hours in a day. At one point, there was definitely a saying that went around about how "we all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce". And while maybe that could be seen as motivating to some (?), it's quite the opposite. Many people are already doing the most: working full-time, raising kids, caring for family members, being social, etc. all with various schedules and durations. To say everyone has the same 24 hours in a day is rather ignorant, in my opinion, and isn't helpful to those who are struggling to squeeze in movement throughout their days and weeks. 3. A personal trainer does not need to look a certain way. I recall when I was first hired as a trainer, the hiring manager said I "looked like a trainer, so I will be fine". I likely took that as a compliment then, but ultimately it doesn't matter what your trainer looks like. A trainer can be an excellent coach regardless if they fit a certain stereotype. If a trainer is a bodybuilder, that doesn't mean you have to be a bodybuilder, unless you want to be. If a trainer is a powerlifter, that doesn't mean you have to be a powerlifter, unless you want to be. If a trainer is a runner, that doesn't mean you have to be a runner, unless you want to be. A trainers expertise has nothing to do with them and everything to do with their clients. Choose a trainer that can help you with your goals, not because they look a certain way. 4. Finding movement you enjoy is important. Although I do encourage most humans to strength train (SO many benefits!), it's important to find additional movement you enjoy. If you hate cycling, don't cycle. Straight up. Don't force yourself to do a type of exercise that you know you don't like. That will not bring you closer to consistency. You can absolutely find another form of cardio that is enjoyable and beneficial to your heart health. Just in my training app alone there are over 30 cardio activities to choose from, and I know it doesn't include all of them! 5. Acknowledge your aches and pains. Ignoring them all together won't make them go away. Although we hope it's something that can be improved with movement, mobility, and strength, it's best to seek out your physician or a physical therapist to further identify what's going on. Things happen! It's best to get an answer from a medical professional before further injuring an area. 6. It's never too late to start. I've worked with clients in the past who had never touched a dumbbell until 70 years old. It's never too late to start adding in healthful habits, such as lifting. If you're 30 years old now and you want to be able to easily get up and down off the ground at 50 or play with your grandkids at 75, start training now. Time will pass whether you start implementing healthful habits or not. You might as well give it your best shot!


Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.


I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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