Hometown: Born in Dallas, Texas. Grew up in Alton, Illinois.
When and why did you come to Austin?
February of 2020! I needed to make a drastic life change and chose Austin! I love the outdoors and music and Austin has the mix of both of those. When I had my pick of cities to move to, Austin was top of the list and I applied to Austin Simply Fit after months of checking out the city.
What is your background? How did you get into personal training?
I’ve been seriously lifting and competing in powerlifting and now strongman/Highland Games for over 15 years. After college, I earned my CSCS while still competing in powerlifting.
I ran strength training programs for local high schools and worked with their track, wrestling, football, baseball, and softball teams. I ran their workouts in their school gyms while also running their summer programs out of my own private gym.
I founded that gym after a few years of working in a more commercial gym environment. The focus of my gym was purely strength. I had athletes from the high school level through professional sports, powerlifters, and fellow strongman and Highland Games competitors.
Tell us about your current fitness goals and training:
My current fitness goals are to continue building my strength, dive back into competing in strongman, and get back down to the weight I was when I played baseball in college.
Barbell work will never go away, but you can’t simulate car deadlifts, truck and plane pulls, throws, frame carries, and most strongman movements ideally on a barbell. While my barbell training is geared more conjugate style in the sense that I focus on my weak points and train for speed and power, my strongman-specific events are trained on the actual implements.
Ramps for cars to sit on to deadlift them, large frames to load up 1300 lbs for the carry, yokes to run with on my shoulders, and good old sled and harness hookups on trucks for pulls. For me, it’s the perfect way to use my strength while keeping all of my athleticism intact.
My “recovery” workouts are swimming, because I also grew up swimming competitively and my body responds well to it still to this day.
What is the most common fitness myth that you work through with your clients?
Women believing the myth of getting bulky or looking ‘manly’ if they lift weights, and men believing they have to be sore for it to count as a good training session.
Soreness is obviously part of the process, but should only happen when a new variable is introduced. A new exercise, tempo, or rep scheme are some examples. If you’re incredibly sore after each session, that means you’re not resting, recovering, and ultimately not progressing. We’re all in the gym to better ourselves, so ultimately the lack of recovery will work against that goal.
It’s finally changing in the strength world so that women are feeling more confident and proving to be incredibly strong physically in every strength sport. The confidence that comes from the gym spills over to every part of life, and there’s nothing more fulfilling than being comfortable in your own skin and being supremely confident in what your body can accomplish.
What do you want your clients to take away from each training session with you?
My goal is to have you leave each session stronger than you were at the beginning of it. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. You’ll be exhausted, but I want everyone to walk out feeling great about themselves and strong in every sense of that word.
What sets you apart from other fitness professionals?
My adaptability and the fact that I never give up or lose faith in a client. Even if you’re down and don’t believe in yourself in that moment or period of time, I do. I will, and I’ll be pushing you the entire time while you reach your goals.
What is your favorite thing about Austin Simply Fit?
The team of trainers. I wouldn’t have moved to Austin from Illinois and given up owning my own gym if I didn’t know that my now fellow trainers weren’t all caring, professional, and just as committed to helping others as I am. It truly feels like a family and that only drives us all to be better inside and outside of the gym.
Favorite quote and who said it?
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” – Mark Twain
In his blog, Nick talks about the importance of finding your own personal path toward health and fitness. Read it here.