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In #RaiseMKE Commentary

Solful Fitness owner Lisa Martin's group fitness classes and personal training can help you stick to your New Year's resolutions.

In #RaiseMKE Commentary

The ACE-certified personal trainer has worked in the fitness industry for 13 years.

Get Solful to achieve your fitness goals

Remove your lips from the eggnog cup. Toss the Christmas cookies. Jan. 1 has reared its resolution-inducing head. The pressure is on to act on what you've been promising yourself you are going to do this new year. Commitment is at its most enthusiastic level and I'm going to take advantage of that by bringing you fitness inspiration all month long to get 2012 off to a fitter start.

How many years have you promised yourself you will get on an exercise program? You will eat better? Make changes in your lifestyle for better health? Stop waffling and take action. But, don't do it alone. Support and guidance is key – especially if you are someone who is not self-motivated to get up in the gym or plug in a DVD in at home.

That's what personal trainers and group fitness classes are for!

I tapped my friend, ACE-certified personal trainer and 13-year fitness industry veteran Lisa Martin, to help you put your resolution into action. This ripped mother of two owns Solful Fitness, a company that provides fitness education, in-home personal training and boot camp classes.

Martin graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a degree in Kinesiology and has even produced a Solful Fitness Boot Camp DVD that I use at home when my bootie needs a "no appointment needed" push from Ms. Martin's no-nonsense hybrid style of boxing, weights, plyometrics, calisthenics and cardio.

Read on below for her tips and get pumped to follow through with a diet and exercise program this year. What's the most important thing to keep in mind when setting a New Year's resolution with a fitness goal?

Lisa Martin: You can set a resolution/goal any time of the year. It's just that most people find the new year is a logical time for resolutions and a great motivator for new beginnings.

I tell my clients to set two goals, one short-term goal that they can achieve within three months and one long term that they can achieve within six to nine months. These New Year resolutions should be realistic and attainable so that you don't set yourself up for failure.

OMC: So, for example – a short-term goal could be to just show up and work out three days a week with no attachment to results, in order to set a new habit. And a long-term goal could be to change body composition in a measurable way. Say, to get to 18 percent body fat.

LM: Precisely.

OMC: Now, the tough part. How do you get people stick to their resolutions?

LM: This is a great question! We can say we have a "New Year's resolution," but now we have to put it into action. First, write it down. This is your commitment and promise to yourself. Second, on your calendar, planner, Blackberry or whatever; set time aside each week to work on that health and fitness goal. So, if your goal is to workout five days a week, make sure that you set time aside each week to do that. You are a priority, so put yourself down as an appointment. That's what I do to make sure that I get my workouts in.

OMC: In other words, you schedule yourself to have low body fat and ripped abs!

LM: Yes – exactly! Third, hold yourself accountable! If you can't make a workout one day because life is just too crazy busy, then you must do it the next day. If you are someone that needs motivation to stick to your resolution, find a friend, family member or personal trainer to work out with. It really does help to keep you motivated when you have someone else cheering you on.

OMC: Or screaming in your face.

LM: I don't do that!

OMC: No, you don't, but you are tough! Actually, the personal, physical feats of exercise madness you demonstrate in boot camp class and seeming ability to do it all are enough inspiration!

What are the benefits of in-home personal training versus your boot camp class? Do your clients mostly do one or the other? Do they combine the services?

LM: There are benefits to both in-home training and boot camp classes and many of my clients do both. In-home personal training offers each client a complete custom-designed workout based on the client's individual goals, needs and limitations. Solful Fitness trainers come to you, which gives the convenience and comfort of working out in your own home. Your trainer also gives you 110 percent of their attention to you to make sure that you get the best workout possible.

Boot camps are a great full body workout. These multi-level classes are perfect for people that like working out in a group setting with others to motivate and inspire them. The energy in these classes is incredible and in many ways is a great bonding experience for my clients. Boot camps also offer a more affordable option than personal training.

OMC: Here's the tough part for so many people and me specifically: food. How important is diet when starting a fitness plan with a goal to lose weight/inches?

LM: Extremely! If your goal is weight loss then your diet is crucial to achieving it. If you are helping yourself to a large pizza after your workouts, we've got a problem. You will see much faster results from your workouts if you stick to a healthy, balanced diet.

OMC: Do you provide guidance for what clients should be eating?

LM: I do work with my clients on a nutritional plan. I have them journal their food, then we go over it and make sure that it is appropriate for their goals. I am not a certified nutritionist, so if I find that they do need further nutritional focus I send them to a great nutritionist in the area. With most of my clients, the journals are very helpful, keeping them focused and aware of what they are eating every day. I know there are days when I can't remember what I had for breakfast, so journaling really does help.

OMC: I totally agree. It's a pain, but a necessary evil. I have found some great apps you can use on your phone and computer to help with this. I really like using Fit Day and Lose It. Holding myself accountable to tracking what I eat and how much of it really keeps me on target.

Now, time frame. Diet and exercise is the most realistic, sensible way to lose weight, but it's not always an "instant gratification" option. How long should people give themselves to see results from a diet/fitness program?

LM: Everyone is different so there is no set amount of time. Remember that you need to give your body time to acknowledge change before change can occur. It will happen if you stay committed to your goal. To answer the question as best as I can, I would say if you are working hard, three months is a great time frame to start seeing great changes in your body.

OMC: What do you tell people that aren't seeing results after a reasonable period of time? What is the most common cause of people not seeing results?

LM: When a client is not seeing results and they have been showing me their journal (and it's of course perfect) and their workouts have been great with me ... what's the problem? My response is, "It's not what you are doing, but what you are not doing."

OMC: I love that!

LM: Yes. If I train you twice a week, are you working out on the days that you are not training with me? If you are working out on those days, are you pushing yourself? Are you getting enough sleep and drinking enough water? Are you putting in the time needed for your goals? What has your diet been like? These are the first things that I look at and discuss with my clients. Most clients say it's at least one of these, if not all of these reasons that are the problem. Nine out of ten see that they need to regain their focus on their goal(s) to get back on track to see the results that they want.

As a trainer, I would love to follow all my clients around and make sure that they are eating perfect, getting great workouts five days a week and drinking their water throughout the day, but I can't.

OMC: What's a general fitness regimen most healthy individuals can plan on committing to if they want to lose weight/body fat/inches?

LM: I like all my clients to work out five days a week. To some this might sound like a hefty goal, but when I say work out it doesn't always mean an intense workout with your trainer. Remember that exercise comes in many forms. It could be bike riding, running, swimming, hiking, sports or any activity that gets you going. I recommend that you find exercise you enjoy to combine with your personal training sessions. You will see the results and have a blast working toward them.

Also, get a food journal and write it down. This is a great tool for holding yourself accountable to your healthy, balanced diet and being aware of what you are putting into your body. It also helps your trainer see what your are eating and so they can give you healthy options to give your body the proper fuel needed to see the best results possible.

Solful Fitness is making it even easier to get in gear for the new year with a special for readers: One free boot camp at Nicolet High School, held Saturdays at 8 a.m. Call Lisa at (414) 217-1807 or email her at to sign up.


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