By Tiara Jade
Q: Can you start by introducing yourself?
A: My name is Justin. I’m one of the new personal trainers here at the CCSAI. I recently came back from finishing my Bachelors of Science in England and I’m excited to start working at the place where I studied.
Q: Can you tell me more about the program you graduated from?
A: It’s a bachelor of science program. It was a top up degree of what I did here at Centennial. I studied Fitness and Health Promotion at Centennial. Going to England I was shown this program where I can study in England for a year and upgrade from a college diploma in Canada to a bachelor of science, so I just went for it. The program was called Bachelor of Science Sports Studies and the modules I chose were strength, condition and sports theory modules.
Q: What was your experience like in England?
A: It was interesting. It was good to get away from my family and try to figure out how to live on my own. But I also found it hard to live on my own, having to plan my own studying and budget my own money. So it was definitely interesting, but you gain skills that you’ll bring with you in the future.
Q: Who is your hero/ inspiration?
A: I’d probably go with my dad. Originally when I was coming out of high school I wanted to do the paramedics program at centennial but I didn’t get accepted into that so I just went with something I thought would be physical and that was the Fitness and Health Promotion program. So coming out of that and being a personal trainer and knowing how to do stuff, it’s been good to have those skills. And now being able to help out my dad and make workout programs for my dad or younger brother, just having a bunch of different clients.
Q: Do you have any current training goals?
A: I would want to lean out a little bit. In England I did put on a bit of weight, but I’m going to say it was 70% muscle, 30% fat. But it’s always nice to be lean and just have your body as an example for your clients. I’m not really big on the goal of getting huge and massive muscles. I’d rather myself just be strong for the sport I like to play, which is hockey. So being strong and functional and being able to play that sport, and still being able to move well. Then the aesthetics come second to me.
Q: Do you have any advice for students trying to get fit or stay in shape?
A: I would say download a calorie tracker app. That’s probably the easiest way to hold yourself accountable for what you’re eating. If you don’t want to download an app, keep a notebook with you and you can write down what kind of foods you’re eating and how much you’re eating. You don’t have to be specific with the amount you’re eating; you don’t have to measure out one cup of rice. You can just say I ate this much rice and I felt great. So just decide the portions based on how you feel after getting that food.
Strength and fitness wise, I would say go to the gym with a plan. If you break your weekly workout split down into body parts (chest, back and legs) go to the gym with a plan for those workouts. If you’re hitting chest, don’t just have a billion exercises in your head and no plan of what order you’re going to do those exercises. Come with a notebook, write down your exercises, what kind of rep scheme you want to do with it, and just know what you want to do and hold yourself accountable to do that workout.
Q: How often are you at the gym?
A: Working, I’m at the gym frequently, at least 4 times a week. For my own workouts I’m at the gym, I want to say 4-5 times a week, but just getting used to working at Centennial and the different hours here I’ve been 3 times a week. That’s about what I’m averaging now but I’m trying to get it back up to 5 times.
Q: How has it been for you balancing that with the new hours?
A: It’s been different because I always like to work out in the morning just to have my metabolism boosted for the day so I can burn those extra few calories. But lately I’ve had to work out at 7 or 8pm and there are hundreds of people in the AWC. So it’s fine in the balance for me between working out late and not getting home as early as I’d like to or working out in the morning and having to shower before I see my first client.
Q: What do you like about training?
A: I like that you get to be a teacher. I could work at a public school or something and teach gym class or math but I feel like that stuff, anybody can teach that. If you’re teaching fitness it’s something where you have to experience the movement. My training style, I like to teach movement first, so making sure someone knows how to squat or the simple movements, so we can progress quicker or have more sustainable progression in their workouts.
Q: Do you have any good memories or stories in the gym?
A: I remember two years ago, so 2014, there was a challenge in the AWC where it was who has the highest deadlift relative to their bodyweight. I was able to deadlift 315 lbs weighing 145 lbs so I found that pretty impressive for myself. A couple weeks after that I got an injury playing hockey for the Colts, just in practice I sprained my side joint, so I’ve never been able to deadlift 315 lbs since then, maybe that’s my goal that I’m working up to.