NASM Lunchtime Chat

It’s another chilly and rainy day in Ocala today. I don’t know what is with our weather lately, but the rain seems to be non-stop. I think Florida forgot it is supposed to be the Sunshine State. 

Though it may seem silly, whenever it rains, the number of people who come to the gym decreases even though only a very small portion of our group exercise classes take place outside. I think dreary weather makes everyone want to stay inside. It’s movie-watchin’ weather!

My TRX group was smaller than usual, but we still had a fun class this morning.

For those who have asked, when I teach TRX, I don’t do the workout with the class. I have to check and correct form a lot and I teach the class in a circuit format, so there are a series of stations and no one person is doing the same exercise at a time. It’s a lot of fun to teach, but doesn’t really count as a workout for me since I’m just demonstrating the exercises in the beginning and middle of the class when I introduce new exercises.

As someone who loves group exercise, I definitely like it when instructors do the workout, but there are certain formats that incorporate circuits where participants are not all doing the same exercise like boot camp classes and TRX workouts where I feel like the instructor would be off in their own world doing their own circuit if they tried to participate as they taught the class. I want to be available to correct form, offer modifications and answer questions. Just wanted to clarify for those who were curious! I hope this makes sense!

Backing up a bit…


This morning I woke up nice and early to get my workout done before the work day began.

I did 20 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill before it was time to do some strength training. I targeted my shoulders with overhead presses, side shoulder raises, front shoulder raises and upright rows. I am trying to challenge myself to use heavier weights and incorporated drop sets and supersets into my workout. It was a good one. Shoulders are my favorite!


Breakfast began with an apple!


I then prepared another egg white and oatmeal protein pancake, only this time I added chia seeds and a spoonful of cacao powder to the mix for some healthy fats and a hint of chocolate flavor.

Cacao Powder

egg white oatmeal protein pancake

After breakfast, I showered and headed out the door to work and teach before my stomach told me it was lunchtime.


I had plans to meet one of my fellow group exercise instructors for lunch at Starbucks to talk about my experience with NASM. Though she’s a certified group exercise instructor, she is hoping to become a certified personal trainer, so we chatted about NASM’s Certified Personal Trainer program and I brought my study guide and notecards along for her to borrow.

NASM Note Cards

Just in case becoming a personal trainer or a group exercise instructor is one of your goals for 2014, here are links to recaps of my experience with NASM and AFAA certifications:

While we chatted away, I sipped on a decaf latte (caffeine after noon keeps me up at night) and I ate a chicken and hummus bistro box. We also split a chocolate chunk cookie.


starbucks bistro box

The box didn’t do too much to fill me up, so I’m on a mission to grab something else to eat before I head back to the gym to round out the work day. It’s another late night at work tonight!

Enjoy the rest of your day!!!


  1. says

    I’d love to hear some of the exercises that you have students do in TRX class – I love my TRX, but can get bored with the 6 videos that come with it, so I’m always looking for new ways to use it (without strangling myself or falling flat on my face, which are both real concerns for me with that thing!)


  2. says

    I think being a personal trainer would be so fun, and I think I would really enjoy it and would think it was so rewarding, but there just isn’t a big gym nearby that would have those jobs available! Further into town there is, but ah! How are your hours? Do you get to kind of make it up as you go and take off when you need to, and do you work at like a big box gym like LA Fitness or like a local YMCA?


    • says

      when i was hired, i explained that i needed a flexible job b/c i do travel a lot through the blog and they were completely fine with this, which was great. i’m just responsible for finding subs for my group ex classes (this isn’t hard b/c we’re always subbing for each other). my hours vary depending on personal training clients/schedules, working the floor, my livestrong group meetings and my group ex schedule (subbing classes, etc.), but i think most gyms would work with you to work within your schedule if you were only available at certain times. :)


  3. says

    I always wondered if you worked out when you taught the class. Now I feel a little better about myself :) I love that you have the motivation to get up and get to the gym first thing in the morning! I wish you could call me and get me out of bed :)

    Starbucks has a brown rice salad that will change your life. It is so filling and so delicious its the only food I will ever get from there. Let me know what you think!


  4. says

    TRX is probably my new favorite piece of workout equipment at the gym right now because it is so versatile, and it can really make simple movements more challenging!
    It always amazes me how much you love upper body workouts— upper body is my weakness! I like push ups, but weight lifting has always been a challenge for me. Lower body is more of my jam :)
    I also really need to try that egg white oatmeal pancake soon since it seems to make a regular appearance on your blog!


