Originally published in the Butterfield Stageline.
We asked Tyler Armstrong’s personal trainer how she trained him for his upcoming climb to Mt. Aconcogua in Argentina. She shared some of her training experience and history with us. You can read more about Tyler Armstrong at TopWithTyler.
Q. How long have you been in the fitness industry?
I started teaching group cardio kickboxing 26 years ago. After a year, I turned my focus to karate, earned my black belt, and then turned my focus to Krav Maga self-defense. During this training, I found that each of these disciplines had great strengths, but didn’t lead to overall body health. I had some really strong muscles, but others were undeveloped. I went to a fitness certification held at Krav Maga Worldwide, where the idea of training the whole body for functional movement was introduced to me. It was then that I wanted to combine whole-body physical fitness with martial arts. I saw a way not only to help my students learn to protect themselves, but a way to help them achieve whole body functionality and health. So I began my personal training education through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine).
Q. How long have you been a personal trainer?
Nine years, now. What is most incredible is that the science of personal training is growing and changing in leaps and bounds. Understanding how repetitive movement and non-movement affects the body and one’s overall health is so important to helping clients to reach their goals. I always like to remind my clients that I’m not training them to jump on boxes (although we certainly do jump on boxes) I’m training them so that they will be able to move, jump, balance throughout the rest of their lives.
Q. What do you mean?
I mean that each of us starts in a different place. I train my clients from their unique starting point. Using NASM’s training protocol, the client and I look at current strong points and weak areas in light of their long term and short term goals. We do a movement and physical assessments before the design of the training program to identify each client’s strengths and weaknesses. We want to bring the whole body along while training, not just have them reach 100 lunges, or press 120 pounds.
Q. How did you meet Tyler?
Tyler Armstrong trained at one of the dojos I worked in. He was always a focused, hard worker, with the heart of a lion. As his interests progressed more towards soccer, he moved on to training in that field. During that time, I decided to open my own school, which included Krav Maga self-defense, cross-training and personal training. After Tyler’s Kilimanjaro climb, his father contacted me to see if I would be interested in rounding out his training. After his initial assessment, I knew we could build on the strengths he had already gained and balance out the muscle dominances he had from climbing. We could build his other systems, specifically his core, and upper-body strength, which were not getting the focus they needed to help him to climb at his optimal abilities.
Q. Is Tyler Armstrong your first non-adult client?
Tyler is my first mountain climber! But I have and am training other young clients. Younger clients require a different type of energy than adult clients. Kids like personal challenges and some immediate successes. They like to have fun, so I often use obstacle and challenge courses during training. Tyler often trained with his younger brother Dylan and sometimes his father. We used all sorts of different training protocols to keep it interesting! We did interval training, circuit training, plyometric training, SAQ (Speed, Agility and Quickness) training along with the very specific endurance training to mimic some of the demands he will meet on the mountain.
Q. What do you like best about personal training?
Whether it is in a personal training session, group training session or a self-defense session, my favorite part is when the client has that light bulb moment of, “Hey, this is hard, but I CAN do it. I can do what I didn’t think was possible. I am one step closer to where I want to be.” I am thankful and appreciative that I have the opportunity to help my clients dream, set and achieve new goals. When Tyler started his training with me, he knew he wanted to climb Mt. Aconcogua. We figured out a path to get there and then we worked until we got there!
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
Go Tyler go, we’ll see you on the other side of the mountain! And if your readers have their own mountain to climb, give CrossFire Crosstraining a try and we’ll get you to heights you never even dreamed of!