Throughout my life I have constantly been a part of sports teams, looking to improve my abilities and professional aspirations. Being born into a Latino and European household, soccer was always the sport of choice that was to be played and to be watched. I grew up loving the sport and continue to play since the age of four. Yet my ambitions changed in high school, playing at a competitive level continued to be excessively expensive and I became limited to school soccer.
The loss of competitive soccer along with difficulties in school amongst peers and in education culminated into anger and frustration. I felt isolated in school, singled out due to my race and economic class and found refuge amongst a few teachers and at the time the principle of the school. This is where my passion for fitness began. I began being mentored by Bryan Devonish, a teacher at the school and fitness trainer who gave me my first fitness program. He saw my dedication and my determination to improve myself and continued to teach me about training exercise. I soon learned that Bryan Devonish also was a part of the Nike Sparq fitness team. I marveled at the knowledge he had and the level of expertise demonstrated when training OHL and NHL prospects. I gratefully participated in his fitness sessions and saw the results and possibilities; I saw my own fitness levels skyrocket when following his guidance.
This kick-start I had in high school gave me the confidence to apply for my personal training license when I was eighteen years old. When applying for the Canftpro license I met who was to be another very important figure in my life. Kennedy Lodato, a leading expert in movement and fitness and a master trainer in almost every field of fitness has been a constant source of inspiration in my life. After gaining my certification he guided me to books and trainers I needed to follow and learn from, while at the same time teaching me the need and value of a personal trainer in today’s society.
With all this knowledge I applied for my first job at Xtreme Couture and was the youngest trainer hired, at the age of eighteen! This club took me in and I soon learned what a positive workspace could do for motivating me to continue my potential as a trainer. I was constantly motivated to gain new clients and was always encouraged to set myself apart from the other trainer. This pursuit of individuality was what encouraged me to pursue my training education. I knew I was already different from most trainers as my educational pursuit was within social work, finishing my degree from Ryerson University. While in school I was working as a trainer, paying my way through school and educating myself, becoming the best trainer I could be.
In this whole process I co-founded Total Fitness Bootcamp in 2011, this business taught me how to organize myself and promote myself to create success. The business lasted until 2013 where I decided to branch off into I Can Be Fit. Since then I have received my Trigger Point certification, my BOSU certification, my Smart Core certification, my Vipr certification, attended the Out of the Box conference, learning from Peter Twist along with attending the Socialight entrepreneur conference. Within I Can Be Fit I have dedicated myself to preparing myself for any kind of client ranging from beginner to professional athletes. My versatility and my ability to make personal connections with my clients defines me as a trainer.
2. The way I would describe myself as a trainer would be asking the best from my clients. I am not the kind of trainer to yell at a client and bark over someone. I pride myself that I work out with my bootcamp and participate in each workout.
My clients have explained to me that seeing me workout with them motivates them to work harder. In addition, being a part of the exercises provides a sense of community where we are all in it together.
One on one sessions with me become very structured. I like to have thorough consultations with my clients and structure a workout plan specifically looking at their goals
Overall I believe I am a fair trainer who pushes his clients within their limits and supports them through the whole process. When working with a client I also make sure to become more than just a trainer. I take the time and initiative to get to know my client and learn more about them to understand their goals and barriers. I give value to my clients when they can see me as a trusted, respected friend and a knowledgeable, professional trainer.
3. In today’s word having a personal trainer is pivotal as the amount of stress on individuals in today’s society can be very overwhelming. In this society, self-care is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. No matter the profession, one must be able to have time for themself to release endorphins and have an energy boost for the rest of the day to come. In addition clients have told me that having physical toughness promotes mental toughness allowing them to perform under pressure in high stress situations. Moreover health has become a high concern to many people as the implications of poor health effects mental, physical and emotional well-being. Thus self care is becoming more necessary, yet there is less and less time for it. Clearly time is precious, thus, using ones time as efficiently and effectively as possible creates the demand for a personal trainer in today’s world.
4. The evaluations I conduct when first meeting a client are first simply getting to know them. Learning what a day in a life of a client looks like tells me a lot about what they can give me in terms time. Not all clients can work out five days a week, nor do some clients need too. Thus beginning with simple questions about their profession, time commitments, moving on to goals, barriers, injuries and past experiences within fitness. Once covering these areas we then move into testing range of motion in different parts of the body, like shoulders, and hip flexors. After looking for restrictions I tend to go through basic work outs such as push ups, planks, squats and lunges to name a few. Once having a general idea of their upper body, lower body, core and balance abilities I can begin the first phase of their workout regiment to start them on the path to their goals.
5. In a class with varying different skill levels the key to engaging all participants and everyone getting the most of the workout is having different workout variations. The workouts I provide in bootcamp all have more difficult and easier variations to accommodate all skill levels. For each exercise involved in bootcamp, I have at least 2 or 3 variations on each.
6. The biggest challenge most of my clients face is time. Being part of a family, working and dealing with the unpredictability of life can at times impede training. My goal for my clients is to make their training, their health and their wellness one of their primary goals. By showing them the value of feeling their best because of the training and nutrition plan I am providing, clients cannot afford not to continue training.
7. A client within a training session who is feeling like giving up needs to realize that the class and myself are with them. I pride myself that all members in my bootcamp can rely on their team mates to cheer them on and support them through the entire workout. At I Can Be Fit no one is there to be better than anyone else, but to be the best they can be for themselves. Thus members who are struggling will soon find that everyone around them will be cheering them on and supporting them through the workout.
8. Nutrition is extremely important for my clients to achieve their maximum potential and results. Nutrition not only supports someone in losing weight and building muscle but one will feel better for longer with proper eating habits. Nutrition is pivotal to health, fitness and wellness as you are what you eat. Some advice I give to my clients who are looking at nutrition is try to understand the ingredients in what ever you are eating. Simplest way to be healthy.
9. I Can Be Fit looks at health, fitness and wellness as a right NOT as a luxury. Everyone deserves to be and feel their best when it matters most. I do not tell my members how they should look or who should they be, I just provide them the tools to shape themselves around what they deem is fit. My input comes as professional guidance to support people into their own best version of fitness, health and wellness. (by Rodrigo Baak)