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Attitude Is Everything

Facing limitations. Greg first encountered Brent Richardson, owner of Look Fit Naked, some years ago at an Equinox gym in Newport Beach, California. Greg, who had been working with another personal trainer at the time, quickly took notice of Richardson. “Brent was extremely focused,” Greg recalls. “His clients were always engaged, and—despite the strain of the training sessions—they always appeared to give it their all. More important, they were clearly getting results, as was evidenced by their continual transformation.”

Despite the admiration for Richard­son’s skills, Greg remained with his trainer until his body forced him into hiatus. “In February 2010, I was working with one of the best trainers in Newport Beach, but I had to stop training due to chronic back pain,” he says. “At 49, I accepted the fact that I had probably hit my peak in terms of fitness.”

Eager to get moving again, Greg sought guidance. “In November 2010, I found a great doctor in Los Angeles who helped me feel well enough to go back to the gym.”

Starting over. After relocating to Los Angeles and returning to exercising at a gym, Greg learned that Brent had also relocated and was working at the new gym. “That’s when I started with Brent. At 49 years old, still recuperating from chronic back pain and with 22% body fat, I was just happy to be back in the gym, relatively pain-free and hoping to achieve a level of fitness that would ensure I could lead an active lifestyle for several more years.”

Richardson believed his client was capable of much more.

Collecting data. Richardson prides himself on delivering results and on using a multipronged approach. “All of my personal training clients start with a detailed fitness analysis that includes discussion of goals and expectations; health history and orthopedic injury assessment; nutritional guidance; body fat and anthropometric measurements; and a blood pressure test.”

Richardson also performs postural, structural and core evaluations; provides behavior modification tools; and requires goal-setting with agreed-upon follow-up dates.

Beginning slowly. At the start, Greg hoped to reduce body fat and continue to heal his low back. Concerned with safety and gaining a better understanding of his new client’s abilities, Richardson began with movements emphasizing control and flexibility. “The workouts consisted of slow isometric movements to better asssess his range of motion and mobility,” says Richardson. “I chose the TRX® because body weight training is low impact and helps improve flexibility.”

Richardson constantly analyzes his client’s movement patterns and is keen to make adjustments if necessary. “ I do not believe in the idea of ‘no pain, no gain.’ If a client is experiencing pain, something is wrong with the way the workout is proceeding. Since Greg had low- back pain, we did lots of isometric exercises to strengthen the psoas. [Greg also did] ipsilateral flexion and lots of straight-leg dead lifts. Strengthening the contralateral or opposing muscles around the injury is essential.”

Achieving success. “Brent focused on every muscle group, carefully evaluating what needed strengthening, what needed stretching—tailoring every workout to meet exactly what I needed,” Greg says. “Together with the workout sessions, Brent focused on nutrition, giving suggestions as to what might be wrong and/or right with my diet. The results came fast and by June 2011 (my 50th birthday), I felt I was in the best shape of my life.”

At time of print, Greg was pain-free and sported an impressive 7.5% body fat. “Brent has taught me to never settle. I look forward to every session and to the satisfaction of seeing even more results and feeling even better.”

While Richardson can take credit for the solid exercise and nutrition suggestions, he believes Greg’s positive, can-do attitude led to the success. “Greg was so motivated after seeing his initial results that he got excited and wanted to work out even more,” Richardson notes. “Greg’s attitude is so positive. That can make all the difference in health for anyone, and it is really the first foundation of fitness.”

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