Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Different Kind Of Trainer To The Stars

In getting to know Patrick Murphy, we shared many similar views and frustrations with fitness. He is also one of the few corrective specialists that I know of who consistently trains high profile clients. He is NOT one of those all show, no substance type of trainers. I interviewed him to find out what his thoughts were on fitness, personal training, and client mindset.

What is your background and areas of expertise as a trainer:

I've been a full time trainer for 18 years. I started studying exercise science and taking nutritional courses during my college years in the early 90's. Funny enough, much of what I've learned in the 90's pertaining to both exercise and nutrition is now considered flat out wrong... i.e. how to stretch, how to perform exercises, what's healthy to eat, etc. This ever evolving factor makes health and fitness science so interesting.

Since becoming a personal trainer, every year I make sure I take continuing educational credits to keep up with the latest science. My numerous certifications range from performance enhancement, corrective exercise, pre-natal, and nutrition. I've used many different organizations but my last 3 have all been from NASM. I'm proud to say that I know I've arrived as a fitness expert when the organizations that certify me start to refer me their own clients.

My expertise as a trainer is in helping clients to reach their full, optimal potential in fitness and health. I've had much success with clients from all walks of life. There isn't a health and fitness goal that can't be attained. I'm excellent with helping clients becoming psychologically fit: establishing a healthy relationship with nutrition and exercise.

In addition, I know many healing tricks for back pain, knee pain and shoulder pain. I'm great at trouble shooting the CAUSE of pain vs dealing with the symptoms.

Who are some of the clients that you've had:

Jennifer Lawrence, Jena Malone, Meta Golding (Catching Fire), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), Olivia Wilde (TRON), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Emily Blunt (5 Year Engagement), Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace), Mario Lopez (Saved By The Bell), Shelly Long (Cheers), Summer Glau (Serenity), Daniela Ruah (NCSILA), Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim), Justin Bruening (Night Rider), Alison Brie (Community), Jackie Warner (Bravo's Workout), and more....

That is a pretty impressive list of clients! So what makes training with Patrick Murphy different from training with any other Joe Trainer:

I'm not a rent-a-buddy. Don't get me wrong, I'm friendly BUT I take training very seriously. Achieving results with clients is a MUST. I've been program designing for so many years with so many clients that my varied workouts are super appealing even to the "hate to workout" person. I am able to adapt to each client and help them adhere to positive, healthy changes. I am a lifestyle changer. My testimonials on my website reflect that.

Going along with that, what has been the key to your success and long career, basically your appeal:

I've truly found my passion in what I do. I live and breath health and fitness, I practice what I preach and enjoy the constant learning. Being a fitness and health professional is not my 2nd job. I'm truly focused with every client I have and am 100 % devoted to them. I let new clients know right off that I'm excited to be on their team. When the passion is there, it all falls into place.

How important is the client mindset (and attitude) as far as them reaching their goals?

Everyone starts in a different place both physically and mentally. A fact must be realized, "Our Thoughts" are WHO WE ARE." Moving forward, our thoughts become words and our words become actions. Reaching your goals is about becoming your own best friend... which starts in your MIND. Holding on to a negative mindset develops chronic stress, which will wreak havoc on your mind and body.

How important is client effort in their overall success or is it all on the trainer?

It is definitely a TEAM effort. I have a responsibility to guide the client in the right direction for results, and the client needs to be willing to follow the guidance. Clients need to have trust in their trainer, and to get their own homework done. I'm not around all the time, only 2-3 hours a week on average. Early on, with new clients, I repeat factual, minimal requirements that must happen for results to occur. In fitness, the more you put into it the more you'll get out of it. I do tell clients the more frequently they see me in a week the more results they will achieve. I love taking on more responsibility. At the same time, even if someone trains with me 4 days a week but has a weekly, unhealthy food journal then obviously their overall results will be lacking. I can guide and give notes to clients on their food consumption week in and week out, but it's still 100% up to them to make the right choice.

What do you think a client should look for in a trainer or training program?

Look for a trainer who has experience. I'm obviously a much better trainer now than I was 10 years ago. The knowledge, the practice and the years of experience in dealing with client's needs both mentally (food relationships, body dysmorphia, etc.) and physically has me improving every year.

Find a trainer who is more focused on anatomical improvement, not someone who focuses on the "feeling" or "sensation" of an exercise. What separates me from most trainers is that I have an education in corrective exercise. I help people with forward head, rotating feet, pelvic tilt, protracted shoulders etc, etc...

If someone came to you looking to lose 40lbs right away, but they have never worked out in their life, and sat at a desk all day, what should they expect?

A new client who has never trained and sits at a desk all day is what fitness professionals call the "de-conditioned" client. Every operating system in their body is much older than their age. Being 40lbs. overweight also means the client is in a constant state of inflammation and more susceptible to illness and disease in the future. This person should expect a WAKE UP CALL!

A person who is de-conditioned needs to establish stabilization of not only their muscles and joints, but also their cardio-respiratory systems. This person will also have postural and alignment issues that must be addressed before progressing into a serious program. De-conditioned people should expect 4-6 weeks of the professional trainer working on each of the issues stated above, which means that there will be more emphasis on structural and cardio improvement first. Weight loss will happen naturally as a result, but will be secondary as a focus.

Everyone wants a good trainer but no one ever talks about how good the trainer's program is. How important is the programming a trainer creates for their clients? How important is periodization?

The trainer is hired to give the client the best program specifically for them. Everyone is different and unique... family history, injuries, food sensitivities, postural issues, habits, strengths, struggles, etc, etc.. As trainers, we can help people immensely with the proper program, OR we can damage them further with exercises and foods that encourage negative effects. So obviously, the proper programming (in my opinion) is EVERYTHING.

Periodization is extremely important when designing a program. Stabilization, strength and power need to be established accordingly. Proper progression helps to avoid injury. As a fitness professional, it's important to know when to take clients to the next level and/or cycle. For example, I'm not going to take a new client and have them perform a bunch of power moves when stabilization and strength haven't been achieved yet to my satisfaction. A good trainer also knows how to avoid plateaus so clients can reach their full potential.

What drives you crazy about the fitness industry, from trainers, gyms, popular classes, trends, and so forth:

There are so many! HA! Here are a few:

-Health and Fitness infomercials that strengthen fitness myths, not facts.
-gyms that have 100 machines and no functional tools.
-group exercise where the members are in the worst postural positions possible without correction.
-cookie cutter programs like P90X and Insanity that cause more harm than good.
-Fitness magazines that promote horrible exercises for your joints and spine.. But hey "they look so cool."
-trainers who put people in high risk positions, I see it all the time.
-the fitness industry not evolving and still performing exercises that aren't good for the body, i.e. upright rows, bench dips with hands behind, russian med ball twists (disc grinder).

What's one tip you could give our readers before they start a fitness program:

The more motivating factors you have when you start a fitness program, the more likely you'll stick to it, and the longer you stick to it, the better chance you will have of establishing amazing habits that will last a lifetime.

How could someone contact you or find out more about you?

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Murphy_Fitness
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/patrickmurphyfitness
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Murphy-Fitness/122007864784
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