Top 8 Benefits of a Personal Trainer You Need to Know

Many approach working out as a task to do without much thought for planning. They categorize it in their minds as an item to cross of a to-do list, much like cleaning their toilets or shopping for groceries. However, taking a haphazard approach to fitness will often yield poor or limited results. Unlike other basic day-to-day tasks, exercise requires a honed technique to achieve the desired results. Personal trainers can develop an individualized workout routine, meal plan, and overall strategy for achieving their clients’ goals. The following are numerous benefits of a personal trainer.

  1. See better results sooner. Left to their own devices, many individuals wind up on cardio machines at the gym or listlessly moving from one piece of exercise equipment to another. A personal trainer can ensure the individual spends their time performing the right exercises with the proper equipment. Personal trainers are also ideal for individuals who can only commit a limited amount of time to the gym per week. A personal trainer can maximize their time to see optimal results.
  2. Avoid injuries. If an individual tries to use a piece of gym equipment he or she is unfamiliar with, they are likely to have incorrect form. Lifting weights without proper form is a recipe for lasting or serious injuries. A personal trainer can teach individuals the right form and correct them as they go through the exercises, thereby reducing the risk of injuries.
  3. Lose fat and gain muscle. Most people who embark on a fitness journey want to lose fat, build muscle, or both. However, not many know how to go about doing that. They may spend too long on cardio and not enough time strength training or vice versa. A personal trainer can help individuals strike a proper balance to burn fat while building lean muscle.
  4. Break through plateaus. Even the most experienced gym-goer will encounter the dreaded plateau. Once the individual stops seeing results, his or her incentive to keep going to the gym will dwindle and he or she may stop working out altogether. A personal trainer can identify new techniques to push beyond the plateau while keeping the individual motivated.
  5. Set realistic goals. Nothing is more disheartening than failing to achieve a fitness goal. With enough failure, an individual may give up on their health and wellness objectives. However, sometimes a failed gym goal is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the individual set a goal to lose 10 pounds in a week, he or she is asking for disappointment. A personal trainer can establish realistic and healthy fitness goals as well as help their clients achieve them.
  6. Keep clients accountable. It is easy to fall off the wagon when an individual has no one to hold him or her accountable. For example, it is easy for a person to roll over and turn off the alarm clock if no one is waiting for him or her. With a personal trainer, the individual has someone expecting him or her to arrive, which is a much better push to get up and get to the gym than a blaring alarm alone.
  7. Challenge clients to be better. When exercising alone, it is easy for people to fall into boring routines. A personal trainer will mix up workouts and bring new challenges to the table. Personal trainers are also cheerleaders pushing their clients to reach new personal records, whether it is a faster run time or a heavier weight lifted.
  8. Establish lifelong exercise habits. Personal trainers help their clients achieve fitness goals, but they also help them reevaluate how they view health and wellness. Personal trainers help their clients realize fitness should be a priority in their life—not an item to check off their to-do list. For example, some people struggle with physical limitations that make them believe they cannot exercise. A personal trainer can create a workout routine suited to their fitness level as well as establish small goals to help set them up for success.

Whether you are a seasoned athlete looking for something new or an exercise novice intimidated by the gym, Sycamore CrossFit is here for you. We offer advanced training as well as beginner classes for individuals of all fitness levels. Want to learn more? Schedule a free goal setting meeting with a member of our coaching staff!

CrossFit Programs

Conditioning Biased Programming

Why do you CrossFit?


Think about that answer.  Be honest with yourself. What was your intention when you started: losing weight, improving your fitness, enjoying life, being a competitive CrossFit athlete?

You will receive several benefits from joining a CrossFit box. You get to be part of a fun and motivating community.  You get coaching and instruction from qualified individuals. There is no guesswork about “what to do” at the gym. And the workouts are functional and applicable to everyday life. But, none of that would truly matter if you were not getting fitter.  

Programming is vital to ensuring that all the benefits mentioned above come together. It sets the standard for a community to thrive and for coaches to excel. The programming should allow the coach to spend ample time warming up the athletes, coaching them individually through the more complex movements, and preparing them for the workout of the day.   

In one of its simplest manifestations, Greg Glassman’s (CrossFit Founder) prescription was illustrated as his Theoretical Hierarchy of Development. In that pyramid, nutrition provides a foundation for metabolic conditioning, and they combine to support gymnastics. Nutrition, conditioning and the ability to control one’s body then allow mastery of external objects. All the elements combine to support sports performance.


To increase your overall fitness, to live the longest best life out of pain, to lose weight and continue to function at our best we should prioritize the bottom of the pyramid.  Are we focused on what we eat and how capable are we at continuous movements over different time durations?

Conditioning-Bias programming is a focus on improving our ability to handle work across different time domains. This programming is suitable for the majority of people who don’t choose to compete in the sport of CrossFit but rather in the “Sport of Life”.   The main goal is to increase health, fitness and longevity. No matter your age, weight, gender or health-status, the consistency with this programming will make you fitter, stronger, and healthier over the course of years and years into the future. As coaches, our goal is to not only make you fitter than you are today in 3 to 10 weeks, but we also want you to be fitter 10 years down the road too! We want to add quality years to our members’ lives.

