This past summer I was living at my parents house in Northeast Mesa while our new home was being built. For the first couple of months I made the commute to two different gyms in Scottsdale that I have memberships at. I would pack a bag the night before so that I could work out in the morning and get ready at the gym before I drove to work in Chandler. Or if I was able to get out of work in time and beat traffic, then I would drive from Chandler to Scottsdale for my work out and then home to Mesa afterwards.
If you’re familiar with the Greater Phoenix Valley, then you know these three cities aren’t exactly down the street from one another. Driving this far for a workout would add anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour on top of a 30 minute drive to work. Plus, I would be rushing to work in the mornings and needing to grab breakfast on my way in or I’d get home so late in the evenings and be starving. Not to mention that I actually forgot my shirt one morning! Thank goodness I had the rest of my clothes! I ended up buying a shirt at the gym and wearing that till I got to my office. I happen to keep a couple clean work polos in my office so that was a life saver.
After sharing my situation with a friend who also lives in Northwest Mesa, she told me about a personal trainer who owns a gym on Val Vista and Ray. It’s still about 15-20 minutes from my parents house, but it’s on the way home from work and right down the street from Aaron’s sisters house in Gilbert where I also stayed at this summer with Aaron. I connected with Will from PNP Fitness on Instagram (@fitnesspnp) and he explained that for one month he would work out with me 2-4 times a week depending on our schedules and the workouts would be 30 minutes long. He would help me with my form, any conditional training that I need, quick efficient workouts and also my eating. Thankfully, I was able to freeze my memberships for my last month until I moved back in town.
During my one month with Will, I realized that personal training isn’t for everyone. On the flip side, group training or solo gym workouts aren’t for everyone either. If you are the type of person who wants to start working out and don’t know where to start, then I 100% recommend working with Will or a personal trainer near you. Even if you know how to workout, but you’re stuck in a rut and just aren’t going, or if you can get to the gym just fine, but haven’t been able to meet your fitness goals. Then I also 100% recommend working out with Will or a personal training near you. Will will hold you accountable so that you’re not missing your workouts, plus you get to look forward to seeing a friend. He also takes all of the hard work of figuring out what the heck you should be doing at the gym. He creates the workouts to customize to you. Most times, in my case, he will switch up a workout as you’re there because he wants to make sure that it’s the best thing for you in that moment. Rather than saying, hey today is leg day and we have to do legs, he’ll actually talk to you about how you’re feeling and with his expertise and knowledge, he can throw in another exercise that will help to further your fitness goals.
The main reason why I say that personal training isn’t for everyone is because you have to be committed and you have to be committed to your workout schedule, eating healthy and giving it 100% when your’e there. During my last month of chaos, I was still out of my element living at my parents house and it was challenging for me to cook my meals. We always hear that nutrition is 80% and fitness is 20% to reaching your health goals. Thankfully, Will showed me how to use My Fitness Pal, which is an app where you can log your calories, fitness, weight and search for healthy tips and recipes. I used this app back in 2013 and hadn’t used it since. Now it’s so easy to find how many calories are in what foods through their search tools. You can even look up restaurants and add items directly from their menu with the calorie count attached. Since I wasn’t cooking as much, I was able to use this app as a guide while I was eating out. However, if I didn’t follow through with the things that Will was suggesting for nutrition, then the workouts wouldn’t have been as effective to help me towards my goal. For me, I needed to stay committed towards my nutrition goals at that time of my life and it wasn’t difficult for me to actually show up, but I know for some people it’s hard to maintain an actual schedule for your workouts and you’d rather pop into the gym whenever the wind blows you that direction. The scheduling element is definitely a different mind set that you need to get used to.
If you’re in the East Valley and are looking for that extra push of motivation to get back into a healthy exercise and nutrition routine, I suggest giving Will from PNP Fitness a try. He has his own gym, so you’ll be working out with him and the other trainers, rather than fighting the crowd for machines like you would at your local gym. Also, I will say that if you choose to workout with Will, he is going to train you right – meaning that he will stop everything to focus on your form and will not continue the workout until that form is fixed! In the beginning I was a little confused as to why we weren’t hitting it hard in terms of the actual workout, but it was because Will wants to get to know you and understand if and how he needs to provide corrections, so that the exercises are actually helping you rather than hurting you. A trainer that allows you to keep working out with poor form isn’t a trainer at all in my opinion. Taking that a step further, Will is also a Massage Therapist so he understands when the body needs a break from vigorous exercises and needs to be realigned or stretched out. He showed me a couple great exercises that focused on loosening up my lower back, which I have had issues with since an exercise related injury during a group fitness class over 5 years ago. If you start working out with Will and you’ve been focused on alignment and stretches for the first couple visits and really want to get into the sweat dripping workouts – tell Will! This goes for any personal trainer. Communicate with them what you like to do and they will be receptive to creating a custom workout for you. Otherwise, you may get frustrated and quit, and no one wants that!
Another thing that I’d like to point out is that Will has this incredible program where he will provide free personal training to people who have 30% body fat or more. He is committed to providing the tools to the community for how to live longer through a healthy lifestyle. I think this program is incredible and goes to show how great of a person Will is! If you think this might apply to you, but you’re not sure, you can always go for your first workout with Will where he will take all of your measurements, weight and body fat to find out for sure. At the very least if you’re not at 30% body fat, you’ll get a great workout and you might possibly find a new gym!
I went ahead and compiled a video of mine and Will’s Instagram stories from some of our workouts together so you can get a feel for some of the things you could do while you’re there. If you have any questions on the specific exercises or nutrition tips that I learned from Will, please comment below and I’ll answer you asap! Thank you for reading.