No pain, no gain. Feel the burn. Cardio to the max. Sound familiar? Sure, we know all the catchphrases for the perfect workout. But for many of us, getting in shape and taking care of ourselves is easier said than done, right?
I thought I was in pretty good shape, but I figured there’s always some room for improvement. It was time to invest in myself, so I decided to seek out a personal trainer.
I set up an appointment with Debbie Rock, co-owner of Rock PT Fitness, who opened my eyes to the importance of taking time and making yourself a priority. Debbie and her husband Dereck own Rock PT Fitness, which operates out of the Sarasota Downtown Fitness facility.With her expertise and coaching, she was able to show me ways to change up my fitness routine and improve on areas that I seemed to be neglecting. (I really dislike cardio!)
Debbie has been a Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach for 8 years. She had always been a fit person and enjoyed exercise, but Dereck’s cancer diagnosis years ago prompted her to pursue certification in personal training and fitness. She wanted to help him recover (which he did). Her strong desire to help others in their health recovery is what motivates her every day.
Debbie’s background in fitness began in New York, when she became a trainer. She has worked as a trainer in New York as well as her native London. Her job at the Marie Curie Hospital in London allowed her to work with patients facing life threatening illnesses as well as orthopedic patients.
As a plant based trainer and coach, she is able to guide clients who are looking for a total transformation in fitness and health. She is certified through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in Personal Training, Group Training, Spin, as well as being an Orthopedic Specialist. For clients who have been treated for an injury, she specializes in assisting with that patient’s goals when they have completed their physical therapy.
I met with Debbie recently as she worked me through a 30 minute training evaluation and circuit workout. For anyone interested in how a personal training works, Rock PT Fitness (both Debbie and Dereck) offer a complimentary 30 minute session so that you can experience the benefits for yourself. Many of their clients are referred by current clients or by a physiotherapist after treatment is over.
We began with a few health history questions as Debbie evaluated my past fitness experience and any medical or physical limitations I might have. Because I exercise somewhat regularly, she skipped the baseline evaluations and we moved into a boxing warmup exercise. It was a lot of fun and so different from any of my previous gym workouts. We moved next to complete several different circuit workouts that combined strength and cardio. It was challenging and fun at the same time. I definitely got my heart rate up but it wasn’t so killer that I couldn’t finish.
As we progressed through each routine, Debbie made sure to correct my form and remind me to tighten my abs and focus on each movement. She gently guided my shoulders in the right position and corrected my posture when I needed it. One of my favorite exercises involved the Power Plate, a machine that vibrates as you move through different exercises including planks. I never thought I would ever say I enjoyed doing planks, but this made it fun and challenging.
We worked on balance, too, which is so important for many of us as we age. The series of balance skills on the Bosu ball were awkward at first but, after a few minutes, I was able to get the hang of it.
All workouts end with a well deserved full body stretching session. We moved into a private room where Debbie goes through a series of gentle stretches to ensure that I won’t be too sore the next day. She says that making sure the muscles are stretched is a crucial part of exercise, whether you are new to fitness or a seasoned veteran.
Photos from Debbie Rock.