Five Atlanta Trainers Reveal Their True Favorite Exercises and Workouts

A good trainer is going to give you plenty of variety in your workouts, but like all of us, they like certain movements better than others. (Does anyone truly adore burpees though?) For this week’s Friday Five/Trainer Talk hybrid, we asked five Atlanta coaches and trainers: What is your favorite exercise and why?

Joshua Jarmin, owner and head trainer at Blueprint Fitness

Josh-Headshot-1Joshua moved to Atlanta to be a teacher while in the United States Marine Corps Reserves as an infantryman. He started personal training in 2008 and when he returned from Iraq, decided to make it his full-time career. After studying multiple disciplines of fitness (Oly lifts, kettlebell training, powerlift programming, and gymnastics) Joshua decided to open a training facility, Blueprint Fitness, with the philosophy of ‘First, move correctly. Then, move often.’

Favorite exercise

Handstands! All day and all night. Aside from developing strong arms and core they greatly improve body awareness, balance, and pulling strength (antagonistic muscles, remember?). But, you need to get your shoulders mobile for it to work.

Karen Schrier, owner of Fitness Girl

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 12.22.39 PMSelf-proclaimed “gym rat” Karen Schrier opened her at-home training studio in Kirkwood as a way to share her love of fitness with others. She earned her Master of Public Health degree in Health Education, then started teaching fitness classes after her kickboxing instructor kept doing a particular move that put pressure on the knees in a dangerous way. She says, “I knew how to tweak my form to make it right, but did anyone else? I decided right then to get certified and teach my own class. Soon after that came Pilates and weight training, and then (what the heck?), I became a personal trainer too.”

Favorite Exercise

My favorite exercise is more than just one exercise: It’s strength training that incorporates the core, such as a standing row on an unstable surface, or chest presses performed lying on a ball to engage the glutes and abs, or simple bicep curls standing on one foot. 

Kariim Smith, owner and certified personal trainer at Body by Kariim Fitness

UnknownKariim and his wife, Laquisha, run a private fitness studio in West Midtown, where they offer everything from strength and cardio training for people of all fitness levels to nutritional counseling and cooking demos.

Favorite exercise

I love doing pull-ups. It’s such a great compound exercise for the upper body, and you can find a way to do them anywhere you go.

Go-to workout

I love an intense full-body workout! I train my entire body with different movements for each muscle over the course of a week, resting one day in between each workout.

Erinn Garner, Head Coach AK CrossFit

EGHead coach at AK CrossFit in Buckhead, Erinn says, “I love lifting and throwing weights around, heavy ones to be specific. I also love wearing long-sleeved shirts and tights in the summer because I love to sweat. Most importantly, I love to make other people sweat! I’m a fan of working hard, challenging and changing mindsets.”

Favorite exercise

My favorite exercise is the squat. I love to squat! Out of every exercise, the squat is the most foundational and functional movement. You can use a barbell, dumbbells, sandbags, or medicine balls. You can make it more difficult by changing the location of the weight (from the back to the front or overhead). But most importantly, ANYONE can (and should) squat! 

Go-to workout

Hmmm, my strengths (literally) lie in barbell and bodyweight movements, so if I had to choose an established CrossFit workout, it’d be something like “The Chief.”

Five rounds. Three-minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of
3 power cleans (95lbs)
6 push-ups
9 air squats
Rest one minute

Devin Jordan Ellis, coach at AK CrossFit

Devin-Ellis-250x250Devin is a former gymnast, world traveler, and Olympic lifting aficionado. She works with Erinn (see above) as a coach at AK CrossFit in Buckhead, and says, “It’s safe to say I drank the Kool-Aid. CrossFit has changed my life in so many ways, and now I get to wake up and do what I love every day. I love teaching people the power of fitness, how to eat clean and fuel their workouts so that they get in shape and start to live a happier and healthier lifestyle.”

Favorite exercise

My favorite exercises are the Olympic lifts, but specifically the snatch. People may think that there isn’t cardio involved in moving a barbell from the ground to overhead in a very short explosive movement, but it will get you breathing hard and is one of the best workouts I’ve ever experienced. I’ll work up to a heavy snatch and do doubles and triples at that weight. Squats are also one of my favorites — low reps at a heavy weight or high reps at a lower weight (both back squat and front squat).

Go-to workout 

My go to workout is anything with gymnastic elements in it. Meaning, something involving only your body weight, like pull-ups, bar muscle-ups, ring muscle-ups, or handstand push-ups. If I could create a perfect workout it would be “The Cindy” but with handstand push-ups instead of regular push-ups, like this:

20 Minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of
5 pull-ups
10 handstand push-ups
15 air squats