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Personal trainers help Greatest Loser teams achieve fitness goals

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post IndependentNew Castle Family Fitness personal trainer Claudia Craig helps Greatest Loser participant Kendra Jones during a workout. Her teammate with the Post Independent team, Matt McDonell is in the background.
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NEW CASTLE, Colorado – In this fast-paced modern world, time is valuable. That’s why many serious fitness buffs make the most of their time in the gym by taking advantage of services offered by personal trainers.

With one-on-one attention provided by personal trainers, clients can learn to use the fitness equipment correctly, learn to use their body efficiently and safely, and create realistic fitness goals.

Trainers take the time to assess each client’s strengths and possible medical issues, which makes a difference in planning personal fitness programs. No matter what someone is going through in their personal life, fitness training can be beneficial, releasing stress and anxiety and giving the client a feeling of accomplishment.



New Castle Family Fitness personal trainers Jennifer Harbottle and Claudia Craig are a dynamic duo, offering much-needed support to clients working for fitness success. The trainer’s attention to their individual clients is highly appreciated. They also make workouts fun, according to Greatest Loser participants Donna Dunlap and Kendra Jones of Team Post Independent.

“Our trainers are both so cool, they are a big support,” said Dunlap. “If we are down, they both know how to get us through this and help pick us up again.”



“I have been doing the boot camp classes offered by New Castle Family Fitness and they are fun [hard, but fun!]”

Jennifer Harbottle became involved in the fitness field because she decided she wanted to help people feel good about who they are, not just about how they look.

She has been a personal trainer for nine years and a group aerobics instructor for a whopping 20 years.

“People motivate me,” said Harbottle. “Seeing the transformation that takes place both physically and emotionally is amazing. It gives me great pride I’m in this profession. And we’re having fun, too.”

Personal trainers spend a lot of time striving to keep up with the newest techniques and fitness theories, which can change almost every day. They realize training is a way of life, not just a career.

Besides being aware of all the latest fitness advances, Harbottle keeps herself on track by reciting a women’s daily prayer devotion.

Harbottle revealed, “The most misunderstood idea about training is, ‘I have to be fit before I can train with you.’ Aarrggg.”

“What frustrates me most about training is when people workout so hard to get into shape and then go to McDonalds’ for lunch and eat a 2,000 calorie meal,” she continued. “The diet portion of working with a trainer is just as important as the exercise. The combination of the two will ensure success.”

“The best thing is seeing the satisfaction my clients get when they achieve their first milestone and realize they can do it,” Harbottle said.

Harbottle and her family spend free time camping, four-wheeling, hiking and fishing in the summer, and she loves to snowshoe in the winter.”

New Castle Family Fitness Trainer Claudia Craig has been involved in fitness all her life, starting swimming, biking, aerobics classes and weight training at a young age. She’s been training for three years and teaching group exercise classes for six years.

Craig is intrigued by the fitness field because she feels people are struggling with so many aspects of health and fitness.

“When I can help someone to make a change for the better, it is extremely satisfying,” she said. “Being a part of someone making a life change and deciding to use me for their motivation, and seeing someone reach a fitness goal is one of the best parts of my job.”

Personal trainers are required through their certifications to have a number of continuing education units in a time period. Many trainers carry other special certifications which require more continuous education.

The average training appointment is one hour, but it can range from 1⁄2 hour to 1 1⁄2 hours depending on the age, weight, health and fitness level of the client.

Age shouldn’t keep clients away from the gym. Craig enjoys teaching Silver Sneakers classes at New Castle Family Fitness for slightly older exercisers.

“It gives me the most motivation, because if they can do it, anybody can.”

She considers the most misunderstood thing about fitness training is women who think they will bulk up by weight training.

“Strength training is crucial for women to prevent bone loss,” Craig said. “A woman can tone beautifully without adding bulk. I get that concern a lot.”

Some people think results are going to come overnight, and that frustrates any trainer. It takes eight weeks to just change the mindset to live a healthy lifestyle.

Craig said, “A recent client struggled with health issues lost 12 pounds in eight weeks and feels better that she has in a long time. She is grateful for the changes in her health and her outlook is amazing.”

Craig spends a great deal of time in the gym, so she enjoys taking opportunities to have fun outside with her family..

Both trainers recommend parents turn off the TV, get them outside and moving every day. It can be as simple as a game of catch or dancing around the house for 30 minutes..

Sometimes trainers invent new ways to motivate their clients. Harbottle felt it was time for a little friendly competition between the two Greatest Loser teams. All but one team member participated in the challenging circuit for an hour-and-a-half of grueling sprints, push ups, sit-ups and more last Saturday, February 20.

The champions were determined by which team had the most winning members in the individual events. Team Post Independent was declared victorious, winning an extra workout with the trainers.

“We had a blast, it was so much fun,” said Dunlap. “‘Our team did awesome, and while doing the different contests, we cheered each other on. Our team won all of the contests that morning. I felt so good after we were done, we all accomplished everything that morning that we had to do. I did 78 sit ups in two minutes – the harder way! I was proud of myself.”

Keep tuned for more updates and results of the Greatest Loser competition


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