Personal Training Client Spotlight: Charlie

Charlie knows what motivation means, or lack thereof. At his highest weight just over a year ago, Charlie knew something was wrong but it was not until his father confronted him that he decided to get his old self back. We sat down with Charlie and Kevin, his RecSports Personal Trainer, to catch up and see how Charlie is doing.

RecSports (RS): Tell us a bit about yourself.

Charlie: I am a fifth year senior majoring in history and minoring in education at the University of Florida. I am a part of the Navigators and an avid football fan. I stopped playing football when I came to college and more recently, I started lifting on a regular basis, running, biking and swimming.

RS: Tell us about your exercise history.

Charlie: I started playing football at five years old, even though I come from a family of runners. However, running did not have a big influence on me growing up. I was more into football. I was doing some weight training in middle school and continued throughout high school since It was part of conditioning for football.
In high school, I started running and playing Ultimate Frisbee and ran my first marathon during my senior year. When I started college, things were different. I was not working out as much, even though I was playing ultimate every once in a while. I had gained over 80 lbs., loss my muscle mass and was unhappy. About two summers ago, I was home with my family and one day my dad confronted me and told me I had to work out. He gave me some tough love, but was also very supportive and said he would cover the personal training expenses. I just needed to start working out again. My parents also got me a commuter bike that summer. I have been biking to school since then and love it!

RS: What made you decide to hire a personal trainer the first time around?

Charlie: As I mentioned, my parents really wanted me to work out again. They said they would cover the personal training expenses and that’s how I got started. I talked to Wendy at the Training Center first and they paired me up with Kevin.
Kevin: All the personal trainers meet when a new client signs up. Wendy had me in mind to train Charlie and I immediately said yes. Charlie was a great challenge and seemed super motivated.

RS: You won Strong Gator in the spring and are currently training for your first triathlon. What made you decide to want to do a triathlon?

Charlie: I always felt the need for endurance sports. The triathlon idea really took shape when I got my commuter bike two summers ago. I recently started doing some longer bike rides and also ran a lot with my dad this past summer. My father actually competed in some triathlons when he was younger and has been very encouraging. Watching the Tour de France and the Olympics on television this summer also inspired me to tackle this new challenge.

RS: When is your triathlon?

Charlie: I am competing in the Lake Butler Triathlon on November 11. Hopefully, it will not get too cold! 
Kevin: I told Charlie that I will do it with him. I am not sure how I will perform, but it should be a good challenge for me too! 
‘* The Lake Butler triathlon is a quarter mile swim, a 12.5-mile bike and a 2.5-mile run.

RS: How has Kevin helped you change your workout routine? What are you focusing on?

Charlie: We switched from doing a lot of power lifting to doing more cardio exercises and routines, such as the rower and the Krankcycle®. I had never used these machines before. We also started doing interval training, which is different from the sprinting that I used to do when I was playing football. On top of that, we do kettlebells, squats and core training. We are also working on my ankles' stability and mechanics to prevent any injuries from all the endurance training.
Kevin: As Charlie said, we do a lot of high intensity intervals on the rower and Krankcycle® and some core training. We focus on sprinting on the bike to increase his cardio capacity. Charlie also participated in GatorMAX because it focuses on endurance and power. The last thing we are focusing on is nutrition. Charlie has been very good at keeping track of his food intake.

RS: You are also participating in the Small Group Training Faster 5K class. How is it going?

Charlie: After running with my father over the summer, I needed a group of people to run with, for motivation. Kevin mentioned that there was a Small Group Training Faster 5K class, so I joined. The class is good and I look forward to more challenging sessions. 

RS: What types of goals have you and Kevin set?

Kevin: When Charlie came back from summer break, he had lost a lot of strength and power. We have been working hard on his endurance. He is a lot better at doing squats and can almost bench press 300 lbs. The last goal we are working on is getting Charlie’s weight at 235 lbs.
Charlie: When I started, I was 330 lbs.
Kevin: When Charlie reaches 235 lbs., his reward will be a trip to Texas de Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse in Orlando.  

RS: How has your workout routine affected other facets of your life?

Charlie: I am eating better, my sleep schedule is more consistent and I am also in a better mood.
Kevin: He smiles a lot more too and is upbeat. When we began training, Charlie seemed kind of mellow, inwardly upset. After several sessions in the fall of last year, Wendy said that he looked like a new person!

RS: What are your future plans for training after college?

Charlie: I want to do more triathlons and move up to the Olympic distance, the half-Ironman distance, an Ironman* and more marathons. I also want to teach at the high school level and coach football.
‘*An Olympic distance triathlon is a mile swim, 24-mile bike and a 6-mile run; a half-Ironman (or Ironman 70.3) is 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, and 13.1-mile run; an Ironman is 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run.

RS: Do you have any suggestions for people out there who are trying to start an exercise routine?

Charlie: Motivation is key. I tried P90X® for a bit but I quickly lost my motivation. You can try to meet a friend at the gym and workout together, but if the friend doesn’t show up, chances are you are not going to work out. So, what really helped was committing time and money into working out with a personal trainer because not showing up to a training session is just not an option.
Kevin: Personal training is personal. We work closely with our clients to boost their motivation. We guide them through routines too if they don't know what to do in the gym. The nutrition aspect is important as well, along with the guidance and accountability. I would recommend starting with a three or six-session package and go from there. When we started working together, Charlie was “rusty” from not working out his first few years of college. He needed to make the first step; he pushed through and he is in a much better place today. Seeing Charlie win Strong Gator last spring was a big time! I am very proud of him.

If you want to find out more information about Personal Training, stop by the Training Center at Southwest Recreation Center or visit the Personal Training page on the RecSports website.


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