Personal Training with Pamela Hernandez

Ettie Berneking gets some one-on-one fitness and nutrition guidance as she tries out her first ever personal training session. She met up with fitness guru Pamela Hernandez, who helped her learn how to shed some pounds.

By Ettie Berneking

Apr 2014

Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness
Photos by Kevin O’RileyEttie Berneking takes instruction from Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness.

Thrive Personal Fitness
2274 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-766-6612,

Back in high school when I ran track during half the year and played softball during the other half, I could eat anything I wanted. I was always packing a Twix bar, and my after-school snack consisted of five pieces of white bread each slathered in butter (no joke). My metabolism was through the roof, so I didn’t think too much about my diet. I was young, and my workout routine balanced out my insatiable cravings.

But now that I’m 10 years older and am no longer lacing up my kicks after class, my metabolism has slowed way down, but my eating habits haven’t changed too much. In fact, I have an entire desk drawer dedicated to snacks. It’s even a joke at the office. Opener her up, and you’ll find Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies, roasted cashews, dried cranberries, sugar cookies and a bag of some sort of chewy, gel hearts I’m totally addicted to. Needless to say, those skinny jeans I love so much are a bit more snug around the hips. Still, I didn’t think much about my snacking until I had to fill out a three-day food log for my personal fitness session with Pamela Hernandez, owner of Thrive Personal Fitness.

“I still work out regularly, but I wanted to identify my health weak points.”

I decided to go see Hernandez to get a better picture of my fitness level. I still work out regularly, but I wanted to identify my health weak points. To start, Hernandez had me fill out a detailed account of my medical history—any past surgeries or current health concerns, medications and so on. From there, she had me keep track of what I ate for three days. Then we met to talk about why I wanted to enlist her help and what my personal goals were. When she started looking over my food log, she had several suggested changes. Cut back on the sugars, limit snacks to every three to four hours and include more protein in my breakfast. I had been having some dizzy spells during my weekly workouts, and Hernandez explained that a lack of protein before working out could be part of the cause. When it was time to account for my daily oatmeal cream pie, all I could do was laugh. Looking at my diet on paper, it did seem ridiculous. I was consuming sugar treats every two hours.

With a good idea of my diet and medical history, Hernandez ran me through a battery of tests that evaluated my functional movement and range of motion. We also measured my waist, hips, body fat percentage and BMI (body mass index). By my next visit, Hernandez had developed a workout for me that involved a few free weights, lunges, step-ups and stretches. Each of Hernandez’s workout sessions lasts 50 minutes and includes no more than three people. Even though Hernandez might have multiple people in one session, she tailors individual workouts for each client. While I was eight-deep into my lunges, the other gal in my session was busy doing pushups.

Some Hernandez’s clients stay with her for six months, and others stay even longer to really work through diet and lifestyle changes. Hernandez is diabetic, so she really knows the benefit of maintaining a well-balanced diet. She definitely helped me realize I had a snacking addiction. So now that I know my weaknesses, and I have the list of simple at-work stretches Hernandez gave me, I’m planning on zipping up those skinny jeans with plenty of ease. 

How to try it: Call 417-766-6612 for a free consultation. Six-month programs starts at $726.30.