Rachelle has always been interested in health and wellbeing, and as a keen gym-goer understands the benefits of regular exercise. When a friend with breathing problems asked her for help in putting together an exercise programme that would not affect her condition, Rachelle was delighted to help her find ways to use the gym. Her friend found Rachelle’s advice and support so helpful, and she suggested that she would make an excellent personal trainer. This made Rachelle realise that she could turn her personal passion into a profession, which would allow her to help other people.
After qualifying as a personal trainer, she went to work at the Chalk Farm branch of Fitness First, which was a ladies’ only gym. In 2012, when the gym closed down, Rachelle decided to go it alone and set up her own business, offering individual training sessions as well as small group classes.
Rachelle now has many clients who come to her for a host of reasons including weight loss and rehabilitation. For those seeking to lose weight, she includes dietary advice, aerobic and resistance training within her programme, and for those seeking help with limited movement issues, she concentrates on functional movement using specific muscle groups.
While the thought of a one-to-one personal training session can often fill people with dread and fear, Rachelle works with each person to develop at the right pace for them. Some people like to be pushed to the limit during a workout, whereas others work better at a slightly different pace, and she can adapt and develop the exercises to fit the needs of the individual.
“Everyone is different and has their own needs and goals for what they want from exercise. I bring variety into the sessions and do everything with humour, to make the training as enjoyable as possible”.
Depending on each client’s needs, her sessions can consist of a variety of different approaches and routines which can include Swiss ball, gym based boxing, suspension training (TRX) bands, dumbbells, tennis balls and even marbles!!! Many of the sessions take place at her home in Golders Green, but she is also happy to visit people in their own homes.
Although the vast majority of Rachelle’s clients are women, she has and does also work with men, and is also happy to work with couples who may prefer to train together.
Rachelle is continuously improving her techniques and knowledge of the world of fitness through regular and more advanced courses and workshops. She passed exams in Designing Pre and Post-Natal Exercise Programmes, Exercise Referral (or as her GP referred to it, ‘Exercise on Prescription’), Physical Activity and Lifestyle Strategies for Managing Lower Back Pain. She is currently studying for an advanced qualification in Physical Activity and Weight Management for Obese and Diabetic Clients focusing, amongst other things, on the relationship between Type 2 diabetes and obesity, which is a serious issue within society at the moment.
When doing Exercise Referrals, Rachelle adopts a holistic approach, focusing not only on the patient’s external problems but also on healthy eating and diet, creating eating plans to enable them to establish achievable goals for themselves, to help their overall wellbeing. Rachelle believes that most people know what is healthy and what isn’t, but she recognises that often it is more difficult to put this into practice. Whilst ideally it is better to go for the healthy option like grabbing a handful of almonds or munching on red pepper, sometimes sugar cravings can be tricky to keep at bay, and only something sweet will do. Her advice is rather than deny yourself these kind of treats, do it in a sensible way.
“To satisfy a sweet tooth, confine your cake, chocolate etc to once a day after a meal. That way you are less likely to binge as you have already had a good meal, but you won’t feel like you are depriving yourself either”.
She has previously studied Postural Assessment, which is an area in which Rachelle has a great interest. She admits that she often looks at the way people stand and walk, whether it is at shul, or walking down the street, and she is very attuned to how people carry themselves. She believes that people’s posture can affect every aspect of their wellbeing and is passionate about imparting her knowledge to others, to improve their way of life.
“Issues such as depression, anxiety and stress can affect your posture and as a result, this can impact on pain in your back and legs. By assessing your posture, and making changes to the way you stand or sit, many other issues will also be improved”
In today’s modern working environments, where many people have sedentary jobs at a desk for most of the day, posture and back pain issues have become much more common.
Rachelle suggests taking regular breaks every hour, and getting up and walking around as much as possible. She also recommends doing a simple exercise by placing both hands at the base of the spine and moving the shoulder blades together hold for 5 seconds and repeat, 8 times, Then to hold your arms in front of you as if hugging a tree, for 5 seconds, relax and repeat 8 times. Make sure that your shoulders are not raised when doing this. These simple movements will mobilise and stretch your chest and back, which will make you feel more comfortable at your desk. Good advice huh?
Rachelle has many examples where she has helped those with long-suffering back issues to not only overcome the pain, but be able to eventually stop taking medication. One such client who had suffered with awful back pain for over a year, reported that she felt so much better after just three sessions, that she could attend a family barmitzvah in comfort.
“It was a huge achievement for her. She was so happy and grateful to be able to dance at the Simcha, like before! I love being able to help people, who have been in such pain, start to enjoy their lives again”.
For anyone thinking of starting out in this industry, Rachelle believes that there are many different factors to being a personal trainer, and whilst loving exercise is obviously a big part of the job, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.
“As well as being a trainer, you have to be a friend, and at times a confidante to the people you work with, and be able to offer them help and support without judgement. Being able to help people change their lives, is very rewarding, and is the reason I love my job so much”.
If you would like to know more about booking sessions, please contact Rachelle on
07906 907 087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all Jewish Weekly readers, Rachelle is kindly offering an introductory reduced rate of £30 for any 1-hour training session booked by 30 June 2017. Please remember to quote THE JEWISH WEEKLY when booking.
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