Get Fit: Personal trainer hopes to help community get healthy

Published 5:24 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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Walking into a gym can be intimidating for someone who has never worked out in one before.

Calming those initial fears and promoting overall health is at the core of what Ivan Madarang does as a personal trainer.

“Right now, a lot of people get overwhelmed coming in, so they don’t know what they are doing,” Madarang, who works at Express Fitness, said.

However, he said this does not come from a lack of knowledge about types of workouts and equipment. Many have seen so many different types of workout on the internet that they do not know which one is best. This is where a personal trainer can be beneficial to guide someone to what workout is right for their health goals.

Madarang can relate because he has been there.

“I try to tell them, even though they don’t believe me, that I used to be 40 pounds heavier,” Madarang said.

Figuring out what would work for him was “a lot of trial and error.”

After graduating college, Madarang started learning how to cook and how to cook healthy food options.

“Once I fixed my diet, everything else kind of flowed in,” Madarang said.

He also started researching workouts.

“Because of the way I went through and how I train, I can tell how most people need to workout,” Madarang said.

Now, he has turned that fat into muscle.

“It took me a year to lose the weight,” Madarang said. “I started to work out after I lost the weight, and I started building up to do body building shows.”

That’s when people started asking his advice for working out.

He did some research on what would benefit his clients taking online courses for nutrition and personal training through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. After participating in body building competitions, Madarang’s interest grew to the point that he is now also a body building coach.

He encourages anyone who has considered working out with a personal trainer to give it a try.

“One of the biggest problems is anxiety,” Madarang said. “A lot of people have come and sit in their car and not come in until 20 minutes later because they are scared to come in.”

While this is not something he struggled with, he wants to help people overcome this.

Sometimes this means just giving a tour of the gym, so they see “it is not as bad as you think,” Madarang said.

Ivan Madarang has been a part-time personal trainer at Express Fitness for eight years, and he is a full-time nurse.

His two jobs complement each other and help Madarang to pursue his passion for helping people get healthy.

“I just want people to start being more active,” Madarang said.

He has his personal training sessions in the afternoons after he gets off work at an internal medicine clinic. At the clinic, he has seen that a lot of health problems are related to nutrition

“A lot of overweight, malnutrition, thyroid problems, diabetes, even kidney problems. And the younger generation is kind of following the older generation and I am trying to fix that as much as I can,” Madarang said.

He said promoting fitness is important to him.

“I want everyone to be healthier,” Madarang said.

Getting healthy is specific to each person’s needs, so Madarang takes an individualized approach to how he leads each person in training.

Where to start depends on “if they are older, younger, if they are trying to lose weight, gain weight,” Madarang said.

Madarang said he has underweight clients that exercising helps because it increases their appetite.

Whether overweight or underweight, making good food choices is important to staying a healthy weight. He specializes in training for women.

The first step is always discussing the health goals that the person wants to achieve.

Some want to lose weight. Some want to increase their mobility.

“We do what we can based on what their physical fitness is, and it just goes from there really,” Madarang said.

Many of the beginning exercises focus on a full body workout, without using the specific machines in the gym.

This includes pushing a weighted sled, working ropes, box jumps, squats, wall exercises, etc.

“It’s like circuit training really,” Madarang said.

This serves as an assessment of the client’s fitness level.

Many clients have seen success to their weight loss goals.

Working out in a gym with a personal trainer is not just for those who are young and already fit. Madarang said about half of his clients are older adults.

How much having a personal trainer will costs varies because of how long the sessions are. A required membership to the gym the personal trainer works at also adds to the final cost.