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I was born and raised in Germany where earned my degree in Physical Therapy (1995) and Athletic Training (1999). After moving to the US in 2002, I wanted to transfer into the fitness industry where I could use my knowledge and background to help people archive their fitness goals without getting injured in the process. After working as a Personal Trainer and Manager of the Training Department in a local gym for many years, I decided to follow my true passion, which is working with athletes and athletic goal oriented adults. I started my own company (F.I.T. 4 Athletes LLC) and am working as an independent contractor at “Competitive Edge Performance,” a Sports Performance & Rehabilitation Facility in Oldsmar for the past 3 years and love every minute of it.
What made you choose the IFPA?
I chose the IFPA because a trainer referred it to me, as well as it seemed to offer a great course outline for an affordable price.
How long have you been a Personal Trainer?
I have been a Personal Trainer for nearly 11 years.
What made you choose a career in personal fitness training?
Honestly, because my physical therapy and athletic trainer license from Germany would not be transferred over to the US and I knew I wanted to continue working with athletes and goal oriented adults within that field.
What aspect of personal fitness training do you like most?
The ability to help and change so many lives and the flexibility of my own schedule.
What is your best success story?
I have many and it would take too long to mention them all here, but the one I am proudest of is, to be able to be part of the team that worked with Arrelious Benn (NFL wide receiver) and got him back on the field after his first knee injury in 2011 and many other Pro athletes. Also, getting adults from the “couch” to their first half marathon and even triathlons.
What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers? Education? Experience?
My extensive background in physical therapy, athletic training and personal training as well as experience working with many athletes sets me apart from other trainers. Doing a very detailed “functional movement screening” and athletic performance analysis, as well as gait/ form analysis before starting any training program is something unique that not many trainers can do or offer. I believe in quality of movement not just quantity.
I am focusing on “cross training.” I believe that functional movement training and “detailed form Training” is fundamental in order to be able to add strength, power and speed to an athlete’s training. If the body is not moving efficiently or correctly, it cannot produce any of the above and will result in injuries.
I see the body as one chain. If one link in this chain does not function correctly the whole chain is weak and can’t function to its fullest ability. Instead of JUST training for strength, power or speed as a lot of Trainers can do, my approach is to correct movement patterns first and then manifesting them to stay injury free by corrective exercises as well as sports specific functional Training.
I earned many certifications to accommodate my area of work:
- Certified Sports Conditioning Specialist
- Certified Advanced Flexibility Specialist
- Certified Power and Speed Specialist
- Certified Advanced Sports Nutrition Specialist
- Certified TRX Trainer
- Certified in SpiderTech Kinesiotaping
How do you envision growing your own personal training business?
I would love to add more specialties (i.e. massage therapy and ART) to my credentials in order to help more athletes from high school to professional level to stay injury free and use their bodies wisely and more effective by not getting hurt on their athletic journey.
How has the PFT business changed since you started?
Training used to be very stationary on machines, less functional movements. I always believed in combined functional movement and the fitness industry is changing more and more towards that and thinking of recovery as well.
What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome in your personal training career?
My biggest challenges where the changes that came with the acquisition of the privately owned gym I was working at, by a big corporate company. (Changing the pay structure, implemented quotas etc.)
What is your best advice to someone just starting their career as a personal trainer?
Pick an area or population within the fitness industry that you are most interested in and would like to work with and continue growing your knowledge towards that area.