Personal Trainer Spotlight: Esther Choi Williams with fitblvd
Area Servicing: Servicing the greater Hopewell & Princeton, NJ area
Experience: Personal Trainer and Certification in Applied Functional Science (CAFS) from the Gray Institute and TRX instructor.
At Gym Source, we value the expertise of personal trainers. That’s why we regularly spotlight local trainers who have a passion for fitness. This month we are featuring Esther Choi Williams, with fitblvd, who wants everyone to know that fitness is a journey. You will have successes, and you will have setbacks, but the most important thing is to keep moving forward.
As a 45 year old mother of two, Esther’s fitness journey has evolved over time, and her numerous personal and professional endeavors have all left their mark. “My fitness journey is constantly changing. Of course when I began it was centered around aesthetics, but that has transformed into a higher priority on health, functionality, and daily movement.”
Her passion for movement reached a new level while working for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Integrative Medicine Center in New York.
“I got my personal training certificate because I love helping people. But, in working with cancer survivors I began to understand and appreciate fitness for survival. I learned the importance of showing people that celebrating small accomplishments (like increased mobility, balance, and functionality) is the best way to spark inspiration to stay committed to their long-term health and wellness goals.”
Her own recent injury was a big contributor for her empathy towards those who want to be healthy but their body places limitations on them. She knows from experience the effort required to work your way back to health after medical issues force you to take a step back.
“I was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis in January this year, which is brought on by super intense workouts. When you push your muscles too hard, it can cause your muscle fibers to die, which releases protein (myoglobin) into your bloodstream. My symptoms started with soreness in my right arm and in a few days, it started to swell and move down past my elbows.”
Esther spent 5 days in the hospital before she could return home. This experience is now always in the back of her mind.
Her advice to anyone who loves to workout, and who gets an adrenaline rush from pushing their body to the limit, is to stay in tune with your body. “During your more strenuous workouts listen to your body – and step back if your body says no. Ego is not your amigo.”
In an effort to keep her workouts challenging yet engaging over the years, Esther eventually built a home gym in her basement or, as she calls it, her sanctuary.
“Life happened. I got busier. I used the same time constraints that life imposes on everyone to motivate me to build a workout space in my home, to keep my health a priority.”
This is where Gym Source is proud to join Esther’s journey.
Esther and her family prioritize variety in their workouts, with a focus on fitness fundamentals like starting with the basics and working your way up.
She views every workout in her home gym as a gift, and says it is one of the major reasons she shares her workouts on Instagram. Her goal is to keep the workouts constantly varied enough to be challenging, but also to show how fun exercise can be and how excited everyone should be to be able to incorporate it in their life.
“I have worked with a lot of people who want to get strong. This means different things for different clients. Ultimately, I want people to walk away from our time together feeling that they can do so much more than they thought they could and to build on that experience.”
Esther’s sweat sessions from her home gym showcase her creativity with various fitness equipment. “It all comes from Gym Source — from the weight racks to the larger machines like the Cybex Bravo, the TRX Home Gym, and the Hoist Mi6 Functional Training System.”
While the workout videos she posts on Instagram may seem very advanced, many movements are accessible to the beginner. She modifies workouts to match the fitness and endurance levels of her clients. When training clients, she recommends starting with the basics for your home gym, and building your workout arsenal from there.
Esther recommends that beginners consider starting with free weights because “they are so versatile. Plus, you can incorporate heavier weights, and progress the exercises as you get stronger. You also can’t go wrong with exercise bands, a few weighted balls and a TRX home gym.”
“I’m always encouraging everyone to move, sweat – but most importantly to enjoy the experience, because until you can’t, you don’t realize how much you take movement for granted,” Esther explains.
“As I reflect back on my fitness journey, I am really proud of what I’ve accomplished. But now, as an older and recently an injured woman of 45 years, I see the value of preserving my health and joints. But, don’t get me wrong – I still love my high intensity workouts! I just have to workout smarter.”
Need help finding the perfect home fitness equipment to reach your goals? Connect with one of our equipment experts at your local Gym Source fitness equipment store.
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