PNP Fitness

Fitness has played a huge role in my journey of overcoming Hashimoto’s Disease. I have worked out at gyms across the valley and even tried working with a few personal trainers here and there. Last summer I crossed paths with Will Holmes, owner of PNP Fitness. I have to say out of all personal trainers I have worked with, he is by far the best in the business. PNP Fitness is truly a one of a kind gym. PNP stands for Progress Not Perfection – love it! A few weeks back, I asked for you all to submit questions you would like to ask a personal trainer. Will was gracious enough to take the time to answer those questions!

Will Holmes - PNP Fitness
Will Holmes – PNP Fitness. Photo Courtesy of

Tell us a little about yourself and your passion for health and fitness.
My passion for health and fitness began at a young age when my dad crushed vertebrae lifting improperly. I wanted nothing more than to rid him of the pain that he suffered. Originally I became a massage therapist so that I could relieve him of the pain. I then learned about how much exercise and proper nutrition promotes healing in the body.   

What inspired you to start PNP Fitness?
To be honest, my dream was never to own a training studio. A client that had I had been working with for about 8 years had followed me to a couple different gyms since my longest tenured gym had closed down. She said that I should open my own training studio because I was so good at what I do. I laughed at her. Then I thought about it and I took the ‘Gary V’ approach, which is essentially no regrets. I didn’t want to be 85 years old, wondering if I was good enough to build a successful training studio. I know now the truth.

What sets PNP Fitness apart from other gyms?
I don’t know what necessarily sets us apart from other gyms, but I can tell you what we take pride in. Our approach is that life does happen. The workouts aren’t always going to get done. The dinner that was planned won’t always happen because our client’s child had their softball game run long. We understand that life happens and it throws a wrench into plans. What we focus on is individual victories. To sum it up, we meet people where they are in order to get them to where they want to be.

What do you enjoy most about being a personal trainer?
The thing that I enjoy the most is having a client break through a plateau. That could be anything from getting out of the 200lb weight range, to being able to finally find the courage to box jump, or even as simple as being able to turn down dessert on date night. The look on their faces when they accomplish the goals that we have set together make it all worth it.

What are the benefits of having a personal trainer?
The biggest benefit of having a personal trainer is easily the accountability. What happens with most people is they will find an accountability buddy and the conversation usually starts ‘no matter what excuses I come up with to quit, don’t let me quit’.

That is usually too much for a traditional friendship to handle. The accountability buddy has now been put into a position where he is a slave driver and will usually start letting the determined friend off the hook after just a few weeks.

On the other hand, if the client is investing time and money into a third party, (a trainer) we expect to see you at your appointed day and time in order to get to the results that were established when the client originally met with the trainer.

Other benefits not mentioned are knowledge, safety, efficiency in programs and workouts, the ability to track more than just weight (body fat, circumference, etc.), and realistic expectations of progress and strength.

If I live out of state, can you coach me online?
We have just taken on a couple out of state clients to see what the program would look like via internet. I must say that we are happy with the results that we have gotten and are currently looking to add another 10 clients or so.

Why is it important for those of us who have Hashimoto’s Disease or another autoimmune disease to implement working out on a regularly basis?
It is important for the general public to make sure that they workout on a regular basis. The average person should do moderate intensity exercise for 150 minutes per week according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Consistent exercise, as well as a healthy body weight, can help increase the immune system, keep blood pressure steady, and reduce inflammation, which is big for Hashimoto’s.

I have no energy. How do I motivate myself to work out?
The biggest misconception when it comes to exercising is that you have to be a sweaty out of breath beast when you’re finished. That, fortunately, is not true. If you’re trying to get back into a routine, literally walk for 5 minutes. That’s it. Do that once a day for the next couple days. After that we will progress you to 6 minutes. Do that once a day for the next couple days. Once that gets easy add another minute and so on. The other thing I would suggest would be some floor work; planks, bridges, bird dogs, etc. Do those for a few repetitions, even if it’s only for one set the first few days.  Too often we make exercise this big, scary, unattainable feat. It’s not.

What if I’m not seeing any progress, how do I prevent giving up?
I want to unpackage this question just a little bit, this is a loaded question.
First, we have to make sure that we have multiple baselines established (example; weight, waist measurements, mile time, number of squats per minute, etc).
There should be enough starting measurements/ statistics that you’re able to find progress somewhere. Second, a ‘plateau’ is not necessarily a bad thing. That means that your body has found balance with all of the stressors that have been placed onto it.
All the weight training, cardio, and calorie restriction means that this is your body’s new normal!! It can do that all day, every day, no problem!

Are there any tools that you suggest to help you towards your fitness goals?
This question is an easy plug, but we won’t take that approach right now.

I would highly suggest using a calorie counting app, such as my fitness pal, so that you’re able to see how many calories per day that you are consuming.

I often tell my clients that it’s like a bank account. Most of us don’t have the ability to just spend money regardless of the price.

Second, get a journal for yourself so that you’re able to track everything, and I mean everything! The amount of water that you’re drinking, how much sleep you’re getting, your workouts that you’ve done, and beginning measurements. 

This way you’re able to create your own data and see how your body responds to the workouts, sleep and food.

Is there a quote or any advice you have heard that has stuck with you?
Changing eating habits is going to take so much more time than anyone thinks it will. One of the main reasons is because food is everywhere and unhealthy food is easily accessible. The short version is that we need food to live. This isn’t like trying to cut out alcohol or caffeine.

There is a choice in every meal and every meal is an opportunity for something great to happen. There will be times where eating habits won’t be pretty. That’s okay, that just means you’re human.

Any additional information or anything else you would like to add?|
Losing weight will be the hardest thing that you will ever have to do. Ever. 

You are worth the effort. It will be worth it.


PNP Fitness is located at 1760 E Pecos Rd Suite 207 Gilbert, AZ, 85295. You can follow PNP Fitness on Facebook and Instagram

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