I joined the SAC to have an opportunity to become more active – something that was lacking from the time I turned 40 up until I turned 51. I’d participated in spin classes, lap swimming and made use of the cardio room in an effort to improve my fitness. The equipment was very well maintained and clean. I felt better mentally because I knew I was doing something good for my body, but the actual results weren’t very inspiring – I wasn’t gaining weight, but I really wasn’t losing it either. The other problem was that I am one of those unfortunate souls who has never learned how to enjoy working out. I have never looked forward to going to a gym, so my devotion to fitness was very inconsistent.
I finally decided to bump up my game a little and enlist the help of a personal trainer. Some of my co-workers had worked with and recommended one of the SAC trainers, Greg Svoboda as a solid and well-rounded fitness trainer who could help me increase strength and overall fitness. I made an appointment to meet him and after a good intake session, we defined my fitness goals and devised a plan that not only included fitness and strength training, but touched very heavily on nutrition, sleep habits and stress-reduction throughout the day.
Learning to love working out is something I’d hoped would happen. It hasn’t. But after working with Greg for over 15 months, I can honestly say that I don’t like to skip it – and for me, that’s a very big deal!
Greg’s workouts are generally organized into four parts. The first part is the warm-up session where he guides clients in achieving good stretching and getting the heart pumping. The next part is called the “movement preparation” that warms up various muscle groups, depending on the strength work for the day. Following that is the actual “strength work” that addresses the chest muscles, arms or legs. Back squats, bench presses, pull-ups, dips – you name it – Greg guides you through it, while maintaining a very strict focus on good form and safe movement. Once the strength work is done, Greg moves everyone into what he calls “performance work.” This is the cardio and endurance portion of the workout and while it is rarely easy (or fun), it does have an amazing payoff: after weeks of training, what you thought wasn’t possible during your first grueling sessions is now accomplished with rhythm, a sense of resolve and confidence, and a genuine feeling of achievement. The other solid thing about Greg is that you are fully aware that he has done the very same workout he’s guiding you through. He knows the finer details of each movement and makes sure you’re focused on those details as well – eliminating any opportunity for injury.
In terms of fitness, one of the most appreciated aspects of Greg’s guidance is his attention to your overall wellness and frame of mind on any given day. If you have a sore joint, or something doesn’t feel right, Greg is very good at tailoring exercises or their duration to ensure you aren’t at risk of injury or aggravating an over-stressed muscle or joint. He pushes very hard, but he’s also compassionate and experienced enough to know when you need to ease up a little.
There are several other reasons why I find working out with Greg so rewarding. First off, he has a generous sense of humor and a very pleasant demeanor. Secondly, in addition to fitness, he is very knowledgeable in nutrition, body chemistry, and has a well-structured program to help guide his clients through good eating habits and nutritional awareness. He is also very good at introducing activities, exercises and suggestions for reducing everyday stress, improving sleep, and methods for improving mental wellness and attitudes.
He is clearly a very well-rounded fitness coach, but I find his lifestyle coaching to be one of those amazing hidden benefits you get from working with him.
Lastly, Greg truly cares about the well-being of not only his clients, but also others who may be using the gym. On numerous occasions, I’ve observed Greg noticing a non-client performing some exercise in a manner that is questionable, only to have him stop them and demonstrate a better approach. To me, that shows how much Greg enjoys helping others become and stay healthy.