Clients and friends often ask me who inspires me in the fitness word. Who do I look to for inspiration, innovation and perspiration? I stumbled upon Brandon Kolar's IG last year and his is one of the few accounts I follow religiously. He knows his stuff and his latest project, 365 Days of Exercises, gives so much to the community that I had interview him for JJFit.com. Simply put, he's someone to watch and follow!
What made you want to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach?
I started working out when I was 13, under my dad’s tutelage. He was actually a trainer in Cleveland in the early ‘60’s and helped me with some of the basic lifts. I lifted for strength for high school and college sports and then landed in the nutritional science bachelor’s program at the University of New Hampshire. I envisioned myself in a desk job after college but it just never seemed like it would be a good fit. I took my education and my love for strength and lifting and turned it into my career. I did my first training sessions in 1991 and haven’t looked back.
Can you tell us about your fitness philosophy, training style and the kinds of clients you work with?
My whole thing with fitness is about getting people to move more, move better and getting stronger along the way. I don’t cram my nutrition or training styles down anyone’s throats.
I believe they need to be in a place of acceptance and readiness for anything to be long term. I don’t want good nutrition and strength to be a phase for anyone, I want it to be an adapted lifestyle and I think that most of my clients have gone through change over time with me. There have been a few who just jump right in with both feet, but most have adaptation periods. They’ll adopt one thing and not be ready yet for others (they want to lift but aren’t ready to make nutrition changes), so I take what I can get and I work with that until they’re personally ready to commit to the next phase. We build a base and expand from there.
The majority of my clients are 50+ years old. I think I’m a bit of an old soul. I’ve always been very regimented in my own life and I think people at a particular place in life relate well to that. They want someone who is grounded in his beliefs, not going to stray, and is stable, and that’s me.
Tell us about your 365 of exercises project on IG and why you're doing it.
I started the 365 Days of Exercises to give people options. There are a million things we can do in the gym, but on Monday you can go in and see the same people doing the same exercises they did last Monday. While everything is a variation of the basics, it’s good to have consistency to measure progress, but it’s also nice to have change to cause new stimulus, and it’s far more interesting to do something new.
We also have lots of trainers preaching about principles and if you can master principles then you don’t need to worry about the exercises. Well, that’s great, but people are still going to apply those principles to the same old exercises and not do anything new. I just wanted to take my 30+ years in the gym and give folks some options. So far I’ve done 120 days, so 120 different exercises. I shouldn’t run out but at some point I may have to dig into this brain a little deeper.