Monday, January 4, 2010

Meet Designing Moms Fitness Contributor: Jeremy Cheung

*Before we start in on Jeremy's intro, here's a little info about his Saturday Bootcamp for all of you moms who live here in the Bay Area! Click here to visit his website and for contact info.

When: Every Saturday (weather permitting) at 9:30AM (side note – we do almost all the workouts outside so that’s why I include the weather permitting)
Location is: 555 Florida Street (between Mariposa and 18th Street )
•Class size is limited to eight clients (if it becomes more popular then I will add another class)

•Cost is only $25

•Classes are challenging but a lot of fun!

The details: Come train with one of Women’s Health top 10 trainers and 7X7’s Trainer of the Year for a fun and challenging boot camp style workout every Saturday morning. A good way to start the weekend (or cure a hangover) and not have to pay a single session trainer rate! Saving is on everybody’s mind these days but keeping in shape can be a great stress reliever during these interesting times. Come challenge yourself with others using ropes, sandbags, medicine balls and kettlebells! Oh, and if those toys aren't enough to get your heart rate up and forget about the spit up on your favorite blouse, we also have a four story set of stairs that I throw in for fun!


I am so excited to start off the new year with all of you! And what better way than to introduce a new Designing Moms contributor whose passion happens to be in line with one of my resolutions for the new year: getting back into a fitness regime. It has been a looooong time since I've been able to spontaneously run to my studio or down to the ocean... Feeling free and strong in my body is just as thrilling as having a successful day of designing and I've decided to make it a priority ASAP. Face it... being healthy, fit and strong is something we owe ourselves and our little ones.

Which leads me to Jeremy. Jeremy Cheung is a leading personal trainer and owner of Twisted Twilight in San Francisco. He was named top personal trainer by 7x7 Magazine as well as Top 10 Hottest Fitness Pros in the Country by Women's Health Magazine. And lucky for all of us, he will be contributing to our blog on "designing" a path towards a physically fit and creative lifestyle. I think you will come to find his approach refreshing and ultimately inspiring. Read on about Jeremy and his work, and visit his site for more information about his training. Please help me give a big welcome to Jeremy!

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in your field

If I look WAY back, I started this lifestyle change--and yes ladies, it’s a lifestyle change and not a diet--back in my freshman year in college. A friend of mine challenged that we couldn’t make it through spring quarter being healthy…no partying, watching what we ate (no late night pizza) and going to the gym on a regular basis. At the end of the quarter, which was perfect timing since it was now summer, I had more energy, felt great and lost weight.

As I continued through the years, it became a hobby, so I read magazines and books to gain more knowledge on what I was doing to my body in the gym or putting in my body with regards to foods and supplements. As I continued to know more and get better results, friends and family started asking me advice on how to get them on a fitness routine.

Soon after the dot com bubble burst (I was in advertising for almost ten years before I got certified as a trainer) I was trying to figure out my next step. I remember promising to myself that whatever I did, I would absolutely have a passion and love for whatever it was.

When my old lifting partner in Seattle told me that he was a trainer, I thought, hey, there’s a good idea. My girlfriend at the time was a hair stylist and I remember thinking what a great day she must have. All of her clients have different needs; they are all different conversations. Each client was a different project and I thought that her day must be so fun and go by fast. Plus, a job counselor told me that I had a “teaching temperament” about me, which if you think about it, that’s what I’m doing with all my clients, I’m teaching them.

After researching certifications, I came across the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and really liked their approach. They were also touted at one of the premier certifications to get. So after getting my basic certification, I also took their advanced certification called the PES or the Performance Enhancement Specialist certification which is used for training elite athletes. Outside of my personal training certification, I also received my certification though the USA Olympic Powerlifting Association as well as two different kettlebell certifications. My point is, talk is cheap, experience is expensive.

What inspires you to do what you do? What are your daily inspirations?

Here’s an honest answer, it isn’t weight loss or muscle gain or that I want to make the world a thinner place that inspires me with my clients, it’s them having fun and WANTING to do this…to make whatever changes that they came in to see me for. As I tell all of them, I can’t want this more than you want it yourself.

What motivates me is the creativity of my job. I mean, how often do we get bored at the gym doing the same old stuff? Many don’t see training as a creative outlet but in many ways it is. There are so many different modalities to train with and as we’ve gotten away from the traditional ways of working out and strength training, we’ve opened up more avenues to explore. Kettlebells, sandbags, ropes, clubs, sleds, medicine balls…so many toys to plays with that it makes cable machines and bar and dumb bells feel boring. Don’t get me wrong, I do find them useful as well but my point is there are so much more now to choose from.

What is unique about your approach/philosophy? How might "fitness for the brave" fit into the mindset/lifestyle of a working mom?

