Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lost Interview with John

I don't do interviews much. Real simple...I get asked by people who I don't share the same intent or I simply get shy. My past students and friends would have a hard time believing that I am shy, but it is true. My intent is very clear and pure...I am 100% for making this profession (personal training) a reputable and serious trade, and not one that is made up of bloated marketing schemes or crappy products.

So, back in 2006, Leigh Peele interviewed me for her website. I decided to post it up so that the readers can get an idea of what I am about. Hope you enjoy:

John Izzo interviewed by Leigh Peele (2006):

There aren't many in the industry like John. Not many fitness experts will stand up for what they believe in despite what it could cost them in sales or networking bridges. However, this really isn't about that. This is about giving you a chance to get to know more about John Izzo himself and along the way pick up a few of the best tips that you likely haven't heard and need to hear.

I don't call a lot of people in the fitness industry friends; I don't ever call anyone my friend who isn't. I consider Izzo a friend.

Leigh Peele: Where did you grow up John, and what got you started onto this path of fitness and health?

John Izzo: Leigh, I grew up and reside in central CT. I started working out when I was 15 at the local Boys Club. My competitive drive was nurtured by a bunch of "dares" my friends and I would place on each other regards to "who can complete more sit-ups, more push-ups, who can curl the most", etc, etc

After high school I joined my first gym (they weren't called 'fitness centers'.) Three brothers who owned the gym took me under their wing and got me into the bodybuilding thing. I was always the small guy (I'm only 5'6"), who worked out with the monsters, but I was always as strong or stronger than them. My motivation was to catch up or hang with them. My goal was always to wear XL shirts and grow "into" them. Back then (and now) lots of guys wear their tight shirts when they "get" their first muscles...not me, I loved the baggy stuff so that I kept you guessing and I worked to fill those sleeves! Through the years, as my health improved, I really began to love the act of making my body stronger and more efficient. It was helping me in my personal life, school, and career. My first job as a fitness trainer was for the YMCA when I was 22. I liked the fact that members would come up to me and ask me questions about bodybuilding or athletics. I liked the closeness I felt with the "5 o'clock gym crowd". I liked having different training partners. It was a very rewarding time and one that I decided would be my career path well into my 30's. As I took on more personal training positions at various clubs, my knack for client motivation, results, and expectations were forged into management criteria. As owners noticed my ability to motivate my clients and others, they tried my skills at managing "other trainers". The result? Well, I am glad that I can be in a position where I can influence young new trainers and teach them the same skills I learned and combine them with my own career & life experiences.

Leigh Peele: Nothing like some healthy push up wars between buddies. Its little things like that I feel the youth culture is really missing out on; I hope to see a rebirth of that. Now as to your career, you say you are going more into the shaping and molding of young trainers minds, what does a normal day for you look like?

John Izzo: You know...personal trainers get a bad rap. Period. You know why? There is no doubt that there are good trainers and there are bad trainers out there. Just like any other profession, there are those that are exceptionally better at what they do then the other guy. I think there is an abundance of poor trainers hired out there. I think there are owners, managers, and fitness directors that hire personal trainers based on other factors rather than their qualifications or assessed characteristics. I think alot of managers hire trainers and they really don't know what to look for. Managers are typically responsible for customer service, profit centers, inventory, revenues, and marketing. We hear that personal training s a HUGE profit center inside clubs, but so many of today's managers are not inclined as to what a good personal trainer is versus a mediocre personal trainer.

Read the entire interview here.


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