Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Caitlin Hart Training 12 Week Program: Testimonials

The following is a mock testimonial video for personal training.  We created this video to highlight the ridiculousness of those infomercials and fitness professionals who take themselves a little too seriously and make promises they cannot keep.  This entire video was meant to be a joke, was not meant to offend anyone nor cause any harm to anyone.  I simply wanted to make a statement about what I feel to be a ridiculous culture in the fitness industry, where professionals promise clients instant weight loss and people expect a magical cure to rid them of their health and weight problems. So please watch this with a sense of humor and do not take it seriously :)

The Health Benefits of Exercise

The following is a paper based on an oral presentation I gave last week on the benefits of exercise.  


 "Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states."  ~Carol Welch
We all have bodies.  Most of us want to maintain a certain level of physical and mental health.  Exercise is one avenue for doing so.    I am an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and I’ve done a ton of research on this topic for the past 8 years.  I have personally witnessed the benefits of exercise with my clients, myself, and those around me who have chosen to exercise regularly.  I have seen the way it changes lives for the better.  Exercise offers many benefits to people.  Exercise benefits people physiologically, psychologically and also benefits people’s long-term quality of life.

First, let’s talk about the physiological benefits of exercise. 
Exercising benefits us physically, on many levels.  It benefits our organs, brain, muscular and skeletal systems.  Our entire bodies benefit down to the cellular level. Here are some specific examples:
-       Weight bearing exercise increases bone density, which staves off osteoporosis and makes stronger bones, which are harder to break.
-       One Australian study done on women with hip osteopenia proved weight bearing exercise increased bone density compared to the control group, who were taking calcium supplements but continued to experience bone loss. Those on the exercise program improved 0.5% compared with a 0.9% loss for the control participants (Bolton, 2012).  I have never once heard of a woman taking calcium supplements and gaining bone density, but I have known a woman who increased her bone density after training with me.
-       Aerobic exercise benefits our circulatory system and heart, making it much more efficient and increasing our endurance in tough physical situations.
-       Weight bearing exercise increases our physical strength, our ability to lift things and carry heavy objects. Many of my clients report being able to carry in the groceries with a lot less difficulty after training with me, it's probably the most common thing I hear after the first couple of weeks!
-       Exercise can aid in reducing adipose (fat) tissue, a common desire in people who are or perceive themselves to be overweight.  This is the number one reason people come to me.  Exercise is the catalyst to weight loss that works especially well when eating a good, clean, healthy diet.
-       Exercise can reverse and/or stave off the effects of many diseases, including PCOS, type 2 diabetes, hypertensions and many others. “Physical activity affords significant acute and chronic benefits for those with type 2 diabetes. The benefits of chronic physical activity are more numerous than those of acute physical activity, emphasizing the need for regular participation by those with type 2 diabetes and those at risk for this form of diabetes” (Albright, 2000)
-       Exercise can increase coordination and body control.  

Exercise can make us feel better, make us stronger, make us more capable of handling physical burdens and increase our endurance.  It makes our bones stronger, our hearts healthier, and our body systems function better.
A family member of mine has a disease called polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS.  It’s a disease that effects the ovaries and causes issues such as insulin resistance (which causes weight gain), excessive testosterone production (which can cause unsightly facial and body hair growth) as well as irregular menstrual cycles and infertility.  The more adipose tissue a person with PCOS has, the worse their symptoms become.  She was able to reverse and significantly reduce most of the symptoms related to her disease simply by exercising regularly and keeping her weight down.      

