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    Fitness Wisdom

    By Cinder Ernst–

    Recently I was considering some of the coaching that I offer to my clients on a regular basis. That consideration led to an article about the advice I give most often. The article then led me to wonder what other trainers say to their clients. In this column, I will introduce you to three of my colleagues, and give you some of their best advice.

    The trainers I interviewed have all been in business for 1–3 decades. I requested their wisdom because we have worked side by side and I respect and trust their guidance. These three colleagues and I fall into the category of independent trainer, which means that we run our own business and pay a fee or monthly rent to the gym where we bring our clients. Currently, there are only two locations in San Francisco that allow independent trainers. Most trainers whom you see in gyms are on staff at the facility where they work.

    I asked each trainer to give me their name, what year they started training people and a few tips or guidelines that they often offer.

    Let’s begin with a woman who was my trainer before I became a trainer: Shari Shryock. Shari inspired me and helped me with the business end of personal training as I got started. We worked together at World Gym for twenty years. You can still find her there!

    Shari Shryock
    Trainer since 1985

    1. Don’t look down. She explains, “Many people do not want to look in the mirror, so I have them look at the muscle they are working to create the mind/muscle connection.”
    2. You will feel better after you train.
    3. Why did you stop? Shari says, “I just find that people can’t push past a little discomfort when they start.”
    4. Use your thumbs to grip while lifting weights.

    The next two trainers, James and B.C., have been working with me at Fitness SF over these past 8 years.

    James Seyda
    Trainer since 2000

    James says, “If you want to get the results you want, there are three key factors.”
    1. rest (recovery/sleep);
    2. proper nutrition;
    3. proper exercise.
    He adds, “If one of those is off, you will not get the results you want!”

    B.C. Cliver
    Trainer since 1988

    1. Chin up, chest up. Proper movement patterns begin with proper posture.
    2. I know you can do this. You just don’t know you can do this yet! Never sell yourself short.

    B.C. says, “My ideal client is someone dealing with health issues or injuries, and interested in improving their health and their life. All genders welcome!”

    I enjoyed interviewing my three co-workers and learning from their approaches. I hope that you found some information and inspiration here, too.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Her book, “Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser” ( ), is available in paperback and E-book. She specializes in fitness and rehab for plus-size clients, but her stress-free approach is suitable for all. Find out more at