melanie gaffney 24 LHow long have you been personal training? I started my personal training career in 2007 — the same year that my son Aidan was born.  I gained almost sixty pounds when I was pregnant (Aidan only weighed seven pounds, seven ounces, so I truly had my work cut out for me!)  I had always wanted to become a personal trainer.  When Aidan was only a few months old I began working at my local YMCA as a fitness instructor.  I studied for a year (all the while losing the baby weight and gaining some never-before-seen muscles) took the AFAA test, and became a certified personal trainer.  It has been an amazing decade of work experience, and I’m so grateful to be able to help others achieve their own fitness goals.

How many days a week do you work out?
Exercise is my meditation, so I try to do at least a little bit of something every day.  That being said, I consider rest to be just as important.  When I’m training for a race, I usually run about 5 days per week.  I do some type of weight training 3-5 days a week, with one day devoted exclusively to abs and core.

What is your favorite workout?
I really love running.  In fact, I just completed my 10th half marathon last weekend!  But, if I had to choose something besides running, I would probably say that my favorite workouts are ones that incorporate high intensity intervals.  I love feeling strong and capable.  I will often split my weight workouts so that I hit a different muscle group each day.  My favorite (and toughest) is always leg day.

What do you specialize in?
I believe every client is unique in terms of his/her fitness goals and preferences.  This is why I specialize in devising detailed and individualized workout plans.  Fitness is not a generic process, and what might work for one person could just as easily feel impossible for another.  It’s my job, therefore, to find the most effective way for each and every client to succeed.
I have had the privilege of working with clients ranging in age from seven to ninety-something.  I have worked with people who had a significant amount of weight to lose, and those who were trying to gain weight after recovering from illness.  I’ve worked with prenatal and postpartum women, folks with physical disabilities, post-rehab individuals, weekend warriors, and elite athletes.  I feel my greatest strength as a trainer is my ability to apply my knowledge in a way that will benefit each and every one of my clients.

What is your favorite muscle (or muscle group)?
As I said before, my favorite muscle group to work out is definitely legs.  But I’m proud of every muscle on my body!

What’s your favorite thing to eat?
Well.  This questionnaire is going to turn into a novel now.
In all seriousness, I really love food.  It’s hard for me to choose a favorite, although I’m pretty obsessed with peanut butter.

What’s your go-to cheat meal?
My boyfriend makes the best cheeseburgers.  Lately he’s been putting a fried egg on top … It’s amazing.  Sometimes we’ll go to Cheesecake Factory too … And cupcakes will always hold a special place in my heart.

What do you do when you’re not making everyone else look amazing at Def Fit?
Fun fact about me: I co-wrote and published two teen novels with NY Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann (aka my mom)!  You can order both books on Amazon, or purchase them at Barnes and Noble.  Yes, this is shameless self-promotion. 😉

So, to answer this last question, when I’m not at Def Fit, I’m at home writing.  I’m about 50 pages into my latest novel — one that I’m writing on my own.  I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted about this project!
If I’m not writing, though, I’m spending quality time with the four creatures who are most important in my world (my little boy Aidan, my boyfriend Mike, and our two puppies Ernie and Elmo).

What’s your go-to workout music?
My music preferences are all over the place.  I listen to some pretty embarrassing stuff when I’m running.  (Britney Spears is all over my playlist.)  But so is Stevie Wonder, Rob Zombie, The Shins, Rage Against The Machine, Jack White, Bruno Mars, The Postal Service, KONGOS, Spoon, The Heavy, Kaleo, Kings Of Leon, Bassnectar …
(The list goes on…)

What’s your pre-workout routine?

What’s your post-workout routine?
And also I often lie on the ground and groan melodramatically.  Then I usually go take a shower and get ready to train my next client. 🙂