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Keys To a Successful Fitness Program

Often people ask me what's the quickest way to lose weight. Well, unfortunately there is no shortcut or easy way to lose weight or tackle the problem areas, despite what most gimmicky products lead us to believe. But there are three keys that must be adhered to if you ultimately want to achieve success in your health & fitness program. Whether you're trying to lose weight, train for a 10K run, or just feel better.

These three components include: commitment, consistency and accountability. First and foremost, you have to be committed to your goals. To be completely committed you must to be willing to make lifestyle changes. Exercising at high intensities, multiple times each week is important but equally important is eating a sensible diet. Following a structured meal plan is imperative and has proven effective to meet the desired goal. Counter measures will lead to frustration, discouragement, and ultimately resignation from any program.

To really begin to start feeling and looking better you must exercise consistently. At the very minimum you have to workout at least twice a week - preferably three or four times. Consistency doesn't mean skipping workouts on a regular basis. If you plan on working out three times a week but miss a workout once every two weeks, that accounts for 26 missed workouts in a year. That's almost a whole month of not exercising!

Finally, you have to be accountable. Being accountable can include monitoring your diet by keeping a food log everyday (not once in a while), drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly. Too often people think that since they worked out today they are "allowed" to eat an extra serving of dessert or have a bigger portion of lunch or dinner. By doing this you're adding back the calories you burned during your workout. This is not going to help you lose those extra pounds that you work so hard to burn. This is something to keep in mind being in the holiday season.


Accountability in Your Fitness Regimen

-Keep active. If you cannot meet your trainer or get to the gym, use that treadmill at home with the clothes draped all over it. If you do not have a piece of cardio equipt, try going for a walk.

-Keep motivated. Think about the goals that you have set for your fitness program and how being unproductive during the holiday season could hinder the progress that has been made towards those goals.

-Keep a dietary journal/log. During the holidays, eating can get out of hand. Try using a journal and write down what you have eaten and try to stay within a good target caloric intake.

-Eat in moderation. Eating sweets and large meals can be killer, but make an extra effort to try to eat in moderation. Remember, portion control!


From a friend (fellow trainer)


From: Hut Allred, New Wave Fitness, Inc.

To: Eric

Re: Why you need an accountability partner?

Do you find it to be a struggle to complete all your
scheduled workouts? You can usually get half of
them during the week but not all.

What can you do to get better?

You'll benefit from better time management, planning,
and an "accountability partner." Generally, if you've
made it this far, you're probably not lacking in

You want to do this, otherwise you wouldn't care enough
to be reading this right now.

What I usually see clients struggling with, is
balancing the overwhelming demands that their work,
family, and other responsibilities take on their lives.

Remember, if you don't put this (i.e. your health and
fitness) as priority #1 in your life, you'll be no good
to anyone else and much less productive in everything
else you do.

You're no good to anyone by being a martyr. Love
yourself enough to take care of YOU. Conversely, when
you DO put your health and yourself first, everything
in your life will improve. You'll feel better, and
you'll be able to give more to everyone around you and
be more productive in your career.

Now that I've hopefully got you pumped up, let's talk
strategy. Morning workouts are generally the best idea
for busy folks. It's a great time, when there is no
work, no family, and no other social obligations. All
you have to do is make sure you get to bed early
enough to get up and hit it first thing before the rest
of your day.

Also, you'll benefit from having an "accountability
partner." This may be a coach, a friend, a workout
partner, your spouse, doesn't matter, just someone that
you report to and check in with on how you're doing
with following through with your plan.

If your planned (scheduled workouts) aren't working,
then you've got to make some changes. Don't give up,
keep making changes until you've got it right.

Train Smart,


Important Terms and Jargon

Aerobic-this means "requiring oxygen." Aerobic metabolism occurs during low intensity, long duration exercises, like jogging.

Antioxidants-small compounds that minimize tissue oxidation and help control free radicals and their negative effects.

Body composition-the percentage of your body weight composed of fat compared to fat-free mass.

Calories-the unit for measuring the energy value of foods.

Essential fatty acids-fats our bodies can't make, so we must obtain them through our diets.

Fructose-the main type of sugar found in fruit.

Metabolism-the use of nutrients by the body. It is the process by which substances come into the body and the rate at which they are used.

Saturated fats-bad fats that raise cholesterol levels in the body. Examples include: animal foods and hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as margarine.

Unsaturated fats-these are the good fats. They include the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic. Main sources include plant foods such as sunflower, and flaxseed oils.

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