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What made you choose the IFPA?
In 2002 I applied for work at 24-Hour Fitness. At the time I did not have any certifications, but I did have my college degrees and experience from working in physical therapy as an aide and helping train athletes in track and field in college. So, in order for me to bump up my pay rate at the company, the fitness manager at the facility told me to look into the IFPA certification. Since then I have been maintaining my certification current with IFPA. My reason for continuing to be certified through the IFPA has been due to the wonderfully helpful professionals at the IFPA that state and clarify options for maintaining current certifications and building upon what I know and what interests me. The educational material is very informative and prepares me to work with clients that fit the needs addressed in the certifications that I have.
If you have taken more than the PFT course, what has been your favorite certification course?
I have enjoyed all the courses that I have taken, but the one that stands out for me is the Youth Fitness Instructor. This course has served me very well along with the others; because it helped me understand how to train young clients better and understand the mental/psychological and physical differences that differ from training other client populations. Another valuable tool in my personal training toolbox!
How long have you been a Personal Trainer?
I have been helping train others, as early as 1993 unofficially in college, but in 1997 it started to become more serious, because I worked in physical therapy as an aide. In 2002 I was officially certified as a professional fitness trainer. So, I would say I have been certified as a fitness trainer for 15 years, but have been working with others longer than that.
What is your best success story?
One success story that stands out for me is the one I experienced with Matt. Matt grew 2 inches and lost 50 pounds. Matt was overweight and started at 223 pounds and went to 173 pounds. This was such a great success story that I asked Matt to make a video to document and share his story. I’m so proud of him. My success with Matt can be attributed to the education that I have received from the IFPA certifications and especially the Youth Fitness Instructor certification.
Here is a link of his video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DxS0WYvOWg
What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers? Education? Experience?
In this profession you need to be patient, think outside the box, and always learning to improve your training skills.
Having a B.S.in Exercise Science, with the emphasis in Physiology from the University of California, Davis, has helped me very much in my profession.
The experiences that I had early in my educational journey helped open many doors for me. Since I did intern work while at UC Davis for Nova Care Physical Therapy in Sacramento, it exposed me to different needs for elderly, disabled, and work place or non-workplace injured individuals. Many people who I train have or have had injuries, so this experience is valuable.
How do you envision growing your personal training business?
At the moment I am happy with my workload and growing the business is not on my mind. Maybe in the future I would like to open a small facility, but at the moment I have a niche in traveling to my clients to train them.
What is your best advice to someone just starting their career as a personal trainer?
My advice is to invest in your education, get as much experience as possible, always safety above all, and love what you do.
What are some adjectives your clients would use to describe you?
I think that my clients would describe me as being loyal, fun, caring, intelligent, and safe.
What made you choose a career in personal fitness training?
I chose to be a personal fitness trainer because of the independence, flexibility, and challenge that the career offers.
What aspect of personal fitness training do you like most?
My favorite aspect of personal fitness training that I like the most is seeing people overcome their uncertainties.
How has the PFT business changed since you started?
What I have noticed since I started is that the industry has more PFT professionals, more media promotion of the industry with TV programs and advertisement (internet), and the use of group exercise classes or boot camp style training to allow more people to participate in training.
What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome in your personal training career?
The hardest challenge to overcome in my personal training career was to get the word out that I was starting my personal training business. What has been very fortunate for me is the word of mouth. Many of my clients have referred me to their family, friends, co-workers, and have written awesome referrals. Now in these days of the Internet, there are many services out there to help promote my business, since most people rely on the Internet to get information.
Some success stories:
Peter H. Redwood City, CA
- I have tried many other programs but this is the one I am sticking with. My main needs are increased flexibility and strength. I have seen constant gains with FitHab. Luis pushes me so that improvements are continual. Each session is divers and focuses on natural movement. My chronic pain has all but disappeared. This is the first time I can say that in 10 years. I feel better, move better and look better. We have only been working together for a few months but the improvements are all I could ask for.
Stacy D. Belmont, CA
- My 16-year-old son has done 1:1 training with Luis for the last 1.5 years. My son loves it! They do several different activities every time, TRX, Rip Trainer, running, balance exercises, calisthenics. My son says, “Luis is tolerant and encourages you to improve. He knows what he’s doing every minute you’re working with him. At the end of the workout I always feel proud and look forward to my next workout.”
Doug from Fremont, CA
- I have spent 40 years off and on with gyms, clubs and trainers, with diets, magazine programs and contests. Nothing ever worked! Then I found Luis, Exercise Scientist, and WOW! Luis is incredibly knowledgeable about the human body and safe and varied ways of exercising. We periodically set goals with time deadlines so we can review progress and achieve the body desired. His programs are specifically suited to the individual and are readily modified to adjust to physical or timing problems. And, did I mention Luis is quite personable and has a great sense of humor, besides! A rare package in my 40 years experience with trainers!
Susan from Weed, CA
- Luis is working with my 91 year old father who was disabled with a stroke some years ago. Luis is very professional, prompt, and willing to work with my father to develop a program that suits his needs. In addition, he has encouraged my dad to set goals, and he has been a great
- You can see Pete in action on the FitHab YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu64Wbg4AX4
Patricia from Pacifica, CA
- To Whom It May Concern: When I turned 40, I started to evaluate a lot of things in my life. Among those, was my health. I have a family history of adult-onset diabetes. Many of my relatives had developed the disease by the time they were 45. I did not want to join that group. I was significantly overweight and had done very little exercise for a long time. In addition, I have a sedentary job which forces me to sit at a desk all day and not do much physical activity. I decided to make a change to improve my health and increase the chances that I would live to a ripe old age. However, knowing that something needs to be done and actually knowing what to do is a very different thing. I originally worked with Luis at 24 Hour Fitness. When he left to start his own business, I signed up with Fithab. I was very impressed with his credentials and with his philosophy of fitness. We constantly talked about what I wanted to achieve, what types of activity I liked (or didn’t like), etc. From the beginning, he made the whole process enjoyable. He took time to explain exactly what we were doing and what each exercise would accomplish. I am one of those people who always wants to know the details about the things that I do. I am constantly asking questions and Luis is very patient in answering them. I have learned a great deal about myself and fitness in general working with Luis. He actually makes it so much fun that it really doesn’t feel like work, at all. Since beginning the program, I have reduced my body fat by 5% (42% down to 37%). I know that will continue to decline as I continue with my workout. Before, I had so little energy at the end of each day, I would just sit on the couch all evening and weekends and do nothing. Now, one of my friends asked if I ever sat still. I guess the bottom line is that I just feel like a new and different person. I would definitely recommend the Personal Trainer programs to anyone who needs the kind of help that I did (and that probably includes most people if they are truthful). I am truly grateful to Luis Torres for all of his knowledge, patience, humor and skill in helping my new self emerge from the exhausted, unhealthy person that I was.
- Sincerely, Patricia Whaley, Ph.D.