Personal Training Spotlight: Phil

Phil is PUSH511's April Personal Training Spotlight! Phil has been working with PUSH511 personal trainer, Andy, for nearly a year. Since starting, he has fully embraced the process of working with a personal trainer. As Andy puts it, "The heart and spirit of an athlete, Phil always comes in ready to work and grind. Within the time I’ve had training Phil, it’s not only challenged myself but challenged him to be a much better football player outside the gym. It’s been fun seeing him push himself and give every session all he’s got."

Get to know Phil and what his personal training journey at PUSH511 has looked like:

When did you start personal training with PUSH511? I was at an event for my son's school and randomly decided to enter a raffle. I could choose which prize to try to win, and I chose a month at PUSH511. I knew I liked high-intensity workouts, plus my birthday is May 11 so I figured it was a sign of good luck :-)

What's your fitness background? I've always been an active person. Since I was a kid, I played organized baseball and ran cross country in high school, but I especially loved playing pick-up basketball or football from the minute I got home from school until the sun went down. At some point in my 20s, I lapsed and didn't work out much or play sports for an entire year, and I realized I was miserable because of it. Since then, I've stayed true to myself and have remained active.

What's your favorite movement to do in the gym? I really like anything that involves strength plus coordination and balance; box jumps are one of my favorite exercises, along with tapping toes to rings.

What's your least favorite movement? Probably the most wrecked I've been so far was with the weighted sled through the parking lot last summer!

What do you do for work? I am a research scientist with the Army Research Lab, working on improving autonomy in robots in order to operate independently in challenging environments.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your family! I have 3 kids that are 8/5/3, and they keep me extremely busy. It's non-stop chaos but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Tell us something we don't know about you. I lived in Spain for a year after college (with a job) and would have almost definitely stayed there if my girlfriend, now wife, wasn't back here.

How has working out at PUSH511 affected your life outside of the gym? PUSH511 has been a very welcome reminder of just how good it feels to accomplish an intense workout. The rest of the day, my mind is much clearer, my sleep is better, and overall I am more effective at virtually everything I do when I am working out regularly. This is exactly what the science shows, by the way, and yet somehow people can still forget it.

What do you enjoy the most about working out at PUSH511? The people are great. Andy is a great coach because he really works with me to tailor a regimen to meet my goals. In my case, the goal was to keep playing football at a high level for as long as possible. I think too many people can try to follow a one-size-fits-all recipe for workouts but Andy works with me. When I injured my hamstring (by not stretching for football), he made it a priority to slowly get me back to full strength. It took time, but I was patient, and now I am playing as well as I can remember. Andy is also a genuinely nice guy, even though his workouts regularly kick my ass.

What tips would you offer to someone just getting started with working out? Embrace the challenge of setting goals that stretch outside your comfort zone. If you don't meet the goal right away, it's not the end of the story. The most rewarding feelings, the ones we remember, come from taking on challenges that require time and effort. Also, everybody's schedule is busy; if you have another person like a friend or trainer to keep you accountable, it is a great way to jump-start a routine.

What's your favorite song to work out to? Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Daft Punk)

What's your favorite restaurant? That's a hard one. I'll go DiPasquale's even though it's a deli.

Who's your hero, real or fictional? Claude Shannon. Single-handedly invented the idea of boolean logic for communication in a Master's paper. Then, single-handedly laid out Information Theory in a single paper. And yet, he battled dementia in his older age, but did so with grace, learning to juggle as a new hobby.

Words to live by or favorite quote? I tell my kids to strive for 3 things to lead a good life: Be honest, be kind, try your best.

What's your favorite travel spot? I went to Chefchaouen in Morocco, which was amazing. I've heard other places in Morocco are also fantastic, it has everything from Mediterrainean Sea, beautiful mountains, to the Sahara desert.

If you could win an Olympic gold medal for any sport, real or fake, what would it be? I hear flag football is coming to the Olympics? It would be pretty nice to win the first-ever gold!

What's your hidden talent? I have very good balance. I think I could make a good tight-rope walker. Also juggling. So really anything circus-related.

What are your top five favorite movies?</strong

  • Network (predicted the current world of mass media and viral content in the 1970s)
  • Big Lebowski
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Godfather I & II
  • The Good the Bad and the Ugly
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