About Neechie: "Neechie Greer, M.S., is a certified personal trainer (NASM/ACSM) with additional certifications and CEC's in the areas of group exercise, fitness, nutrition and wellness. She considers herself a fitness addict since birth, acknowledging there isn’t a tree or fence on her childhood property she didn't conquer and anything under five feet she didn’t try to flip off of. She is the Co-Founder of FITT Bootcamp [www.fittbootcamp.net] and the #ownthedistrict movement. In addition to private clients, she works in private and corporate fitness management and consulting and is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at BETA Academy MMA."
Neechie was kind enough to answer questions for us in the latest edition of our Featured Trainer segment.
1. Share a little about your fitness background. How did you become a personal trainer? How long have you been a trainer?
Since my days in grade school I’ve competed in multiple sports - including track & field, basketball, softball, and volleyball. I excelled in these sports throughout high school, earning the recognition award for “most athletic”, which helped me recognize I had a passion for sports and fitness. In college I played intramural flag football, basketball and volleyball after deciding that being a member of the track and field team wasn’t possible due to academic demands.
I got my start in personal training while still in college. I was a student Athletic Trainer, due to interest and still wanting to be involved in competitive sports, and my advising professor was a member of the board for ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). He knew I was interested in pursuing my masters in Exercise Physiology, so with his guidance I obtained my CPT with ACSM. I soon after began creating workouts for myself, my athlete friends and classmates and fell in love with it.
A few months before graduation I was hired at Washington Sports Club and also obtained my certification with NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and my experience and certifications have grown tremendously since then. I’ve been a certified personal trainer for 9 years and started working in the industry full time a little over 3 years ago.
2. What makes your training style unique?
My creativity, energy, and ability to make my workouts fun all while be highly effective. They're challenging and creative enough to have you doing 10 different variations of a burpee and follow that with a uphill 40 yard sprint and silly enough to make you laugh through each and every rep as I joke with you. I'm known for my dancing. I can't help it. One of my bootcampers says I stay dancing through their struggle. They may be right, ha!
I want you to enjoy working out with me because you definitely will dislike me for at least a couple days after one of my sessions. I have eyes in the back of my head. I miss nothing. I will call you you out too.
One of my favorite sayings during workouts is "You can hate me now. I'm cool with that. But you'll love when those abs are showing and you're looking right in those jeans. Feel free to send me thank you gifts. I love chocolate turtles."
3. If you could change one behavior you see in your clients, what would it be?
Negative self-talk and negative thinking. Many people I encounter on their fitness and health journey are very hard on themselves. Instead of praising themselves for the 2 pounds they lost in 2 weeks, they're down about the 3 more they didn't lose because they may have thought they should have lost 5, which in itself might not be a realistic goal. Some of that negativity is linked with unrealistic expectations and not creating "SMART" goals and the rest is a history of being in a negative mental space about themselves and they've gotten comfortable with it. I want them to see all their progress and stay motivated. I want them to see themselves as I see them. I'm proud of and inspired by them. They motivate me to continue to provide my best to them as the person they chose to assist them on their journey, their trusted confidant. They assist in my growth of becoming better and accepting challenges in my life and training programs.
Negativity is draining and damaging. I do my best to make sure my clients understand and believe that from the moment they decided to make a life change, acted on it and continue to build on that, they are always making progress and that is definitely something to bask in . They should continuously congratulate themselves for it while they continue to reach each milestone based on the goals we set and achieve together.
4. What is your favorite exercise and why?
Since I must choose (wow, this was tough!) my favorite exercise is an Overhead Medicine Ball Wall Toss w/ a Slam Squat. This is a combination I randomly tried (while I'm sure it's nothing new) and began challenging myself with a few years ago and it is a beast. Typically the Overhead Toss is done in an open area or with a turn to rebound the ball off the wall. I was in a small space with high ceilings so I didn't have the standard rebounding or distance space. I decided to rebound from an overhead position. This move increases power in my lower body (glutes, quads and calves) and increases strength in my back extensors and core muscles especially as I transfer power from my lower to upper body.
To give myself more upper body work I add the slam as I move into the loading squat for the toss. This targets my lats and triceps and continues to build on the improvement of coordination of muscle activation when transferring from upper to lower body movement to maximize power the initial phase of the exercise provides. And of course there's an element of speed, agility and quickness involved to be able to catch the ball in this position. I can never become bored or reach a plateau because there are so many variations (different mb weights, direction of toss, distance from wall, squat style, etc.) I can add to make it challenging and to target my body in various ways.