Now that we’ve talked about how exercise benefits people physiologically, now we’re going to talk about the psychological benefits of exercise.
 Exercise positively effects people mentally whether they’re suffering from a mental illness or not. 
-       Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins that create a happy and/or euphoric feeling that improves mood. 
-       Exercise has been proven to aid in the treatment of many psychological disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.
-       “Exercise appears to be an effective treatment for depression, improving depressive symptoms to a comparable extent as pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. Observational studies suggest that active people are less likely to be depressed, and interventional studies suggest that exercise is beneficial in reducing depression” (Blumenthal 2012)
-       Exercise improves cognitive function and memory. “a meta-analysis of studies that randomly assigned participants to exercise and nonexercise conditions found that exercise has positive effects on cognitive functioning” (Bjorklund, 2015)
-       Exercising in multiple planes can help build neural pathways in the brain and increase intelligence.
    Exercise can help us maintain or gain mental health.   A lot of my clients have told me that they’re a lot happier since working out with me regularly.  I have one client in particular who told me she’d been suffering from severe depression before we started working out together and that it’s been gone ever since we started.  That makes me really happy.  Not only that, but I have felt the effects of exercise on myself.  When I am feeling down, anxious, or even PMSing, I often use exercise to pull myself out of that mental funk and it works really well.  

Now that we’ve discussed the physiological benefits of exercise and the psychological benefits of exercise, let’s discuss the long-term benefits of exercise on quality of life.

-       Exercise has been proven to help stave-off or fully prevent many chronic illnesses especially those associated with old age
-       Exercise often improves symptoms of chronic diseases, such as improving the aerobic capacity in asthmatics and decreasing their reliance on a corticosteroid inhaler (Fanelli, 2007).  In the study cited above, they had a control group of asthmatic children and a test group of asthmatic children.  The control group did not exercise, but the test group began a regular exercise program.  Over the course of the study, the test group began to rely less on their inhaler, unlike the control group.
-       People with the genetic markers that increase their risk for getting Alzheimer’s Disease can lower their risk through regular exercise, and those who already have Alzheimer’s Disease can slow progression of the disease through a regular exercise program. “A simple exercise program, 1 hour twice a week, led to significantly slower decline in ADL score in patients with AD (Alzheimers Disease) living in a nursing home than routine medical care” (Roland, 2007)
-       People who use their muscles are less likely to lose them.  Those who exercise regularly are less likely to lose the use of certain body functions, like walking, and the ability to bike, if they continue to do so as they age.
-       People who exercise regularly maintain more cognitive function, have less cognitive decline as they age, and prevent memory loss as they age better than those who do not. 
-       If you exercise regularly you are able to maintain your muscle mass, so you won’t start losing it with those who don’t exercise when you hit your 30s.  This aids in maintaining your metabolism and preventing the weight gain and other negative side effects associated with aging. 
  Exercise can help us maintain a good quality of life until we die. Exercise can also help those suffering from chronic illnesses to improve their quality of life.  I met an old man in his 90s when I worked at a hospital as a registrar.  I thought he was 70 at the oldest.  I asked him what his secret was, he told me he biked everywhere he went every single day.  He told me it kept him young. 
As you can see, exercise offers many benefits.It benefits us physiologically, mentally, and it benefits our long-term quality of life. The purpose of this presentation was not to convince you to exercise, but simply to inform you of the benefits you may experience if you choose to incorporate it into your daily life.  Exercise is medicine.   




Albright A, Franz M, Hornsby G, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand.

Exercise and type 2 diabetes. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2000; 32:1345-60.

Bolton KL,  Egerton T,  Wark J,  Wee E,  Matthews B,  Kelly A,  Craven R,  Kantor S,  Bennell KL. 

The  University of Melbourne, Department of Physiotherapy, Australia.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport [2012, 15(2):102-109]

Blumenthal, J. S. (2012). Is Exercise a Viable Treatment for Depression? ACSM's Health & Fitness


Bjorklund, B. R. (2015). The Journey of Adulthood (8th Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:

Pearson Prentice Hall.

Fanelli, A., Cabral, A. L. B., Neder, J. A., Martins, M. A., & Carvalho, C. R. F. (2007). Exercise

training on disease control and quality of life in asthmatic children. Medicine and science

in sports and exercise, 39(9), 1474.

