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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Sharissa Reichert and I am one of the most popular trainers in Brooklyn, NY for Senior Population.
I am 53 years old and have a 24-year-old son, who is a chef in Upstate New York. I am married to G.F. Newland who is a children’s book illustrator and a musician.
I have been in the fitness industry since 2002. I lost my good job after 9/11 and ended up working part time as a babysitter at a gym.
After six months of working at the gym, I decided to make fitness my new career. I noticed that many of my health problems started to disappear after I started training.
I wanted to show others the joys of the gym so I got my Personal Training Certification.
When a new client says to me “I am not a gym person” I tell them, “Neither am I. The only difference between you and me is a few years of practice. I was not a gym person at one time too.
I know what it’s like to walk into a gym, wonder what all of this equipment is, see all these buff people around and fall out of my element. I have been there.”
I am now certified in PNF stretching, Pilates, Nutrition, Senior Population, Pre and Postnatal Exercise, Reiki, and Rain Drop Technique.
I have expertise in the areas of joint replacement, bone density and osteoporosis, and fitness for humans over the age of 65.
I am the creator of the Thought for Food seminar on how food affects the brain, Bombshell Bone Builders exercise seminar for building and maintaining bone density, and I invented my own form of bodywork called SBP: Sensory Brush Protocol, that uses skin brushing and essential oils.
I am also writing my first book which is about exercise for the Senior Population.
During this time of Pandemic, I’ve been presenting a livestream show on my Bene-Fits P.T Facebook page, Wednesdays at 12:30 pm. The show is called Gear Head. It is mostly about at-home exercise equipment, but I delve into other fitness related topics.
I have studied weight training, Yoga, Pilates and Martial Arts, including Qi Gong, Brazilian Jui Jitsu and Muay Thai.
I started my career at Crunch Fitness Gym in Park Slope, Brooklyn. 3 years later, I was hired as the assistant manager and Personal Trainer at Fitness Together, a personal training studio.
When that studio changed ownership, I started my own traveling fitness instruction business, called Bene-Fits P.T.
I have been self-employed for 11 years. I decided not to open up my own studio because many of my clients have issues with mobility. It makes my clients lives so much easier when I can come to them.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
Before the Pandemic, I started my work out with a 20 minute - level 1 on the recumbent bike. This type of bike stabilizes my back.
I listen to crazy paranormal stories on YouTube while I do my cardio, because just like everyone else, I find cardio boring.
After the bike, I go to the weight room and use the machines. The back row is my favorite.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
If I don't exercise, my back will hurt, so it is a no brainer for me. I don't want to be in pain, so I exercise.
Last year my husband and I joined the Park Slope Armory YMCA in Brooklyn. He's never had a gym membership, but he has been an avid runner for 20 years. He loved the weight room so much and it made him feel so great, he now motivates me!
I will not want to go to the weight room after a long day of sessions, but he inspires me to go, (really he drags my tired butt to the gym).
We also have fun taking classes at other YMCAs all over New York City. We had a wonderful day, last December, taking my friend Jared's Qui Gong Class at the Bed-Sty Y. After the class I trained Jared on Bosu and weights.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
These days in Quarantine, I am working out at home. I am having fun using my extensive exercise equipment collection. I am also getting exercise while demonstrating to my clients while I do virtual sessions with them.
I climb the 5 flights of stairs in my building 25 times about once a week. My upstairs neighbor inspired me to do this. She runs up and down those flights of stairs 20 times every day!
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
In May of 2017, I noticed that my hip hurt and my gait was off. I thought it was just an over use injury, common in my field. When I saw my first X-rays of my injured hip, I was dismayed.
I had bone-on-bone arthritis, most likely due to scoliosis that I have had my whole life. On October 25th, 2019, I underwent hip replacement surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
My surgeon, Dr. McLawhorn, is a total genius. He gave me a new hip and straightened out my scoliosis by making one of my legs a little longer during my operation.
My fitness regime these days revolves around my recently replaced hip. I have to be super careful with my recovery time. I should not exercise if I am sore.
My husband and I were at the gym 2-3 times a week before my surgery. I built up a lot of strength which sped up my recovery time.
After my surgery all I could do was physical therapy. Two months later, when I got clearance from my doctor, I went back to the weight room, but I had to start off slowly.
In my 4th month, post-surgery, at the gym, I tried to add just a little more weight to my routine. My body freaked out and I was sore and swollen from that workout.
My doc told me to increase the reps, not the weight. I was disappointed but, I did what I had to do. Going back to 200 pounds on the leg press will happen again.
My advice to my younger self would be get into weight training sooner! I've been distance walking and doing Yoga since I was 16.
