Confessions of a Personal Trainer
Being a guy, I never asked for help in the gyms I belonged to over the years. Hey, I am a guy and I guess I assumed that we were supposed to know how to lift weights. It had to be in our DNA, right? So my gym memberships never lasted long. If I made it 3 months, that was great. It wasn’t until around 2000 when I was employed by the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department that I really focused on my fitness routines and nutrition--well, more my fitness than nutrition. Usually, I thought about my nutrition as I was sitting in Central Control working a midnight shift at the Dunn County Jail with my partners, eating a large pizza from Ted’s Pizza in Menomonie and washing that down with a Mt. Dew, or two...or three. This happened more times than I should probably admit, but it was the reality at that time in my life--and I did say I was making confessions, after all. We had our own small fitness center in our facility that we could use, and that’s where I started to really get into fitness. That’s also where I found out that, if you’re not careful and decide to try out the anti-gravity boots, you may get stuck upside down with one leg dangling, trying to use every ounce of strength you have to do a sit up in an effort to get the other boot unclasped from the chin up bar before someone comes in and see you hanging upside down thrashing violently. First and last time those boots were ever on my feet!
I have found that after I owned my own facilities, I learned so much more about workouts and learned many new techniques by watching others workout. I have made many new contacts with people I would talk to and ask them about why they did what they did in their workouts. Guess what? Many of them learned those and other techniques from watching and talking to others. Huh, who would have guessed that all you had to do was spend time in the gym and talk to others in order to learn something new?
To this day nutrition is probably one of the things I struggle with the most. I know I have abs, I may just never see them again. Come to think of it I don’t know if I have ever seen the whole 6 pack. I know I could really watch my sugar, saturated fat, and carbohydrate intake to see lower body fat percentages. I see articles and posts of people’s transformation pictures and admire the dedication it takes to get to where they are now. I have had to be honest with myself and decide to what level I am willing to go for my “ideal” body. This had to be my decision and not what I see in magazines.
As I focus on my nutrition, I find I cook more whole foods, shop more frequently to have fresh veggies and fruit, use more meat and veggies in my meals, and eat up to 12 eggs a day in different forms (mostly mixing liquid egg whites from Liquid Egg Whites International, that I carry here at the gym, to my shakes, cereal, and scrambled eggs). Interesting fact, eggs are one of the only foods that are 100% bioavailable nutrition to your body. Which basically means the body uses all the nutrients it has to offer. If you cook an egg it will lose 12-15% of its protein value in the process. Just like vegetables will lose nutrition if overcooked.
I try to find meals that I can make extra of so that I can use those products as another meal or use those items from previous meals to create new meals. I cooked 3 extra steaks, extra potatoes, and had leftover asparagus, (pictured above) that was used in my breakfast the following morning. Planning out extra portions of your daily cooking will help you create more healthy meals for the following day’s breakfast and lunch. It is one simple way you can be more consistent in planning healthier meals.
I don’t always look forward to working out. I know as a personal trainer and owner of a fitness center, everyone assumes I love to work out. I schedule my workouts, like many of you do, to make sure I hold myself accountable. The more consistent I am in my workouts, the easier it becomes and the more I enjoy it. Honestly, though, there are times that I’d love to be working on other projects, or sitting on the sofa. I had a friend pop in one time who I hadn’t seen in years. I had owned the Fitness Center here in Shell Lake for probably 2-3 years before he stopped in for a visit. One of the first things out of his mouth was, “I thought you would have been bigger by now”. I had to laugh. But in a reality, I guess there is an assumption that there is a “fitness look” people expect from a gym member, a personal trainer and, in this case, a fitness center owner. I definitely don’t fit into the ripped bodybuilder figure model. However, I also don’t feel that I can’t do my job just because of my non-perfect physique. But what is the perfect physique? The longer I work in the fitness field, I find that fitness is specific to each and every person based on them as an individual. You can’t cookie-cutter fitness ideals to fit every unique individual. I may never be 5% body fat, I may never see the striations of my muscle groups like some may achieve, I just need to be happy with the small goals and fitness achievements I can accomplish based on my uniqueness and my determination in what I seek in my life.
I do not lift heavy weights, never have, and don’t see myself starting anytime soon. I bet I have never bench pressed more than 150 pounds in my life. It doesn’t mean I am weak by any means, just that I take a different approach to lifting weights. I am a huge supporter of correct and strict body form with weights I can do 10-12 times so I can feel my muscles working to fatigue. Now the more consistent I lift, the more my weights go up because the muscles are being trained to do more work. That’s the awesome part of fitness levels, they are just that, levels. You may start with the lightest weight at first, however, the more you do it, the more the muscles will work and gain strength, and pretty soon you are no longer at that level but moving up to the next level. You should always try to better yourself and push yourself just a little bit more every week. It works wonders with helping the body become stronger.
