Overcome Your Training Struggles with Alejandro Terrazas
|Personal Trainer Showcase|
|Name: Alejandro Terrazas|
|Stats: 5’11” / 192 lbs|
|Location: New York, USA|
Why did you decide to become a personal trainer?
As a person who came from South America (Bolivia to be more specific), staying active was something normal back home. I remember playing all types of sports with friends, hiking and many more activities but the most important thing was having fun while doing them all. When I came to United States, life was different; in order to play sports you had to join them in school, and playing on the streets was a lot more difficult. As I got older, I forgot all those things I was able to do when I was a kid, and it bothered me. So I joined a gym. I had a mentor that would guide me on how to lift and do things the proper way. One time while exercising I got hurt because I did something wrong. I used a machine the wrong way, and since then I started not only to pay attention but I realized I was doing my own research and investing time in exercising the right way. While doing that, people noticed my intensity in the gym and the way I would train and would ask for advice. While giving advice to people, I realized two important things: I had passion when I helped people, and more importantly, I had fun which, in my own opinion, are the two most important career attributes.
What does it mean to be fit to you?
To me, being fit its key. I am a person who enjoys activities, and being fit helps me discover how my body works and how far I can push it to its limits. Being fit means I can actually keep up with my kids, be able to take the stairs while people are jammed on the elevator. It relives my mental stress and actually makes me focus better on my job. But most importantly, being fit adds years to my life.
What are your own personal fitness goals?
Since injuring my shoulder, I have dedicated myself to become a different person. For a while, I started to forget how important it is to stretch and be flexible. Now, my fitness goals have changed with a focus on achieving proper range of motion and actual flexibility in my whole body while also increasing my strength. It’s hard to change your body when you have chronically demanded your body to stay in one form, so it’s my own personal fitness goal that I been working on for several weeks now.
What are the core fundamentals of UnleashFit?
UnleashFIT’s core fundamentals are focus, innovation, and transformation.
I focus on making my clients’ bodies a strong postural machine, by working on known weaknesses to help what is weak get stronger.
Once we have achieved that, we start innovating and invigorating the body with more complex movements so the whole body can start working together as a stronger body.
We finish with a full transformation by giving the body the ultimate test of performance and activities that will push that body to its limit.
The most beneficial thing of UnleashFIT is that my clients learn to appreciate their bodies, and create a wolf pack of teammates that will stand by them and motivate them to unleash their inner beast.
What do you get asked most often as a trainer?
How many days a week should I workout? How do I lose weight without losing muscle? How many meals a day should I eat? Most of the questions are about nutrition more than exercising. I think many people are confident that they do things the right way in the gym and their biggest weakness is food. At the end I calmly listen and try to help with the best of my knowledge with the little information I get from the person.
What common mistakes do you see people making in the gym?
Cell phones. Don’t get me wrong; it’s the future, but people will finish a set and sit there on their phones for a while over two minutes. You get no results by resting so long, plus you’re killing time, not to mention the fact that people are waiting to use that equipment. Another mistake I see is people lifting extreme amounts of weight with excruciating form without a proper spotter. It may look cool to lift heavy if you are an experienced lifter, but it definitely does not look cool if you are not. Don’t let something bad happen to you where you end up all over YouTube.
What are your three favorite exercises for building muscle? Why?
Deadlifts, squats and bent over rows.
Deadlifts are definitely my number one favorite exercise, because it’s not about just lifting the bar in front of you, but it requires your complete focus and body control to lift it. For size I tend to go about 5 sets with 12-15 reps and about 55%-65% RM.
I am a firm believer that legs are the most important part of the body. They are the root and trunk of our body, and this is why squats fall into my second best exercise. Like the deadlift, it does require full focus on how to control the weight that this time is on your back, engaging the core and using the hips to get the weight down while increasing strength in your entire lower body. If done properly it’s does help increase strength in the hips which will help with posture. I tend to do 5 sets of 15-20 reps with 60%-70% RM.
Finally bent over row falls into to my third favorite exercise. Having a strong back is a big goal of mine, and bent over rows work out my lower back, arms, upper back, and core. I usually do 4-5 sets of 12-15 reps of 60%-70% RM.
How do you keep your clients motivated?
I adapt my program to all of my clients’ individual needs. I listen to what they do in their free time, how they live their life, what their struggles are, and how they see things. Based on that, I find what I call “small victories” or small changes that will impact them for the greater good. I make them understand that once they enter the gym, their normal life stays outside; whatever has been bothering them that day (work, school, kids, health, the struggle they had to go through or any sort of negative mood, etc.) is unleashed during an intense and satisfying workout. So far they love it, that’s a plus in my books.
And, how do you keep yourself motivated?
Since I’ve been in the United States, I been through a lot: learning the language from scratch, being bullied because of the lack of communication, moving out on my own at 18 while being told many times that I wouldn’t make it, the rejection of many jobs and the list goes on. So the answer to what keeps me motivated: I make sure I remind myself why I do what I do while also helping others discover how to do the same.
Finally, what is your favorite cheat food?
Hands down pancakes and waffles. They’re my kryptonite! You put that in front of me, and it’s like torture. Every time I have it, I make every bite count, since I limit myself to having them only once a week. Hmmm I can go for an order of either right now…