A guide to a quality lifestyle

What do we gain by hiring a personal trainer? For a client who hires me as a personal trainer, I design a customized and professionally managed exercise program, a personal menu and constantly encourage her to lead a healthy lifestyle. Your study journey has begun

What do we gain by hiring a personal trainer?

For a client who hires me as a personal trainer, I design a customized and professionally managed exercise program, a personal menu and constantly encourage her to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Your academic journey began at the Faculty of Biotechnology. You are a university graduate by profession. B.Sc. microbiologist. What led you to completely different waters?

During my studies, I dedicated myself to scientific research and spent a lot of time in the laboratory, where I researched how the cell works, how it responds to stimuli, and also about metabolism, physiology and biochemical processes. I am very interested in the topic, but the laboratory work was not a big enough challenge for me. I started looking for alternatives to use the acquired knowledge in a different way. Since sports have always been close to me, I found a connection with personal coaching.

Where did you learn to be a personal trainer, what skills are required for this?

Good knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, etc. it is the foundation of every personal trainer and at the same time one of the conditions for obtaining a license. At college, I gained knowledge about processes in the body. After finishing my studies, I went to the USA for advanced training, where I developed my management skills, delved into psychology and individual motivation. I led training sessions for American children and teenagers and encouraged them to eat healthy, I was their mentor, counselor and psychologist 24 hours a day. Really great experience! Sometimes it was quite comical. One day we had lunch. As always, I motivated the girls to eat some carrot because it is good for their eyes and therefore they will surely beat the other teams in archery. A 10-year-old girl who was very good at biology even developed her own scientific hypothesis: "People are carnivores (meat eaters), so I won't eat fruits and vegetables!" Of course, she immediately forgot about it when she saw ice cream or donut. Laughter.

What kind of approach is established in Slovenia?

I myself attach great importance to the holistic approach because it gives long-term results. I notice, however, that our personal trainers emphasize intensive training and a strict diet, which mostly suits the male population, while the psychological side is often important for women, which is a significant factor on the way to their goals.

What does a training hour look like?

Before the start of training, we discuss with the client how she feels after the previous training, her observations, her current mood, etc. Then we start with warm-up and gymnastic exercises, followed by a set of strength and stretching exercises, and finally relaxation on the bike or treadmill. This is also an ideal time when we can have a little chat with the client and get to know each other even better.

What kind of people are your "typical" customers? What are the most common problems customers face?

Most often, people come to me who have problems with their body weight due to inadequate eating habits and insufficient exercise. Most of the time, women want to lose some fat pads, while men want to gain muscle mass. Young mothers would like to have the figure they had before pregnancy. More and more often, people come to me for whom various injuries and pain prevent them from doing their favorite daily tasks, e.g. lift a toddler in your arms, play your favorite sport or lift a case of beer (laughs).

Do you also have your own personal trainer or are you your own "boss"?

I am my own boss (laughs). I design the training programs myself, including the menu. Since there are so many theories about training, food selection, and meal composition, I like to form an opinion based on my knowledge, experience, and self-testing. Only what I have checked on myself and is the best, I also suggest to the client.

Has your lifestyle changed a lot because of the job you do now?

Uh, quite a lot. Ever since I became a personal trainer, there is no morning lie-in. I wake up with roosters, at 5 am, because the first customers are already waiting for me at 6 am. My schedule is organized to exactly 10 minutes, because being my own boss requires a lot of tasks. There is not a lot of time for "cramming", so I don't have a TV either. My personal training is also an important part of my profession, as I want to be an example to my clients. I put a lot of emphasis on quality nutrition, so almost all the food in my menu is organically grown. I prefer fresh food with few additives, so I get dairy products and eggs from an organic farm in Styria, and I buy fruit and vegetables at the Koseze market. Some foods, e.g. I buy biologically produced peanut butter in Kalček, BTC. And then with pleasure I prepare fresh cottage cheese with cream, olive oil and olives... my most delicious dish.

You are available for your clients 24 hours a day, even outside of regular practice. In which cases do they contact you?

Most of the time clients ask me about meals, such as what to eat at a picnic, wedding and other occasions. They ask how to exercise and eat while on vacation. It also happened that a lady from a party called me at 10 pm. She didn't want to give up delicacies, but chose a lesser sin: a glass of wine or a piece of cake (laughs).

You surely know little secrets to improve your physical well-being and health...

Of course! It is important to listen to your body, because it will tell you when it needs a walk in the woods, a rest, a juicy pear, a good fish or a piece of chocolate.

Info Box

Brigita Žinko

"The body just tells us when it needs a walk in the woods, a juicy pear, a good fish or a piece of chocolate."

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