We are so thrilled to welcome Michelle Freeman to our New Milford Fitness & Aquatics family as our new Personal Training Manager! Michelle brings 20 years of experience and a unique perspective to the position.
Michelle is certified in Personal Training, Sports Nutrition, as well as group exercise. She enjoys working one on one or in small groups to help clients meet their personal goals, whether it be gaining strength, losing weight or getting ready for any type of athletic event or competition.
She has a degree in education and more than 20 years of coaching and fitness experience under her belt. A gymnast from the age of 4, Michelle competed for the University of Rhode Island as a four time Academic all-American. She continues to compete regionally and nationally as a professional fitness competitor. Michelle also judges gymnastic competitions for USA Gymnastics.
Always up for a challenge, Michelle loves to run 5ks with her 2 sons, as well as obstacle racing, hiking, rock climbing, and zip lining. Her newest adventure is competing in Masters’ Track & Field!
Michelle’s motto is “Get Better Every Day,” and she’s eager to help you break out of a training rut, learn a new exercise, or just improve on your current fitness level.
Michelle’s Thoughts on Personal Training, Health and Fitness
We thought we’d take this opportunity to help you get to know Michelle better with this interview.
How do YOU stay in shape? What gets you most excited about your fitness routine?
I’ve always been super competitive…not so much against other people, but rather against myself. I wholeheartedly believe we can all get a little better at something every day. I compete as a professional figure competitor, so I really enjoy heavy weight training and watching the changes it makes to my physique. I also enjoy running, but am built more for sprinting than long endurance events, so this year I am training with a club track team and hope to compete in a few indoor meets throughout the winter.
What is your fitness philosophy?
I believe that there is some form of exercise for everyone! Our bodies are meant to move. We all need to find some form of movement that we enjoy enough to do consistently, and we need to fuel that movement with whole, nutrient dense foods. We should be aiming for an entire lifetime of feeling good by learning how to balance movement, nutrition and mental wellbeing. Being “Fit” involves all three.
Speaking of nutrition, how important is what you eat when trying to reach fitness goals?
Honestly, nutrition is the most important part of the equation. And you’ll notice that I said nutrition rather than diet. I make this particular distinction because when people “go on” a diet, it automatically infers that at some point in time they will “go off” of said diet. I do not believe in quick fixes, but rather fueling our bodies for whatever tasks we are asking it to perform. We wouldn’t have our cars run on less than optimal fuel, nor should we expect our bodies to do so. At least 80% of the time, we should be eating whole, nutrient dense foods and keeping processed items to the bare minimum.
As the Personal Trainer manager here at New Milford Fitness & Aquatics Club, part of your job will be matching clients to the right Personal Trainer. What types of things do you look at when determining the best client-trainer fit?
When first meeting a client, I like to start with a conversation about their current lifestyle, gym experience, physical wellness and goals. Depending upon the nature of their needs and personalities, I try to fit them with an appropriate Personal Trainer that I believe can help them reach their full potential.
What does a successful personal training session look like to you?
I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a bad personal training session, although there are definitely some that feel like there was more accomplished than others. As the client comes ready and willing to give all of their best effort, focus and energy to whatever tasks are asked of them, then the session will be successful whether the gains made that day are small or large.
How have you found is the best way to keep someone on track with their goals?
Holding people accountable with appointments and check-ins is important. It’s a lot easier to show up and work hard if you have a standing appointment with someone who knows best how to push you and someone who cheers you on.
What is the biggest mistake you see people making when they work out?
Thinking that endless hours of cardio is the best solution for weight loss or maintenance.
In this position, keeping your fitness knowledge up-to-date is really important. What do you do to stay current?
I’m an avid learner. I always want to learn more about anything having to do with exercise and nutrition, so I am constantly researching through books, journals, online and in seminars. No two clients are the same and many bring issues to me that I may or may not have had prior experience with. I never hesitate to find out if there are new exercises or protocols to help with various ailments.
New Year, New You: Personal Training Can Help
If you’re serious about making your health a priority in the New Year, please stop by the Personal Training desk and ask to speak with Michelle Freeman. You can also call her at (860) 799-6880. She will be happy to help you find the right Personal Trainer and program to fit your needs!
Michelle is a long time runner, fitness enthusiast, (mostly) healthy food blogger, and she’s one of the owners at New Milford Fitness & Aquatics Club. She ran cross country and track for the University of Colorado, and advocates cross training to stay healthy and avoid injury.