25 October 2011 0 Comments

Finding Simple Ways to Workout at Home

So you’re having a bad day. The alarm didn’t go off and you’re running late. So late, in fact, you can’t possibly make it to the gym before you head out the door to work. In situations like this, your fitness personal trainer would ask you to make a choice – do a quick workout at home or skip the exercise altogether. Which do you think he’d prefer?

Before you balk, remember that even a few minutes of exercise is better than none. Next, remember that you do not need to have a home gym full of equipment to get in some cardio or strength training. Here are a few things you can do at home, with no equipment, when you are pressed for time.

Home Gym


Yes, you can jog in your house. Jog in place, or around your living room, while you are watching the news in the morning. Make sure you remember to put on your shoes as many people find jogging in bare feet to be uncomfortable and stressful to the joints.

Aerobic Programs

If you have cable television, check your provider’s listings for fitness programs. Many of today’s cable providers have fitness stations that run aerobic programs all day long. Depending on the type of service you have, you’ll either be stuck with whatever program is on when you start working out or you may get to choose a favorite.

Jumping Jacks

That’s right – we want you to get up and do some jumping jacks. They’ll get you moving, wake you up, and raise your heart rate. Do them as a warmup or as part of your home fitness routine.


No arguments. Do some pushups. If you don’t have the upper body strength to do a traditional pushup, make a modification by working from your knees or by doing standing pushups against a wall. As the muscles in your arms and chest become stronger, so will your ability to do different forms of this exercise.

These are just a few examples of the things you can do when you’re stuck at home without a fitness personal trainer to help you out. Make sure you talk to your trainer while you are in the gym to get some suggestions for exercises that are catered to your specific needs!

16 September 2010 0 Comments

Injuries, Strains and Sore Muscles A Personal Trainer in Downington Can Help

A personal trainer in Downington understands that experiencing soreness the day after a work out isn’t uncommon. After all, you’re pushing your muscles beyond what they’ve been used to doing. But sometimes we mistake injuries and strains as sore muscles and push through the pain, which can lead to lasting damage. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why muscles become sore, what you can do to help prevent soreness, and why working with a personal trainer in Downington can help you avoid injuries and strains.

Why do we get sore?

If you’re exercising correctly, muscle soreness should be very minimal, but those that are just beginning or have recently intensified their work outs may experience muscle soreness the day after a work out. This phenomenon is called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, and generally occurs twelve to 36 hours after an intense work out. There are two factors that contribute to DOMS; a build up of waste products in the muscles and miniscule tears in the muscles. Not only are the muscles sore, but symptoms can also include feeling stiff, weak and tired. A personal trainer in Downington understands DOMS and will know how to safely and effectively get you passed it without injury or strains.

Avoiding soreness

Working out shouldn’t leave you feeling tired and sore, but energized! You can help your body better recover by taking care of your body before and after your work out. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, as exercise will only exacerbate the tired feeling, and take an appropriate amount of rest between work outs, so your muscles have time to recover. A personal trainer in Downington suggests always warm up your body for at least ten minutes before any kind of intense work out, because exercising “cold muscles can lead to strains and injuries.

Stretching after a work out is just as important, as it encourages the blood flow to return to the organs and discourages lactic acid from building up in the muscles, which contributes to soreness. Finally, make sure you’re getting enough fuel for your body. Food give your body the energy it needs to work out efficiently, so consider adding a small snack an hour before your workout and eating a healthy meal afterwards, to help your muscles better recover.

Getting the help you need

If you’ve already tried some of these techniques and are still experiencing soreness after your work outs, chances are that you may have strained a muscle. A muscle is considered strained when it has worker harder than its capacity and it actually tears. If you don’t notice significant improvement over a period of a few days, you may need to seek medical advice.

It is, of course, very easy to avoid injury by making sure you’re using exercise equipment safely and not pushing yourself beyond your limits by consulting a personal trainer. Working out with a personal trainer in Downington has many benefits for you, including designing a fitness regime that’s right for you, encouraging you along the way, but most importantly, making sure you’re working out safely and efficiently. A personal trainer in Downington will be able to advise you about your muscle soreness, when you should seek medical advice, and how to avoid injury all together.

