18 Jun 2012, Posted by admin in Uncategorized, No Comments. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Personal Trainer


Nico Gonzalez, 35, is a fitness director, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. He has been in the fitness industry for 15 years.

I’m a fitness director at Mercy of Fairfield HealthPlex. This is my eighth year here. As fitness director, I oversee personal training, group fitness, all aquatics and the integrating of new members into the club. I’m also a trainer for Balance Body, which is a manufacturer for Pilates equipment. They are an education company. That means I travel on weekends, and I do about 30 trainings a year. I’ve been doing that for the last five years.

Growing up I was very sick. I have to be very careful because my mom has diabetes, and my dad died of diabetes.

After high school, I moved from Chicago to the University of Dayton. I taught classes as my hobby. I became certified in group exercise in 1996 and personal training in 1999, but my degree is actually in accounting. After college, I worked for GE as an accountant.

I was getting more certifications [in fitness] along the way, and then this lonely old hospital called Mercy recruited me. That’s what brought me here. My hobby became my job, and I love it! I see myself doing this for years and years and years. I don’t want to retire.

I love when I am teaching a class and everyone has a smile on their face. Or when they say, “I have less stress, my family says I’m a much happier person, and I sleep better.” Or “Oh, I’m bending over and picking things up off the floor without pain!”

There are a lot of challenges with my job, but I would say the biggest challenge is balancing everything in terms of being the fitness director, teaching the classes, and just meeting all my goals each year.

A typical Wednesday, I arrive at 8 a.m. I have a small-group personal training at 8:30, and a small-group Pilates session at 9:30. Then from 10:30 to 5:30, I do my managerial duties as a fitness director. I also walk around the club and interact with the members and show them that I am not just behind closed doors in an office. On most evenings I am teaching my group fitness classes.

My favorite part is being in front of a client. That’s what my passion is. Generally speaking, I see more female clients, unless it’s athletic training or conditioning or in high school. Then obviously male athletes are more involved.

In terms of my workouts, I lift three times a week for about 40 minutes. The classes I teach get me my cardio, but I absolutely love turning my brain off, getting on the treadmill, turning on my iPad and listening to an audio book and just doing a light-intensity walk. It rejuvenates me.

I just finished the Men’s Physique Competition at the Kentucky Convention Center. I trained for 16 weeks. It was my first one. It’s basically a competition of, “Do you have a beach body?” My social life went way down. It was tough!

But I work out to enjoy life, and I am good all year. On holidays, I have a second serving!

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