Q+A: Michael Budensiek

By Julie Cope Saetre

»As the founder of U-FIT, a personal training company on Greenwood’s southside, Michael Budensiek and his team coach clients through one-on-one and small group fitness sessions and boot camp courses. So he knows well how January’s New Year’s resolutions to eat better, lose weight and shape up too often melt away with the winter snow. In fact, he reports that some 90 percent of New Year’s resolutions in general fail to stick. Here’s his advice on getting back on track — and staying there.

Why do you think so many fitness and weight loss resolutions sputter out so quickly?

A lot of people don’t really understand that your body goes through a huge hormonal change as well as a physical change when you’re trying to do something fitness related — especially if you’re trying to lose 20, 50, 100 pounds, especially during the first 90 days. Once you get past that point, then you usually start seeing those consistent changes. But a lot of people don’t make it past that first 90 days, so it’s very hard for them to see the long-term changes.

So what’s the secret to finding motivation during those first three months?

We ask our clients on day one, “What are your concerns about not getting to day 90?” We address those things up front. … Now that we know what obstacles might come up, here’s how we’re going to try to work around them. Maybe you need to pre-cook all your dinners, have pre-planned exercises set aside. And then from there, it’s holding our clients accountable — a quick text message, a quick call. …. Our job is to be a support system for them.

And what if someone doesn’t have a personal trainer?

Even if someone isn’t seeing a trainer, we always recommend having some type of accountability partner that you can work out with, maybe around the same level as you, so you can push each other at the same intensity.

Do online support groups count?

For some people they do. I personally think they don’t work as well as having someone right there. Typically a friend being there saying, “Hey, we really need to do this today” is better than someone just online.

How often should someone work out?

Generally, you’re going to want to be active a minimum of three days a week. Typically, if you can average 30 minutes a day, that’s going to be plenty for the average person.

Are strength and cardio equally important?

It depends on your goals, but if you’re just trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you need both. Cardio training allows you to have a strong heart, get away from heart disease, burn body fat and lose those initial pounds. Weight training, on the other hand, allows you to build strong bones, joints and muscles, which will help with your posture and help you burn body fat long term.

How important is nutrition to the mix?

We coach a lot on nutrition. We believe that nutrition makes up 70 percent of the changes your body will go through; the exercise is the other 30 percent. … Long term, you will never stay at any type of result without having the proper nutrition. We teach (nutrition) based on lifestyle. Are you a physical labor person or do you sit at a desk? That’s going to help determine how much you should eat and what types of food you should be eating.

But some people hear “diet” and fear deprivation.

We never call it a diet. We coach a lifestyle change. A diet is for a short-term change. We’re not going to deplete you down to nothing like diets do. We’re going to give you a healthy, balanced meal plan. You’re not only going to feel full, but it’s food that’s actually going to taste good as well.

And for those who are planning their own meals? There are so many books and plans out there.

Try to attend a complimentary nutrition seminar given by someone. If you can’t get to a seminar, online you can find a healthy lifestyle website that gives you a breakdown of what your total daily needs are. One of them is myfitnesspal.com.