Premier Personal Training with Dennis Carroll is located in West Chester, PA and serves clients in West Chester, Downingtown and Exton. Every client at Premier receives the individual training needed to successfully reach their goals. All fitness programs come with a 100% money back guarantee, so why not get started today? Don’t hesitate! Sign up for a Free Consult now!

18 July 2010 0 Comments

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss at Our West Chester Health and Fitness Club

When many of us are in pursuit of losing weight as a West Chester Health and Fitness goal, we often rely solely on the numbers of the scale to tell us how we are doing. Unfortunately, this is not always a healthy measure of success. Losing weight without a complementary exercise regime can result in losing important muscle, which can have more dangerous effects in the long run. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at weight loss vs. fat loss, and what you can do to ensure that you’re losing weight in a healthy and safe way to make sure that you reach your West Chester Health and Fitness goals.

Weight Loss Doesn’t Mean Fat Loss

When most of us say that we want to lose weight, what we really mean is that we want to reduce to amount of fat in our bodies to create a leaner silhouette. Most of us know that the fundamental principle of losing weight is that if we burn more calories than we consume, the result will be weight loss. But where is this weight coming from? Let’s take a closer look at how our bodies process the calories that we consume.

First, the body converts what we eat into energy, which in turn gives us the power to go about our daily lives. When we consume more calories than we burn, the resulting calories are converted into fat. On the other end of the scale, when we consume less calories than we burn, we lose weight but we also lose energy. Unfortunately, the weight loss doesn’t necessarily come from the fat, but the energy stores that are depleted are made up proteins and carbohydrates, which are found in muscles. This means that the muscles get smaller, the metabolism lowers, and once the body has adapted to the lower energy levels, the body will cease to continue losing weight.

The bottom line is that simply decreasing the amount of calories consumed may result in short term weight loss, but the weight won’t necessarily come from fat. Plus, if the calories are restricted too much, the body could even start storing fat as a preventative measure, because it doesn’t know when it will start receiving normal levels of calories again.

Getting Rid of Fat Instead of Muscle

So what’s the right procedure to get rid of the unwanted fat? The answer is simple – begin a nutrition and exercise program at our West Chester Health and Fitness club. Your body still needs enough calories to keep your energy levels high, but you can eat a great deal more and keep your appetite satisfied with a healthy, balanced diet than you can with a diet full of junk or fast food. The other important factor is a balanced fitness routine comprising of both cardio and strength training. Both cardio and strength training are important for burning away fat and increasing muscle mass, not to mention increasing the metabolism.

Measure Your Body Fat

There are several ways of measuring your body fat, which is often a better gauge of your overall health than a scale. Calculate your Body Mass Index or have a West Chester Health and Fitness specialist calculate your body fat with a skinfold caliper or simply measure yourself with a tape measure and keep track of the results. The best way to gauge your body fat is to simply look in the mirror, take note of how your clothes fit, and most importantly, how you feel. Feeling great is really the best result of following a West Chester Health and Fitness program.

Premier Personal Training with Dennis Carroll is located in West Chester, PA and serves clients in West Chester, Downingtown and Exton. Every client at Premier receives the individual training needed to successfully reach their goals. All programs come with a 100% money back guarantee, so why not get started today? Don’t hesitate! Sign up for a Free Consult now!

13 June 2010 0 Comments

How To Determine Your Fitness Goals With Personal Training In Exton

Personal training in Exton generally seems like the step to take after you have determined your goals. Goals are an essential part of fitness success, right? Agreed. But how do you get started setting fitness goals? How do you set realistic goals and what’s the next step? Often setting up personal training in Exton can help you start determining these goals.

