Working as a personal trainer for the past 28 years, John Kelly knows his way around a gym. He has trained over 30,000 people of all ages and fitness levels and owns two personal training businesses, including one in Austin. He was kind enough to let interview him, his answers are below.
What started your motivation towards staying fit and keeping healthy?
I think most people exercise to look better, perform better, feel better, and have an overall feeling of well being. As a young athlete I was more concerned about the first two. Now as an ex-athlete with old injuries I am more concerned about the last two.
What has been your greatest moment as a trainer?
At some point you go from having a client/trainer relationship to having a valued friendship. You attend christenings, family gatherings, and sometimes funerals. Your clients go out of their way to help you, and you do the same. I moved to Austin from New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. The week before I moved to Austin I met with each of my New Orleans clients and fellow trainers for the last time. Most of my clients were longstanding, some longer than ten years. I realized how dear my clients, co-workers and friends really are. Everyday of that last week was intensely emotional as we said our final goodbyes; it was one of the more memorable weeks of my life.
What is it that is great about Austin in particular for fitness?
Fitness can be a simple as stepping off your stoop and just start running, walking or biking down the street. That can happen just about any anywhere. Austin adds to that experience with miles of bike trails, walking trails, and green spaces. I feel I am truly fortunate to have moved to here because of all Austin has to offer.
A unique aspect that I saw on your web site was your golf program and your focus on back pain relief. How did that start?
Several years ago I suffered with back pain for three years. A doctor told me I should consider surgery. Instead I began exercising with a MedX lumbar exercise machine in another doctor’s office, and I slowly incorporated strength training to my regiment. My pain gradually disappeared. A strong back and a strong body are less likely to suffer pain and injury. We use MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment at both our facilities, Kelly’s Personal Training and New Orleans Ultimate Fitness Training. We have had great success with the program; it is very gratifying to see people who have lived in constant pain become pain free.
Golfers swing in one direction creating potential muscle imbalances and increased risk of injury. Our program is designed to increase strength and flexible and correct imbalances. Increased strength and flexibility result in increased club head speed and less injury.
What advice would you give to potential clients about staying fit during holiday temptations?
Enjoy family, friends, and food. Taking a week or two off at the end of the year gives nagging injuries a chance to heal and you’ll recharge your batteries. It is not the one or two weeks that makes the difference; it is sticking to a program for the long term. Very few people manage to do that year after year. If you reward yourself with a break now and then you’ll more likely stick to a program.
So, you heard it from a professional, it is okay to indulge over the holidays but make sure you get back on the wagon and to your fitness regimen after the break. Thanks so much to John Kelly and if you want to contact him visit his web site or blog.