Interview with a Trainer 4

Get to Know a Trainer

Brandon Smith Speaking at Fitness United, San AngeloAs I have previously discussed, I am taking advice from my buddy Brandon.  He is a trainer at Fitness United in San Angelo TX.  I thought this week it would be good to ask him some questions so people could get to know him better and because he is a smart guy with some solid positions on fitness topics.

Without further ado, here we go….

Q: How did you first get interested in fitness/health?

A: While I was in middle school, I heard that girls liked biceps.
Real answer though? I was offered a job running the pro-shop at a Gold’s Gym. I got my personal training certification there and got started.

Q: When did you decide that it was your dream to make a career out of helping people get in shape/rehab injuries?

A: As soon as I realized it possible. I was offered a part time job at a boot camp. My friend convinced me to leave my current job and do training full time. The more I got to help people, the more certain I was this was what I wanted to do. It gives me purpose.

Q: How long have you owned your own gym?

A: We’re in year 4 now and all signs point to more growth on the way!

Q: You do fitness competitions and power lifting meets.  How and why did you get into those?

A: I never enjoyed sports, but I loved off season training. The stronger you get, the better you feel. Eventually, you want to really test yourself. That’s where competitions come in. As for physique stuff, my friends convinced me to do it, and I’m glad they did. It’s humbling, and it keeps you from forgetting about the struggle of change that so many face. It keeps you focused. It’s also really cool to see just how lean you can get.

Q: In general, what is something the average person can do to start the process of getting “healthier”?

A: Focus on behavioral habits. Pick one thing, even if it’s as simple as “Today I will drink a glass of water in the morning.” When it’s automatic and you no longer have to think about it, pick the next proactive habit you want to instill. If you’re serious, visit I’d say they’re the best at helping people make these lifestyle changes that so many know they need, but can’t seem to actually implement.

Q: With limited amounts of time to devote, what are some of the best “bang for your buck” things a person could do?

A: Hire a damn coach! We are incapable of accurate self-assessment. “The coach who trains himself has an idiot for a client.” – Dan John

Brandon Smith Stretching at Fitness United San AngeloQ: For someone who wants to take it up a notch and, for example, humiliate their buddy in a yearlong fitness competition, where should they put their focus/time/effort?

A: Nutrition, sleep, mobility, basic strength and conditioning. In that order.

Q: If you were stuck on an island with only 5 exercises, what would they be?

A: For longevity? One leg squat, one leg deadlift, push up, chin up, farmer carry.

For my inner meathead? Deadlift, press, squat, bench, chin up.

Q: Low fat vs low carb?

A: Neither. Both. Depends on the individual. You have to factor in diet history, genetics, current body fat percentage and lean mass, activity type, level, and duration, etc…  It’s just not as simple as demonizing a single macronutrient or food.

Q: Weights vs steady state cardio?


Q: If you could sum up your thoughts on diet/fitness/health in 10 words or less, what would they be?

A: Keep it simple. Master the basics. Think long term.

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