My approach is scalable which makes any goal achievable and is based on three different ideas: Persistence is the will to want it and go after it; Patience is the staying power to see it through and Progression is the results of your hard work; it’s easy to understand and easy to apply. This fits into anyone’s lifestyle because of its scalability. If you’re working you’re busy, and if you’re a working parent, then you are doubly busy, so spending hours upon hours in a gym isn’t feasible. You need an approach that will take you through the long haul and not for short term gains. This is a lifestyle change and as such needs to be approached as one.

What are the components that make up your ideal client?

In my mind it isn’t a “plural” question as in what are the component(s), it’s really a single component…dedication. My clients come to me because they need help; because they can’t get where they need to one their own. And those that want it the most, those that are dedicated, will see the greatest results.

What are some of the challenging issues you see with clients who are wanting to get in shape after having children?

It’s mostly time. Sorry guys, but women are much tougher than we are so it isn’t the physical abilities that challenge them. It’s important when working with new moms to design a program that targets areas that were affected during their pregnancy and since your abdominal muscles have been stretched out, they don't have the tone to hold everything in so focusing on rebuilding core strength is imperative. Of course on a vanity level, we also want to get you back to your bikini body as well!

What's a typical day-in-your-life like?

The great thing about what I do is that it changes everyday…from the clients I see, to the hours I work, to the challenges in designing creative programs. Mostly I’m up before the sun comes up and my day ends after the sun drops and you all have finished your dinner. But I wouldn’t trade what I do to go back to the corporate life for anything. I feel bad for those that are grabbing their lunch and rushing back to their desk to eat it. Each client has different challenges so part of what I do is spending time at the start of the day programming all of your individual workouts. Remember, what I do is called “personal training” which means your trainer should not be applying the same workout to all if their clients. Unfortunately I see this all too often.

What other interests, passions do you have...what's your idea of a perfect day San Francisco day?

That’s easy, drums and cooking. I’ve been playing the drums since I was in 3rd grade starting with band to eventually getting my first drum set in high school. Yes, my neighbors loved me! My second love of cooking started when my father gave me a choice to either serve tables or cook at his restaurant (he was in the Denny’s Restaurant franchise) , and because I was scared to drop food on people, I chose to work in the kitchen. Learning the basic skills there, my father, who is an amazing cook, taught me the rest.

My perfect day? This is going to sound REALLY boring, but my ideal San Francisco day is a morning run at Crissy Field (no wind please), a movie or shopping in the afternoon and then cooking with friends. Fitness and food, what better day is there than that!


Earthy Beginnings said...

Considering I received a gym membership for Christmas I'm stoked to have you join us Jeremy! Looking forward to your posts, especially workout tips for people with lower back issues like myself... & every mom out there I'm sure!

Welcome welcome welcome!

Erika at Delphine said...

Welcome, Jeremy! I'm so glad you've joined us! I was at the gym this morning and it was the most crowded I've ever seen it. I am especially looking forward to workout tips for those days that I don't have the time to drive to the gym (it's half an hour away for me ... and I go after I drop of my son at school ... which means by the time I come back to the studio it's afternoon on the East Coast, where many of my clients are. So I end up MORE stressed out on days that I go to the gym). I really would love to be able to get an effective workout at home -- without spending money on bulky equipment ;) Thanks again for joining us. I'm also looking forward to having a guy's perspective on our little blog!

Our Designing Moms said...

Welcome Jeremy--we are so happy to have you here!

anne p. said...

This is great Jeremy! Getting exercise is my resolution too and after many failed attempts at gyms, "power walks" that end up with lattes at Starbucks, I am curious about personal training and what else is out there.

Tori Higa said...

welcome jeremy! very excited to have you here and like erika, would love to get some tips on work outs at home. that is just the most realistic for me as well.

and anne p. - i am so glad to hear that i am not the only one who ends up with a latte on a "power walk" :) so funny - i guess there is always room for improvement.

Jeremy said...

Happy New Years Ladies! What a great way to start the day and read your inspiring comments.

Since you are the lucky "5" first to comment, I'll answer your questions now. I guess as more questions come in I'll have to figure out a better system :)

Earthly Beginnings: make sure that when you train your core, train ALL sides of it--lower back, front abs (both rectus and transversus) and rotational movements. This will give you better muscular balance.

Erika and Tori: One of the best "at home" or portable fitness devices on the market that I LOVE is the TRX Strap from Fitness Anywhere. They are about $149 so it won't break your bank either. Add this with other body weight movements, your treadmill or jump rope and you have a heck of a workout.

Anne P.: Try the TRX Strap as well and see if that is fun for you and motivates you to want to do more!

I can't wait to get more articles up and hear your feedback!

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