WellFit Professional Abi Burgos of Wattage in Chicago, IL is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (NSCA – C.S.C.S.), NASM-CPT. CPH & Associates is proud to share his fitness journey in this Member Spotlight.
- When did you start working in the field?
Fall of 2010. I started working as a personal trainer at Bally Total Fitness (Now L.A. Fitness). That same fall I went back to school to earn my Bachelor’s degree.
- What made you decide you wanted to pursue this career path?
I played soccer in high school and wanted to gain muscle mass to improve my performance. After spinning my wheels for 3 months with no results to show for it, I began reading everything fitness-related I could get my hands on. I eventually started liking lifting weights more than playing soccer.
- Who/what was the biggest influence when you were starting on this path?
I had a few. A chiropractor that was treating me let me borrow some of his books on strength training and that greatly impacted my own fitness goals. Also, one of my very first professors was kind enough to spend time with me after class discussing just about any topics relating to fitness/nutrition I could throw at him. I still keep in touch with both.
- What is the favorite aspect of your career?
Meeting and helping all kinds of individuals. I have even become great friends with former/current clients of mine. Changing someone’s life in a positive manner is a very rewarding experience. Also, I get to wear very comfy clothes to work (for the most part).
- What sets your practice apart from others?
It constantly changes. You can’t say the same thing about many professions. That’s what makes it interesting. Fifteen years ago people weren’t using TRX trainers or pushing sleds. Research is constantly impacting how we change our approach to training.
- What do you think is 2015’s weirdest health fad?
Nutrition-wise: Blood type diet, cleanses, gluten-free diet. I am always weary of diets that focus on restriction. Why not focus on what you should be eating? Besides the fact that most diets promote quick fixes and are not inherently sustainable, the vast majority have very little to no scientific support for them. I am always baffled at how much scientific evidence we (in the fitness industry) require of supplements before we recommend them, but then turn around and recommend fad diets.
Fitness-related: Anything infomercial-ish. I’m especially wary of any fitness program that promises results in only a few minutes a day. That’s akin to me trying to sell people on how they can become wealthy only dedicating 10 minutes a day to accumulating wealth. Anyone who has actually attempted to radically change their body knows that it takes A LOT more than that.
- What are your 2015 Goals?
Professionally: Accumulate more credentials/education – “the more you learn the more you earn” is especially true in this field. It’s upsets me when I hear of personal trainers that don’t pursue continuing education. It’s a tremendous disservice to clients and to the industry as a whole. In addition, I would like to increase my clientele and improve in my use of social media to aid in increasing my presence in this industry.