Friday, January 15, 2016

Trainer Talk - Kevin Williams

I met Kevin Williams at my local Y and he is always so nice and shared some great exercises with me and my friend. He sat down with me after he was done with his clients one morning to give me his thoughts on fitness motivation and how he helps his clients get their bodies back post pregnancy.

Kevin has been a trainer for 12 years. He was also in the military for 13 years where he had the opportunity to be a welness coordinator in the Navy, a type of field trainer in the Army, and he always been very active doing sports.

What kind of exercises you like to use when you train your clients?
Most exercises I like to use are full body light weight to begin with, core strengthening moves.  The intensity level will increase.  I usually find out how strong or weak the person is first.  Since every person's body is different, it might take a week or two to find out what your weaknesses are. If for example a lady was in bed for the last trimester of her pregnancy, or they have job seating down. So it depends on what they are doing while they were pregnant and before determines what weaknesses I find post pregancy.

Also, any exercise that throws your body off balance, your body natural strengthening mechanism is to stabilize one side of your body once the other side becomes imbalanced.  So although it might seem you're not doing anything once I throw your body off balance, your whole body will tighten up to the point it is trying to fix the imbalance. Now you have left, right, front and back, and there are a lot of exercises on the TRX that you can use to throw your body off balance. I recommend this TRX move to throw your body off balance:

TRX Push-Up Hold with Knee to Elbow 

What kind of mix you find ideal for a person that is trying to get toned and lean, not bulky?
Isometric holds will strengthen your body first. I like to work inside out.  So if I can get your body to become strong while your metabolism goes up it is going to, eventually after a few months, the tightness of that muscle is going to force your body to burn more calories.  When you think toned and tight, its almost a misconception, because when you say toned and tight you are talking about a look in which the body fat percentage has to be very low.  Now we know the more muscle you have the more calories you burn, the more your body fat drops, but if somebody doesn't want to become bulky you can start with isometric holds just to build the strength. Once you can get your metabolism to go higher you can go higher reps you can add 5 lbs but manipulating the body to basically stay in a hold that is imbalanced to tone after the body fat percentage has dropped. So the tone is the look, and that look comes from diet.  80% is your diet, what you eat fuels your body for the energy your body will need in 2 hours. So if you workout intensily today you need to eat more, but if you will rest tomorrow your intake doesn't need to be as high.

What is the biggest mistake you see moms make when trying to go back to the gym to get their bodies back?
Two mistakes - time, you gotta give your body time to change, your body is only going to change so fast.  It does take time.  Another mistake is overworking your body, you gotta know your body.

What is the number one exercise you recommend to moms trying to regain their figure post pregnancy?

I will say, you need to train a big muscle first. That just makes sense. A bigger muscle like your legs are going to burn more calories. I see many people come in and say I want to lose my belly or get abs and they'll work on their abs.  That is a small muscle, right, and the idea is to boost your metabolism, burn calories, so I'll start with the legs.  Bigger muscle more calories, more energy output.  Your workout should change every 3 weeks.  But start with legs because you don't build a house from the top down, you build it from the foundation up.

Taking in consideration that many moms stomach muscles have streched out and are weak, what is the best way to address abdominals?

You want to tighten the core, your core involves your back, your diaphragm, the thoracic cavity, it involves your pelvic bottom.  It is not a big muscle but it helps you strengthen your pelvic bones that have streched out.  When you think about your core, your core works every day, when you twist, when you breathe, so you just want to work it a little more consistently to get your body back to where your core is thight.  It might take a month of consistent workout.  A good one to start is this one (actually a two that combined address core from all directions):

Forearm Plank with Sumo Squat

Go from plank to squat without a break in between
Get Your Body Back Post Pregnancy
Forearm Plank - Hold 20 seconds to start*
Get Your Body Back Post Pregnancy
Sumo Squat - Hold 20 seconds to start*
*Do 3 sets, add time as you feel your body getting stronger and to make it more challenging

How often should one workout in a week order to see results?
For the first month, maintaining consistency I tell people to go with a Winning Week.  A Winning Week is 4 out of 7.  That's a good start.  As your body begins to metabolize it burns more energy.  So the first month is key, consistency and a Winning Week (4 out of 7 at least)! You need 4 Winning Weeks in a row to get you in the mindset.  You will see results if you continue to for 2 more months. About the third month is when you get results.

How do you stay motivated?

When times get hard, remember why you started.  Go back to the beginning and remember, write it down, have a picture, anything that reminds you why you got started. Go in with the understanding that the idea is to break your body down, when it rebuilds you are going to rebuild your results.  And you are going to get tired and you are going to want to stop and you'll say I'll do it next day, next week.  Discipline, you gotta have it, even when you don't want to do it and your body will continue to change.

Anything else you'd like to add?

What I've learned in the many years of being active is if you stop becoming active, your metabolism drops, the mechanics of your muscular system weaken and your bones become stiff.  So a good idea for clients that I have, regardless of how long it will take you to get to your results, you must maintain an active body, your body is meant to move.

There's no question Kevin Williams is pretty inovative trainer.  He is the one who taught me to the Single Legged TRX Bosu Lunge (view here).  Its a killer move and have him to thank for that. Kevin works at the White Rock YMCA but he also has private clients.  If you live in the Dallas area and you'd like to get in touch with Kevin for a workout sesh, you can email him at

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