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Tips From Personal Trainer Jessi Kneeland

What Your Personal Trainer Really Wants You to Know

Our friends at Self magazine ask their favorite trainers for some insider secrets. Want to know which workouts you should be doing and what exactly your trainer is thinking? The answers may surprise you!

We're kicking off our first post of #TrainerIntel — aka, insider secrets from the top fitness pros in the country — with badass Jessi Kneeland. Her cred: certified personal trainer, fitness coach, writer and founder of Remodel Fitness. Why we're crushing on her: She loves deadlifts, good fiction, Scotch on the rocks and says she "believes whole-heartedly in the power of believing in yourself." Aww, right? Also, Jessi says she's currently "on a mission to help women rise to the challenge of loving their bodies; I'm convinced fitness should be FUN." We say hell yes to that! Get to know Jessi, her top fit tips and how you can get a little of her effervescent energy into your own workout.

1. What's your SLU workout? (Think Orange Is the New Black — Solitary Living Unit, aka, no equipment, little space!)

8 tuck jumps, 8 clapping push-ups, 8 pistol squats per leg, 8 burpees with jump, 1 minute plank. No rest, repeat 5 times.

2. Mid-session, your client starts to waver and give up. Your psych-up reply to her:

"Close your eyes and picture your next rep. It's flawless. It feels soo easy. Now open your eyes and DO IT, GO!"

3. In the gym, you'd be lost without:

"My workout program and log, written out in pen and paper. (People tease me about my clipboard. I'm sure someday I'll give in and buy an iPad, but for now I write out all my programs the old-fashioned way.) I write down every single workout, and it gives me a sense of purpose and motivation to see what SPECIFICALLY has improved since last week. If I don't have a program to follow, I wander around the gym doing random stuff like handstands and checking Facebook. It's not very productive."

4. If you could tell women to stop using a piece of equipment or doing one move/exercise, it would be:

"The elliptical. Because while it CAN be an effective exercise tool when used properly, the majority of women on ellipticals are just flinging their bodies around and letting the machine do most of the work. Then they stay on it for an hour and wonder why they're not seeing results."

5. If you only have 15 minutes for dinner, you eat:

"Chipotle. Burrito bowl, no rice. Black beans. Chicken. Guacamole. Everything spicy."

6. When you need extra motivation, you:

"Visualize myself doing one of my favorite active things. I picture myself snowboarding, rock climbing, doing acro yoga, or my interpretive dancing. These things give me an incredible rush of purpose and energy, because being fit enough to try them and succeed at them is one of the greatest pleasures of my life."

7. Fill in the blank: You SO wish ____ workout would go away already.

"Multi-hybrid classes. But I can also dig anything that makes people happy. It seems like by trying to be really efficient and combine yoga plus cardio plus strength training (or whatever) into one workout, you end up losing out on the main purpose and benefit of each type. But anything is better than nothing, and if you enjoy it I'm on your side."

8. If you're going to do sprints, you've gotta:

"Put on my game face. I love sprint, but I literally make "tough" faces at myself in the mirror before I do them. I take on a "sprinting avatar" (who in my head usually looks like the woman from Tomb Raider), so that when I feel like I'm going to die I can picture how tough and awesome I look, and I know I can finish. Sometimes my sprinting avatar is a cheetah. Depends on the day."

9. After a great workout, I feel like:

"A freaking superhero!!! Seriously, sometimes I'll feel so good and so powerful that it makes me want to go around wearing capes and fighting crime."

You totally want more advice from Jessi, right? Follow @jessikneeland or friend her over on Facebook.

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