|Personal Trainer Showcase|
|Name: Angelique Millis|
|Stats: 5’8” / 140 lbs|
|Location: Los Angeles, USA|
Why did you become a personal fitness trainer?
My interest in health and fitness began in college when I was trying to reverse some bad lifestyle habits that I had gotten into. Just like all students, I knew exactly how to study under pressure, party like a rock star and “burn the candle at both ends” – trying to juggle schoolwork, extracurricular activities and my social life. I was a huge emotional eater; I would eat when I was stressed, happy or sad. Before I knew it, all those late nights at Denny’s and trips to the McDonald’s drive thru had added up and I found myself 40 pounds heavier.
I had also started smoking cigarettes and staying up late drinking beer with friends almost every night and fitness was the farthest thing from my mind. My “aha” moment was when I was walking with a couple of girlfriends past a store and caught a glimpse of our reflections in the window. I was in the middle and noticed that they were so much thinner than me. When we would go shopping, I was ashamed to come out of the fitting room and I felt embarrassed that I would secretly have to ask the sales lady to bring me a bigger size of whatever I was trying on. I felt drained from the life that I was leading and I knew that if I didn’t make a change soon, my weight would continue to balloon and my health would suffer.
When I first began my transformation, I immersed myself in fitness magazines, books and websites seeking answers. There is a world of knowledge at our fingertips, so I took it upon myself to become educated. I also had a vision of what I wanted to look and feel like and I was going to stop at nothing to attain it. I endured many struggles and obstacles in embracing a new lifestyle, and later even more obstacles maintaining it.
Through my own trials and errors, I have concluded that there is no magic pill or portion for getting fit and it is not something that can be learned from simply reading a book – it is about applying the knowledge in a way that will work with you. Because society has made it so acceptable to take the easy way out and “drive thru” your cares away at the end of a stressful workday, it took a lot of self-empowerment and discipline for me to break free from that mentality. I had to learn how to kick bad habits by staring them square in the face and understand that there were no shortcuts.
At the end, it came down to desire, patience and applied knowledge. In total, I lost 40 pounds and 5 dress sizes but let me make it clear that it did not happen overnight. Fitness is a lifestyle, not just a “look”. I think it’s fantastic that people get motivated to achieve that look but they have to be realistic by setting small, detailed goals. It takes time to build muscle, time to perfect your diet habits and even more time to balance your new habits and transform your life through fitness. There needs to be a balance of patience and persistence – you may not get the results you want right away but if you are focused on your goals, it will happen. You need to enjoy the process and love yourself enough to do things the right way.
I say this because it me a few years to finally piece it all together. The new disciplines and habits I have learned through this experience have allowed me to evolve in other areas of my life and have also given me a new purpose and sense of self. I challenged myself to compete in some bikini/fitness shows and a year later, I changed careers and started my own fitness business where I began to help others shape their bodies and transform their lives.
What does personal fitness mean to you?
Personal fitness means taking care of every aspect of yourself and by creating self-awareness to improve your mental, physical and spiritual being. Creating healthy habits and rituals that embrace all three is the definition of true FITNESS.
What are your own fitness goals?
My goals are to continue to train hard, eat well and get my “beauty sleep”. I also want to challenge myself to eat a variety of new organic foods by cooking new recipes each week. At the end of the day, I believe it is all about moderation and striking the perfect balance between eating healthy, exercising and also living your life to its fullest (who does not LOVE a cheat meal). I strive to become a better version of myself each day that passes.
What are the most common mistakes you see people doing in the gym?
Too much cardio and overtraining. Ideally your fitness program should be a balance of both cardio and resistance training. You don’t want to do too little or too much. Overtraining will take a toll on your body thus causing you to lose the muscle you are working so hard to gain/maintain through resistance/weight training; therefore you don’t want to be counterproductive. Generally, a cardio session should last between 30-60 minutes, depending on one’s stamina and fitness level
Do you have a particular routine or workout plan you like your clients to follow?
Circuit Training is my favorite way to both lose fat and build muscle! I have my own workout called “Fit in 30 Workout” that is a combination of cardio and resistance training exercise circuits that focuses on every element of fitness (endurance, stamina, strength, balance, agility, coordination & flexibility) and helps clients shed fat, sculpt lean muscle and transform their lifestyle. I love to mix it up and do different circuits each workout. That keeps the body guessing!
What are your three most favorite exercises for building muscle? Why?
Squats on the Smith Machine – The Smith machine is so versatile! I love using it for squats because I find it allows you to squat heavier weight safely.
Dumbbell Shoulder Presses – These are great for improving your overall strength. The exercise targets several of the major upper body muscles including the deltoids, trapezius, triceps, serratus anterior and the upper portion of the pecs.
Deadlifts – This move works your lower and upper body, including your back muscles. Don’t forget to include these into your routine.
What practical advice do you give people just starting out?
When you are first starting out, you should have a realistic goal in mind to work towards. Break it down into baby steps and monitor your progress by setting deadlines. Patience, persistence and consistent dedication to your goal is what is going to get you there. Remember, “Rome was not built in a day”. Many struggle to see change fast enough, especially when their diet is not on point and they give up early in the game. The key is to stay consistent with a clean diet and training program. Diet is 85% of your success! Surround yourself with people who support your goals and dreams and keep your eye on the prize by creating a “vision board” that will keep you motivated!
How do you keep your clients motivated?
By holding them accountable to their fitness goals! Taking their progress pics, asking them to complete weekly food logs and by keeping them focused on why they got started in the first place. Also, mixing up their training routine is key!
And, how do you keep yourself motivated?
Knowing that I am a source of motivation for my clients. When you lead a fit lifestyle, you program your mind for success in every other area of your life. I love to be a catalyst for change and transformation!
Finally, what’s your favorite cheat day food?
Pizza, and chocolate cake with ice cream!