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Personal trainer Chontel Duncan reveals what everyone needs to know after eight years as a PT

A personal trainer has revealed her secrets and what she has learned after eight years of being an expert in her field. 

Chontel Duncan, 33, said she has seen a lot over the years while looking after clients in Brisbane, but there are eight major pieces of advice that she wants everyone to know.

‘Stick your favourite ones onto your fridge, whack them up on your bathroom mirror, or write them into your diary – whatever you need to keep them top of mind,’ Chontel posted on her website.

Personal trainer Chontel Duncan (pictured) has revealed her secrets and what she has learned after eight years of being an expert in her field

The 33-year-old personal trainer and mum-of-three said you need to stop telling yourself you 'have' to exercise, but rather try and make yourself see that you 'want' to

The 33-year-old personal trainer and mum-of-three said you need to stop telling yourself you ‘have’ to exercise, but rather try and make yourself see that you ‘want’ to

1. Learn to want to exercise

While many of us are guilty of telling ourselves that we don’t want to exercise but have to, Chontel said you need to adjust your mindset if you want to see results in the gym.

‘For a long time my mind was fixated on this need to exercise to get fit or lose weight, which made it hard to stick to a routine because it felt like a chore,’ the PT and mother-of-three said.

As soon as she stopped saying she ‘had’ to work out and replaced this with the word ‘want’, Chontel said she felt as though a cloud had been lifted and she knew she wanted to work out for how it would make her feel.

Chontel (pictured) explained you can't expect to succeed unless you are disciplined. You could do this by getting a diary to schedule in your workouts and what you're eating

Chontel (pictured) explained you can’t expect to succeed unless you are disciplined. You could do this by getting a diary to schedule in your workouts and what you’re eating

2. Get disciplined

Chontel’s second tip is to get disciplined about what you plan to do.

‘Put time in your diary to work out and stick to it,’ she said.

You could also get a food diary so you keep track of what you’re eating and when.

She added that it’s okay to move things around when life is busy, but you have to plan to succeed if you want to see real results.

One of the main things Chontel (pictured) said she has seen over the years is that people often compare themselves to friends, family members or anyone else they see in the gym

One of the main things Chontel (pictured) said she has seen over the years is that people often compare themselves to friends, family members or anyone else they see in the gym

One of the main things Chontel (pictured) said she has seen over the years is that people often compare themselves to friends, family members or anyone else they see in the gym

3. Stop comparing yourself to others 

One of the main things Chontel said she has seen over the years is that people often compare themselves to friends, family members or anyone else they see in the gym.

‘Having someone to look up to is great, but remember we live different lives, have different circumstances and different goals,’ she said.

And often, just because someone looks like they have everything together, that doesn’t mean they do.

The 33-year-old said you’re far better off setting your own goals and using progress pictures or shifting numbers on the scales as motivation.

4. Exercise when you don’t want to

According to Chontel, the best time to work out is when you don’t want to.

She said if you’re tired, angry or busy, while it might feel like a whole load of effort, as soon as you get started with your workout, you’ll feel ‘100 times better’.

The PT recommends setting aside your gym gear before you plan to work out, so that if the time comes around and you don’t feel like it, you end up feeling guilty if you don’t train.

5. Talk to an expert

It can be hard to stay motivated and determined on your own.

Chontel recommends you seek guidance or health advice from a professional when you feel like you might be about to fall of the bandwagon, and this can take the form of a nutritionist, personal trainer or physiologist. 

‘Health and fitness professionals can help you figure out exactly what you want to achieve and put you on the path to get there,’ she said. 

They also often know just how far they can push you in order for you to see results.  

While the PT (pictured) said she used to chase numbers a lot in the past, she has stopped looking at how much she was increasing her weights by or how much her body fat percentage was going down

While the PT (pictured) said she used to chase numbers a lot in the past, she has stopped looking at how much she was increasing her weights by or how much her body fat percentage was going down

6. Quit chasing numbers

 Chontel said when she first started working out, she fell into the common trap of ‘watching numbers on the scales too closely’.

Whether it was how much she was increasing her weights by each week, how much her body fat percentage was going down or how many calories she was burning, she became ‘obsessed’ with the numbers and whether they were moving in the right direction or not.

‘Scales won’t tell you how hard you’ve worked, how far you’ve come, your own self-worth, your strength or how happy you are,’ she said.

Scales will also never define who or what you are.

Instead, Chontel said it’s always better to focus on progress pictures and how your clothes look and feel on you, as these are more like the real indicator of your true health.

Chontel (pictured) is now a fan of balance, and so juggles her workouts with delicious but healthy meals and family time

Chontel (pictured) is now a fan of balance, and so juggles her workouts with delicious but healthy meals and family time

7. Keep in mind balance is key 

While it’s all very well and good getting well into your workouts and diet program, Chontel said you should be ready to fail if you don’t practice balance.

She explained that you should balance out difficult workouts with delicious but healthy meals and family time.

‘Remember, you probably can’t do it all, all of the time, and it is okay to say no,’ she said.

Finally, the PT (pictured) said you should always take some time for you - and you can do this by reading, getting a massage or even just watching Netflix

Finally, the PT (pictured) said you should always take some time for you – and you can do this by reading, getting a massage or even just watching Netflix

8. Take time for you

In the same vein as finding balance, finally Chontel said it’s vital you take some time for you.

Whether you do this by reading, getting a massage or watching something on Netflix, the people who do best with their training are the people who take some time to look after themselves as well as those around them.

To find out more about Chontel Duncan, you can visit her Instagram page here

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