Tips For Setting Fitness Goals

The best advice when setting goals is to use the past to determine your future. If you have never had personal training in Exton, these are some guidelines:

  • Look at what you enjoy
  • Look at what has worked for you in the past and use that as a foundation for your renewed commitment to fitness
  • Write down—really in writing—what you want to accomplish
  • Consider your timeline if you have one

With this information in hand, personal training in Exton is the next step. Your trainer will review goals with you, decide what can be accomplished safely and healthily and in what timeframe, and construct a fitness plan of action with you. Using your goals as a starting point, a good trainer will expand and add to them so that you really have a complete plan that will maximize your fitness efforts and get you where you want to be.

Keeping It Real

When setting goals, it is important to make them both challenging and achievable. You want your fitness goals to be high enough, but not so high that you cannot attain them and will become frustrated and discouraged.

In the beginning, you might not understand what is and isn’t realistic to expect if you are not familiar with exercising or with your abilities. A personal trainer will have a much better idea of what can realistically be accomplished overall and within given periods of time.

Moving On

Goals are important when you are starting out in fitness, but goal-setting does not end once you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. With personal training in Exton, there is always room to grow and plenty of benefits to be had. Once you reach your core goals, talk to your trainer and set your sights higher. Determine what else you are capable of achieving, and start anew. Make your goals as lofty or as simple as you like—perhaps you want to run a marathon, but if you just want to maintain motivation and continued good health that’s okay, too. Whatever your new-found goals, your personal trainer will know what the best ways to keep your interest and to reach those objectives are.

Goals in fitness are ever changing. They are the thing that will get you going at the outset and also the thing that keeps you moving and succeeding as time goes on. Spend some time setting your fitness goals based on the past and the future to ensure your complete success.

Premier Personal Training with Dennis Carroll is located in West Chester, PA and serves clients in West Chester, Downingtown and Exton. Every client at Premier receives the individual training needed to successfully reach their goals. All programs come with a 100% money back guarantee, so why not get started today? Don’t hesitate! Sign up for a Free Consult now!

14 February 2010 0 Comments

Getting Fit For Charity With Downington Personal Trainers

Downington personal trainers will tell you, training for a local charity event isn’t just a great way to get involved; it’s also a great way to get started on your fitness goals! There are a great many benefits to training for a local charity event, not the least of which is personal comfort and safety.

Motivation That’s Larger Than Life

Sometimes, it takes something bigger than ourselves to get us started on the fitness track. A charity event—like a walk, a run, or a sporting event—can be excellent motivation for getting fit.

Charity events have all the right elements for motivating a person to movement. Downington personal trainers recommend getting involved, these events have the benefit of:

  • Reason—something more tangible than just body image; something more solid than an elusive weight ‘ideal’
  • Team work—fitness is always more achievable with a partner to support you; a local charity event multiplies that support by the size of your team and sponsors!
  • Spiritual rewards—knowing you are helping others and doing something great to improve the world and/or life around you increases your positive spirit and energy, which in turn increases you self image and confidence
  • Personal fitness—sure, you may start off with the intention of helping others, but you’ll find that you feel great once you do, and that accomplishment will help bolster the fitness plans that you’ve been putting off

Go Prepared

Though every charity event participant and volunteer goes with the best of intentions, an event can turn quickly if that person does not also go prepared. It is shocking to a body system to suddenly endure a miles-long walk or run. Prevent illness and injury by training for the charity even ahead of time. If you are a newcomer to fitness events, enlist the help of Downington personal trainers to help the training go smoother.

Start off by getting a health check.

  • Visit your doctor if it’s been a while, and determine your current and potential fitness level.
  • Work with Downington personal trainers who can develop a safe and gradual training program that can take you from where you are to route completion by the day of the event.
  • Also discuss good nutrition with both your doctor and your trainer. Your doctor will get you started, and a personal trainer will be more readily available to answer ongoing questions.

Start exercising! The key to training for any local charity event is to start exercising and building your strength and endurance. Start with even a walking routine for now, and develop your exercise routine with the help of any of the Downington personal trainers available to take you through event training and beyond for lasting health and fitness. Working with a personal trainer will also give you alternative training and exercises that you can do at home or at the gym when weather and life commitments are less than cooperative, keeping you on a steady track of preparation up to and through the event.

