From Digital Nomad to Fitness Mentor: My Return to Personal Training

I've resumed my training journey after a five-year hiatus as a digital nomad, during which I prioritized business and travel over personal training. Now, I've rediscovered my passion for working with clients.

With over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry, I've accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience that I'm eager to share, motivating people to get into shape and lead healthier lives. Looking back, I realize that my younger self, the rookie personal trainer Hector, could have done so much more for my clients. If I could offer advice to that version of me, here's what I'd say.

First and foremost, being a personal trainer means being a leader to your clients. It entails guiding them, both in what they should do and what they should avoid. When clients make mistakes or come up with excuses, it's crucial to hold them accountable. Enabling their behavior doesn't benefit them in the long run.

In terms of nutrition, I would advise all my clients to track their calories for at least three to four weeks, specifically on Mondays, Thursdays, and one weekend day. Why? Because research shows that people tend to underreport their actual food intake by an average of 47%. If you don't know how many calories you're consuming, you can't effectively address overconsumption, leading to weight gain. It's simple math.

Learning to track calories is a valuable skill that can yield lifelong benefits.

When it comes to workouts and training, strength training takes the lead over cardio, no question. Strength training offers a multitude of benefits that cardio alone can't match.


1. Time Efficiency: Strength training yields more benefits in the same amount of time as cardio. Once you progress beyond the muscular endurance phase, you can actually spend less time training.

2. Long-Term Health: Strength training is superior for long-term health. While cardio benefits your heart and specific muscle groups, strength training engages your entire body, including your heart, as it works harder during strength exercises.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you skip cardio altogether. It has its merits. However, cardio can't replicate what strength training can achieve. For those looking for a higher level of intensity, combat sports or HIIT workouts, which incorporate explosive movements like jumping, kicking, and Olympic lifting, offer even greater benefits than standard cardio activities.

So, why do people prefer cardio over strength training? It often boils down to simplicity. Cardio allows you to zone out for an hour on a treadmill, but strength training demands focus proper form, and ongoing self-assessment. You can't put your strength training on autopilot.

So, what should you do? Just like learning any new skill or subject, dedicate time to understanding body physiology, strength training fundamentals, and workout programming. Alternatively, consider hiring a personal trainer who is passionate and knowledgeable.

I'm excited to introduce a fresh approach that I believe will benefit my new clients and anyone else interested in training with me. I aim to educate them comprehensively on living a healthy lifestyle. My goal isn't just to train them but to teach them how to work out effectively, how to plan their workouts, manage their time during sessions, and adapt when equipment is occupied.

Additionally, I want to offer strategies for maintaining a healthy diet for life. You don't have to give up your favorite treats; you just need to plan wisely.

If you'd like to learn more, feel free to send me a direct message, and let's start a conversation. Your fitness journey awaits!

P.S: There is also a fitness retreat "Bali Biohacking Community" with this same concept coming soon.

Hector Sanchez

CEO, The Training Notebook

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