Your wedding is fast approaching and aside from planning the grand event, don’t forget to include self-care. It’s easy to get caught up in the big details and end up pushing yourself to your breaking point. I reached out to fitness expert Aubrey Hunt who is based out of New Jersey. Aubrey who is known as “The Bride Trainer”, has experience training non-bride clients as well. Here she gives us ideas on what you can do to get yourself into shape for your wedding and beyond.
CR: Hello Aubrey. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? Why did you decide to become a trainer and how long have you been a trainer?
AH: I have been a competitive athlete my entire life and played Division 1 sports, so fitness and being active has always been a big part of my life. It has never felt like a chore or something I had to do; it was more of a stress-relief and a challenging but fun environment to be in. I started using a personal trainer when I was only 14 years old, because I wanted to become strong for my dream of playing college athletics. Craig was my first trainer and he was funny, smart, and very passionate about what he was doing. Upon graduating college in 2015 with my Bachelors’ Degree in Motivational Psychology, I was thinking to myself, “What am I going to do with my life?” A few weeks after moving back home, Craig and I reconnected because he had transferred to one of the most well-known gyms in the country, Equinox. He told me to come visit him in NYC for the day at Equinox– little did I know that, that was my interview! The next day I got a call asking to be a personal trainer there. And that was the beginning!
CR: That’s quite the goal and what a great start! What made you focus on brides which made you earn the name “The Bride Trainer”?
AH: After my time at Equinox, I wanted to begin my own business. I wanted freedom to create my own schedule, select my own clientele, and charge my own prices. I wanted to work for myself. I come from a very creative family, so when brainstorming with my mom and dad about what I should call myself, the Bride Trainer came to light. My mother has been a bridal designer for 20 years, and we all thought it would be an interesting demographic to target. I did some research and was surprised that, that name was not already taken! Growing up around my mom and watching her design passionately for her brides, I got a lot of experience in the wedding industry and learned what brides want and don’t want for their big day. I love the challenge of having a deadline and not only helping brides to fit in their dress, but also building confidence and self-esteem so that they feel beautiful in their skin every day and not just on their wedding day.
CR: How very cool that you were able to blend what you do with what your mother does in a way that works. Do routines vary for clients who aren’t brides to be?
AH: The way I train my clients varies based on the individual, bride or not bride. I have trained military, candidates for the police academy, new moms, cancer survivors, young athletes, senior citizens and more. The programs I design are specific to each client and what goals they are looking to accomplish.
CR: Is there a nutrition program to go along with your training program? If so, what kinds of foods does that include? Sample menu?
AH: I do counsel my clients in nutrition and provide macronutrient guides that they can use to enhance their results. Nutrition is the most important aspect of reaching any fitness goal– whether you want to lose 200lbs, 15lbs, bulk and gain tons of muscle, or shred and do a fitness competition. Nutrition is so important, and a lot of people overlook it. They think, “I can just do cardio to burn this off” or “I’ll go to the gym extra this week.” You will never be able to out-train a bad diet. So, if your nutrition is not under control, you will not get the results you dream of. In the consultation process, I take my clients through a very in-depth questionnaire, and that includes asking them which foods they like and dislike and are allergic to. I cater to meat lovers, vegans, vegetarians, and pescetarians.
CR: You’re available online as well. Can you please explain how that would work for a bride who maybe isn’t in New Jersey and still wants to hire you to train them?
AH: There are several benefits to online training. When you train in person, the client is tied to a schedule and is forced to work out when I have them booked, not necessarily when it fits their life. The client pays on average 33% more. When training via satellite I, the trainer, can afford the time to oversee the client’s diet, the single most important thing in the entirety of fat loss and muscle gain. It is safe to say working out without detailed instructions on how to eat is pointless. You don’t have the pay fees to a gym and feed the pockets of the higher ups. The client pays more on average for maintenance of the gym/administrative employees than they do for their training. In short, online training is exponentially less cost to the client. I, the trainer, can afford the energy and attention to each client as I’m not on my feet 15 hours per day as I am in personal training. The result: way less money for the client, better results, less pressure to adhere to a strict schedule, taking care of food-the single most important part of training, and more personal care.