Now, Conditioning-Bias programming does not mean you will never work on a strength movement. Strength movements are regularly added into a day’s programming as long as adding the strength movement before or after the workout compliments the WOD and allows for ample time in a class for coaching and individual attention. We want you to do lifts safely and proficiently.

At Sycamore CrossFit, you will primarily see conditioning-bias programming with a sprinkle of strength biased programming days.  We have found that most people can train this way safer and longer as it doesn’t tend to beat up the body as much as continuous strength training.  They are both beneficial and both have their place. If you want to be competitive in CrossFit, additional weightlifting or an additional strength bias might make sense, and you should ask a coach for more information.

We are currently on a conditioning-bias program and intend on continuing down that path. Will you get fit regardless of the bias we are focusing? YES, but at what price? Our job as coaches is to continually improve the programming by monitoring our members’ results and overall well being, all while minimizing the downside of aches and pains.  We will always tweak various aspects of the programming to achieve the best results for everyone. The most important thing for our members is to keep showing up and working hard!


CrossFit Programs Thrive

November Committed Club

The Holiday Season is in full swing, but the busyness of November did not stop our members from making progress and staying committed!

This month we have expanded our club to include extra programs like The Strength & Power Program, so now there are even more ways to join the club!

While not every athlete needs to be at the gym every day of the week, many of the goals our members have can be reached much faster by staying consistent with gym attendance.

We are so proud of everyone who comes into Sycamore CrossFit to reach their goals, but we are especially proud to celebrate the dedication of the individuals listed below

  • Mikalah Blomquist – 31
  • Nathan Fowler – 25
  • Anna Mommer – 24
  • Joe Schuld – 23
  • Chris Walters  – 22
  • Mallory Kapitanoff – 22
  • Rebecca Loomis – 22
  • Emily Ordlock – 21
  • Carl Balentyne – 20
  • Eric Wiersema – 20
  • Laura Harcar – 20
  • Phoebe Balentyne – 20
  • Ashley Hartmann – 19
  • Augustine Kim – 19
  • Baylee Foresman – 19
  • Bill Donner – 18
  • Lori Hawkins – 18
  • Nate Johnson – 18
  • Kalie Pesek – 17
  • Lynne Johnson – 17
  • Jeff Johnson – 16
  • Linda MacCulloch – 16
  • Pam Detzner – 16
  • Rachael Abell – 16
  • Alecia Rudisill – 15
  • Chris Johnson – 15
  • Dan Pevonka – 15
  • Joan Brandon – 15
  • Julie Bowker – 15
  • Kathy Siemianowski – 15
  • Nik Davis – 15


CrossFit Programs Summer Shred Thrive

August Committed Club

Introducing Monthly Committed Clubs!

We are excited to be adding a little something special to our Bright Spots Board. The Committed Club is designed to celebrate members who have attended 15 or more group classes in the previous month.

While not everyone needs to attend 15 times per month to reach their goals, many of our goals can be reached faster through more consistent attendance.

We are so proud of everyone who comes into Sycamore CrossFit to reach their goals, but we are especially proud to celebrate the dedication of the individuals listed below.

  • Mikalah B. – 23
  • Augie K. – 22
  • Conar D. – 22
  • Rebecca H. – 22
  • Eric W. – 21
  • Lori H. – 21
  • Anna M. – 20
  • Kalie P. – 20
  • Hannah S. – 19
  • Meg. R – 19
  • Baylee F. – 18
  • Carl B. – 18
  • Jeff J. – 18
  • Alecia R. – 17
  • Chris W. – 17
  • Kim P. – 17
  • Laura H. – 17
  • Clay H. – 16
  • Jenni L. – 16
  • Joe S. – 16
  • Lauren W. – 16
  • Mallory K. – 16
  • Nate J. – 16
  • Pam D. – 16
  • Phoebe B. – 16
  • David L. – 15
  • Julie B. – 15
  • Lynne J. – 15
  • Mac M. – 15
  • Nathan F. – 15
  • Sandy H. – 15
  • Tony S. – 15
CrossFit Getting Started Programs Thrive

Olivia V.’s Story

Before you read this letter, think of the qualities of someone (real or imaginary) who you think would should consider doing CrossFit.



We all love CrossFit because we want to be healthier, stronger, more mobile, maybe even just to look good! CrossFit can do all those things for us as long as we trust the system and put in the effort! CrossFit shows the benefits in the mirror, and our bodies physically show the hard work we put in each week and we can see that with our own eyes. But what about the things we can’t see?

CrossFit can do more than we realize for people, in Olivia Vollmar’s case it saved her life.

In an article by Brittney Saline called “Snatches Over Suicide,” she discusses the life of Olivia and all the constant struggles she had to face, that lead her to believe the only way out was to take her own life.