With having physical limitations, many people feel that the gym isn’t going to work for them. Well, I have gone through a complete rupture of the Achilles tendon, 3 shoulder surgeries, 6 knee surgeries, right arm tendonitis surgery, and lower back disk issues from past injuries. With this back injury, I can not do any movements that put downward pressure on my spine so that means no standing calf raises, squats or deadlifts. So I must modify the techniques and use different movements to target these muscles. I have faith that many of you reading this will see that just because you are not in “top” physical health there is always something you can do for your body. For most of us going to the gym is a starting point for what could be. Don’t give up on yourself just because you may have tried before and failed or have a fear of trying something new to better your physical wellbeing.
I was actually dreading writing these articles at first. They took more time than I was expecting. However, with knowing that many readers out there are taking the time to read them and respond to them, I actually look forward to writing new articles. I hope that as the days and months pass you take the time to think about the wonderful benefits that can come from eating better and working out. It doesn’t matter if you join our fitness center or not. These articles are about getting you to be honest with yourself, for you to make a determination about your physical well being, and the changes you can make to be the best you for yourself and those you love.
I have received a lot of great feedback and questions regarding our weekly articles. I would ask that you please share with me your concerns or questions regarding health, nutrition and fitness so that we can address what matters to our readers.
It is an honor to be a family-owned business that has been blessed with the ability to be a part of our communities and to be able to help so many people over the years. I am wishing with your determination and our support, a healthier you in 2018!
From our fitness family to yours, God Bless.
“Glorify God in your body” 1 Corinthians 6:20
And don't forget that the Body Shop Fitness Center is waiving their activation fee for all new members who sign up for a 12-month membership. Those who have previously been members and have already paid their activation fees will receive a free shaker bottle when signing up for a new 12-month membership.
About Matt Dryden: Matt has been offering personal training services in fitness and nutrition for over 12 years. He began his interest in Health and Fitness while working as a Correctional Officer and Police Chief when he realized that in this profession that those men and women should have the fitness level of being able to protect and serve the people he has sworn to do so. Matt went on to become a certified personal trainer and began educating and helping fellow officers in setting and working toward their goals in fitness.
Matt started his gym, The Body Shop Fitness Centers, in Shell Lake in 2007 and now offers locations in Shell Lake, Spooner, and Trego, Wisconsin. These locations offer a wide variety of fitness training opportunities unique to each location. To find out more, visit The Body Shop Fitness Center website or Facebook page.
Free Saturday Classes Offered for Entire Month of January
Friday, January 5, 2018 | DrydenWire
SPOONER -- The Body Shop Fitness Center (Spooner location) is now offering FREE Saturday classes for the entire month of January.
The FREE Saturday Classes will be at our Spooner location (116 Vine Street, next to Nick's Family Restaurant) and are taught by their regular Fitness Instructors, giving you a variety of different classes and experiences.
"Don't let the cold or fear of trying something new in 2018 stop you from coming in and having some fun with these wonderful instructors," said Matt Dryden, Owner of the Body Shop Fitness Centers.
"These classes are for all fitness levels: beginner or advanced and everything in between. Modifications can be made for those in need.
"Be sure to come a few minutes early to set up your mat, get the necessary equipment and meet the instructor. All you need to bring is comfy clothes that you can move in and clean dry shoes."
On January 6th & 20th, Join Leslie for:
Bootcamp style class to include strength, core, cardio & endurance exercises sure to give you a full body workout!
On January 13th, Join Vickie for Cardio Fit:
A 60-minute "music inspired" Total Body Work-out. The perfect work-out soundtrack affects our minds and bodies in amazing ways. It can boost motivation, improve energy, mood and endurance, and even make you a little less aware of exertion and fatigue. It's through this philosophy I hope to set the tone for a fun-filled, high-energy class that will target major muscle groups, improve strength and functional fitness. The 5 main elements of fitness will be covered; Aerobic, strength, flexibility, core and balance. So come and let that familiar lyric or pulsing beat help you get moving again or push you a little harder. All moves can be modified to low or high intensity, so all levels welcome!
On January 27th Join Regan for:
A mixture of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) using circuit training stations, weights, cardio aerobic workouts, dance moves, barre toning techniques, a variety of equipment and even some kickboxing moves at times.