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When and why did you become a personal trainer?
Ever since I can remember, I have been overweight. My highest weight came in just shy of 500 lbs. Not only was my weight a problem, but the way I treated my life overall was reckless. Because of that, I found myself in prison early on in my story.
This could have been the end for me like it is for many. However, prison became a wakeup call and I reclaimed my power of CHOICE. I realized that I was responsible and accountable for everything that had led up to where I found myself. With this new found power I began to take care of myself while in prison, get healthy and make the changes necessary to live MY best life once I returned to society.
Through my journey of bettering myself not only physically but mentally, I transformed myself by losing over 230 lbs. but realized so much more occurred. Through fitness, I gained a new mindset that permeated through all aspects of life…
The other inmates saw my transformation and wanted to know how I did it. I wanted to help them better their lives through fitness and I found that I was able to replicate my success in them as well. This is how I found my passion. This is how Fitness Fast Team USA was born.
What are some adjectives your clients would use to describe you?
My clients would describe me as passionate, accountable, compassionate and loyal to their success.
What made you choose the IFPA?
I chose IFPA because of the robust curriculum and the experience of the teachers. Plus when I needed more information, IFPA responded quickly and was very helpful
How do you keep your clients motivated?
I keep my clients motivated by personalizing each session for THEM. It is not a cookie cutter program I have developed. My clients receive daily motivational texts and can call me at any time if they need more inspiration.
If you have taken more than one course, what has been your favorite certification course?
For me my favorite course was my first, the personal training course. I learned so much from it and it set the foundation for my career and life’s work. I love that there so many options for additional professional growth, allowing me to always improve and broaden my knowledge base to always provide each of my clients with the best information available.
What is your best success story?
My best success story comes from one of my longest clients Derek who we affectionately call “Big D” who has lost over 230 pounds. His journey with me started over two years ago when he weighed in at 525 pounds; his success story is best told in his own words.
“I was a former athlete, I was always a big kid but never this big; I was naïve about my weight. I turned to comfort eating as a way to deal with negative feelings. One day I was at work, playing basketball and my lower back began to stiffen up. Later In the week, I went to the doctor to find out the cause. I constantly experienced shortness of breath, but overlooked this warning sign. The doctor pulled out the scale to weigh me and we both saw the number of 525. My doctor point blank told me that if I did not make a change I would DIE.
I was afraid. Later that night I talked to my mother about what happened. She said “I don’t want to bury you, it’s time for you to lose the weight.” At that moment, the truth hit me hard, I had heard this from friends and others, but it did not have the same impact as it did coming from my mother. Shortly after, I met Andre Johnson he approached me at the gym and told me he wanted to help me. At first I wasn’t hearing anything he had to say, I wanted to work on this journey alone. Andre continued to motivate me and encouraged me to try a session with him. I turned him down several times; finally, I took him up on his offer and since then my whole existence has changed. I am healthier, stronger, and more confident in myself and just all around happier. Not mention I’ve lost over 230 pounds. To this day, the relationship I have with Andre is deeper than just a client/trainer, he is like a brother to me and I know that he is always there for me, continuing to encourage and push me to new levels of fitness. If you want real results, Andre Johnson will help you get there.”
What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers?
I think the biggest quality that sets me apart is that I have actually done it myself. I lost the weight and kept it off. It is not a concept or theory for me, it has been my life. My experiences plus the education you have empowered me continues to help me be in a constant state of improvement. I know how to not only teach people to live their best life, I teach them to make it permanent. I give my clients the tools to succeed so they won’t need me forever and can maintain themselves. That’s my goal.
How do you envision growing your personal training business?
The next step will be to produce videos and blogs to reach a worldwide audience and help the masses.
What is your best advice to someone just starting in the business?
It’s simple, always stay HUNGRY for knowledge and self-improvement. Never become arrogant or feel like you know it all and put your client first. It’s not about you, it’s about them. You do all of those things and success will have no choice but to be in your grasp.