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When and why did you become a Personal Trainer?
I became a personal trainer in August of 2002 while completing my BA in International Economics. I enjoy helping people change their life through a healthy lifestyle. Its extremely rewarding to be the “agent of change” for people who need guidance, support and motivation.
What are some adjectives your clients would use to describe you?
My clients would describe me as compassionate, fun, high energy, sincere, knowledgeable, and committed.
How do you keep your clients motivated?
I keep my clients motivated by always reminding them what their goals are. I will find the emotional trigger and when they are having a hard time staying motivated, I will squeeze that trigger. That sounds worse than it is, I simply mean that I remind them of their “why”. I always give a motivational quote after every session I teach and I tie it in to their personal goals. This is a great way to always keep the “why” in the forefront of their mind. I also identify with my clients by relating challenges from my own life. I like my clients to realize that before I am their trainer, I’m also a human being. I believe it is a great help for my clients to know that I have some of the same struggles they do. I find that the commiseration we share helps my clients push through their own obstacles because they know their trainer “is in the fight” too.
What is your best success story?
It’s hard to pick one success story out of many. I’ve helped dozens of people get off nasty meds like statins, blood pressure meds, and depression meds. Those are life changing victories. Everyone wants to look better on the beach, but when you fundamentally change someone’s life and help them become a better mother, daughter, son, etc… That is so gratifying. One story that stands out is from 2005. I met an elderly lady who needed strength training and gait work so she didn’t have to go to an assisted living facility. I met her 3x a week for a year and we became close friends. I helped her retain her autonomy and independence for many years and to this day, her daughter and son in law always wish me a merry xmas even though Jean passed several years ago. The friendship I built with her and her family is something I have cherished greatly. The time I spent with Jean was great for helping her, but that relationship enriched my life in ways I simply didn’t understand at the time as a much younger man.
What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers? Education? Experience?
The quality that I believe sets me a part from other trainers is simple. Empathy. I have a ton of empathy for the struggles and issues my clients deal with. If you can’t put yourself in to your client’s shoes, you will never have true compassion for your client. You can’t fake compassion and you can’t have compassion without an understanding of who your client is and what they deal with in their world. That’s why my clients work so hard for me and will stay the course with me. They BELIEVE in me. They know that I come from a “how can I help” mindset that’s based on the compassion I have for them. When your client knows that you truly care and are in their corner as their advocate, they will give you so much more than they thought they could.
How do you envision growing your personal training business?
I envision growing my business as I continue to build relationships and partnerships with other likeminded trainers. I love teaching group classes, I still enjoy one on one PT. I am a strong believer of corporate wellness programs and I am putting energy in to that avenue while continuing to do the things I enjoy.
What is your best advice to someone just starting in the business?
The advice I would give a new trainer is to pick a couple things you are passionate about and focus on them. It’s very hard to be a “catch all” trainer. If athletes are your thing, work towards that. If working with deconditioned youth is where your passion lies, follow it. I believe it’s better to be really good at a couple areas rather than being okay at a lot. “Okay” doesn’t last.
Testimonial by Carole Malloy
I was at an (unusually) low point last winter when I decided to join a gym and get in shape. I had severe “winter blues” and had become isolated in my home while running a full time business, as well being a wife and mother of two young children. I felt that I would feel better about myself and have more energy if I got in shape, physically. I also needed to get out of the house and see people for my mental sanity. I joined a gym for the social interaction, but I knew I would not frequent the place for the physical benefits if I wasn’t required to be there. (That’s the problem with gyms and “need to be motivated” types like myself. We can join, and it is highly recommended that we show up, but we’re not REQUIRED to do so. And in my case it’s not from laziness -it’s from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder….I always find a project that takes priority over exercise.)
This is where Max comes in. I knew that in addition to my new gym membership I had to have a reason for being there and a motivating force to get me to push myself to reach my goals.
Therefore, I went in search of a trainer. Not just any old trainer, though. I had to have a trainer who would listen to my goals. Who would work hard, himself, to help me achieve those goals. He had to be professional because I was paying him a lot of money and he had to respect that and make sure I was getting my money’s worth. But he also had to be patient because I didn’t enjoy working out at the time. And most importantly to me, he had to be fun because I was going to be spending close to five hours a week with him for intense training and it had to be fun or I simply wouldn’t go!
Max was all that and then some. He thoroughly listened to my goals and took notes of my comments alongside my beginning measurements. We worked out consistently to reach those goals. (Lose 10 pounds, trim inches off thighs, abs, arms, tone-up all over.) Max was never once late for a work out and was extremely professional. When we agreed that I needed to add more cardio to my program he began jogging with me (outside our gym time), because he knew I wouldn’t do it alone!
For the 6 months I worked out with him we worked hard on the equipment, ran in the heat, and even got in an occasional game of tennis. Max made it tons of fun. By the time our sessions ended I was mentally cured of my “winter blues,” had lost 10 pounds, several inches in my “difficult” areas, and was toned enough to move to the beach for 6 weeks, sporting a bikini each day. I was also much stronger and able to carry my two young children with greater ease. Instead of dreading the gym, as I have in all year’s past, I actually looked forward to getting to my workouts and spending an hour or so with Max.
I would (and do) recommend Max to everyone who needs to get in shape or get stronger. He has a great deal of knowledge in his field, he’s very professional and a pleasure to work with. He helped me get in great shape and a year later I’m still in shape and feel terrific. He’s an awesome guy and now a personal friend due to our time together in the gym
Testimonial by Tanya Furr
My name is Tanya Furr. I am 43yrs old and a mother of two. I began training with Max because on our last family vacation, I was so embarrassed of my legs, I wouldn’t put on a bathing suit. It was then that I knew my age was catching up with me and I needed to do something about it. I was very nervous about working with a trainer because I didn’t know what to expect. Well, the very first time I met Max, I knew I was in good hands. He made me feel completely comfortable in the gym even though I had no gym experience. He took me from brand new, all the way to an experienced gym member. He never made me feel bad if I did something wrong, he always used positive reinforcement. He told me more than once that his number one goal was to do everything the safe way because if I hurt myself then we couldn’t train. He could answer every question I threw at him and he never made me feel silly for asking.
Max was a constant source of motivation for me especially when it came to eating. He made me understand that even though I was eating healthy foods, I wasn’t eating enough. This was a hard concept for me to grasp because I have always been taught to watch how I eat and it never occurred to me that I was eating too few calories.
Max showed me how my body was working against me and that by adding 200-300 calories to my diet that I would actually lose fat faster. And let me tell you, he was right! I learned that I needed more food because I was working out so hard. Max taught me that I needed to fuel my body in order to get the most from it. After he got my nutrition in line, I could really see results. I was feeling better quickly, but I started putting on old clothes that I had given up on and now some of those were too big!! Can you imagine how good it feels to try on a pair of Jeans that are your “test jeans” and they are too big? Max and I worked together for about 9 months. The only reason we aren’t working together anymore is because he is moving to Orlando. Well Orlando, you are lucky to have him and just know that there are many people in Atlanta that wish they still did!