Online Training has been most successful for the self-motivated individual and mainly for people who live out of state, but I have several clients who aren’t as self-motivated and need the extra accountability and it works very well for them, too. The consultation process is free and done via phone call or facetime, where we get to know each other, and you tell me about your goals and fitness history. Following our consultation, I design your program. Workouts are sent weekly (every Sunday night) with videos for each exercise. If you need additional explanation on how to perform an exercise, I would be happy to do that. I design a meal plan for you that you would follow. The meal plan is created using macronutrient partitioning and it is designed specifically for YOUR body- no cookie cutter plans here. We have mandatory weekly check-ins, where you send me your weight once per week (we decide on a day together, Saturday for instance). You wake up, send me your weight after bathroom but before you eat or drink anything. Then you would send me progress photos so I can track your progress as I wouldn’t be seeing your body in person. These photos are 100% confidential and for my eyes only. Based on your weekly progress, I make the necessary changes to your program. I also provide 24/7 access to you, I help you with travel as far as planning meals and workouts that require no equipment, assist decision making when going to restaurants on what to order, and am available to you for questions, coaching, and motivation.
In addition to online training, I provide live sessions– where we train via Facetime, more for accountability purposes, and using the program I have designed for you. This is usually used by people out of state, but anyone can do these. We would schedule our “session” as we would in personal training, for instance Thursday 5:30 pm for 45 minutes. We would facetime, whether it be you in your gym or home or wherever you train, and I would train you via facetime the same way I would train you in person- only I am not physically there.
CR: Sounds like you’ve thought of everything to make the steps towards working with you very easy to make. What can a bride expect from you when she signs up? Walk me through a training session.
AH: During the first session, I always like to get the bride/client comfortable. Fitness is a very personal journey and oftentimes, requires people to be vulnerable and pushed outside of their comfort zone. I like to blast the kind of music they like that gets them pumped up and ready to workout. I never expect any client to know anything when they walk through the door. I teach them each movement as if this is their first time doing it. This first session is a learning day for me, as I assess how the client moves and where his/her strengths and weaknesses are. I do not want to build strength on top of dysfunction, so when there are issues with functional movement, I do my best to correct them first (for instance, if squatting incorrectly, identify the issue and fix before adding weight to the movement). If any exercises ever cause extreme discomfort or pain due to injuries, I always stop the client immediately and refer them to a physical therapist or doctor to make sure the injury is cared for.
CR: How close to the wedding can a bride expect to see results? For example, if she put off contacting you and now there are only 3-6 months left for her big day.
AH: I have had brides reach out 2 years in advance, and I have had brides reach out 3 months in advance. There is never a timeline for results, as each client’s goals and journey will be different. But I do provide the necessary tools for every client to be successful and accomplish what they want. I always say, “I am your GPS to your destination. All you have to do is get in the car and drive.”
CR: I love that quote! How do you incorporate someone’s possible pre-existing condition into your workouts? Let’s say a client has a slipped disc. Do you cater the workout to work around that or do you shy away from working with someone with pre-existing conditions?
AH: I always ask in the initial questionnaire if clients have ever had or currently have any injuries or medical conditions. Not only can injuries cause pain, but they can impact how the body moves functionally. Each client must be cleared by his/her physician before starting an exercise program with me. In the past, I have had clients who want to work with me but have a pre-existing injury or medical condition ask their physical therapists specifically what they can do and what they should avoid, so that while in the process of healing they can continue to live a healthy lifestyle. I will never shy away from working with anyone, but I do want to make sure the client’s safety is put first, which is why I sometimes refer them to a physical therapist if their injury or condition is impacting how they move.
CR: That’s great to know that you will refer out if you feel that’s what’s best for your client. What is some advice that you would give to anyone looking to start an exercising routine?
AH: My advice would be, be patient and trust the process. Anyone who tells you this journey is easy, or you can get “guaranteed results” is lying to you. I do not believe in the latest fad diets or shortcuts. I am all about living a balanced, healthy and happy lifestyle, feeling good in your skin, and working hard to get what you want. So, it will get tough, but when it does, that’s when you know it is working, and that is when you need to keep going. Never get complacent and always keep striving for more.
CR: Where can our readers find you and how can they reach you?
AH: Feel free to check out my website www.thebridetrainer.com as well as my Instagram @thebridetrainer where I share my own journey with you and help motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough. Nothing in life is easy, and if it is, it probably isn’t worth having. I am here to push you, educate you, cheer you on, and get you to where you want to be. If you’d like to learn more, contact me for your free consultation! <3
Thank you so much Aubrey for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I wish you continued success.