Now that you have learned a little bit about Alex’s background, Alex reveals some great exercises to do when you’re short on time, how he gets his clients to push harder and why he shares his love of fitness with others.
What role does fitness play in your life & why is it so important for you to share it with others?
Fitness is an important part of my life. But growing up it wasn’t called fitness, it was being a kid. We always played tag, hide and go seek, etc. Then it continued through organized sports, movement was becoming a lifestyle. It still carries on today whether I’m teaching class, taking class, taking dance, playing volleyball or rollerblading, movement is essential to a healthy life. It’s important to me to share because sometimes it’s just about discovery, it can be a serendipitous find that can change a person’s outlook. For example, I work with Upward Bound students as a fitness professional for the summer. Upward Bound helps to increase high school graduation and college enrollment rates for students with limited resources. First, the students had to choose to come to class, it was during their free time. By the end of the summer, not only were they performing skills that college and professional level athletes use, scholastically they were acing their final exams. Talk about growth when there’s belief! So why do I pay it forward? Because “service to others is the rent you pay for living on this planet” Marian Wright Edelman.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
My favorite part about teaching is connecting with people and learning their stories. People come for the social aspect, an avenue to improve health, or out of habit. For example, one member was told by his doctor he had 6 – 8 months to live. Now, several years later, the doctors are astounded by his improvement in and commitment to health. A successful teacher is invested in the members, not just for the class, not for the day, sometimes a lifetime!
You do it all! Do you have a favorite fitness style?
(IF TAKING CLASS) Yes, I do have favorite fitness classes I like to take, it depends on my mood. I like to take a dance class and dance my heart out, getting lost in the music. Sometimes, I like to grunt and push through an intense boot camp class. Other times, I like to feel like a champion and punch and kick my way through a challenging kickboxing class.
(IF TEACHING CLASS) My favorite fitness style to teach is dance because there is no right or wrong, it’s about doing what feels natural for your body. We can all step touch, but the music will change how a person feels it. It’ll look different with Latin music vs. African vs. jazz vs. hip hop. That’s the beauty of movement, people can express themselves in similar ways but unique and individual in their interpretation.
How do you get your clients to push harder?
To get clients to push harder, I remind them of their progress. People tend to lose sight of how far they’ve come without remembering their starting point. In class, when it gets challenging, I always tell people, “You’re stronger than you were in January!” Then they say, “Oh yeah” and work hard to finish.
What are your favorite exercises to do when you’re short on time?
When I am short on time, my favorite exercises are bodyweight exercises because they can be done anywhere. My circuit alternates a cardio push and a strength exercise. It includes prisoner squat jumps, T pushups, burpees, side lunges with balance, mountain climbers and side planks with rotation.