GYM STORIES: How Hiring a Personal Trainer Changed My Life


All it takes is one person to make a difference in someone’s life.

As a personal trainer at YouFit Gyms, it’s my responsibility to not only provide top-notch programming but also serve as a source of inspiration, motivation, and accountability. And because we all come from different walks of life, deal with different stressors, and have different goals, it’s critical to form a connection with each person who comes through the door. 

While I’ve been privileged to cross paths with many committed, results-driven clients, one who stands out from the pack is a single mom who never lets her busy schedule stop her from showing up.

Meet: Maribel Perez

A full-time dental hygienist whose smile lights up the room, Maribel brings unparalleled energy and enthusiasm every time she steps foot into the YouFit Gyms Sunrise location. Of course, she’s no stranger to the power of positivity, as she channels her passion for dance by teaching Zumba to YouFit members who want to break a sweat–and have fun while doing it. 

With parents who dealt with diabetes and hypertension, being active has always been important for Maribel. 

“They didn’t exercise at all,” she explained. “I want to do things differently than they did.” 

Although Maribel has always enjoyed working out, staying disciplined has been a challenge for her. In fact, this hard-working mother of three acknowledged she doesn’t eat the healthiest since she doesn’t like to cook. 

Luckily, Maribel loves to stay active, which has helped her stay in solid shape. Still, she didn’t hesitate to seek further guidance and expertise, especially with her age becoming more of a factor. 

“I have never liked weight training, but I know it is important as I get older,” Maribel said. “I hired a trainer mostly for accountability and to help motivate me to keep my bones and muscles strong. I know how important it is to prevent osteoporosis.” 

Determined to live life to the fullest, she embraced the idea of being pushed in the gym to reach new heights in her fitness journey. After all, even as a dedicated gymgoer, Maribel admitted her workouts didn’t measure up from an intensity standpoint. 

“I used to go to the gym and do all the machines and never break a sweat,” she said. “I basically did an easy workout.” 

Then Maribel met me – Stephen a Personal Trainer at YouFit Gyms Sunrise.. 

Her Personal Training Journey 

Needless to say, Maribel she received a much-needed wake-up call, along with plenty of encouragement as she tried new exercises and pushed the boundaries of what she thought was possible. 

“I was also afraid to use the free weights by myself for risk of injury and because I didn’t know how to use them correctly,” Maribel said. “But within minutes of working out with Stephen, I was sweating profusely.” 

Not only did she learn there’s no reason to fear lifting heavy weights, but she also discovered that changing her routine could lead to noticeable results in a short time frame. 

In fact, Maribel quickly received positive feedback from others and felt better about herself. 

“I am more confident by myself at the gym since my trainer taught me how to use machines and free weights correctly,” she said. “I push myself to lift heavier. I see more muscle definition and have had many people comment on how I look leaner.” 

Since Maribel started training with me in August, she has indeed put on lean muscle, increased her lower- and upper-body strength, and most importantly, continued to build confidence in herself. All of those strides have taken place because of her tireless work ethic, her faith in me, and our ability to communicate and work as a team. 

After all, if I don’t ask for feedback and make necessary adjustments, I would be doing her a disservice. At the same time, if she doesn’t feel comfortable and confident in my plan of attack, she won’t achieve the results she desires. 

An Eye On The Future

Now that we’ve been working together for almost half a year, it would be easy for Maribel to say she’s reached the end of her personal training journey and keep a few more bucks in her pocket. However, as she learned over the past months, the easy path isn’t necessarily the best one. And when it comes to your health, you simply can’t leave it up to chance. 

“We invest in so many futile things that do not last,” Maribel said. “We should invest in our bodies for our overall health and longevity and maintain a good quality of life. A trainer is a great investment in your life; the benefits are worth the costs.” 

As for what’s next for this dynamic, diligent dance instructor/dental hygienist? 

Despite making tangible strides in the gym, Maribel refuses to take her foot off the gas. 

“My goals are to continue getting healthier and stronger,” she said. “I’m not talking about getting more muscle mass, but more overall strength, flexibility, and stamina. I want and need to improve my core and abdominals as well as strive to have a healthier diet.” 

With new goals for the new year, I have no doubt Maribel will exceed her own expectations in 2023. 

As they say, teamwork makes the dream work–and we’re living proof of that. 

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