There are times when our own wellbeing is not motivation enough to get us started on health and fitness goals. Training for a local charity event can be just the motivation you’ve been looking for. Make the most of your selfless gift, go healthy and prepared, and maximize your contribution to help you into the future, too. Keep in mind that Downington personal trainers can help you plan your way into fitness success.

Premier Personal Training with Dennis Carroll is located in West Chester, PA and serves clients in West Chester, Downingtown and Exton. Every client at Premier receives the individual training needed to successfully reach their goals. All programs come with a 100% money back guarantee, so why not get started today? Don’t hesitate! Sign up for a Free Consult now!

29 April 2009 0 Comments

Keeping Safe From the Swine Flu at Your Gym

The swine flu is spreading! The swine flu was formerly only contracted by pigs has caused a reported 150+ human deaths in Mexico, and cases are now being reported here in the U.S. and cases have been confirmed on every continent.

The swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by type A influenza and is normally contained to pigs. Human outbreaks of the swine flu were first reported in March in California and Texas and have since spread to other states. Symptoms are similar to the regular human flu and it is thought to be spread in much the same way such as; coughing and sneezing, doorknobs, and various things that are handled by infectious people. Unfortunately, the first thirty–six hours of infection (the point at which most people are contagious) are often asymptomatic.

So, while at the gym, you step up to the next machine in your circuit, grab the handles, push through a couple of hard sets, and then wipe the sweat from the corner of your eye. Could happen ,right? AND… you just contracted the swine flu but don’t know it yet. Then you move over to the dumbbell rack, grab some 20lb dumbbells (25’s if there is a cutie nearby) and do three sets of curls. You, being the conscientious type, make sure to put the dumbbells back on the rack(just in time to see that cutie pick them up for a serious set of walking lunges-whew!). And guess what, you’ve just passed on the flu. Just like that! Now here comes that guy you know from..somewhere. You know the guy who always shakes your hand EVERY-TIME you see him. Put your hands in you pockets, quick! ..too late…”good to see you too. Yeah, I’m fine, fine…how you doin?”. Bam, another swine flu victim.

So, how do you avoid it? Or can a gym rat like you avoid the swine flu and not seriously disrupt your lifestyle? Of course, but you may have to be willing to try something new.

Here are the steps to take to avoid the swine flu:

  1. wash your hands-before and after your workout.
  2. Wipe down each piece of equipment before you use it. (most gyms have disinfecting towelettes available).
  3. Bring a clean towel to wipe sweat from your eyes(be sure to keep the towel off of equipment during your workout.
  4. Open your water bottle with your teeth, not your hands.
  5. Cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough. 6.Eat right and get plenty of rest.

If you still don’t feel safe,(here is where you can try something different) take your workout out doors, in the fresh, clean springtime air of Chester County. Go for a hike, take a jog, or join a Fitness Boot camp!

Dennis Carroll is the founder of Premier Personal Training, Inc. He is a nationally certified professional fitness coach and contributing writer for the Fitness Experts Network. He can be reached at 610-429-9002

18 December 2008 0 Comments

How to Keep Your New Years Resolution to Exercise

I wrote this article around Halloween, but it seems like a good time to re-post it….

Ghost Members’…are you one?

Dennis Carroll

Boo! It’s that time of year, Halloween. Just the other day I overheard one of my trainers mention to a client that he was “going as the Geiko Cave Man”@. (Frankly I don’t think he is hairy enough to pull it off). But from there my train of thought is a little convoluted, (nothing new for me) so follow if you can.

I was thinking of all the scary things people dress up as and ‘ghost’ popped into my mind. Now, I honestly don’t think I’ve seen anyone dress up like a ghost in years. But I distinctly remember my mother cutting eye holes out of old bed sheets for us when we were kids (sometimes flowered bed sheets, but we were kids!). Remember the movie E.T., when they dressed up the alien? That’s pretty much how we looked sans the giant head (actually, come to think of it my head is kinda big). Anyway, ghost is what popped into my head and from that little seed came ‘ghost member’. And here we are.

