Training with Bonnie McDonald

Hanover resident Robert Bruce, a longtime member of the River Valley Club, committed to a steady workout regimen just before the pandemic hit. Training with Bonnie McDonald twice a week on strength and conditioning, he, like so many other members, was forced to devise a new plan once the Club closed last year because of the coronavirus outbreak. Bonnie put together a seamless regimen so Bob could work out from his home office.

“Our workout routine, which has been a great success for me, helped me maintain the momentum of the previous year’s work at RVC,” Bob said.

Bonnie identified an array of stretching and other exercises using weights and a treadmill at his house, and even incorporated existing furniture and the garden. “I want to stress how important Bonnie has been for me and my health over the past year,” Bob said, emphasizing Bonnie’s effective and creative techniques, as well as her engaging personality. Moreover, Bonnie, who’s worked at RVC since its earliest days, deftly encouraged Bob to stick with the regimen despite physical space constraints and other obstacles presented by online training.

“Bonnie’s program worked brilliantly because she is such an experienced and skilled professional, and such a nice person—online and off. Bonnie and I have been through this difficult year working together. She has helped me get to my lowest weight since my 30’s—and I’m 77.” Between training with Bonnie and adopting an intermittent fasting program recommended by his doctor, Bob has been able to achieve fitness goals. Having tried over the years to lose weight accumulated during a career of international travel, he considers Bonnie the missing link in his personal fitness story.

But that’s not all: Bob discovered that Bonnie also trains dogs. The owner of a boisterous golden retriever, Bob figured that Bonnie might just be the one to work with his gregarious 3-year-old pup, Maisie. Figuring that Bonnie was good for his well-being, why not for Maisie’s, too?

“Under Bonnie’s teaching, Maisie has achieved the discipline we were hoping for, particularly when we have visitors to the house. She is appropriately enthusiastic and a joy to have as part of our get-togethers now. What’s more, she occasionally joins me when I train with Bonnie!”

Learn more about Bonnie’s dog training business on her Facebook Page – Bonnie’s Balanced K9s.

Bonnie’s angle to the story –
When we moved to virtual sessions, Bob was willing to purchase a few extra things needed to facilitate his workouts so we added a stability ball and some elastic bands to the dumbbells and yoga mats that he already had. These additional tools provided us with a lot of variety in the possible exercises we could do. We also incorporated things in his office, such as his couch, desk and the steps outside. Bob was committed and consistent, probably the two most important variables for success. As far as Maisie, she stayed with me for a two week board and train once Bob and his wife were able to safely travel after being vaccinated.

Maisie tends to be over-exuberant when people come to their house so I taught her the “place” command where she goes to her bed and stays there until she is released. This enables her to have some space and distance from the naturally high energy that accompanies guests arriving at your home. Once the guests are situated and the energy has dissipated, she’s then able to greet the guests in a much calmer manner.

Bob Bruce
Member since 2012

Bonnie McDonald
Personal Trainer since 2000

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 Jennifer Packard
Jennifer Packard

Whether you’re just starting out, trying to get back into a routine, or are feeling frustrated with your current regimen: Your fitness journey is your own. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

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Terry Hall

‘Can’t’ is no longer in my vocabulary, and I have a sense of pride in my ability to work toward a goal and not only achieve it, but often exceed it.