Bodybuilding.com – The Fitness Industry’s Best Friend
I recently had the privilege of being selected Bodybuilding.com Personal Trainer of the Month, which will probably go up on the site late summer or early fall. I don’t take this honor lightly coming from the electronic fitness industry’s mecca.
If you’re into fitness but not into Bodybuilding.com you should be. People ask me fitness and nutrition related questions all of the time, and when I can’t answer their questions with the level of precision I set my standards by, I go to bb.c for my research. With literally tens of thousands of published pages and thousands of videos, no other single source in the world provides more information on fitness and nutrition.
So not only can you get information, you can get great prices and incredible service on supplements, and you can also participate in the world’s largest on-line fitness community, bodyspace, where you can interact, network, and build relationships with hundreds of thousands of fitness enthusiasts. Go to bodyspace and after you create your own profile be sure to check my profile.
As a thanks to my readers and followers at Omni-Fit, here’s a sneak preview of the Q&A that will go up for my Bodybuilding.com Trainer of the Month profile:
Could you tell us a little about your background – personally and professionally?
I’ve been a gym rat since about age 13 but pursued a professional, corporate career for over 20 years. I hold a BA in Finance and an MBA, and have served as an adjunct professor of marketing at Boise State University. But fitness, working out, and, more recently, nutrition have always been my passion. I’ve always been the guy that people come to for advice on health and fitness. In addition to lifting, I’ve been involved in competitive running, cycling, triathlon, and duathlon for the past 15 years.
When and why did you become a trainer?
This past year I decided to make my passion a full-time pursuit. I left my position as marketing director for bodybuilding.com, got my NASM CPT, and launched Omni-Fit last fall. I purchased a training facility in February and have started a blog, www.omni-fit.blogpsot.com. I became a trainer because I love health and fitness and I love mentoring, coaching, and motivating people to achieve their goals.
What is your training style? What methods do you use?
I emphasize core strength along with posture and balance, then radiate out to incorporate functional strength of all body parts. I like to use dumbbells as opposed to machines and barbells as they’re easier on joints and best mimic real-life loads. Client workouts are based on their own past and present physicality coupled with their goals and lifestyle activities.
Do you have examples of success stories from clients using your methods?
I have multiple clients who have lost in excess of 20 pounds while increasing muscle strength, endurance, and size. I have other clients who have gained significant muscle strength and size. Additionally, I have clients who have made big improvements in their balance, posture, and functional strength. Most importantly, I have clients who have gained self confidence and self esteem and now see themselves in a more positive light.
What are the most common mistakes a client makes?
The biggest mistake is blowing off the diet, thinking that the workout, and especially cardio, is sufficient to lose weight. Unfortunately in our society people are programmed to eat badly.
The second biggest mistake is viewing training and diet as a “program” to be endured for some set time and then they’re done. I try to instill lifestyle change in all of my clients, this is not a “90-Day Fat Blaster” program, this is how you need to live from here on out for the rest of your life.
Lastly, a common client mistake is thinking they can get in shape and change their body composition in a few weeks. Popular culture aids in allowing people to believe that effortless quick fixes exist, when in fact it takes significant sustained effort over an extended time period.
What are the most common mistakes you believe a trainer makes?
I think many trainers aren’t insistent enough on proper form. When targeting muscles through resistance training, form means everything. I like the saying “it’s how, not how much”. That said, however, I also believe many trainers are hesitant to work low-rep, heavy lifting into the workout cycle, which has real benefits to the client when done right.
Beyond that, I also think some trainers don’t spend enough time understanding their client’s motivation sources and leveraging that to bring focus, intensity, and meaning into the workout.
Do you set your clients up with a full diet plan?
Absolutely, diet and nutrition play a huge part in body composition change, especially for those seeking significant body fat reduction. I set daily caloric targets to create the required deficit, provide examples of what their meals look like, and information on quality carbs with a low glycemic load. I also have my clients maintain a diet journal that I provide which helps accountability and thinking before they eat. For anyone, however, quality calories intake is critical to give their bodies the fuel and building blocks for fitness success.
How do you keep your clients motivated?
One of the biggest ways a trainer makes their client successful is by understanding the root cause of their motivation, then constantly reminding them about why what they’re doing is important to them. Clients need to love their goals for personal and intrinsic reasons, otherwise they won’t stay with the program.
Additionally, clients need to believe they can achieve at a high level, that pushing past the comfort zone is how we progress. Also related to motivation is the fun factor. I want my clients to see their time at Omni-Fit as the best part of their day so they’re excited to come in, so we keep it very upbeat and positive.
Do you train a male client differently to a female?
That depends more on the individual than on the gender, but typically females are more interested in body fat loss and males are more interested in building strength and muscle mass. These differing goals and motivation sources definitely lead to different training approaches. However, it’s most important to note that different training approaches have less to do with gender and more to do just with how all people are different.
How do you start a client on a new program? Do you do some kind of assessment?
Yes, I spend time talking with the new clients and reviewing where they have (or have not) been in their lives physically. The first couple of sessions then are about observing the client in a comprehensive workout routine and matching these observations with assumptions from the verbal review. From this, I can then fine-tune the workouts to optimize time spent in the workout. Additionally, we capture body stats, most importantly body fat composition, this is typically one of the most important metrics we manage.
Do you prefer to train male or female clients and why?
No preference at all, each individual is uniquely satisfying to work with regardless of gender.
Do you feel just as much like a psychologist as you do a personal trainer?
Not on the same level, but psychology is a big part of the job. A trainer needs to understand what motivations have brought the client in, and then play those motivations to drive the client to success. So much of this has to do with building self esteem and a sense of self mastery. To stay motivated, clients must truly feel they can have an impact on their goals, and a good trainer helps lead them down this path.
What’s next for you and for Omni-Fit?
First, I want to continue growing the client base and begin bringing on additional trainers, teaching them to handle clients “The Omni-Fit Way”, with world-class customer service.
Second, I plan to continue growing my blog following and evolve into providing fitness information products to help people improve their lives.
Lastly, I plan to continue having a blast doing what I love; helping people lead better lives through health and fitness.