· 14-year experience as personal trainer/strength coach
· 8 years as exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab setting
· BS Exercise Science Salisbury University
· NSCA Strength and Conditioning Specialist
· Published fitness writer
· Former fat kid
Who I am probably needs to start with the fact that I grew up a fat kid. I could go into my education and experience for days but it doesn’t define me like growing up fat. Although my parents did their best to direct me into a healthier direction, there was no stopping my fatness. I played sports, played outside with friends, rode my bike everywhere, but the avalanche of crappy calories was too much to offset. Food was my everything, and I wanted to eat. One day when school was cancelled because of snow, I wasn’t happy with the lack of junk food my mom kept in the pantry. I put on my boots and walked close to a mile in the driving snow to a pizza joint where I spent my allowance for that week on a large cheese pizza. At 13 years-old, I sat there and smashed the entire thing myself. No friends or family, just me and a large cheese pizza on a snow day.
Being made fun of for how you look when you’re young leaves a very deep wound that still reveals itself well into adulthood. Kids in middle and high school have no filter when it comes to an easy target like a fat kid taking his shirt off at the pool. In high school, I had plenty of guy friends from sports and the neighborhood but zero confidence with girls. My assumption was if I found a girl to be attractive, the feeling wasn’t mutual. At this point I was still getting ridiculed by classmates and a small group of adults as well. The worst was when my football coach announced to the entire team that I had a “movie screen ass” and that you could “watch a movie on that ass it was so fat.” The entire team laughed about it for days.
That was brutally embarrassing, upwards of 60 kids and adult coaches laughing directly AT ME for being fat. Years of torment and ridicule, a lack of notice from the opposite sex, and general unhappiness led me to my boiling point. Something had to change, and it needed to change now.
In the next 6 months, I dropped from a chubby 225 to a very lean 155. Lifting, running, and cutting calories did the trick. Boom, I’m a new man. I’ll never know if it was because of my immediate overflowing of self-confidence or my appearance, but my insecurities vanished in those 6 months. No problem talking to girls, making new friends, or taking my shirt off at the pool. It was awesome.
Exercise and nutrition (even though I really had no idea what I was doing) completely changed the course of my life and everything about it. I wanted more. I graduated college with a BS in Exercise Science and got a job training in Baltimore. This is where my education really started, in college I worked out, but now I started training. With the help of my NSCA certification, a handful of other experienced trainers, and countless hours working with a wide variety of clients, my knowledge base has increased exponentially. That being said, the driving force for me to learn more and improve at my craft has always been selfish. There is still the fat kid with the movie screen ass inside of me, and he isn’t going anywhere. Since I was 17 I have poured my soul into figuring out the most efficient and effective training strategies to improve physique, strength, and conditioning. Reading about training and trying it out sounds basic but it’s effective. There is no substitute for learning new techniques and busting your ass to know if they are legit. My thirst for knowledge and discipline in my own exercise has been a key component to making me the trainer I am today, and I still have a very long way to go. The main objective is to never stop learning and growing as a professional for the large population I wish to reach. (but also the insecure teenager scared to take his shirt off)