5. Briefly describe your weekly workout schedule. Is it seasonal? How many rest days do you take each week?
My workout schedule is goal oriented. I set goals and pursue them until I achieve the desired results I’m aiming for. Once I achieve my goals I either set a new one or focus on building more on where I am,if necessary. I'm a Weekend Warrior, so when I'm actively competing in Co-Ed Flag Football, for example, I focus on strength, hypertrophy and SAQ as I play wide receiver and rusher/corner. I never want my training to be predictable and my body to become comfortable with what I’m doing. If I’m comfortable, I’m not progressing. Trainers LOVE progress. We can't help it. We love to challenge and be challenged.
My current training is a focus on reducing body fat and building strength and endurance.Starting in June I'll be attending Muay Thai foundations classes at BETA. The classes will be incorporated with my current regimen. Monday and Tuesday I do conditioning workouts. Sprinting and SAQ drills on the track and HIIT class with FITT Bootcamp. Wednesday and Friday I do strength and conditioning weightlifting workouts. Usually programming designed by the BETA S&C coaches. Thursdays and Saturdays I randomly select a fitness activity. I usually just do whatever I feel. I may add in another workout, participate in a sport, run or attend a group exercise class. It could also be a rest day if my body asks for it. Sundays are definitely rest days, Everyone needs downtime. Even from active recovery.
6. What is your favorite outdoor Washington D.C. activity? Do you have a favorite hike or run?
I'm an ambassador member of DC's first official run crew, District Running Collective, and we run various routes in NW DC starting at the border of the Petworth and Columbia Heights neighborhoods. I love discovering more about the neighborhoods I live in and near: Petworth, Columbia Heights, Brightwood, Adams Morgan, Howard U./Shaw, Parkview and the U St. Corridor. Seeing the transition since I lived here for college and moved back during graduate school is amazing and exciting. Our routes are scenic and informative and to my extreme dismay, we ALWAYS have a crazy hill somewhere to conquer. If I ever wished ill-will on someone, which I don't, the punishment would be for them to run up the hill on 13th st nw between Florida Ave and Clifton St... 10 times... no rest.
7. Tell us a little bit about the Strength and Conditioning classes you teach at the Beta Academy.
Ask any of my students and they’ll tell you I can come up with some killer combination exercises. I love compound movements and putting my students through functional workouts that enhances the coordinated working relationship between the nervous and muscular systems.
This can be both strength and conditioning based. I also like to add creativity to what is typically a strict environment. Remember those burpee variations I mentioned? Burpees are one of the best exercises for anyone, yet they can become quite tedious. So I include different burpee variations, such as the "barrell roll burpee" and make sure that they also still do the basic job of a standard burpee by improving agility, coordination and strength.
I also institute an "Exit Fee" randomly and try to have it once a week. This is an exercise that has to be performed for a set number at the end of a workout that students must complete to "exit" my domain. They never know what it is. The most I do is warn them by writing "Exit Fee" on the workout board. I began this after seeing some of the other coaches compete in a grappling tournament and truly dig deep after seemingly leaving it all on the mat their previous battle. I realized you never know when you’ll have to have some reserves and the focus to do what you need to do and do it well.
Once, I forgot to give them a warning. After a grueling total body resistance workout, all students had to perform 25 American kettlebell swings before being able to exit. Can you imagine doing that after doing a total of 5 minutes of wall walks plus 25 minutes of other exercises? And not knowing it was even a possibility? The side-eyes were priceless. I'm surprised they didn't jump me on the sidewalk to give a taste of my medicine.
I've designed my style of coaching to compliment the foundation of training provided by the other awesome coaches at BETA for the strength and conditioning program. I know that Coach Laurie will focus on strength and Coach Andrew will focus on basic movements. We all include MetCon for weight loss/conditioning through the week and skill work to ensure that our students are executing moves properly and are comfortable with them as all our programming includes lifting, reactive and plyometric movements.
Our S&C classes are an excellent way for individual of all levels and backgrounds to transform their bodies and lose weight while doing it in a communal and supportive environment.
8. What do you like most about being a personal trainer?
Many people who train or work out do not achieve their goals because they do not have proper guidance. I enjoy being the person that will help you get to where you want to be by setting out a plan and strategically getting you there. I consider myself a teacher and guide. I equip other with the tools and support to lead better lives. I like that I was apart of someone's else success, that my calling in life served in helping you reach yours. Whenever I’m complimented on what I do for others I feel validated and know this is what I was meant to do. My personal mantra behind this is “Aspire to inspire before you expire. It’s a blessing to be a blessing.”