Good fit for trainer

At Work

Helping his clients reach their peaks of fitness is a passion for Irving Robinson


December 13, 2006|By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest | Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,Special to the Sun

Irving Robinson

Personal trainer

Life Time Fitness, Columbia

Salary --$42,000 a year

Age --28

Years on the job --Two months

How he got started --Robinson served in the United States Air Force, then worked for the National Security Agency. He decided fitness was his passion and then attended Towson University. While going to school, he tended bar to pay the bills. Robinson graduates this month with a degree in exercise science. He said he chose Life Time Fitness because he enjoys Columbia and likes the values that the club offers members. "When I went on the interview and spoke to a lot of the management staff, the impression I got was that they really were about seeing results," he said.

Fees --Members pay an additional charge of $69 for an hour with Robinson.

Certifications --Robinson is certified as a personal trainer through both the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He had to pass exams given by the associations to earn the certifications.

Typical day --He works from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, but he will work other hours if needed. He also teaches a group weight-loss class, attends regular staff meetings and performs fitness evaluations for members. Otherwise, his time is spent with his clients - usually in hour-long workout sessions. He is a consultant and coach, and will set up personalized exercise programs for each client. He averages about five to seven clients a day and says he does about two fitness evaluations each day. "It varies, but most of the time I'm here, I'm training someone," he said.

His specialty --Cardiovascular training and muscle endurance. "If you were looking to shed fat and tone up muscles, that would be me."

How to keep people moving --Robinson says he likes to work clients on a continuous schedule to keep their heart rates up. "It's almost like keeping their mind off [the workout]."

Advice to those thinking about joining --Don't wait until January. "Make the commitment now, rather than waiting. That's when everyone is trying to get to the gym, and the gym gets crowded. You want to set yourself up for success. When you spend the money, you're investing in your future."

His favorite workout --Supersets and free weights. Robinson said he works out two times a day or about 10 hours a week.

The good --"Seeing people happy gives me the most satisfaction. I get a kick out of helping them see the results they want to see - although I do get satisfaction out of kicking someone's butt, especially a big guy who really wants to train."

The bad --Paperwork.

Philosophy on the job --"To inspire, educate and motivate."

Nancy Jones-Bonbrest Special to The Sun

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