There is a lot of evidence suggesting that working with a personal trainer will get you better results than working out on your own. But what does a good personal trainer look like? Do they have to possess a large amount of muscle? Do they work through exercises with you? Do they motivate you? The health and fitness industry is filled with trainers and coaches, so it is important to find the right one for you. Caroline Kalmanovitch, a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach from London, England, believes in a no-nonsense approach when it comes to health and wellness.
Caroline Kalmanovitch grew up as a student athlete, playing many sports like cricket and lacrosse. She was also a dedicated member of the rowing club and participated extensively in track and field, earning her a scholarship to study Kinesiology.
After graduating from university, Caroline Kalmanovitch went on to earn certifications in personal training and nutrition. One day while working out at her local gym, she was approached by the manager who encouraged her to apply for a position as a fitness trainer, setting off her career path.
For the past 15 years, Caroline Kalmanovitch has worked as a personal trainer at gyms and as an independent trainer and nutrition coach. She ensures her clients get personal plans that are right for them, according to their medical history and bone structure. She lives with her husband in London.
What made you choose to go into the health and fitness industry?
It was natural for me. I’ve always been active growing up and it just sparked my interest. I knew I would be good at it. I like helping people and coaching them to be the best versions of themselves that they can be.
What do you find most challenging about your career?
I would say it’s about client retention, which can be an issue in every industry. I have clients that have been with me since the beginning, but when I start working with a new client, I automatically try to pinpoint issues that might come up throughout my work with them. Fitness can be tricky. You have a lot of clients that approach you to start training in January because of New Year’s resolutions and by the end of February many of them fall off. You have clients that want to work to get in shape for the Summer and then when the Summer actually arrives they disappear, figuring they can maintain it on their own, but if you haven’t made training a habit or a priority before, it can be easy to stop working out.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting in your industry?
Discover what makes you unique. There is so much competition in the health and wellness space, so you have to figure out what differentiates you from others.
If you could change anything about your industry what would it be and why?
I would say it would be to change this fitness social media influencer trend we have going on. So many people think they are qualified to talk about fitness and health and they even sell online training programs, but they don’t have any certifications or any proper training. They just show what works for them and the wellness industry is so much more than that. It is not a one size fits all approach. What works for you won’t work for another person and If you don’t have the proper training, in some cases it can actually be pretty dangerous for your clients if you are telling them to do things that don’t work for their body or are providing nutritional advice with no dietary restrictions mentioned. In my mind, if you aren’t actually qualified to train and don’t have the education, you aren’t qualified to be selling programs to people.
How would your colleagues describe you?
They would say I have a “no-nonsense” personality while I’m working. I do love working with my clients and I have a great relationship with them, but while they are pushing through their workouts, I’m not going to be talking about the newest television shows or my dream wedding. They are paying for a service, so I am going to make sure they are getting their money’s worth. They aren’t paying for a conversation. They are paying for a workout and health plan that works for them. While they are working out, I prefer to motivate them and describe where they should be feeling whatever workouts they are doing. A lot of times I will perform the same movements with them. Too often I see other personal trainers sitting on the floor or standing beside their clients and talking about their day. While that’s all well and good for them, I personally see it as a lazy approach.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
I just prioritize at least an hour a day that is just for myself. While I do work directly with my clients, I am actually a naturally introverted person. So, at the end of the day, I need one hour during which time I don’t talk to anyone, not even my husband, and I just watch television or read or do my own workouts.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
I have to say it’s my Apple watch. I can do everything with it, from tracking my own information like steps, calories burned, and heart rate to tracking my time with my clients. It helps me stay grounded and keep me on time with my schedule.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
A few years ago, I tore my right ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) pretty severely when I landed wrong when I was playing lacrosse. I’m used to being mobile and not being limited, so it was definitely a big obstacle. It put my training in rehabilitation to the test. But once I recovered, I was able to use what I had learned for rehabilitation for my clients.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
I’ve always looked up to Jillian Michaels due to her success and strong following. While one would consider her to be an approachable and kind person, she is also no-nonsense and just believes in putting in the hard work to achieve results with no excuses. It’s the approach I try to take with my own training and when I’m working with my clients.
What does success look like to you?
For me, success is helping as many clients as possible and setting up a health and fitness plan that they will use for the rest of their lives. A lot of people don’t take their fitness and nutrition seriously, but these aspects play a key role in fighting off illnesses and there is even evidence to suggest that by exercising and eating right, you can fight off diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.