NewsPersonal HealthTrainingWeight Loss

Moving Weirdly in Austin?

Driving out of the Bay area a few weeks back was interesting. We chose to drive from San Mateo to Austin because we have a dog who suffers from travel anxiety and cannot be contained in a kennel. I also happen to love car rides and taking in the scenery.

What to do in Austin

During the drive, I was able to think a lot about what I was going to do in Austin. One thing I have always known is that I want to help people. In my tech career, that meant working on a training team or doing product or service-focused writing. In the world of fitness, it means I want to continue helping people move better.

I Can Help You

Over the past couple of years, I have met and worked with people from mid-twenties to mid-seventies, with goals of losing weight, getting stronger, or simply feeling and moving functionally better. Since moving here, many people have asked me what type of client I am looking for. I don’t have a simple answer. Similar to my workouts, I want a variety of clients. If you want to…

  • get moving and lose weight, I can help you
  • challenge yourself with weight lifting goals, I can help you
  • undo pain and discomfort from commuting or office work, I can help you.

If you are pregnant, wanting to become fit before becoming pregnant, or dealing with post-pregnancy effects, I can help you.

Who the Heck is Keli Hay?

My blog posts hit on a lot about me. In particular, if you are considering a personal trainer, please read Finding and Working with a Personal Trainer. This was scripted based on my own experience working with a trainer.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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NewsPersonal HealthTraining

Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again

Yes – I am on the move!

It has been just over a year in the Bay Area for me doing personal training. For various reasons, my husband and I are on the move, which is very exciting for all of us. It is a chance to explore and live in a city where we have many friends – similar to why we moved here six years ago.

Where Too

During the month of August, I will be finishing up with local clients and in September we are moving to Austin, Texas. We have never lived in Texas and heard many good things about Austin. We have both visited the city in the dead of summer, so we know about the heat and humidity. Having lived in Bermuda previously, we are optimistic the humidity won’t be quite as bad in Austin.

The Domain

Based on friend input and city research, we have decided to move into The Domain area in the north part of the city. I have found a gym in the neighborhood where I can work. Because I have not yet committed to a particular location, I am open to meeting with people in different areas of the city.

If you are seeing my blog for the first time, here is some information about me. Should you happen to live or work in Austin, please reach out for a training consultation.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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Personal HealthTraining

Bracing and Breathing to Avoid Squirting

Watching many people lifting around the gym, I wonder how much time they spend thinking about and practicing the core elements – bracing and breathing – of any exercise. I watch faces go deep red/purple because people do not breathe through an entire rep and I see hips and shoulders shift when leg exercises go from downward to upward motions.

Without proper bracing and breathing, you can hurt yourself at the gym – especially as you increase weights. For example, you could:

Poor Bracing and Breathing

As I’ve been building strength in deadlifts and back squats and, as the weights increased, my body would shift and I would lift my hips first instead of having a full body upward movement. This resulted in two problems – lower back ache and collar bone discomfort. When the shifting was identified, I paid more attention to what my body was doing when it occurred. Typically my breathing was off – I would exhale at the wrong time – which would affect my bracing, making me shift.

How I’ve Been Fixing It

Instead of simply pushing through the discomfort, I have taken the past few months – yes months – to work on improving things. I started with basic adjustments – reducing weights or shifting to body weight equivalents for example. Something else I decided to do was increase my core exercises, do more total body workouts, and increase my cardio. I workout 5-6 days a week and 4-5 of those days have included several core-focused exercises. For the cardio aspect, I have stuck with the treadmill and the Fitbit Coach app. 5 days a week, I do 1 or 2 treadmill workouts that have me varying speed and incline. What I love about the Fitbit Coach, is that there is music in the background (based on my settings) and a person coaching me as I walk. This coach has me checking my form and breathing in every workout. This has helped increase my cardiovascular health, while tightening my core and making me aware of how my body moves.

The Results

My isolated weight exercises, while seated or standing, with dumbbells or the barbell have increased. I can either do more reps comfortably at a faster pace (should I chose endurance) or I can lift heavier weights with proper form. I am more quickly aware of when my form is off, so I can pause and reset my core and breath before attempting the next rep.

The best result? I am more comfortable with the weights and I am getting leaner at a nice, steady pace.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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Certified Personal Trainers Do More Than Lift

At least the good ones do…

At a weekly meeting last week, I was asked to share with the group something about what I do that people might not know.


I stated how I am CPR AED certified; that I can stretch body parts and break knots; that I know what a calorie is and the importance of macros in a diet; and that I can work with anyone – from children to the elderly in pretty much any physical condition.

This surprised everyone in the room. They viewed me as someone that simply shows a person how to work with weights and move around a gym. I would like to say that I am surprised, but I am not. There are many perceptions about personal trainers because of how they behave in the gym setting – from spending more time on their cell phones that focusing on their clients, to how they execute a personal work out.

Lots to Learn

Studying to become a personal trainer didn’t occur overnight. This was a career change for me. This is something that I wanted to pursue and execute well. I studied for over 2 months and became certified through the National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF). It is now up to me to maintain my certification. How do I maintain/recertify? For starters, I have to retake the CPR AED course every two years. I also have to earn educational credits. This is where I get to have fun – but it isn’t cheap. There are so many options out there and it is up to me to determine my own path.

Similar to my workouts, I love variety. I want to help a variety of people so that I don’t feel like I am doing the same thing day in and day out. Because I love sports, I am currently studying to become a strength coach. I have completed TRX and Bulgarian Bag courses and am certified with Axius Core which has provided me with a good mix of mediums to train with. Next month, I am completing the Pre/Postnatal Specialty Certificate to become a Pronatal Certified Trainer.

If you are looking for help getting moving, feeling stronger, losing weight, or becoming more flexible, I am here for you whenever you are ready.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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