Rolland, Y., Pillard, F., Klapouszczak, A., Reynish, E., et al. (2007). Exercise Program for Nursing

Home Residents with Alzheimer’s Disease: A 1-Year Randomized, Controlled Trial. 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 55: 158-165.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Now Offering Online Personal Training!!!

I have decided to venture into the world of Online Training. Are you looking for some help reaching your goals? It can be tough to reach them without some professional help, and it can be hard to find a good trainer. If you like the content of my blog, and want me to help you reach your goals, just send me a message and I'll get you started!

The way Online Personal Training works, is that I will create workout plans customized to you, including videos of how to do each exercise, how many of each exercise and at what weight to do them. I can make it so you can work out in your home or take a workout plan to the gym. I will also tailor the plans according to the way you answer the questionnaire. For example, if you answer the question "Do you have any injuries?" with a "yes," I will find ways to work around your injury so that it doesn't prevent you from getting a good workout and you don't injure it any further.

I've had a lot of requests for online training, so I'm going to give it a go! If you want customized fitness plans and a ton of help reaching your goals, send me a message or check out the online portal at

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Do's and Don'ts of Weight Loss

Do You Find Yourself Struggling to Lose Weight?

Companies are making billions of dollars off of our sick, overweight society. Weight loss pills, weight loss shakes, diet programs, fitness programs, magic pills and fairy dust are being sold without restraint across the nation, and yet we continue to remain a sick and overweight country.  Why?

What I can tell you is, I don't think we have all the answers as to why we are overweight in the first place. Sure, the basic reasons make sense. We don't move enough and we eat too much. Our food is full of additives and preservatives and no longer resembles what nature grows and provides for us. 

What we don't learn in school, is that it isn't only how many calories you eat vs. how many you burn, it's also what type of calories you eat. The body processes protein a lot differently than it does carbohydrates. Every single person is different. If you want to lose weight, you need to figure out what works for you. Here are some helpful hints to guide you in the right direction.


1. Eat a meal without protein. Always include protein in your meals. Protein is the building block of muscle, which keeps your metabolism up. It also keeps you more satisfied because it takes a lot longer to digest than carbohydrates.

2. Starve yourself. It will kill your metabolism. Eat at least 1200 calories a day no matter what size you are, unless otherwise directed by a physician (and seriously, if a Dr. tells you to eat less get a 2nd opinion on this).

3. Lie to yourself. Be honest with yourself about what you eat and your eating habits. Keep a diet journal and don't cheat.

4. Eat in front of the TV. Mindless eating packs on the lbs. If you must eat in front of the TV, eat raw veggies like carrots or celery.

5. Tell me you have a slow metabolism. Sure, everyone's metabolism is different, and some people do actually have a metabolic disorder. HOWEVER - unless you have a metabolic disorder that has been diagnosed, understand that everyone's metabolism can be increased through building muscle, exercise, and eating the right way.

6. Eat beyond satiety.  Eat until you're ALMOST full. Stop. Give yourself at least 30 minutes and if you feel you really need more food, then eat more. Learn to listen to your body again.

7. Go Fat Free. Your body needs fat. It won't release the fat it stores if it's being deprived of fats. Don't go overboard here and eat tons of it, but make sure you're getting a little bit of the good fats every day. Avocado and coconut oil are both great options.

8. Extreme diet. It doesn't work. Yoyo dieters exist because of these. It's all about small changes that add up and are maintainable.

9. Let others spoil it for you. Do not let other enable you. Do not be an enabler. If you're trying to lose weight, let the ones you spend your time with know how important it is to you and set clear rules and boundaries so that they can help you reach your goals.

10. Drink Alcohol. Let me just be super clear about this. If you want to lose weight, and you want to lose it in a decent amount of time, just cut out the alcohol. It is a trainer's worst enemy. Not only do the calories turn straight into organ fat, the most dangerous kind of fat you can have, the alcohol dehydrates you so that your body does not function nearly as efficiently, and it makes you tired and sluggish so that you can't workout to your full potential the next day. Just take a hiatus for a few months and only drink sparingly. 


