Frequently Asked Questions

Gyms and Training Locations

Q:If I come to a your studio do I have to pay a membership fee in addition to the trainers fee?

No. By “your studio” you are referring to a studio where I regularly train clients. You only pay for your training sessions. Most client’s find this option to be very attractive when compared to training with a trainer at a high-end health club.

Q:Where is your studio located?

At this time, I work with regular clients at Fitness 1119 located on 1119 South B Street in San Mateo.

Q:I currently belong to a gym. Can you come to my gym to train me?

Yes, if your gym allows private personal trainers. Simply ask your gym if they welcome independent trainers and, if so, ask them how much they charge you for the trainer to come in.

Most gyms will charge you for this. Health clubs such as Gold’s Gym, Bally’s Total Fitness, Equinox, 24 Hour Fitness and Crunch do not allow private personal trainers.

Q:I want to workout at home, but I don’t have any equipment. Will I be able to accomplish anything?

Yes. Of course, it is always better to have access to quality cardio and resistance equipment. However, it depends upon your condition and goals. A lot can be done with no equipment.

Also available by mail order is a range of excellent home equipment, including resistance bands, ankle weights, dumbbells, balls and other easily stored and relatively inexpensive, yet effective items. Please check out our resource pages for web sites offering such equipment. You must remember, the most important ingredient needed to change your body is desire, motivation, hard work and commitment. If you have these, the rest will fall into place.


Q:What kind of certification and education do you have?

There are a number of highly respected nationally recognized professional fitness and personal trainers certification organizations. I presently hold multiple certification and have over 2o years of practical training experience.

Each of the certification groups offer courses and testing in subjects including anatomy, exercise physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, range of motion, structural integrity, fitness screening and testing, training principles and techniques, understanding equipment, sport nutrition, sports injury, physician interfacing, sport psychology and motivation, safety and injury prevention.

To be certified by these organizations requires rigorous study, participation in courses, hands-on training trials, and passing difficult examinations.

The organizations I am certified by include, among others, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and National Strength and Conditioning Association.

These organizations require certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by the American Red Cross. To ensure that qualified professionals maintain entry level guidance each certification group demands all trainers to participate in approved continuing education programs. Continuing education programs are intended to promote continued competence, development of knowledge and skills, and enhancement of professional skills and judgement beyond the levels required for entry level practice.

To support my passion for the science of movement and my commitment to my clients for their health and safety, each of my credentials are recertified every (2) years.

I realize that most people don’t understand any of the different acronyms that most trainers set next to their name but I ensure you that the education behind the acronyms along with the experience attained over the years can/will elevate the effectiveness and safety of a workout. It’s hard to find good quality trainers. You look at them on paper, and they meet the qualifications, but those qualifications have to come to life. The practical application is the challenge.

Getting Started

Q:Why hire a personal trainer?

How well do you think a sports team would perform without a coach? A trainer serves as your coach to motivate you to develop good habits around fitness and nutrition. Most people need guidance and clear direction when developing these habits that will become a regular part of your life.

If you are like most people, you have a life team comprised of doctors, financial advisors, home assistants and more. A trainer will be a valued member of that life team as well, insuring you keep your physical health and well being in harmony.

Q:How do I get started?

Once you have supplied us with the necessary information about yourself by email or phone, we will contact you directly on all matters. All consultations and sessions are set up by phone only.

You then have three options: 1) set up a Free Evaluation/Consultation; 2) schedule one training session. Both offers are only available only at my gym of choice.

Q:Once I begin, am I obligated to continue?

No, you are never under any obligation to continue unless you have actually scheduled a session or sessions. In that case, you must adhere to the cancellation policy guidelines addressed below.

Q:Do you travel outside of the Peninsula?

Yes, but the fee is usually higher due to travel time.

Session payment and cancellation policies

Q:Why is training so expensive?

If you place any value on your life, healthy mobility, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, it really is not that expensive. Mobility is life and when you are fit and healthy, medical bills drop, sick days are reduced and you are more energetic and productive. Those things translate directly to positively impact your bottom line. Exercise is the only way to engage your body and your physical brain, but if you do it with better execution and effectiveness, you will get functionally younger.

Q:Do you accept credit cards?

We accept many forms of secure online payments – credit cards, or other types of payments – via PayPal, and Google checkout.

Q:What if I cancel a session?

Once you have scheduled a training or nutrition session, you must cancel the session more than 12 hours in advance or you are responsible for that session.

Q:What happens if I am late for a session?

