Training 101: Connie Nightingale

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself? What are your credentials and how long have you been a trainer?

  My name is Connie Nightingale, I am a certified personal trainer and certified nutritionist and I place a huge emphasis on functional nutrition which means we look for root cause issues when it comes to people's health and nutrition. I have hundreds of continuing education hours in the functional health space. 

I am currently very into powerlifting, bench press in particular, just set a national record for my age and weight class and will be competing at the world championships in November. In the past I have completed and excelled in bodybuilding and endurance sports. I am the host of The Fit Farming Food Mom Podcast, a health and fitness podcast, that currently has over 45k downloads throughout all listening platforms.


  1. What interests you most in the fitness industry?

 I wouldn’t want to specify and say it’s only fitness I think fitness is a huge piece of it but there’s also a lot of lifestyle factors that are equally important when it comes to achieving the physique you want. 

As far as fitness goes, I am just a huge movement enthusiast I have placed a lot of emphasis on being a multi-faceted athlete whether that is bodybuilding, endurance sports, powerlifting. I try to have a broad spectrum of things that I am able to achieve. 


  1. What separates you from the other trainers in our area?

 I think the fact that I look at the big picture is really pivotal.  There is a large separation between personal trainers and people that actually invest in nutrition education and then there is a gap left. So many people go to the gym and they work really hard but their nutrition and their lifestyle factors are lacking so they never reach the goals that they set out to reach. 


  1. What criteria do you use to determine nutrition plans and fitness plans for your clients? 

 First and foremost, I actually start with running full lab panels on my clients. We need to assess what their hormones look like, how much stress they’re under and what metabolic factors will play a role in the kind of nutrition and exercise modalities that we use. 


  1. How do you keep up with current research on exercise, health and nutrition?

 I invest in any education that I possibly can, I sign up for every course or continuing education mentorship that I can find. I am especially interested in hormones, thyroid, and metabolic health and have spent the last few years invested in a lot of functional health training. 


  1. How do you help hold your clients accountable for those who need the extra support? 

 This is always a hard balance. People hire you to get them results, so sometimes that requires being a little more intense and aggressive with your practices, however you need to do it in a way that does not leave the client discouraged. You want to steer them away from that all or nothing mentality, help people continue to move forward, but still keep them accountable, which can sometimes be difficult. I personally have an amazing set of clients we have an online fitness motivation group, they all help hold each other accountable as well as myself checking in on nutrition and workouts daily to make sure clients are meeting their goals and if they’re not, I have to get in touch with them and evaluate why and what we need to reconsider in order to help them reach their goals.


  1. For a client just starting out with their health/nutrition journey what are your recommendations for their first “steps”? 

 Cover the basics. Sleep, hydration, stress management. 

Then add a basic movement routine that you can envision yourself to doing, forever. Yep forever. Is that walking a mile every day? Is that doing three sets of squats? Three sets of push-ups? Three sets of sit ups when you get out of bed in the morning? 

Master the small tasks first and foremost. 


  1. What are your thoughts on hydrotherapy/cold water therapy? 

 You can get amazing benefits from cold water therapy. It is a hormetic stress response, which can be really healthy for cellular autophagy. However, you have to keep in mind stress is always stress whether it’s good or bad, so that is going to depend on the load of current stress in the lifestyle overall and should be strategically placed according to that. 


  1. Do you have a preferred style when it comes to personal training?

   would say I definitely take a more functional approach I target people’s weaknesses we don’t just jump right into the gym and start doing any kind of bodybuilding we look for muscle groups that are lacking as far as stability and function goes and then we build from there. 


  1. Physical fitness/nutrition, do you think one is more “important” than the other? If so which and why?

 Obviously, movement is a really important player as far as overall health goes, but I think nutrition plays a much bigger role. you can work out as much as you want but if the nutrition is not in place you’re not necessarily going to get where you need to go, or you may look like a Ferrari on the outside but a beat-up VW bug on the inside. They both play an integral role in health, but overall nutrition is paramount. 


  1. What is your training philosophy?

 I’m not sure if one would call it a philosophy, I think over anything else you need to be able to help people find something that they can sustain for a lifetime. Establish consistency, even if it’s with the smallest things. That may not look like going in and training with a trainer 30 or 60 minutes a day, because what good is that if you cannot do it consistently? I think working with people to help them set attainable goals that they can achieve every day, once that becomes consistent expand upon it. This could look like as little as a 10-minute movement pattern in the morning. Once that is mastered move it to a 15-minute pattern. It could look like a 1 mile walk every single day. It could look like removing gluten, or processed foods. Becoming consistent is the most important part and instead of diving into a crazy perfect training program that you know is perfectly programmed, it is more important to look at what the person can actually achieve, because even the most perfect plan is not going to get someone where they need to go if it is not executed well. Meet people where they are at. You don’t start to train for a marathon by running a full marathon every day. You start with the first mile. 


Connie Nightingale 

Certified Nutritionist 

ISSA personal trainer 

NPC Judge

The Fit Farming Food Mom podcast 

Connie Nightingale Health and Fitness LLC is not a physician or registered dietitian. The contents of this email should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.


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