I talk here a lot and most of you have met me at the gym. I want to take this opportunity to share my story, because all of us evolve and it’s important to know that I’ve certainly not exempt. So today I’m answering all the same questions we posed to our incredible trainers in our Meet the Trainer series.

What got you into this?

I remember the exact second I became interested in fitness. In my early 20s I was working at an auto body shop and one of my responsibilities was to strip parts off wrecked cars, weigh them, and get them ready to be packaged and shipped. One day one of my coworkers asked me how much I thought I weighed. I told him, “Easy! I’m 220.” I then hopped on the scale to verify and shattered my illusion. I was actually 265 pounds.

The crazy thing is, about two seconds after I looked down and saw that number on the scale I looked up and saw my boss standing in the doorway of the building, smoking a cigarette and weighing in at about 300 pounds. This was my future if I kept doing what I was doing. I knew it was time to make a change.

After that I made getting in shape my number one goal. I started learning about exercise, nutrition, lifestyle changes, and did what it took every day to make a change. I’ve never been prouder of anything in my life and I knew that this was something I wanted to share with others and do for a living.

What disciplines have contributed to your fitness routine?

I’ve always been someone who has focused extremely hard on learning multiple disciplines to build my toolbox. Honestly, when I first started as a personal trainer I was focused on a bodybuilding style. From there I branched into training athletes, injury prevention, and performance training. I’ve also spent a lot of time in the rehabilitation scene working with people with injuries. It’s important to me to combine all these different modalities into a system and customizing that system for each individual client.

Did you ever reach a moment when you had to change course?

At one point in time in my career I almost quit training because I didn’t want to contribute to injuries. I had learned from my own training and training others that fitness work could have a major negative impact on people’s bodies if done incorrectly. I knew that some of my recommendations had contributed to increased pain for some clients and I was watching trainers all over the world break down bodies in pursuit of “fitness.” At one point I looked at a list of 50 of my clients and realized that 45 of them had some sort of injury. It was blindingly clear that for me to be a good trainer I was going to have to start learning more about injury prevention and rehabilitation.

This knowledge has become a major part of my training programs. By focusing intensely on injury prevention and rehab I can deliver high intensity fitness programs in a safe and effective manner. Clients get stronger while simultaneously addressing underlying issues that could contribute to future pain and injury.

Do you have any fitness goals this year?

I set my goals a little bit differently this year. Instead of having end goals I set process goals. In order to be more consistent I decided to train a little bit every day.

BST is my mantra this year. It stands for breathe, shoot, train. I want to make sure I meditate, shoot my bow, and work out a little bit each day. It could be as little as 10 quiet breaths in the corner, 10 arrows in my kitchen to work on my shooting form, and a 10 to 20 minute workout, or if I feel like it I could meditate for an hour, shoot for an hour, and work out for two hours. It’s really up to me on how I feel like doing it that day as long as I get it done. I believe the consistency will pay off in the end, and not only make me a healthier and more fit person but a more consistent person.

What’s your best advice for clients?

If you’re not assessing your guessing.

I think any training program should start with an assessment of what works in your body and where any imbalances are and then use that assessment to create a safe and effective training program. Guessing when designing a training program is guessing about the results that you will get from it. Know exactly what you’re doing and exactly what you’ll get. I know I can train anybody in the world, but I really wish I could have one hour to assess them and another hour to show them the fundamentals of exercise. That system is the foundation for a lifetime of learning about how your own body responds to exercise.

So now you know a little more about me. Come back next week to hear about how my commitment to assessment and individual design informed Cora’s workouts.

Steve

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