Archives for January 2012

Mary Pt. 1

I had an idea. I thought that maybe if people heard from someone who was in their shoes, as in someone who was trying to get healthy but had their own concerns and fears, then maybe it would help give them the inspiration and courage to make some changes in their own life. I went to a client and asked her if she would help and she agreed but only if her name wasn’t mentioned.  For the next little while I’m going to turn every other column over to her.

“Hello, everyone. I’m going to call myself Mary.
About a month ago I lost my mom. She had lots of health issues from diabetes to heart problems. I’ve realized that I need to be serious about me. This is my wake up call. I worry about my health. My family has always had health and emotional problems.  I want to see my son have a family. I want to retire with my husband. I want to be one of the seniors that I see walking holding hands. I have a lot to work on. I enjoy taking care of other people but I’ve never been good at making time for myself.
I’ve been through cycles of watching what I eat and working out. I’ve tried everything from support groups to diet pills but I haven’t been able to stick to it. It doesn’t just effect me it effects my family, too. I have lost myself somewhere in me and I would really like to find myself again. I need this to make me feel good on the inside as well as the outside. I want to be able to wear a dress without feeling so insecure.

When Mitch asked me to write this I thought that maybe it would be help me commit. I’m good at keeping commitments to other people so I thought that my new commitment would be to whoever is reading this.

My biggest fears are failing and not finishing what I start.  I fear my life changing and never taking a bite of chocolate or ice cream again.

Step one is going to bootcamp three or four times a week and walking one night a week. Next week I’m going to start eating desert only once a week and work on lowering my calorie intake.
This past year I never got over 260 which is good for me. My goal is to drop 20-30 pounds in 2012. If it’s more that would be even better”.

Every other column will be devoted to “Mary” and we’ll see how she’s progressing and what problems and fears she is dealing with. If you’d like to correspond with her to give her support, ask her questions or anything else, please email me at and I will pass it along to her. Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT
Discover Your Strength!

Let Them Train!

Hello, everyone. I’m sorry if I seem edgier than usual but I’m a little angry. One of my main goals as a trainer is to do my best to impart to women how valuable and empowering resistance training is. If you’ve read much of what I’ve written you know that resistance training can help you with an endless list of physical and mental issues. This is important to repeat because  mainstream media keeps repeating the same garbage about women not lifting weights because it’s not feminine or you’ll get bulky, or any other ridiculous BS reason.

I do my best to introduce all of my female clients and women in general to the benefits of resistance training and sometimes it’s difficult to break down that wall of “resistance” to this type of training. I can say (please contact me for testimonials) that every woman who has put their trust in me and put all their effort into doing this has seen tremendous results both physically and mentally.   
My view of the gym is that people are there to get their work in and don’t really care what’s going on around them. When women have told me that they feel intimidated going into the free weight section that’s what I’ve told them and it’s what I’ve always believed. In short, I thought the “guys paying too much attention to women lifting weights” was a little overblown.    

A few months ago two of my female clients started training for their first powerlifting meet and, due to some scheduling issues, one of their workouts each week is done together but without me at their local gym. The workouts consist of some combination of heavy deadlifts, good mornings, planks, step ups, and other similar exercises. In other words they’re lifting more than five pounds and they’re doing this in (gasp) the FREE WEIGHT AREA!! Keep in mind that both of these women can deadlift and squat well over 200 pounds.
Almost every week they’ve gotten some comment along the lines of “Why are you lifting such heavy weights?” or “What are you doing?” This reached a bit of a head when someone actually took a 55 lb. dumbbell out of one of their hands a few weeks ago and told her that “she shouldn’t be lifting anything that heavy.”

All I want to say is this: If you are the ones who are making comments like this, stop! You are doing women a massive disservice! Many women are, quite simply, doing harm to themselves with the kinds of workouts they do. The hours of cardio. The super high rep sets with virtually no weight. The bizarre diets. They’re setting themselves up for all kinds of metabolic and thyroid disorders, bone density issues and massive mental frustration with how hard they’re working only to feel worse and worse. Let them work in peace and hopefully more women will begin to realize how to get real results in the gym.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT
Discover Your Strength!