Olivia lost her mother when she was 7 years old. Her mother was constantly in and out of the hospital with a condition that caused her organs to dry up and die. This lead her at a young age to reject any kinds of religion because she couldn’t understand how God could love her and take her mother away. Olivia also struggled with her weight as she was growing up, at the age of 13 she weighed 281 pounds. This was due to the lack of control when it came to the nutrition and the amount of food that was being served to her by her father. Providing food was his way of showing his children that he loved them, he did not think he was doing anything wrong.

When Olivia became a senior in high school she was taking medication for anxiety and depression and experienced anxiety attacks. In December of 2015, her dad had 3 heart attacks with 3 hours, leading Olivia to take on the task of caring for her father. Four months later she was put on bed rest for complications with her ankle. After physical therapy she was still experiencing pain in her ankle, but she noticed the pain was spreading to other places too.

Doctors ran autoimmune tests and everything was normal, but Olivia knew something was wrong. She was then diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which is a syndrome where the brain will mistake nonpainful sensations for painful ones and is widespread throughout the body. This condition is hard for some people to understand which in turn caused them to think Olivia was lying about the pain just for attention.

All these components took her into a vicious cycle of feeling anxious, which made her feel physical pain, which made her more anxious. She could not stand this constant anxiety, pain, and uncertainty of maybe never feeling normal again. Olivia had plans to take her own life.

Until one day, and friend brought up CrossFit. It took a little bit of convincing, but she decided to give it a try. After she stepped foot in CrossFit 1808, the community welcomed her with open arms and kept her in when she wanted to quit. After 3 months she noticed her life finally turn for good. Olivia was excited about going to the gym, she started doing better in school, her confidence and drive was back, and she felt great about herself.

Today Oliva lost 85 pounds and no longer has any symptoms of fibromyalgia. CrossFit had saved her life, but how did it do it? It makes sense to us that when we exercise and eat right, it makes our bodies healthier. Although we never think about what it is doing to our brains because we can’t see the results in the mirror.

Have you ever noticed after a workout that you actually have more energy throughout the day? Have you ever felt like you slept better at night on the days you worked out? Have you ever noticed that you manage everyday BS better? This is no coincidence.

Hearing Olivia’s story and this topic is very close to my own personal experiences. I have struggled with anxiety and attacks before, but I have never been diagnosed with a disorder. These attacks are something I would not even wish on my worst enemy. Very similar to how Olivia describes it in her article, it does feel like you are drowning and nobody – not even yourself – can save you. At 18, I had finally realized that my anxiety was an issue and that not everyone constantly felt the way I did. I could never relax, and I would constantly be tired but never could fall asleep.

There were times where I would need to be somewhere in the afternoon, and I would wake up at 8 in the morning and I would count the hours before I had to be there.

I would wake up, check my phone: “It’s 8:04, I have to be there in 7 hours”

I would make breakfast, and I would check my phone again: “8:28, I now have 6 and a half hours”

Watch TV for a while, and I would check my phone again, “9:20, 5 and a half hours left.”

This would get worse and worse as the time got closer to my time to leave the house, and my anxiety would build. “What if I forget to leave?” “What if I’m late” “Will traffic be bad?” “Do I know what to do when I get there?” All these thoughts rushed into my head and I think about them the entire time before I actually got up to go to wherever I needed to be. This took a toll on me.

I would get irritable and lethargic and it got to a point where I did not want to do anything with myself because I did not want to deal with the anxiety. I just wanted to sit at home all day and do nothing, but even that made me more anxious because I felt unproductive and I was scared that I wasn’t doing anything with my life while everyone else was. It seemed like I could never escape it.

This is when I found CrossFit, and it makes me a totally different person. After I do a WOD that really kicks my ass, I feel phenomenal. You know that feeling when you can finally breathe again, that feeling of euphoria. You feel this way because after you put all that stress on your body, your brain releases chemicals called endorphins that are a natural pain reliever. These endorphins do not only help you feel good after a workout, but the also can change your brain in the long run.

Studies with exercise and its effect on anxiety, depression, and even memory loss have shown to be an effective cure over months. In short, exercise promotes the development of neurons in our brain that improves cognitive functions, but all you feel are the endorphins. As a result, your brain over time physically changes to adapt to the constant stimulus of exercise. When you routinely come to the gym, you’re not only physically changing your body to be healthier, but your mind as well.

After years of CrossFit, I feel like I can actually breathe. I can actually relax, I get things done that I need to get done, and I feel better about myself! CrossFit not only changed Olivia and I physically, but it has changed us mentally.

Think again of the qualities of a person that should consider doing CrossFit. Did you think of someone who is bored of their daily gym routine, out of shape, someone who wants to look good and so on? You’re right, but we forget to consider those who lack motivation, those who are going through a lot in their life, and those who don’t see a point anymore. CrossFit is for them too.

CrossFit is not just working out. CrossFit is a cure.


Coach Nate


Learn more about Olivia’s Journey:


Other Sources: