client: Carina | personal trainer: Mike Z. Robinson, owner, MZR Fitness | location: San Luis Obispo, California
Serendipity. Carina, a 34-year-old health reporter for television station KSBY starts her day while most people are waist-deep in sleep. She rises at 2:00 am so that she will be alert and presentable by the time she arrives at the studio an hour later. Carina had been only a sporadic exerciser, but her life began to change after she received a call from an eager personal trainer with an interesting story.
“I ran into Mike Robinson and not by coincidence,” recalls Carina. “He contacted me hoping that I’d do a story on a health program for kids that he organized in our area. I thought it was a fantastic idea, so I came into his gym to shoot some video footage and interview him.” She got more than just a story.
Inspiration. As Carina taped footage for her TV segment, she was intrigued by what she saw at MZR Fitness. “It was like no other workout that I had ever seen,” she says. “Ropes, boxing, balls and my personal favorite, the Powerslide. It all looked hard, but fun.”
Shortly afterwards, Carina phoned Robinson to set up an appointment to discuss the possibility of working with him. At their first meeting, the two discussed Carina’s short- and long-term goals. “She told me what she wanted to accomplish, and we discussed a plan of attack that considered all aspects of her life: work, family, available time, motivation and energy level.”
Commitment. The first session included some basic body weight assessment exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups and cardiovascular and flexibility tests. “We also noted her weight and took body fat measurements,” Robinson adds.
Carina scored well on the assessments, but Robinson knew that her greatest weakness would be integrating regular exercise into a jam-packed schedule. “Her work shift ends at 12:00 noon, so I suggested that she exercise directly after work. In the past, she would finish working at noon and go home to spend time with her husband and child. Next thing she knew, it was time for dinner and then bedtime around 7:30 pm.” Hesitant but hopeful, Carina agreed to the recommendation and signed a 12-month contract.
Habit. As expected, the first few workouts were a bit of a struggle as Carina tried out the new schedule. She took plenty of rest breaks and asked Robinson to go easy on her. After about 2 months, she hit her stride and added several solo sessions. “I knew that once exercising became a habit for her, she would see the benefits and her energy would improve, too,” says Robinson.
One of Robinson’s tenets is to keep workouts as diverse as possible. “The main reason I do this is because I don’t want my clients to ever get bored in their sessions.” Robinson believes that if the mind is bored, then the body is, too, which leads to diminishing returns. “I like the workouts to be efficient, and I also like to keep my clients guessing and intrigued because that creates a fun environment, which my clients love.”
Inspired to Inspirer. Led by Robinson’s enthusiasm and program design, Carina achieved remarkable success. “She has done it all and then some,” he remarks. “She ran her first half marathon this year and has decreased her body fat by 11%. She had never stuck with a regular workout program before, but she believes that now she is in the best shape of her life.”
Carina’s progress has spread far beyond the walls of MZR Fitness. “Because of her appearance on TV every day, her fitness plan has inspired many people—especially moms—throughout California’s Central Coast,” says Robinson. “She is a reminder to moms that they, too, can get their prebaby bodies back. Or better yet, they can look even better than they ever have if they just get started and dedicate themselves. She often tells me that she gets fan mail from women throughout our area thanking her for inspiring them.”