Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Liz Verbeek, 26 years old living in Amsterdam. At this moment I’m working as Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and really loving it every day! But to get where I’m now, I’ve sure come a long way. At age 15, I started to focus more on my body that was slowly becoming more feminine. All I was thinking was; less is better regarding everything that has to do with food, and more is better regarding any sport activities. I was insecure, didn’t like my body. I was playing hockey 4 times a week and started to do more cardio next to it.
I’ve always set the bar super high for myself. When I finished high school, I went to the university to study Business. At that time, I started lifting weights with a personal trainer with the goal to gain my weight back again and change my thoughts to the healthy way. This was one of the best decisions so far.
I decided to finish my Bachelor and Master in Business and that same year I went abroad to do some of the best courses in nutrition, training and more. Now, 2 years later, I’m a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), and very passionate about nutrition, training, hormone balancing and their natural healing properties; this is my holistic approach to achieve optimal health, wellness and performance for a lifetime!
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
Seeing results both physically and mentally/emotionally/psychologically. This means growing into a better self because you will get to know your body and mind so well, feeling great in your own body. This applies for me but also for my clients achieving this. Someone comes to you for help because he or she doesn’t feel 100%, whether this is physical and or (often also) mental/psychological. Achieving their personal goals is really meaning something for somebody, sometimes the best thing that can happen to them!
How long have you been into fitness?
I started fitness in 2013 when I got my first personal training. (I was studying Business at the University). So about 5 years now.
How did you get into fitness?
When I finished high school I went to the university and got my Bachelor and Master degree in Business. At that time, I started lifting weights with a personal trainer with the goal to gain my weight back again and change my thoughts to the healthy way. This was one of the best decisions so far.
That hour of personal training was the best part of my day. Going to the gym and smash a good session was never a problem. But you have to eat to get the results! I started eating more and better, I saw my body changing in a beautiful way and got the results I actually wanted. I was always writing down the whole training session; drawings of the exercises (because I didn’t know the names yet); all the reps, sets, rest and weights we used, haha! That was the time that I decided to do get my diplomas in training and nutrition as soon as a graduated from the university. And I kept my word!
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
It was not really a turning point in my case. For me it was pretty clear as I always found time to read so many articles about nutrition and training that my trainer sent me during all my exams, presentations and deadlines at the university.
So, after I graduated, I thought; if I find an internship or job in Business direction, I will probably never get my diplomas in training/nutrition. It’s now or never.
What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
There are two primary obstacles to getting fit: not knowing what to do and being afraid. Many people are scared to get injured or they don’t have to confidence to exercise in a public gym. Other have never been physically active or lifted weights before and have no idea how to get started. After all, most exercise require some skill.
For people who have never been working out, really want to start but don’t know where to begin, my advice: determine which type of exercise you want to perform. Most important is to choose a form of exercise that makes you happy so that you can enjoy it and stick with it!
If you just started, good job! You’re on the right way! It can be quite difficult to decide on which exercises you should do, what weight to use, how often and how long you should workout, how many sets and reps, and what about recovery. So super short:
Exercises: Pick the bigger, more multi joint exercises (for example; squats, lunges, deadlift, leg press, step-ups, chest press, rows, pull downs, and overhead press) as these motions have the greatest carryover to daily life and they target the greatest amount of muscle at a time.
How often: try to hit the gym 3-4 times a week.
How long: about 1 hour (warm-up, 6-8 exercises, cool down)
How intense (how heavy the weight): this is always relative to the individual. Start with bodyweight to get to learn the movement with proper technique and without pain. Just make sure the weight is challenging with the repetitions you’re doing.
How may sets and reps: A good starting point is to work with 3 sets of each exercise of 15 reps and about 45-60 sec rest between sets.
Recovery: eat, drink and sleep well!