Back in the 1980's, the workout scene seemed so Olivia Newton John - Let's Get Physical corny, or just body building, which seemed scary to a 92 pound 16 year old punk rock kid.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
Diet is super important if you are training. I always tell my clients “You can spend a million dollars on sessions with me, you can train with me every day, but if you are not going to eat right, you are not going to loose body fat.”
Nutrition is very important for well, everything related to your body. I am a total flexitarian. I love to cook nutrient dense healthy meals.
Since I turned 50, my metabolism and food craving have changed. If I start to gain weight, I start a food diary to see where I am going wrong with my food consumption.
Right now, with not being able to go outside so much, I put on 5 pounds right away. I am keeping a food diary and aiming to consume 1600 calories each day.
For breakfast my particular body needs 1 serving of fiber, 1 serving of a fat and a few ounces of protein.
My current breakfast is a 2 egg, 1/4 cup of corn, small dash of fresh mozzarella, 5 cherry tomato omelet with a 3 tbs of guacamole. This will keep me going though my own morning yoga and about 2 video chat sessions before I get hungry.
I do not promote the use of supplements. At my age, I probably would look a little better if I took creatine. I won’t, because I do not believe in supplements.
How am I supposed to inspire people and tell them that eating right and exercising works if I am doing fake stuff like taking creatine and hormones?
I do take a multivitamin. I love Source of Life and Garden of Eden brands. I drink Life Way kefir to get my probiotics.
I have loved herbal medicine since I was about 10 years old.
I do believe in taking supplements like herbs and vitamins for special situations. I do believe in science as well and vaccinations.
I do take CBD oil for my arthritis pain. CBD has been a life changer for me. I have gotten benefits such as less anxiety, loosing water weight, less pain and I believe it helps lower my blood pressure (my pressure had been high due to not being able do cardio for 5 months).
I have tried many different brands of CBD over the past 2 years and I find Charlotte’s Web brand to be the most effective. I wish that the CBD industry could do some real research into the dosage of their products though.
I also am part of the Essential Oils Movement. I use essential oil for just about every thing, cleaning the house, getting rid of odors, I put them in my soap, facial packs, topically, and for stress relief.
I use a combination of wintergreen, pine and chamomile essential oils on my hip for pain and swelling. I also rub my hands with essential oils before I go to stretch my clients manually and manipulate their tight muscles.
The oils smell wonderful and they work as a natural hand sanitizer. I have tried to hang out with all different brands of essential oils and Young Living is just the best brand, hands down.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
Whom do I follow? I love the Mind Pump podcast. This podcast is great for both professionals and fitness enthusiasts.
I belong to this Australian fitness professionals Facebook group called Fitness Education Online. The creator of the group, Juno, contacted me over Instagram and asked me to join the group.
I also took one of their online classes. The course was very informative and well done. The fitness scene seems just so cool in Australia; less meat heady and macho, like the American fitness scene can be.
The Aussie fitness scene seems more about healing and motivation.
I also admire Cassy Ho's Blogilates a great deal. I love her take on fitness and how she inspires young women to feel good about themselves and their bodies. She is also a hell of a trainer, and a brilliant business woman.
I still study fitness constantly, despite my years of experience. I don't want to get behind the times.
I am an avid reader of two professional publication, Idea Fitness Journal and the MedFit Network magazine. I joined the MedFit Network last year and I am so in love with them.
I finally have a bunch of other trainers that I can discuss my most difficult cases with and get advice from through the
One of my clients was on dialysis last year. I got to have a wonderful in person discussion with another Senior Population Trainer who gave me wonderful advice on how to handle the situation.
I take as many of the MedFit webinars as I can. I hope to get to The MedFit Conference next year. I also love the Phys Ed column in the New York Times.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Most people in the gym lift weight too quickly. Many people are under the impression that lifting weight super fast burns more calories. All that does is open you up to more injuries and issues like tendonitis.
I believe you should lift in a slow and controlled manner.
The best hacks you have for life outside the gym is EAT PROPERLY! Good nutrition is essential for life. You need nutritionally dense foods to build muscle/ bone and stay healthy.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
The future is uncertain for all of us right now due to the pandemic. I may end up continuing to do virtual personal training from home, and work on developing online courses about exercise and healthy eating. So yes, I am taking virtual clients at this time.
Or, I may go back to doing in-person sessions at clients home’s like I have been doing for the past 10 years.
What I do know is that this is a fantastic time to be in the fitness industry. We have so many options and ways to connect with clients now. We are going to be a big part of healing the world after C-19 is over.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
You can also book me over my business system FONS.
💬 Sharissa Reichert quotes
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