George Guerin is President and Founder of PPTS Wellness, an in-home, comprehensive wellness system focusing on fitness, nutrition and massage for individuals and students of all fitness levels. Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Council on Exercise, Guerin counts celebrities, athletes, professionals and homemakers among his PPTS clients.
Guerin has also partnered with several schools in NYC to develop a cirriculum that includes conditioning, movement patterns, focus, sports skills and team building. Guerin also writes for his popular NJ.com fitness blog.
How do you start your own day? Do you have any daily rituals or routines?
Unfortunately, my days normally start around 5am. I’m up and out of bed between 4:50 and 5:10am, out of the house around 5:30am ready to train my early bird clients. Before I leave the house, I make time to eat breakfast. It sounds horrible, but really it’s the best time of the day to commute; my mind is clear, there are no distractions and I can focus on the task that day.
What are your eating habits like? Do you follow any specific program of eating?
My eating philosophy is very simple: I try not to eat like a five year old. If it’s on a kid’s menu, I know not to eat it. I am also a creature of habit and tend to eat the same things each day. I eat plain oatmeal with nuts for breakfast and normally a tuna or chicken avacado salad or wrap for lunch. I snack on fruit or yogurt. For dinner, I’m the cook in my house and responsible for fueling three kids. I can cook anything from fresh fish to tacos to chili. I try not to overdo it on the health end for the kids but they are allowed anything in moderation. They usually have a small dessert and, if I’m in a rush, it’s Amy’s Organic Cheese Pizza for everyone!
There’s so much research being done and advice being published, how do you tell what’s real and what’s fake? How do you decide what’s relevant and what isn’t?
Great question. Unfortunately most of the fitness information out there is not relevant and if it sounds too good to be true, it normally is. Fad diets, infomercial quality fitness equipment and even many “celebrity trainers” have no clue what they are doing. Fitness classes aren’t for everyone; I often see classes that are too intense for the 98% of the students and causing injuries.
I would never say I’ve seen it all, but being a trainer for almost 20 years, I have a good handle on what is happening in the industry. Regarding research, I would never hang my head out on just one study. I like to gather as many studies and as much evidence as possible before I start incorporating something new in a client’s protocol. I never stop continuing education or discussing trends with other trainers to keep certifications and exercise physiology degree relevant.
Is there any current thinking about diet and fitness that needs to be challenged?
I don’t like to even think about diets. To me diets are a short term solution to a long term issue. I like to think more in terms of psychology and behavior change. So, in that sense, yes, in my opinion diets need to be challenged. However, certain things work for certain people so I wouldn’t completely rule them out for everyone.
Is there anything new you’ve started doing recently, or anything you’ve quit?
I’d say the most recent thing I’ve been doing is incorporating Apps into my workouts. Apps are making trainers’ jobs much more efficient. Whether it’s incorporating heart rate variability, meditating or looking at the power output per workout, apps are certainly helping trainers create more efficient workouts and ensure their client is pushing him or herself. As a result, I can stop using the rating of perceived exertion. By being able to graph power output during a session (available with Adidas MiCoach) I can see if a client is working hard by evaluating power output combined with HR.
How do you make adjustments to your workout? It’a hard to know what to do when you’re tired or having a bad workout.
As I age, I let my body be the barometer. If I feel great, I may push harder and if I am fatigued, I may pull back to reduce the risk of injury or over-training. This will also depend on the season and if I am working towards any personal goals.
Can you share some of the specific things you notice your top clients doing differently than the average client?
My top clients make their time with me a priority. They schedule business and other events (within reason) around their workouts. Prioritizing health is the difference between clients. They all want to be fit, they all want to get better and take their fitness to the next level, however some are more committed than others.
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