Denise, a dedicated personal trainer in the fitness industry. Beyond sculpting bodies, she’s a passionate soul committed to nurturing not just the physical but also the spiritual well-being of her clients. Join us as we explore Denise’s unique approach to fitness, where the workout is not just for the body but also a transformative experience for your mental well-being.
You started your career at the age of 24 as a personal trainer. How would you describe your 12 years of career so far?
Denise: I’ve been very passionate about fitness since a very young age. I first started working out and got really into fitness and changing your physique and your thinking, and it really helped me. And, ever since I began to develop this interest, I’ve wanted to learn more. So I began studying and completed my courses and certificates because I wanted to assist people. And yes, I enjoy it. It truly appeals to me.
Dee: That’s honestly amazing, because I think a lot of people who choose fitness as their career always say that it’s changed their lives completely.
So, do you think fitness has helped you more physically or mentally since you spoke about it?
Denise: Both, but more, mentally.
Is working out at a gym relevant, or can you work out anywhere?
Denise: I can say you can work out everywhere. You can perform physical activity anywhere. Yeah, you can just go for a run, go for a walk, or do any type of bodyweight exercise at home. You can grab a pair of dumbbells and some weights and do some weight training at your place. But of course, I cannot lie. The gym helps you develop more and grow more if you want. It depends on your goal, of course. You want to build muscles. If you want to, you need that equipment. Yes. Specific equipment. You need to overload. But I can say yes, of course You can work out.
Dee: I think it’s very nice if people do start outdoors, and they do, especially during Corona. And a lot of people started working out at home, and they got used to this whole thing. But I think the gym, at the end of the day, is more like the community and you.
Denise: Exactly, exactly. But there are people who don’t like gyms. They don’t like to be around people. They prefer to be on their own. And it’s totally fine. It’s totally fine if you’d rather go for a run and do any workout outdoors, or you can do it as well.
Whatever makes you happy and comfortable, just go for it.
Are fitness and health two different things?
So, by definition, health is the absence of disease. Absence of illness.
I’m healthy simply because I’m disease-free. I don’t take medication, but I’m in good health. I don’t have any injuries. I’m in good mental health. So I’m well in terms of health. Fitness. It is an individual’s capacity to complete any task correctly. It depends on the task. So it’s two distinct things. However, they are related in the sense that any physical activity will improve your health. That has already been demonstrated in several ways.
They are completely related because fitness and physical activity are related to health. Yes. For you to be healthy, you must grow older in a healthy way. If I want to be in my 70s and still be able to walk, run, and play with my grandchildren, I need to do physical activity. I need to move my muscles. I need to move my joints.
We all know about the mind muscle connection. However, if your mind is not in place, does it affect the mind muscle connection?
Dee: Say, for example, that we’ve had a very difficult day at work and you’re mentally not present, like out of habit. You’re going to the gym out of habit; you’re lifting the weights; you’re doing your entire session; but you’re not mentally there. You’re thinking of something else terrible, something terrible that happened, or something of this kind. Does it affect the session and the mind muscle connection? Do you have to physically always connect the mind to the muscle when you’re pulling?
Denise: Of course, pushing has an effect, but you can just use the gym in a different way. My day was a shambles. I’m contemplating my difficulties. I’m going to the gym to unwind and concentrate on my workout, right? Or if you are still training and thinking and are unable to focus on what you are doing, it will obviously have an impact since it is critical. When you are completing an activity, you are thinking about whether or not you are doing it correctly. If you’re working out, suppose I’m rowing while talking with someone. If I’m concentrating and engaging my muscles while thinking about what I’m doing, I’m not engaging the muscles in the same way.
Dee: If you say in this way, let’s say if you are in the same place for a day, you had, let’s say, any kind of day, you’re not completely focused. So how would you, let’s say, connect your mind to your muscle? And in the day when you’re very, very less motivated, or you really are, just see the gym as a task rather than something that you’re enjoying.
Denise: You must train your thoughts. This is critical. You must train your mind because going to the gym, at least for me, is a place where I can detach. And I just put on my headphones, start working out, and I’m truly there. You know, I sometimes forget about everything. I know it’s difficult, but if you train your mind, you can accomplish it.
Dee: I really like the honest answer to that. Yes. If your mind is not at place, it is going to directly affect you. Use your bad day as fuel. You know, it’s like it’s a workout. Take all the stress out. That crappy day to be like, you know what? I probably failed at something in my life. You know, this is my moment.
How would you say to a client that "You can't lose 15kg in 15 days"?
You don’t need a trainer for that. You just starve yourself, don’t eat for 15 days, and do go for a run for one hour, and you will die. But you will lose the 15 KG.
It’s not realistic. We need to be realistic.
What advice would you give someone who is opting for the same career? That means he wants to, let's say, take the lead in training other individuals or someone who's already in this industry, so he is already a personal trainer. How would you advise them to, let's say, take their career ahead?
Denise: Uh, of course, it’s very important to have the knowledge you need because you are working with people, right?. Every individual is different. So we’re not only trained on the bodies, but you are also on therapists sometimes. Right. So we need to know how to deal with different personalities. And we need to be able to encourage, motivate, and not be too tough because some people don’t deal well with that. Right. So it’s important to be a motivator, a role model a motivator.
And some days, because I work as a freelancer. Yes. When I go for training, I realize that she isn’t herself. And she tells me I had such an awful day today. I mean, this, this, this, and I don’t feel like working out, and I arranged a routine that was extremely rigorous and nonstop. And I notice that she isn’t up for that type of workout today. As a result, I must adapt. I need to do something with her that will not be about her inner state of mind. But she continues to exercise. She’s still going about her business.