|Personal Trainer Showcase|
|Name: Chris Tucci|
|Stats: 6’0” / 205 lbs|
|Location: Los Angeles, USA|
|Website: Hungry & Fit|
Why did you decide to become a personal trainer?
In 2007, I was a Freshman in college playing D1 tennis in the Bronx. One day, while I was practicing serves and doing some conditioning at the park, a much older man asked if I could help him improve his game and when he offered to pay me for it, I couldn’t say no. When I realized how much I enjoyed it, I started to see my career come together and the rest is history.
What are your own personal fitness goals?
At this point, having competed at a very high level and stopping due to serious injuries, I always try to look good enough to help attract new clients and keep my fitness level at a point where I can:
a) be able to do what I ask my clients to do and;
b) be able to push them harder by showing them who is the boss.
What is your training philosophy?
I’m pretty hard on my clients but you could say it’s tough love. I’m all about working wisely in a reasonable progression to move towards someone’s goals. There’s a lot of science behind my thinking but I just want effort from my clients. At the end of nearly every workout, I’ll present them with a challenge and it’s up to them whether they want to take it or not. The reason is, you never know if you’ll see a client again and I don’t want anyone wondering what if. At the same time, I’ve never had a client injure themselves during a session.
Do you have a particular area of fitness you prefer?
Sports performance coaching could be just as vague and ambiguous as functional fitness, but I truly believe that every individual ‘is an athlete who participates in a sport’ and their training has to be to help them perform at the highest level possible. I have a 98 year old client who lives in a wheelchair. Her goal is to walk again. That’s her sport and she needs to be able to perform.
What common mistakes do you see people make in the gym?
Everything and anything you could imagine but I try not to judge because maybe they know something I don’t know. I’ve had gym staff question my form on multiple exercises, but they have no idea that I have a torn labrum in one shoulder and torn rotator cuff in the other. I try to be as understanding as possible, but the most common mistake I see is the general lack of people who understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.
A high school kid who wants to play basketball told me that he does “this” (then he demonstrated a lateral raise) because someone on YouTube who is big was doing it. Most people don’t understand the meaning of a certain rep range and some just don’t get that intensity in their workout is key. I think I ‘see’ more mistakes in people’s thinking than their actual doing.
What do you get asked most often as a trainer?
I can only imagine what the answer would be if I kept a log over the past decade. Can you check out my form? (usually on a deadlift). How do I get rid of this fat? (usually around the waist). Do you take creatine? Is it safe to use protein powder? There are some many, but those are the first few that come to mind. I hate to say this but it really depends on the gender and age.
What are your top three favorite exercises? Why?
Wow. This is like… what’s your favorite movie or food? What a tough question. My three favorite exercises when I train others or when I train myself? If there were only three exercise that could exist what would they be? Are these exercises or activities? I’m going to say swimming, free-running, and muscle-ups. I know that muscle-ups can be challenging but they give you the opportunity to push and pull. I’m cheating when I say free-running because I want to list both jump and run. Did I cheat on that question?
How do you keep your clients motivated?
My energy and faith in them. I’m a lightning storm contained in a human body and that never fades, but it’s all mental. I’ve worked with individuals missing half their body, people that are well over 100 years old, and so many other inspirational figures that I know how anyone can bounce back. I channel that into all of my clients and they believe it. Still, I’m always very honest and let them know that it’s a process that will take time. No major physical changes happen overnight. No positive ones, that is.
And, how do you keep yourself motivated?
My clients keep me motivated. Even if I don’t have any competitions lined up, I know that goals keep us more focused. My goal is to always stay one step ahead of my clients. I need to be able to perform any exercise that I ask them to perform… to perfection. They see me as some sort of superhuman and I absolutely cannot let them lose their faith in me, because it will have a huge impact on them.
Finally, what is your favorite cheat food?
Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream ice cream. Sure, I love pizza and a burger with fries, but there’s just something special about eating a pint of ice cream. Plus, it’s Fair Trade, which means it supports everyone who sourced the product equally. Therefore, it makes me feel good in so many different ways!