- Hometown: Windber, Pennsylvania
- Current Location: Washington, DC
- Height: 5’9
- Weight: 150 lbs
- Age: 32
- Favorite Lift: Isolated Dumbbell Chest Press
- Favorite Style of Cardio: A circuit of Jump Rope, Jumping Jacks, and Box Jumps
- Websites: www.theamishtrainer.com
How did you make the transition from the Amish community into the fitness world?
My family left the Amish community when I was nine years old and I have been outside of the community for over 20 years. The first few years when we left the community, my family struggled a bit financially and culturally. Once we adjusted, I had I guess what you could say was a normal upbringing. I was active in high school and participated in a variety of clubs and sports.
I went to college and received a bachelors and master degree and worked in corporate America for a good 7 years. Then I realized that my passion was in the fitness industry. I enjoy leading a healthy lifestyle and that had a lot to do with how I grew up as kid, and I wanted to impart that to others.
Tell us why you started your website the Amish Trainer. Tell us about the Amish Trainer what it means to you and what people can expect when they go there.
- Meditation and Reflection
- Fitness that mimics real life movements
- Eating healthy with the best and most sustainable and organic ingredients
As a fitness professional, I often find that my clients fall short in one of the three pillars. Generally, I may have a client who eats well but doesn’t have a great workout, or a client who has a great workout but eats poorly because of stress from work. Therefore, I wanted my clients to have a place where they could go to be successful in all areas of their lives. I see the Amish trainer as a resource tool in helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle by providing healthy recipes, tips on anything from proper form to new exercises to how to meditate, and finally to see what’s new in the Amish trainer’s world.
Can you tell us how fitness is viewed in the Amish community in general and if there are any sorts of fitness that is frowned upon or encouraged?
To be frank, fitness in terms of how most people view it, meaning going to a gym or an exercise class isn’t permitted in the community. What’s ironic about this is that most Amish are very fit because the lifestyle requires men, women and children alike to do very manual, physical labor jobs that keep them fit and active. They are fit by virtue of the lifestyle they lead.
Can you tell us about your nutritional philosophies and how that translates into what you cook?
Simply put I think that we can all make healthier choices by changing or lessening the bad ingredients in recipes. By “bad” I mean table salt, sugar, bleached flour, things that are processed or chemically derived. For example sugar can be replaced with apple sauce or agave nectar and butter can be replaced with olive oil. It’s about making healthier decisions when you cook.
In addition, I am a firm believer in buying foods in their natural state (organic). Milk is a great example. Natural whole milk from the cow is far better for you then the milk that is taken to a plant where it is homogenized and chemicals, even bleach is added to it.
Can you tell us a little about your training philosophies and a little about what they could expect by training with you.
I have two core training philosophies. The first is that I train all my clients to understand and exercise in all three planes of motion; frontal, sagittal and transverse plane. Often the sagittal and transverse plane are not strong or activated and therefore; this lead to lots of injuries, form misalignments, and compensations. The second is that I teach all my clients to have a holistic and integrated workout routine. Most people are either front or back side dominant. They either have a stronger upper body or weak lower body or tend to focus on just one body part. I make sure my clients work all parts of the body equally and that they use all areas of the gym. By this I mean cables, barbells, free weights, their own body weight, group classes, TRX, kettlebells, etc, to achieve maximum success.
Growing up in the Amish community was obesity something that was a concern or something that was talked about at all?
Obesity was something that just wasn’t talked about in the community.
How do you approach your eating; do you simply focus on satiety or do you use a very precise eating plan?
Personally, I focus on eating small portions, 2 serving sizes, every 3 hours. The 2 serving sizes generally include a protein, fruit and vegetable. I limit my carbs, but I do have them for breakfast or before I workout. I eat carbs where I know I can use them as a sort of energy.
What motivates you each day? And what are your short and long term goals?
I wake up every day knowing that my only goal and purpose is to help my clients and followers be more aware and conscious of living a healthy lifestyle by showing and guiding them through the three pillars listed above.
Tell us a few things about yourself that might surprise a few people.
I had a very successful career in retail banking before becoming a personal trainer. My bachelor’s degree is in English Education/Theatre, so I love reading plays and going to the movies! My graduate dissertation was on testing creative intelligence in the work place. I also love tennis and the Pittsburgh Steelers!
What are your 5 favorite movies of all time? And what do you eat and drink when you go to the theater?
The Green Mile
Fried Green Tomatoes
Meet Joe Black
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
I generally go to the movies once a week and when I do go, I consider the movies as the one place where I get to have my cheat meal. I usually have a soda, popcorn, and candy.