1. Drink water. Lots of water. If you feel hungry but you've eaten recently, or you have a sugar craving, try drinking water first. And then eat some fruit if you're still craving sugar. This will help a lot.

2. Work out. Nutrition is 80% but the 20% physical activity provides can catalyze your weight loss and help you reach your goals a lot faster.

3. Figure out what works for you. Are you a vegetarian? Figure out how to eat protein at every meal and make sure it's a complete protein. Do you love meat? Think about trying the paleo diet, or southbeach. Do diets make you feel too restricted? Try simply adjusting the way you eat, maybe just one meal at a time.. substitute a salad or something. Only you know what will work for you and if you don't, experiment.

4. Hire a trainer. I hate to plug myself here, but seriously, losing weight is really difficult to do on your own. Enlist the help of a professional if you're not making it on your own.

5. Enlist the help of a friend. If you know someone else who has similar goals, work out together! Eat together! Meal plan together! Whatever it takes. Or join a group fitness class, a boot camp, whatever you need. Most people are socially motivated, and you've got to figure out as many ways to keep yourself on track as you can.

6. HIIT. Nothing stokes the metabolism quite like High Intensity Interval Training. Spike the heart rate over and over and you will burn hot for up to 72 hours post-workout. I've written all about it in a previous blog post. Tabata is my personal favorite.

7. Eat raw produce. Not only is it really great for filling you up for small calorie loads, it also helps your body rid itself of toxins by aiding in digestion. The modern-day American diet does not have enough fiber in it. My doctor also recommended that everyone take Metamucil every day, that's up to you. Just know that constipation is really bad for you, toxins build up, it can cause everything from discomfort, to headaches, to eventual cancer of the bowel. That alone makes me want to go buy some metamucil!

8. Weight Train. I cannot stress enough how important weight training is. Cardio is meh comparatively.  Weight training helps you add muscle, muscle burns more calories than fat and takes up 1/5th the space. Replace fat with muscle and your metabolism will be faster.

9. Utilize technology. There are a million apps out there that can help you lose weight. Food trackers, calorie counters, macros counters, fitness trackers, etc. If you're the type that enjoys technology, or you think these tools will be useful to you, do it! They even have trainer apps out there that tell you what to do. Use those responsibly, though, don't hurt yourself doing something you don't know how to do (use proper form PLEASE).

10. Switch it up. If you reach a plateau, it's time to get your body all scrambled up again so you can drop some weight. Change up your routine, add something new or switch from circuits to slow lifting with tabata at the end. Kickbox. Something. Switch out a meal for salad. Look at your diet and cut something out. Whatever it takes. 

You can do it! Everyone has the potential within them to reach their weight loss goals with some effort and the right knowledge applied. 

Boot Camp

It's been almost 4 years since I had a boot camp. I wasn't sure I would have one again, but then the idea came to me that I could sort of kill 3 birds with one stone. I stay home with my daughter 3 days/week. If I held boot camp on 2 of those days, I could have it in my own back yard, let me daughter see all of us working out together so that it would instill the desire to do so herself, and I get a workout in without having to take her to the gym day care (which she HATES).

So I started up my boot camp last week! So far it has been a lot of fun, I really like the girls who have joined and I am giving them a FABULOUS price as incentive to not complain about having it in my back yard or having to put up with the random disruptions that my 3 year old can occasionally cause.

We started boot camp doing circuit training, every other circuit was cardio, and we even incorporated my trampoline! The only downside to last week was that every single day it rained. So we had to do a lot of improvising indoors and it forced me to get really creative.

If you are in the North Austin/ Cedar Park/ Leander area of Texas and you want to join in on this boot camp please email me, check out my website, or join our Facebook page for more info!