Gary’s fitness background is so extensive, the only way to describe it is through his own words. Gary was the very first instructor I hired because of his extensive background and experience. He’ll be teaching our spin class, but also teaching regular yoga and hot yoga as well as incorporating sessions such as hot yoga for cyclists and hot yoga for athletes so that we all have a chance to breathe deep and stretch out our sore muscles after spin or barre! Gary, I’ll let you take it from here!
I’ve had an active lifestyle for nearly twenty years now and I’ve been a fitness instructor for the last ten. Since 2003, I’ve been a Certified Personal Trainer, certified Group Exercise Instructor and Spin Instructor. During this time, I’ve worked with clients on Strength Training, Ploymetrics and Spinning. I’ve been practicing Yoga since 2003 and am now a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200 Yoga). I completed TRX Suspension Training in 2011 and have continued my education with a focus on Low Back Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation. I specialize in using Range of Motion and Stretching Assessment Tools with my clients. My sessions are designed to be fun and challenging. I incorporates pranayama (the yogic practice of controlled breathing) into all my workouts and often include tips for Low Back Strength & Recovery.
FR: What about being an instructor do you love?
Teaching. I love the awesome feeling of helping my clients reach their goals. I do what I love and love what I do – and for this, I’m thankful every day. I see physical fitness & exercise as a powerful force that can totally change people’s lives. And being an instructor allows me to share this vision, this power of positive change with my clients.
FR: How do you keep your clients motivated?
I’m a big believer in thinking positive and in looking forward and you can see this in my work. I set short & long term goals with my clients. I remind them of where they were when we started and keep them focused on how far they’ve come. I find that this positive reinforcement works as a really strong motivator!
I also believe in leading by example. I make sure to bring my best self every day. (Everyone has good and bad stuff going on in their lives – but when I come to work, I put my bad days in a nice jar with a closed lid so I can take care of it on my own time). And being my best self also means staying on top of my training – I’m committed to continuing education – whether TRX or Spin or yoga – so that my clients get the best of me.
FR: Name some jams we should expect to ride along to in your classes?
In a different lifetime, I was a musician (a drummer, if you must know). So the jams that go with my workout sessions are usually very diverse and are a big mix of old and new. For Spin I use very high energy music and for yoga, I use more soulful, meditative instrumental music.
Lenny Kravitz: American Woman
Maroon 5: Moves Live Jagger
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Hump De Bump
The Police: Demolition Man
Aerosmith: Eat the Rich
Seether: Country Song
Beyonce: End of Time
Breaking Benjamin: The Diary of Jane
Alex Clare: Too Close
Fresstylers: Push Up
Trapt: Waiting For you
Bruno Mars: Runaway Baby
FR: What gets you into “the zone” when you’re working out?
My music, good workout buddies, and some focused visualization. I do what I recommend to my clients: I visualize what I want my end result to be, meditate on it and keep working at it.
FR: What are your favorite apps to keep you organized?
I’m quite old school – so as far as organizing my schedule, I’m a Paper-and-Pen guy: I write my appointments down in my diary. The same with goals – I write them down, visualize them, and always have a contingency plan.
For my rides, I like Map My Ride. And I don’t use apps while working out myself, but with clients, I’ve used Digifit – it’s useful to keep track of daily workouts and is designed around Heart Rate Monitoring, that’s really helpful.
FR: How do you spend your “me” time?
Mountain Biking. Road Biking. Water Skiing. And I love getting some family time with my daughters.
FR: What keeps you motivated to stay fit?
After all these years, staying strong & fit has become a habit that I can’t break! Working out always gives me a change of perspective and always helps me look think through things. I also stay on course by setting achievable short-term goals and more ambitious long-term ones.
Besides this, I Talk the Talk with my clients and that in itself motivates me to Walk the Walk. I try to set a good example for my clients and kids and I believe that if I can do it, anyone can.
FR: Favorite healthy snack?
Crunchy delicious apple slices with almond butter
FR: What does active living mean to you?
Living life to it its fullest. To me, active living is a call to do the things that you love to do. It is not just about eating healthy and being physically active, it is also about unearthing and fully realizing my spirit, which is so often overlooked. Biking, outdoors activities, and working out help me stay fit. And incorporating Yoga into my life has helped me to connect to my most spiritual self. This wholesome living is active living.
FR: Personal fitness tip?
Sweat Daily – Stay Active. Play & Play a lot. Smile, Laugh out loud, Be Positive and clear out old habits that no longer benefit you.