Tricks & Tips

The interview – personal trainer Daphne talks New Year’s resolutions

Make any New Year’s resolutions? And more importantly – have you stuck to them? We spoke to personal trainer Daphne about popular resolutions and why realistic goals are so important in keeping them.

Almost four weeks have passed since many of us made our New Year’s resolutions. One firm favourite among the many good intentions is “more sport”. We spoke to personal trainer Daphne from “Your Coach. Bonn” about what makes a good resolution, how to achieve new goals and how important the right coach can be. 



Hi Daphne! Thanks for chatting to us today. Tell us what you do. 


You’re welcome! I studied nutritional science and now work as a personal trainer in Bonn. Sport has always played a major part on my life so I pretty much fell into the role. Most things I discuss with my clients I’ve experienced myself at some point. My own experience as an athlete is fundamental in helping me do a good job. 



Our interview topic is “New Year’s resolutions”. Did you make any for 2017? 


To listen to my body more. Last year was crazy, so I’m going to try to relax more in 2017. 



Does that mean working less? 


That’s one aspect, of course. Although I don’t really see my job as stressful because sport is my life. It’s more about remembering to plan some “me time” and to take a step back sometimes. I’ve stopped working Sundays now. 



So you’re already putting your resolution into practice. 


Absolutely. I try to remember to do it every day. Otherwise you just fall back into old habits and it becomes overwhelming.  



People often make resolutions at the start of a New Year. Is that something that impacts your job? Do you have more new clients full of good intentions?


Yes, I have noticed that. It’s great that so many people see the New Year as an opportunity to change something that clearly bothers them. Sticking to it is the hard part. When it comes to training, the only good goals are long-term goals. I admire people who persevere. People who have stayed active and continued to train for years are the real heroes. Powering through six months is nowhere near as tough as four years of dedication. 
Making a resolution to lose loads of weight as quickly as possible rarely makes sense, especially if you have a high BMI. Although crash diets can give quick results they don’t come with realistic goals and usually lead to the infamous yo-yo effect where you actually gain weight. What these people need is the support of a personal trainer or an expert. 



Does that mean the short-term nature of some resolutions is why they fail? 


That and the fact the goals are unattainable. Lots of people attempt to draw up their own training plan without knowing much about sport. The result can be goals that are completely out of reach. I believe coaches and experts are the way forward. When people first hit the gym they often end up completing poor or inefficient work-outs, simply because they don’t know any better. It’s not the start, but sometimes I see people struggling through a 90 minutes workout when they could achieve the same results in just 30 minutes with me. In fact – I’d like to put money on it! If my boiler packs up, I call an expert to fix it. I don’t mess about with online tutorials. It’s not the best example but you get the idea.


As trainers we’ve learned to tailor exercises, weights and training cycles to our client’s individual goals and body shape. If you plan to lose weight or build muscle, it’s gonna hurt. At every single session. The question is: will you make it on your own? If not, save some money and treat yourself to a personal trainer. 



So coaching can help you determine realistic goals? 


Exactly. A trainer is there to put the boot in and make sure you don’t skip a session. We follow the plan I’ve come up with to achieve your goals. Lots of people spend all day sitting in an office using their heads. So when it comes to compiling training plans, I take the workload away from you so you can just get stuck in. 
It’s hard to keep resolutions, especially sporting ones, by yourself. If working out at home were that easy, we would all do it. And your home is not the best place to train. Your home should be a cosy place. A relaxing place. 
As I said, having a coach makes sense. I meet my customers in the here and now and work with them to increase their wellbeing. I help them define realistic, sensible goals – be it weight loss or building muscle. And I ask why are they doing it? Is there an underlying health issue that plays a role? Coaches also help newbies recognise changes in their body they may not have experienced until now. A particularly intense training session may leave you with really sore chest muscles. But no, it’s not a heart attack! 



So your ultimate tip for sticking to resolutions is to hire a personal trainer? 


Definitely. And not just because it pays my rent! Realistic and sensible goals set by a professional are imperative. There’s a coach for every type of goal. It’s so individual. And trust is a huge factor in choosing the right trainer. 



Lots of people feel they’re missing out on thing by sticking to their resolutions. What’s your opinion on “cheat days”? 


Well, it depends on your goal. Discipline is important, especially when it comes to your health. But a “cheat day” is more than OK, sometimes your body actually needs it! If you’ve ditched carbs for example, the body uses your cheat day to fills up its reserves. Your metabolism powers up, you’re bursting with energy and your body works more effectively. If you never ate carbs again, post-workout regeneration would take much longer. And you would feel tired all the time. A personal trainer can help explain these things to sport newbies and prevent any crashes. 



Some of us struggle to make it out of bed every morning. Any motivational tips for how to start the day with a smile? 


(laughs) I hate mornings too! 



That makes me feel so much better. Any ideas how to push through it? 


Probably a more spiritual direction. Focussing on all the good things in your life. Friends, family, the fact you’re happy and healthy. Plan the day mentally; remembering to include things you enjoy doing. Park the expectations and just allow yourself to feel annoyed about having to get up. Learn to accept your moods. 



There’s no way I could do sport in the morning. 


Me neither. My prime time is from 6 – 8 in the evening. Planning an early morning workout can be stressful as it creates high expectations. You only end up more disappointed when you don’t make it out of bed and straight to the gym. I have to admit, clients wanting to train with me at 7 in the morning freak me out a bit! But at the end of the day it’s all about appreciation and acceptance. And that’s just my opinion. 


Thanks for the interview, Daphne!