Fitness experts help you spring into a new routine

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 23, 2016


METRO DETROIT — Confucius once said that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.

But taking that first step is easier said than done when you’re a person who just plain doesn’t like walking. Or jogging. Or lifting weights.

When you’re not used to working out, starting a new — and likely, much needed — fitness routine can be tough both mentally and physically. It takes a bit of extra oomph to stay motivated enough to stick with a healthy lifestyle change.

Jeff Rice is the owner of several Anytime Fitness locations in Macomb County, including ones in Warren and Macomb Township. This time of year, he’s used to the usual flood of New Year’s resolution customers who were at the gym with good intentions — but soon flailed out and settled back into their old sedentary ways.

Why? He said the biggest motivator available is results, and getting the results you want is something that requires a more focused, tailored approach.

“Most people have zero education on fitness, and they rely on their high school health class or magazine articles to guide their workout. So they don’t get results and they give up,” said Rice.

The importance of a trainer who’s educated in what makes a good workout for a variety of different body types — is key to getting noticeable results. Without that, goals could quickly be abandoned.

“If you want to be a marketing major, you go to school for marketing. If you want to be a fitness expert, you’ve got to be educated,” he explained. “Those who work with a trainer are 80 percent more likely to get results and still be here in June.”

Ken Aubuchon takes a similar approach when he counsels his clients toward better nutrition and activity habits. He’s a personal trainer with experience in yoga and other fitness disciplines. But where he really shines is as a lifestyle coach and meditation guide, helping clients find their best motivators to overcome the psychological hurdles they might come across on their path to get healthy.

“I try to find things they enjoy doing — that are healthy, but that they enjoy doing. If they don’t enjoy doing it, they’re not going to be consistent,” Aubuchon explained.

That’s a lesson he learned through personal experience. Years ago, Aubuchon was nearly 100 pounds heavier than he is now. He said he had to learn through his own trial and error that he needed a whole new mindset, which included changing self-destructive patterns and honing in on positive habits that not only contributed to his fitness goals, but that he also really liked.

“Usually people who come to me are frustrated because they’ve tried a lot of things and exhausted most of their possibilities. They’re looking for an alternative that’s not out there,” he said. “What they really need is a personal approach and not one blanket way of doing things. Finding what works for them and to keep looking for ways to keep things exciting (is important) so you don’t revert back to old ways once you reach a certain goal.”

And usually, if you look hard enough, there’s never a shortage of ways to change up your routine once it becomes, well, routine.

Andrea Trabilsy is a licensed Zumba instructor and a certified Pound Fitness instructor at Mary Ellen Studio of Dance in St. Clair Shores. She said the classes she teaches are inherently fun with upbeat music and energetic workout regimens keenly disguised as lively dance parties. But she never stops looking for the next big movement in fitness.

“My co-partner and I try to stay on top of the latest fitness trends,” she said in an email. “We teach Pound, Zumba, Booty Barre and Mat Pilates. Pound is the newest trend that is booming right now.”

She added that her clients come in to check out the newest fashion in fitness, but they also come to have fun, with friends, which is a huge motivator in itself.

“We have become a family in and outside of our classes. They make class fun. Having such a great group of people makes it easier to walk into a class you have never been to. They become your support system. They start to hold you accountable when you miss a class. This has kept the same group of people coming back for five years now,” Trabilsy said.