In this month’s fitness profile we sit down with Stefano Sarge, personal trainer at Wyomissing Fitness to discuss education, inspiration, and implementation of safe and effective training programs.

Mike: How did you get involved in personal training and how long have you been training?

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Stefano: From a very young age, I’ve always said that I wanted to help people. I’ve played football, lacrosse, and wrestled in high school. Year after year I underwent strength training and rehabbed various injuries. I wanted to get involved in a profession where I would be able to give back to those who want to become stronger and stay healthy in the process. Personal training provided the avenue to do just that. I’m able to meet with my clients, helping them achieve their goals while lessening their chances of injury day in and day out. Being on the frontlines of preventative medicine has been very rewarding!

Mike: What are your Certifications, education, and specialties?

Stefano: I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science and Wellness Management from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. From there, I went on to acquire my certifications and am always looking to continue my education!

My certifications are in ACSM: Certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Up2Us Sports: Sports-Based Youth Development Coach Certification Level 4. In addition, my specialties include strength and conditioning, preventative health, adaptive training, and weight loss.

Mike: Where do you train?

Stefano: I train at Wyomissing Fitness and Training as well as Exeter Fitness and Training. These gyms have been the best gyms I have had the pleasure of training at thus far. In addition to personal training, I also offer group training, Bootcamps, and various clinics.

Mike: Who is your target clientele?

Stefano: I don’t have a target clientele per say. I’ve trained individuals from ages 9 to 70. I enjoy training first-timers to athletes to post rehab patients! All clients have varying goals and my job is to help them achieve these goals safely and efficiently. I want to help everyone that I can to live a happier, healthier lifestyle, whether it is physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Mike: Give us some inspiration!

Stefano: I’ll never forget the day I weighed in at 295lbs thinking, “Oh man, I’m going to bust through 300lbs soon if I don’t change something.” I don’t have the best family history in the world, so packing on pounds [and not the right ones I might add] are going to lead me down a spiraling path of diseases and medications that I definitely do not want to depend on for the rest of my life. From that day forward, I committed myself not only to live a healthier lifestyle, but to helping those around me by educating, training, and teaching as many as possible!

Don’t ever forget that it’s never too late to make a change in your life. It doesn’t matter if your 27 or 77! It will take some work, but you will not regret it.

Mike: What is the most important exercise for longevity and health?

Stefano: Boy, do I love my strength training, but heart and lung health is number one. “Cardio” aka cardiorespiratory exercise is great not only to stimulate the heart, but your lungs and brain as well. You’re heart beats every single day to keep you alive. It’s important to train this muscle to work more efficiently and not harder than it already is. Think about how many times your heart beats per day.

Find an activity you enjoy like walking and commit to it multiple times a week. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise per week. Not to mention, this time is a great stress reliever! You can also get your cardio in by performing HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, but this is a more vigorous approach.

Mike: Who do you admire or find inspirational in the fitness industry?

Stefano: He is a little silly and out there, but I’ve always looked up to Elliott Hulse. He became famous making videos on YouTube. He started out as a personal trainer who was financially broke running bootcamps out of his van with whatever equipment he could get his hands on. Eventually opening up his own gym, building up his own brand, and finally expanding into other areas of fitness. I respect Elliott not only for his fitness accomplishments, but for his holistic approach to training.

I firmly believe that our body is completely connected from brain to muscle to emotion. Think when you’re stressed and your back and neck tighten up. Your body creates responses based upon how you are feeling and what you are experiencing day in and day out. I also believe in working together with other fitness professionals, as he has many videos collaborating with professionals in other areas of expertise. There are many professionals out there that have a different skill sets and knowledge than I do. I think there is a lot out there to learn and many are willing to teach. In the end, like Elliott, I want my clients to find the, “strongest versions of themselves.”

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I was a Football and Baseball player at Fleetwood High School until an onside kick ended my sports career junior year. Gaining weight from recovery I weigh 240lb but lost 60lb and then gained 30lb of muscle. Because of this I can relate to both those trying to lose weight and those trying to build muscle. I do not believe in a cookie cutter one size fits all approach, rather that proper assessment, analysis, and implementation will produce the best possible result. My education include a B.S. Kinesiology Penn State, NSCA-CPT and CPR/AED.