PersonaltrainingSF is not obligated to make up time due to a client’s lateness. More than 1/2 hour lateness constitutes a late cancellation and we are not obligated to conduct the session. In some cases we will wait and work with you for the remaining time. But this is solely up to our discretion. In either case you will be charged fully for the session.

Frequency and duration of the training sessions

Q:How many sessions per week are necessary?

It depends upon your current conditions, goals, schedule, and budget. You may “need” to be trained four days a week, but only have the time or budget for two days a week. In these cases, we will work to teach you a program that you can do on your own for the days that you cannot work with a trainer. This, of course, necessitates your willingness and ability to implement such a program. I also advocate cardio training on the days in-between. The body is at its best when moving. If you do some sort of exercise 6 days per week, you will see results.

Q:I can workout on my own, but I need to learn what to do and how exercise correctly. Will you work with me on this basis?

Yes. We will evaluate you, access your needs, develop a diet plan if needed and work with you over a number of sessions to teach you fat loss and toning/building exercises necessary for you to achieve your goals. You will come away with a program tailored to your needs and can workout on your own. The number of sessions needed for this depends upon your fitness needs, how quickly you master the movements and your budget. You can always schedule an additional session or sessions later for a refresher or to upgrade your program.

Achieving Results

Q:I have done everything, but I still can’t lose weight. Is there anything you can do for me?

Losing bodyfat effectively is the result of a combination of a specific diet and calorie burning aerobic exercise carried out consistently for a particular duration of time. We usually find that when you think you are doing “everything,” one or more elements specified above is either not being carried out correctly or is not being carried out at all. Sometimes folks will try a variety of fad diets one after the other for short periods of time and then give up. Or they may get on the treadmill at the gym for 15 minutes two times a week and wonder why they can’t lose fat. Bodyfat reduction or “getting lean” is the single most requested goal of clients who come to us. We will work with you on an effective diet and fat-burning exercise program and will discuss how long you need to sustain this program to achieve results. We will then help you to attain the discipline and motivation to carry it out.

Q:I’ve have been working out on my own for a long time, but have stopped making any progress in muscle gain. Can you help me?

Yes. Most people who have been working out on their own for a long period of time eventually hit a plateau and stop making gains in muscle mass. Often, genetics plays a role in this. That is, when someone comes close to or reaches their “genetic potential,” muscle gain slows down and sometimes stops altogether. However, even taking genetic factors into account, we find that in most cases plateauing is due to an inability by someone to push themselves to greater heights in their workouts and/or to find new types of routines. Without steady increases in muscle “overload” and varying of types of routines, gains will not be made. As competitive athlete we know how to get you out of your rut.

Q:I do hundreds of sit-ups but still have no definition in my abs. How do I get a six-pack?

Getting abdominal definition is only partially accomplished through specific ab workouts involving crunches or flexion of the abdominal muscles. For the most part “definition” of abs is accomplished the same way that “definition” of any other body part is accomplished: by losing the fat that obscures the muscle and building the muscle. Losing the fat is done through diet and aerobic exercise, not abdominal crunches (or sit ups). But even if you lose the fat, to see a nicely developed six-pack, the ab muscles need to be developed. This is then accomplished by intense ab crunches with or without added resistance for high repetitions, four to eight sets, about three times a week.

Q:After I start working with a trainer when will I begin to see results?

This is an impossible question to answer without knowing your present condition and training history. There are many variables including your specific starting point, genetics, and metabolism as well as your consistency, commitment and time you are willing to put into training. Exercise has a cumulative effect. If you are consistent with workouts and/or follow the meal recommendations we provide, you will get results commensurately with what you put into your training and diet. Also, we can set up programs that are aimed to work very quickly, but involve exceedingly stringent dieting and training. We like to suggest that, if you are starting from a very low level of fitness, you take it slower at the beginning so you can accustom your body gradually to a training program. We want you to be fit and fabulous for your lifetime.


There is a heirarchy to the development of a strong immune system which begins with diet/nutrition, exercise and rest. Followed in proper order your body receives the most powerful signals we can send to our body that life is good. In response to these signals your immune system becomes stronger and highly efficient, providing multiple defenses against any invasion of outside invaders – a.k.a bacteria – that would love to invade your body. Being deficient in nutrition will set you back in every way imaginable therefore diet should be the first focus for anyone hoping to improve physical well-being. Nutrition is key in anybody’s life, whether you’re a professional athlete or working at a desk. It’s about 60% of an athlete’s lifestyle. There is no doubt that food and diet have always had an important connection to maintaining good health and preventing illness. Those who study nutrition believe that “you are what you eat,” and they bolster that belief with scientific evidence that a sound diet will profoundly impact your overall health and performance during day-to-day life.

