Eating right is 80% of the battle. It's easy to get distracted by fancy-schmancy products and regimes, but whether you're trying to lose weight or bulk up, as a personal trainer, I can assure you that you can't go wrong with a balanced diet of fresh food, cooked from scratch. Plenty of veg, some fruit, lean protein, and low-GI wholegrain carbs. And you know what? You eat the right food, you get to eat plennnnnnntttttyyyy of it. Cook! If you need help, use a meal prep company..not only will it save you money from eating out, but it will do wonders for your fitness goals. I use prep plus meals here in Atlanta, which offer an array of fresh, healthy meals weekly. (prepplusmeals.com/) Staying consistent is the name of the game. The biggest issue with training females is getting out of the mindset of, “I'm going to get in shape for the event.” It’s about getting in the mindset that every day, you should do something that keeps you consistently fit. And while training does get kicked into high gear every once in a while (for vacation, an event, etc), at the end of the day results come from having a consistent and sustainable fitness routine. It’s a good idea to develop a regular training routine so you don't have to constantly start from the beginning. Staying committed to your workout also means holding yourself accountable, too. Put away the phone, push away distractions, and focus! When it comes to weights, the more instability the better. Free weights > cable machines > machines. People are so quick to jump on the machines in the gym, when actuality, the free weights are your best option. When it comes to weights, the more instability the better. Free weights work more of your body in a more functional, natural way, which means fewer injuries. Machines isolate a muscle, leaving you in danger of overworking it and neglecting supporting muscles. Stay away from the cardio machines. If you must, using treadmills and/or ellipticals are okay. However, a run outside is just SO MUCH BETTER. Not only will the uneven surface strengthen your legs, studies have also shown that being outside boosts endorphins by 50%. If you are going to stick to the treadmill, at least bump up the incline. Don’t overdo it. You don’t need to go longer than a 45 minute-hour training session. A more intense, shorter work out is better than a long, slow drawn out work out. Plus who has time to spend hours in the gym anyways?? Recovery is just as important as what you do in the gym. Over training will actually slow your progress and hold you back. Leave 48 hours between working muscle groups and dedicate time at the end of every session to stretch. Even better, make time for Yoga and Pilates classes. Add in foam rolling to your regular fitness routine. I recently started foam rolling—and realized that rolling out your entire body every day makes a huge difference! When you roll out, it's kind of similar to a deep tissue massage. So if you have a knot, it's like a necklace that's all tangled. When you roll out, it opens up. This is also known as self-myofascial release—after a workout, the layers of your muscle fibers can heal improperly, creating these knots. Foam rolling is what works them out. Then all of your muscles are open and they're much easier to activate and to feel connected to, as opposed to being tight. It also helps with mobility, circulation, and range of motion." Having better mobility and range of motion means you can get deeper into exercises like squats and lunges, so you'll be using proper form and get the right muscle fibers to fire away, getting more out of the exercise. Think of foam rolling as giving your muscles the A-list treatment. Learn to see exercise as a treat, not punishment! And finally, the key to keeping this up forever (and it not seeming like a life sentence): Learn to see exercise as a treat, not a punishment. The longer I train clients, the more they tend to actually enjoy it, yes ENJOY working out! Thanks to endorphins (have I mentioned endorphins yet? #ENDORPHINS), I have never trained a client that left the gym feeling worse than they did when they arrived. Use this time as “me time”, the time where you can put everything that’s stressing you out to the side and sweat it out in the gym!