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John Graham Fitness Interview with Carmen

John Graham Fitness Interview with CarmenOne of my clients who is a pleasure to work with is Carmen. She has amazing energy and determination & motivates me as much as I do her.

I have met her son who is now studying in Newcastle University, (a school I have  a history with from when I was pursuing higher education while back in Australia.)

I am now training her husband, who has, it seems, been equally enthralled and  motivated by Carmen’s “no-nonsense” approach to getting fit and active in the gym.

I have been training Carmen at times when she was very tired and I could tell she has had a busy day, but for her when it comes time to work, she just does it! She doesn’t stop,  she stays consistent until our time is up and she is back to her day. I have spoken with Carmen many times asking her where she gets her motivation and energy & below is a short interview I had with Carmen. Read and learn from someone with a family life and career but who still sees the importance of exercise and staying consistent with fitness.

Q. Hi Carmen! Can you tell us about your daily routine? You have a family with kids and work demands. First, how do you find time to train in the gym and stay active?

I don’t work every day but when we have customers I take care of them. I make sure they have everything they need and I drive them around.  I’m also quite involved in QSI high school. I’m responsible for graduation and have been for a couple of years. I’m also taking part in Science Fair at QSI and other big projects. I’m on the advisory board at QSI, so I’m always busy. Many come to me with concerns because I have been here for such a long time.  I try to work around my fitness schedule and if it doesn’t work, I’ll change the workout time.

Q. My next question is about diet & sleep. Can you tell us about your daily eating habits & sleep & how diet effects your energy?

I wake up around 06:30am and eat breakfast. That is a fruit smoothie, a piece of bread with cheese or ham, carrot, tomato, cucumber and a glass of orange juice. I don’t drink coffee or tea. I’ll eat a fruit around 10:00 am and for lunch at 12:30pm I eat leftovers from the day before or I make a salad. I always cook dinner every night because I think it is important to eat home cooked food. We eat around 06:30pm and I try to cook different kind of recipes like chicken, fish, beef and pork always with vegetables. I don’t eat fast food but I do have a weakness, I love chocolate, so I eat that sometimes.

Since I started exercising I’m hungrier than before so I eat more but I need that now and I’m not increasing in weight. Now I have so much energy and I sleep so well. I go to bed around 10:00 or 10:30pm. I’m never tired like I was before, now when I wake up I have so much energy.

Q. What supplements do you take daily?

I just drink water and eat fruit in between meals. I eat a lot of vegetables when I eat lunch and dinner so I get all my vitamins from that.

Q. Have you always been an active person?  Did you enjoy sports when you were at school?

When I went to school I played soccer, danced and did aerobics. I haven’t been exercising for maybe 15 -20 years and that’s a long time. I couldn’t really find anything here to do so I just have not been doing anything for so many years.

Q. What are some things you could tell women like yourself about getting active again?  Can you give us some advice or some simple tips for women your age to address their fitness?

You know I’m 43 and things that were easy to do before are not that easy any more. (Haha I feel so old when I write this). Why I started exercise was because my knees, my back and my shortness of breath when I need to run, walk fast or walk in stairs. I don’t want to become someone that can’t walk up the stairs without resting. My back has improved so much so all the pain is gone. It was my best friend Ulrika that got me in contact with John. I was a little afraid and nervous the first time but after meeting John everything felt all right. You need to think about what can make you feel better and improve your health.

Q. I always want to communicate the many ways to get active. You mentioned you attend Zumba classes; a great form of  exercise.  Can you tell us what the class involves and how it compliments your weekly training plan?

Sumba is a combination with dancing and aerobics. If you like music and dance you will love Zumba. I have a friend that said she where so bad at coordination of the arms and legs at the same time. She is now doing great in Sumba class. We dance/aerobics for 1 and ½ hour and then we do some light weights, sit ups and stretching. I love the music it’s a mix of Latin, pop and Spanish music. I train Sumba 3 times a week because I love moving my body to music. You can start with just once a week and then see if you like it.

Q. Now please can you share your secrets to staying motivated & maintaining your commitment? Did it take a lot of different approaches until you found the one that works for you?

I always had an excuse not to exercise so when my best friend put me up to this there were no more excuses not to start. I have never been at a gym before I meet John.  First I need someone to push me, I would never have come this far without John. He has so much energy and is the most positive person I know. If you don’t feel like going to the gym you just need to see John and you just get so much energy. I got a lot of compliments from people about my figure and how I’m glowing. My son and husband joined me and John at the gym and they said to me that they were very impressed and proud of me of what I’m doing in the gym. They didn’t believe me until they saw what I was doing. I’m so proud of myself and I didn’t believe that I could do all this. So start to exercise you can do it too… Make yourself proud.

Thank you Carmen for all those great points!



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The Contributor

John Graham began personal training in California, where he earned his Master Personal Fitness Trainer Certification from the prestigious International Sports Sciences Association. He has been based in Shenzhen for over 5 years, introducing his knowledge and experience in international fitness techniques and increasing awareness of the latest fitness methodologies. Known for his unique passion and understanding of body dynamics and exercise, and his extensive knowledge of performance nutrition, John’s training programs ensure a well rounded approach to fitness.

    Connect with John Graham:
  1. - Yahoo IM: j_g_harper@yahoo.com
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