Q:How can a nutritional professional benefit me?
  1. You have diabetes, cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure. A nutritional professional can be an integral part of your health-care team by helping you to change your eating plan without compromising flavors.
  2. You are thinking of having or have had gastric bypass surgery. A nutritional professional will help you learn to eat again. Since your stomach can only manage small servings, it’s a challenge getting the right amount of nutrients for your body. A nutritional professional will work with you and your physician to develop an eating plan for your new needs.
  3. You have digestive problems. A nutritional professional will work with your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition with fried foods, too much caffeine or carbonation.
  4. You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. A nutritional professional can help make sure you get nutrients like folate, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, which can lower your newborn’s risk for neural tube or spinal cord defects.
  5. You need guidance and confidence for breastfeeding your baby. A nutritional professional can help to make sure you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, fluoride and B vitamins beneficial for both you and your new little one.
  6. Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. A nutritional professional can assist with eating disorders—anorexia, bulimia and overweight issues.
  7. You’re struggling with weight issues and need to gain or lose weight. A nutritional professional can provide additional healthy calorie sources for healthy weight gain or a healthy restricted-calorie eating plan—accompanied by regular physical activity—while still eating all your favorite foods.
  8. You’re caring for an aging parent. A nutritional professional can help with food or drug interaction, proper hydration, special diets for hypertension and changing taste buds.
  9. You want to eat smarter to stay fit. A nutritional professional can help you sort through misinformation and get you on a healthy eating plan. You can learn how to read labels at the supermarket, how cooking healthy is inexpensive, how to eat out without ruining your eating plan and how to resist all of the office temptations.
  10. You want to improve your performance in sports. A nutritional professional can help you set goals to achieve high performance whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog.
Q:I know how to eat healthfully, so why should I seek the advice of a nutrition professional?

Sound familiar? Sure, you know to eat your vegetables and avoid high-fat and high-sodium foods, but do you know the best nutrition choices when it comes to sports and cardiovascular health or disease management and prevention?

Nutritional professionals draw on their experience and education to develop a personalized nutrition plan for individuals of all ages. They are able to separate facts from fads and translate nutritional science into information you can use. A registered dietitian or credentialed nutritionist can put you on the path to lowering weight, eating healthfully and reducing your risk of chronic disease.

When you need trusted, accurate, timely and practical nutrition advice, seek the services of one of Personal Training SF’s nutritional professionals.

Q:What’s the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist with Credentials?

The term nutritionist is widely used by unqualified people. Unfortunately, people with an interest in nutrition or who sell nutritional supplements often call themselves nutritionists. Traditionally, nutritionist are referred to as a person who has a graduate degree in nutrition, but that practice has become less used because of the confusion caused by people without any degree calling them a nutritionist. The word “nutritionist” is not a legally protected term therefore a person working in a health food store or otherwise can call themselves a nutritionist. Some states license who can call themselves nutritionist and those who qualify, become licensed. Therefore unless someone is a licensed nutritionist with solid credentials, the title nutritionist does not necessarily signify any education or training in nutrition or any qualifications to counsel people on nutrition.

Both nutritional professionals are knowledgeable in the science of nutrition. They learn how to interpret research studies and apply that knowledge to counseling individuals on how to improve their lifestyle and health. He or she is able to look at your medical history, current symptoms, medications, supplements, exercise routine, weight, and eating habits and give advice that is safe and effective for you to reach your goals.

Although not required, the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association awards the Registered Dietitian credential to those who pass an exam after completing academic coursework and a supervised internship. This certification is different from the statutory certification. To maintain a Registered Dietitian status, you must complete at least 75 credit hours in approved continuing education classes every 5 years.

Both RD and credentialed Nutritionist must study food service systems management, food and nutrition sciences, culinary arts, sociology, communications, business, economics, computer science, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, anatomy and chemistry to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.

Both nutritional professionals are considered the authority on nutrition in the US., If you are looking for someone to help you with your diet and aren’t sure if the person you find is credentialed, ask to see their credentials. Some nutritionist claim they have credentials, but if he or she does not have their credentials they are not backed by science, education, and experience like they would be if they did.

Getting in shape is fun and wonderful if you’re healthy, but essential if you’re not.

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