For Joe Trainer, success is all about sharing.
Growing up in the Bronx, the now 20-year veteran trainer chose sports over trouble. During that time—and later as a young man working at his first gym—he learned to respect the art of discipline and hard work. And, the more experience he amassed, the more inspired he felt to pass that knowledge onto others. That’s why—throughout the years of training clients like celebrities, athletes and a wide array of professionals—he also made time to work with over 400 aspiring trainers and help them reach their goals.
After having led and/or redesigned entire fitness programs at New York City spots from David Barton Gym to World Gym and Printing House Fitness + Squash Club, Trainer finally opened his own digs in 2015, Joe Trainer Studio.
Here, the exercise innovator explains why supporting others, and receiving support from his wife, has been his ultimate motivator:
Live The Process: Have you always been interested in fitness?
Joe Trainer: Absolutely. Fitness has always been a part of my life and has impacted every aspect of it. From the time I was young, I was involved in many sports: basketball, football, boxing, kickboxing, roller-skating, cycling, skateboarding, weight training and many others. I was born and raised here in the Bronx. Growing up, if you didn't play a sport and/or an instrument, then you were more than likely getting into some kind of trouble! I played each sport with a kind of headstrong tenacity until it eventually became natural to me.
LTP: What makes the way you train unique?
JT: Selflessness, knowledge, hard work and dedication to the craft. My ultimate goal is to help others become their greatest selves and understand their own bodies. I’m extremely detailed-oriented, sometimes to a fault, but that characteristic has benefited me in many ways.
In the 90s, not many trainers focused on their education. My first training job was at a gym where the combination of education and training was mandatory. During that period, I trained 45 to 50 sessions per week and had to attend four two-hour meetings, four days per week. If you missed a meeting, then you no longer had a job. I personally enjoyed the challenge, and I am grateful because that sort of discipline made me the professional I am today. Thank you, David Barton Gym!
But my real passion has always been hiring brand new talent and teaching them to become professional and skilled trainers. Over the years, I have hired, supervised and mentored over 400 individuals who have become trainers.
LTP: How do you go about creating a specific program for each individual? Does that factor in a mental component?
JT: Programming involves making use of meaningful systems or plans to achieve a specific goal, which lays the groundwork for a client or athlete to achieve individual goals. Every program is based on a full-body assessment and strategic fitness testing performed by a trained fitness professional.
And, yes, a state of consciousness is essential to clients’ mental preparation. We call it “the flow.” It’s the state of being in which one becomes totally absorbed in what one is doing in the moment, to the exclusion of all other thoughts and emotions.
LTP: Are there other ways, in addition to fitness, that you keep yourself feeling balanced?
JT: Honestly, my amazing wife keeps me balanced. I’ve been blessed that way. We also spend a lot of time upstate in the country, and being out in nature has been vital to my ability to maintain my center.
Some of my other passions include building copper art installations and playing my drums. Making music keeps me smiling! Growing up, I studied percussion and was a DJ and producer. Music will always be important, and I will be drumming for the rest of my life!
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
JT: Happiness is having the same smile I had when I first began this fitness journey. I am smiling as I type these words right now! It means I made it. Happiness is realizing that when you work hard and do things the right way in life, sometimes good people get to The Promised Land!
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
JT: To me, living the process began the day we signed our lease one year ago. We created an amazing facility, where clients can find a home filled with professionals who sincerely care about their well-being. I assembled an extraordinary team with whom I will be lifelong friends. It’s all the little things along the way—directing our promotional video, watching a client reach a goal, laughing, succeeding, failing—living life to the fullest.
Every day, I get to “live the process” and I am filled with so much gratitude. I’ve been a man of many hats: an athlete, a master trainer, manager, mentor and now a proud business owner. Everyone can live their own process by being consistent, honest and true to themselves and wanting the best for others. Sharing the goodness in life with others creates a healthy cycle of success. Take it from me.