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We Asked A Personal Trainer Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Working Out

We asked Future coach Kristina Jennings to share some expert tips on how to maximize our workouts. Future is an awesome app that connects you with a world-class fitness coach. Sign up today and pay just $19 for your first month.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and why you became a trainer?

Why did you decide to work with Future?

KJ: I was excited to become a part of the Future team because of the opportunity to reach more people through fitness and technology while working alongside an incredible team of not only performance coaches, but also a growing team of like-minded professionals with different backgrounds and experiences than mine. At Future, we offer a personalized program and pair you with a coach that is going to write your workouts based on your needs, goals, injuries, schedule, equipment availability, progress/regress and help hold you accountable while building an authentic relationship. Future offers a unique and personable fitness experience, so that is what excited me most.

How long have you been a trainer?

KJ: Almost 10 years!

What are some common mistakes people make when working out alone?

KJ: Some common mistakes of working out alone is not knowing what to do at the gym (which is totally normal!) or not knowing how many exercises/reps to do. Another common mistake is not knowing how much weight to use for different exercises. Working with a coach/being on a program can help fix all of that!

How important is nutrition as part of anyone’s fitness journey?

KJ: Nutrition and fitness go hand in hand. When looking for optimal results, dialing in on your nutrition in addition to your workouts is key. Fueling your body with whole, nutrient-dense foods, being mindful of portion control (when looking to gain or lose weight), and staying hydrated are all important components when looking to change your physique — if that is your goal.

How do you track fitness goals and success with your clients?

KJ: Goals and success are all measured differently depending on the client in my opinion. Some clients are very goal-driven and need a numeric and/or a physical transformation to feel like they've reached success. For other individuals, having the motto of "something is always better than nothing" when squeezing in a 10-minute workout in between meetings was all their schedule allowed for that day can still be looked at as a "win" in my eyes.

What is the best pre-workout snack?

KJ: Some of my favorite pre-workout snacks are a piece of fruit, almond butter on (multigrain) bread, or a protein shake. I like to keep it light!

Is it better to stretch before or after a workout?

KJ: Warming up before a workout is key. Incorporating soft tissue work with a foam roller, getting in stretching/mobility work, adding in activation, and a dynamic warm-up before your workout will help prime your muscles and help you avoid getting injured during your workout. Doing a cool-down stretch post-workout can be beneficial too.

What’s the best way to get a good workout in 30 minutes?

The best way to get in a good workout in 30 minutes is to have a plan! Have an idea of what you want to do for your workout going into it.

Get the guidance you need from an elite personal trainer like Kristina when you sign up for Future. BuzzFeed readers pay just $19 for their first month!

Images via Future. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.