It’s January 31st and time for a New Year’s resolution check. For the past nine years, Liz Feierabend has offered personal fitness training at Axis in Menlo Park, so she’s seen quite a number of people resolve to get fit at the beginning of a new year.
“Most people’s resolutions are on too grand of scale,” she says. “If you haven’t been working out, don’t resolve to work out every day. You’re trying to change habits — and habits take time to change. You need to focus on small steps. If you don’t exercise at all, start by setting aside five minutes a day for a brisk walk.”
Liz began her professional life as an athletic trainer at both the collegiate and secondary school level. “I got into personal training initially to supplement my income and discovered I really liked it,” she says. “It provides more freedom and creative license.”
She trains both men and women. Her clients tend to range in age from 35 to 65, although she’s trained kids and had one client who was 94. She characterizes most as “broken down recreational athletes”.
When meeting with a new client, Liz sits down and talks with the person, listening to what they are currently doing and what they are looking for from a trainer (strength, flexibility, less pain, etc). She then takes the client through a functional movement screen.
“That gives me insight into a person’s mobility and stability,” she says. “And if they have a cranky shoulder, knee, hip, whatever, I can identify the right corrective movement and restore functionality. From that point, we can move to strengthening.”
Returning to those made-to-be-broken New Year’s resolutions, Liz says: “I take issue with the word ‘resolution.’ That makes it feel like work. Instead frame it as something for yourself — equate exercise with ‘me’ time.”
Photos by Gillian Bostock