We met Robert Jay Martin, – AKA Exercise Man – on our Twitter page! Given it’s the New Year, and many of us need help losing weight and getting fit, we asked Exercise Man how to get on track. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and is also certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Detroit-Mercy where he was an NCAA Division I track athlete. He has excelled as a runner and weightlifter and has also demonstrated high-level skill in the sports of basketball, football, and most recently mountain biking.
How did you get into fitness?
I have been into sports all of my life and always have been very active which led me to the fitness industry. In college, I was immersed in athletics and around the strength and conditioning program all the time which fueled my desire to be in the fitness industry and help people stay fit or become fit. Initially, I was going to be a dentist but changed my mind and asked my strength coach what I needed to do to become a coach/trainer and he told me exactly what to do. The rest is history.
Were you ever not “fit”?
I have always been in shape and active.
What is your fitness routine?
Currently I play basketball 2 times a week, mountain bike 2-3 times a week, and strength-train 2 times a week. I change my strength-training workout up every 4 to 6 weeks so that I can progress through the workout and get stronger, and then switch it to something else that can challenge me for the same time period. As far as mountain biking, I incorporate workouts that I did in high school and college for running, but on the bike. On top of that, my family is very active and we get a lot of hikes and bike rides in
What is the biggest hurdle a fitness “newbie” has to conquer to become fit?
The biggest hurdle a newbie has to overcome is staying on track. It is so easy to skip the gym for a day, and then that one day can turn into the rest of the year. I know that most people are already off the plan by 2 to 4 weeks into the New Year. They get excited with the New Year and push but then slip back into their old routine. They need to make goals, get a workout partner, or hire a trainer. Tell yourself why you can do it rather than why you can’t, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
How important is a healthy diet to accompany fitness training to achieve weight loss? What do you recommend for clients looking to drop 20 pounds?
A healthy diet is very important when it comes to dropping weight. I have had many clients that will not change their diet, and I can only take them so far as they need to change that last piece of the puzzle! They may not be able to kick the alcohol every day, or the late night snacks, or over-eating, etc. They will lose weight, but they don’t expect to reach the top of the mountain because I tell them from the start: they have to drastically change their diet if they want drastic change.
If someone wants to drop 20 lbs., we set goals and affirmations. It may be as simple as:
- I will pack my gym bag the night before I will exercise daily.
- I will eat healthy.
- I will get optimal sleep every night.
- I will drink water 98% of the time.
- My goal is to lose 1-2 lbs. per week by cutting out calories in my diet (late night snacks, ice cream, desserts, lattes, energy drinks, and a lot of carbs) and adding some calories burned with this strength and cardio plan.
They have to be realistic, most of the time when people drop weight fast; they put it back on, so a healthy 1-2 lbs. of weight loss per week for the average person is good. The more aggressive the person, the faster they can lose weight. There are other factors involved as well such as their starting weight, body type, career, starting body fat, etc.
What is your day like as a personal trainer? What types of clients do you work with?
When I first started, I worked all-day and night. I then had to balance a better family life and decided to work in the morning until 5 pm; give or take an hour. I have worked with clients of all types, from the elite athlete to the beginner who has never worked out! My clients range from the 8 year old to the 95 year old, from someone with perfect health to someone who has a degenerative disease, and include people with all different types of injuries or weaknesses. You name it; I have more than likely worked with that person!
What does your certification CSCS mean?
CSCS stands for Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, which is a certification given through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). In order to get this certification, you need a 4 year degree in a related field, and you have to pass a comprehensive test. The CSCS certification was designed was for strength coaches, and since I wanted to have the option to work with athletes and every-day people, I picked this certification instead of just a personal training one.
Tell us about your iPhone app, iLog1.
Tell us about the five books you’ve written. Where can we buy them?
I put 5 books out to try and help people with the health/exercise/diet aspect of life. I figure I do a great job with people, why not try and reach more people with books. They can be viewed on Amazon.
What is your DVD about?
The DVD series is a program I put together to help people get started on changing their health. It touches on strength exercise, cardio, stretching, diet, how to put programs together, secrets on how to stay motivated, and how to build a solid foundation of affirmations, and attach goals to it at the end! This is available on DVD as well as an online course with worksheets.