“I want to help people who want to help themselves,” Cole Clifford said of his approach to personal training. He doesn’t have much patience for those who expect to have their motivation given to them.
Clifford knows about the motivation it takes to perform at the limit of one’s physical ability. A former rowing coach, he continues to compete in masters rowing events and most recently took second place with his eight-man crew at a British Masters rowing regatta.
Clifford previously owned a gym in Burns Lake and at the time wrote a book to help his gym clients understand the dietary principles that need to accompany any workout regime. He has since updated and re-released the book in a new edition, “Changing You: your guide to a slimmer, stronger body”.
Judy Sheldrick, a registered nurse in Burns Lake, had been training under the guidance of Clifford for a couple of weeks when she took a few moments to sit down and describe her experience with Clifford.
“Fitness isn’t a drive-through experience; it’s not easy,” she said in describing the challenging routine that Clifford expects of her and anyone he trains.
“I work 12 hour shifts, and fit in exercise four times a week,” she said.
Her goal with training under Clifford’s guidance is to eventually be comfortable on her own in gym, with the knowledge and experience to handle the weights and fitness machines safely and effectively.
But exercise without good nutrition is a sabotaged effort that will have discouraging results Clifford explained. “Hard work with no results sucks,” he said.
“Nutritional intake is at least 50 per cent of the equation,” Clifford said. “Only when you apply yourself equally to both your training and the what, when and how much you eat, that you will ever have the satisfaction that comes with achieving your goals.”
Those goals aren’t necessarily about looking good in front of the mirror or fitting into smaller dress or pants size. “Vanity shouldn’t be the goal. You can be overweight but vital,” he said. “What good is a skinny body that isn’t functional?”
Sheldrick shares Clifford’s emphasis on the practical side of being fit and healthy. For her it all comes down to a simple, practical question.
“Do you want to be able to get out of bed yourself or do you want a nurse to help you?” she asked.
“You can have an active and disease-free life,” Clifford explains. “My lofty goal is to teach as many people as possible how to do this.”
Clifford’s book is available in hardcopy and as an e-book download at coleclifford.com