Q&A With My Personal Trainer


Running, Spinning, weight lifting, Insanity, biking, Zumba, kickboxing, Pilates… I’ve tried just about every type of exercise routine out there but not because I have to. It’s because I love it. I love working out and getting sweaty! Fitness has always been a huge part of my life but it was just after working with my trainer, Aron, that I’ve really started to understand the proper methods for my body type and goals. He has helped me realize what it is I need to do in order to tone my body in the right places and gain confidence in my ability to work hard in the gym. Even if you are an avid gym-goer, it’s still a great idea to have someone to push you just a little more than you would normally push yourself.

Aron Layman | Personal Trainer at The Arena District Athletic Club
Web: http://ArenaAthletic.com | Email: alayman@arenaathletic.com

Q: What is the biggest benefit of hiring a personal trainer?

Typically reasons why people hire a personal trainer are weight loss, education, accountability, and they want to be pushed outside of their comfort zone.   A trainer helps you establish the best ways in which to reach your desired goals.  They also debunk the many myths each of us are bombarded with on a daily basis.

Q: Do you personalize fitness plans based on a client’s specific goals?

Each client gets a personalized plan based upon the client’s goals.  Goals could range from becoming stronger to looking good in a swimsuit.   The goal determines the specific plan, which in turn determines what workout plan one would follow.

Q: With all of the fitness trends these days (CrossFit, Spinning, Pure Barre, Zumba, etc.) how do you know what type of workout is right for your body?

Fitness trends and diets have come and gone over the last fifty years but the reality is the basics have and always will work.  Work hard in the gym lifting weights, even harder in the kitchen, and be consistent and over time you will get results.  Nothing happens overnight, so be patient.  I personally lean towards CrossFit training because it emphasizes practical movements that we could face on a daily basis; the higher skill and intensity is something I really enjoy doing and teaching.

Q: What is the number one thing you see people in the gym doing incorrectly?

Bad form is seen in just about every corner of the gym and squatting is probably most commonly done incorrect but above all else I see a lack of intensity.  For the body to change it has to be pushed outside of its’ comfort zone.  Usually I see most people get just to the edge of that comfort zone and stop; if only they had push on a little further the body would have had no other option but to change.

Q: What would you say is the most common misconception about fitness and workout routines? 

I would say due to the media/marketing each of us face the common misconception that one can achieve results by taking a pill or trying the new infomercial workout DVD.   Ultimately, it will take a lot of hard work and dedication over time to achieve results.  What most people fail at is finding ways to manage family, work, fitness, and a social life, but all of these can be achieved if you stay consistent and surround yourself with a supportive group of people.

Q: Arena Athletic Club seems to have a really great team of trainers and other fitness professionals. Do you think that a smaller gym provides a more hands-on and personalized approach when it comes to training?

It’s possible that a smaller gym provides a more hands on personalized approach but ultimately regardless of where someone trains the knowledge based, personality, and communication skills of the trainer make all the difference.   The Arena District Athletic Club has a training staff with these intangible qualities and it just so happens to be a small gym…so to answer your question it is the world’s greatest gym to be a member and to seek exceptional personal training.

(above) General Manager, Bill Brown and Aron Layman

Q: Do you have a frog-to-prince story that you can share?

I could share with you numerous stories about weight loss and improved functionality in life but I have a female client who not only lost about forty pounds, but she changed careers to become a personal trainer.  Her passion for health and helping others has continued to grow as she is just about finished with schooling.  This frog to prince story will continue again and again as she becomes the one helping people reach their goals.

Q: What should everyone be doing to prepare for that summertime bikini body? 

Eat a clean diet, perform workouts consisting of weight training and cardiovascular activities, get plenty of water and sufficient rest, repeat over and over and over again! ♦

Fitness Fashion Favorites

I love feeling my best when I hit the pavement for a long run and since I’ve been signing up for more races this Summer, I decided to buy myself some athletic gear that I knew would be a smart investment on my body and my mind. When I meet a fitness goal, I allow myself to buy another item. Here are my top four just recently purchased finds!

1) Nike Free Run+ 3: I am crazy about coral so these caught my eye instantly! I’ve always been a Nike supporter and my old running shoes were way over their limit on miles. I stopped at FrontRunner on Lane Ave in Columbus and picked up these babies and have been very pleased with the comfort so far.

2) Lululemon Pace Setter Skirt: I am bananas about Lululemon. I could spend hours in there analyzing the entire brand – it’s beautiful. The women that work there are the most friendly I’ve ever seen in an athletic apparel store or retail in general, for that matter. My favorite new thing is the running skirt. It’s breezy but has the undershort that fits perfectly and even has a little zip pocket at the top that I barely notice. I was told to try it out for my first race so I picked up the white one before I ran a quarter marathon and absolutely loved it. I want to run in skirts all day.


3) VSX Sport cross front tanks and sports bra: These bras are amazing to workout in. The support and material are perfect for running, spinning, yoga, weight lifting, etc. They are also mega-hot!


4) Lululemon Speed Short:  Not only do Lululemon’s running skirts kick ass but also these adorably short speed shorts. I’ve tried many different bottoms to run in and never really found the perfect fit until I came across these pretty little shorts. I’d say they are the most comfortable shorts I’ve ever worn. Ever. The price is high but they are totally worth it.

It makes me feel great when I meet my goals and treat myself to sexy sports attire. What do you do to treat yourself? What are your favorite fitness brands and workout clothing?

Smoothie Craze

This post is inspired by a combination of my Aunt Kim’s love for Green Smoothies and the current smoothie trend sweeping Pinterest. I tend to blend up my favorite ingredients about once or twice a week for a post-workout meal or after a long run through the city. Today I ran 4.5 miles first thing in the morning and just had to make a green smoothie to replenish my muscles.

Sunkissed Abs

I was browsing around on Pinterest and just happened to come across a really great ab workout from the girls at ToneItUp.com. I usually do a combination of different workout routines but always work in two days a week of heavy abdominal workouts. This is a great collection!

Do you have any favorite fitness or exercise blogs that you visit?


Get Your Running Shoes On!


In honor of my first race over the weekend (Quarter Marathon in the Cap City Half), I am now making an effort to participate in one race per month in Columbus until the Columbus Marathon where I plan to do my first half marathon. A great perk of living in the city, most of the races start or finish right at my front door!

Here’s my monthly race list for the Summer.


1.) Pet Promise Rescue Run

Unfortunately, I’ll be out of town this weekend but I encourage anyone with a dog to participate in this 5k. It’s for a great cause and looks like a blast.


2) Columbus 10K

Considered “The Oldest Road Race in Columbus”.

3) The Color Run 

This has to be one of the most fun races I’ve ever heard of. My niece actually told me about it and after I looked it up, I couldn’t say no! Running around the city getting color thrown all over sounds like the best Saturday morning in the Summer!

4) Dog Jog 

Another dog friendly race throughout downtown Columbus. Since Jaxson and I can’t make it to the Rescue Run, we will have to put this on our calendars.

5) Columbus Marathon

There is a cap of 7k marathoners and 11k 1/2 marathoners and event sells out each year. I hope to work on my training before this and make it through the 1/2 marathon!


Are you going to be running any races this Summer?