One of my funniest clients, “BOB”, not his real name (Okay it is, but everyone knows him anyway.) Bob belongs to a local gym but comes to me for training, as many of my clients do. Bob says, “ You know, every time I go to Xxxxxx Gym it cost me three hundred dollars.” ‘What do you mean”, I query. “Well” he replies, “my membership is six hundred dollars a year, and last year I only went twice.” (He is much funnier in person).

Every commercial gym/health and fitness facility has “ghost members. Eerie.. Casper, is that you? Don’t be afraid, they don’t actually haunt the facility; their role is just the opposite. These are members who keep paying, and paying but don’t ever show up to work out. The attrition rate for gyms/health clubs is the same across the country. Statistics show (I hate statistics) fifty percent will drop out of their exercise program within one year. The majority of that happens within the first12 weeks! But here again, the interesting fact is, that these ghost members continue to pay, often for a year or more. They keep telling themselves,” I’m gonna start up again right after…”

Does this sound like anyone you know? Maybe someone you know REALLY well?

The truth of the matter is that almost half of people, who join a ‘gym’, give up on their exercise routine within the first year. After paying their initiation fee and getting set up on the automatic payment system, members are typically left on their own. Within 6 to 8 weeks many have already lost interest. Add another 4 weeks and most of the ghost members are no longer haunting the gym. Boo!

The survey that queried these people found that the majority of them lost motivation because they did not believe they would see results based on their exercise routine. Others got discouraged if someone was on ‘their machine’ and lacked the knowledge to implement an effective alternative.

So, what’s the solution? What else, hire a competent trainer! I stress competent. He or she will analyze your abilities, limitations and goals. He/she will also do risk assessment to ensure your safety (it’s not about looking good in your coffin, is it?). Your trainers’ goal should be to safely guide you toward your goals by teaching the proper order, form and intensity of exercise. He/she can then create a schedule for you to follow, incorporating variety (giving you alternatives if someone is on your machine, boo-hoo).

Too many times I have clients ask me,” How many sessions will I need before I get my result?” Bad question (unless of course, you are my client reading this-then it was a good question). A better question might be, “what kinds of programs do you offer that will teach me what I need to know, so that I am empowered to achieve my goal independently?” (Yeah, I didn ‘t say it would sound better)

In addition to sessions sold in package form, your trainer should offer other types of programs designed to best suit you. Perhaps you would benefit from a four-week fast start program, or an eight-week body transformation program, etc. But do us all a favor Don’t start four weeks before you leave for the Caribbean. Puh-leez!

“I can’t afford that!”” It’s too expensive.” You say? Okay, I hear you. Most people cannot afford to hire a trainer for months or years at a time. Here are some ways to lower your costs and still have the benefit of a pro; 1. ‘Team training’- Find a buddy and have the trainer teach you both at the same time.2.Or take that concept a step further and you’ve got small group training, one trainer and three to five trainees. Or, 3.Hire a competent pro (there’s that word again) to teach rather than “train” you.

Buy a few sessions purely for instruction. Ask lots of questions and take notes. Writing what you see and hear is an effective way to learn quickly.

These are great options if the ‘one on one’ scenario is out of your budget. Although it is more work for the trainer, he/she should still be willing to adjust his/her rates per person.

The point is this: there are affordable effective options to enable you to achieve your goals.

Waiting for another event to resolve before getting back in to the gym is a passive approach to managing your fitness. It is just an excuse. So don’t be a ghost member. Get back in the gym; reach your goals and most of all HAVE FUN DOING IT!

Dennis Carroll is the founder of Premier Personal Training, Inc. in West Chester. He is also a nationally certified health and fitness coach and featured writer for the Fitness Experts Network. He can be reached @ premeripersonaltraining@comcast.net