Leisure Fitness Wellness Professional Network – Meet the Trainer: Jane McKenna

Article by Tyler Bastianelli
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Train With Jane - Jane Mckenna Self Defense Training
Leisure Fitness Trainer Network includes a variety of fitness professionals and in this MEET THE TRAINER segment we would like to introduce you to Jane Mckenna.

INTERVIEW w/ Jane V. Mckenna, National Academy on Sports Medicine – Personal Trainer.
Training Location – Potomac, MD

-At what age did you become physically active?
I grew up in a family that was super active. My father ran long distance before it was popular. I would hear him get up and eventually I started running races when I was in grade school. I learned to swim when I was four and joined the local swim team in the summer. During the school year, I had ran on the track team, played basketball and softball. My parents stayed in fantastic shape even in their senior years, so they were great examples and I loved both team and individual sports.

-Did you play sports in high school and/or college?
I played basketball on a all girl’s team at a Catholic High School outside of Washington, DC. I was a guard. My school also had a Tae Kwon Do instructor and I started martial arts training when I was 14. I also started training for the NY City Marathon when I was in high school, planning to run it in college. I now have my First Degree Black Belt in Tai Kwon Do and I have run 17 marathons. In college I ran my first NY City Marathon, training before and after classes at the University of MD. During college, I continued my martial arts training while I got my degree in Criminology.

-Did you study health and fitness in an academic setting? (degrees in exercise science, physical education, kinesiology, etc.)
No, my degree is in Criminology and Political Science.

-How do you seek out continuing education?
I take Continuing Education through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. (NASM). I also attend Self-Defense seminars, taught by recognized leaders in the Martial Arts Industry. I also study Cane-Fu, which is Self-Defense using a cane.

-Do you specialize in a training style?
Yes, I concentrate on Senior Fitness, Fitness for those in Assisted Living Programs and Aging in Place fitness programs. I also train young women before they attend college and teach safety programs/self-defense for business owners.

-What is your coaching style? (Cheerleader vs. drill sergeant)
My style encompasses the Positive approach, I am committed to helping others want to reach their goals through positive reinforcement and an environment of self-esteem.I want my clients to look forward to working out, not be afraid of our appointment.

-Do you include a health assessment prior to beginning a fitness program?
My strategy is always to do a Health Assessment prior to our first training session. I spend a minimum of an hour and half, discussing not just about my client’s fitness and general healthy, but also about what is going on in their life. Major changes are important for me to be aware of, and I want to be informed to be aware of stress, sleep and lifestyle to help me plan their Plan.

-How frequently do you see your clients? (Once a week, twice a week?)
I see the majority of my clients once a week. Some clients need more sessions in the first few weeks, 2x a week to get them on a schedule and to keep motivation high.

-What kind of clients do you usually work with and what results were they trying to attain?
I specialize in Senior clients, many whom have recently retired or thinking about this major life change. Most want to lose weight and get in shape for the first time in their life. They want to be able to play tennis, golf, perhaps run a 5K. I also have developed a program for Seniors with limited income to stay or even become independent in their own homes. With these clients, I teach balance, strength training and confidence to live in homes with stairs, carry groceries, and be in control of daily living activities.

Professional obligations:
-Where did you get certified to be a personal trainer? (N.S.C.A., N.A.S.M., and A.C.S.M. are the gold standards)
I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, N.A.S.M.
I am also certified through N.A.S.M. as a Weight Loss Specialist and a Senior Fitness Specialist. I also am a “Cane-Master”, teaching Combat Veterans to use their cane as a weapon, not a crutch, defending themselves with their cane. I study with internationally recognized masters in this field.

-How do you program and track the client’s progress?
I create a personal folder for each client. This folder/information includes data from my initial assessment and has goals and tailored exercises created specifically for the clients needs. This can include current weight, identification of goals and progress in our sessions, including weight loss, goal achievements.I also send customized exercises after our sessions, noting any regression or progress.

-What is your strategy for preventing and dealing with injuries?
To prevent injuries, I stress the importance of warming up, not over-doing the program we’ve initiated and being aware of their limitation within their goals. If an injury does occur, I postpone the session and encourage my clients to see their physician immediately and always stress rest is key. I encourage good nutrition and stay on track on diet and rest.

-Do you stay on top of the latest fitness trends and related research?
Yes,I belong to a local health club and network with their personal trainers. I go to Personal Training Seminars through the N.A.S.M. programs, I subscribe to many Fitness magazines including The Training Edge. I read all the books on fitness and nutrition so I stay informed of fads and proven methods for staying healthy and staying fit.

-Do you hold liability insurance?
Yes, I have policies for both Personal Training clients and my self-defense clients.

-Why did you embark in this profession?
In college, I successfully fought off a serial rapist while I was training for a marathon. I knew being fit helped saved my life. I knew I was good at motivating and sharing information and teaching others to feel good and look good. I wanted to help people not be afraid of life, to enjoy being healthy and stay strong, no matter what age. People always ask me how I stay in shape, because I am the same weight as I was in high school. I wanted to tell how they can do it too.

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