  5. says

    My dream job would be doing what you do! Maybe someday… :)

    Even though that bistro box isn’t a lot of food, I love that Starbucks has healthy lunch options to grab on the go. Sometimes I’m rushing to work and I can grab my morning beverage and my lunch at the same time :). The chocolate chunk cookies are always a good idea too.


  6. says

    I loved reading those posts when you posted them a while back and they really got me interested in Personal Training. Although I am to young to pursue it right now, it may be an option in the future. You always seem to have a blast teaching the classes when talk about them on the blog!


  7. says

    Julie — why have you decided to incorporate drop sets into your workouts lately? I’m a big fan of super sets, especially when I only have a short time to work out. But I thought drop sets were primarily for muscle bulking and size increasing and not so much strength training? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


  8. Amanda @A Latte Learn says

    I’ve never tried TRX before even though my local gym does offer it. Maybe I’ll add that to new classes I’ll try this year!


  9. says

    I love TRX and want to get certified this year! I prefer it when instructors model then go around and correct form. There is nothing worse than someone not having good form when doing an exercise. It drives me crazy! Since you posted about apples…have you seen the crazy new way to eat them, core and all?! It’s so weird. I just can’t do it!


  10. says

    On the same note: It appears that you like being out of the water during pool fitness? I take an aquacise class and our instructors have been in the water. That said, it is more aimed at seniors (and the random 36yo with the mean body)…mix of light cardio and strength, most in shallow but about 1/3-1/4 using belts in deep end for those who are comfortable….open to non-swimmers. so perhaps the pace is slower and that makes participating while teaching easier. Do you have a lifeguard in addition to yourself there? I’d imagine not having one would also mean the instructor should be on deck.

    I imagine some days you just want to jump (or, given your background, dive) in when it gets so hot. (we’re in an indoor pool…lap-style, though wider than some I’ve seen, 3-9ft)!


  11. says

    Define cold… It is suppose to reach somewhere around minus 70 degrees here this weekend… Yes, people do live in North Dakota… No, I’m not sure why…


  12. says

    Your post about NASM have been incredibly helpful for me as I work my way through the material. Wish I was nearby so I could meet you for coffee and ask you a thousand questions about the exam;) I have only taken one TRX class but man was I sorry afterwards and am looking forward to my gym adding more TRX classes this year.


  13. says

    I just wanted to say thank you for what you do. I look forward to reading your blog and seeing what is going on. You have inspired me to start my own blog and I wanted to thank you for the inspiration. I am stuck in this blizzard so I will be writing up my first entry today so again I just wanted to say thank you for what you do. Do you mind if I occasionally give you a shout out in my blog??
    PS I love the egg white and protein oatmeal pancake and I will definitely make one of the chocolate variety today (unfortunately I do not have cacao powder but I will try with cocoa powder instead!).


  14. says

    I love adding cocoa to pancakes and overnight oats!! And definitively being a personal trainer is so rewarding! I don’t work as one but I took a certification, and I love helping my family and friends!! I’m considering to look for a job as one!!


  15. says

    I got my Personal Trainer Certification through NASM because of how many good things you had to say about them! I recently took their personal trainer workshop and I loved it. The teachers were amazing and I really learned a lot. Have you thought about getting any other certifications through them? I am interested in the Nutrition one.


  16. says

    I left a cushy job as an accountant to follow my dreams of being a personal trainer and nutrition counselor and it was the best decision I ever made. I love that you’re inspiring others in pursing their dreams!


  17. says

    I left a cushy job as an accountant to follow my dreams of being a personal trainer and nutrition counselor and it was the best decision I ever made. I love that you’re inspiring others in pursing their dreams!


  18. Stacie says

    I have a follow-up question to your point about TRX. How many classes do you teach a day and roughly, on average, how many do you participate in? An added benefit is the extra exercise on top of your workout! Thanks. :)


  19. Jacki says

    I know what was going on with your weather… husband and I were on vacation and flew down to Florida to see our son in Tampa, stayed at my parents in The Villages for a couple days and drove over to St Augustine for a day. Rained all but one day we were on vacation. Thought of you going through Ocala area but decided against stalking! We left on the 2nd so you should be good now!



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