An interview with a personal trainer

After many, many months of watching my good friend Diane Meola train her clients at Gold’s Gym in Shrewsbury, I decided it was about time I found out a little bit more about the type of training she does.  Knowing Diane, a very fun-loving, compassionate and energetic person, who cares so much about the people she trains and the work she does, I thought it would be interesting to learn a bit more about her style. 

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself… What do you do?  Where do you work?  I am a Certified Personal Trainer and Cross Fit Level 1 Instructor at Gold’s Gym in Shrewsbury PA.  Fitness and exercise have always been a part of my life.  My friends will tell you that I also have a passion for food.  I enjoy cooking and eating all different types of cuisines, from Mediterranean to Thai.  For example, Mediterranean fresh fish, which consists of a white fish topped and baked with garlic, olives, artichokes hearts, tomatoes, herbs and feta cheese.  One of our Thai favorites is grilled salmon fillet panang. 

How did you become interested in the type of training you do? CrossFit was introduced to me by a co-worker and I became hooked after my first workout.  It was challenging and fun at the same time.  It made perfect sense to perform moves that I did in my everyday life and to become more efficient in doing them. CrossFit is appealing to me because it pushes you, but it’s also done quickly and you see results quickly too. It makes you realize you can do things you never thought you could do.

Can you tell me what Cross Fit Training is, exactly?  CrossFit training is constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements. It is the principal strength and conditioning program for hundreds of elite and professional athletes worldwide.  I am more than happy to show you first hand about CrossFit, so stop in if you’re interested.

Functional movements are compound movements that involve multiple joints, rather than isolating one muscle in a form your body does not naturally make. They all spring from movements our ancestors used to need to do, and do well, in order to survive: to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly. So our bodies are already designed to squat, press and deadlift.  Getting on and off a chair is a basic squat.  Placing something in your cabinet’s overhead, or picking up your kids, you’re performing a press.  Deadlift equates to picking anything up from off the floor. CrossFit just works with this natural aptitude we all possess, while also teaching you to perform these movements in the proper and safe way.

Can you give me an example of what a Cross Fit workout might look like?  Three rounds of a 400 meter row, 21 kettlebell swings, 12 pull ups or five rounds of a 400 meter run, 15 box jumps, 20 wall ball shots.  The average person who exercises regularly would accomplish the above in approximately 20 – 30 minutes.  If someone was completely new to physical activity, we could scale back the rounds, weight and/or reps.

How do I know if this type of training is for me?  CrossFit is for everyone—kids, grandparents, police officers, moms.  Everything can be scaled and customized for your ability, so the weight of the kettle bell and assistance (if needed) on the pull-up will vary by person. Your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ by degree, not kind. CrossFit prioritizes safety and scales load and intensity; we don’t change programs. CrossFit uses the same routines for elderly individuals as our local fire fighters.

Can you give me an example of some results you’ve seen that make you the most proud?  After training through CrossFit, I’ve had clients speed up their metabolism and drop sizes in their clothes.  I’m most proud of correcting their ability to squat properly, as well as increasing their cardio respiratory endurance.  It’s a pleasure to see someone, who could never do a box jump or pull-up, in just a few weeks accomplish what they thought was unattainable.


If you’re interested in seeing what Diane does, firsthand, please feel free to contact her at Gold’s in Shrewsbury.  This may just be the jumpstart you need to get hooked on fitness or the change in routine that could take you to the next level.  Check it out!


Interview conducted by Carri Nelsen




About The Zone Magazine

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