11 Small Choices That Will Improve Your Fitness Routine & Results

Losing weight, building strength, or working toward another lofty fitness goal takes time. That makes hitting a  plateau, where forward progress seems extra hard or even impossible, especially frustrating. But don’t give up hope! These Anytime Fitness member stories and tips, told by their trainers, prove small choices and habit adjustments can often make a big difference and help propel you in the right direction.

Make Sure You’re Eating

Clara was training hard, diligently following her program, and she lost a lot of weight. Still, we weren’t seeing the results to reflect the work that she was putting in. Something wasn’t adding up. After I requested she keep a food journal we discovered Clara was restricting her calories too much! It was a simple matter of making sure her calorie deficit wasn’t too extreme. Since then she’s dropped 4% body fat and 7 more pounds!

—Jessica Greene, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (Beebe, AR)

Find the Right Shoes

Jamie told me that pain in her feet were preventing her from working out as frequently as she wanted to. I asked her, “What type of shoes do you wear?” She told that they were running shoes. I suggested that she invest in a pair of training shoes by either Reebok or Nike. The switch to training shoes has reduced her pain, which allows her to work out twice as much as she used to!

—Ethan Smoorenburg, Certified Personal Trainer & General Manager/h2i (Lafayette, LA)

Get Active Outside The Gym

Donna was training so hard in her sessions that she couldn’t even tell me bye on her way out of the gym, but her weight loss had stalled for quite some time. The weight only started flying off when Donna incorporated daily physical activity in the form of walks with her family. In her own words, “I don’t think I’m moving enough outside of our two training sessions to reach my goals.”

—Mason Woodruff, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (Jacksonville, AR)

Focus on Functional Movements

Tyler told me that pain in his back was preventing him from performing in his everyday tasks for his job, which limited his time in the gym. We performed more functional movements in his sessions, such as kettlebell swings and planks to cater to his limitations, while bettering his overall mobility. Tyler is now able to get through his day free of pain, inside and outside of the gym!

—Ethan Smoorenburg, Certified Personal Trainer & General Manager/h2i (Lafayette, LA)

Work Harder, Not Longer

Kathryn was frustrated by the size of her thighs despite her one-hour, 3x/week running routine. We traded those three hour-long runs with 30-minute uphill-walking high intensity intervals and added 30 minutes 2-3x/week of total body circuit training. She embraced the challenge and is feeling more toned everywhere!

—Laura Burstein, Certified Personal Trainer & General Manager/h2i (Kensington, MD)

Stay Hydrated

Sydney couldn’t seem to keep up with the amount of water her body needed to intake, so she created a gallon jug with a timeline. Now she is able to stay on track by seeing how much water she’s had and how close she is to completing her daily intake goal.

—Kendra Scott, Anytime Fitness Member Experience Director (Greenbrier, AR)

Don’t Be Afraid of Weights

Monica lost over 50 lbs through diet and cardio work. Then she wanted firmer muscles, but thought big weights would make her “big” again. I convinced her to try lifting heavier dumbbells and barbells and her energy level, confidence, and muscle tone are now much improved!

—Laura Burstein, Certified Personal Trainer & General Manager/h2i (Kensington, MD)

Robin came to us frustrated about the lack of changes in her shape, despite doing tons of cardio. We incorporated strength training four days a week into her fitness regime to add some metabolically active lean tissue, and the results have been phenomenal. She has busted through plateaus and finally got the results she was after.

—Kendra Scott, Anytime Fitness Member Experience Director (Greenbrier, AR)

Focus on Fuel

Vanessa showed me that she was tracking her nutrition, but was not seeing results. I suggested that she move about half of her carbohydrates to her meals directly before and after her workouts. Vanessa lost five pounds and two inches off her waist in the first month of slightly changing her nutrition!

—Ethan Smoorenburg, Certified Personal Trainer & General Manager/h2i (Lafayette, LA)

Laura thought she was as muscular as she could be since she was lifting challenging amounts of weight 5x/week. Her coach added two protein-packed snacks between meals and Laura’s lean muscle tissue increased without working harder in the gym!

—Laura Burstein, Certified Personal Trainer & General Manager/h2i (Kensington, MD)

Prep Healthy Meals

Michael is a truck driver who became overweight from eating convenient foods on the go. I taught him how to cook a week’s worth of healthy meals with animal proteins, lots of vegetables, a little healthy fat, and moderate whole-grain carbohydrates. He’s losing 2-4 lbs/week and has so much more energy that he can’t want to get to the gym each day after work!

—Laura Burstein, Certified Personal Trainer & General Manager/h2i (Kensington, MD)

Break Bad Habits

Despite Jason’s success with adding strength and muscle, the body fat wasn’t coming off. Upon further assessment, Jason was eating properly during the week but ordering take-out and pizza on the weekends, especially on Sundays. Jason told me that he wasn’t even craving these types of food but had a habit of ordering via iPhone apps. We deleted all the pizza and delivery apps off his phone and voila, he was no longer ruining a week’s worth of eating well on Sundays.

—Mason Woodruff, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (Little Rock, AR)

Make Small Swaps

For Robbie, it was all about eliminating the temptations in her cupboard. She had made the switch from chips to healthier options like pita, almond crisps, or crackers, but even those caused her to snack too much. To cut back on her daily calorie intake, Robbie finally decided to ditch all the crunchy snacks for foods like carrots or other crisp vegetables, and she hasn’t looked back.

—Mason Woodruff, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (Little Rock, AR)

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