More than just a student, I became part of the ISSA family
By Sharon Lipton
I was an athlete as a child. My mom and dad had six kids in all and encouraged this growing up in our Italian/Catholic family from N.J. In my parent's mind, to be athletic meant that we would possess the freedom of being healthy mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically and that this would keep us out of trouble!
I moved to California and went into the Italian restaurant business for several years. It was very demanding, but I still managed to go to the gym very early in the morning, do prep work, then work all day at our restaurant. After several years I was able to spend fewer hours in the restaurant and pursue my dream to compete in bodybuilding.
During my training to become even more fit and muscular, I decided to become a certified personal fitness trainer through ISSA and UCLA as this was really what I loved to do!
I found being fit and healthy and strong carries over to all areas of your life and I wanted to share this with others.
Fitness has impacted my life providing me with the tools and education I've needed to safely and intelligently lead others (athletes, special populations, children, and adults of all ages) toward building a healthy lifestyle over time. I also graduated from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition where I studied over 100 dietary theories and became a Health Coach counselor specializing in nutrition and lifestyle changes.
My favorite workout utilizes mostly free weights, functional training and machines to keep my workout diversified, confusing the muscles, so they don't know what is coming next. I use periodization as well; I'll do two heavy weeks where I increase resistance and decrease reps with each set until I'm barely able to perform the last rep. During the third week, I do sets of fifteen repetitions at a moderate weight, not taking the later reps to failure. During the fourth week, I may do twenty repetitions at a medium-to-heavy weight, doing reps to failure or doing drop sets (dropping the weight, lightening it and then continuing with more reps) without stopping or missing a beat!
My favorite weekly schedule is usually:
Monday- Chest and Triceps
Tuesday - Back and Biceps
Wednesday - Lower body and Abdominals
Thursday - Shoulders and Abdominals or off-day
Friday - I may hit every body part or do just an arm day (starting with triceps and then going into biceps or vice-versa)
I chose ISSA because of the great wisdom and knowledge of the men who started the organization. I was drawn in by the organization of the text, the expert knowledge of the staff, and the hands-on support.
I believe my strong points are being a passionate teacher and having numerous amounts of patience, which I attribute to my parents. I truly love my clients. It brings me great joy to see their success in reaching and then maintaining their goals. I support them in many ways. I often forward them healthy recipes and share tips that will help them to believe they can accomplish their aims if they truly commit in their heart and their mind.
The advice I would give to anyone interested in becoming an ISSA trainer is that this organization is here to encourage and support your dream in every way, so you can achieve and conquer everything you set out to do. You won't just feel like another number, you will feel inspired and know you cannot fail!
Just do it!
I am a retired scientist, age 55, I recently graduated with a degree in exercise science and also have the Masters certification [Master Trainer] from ISSA as well, do you think I am too old to be a fitness trainer and to be taken seriously, do you think people will respond well since I am an old guy, I don't look my age at all and am in fantastic shape, however fitness trainers are usually half my age, thoughts?