Welcome to the Rebecca Rovay-Hazelton interview. Rebecca is a successful personal trainer, freelance writer, and nutritionist. Rebecca is also the author of the bestselling book Choosing Health: A One-Size-Doesn’t-Fit-All Guide To Diet, Exercise & Motivation. Because of all she has accomplished, Rebecca is a very good example of how fitness trainers can look outside the box and diversify how they help people.
Joe Cannon. Where do you work?
Rebecca Rovay-Hazelton I work in Santa Cruz, CA. I train clients in a local fitness club (Toadal Fitness), outdoors, and sometimes even at my house! 🙂 I do a lot of nutrition appointments via the phone, at my office, or at a local tea-house. 🙂
JC who are you certified by?
RRH I’m Certified by ACE for Personal Training and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consulting. My BA degree is from the University of California, Santa Cruz. It's actually a double major in Psychology and Psychotherapeutic Dance. I’m licensed by AHSU (American Health Science University) as a nutritionist. I am also certified as an Advanced Metabolic Typing Adviser through the Metabolic Typing Institute. In addition, I'm certified as a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist through the Functional Diagnostic University, and lastly, I'm certified through the Egoscue University as a Postural Alignment Specialist.
JC What got you interested in fitness?
RRH I've always LOVED being active and started dancing at an early age. Being fit feels great – it doesn't make sense to me to not be interested in fitness. 😉
JC how long have you been in the fitness field?
RRH I have been in the fitness field for almost 10 years.
JC Did you have any mentors when you were starting?
RRH When I started my career, some of my co-workers were excellent mentors. I also attended many seminars (still do, actually).
JC Who do you enjoy working with the most?
RRH I enjoy working with people who are truly thankful for their health and realize what a gift it is. I find it rewarding when clients understand their responsibility in taking charge of their own health and utilize my expertise to guide their process.
JC Do you remember your first client? Is there anything you wish you would have done differently during your first session?
RRH My first client was a friend of my husband. He was used to lifting heavy weights but didn't have the best form. While it was good for him to learn proper technique, he had to lower the weights quite a lot to maintain good form and his ego had a hard time making the adjustment. Not sure what I would have done differently…maybe trained him outside of the stereotypical meat-head gym so that he didn't have the outside pressure.
JC How do you advertise your services outside of the gym?
RRH Facebook, Twitter, my website, health lectures, and mostly referrals.
JC What’s your book about?
RRH My book is titled Choosing Health: A One-Size-Doesn’t-Fit-All Guide To Diet, Exercise & Motivation. It’s is about small steps that people can take to improve their health. I cover the psychological, nutritional, fitness, and rest components that are essential to health and promote tools for discovering how one person's ideal health plan is different than another person's because of their biochemical individuality.
JC Why did you write your book?
RRH I wrote it because I am passionate about educating the masses that one-size-fits-all approaches to their health do not work. I want to empower people to gain a much deeper understanding of their personal health needs rather than wasting their time (and health) trying to fit into a cookie-cutter mold.
JC What can a personal trainer learn from your book?
RRH Most fitness trainers receive a generic education when it comes to nutrition. My book delves into functional nutrition which most trainers – unless they pursued classes after their PT certification – have never been exposed to. My book also goes into some deeper core concepts about lifestyle change, motivation, and psychology which trainers will find helpful when working with their clients.
JC Have you written for any magazines or newspapers?
RRH Yes. I've written for several magazines including, Personal Fitness Professional, Growing Up In Santa Cruz, The Metro, and some online publications as well. There is a full list available on my website www.choosinghealthnow.com.
JC Do you have a YouTube Channel?
JC Has your psychology background helped you as a trainer?
RRH It helps me with every client, every day because people have so much going on below the surface. Their thoughts and emotions hugely affect their ability to be present at a training session, follow a fitness or nutrition plan, and maintain their results.
JC When you train people at home what's the biggest difference from training at a gym?
RRH Mainly the variety of equipment and the clients' level of comfort. Some people are more comfortable outside of a gym setting.
JC What equipment do you use when you train people at home?
RRH I sometimes bring a TRX to my clients' homes. They usually already have Swiss balls, foam rollers, free weights and tubing.
JC Do you use any nutrition software when you do phone consultations?
RRH Indirectly. If I am working with a client for Metabolic Typing, I receive the results of their test analysis from Healthexcel.
JC What do you enjoy most about being in the fitness field?
RRH I love being part of a dynamic driving force of motivated professionals who want to help people improve their quality of life. It is a noble profession. 🙂
JC What do you enjoy least – if anything – about the fitness industry?
RRH I don't enjoy that the larger infrastructure doesn't allow people who can't afford quality fitness or nutritional counseling to utilize our services. I think insurance should cover fitness training and doctors should be writing prescriptions for training and meal planning rather than drugs.
JC If you could say something to all personal trainers what would it be?
RRH Trainers: Never assume that you know everything. We always have more to learn.
JC. Thanks for your time Rebecca! I very much appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to help your fellow fitness trainers attain a higher understanding of health. Keep me posted on your continued success 🙂