|Personal Trainer Showcase|
|Name: Maria Gabriela Moreno|
|Stats: 5’4” / 132lbs|
|Location: Denver, USA|
Photography by Soledad Rosales
Why did you decide to become a health coach?
Health, wellness and fitness became my passion during high school, when I noticed the positive physical and emotional benefits from regular exercise and taking charge of my own health and nutrition.
I decided to enter the healthcare field to share and bring health to people, so I became a medical doctor and a certified personal trainer. I chose to specialize in sports medicine as a way to combine lifestyle to healthcare. This path lead me to get certified as a functional medicine practitioner to address common acute and chronic disease from the root cause and empower people to take care of their nutrition and lifestyle choices to become and stay healthy.
The clinical environment of my career focuses on the management of disease and I believe in the power of prevention, therefore I decided to get certified as a health coach with focus on nutrition to support my beliefs and to get people healthy through exercise, good nutrition and healthy habits.
What are your own personal fitness goals?
I am constantly competing with my self-wanting to be the strongest and fittest I can be. This is to allow me to practice my favorite sports (rock climbing and mountain biking) or successfully try new ones – always in a way to interact with nature.
What is your training philosophy?
Movement is both a conscious and subconscious skill, therefore you need to know, feel and listen to your body. Performance and results will come when you connect your mind and heart with your body.
What basic functional training tips do you have for regular gym goers?
- Target the basics: legs (movements involving hips and knees), chest press, overhead press, pulling motions, and core engagement.
- Involve movement in every direction (plane of motion).
- Vary the speed of your motions or the sequencing of the exercises.
- Make exercise and physical activity fun.
How important is fitness and exercise testing? Why?
Fitness and exercise testing is a way to measure how healthy your physical body is and I think it is just as important as having a regular medical checkup. After all it is our physical body that helps us relate to our environment and more importantly, move! I believe the best way to achieve results is having a baseline and a goal, fitness testing will give you both numbers and a screenshot of your movement patterns, strength, cardiovascular health, flexibility, mobility, etc., and will assess the weakness and strengths of physical performance for health, for sports performance and to prevent early decline in motor skills related with aging.
What common mistakes do you see people make in the gym?
Lack of awareness or their own body is very common, and focusing on one single muscle group are the biggest mistakes because it may lead to imbalances that will result in injury.
What are your three favorite exercises? Why?
Squats, pull ups and burpees – if I had to choose only three, because they require a lot of muscular engagement, target a lot of muscles and you can do them virtually anywhere. Combined together they make up for a full body workout with the bonus of a high intensity cardio.
How do you keep your clients motivated?
Progression and results, but also making sure their workouts are fun and challenging enough.
And, how do you keep yourself motivated?
Every time I see my clients succeed is motivation and reassurance that I am in the right field. And of course having good results myself with my methods is motivating.
And for me learning what is new and applicable to human performance is a big motivation.
Finally, what is your favorite cheat food?
Chocolate! At least I prefer it dark. 😉