Lab Trainer Revealed: Coach Tony Part II

May 27, 2017 by Richard Cohen

The Lab Trainer Revealed: Coach Tony

Hi, Lab Rats!

We’re back with Part 2 of The Lab Trainer Revealed with Coach Tony.

Today we talk more about his goals, motivational figures and his love for helping people overcome that tough first step to getting fit.

For Part I, click here.

1. What are your goals for this year?

This year I had a minor injury, last three years I had shoulder wrist, and knee issues. They were overused and overtrained, I used to play sports, snowboarding and fell a lot, sometimes during training. Getting injured here and there but also getting a bit older. The body heals slowly. So I don’t focus on building muscle anymore, I just want to stay healthy. I feel like last month I was pain-free and injury free until something happened, last four weeks I struggled to train hard so I’m now I’m gonna focus on building my upper body strength for the next two months. Put on lean muscle mass. Nothing extreme.

2. What’s your advice for people with injuries that still want to stay fit?

When you’re injured, you need to avoid training those parts and instead train other parts of your body, so if you injured your upper body then train your lower body. Give the injured area some rest but don’t totally neglect the injured area, just work on building it up again slowly, let it recover slowly.

If you push too fast it won’t heal properly and will cause even more damage in the future. Last year I hurt my shoulder so I worked on my abs and lower body.

Work on what you have available to you and be flexible. Work around your injuries.

3. Tell us about how you got into the fitness industry?

I’ve been active for over 25 years now but I’ve only been a professional trainer for about seven years now. I used to be an architect, working in the office. I was always sitting down, drawing and drafting, designing houses and condos but I hated that job. I love doing it but sitting down for long hours really took a toll on my body and I had really bad back pain. I got tired of feeling felt tied down to the computer all day long so I started talking to some my trainer friends and they advised me to try taking some courses. So I decided to try it out because though I’ve always liked to be healthy I was really skinny, I used to weigh like 50 kilos. I also used to get sick often,  getting a cold every month because I was so unhealthy.

Ever since I started working out I’ve been really healthy and I never get sick. So I learned instantly that there’s a huge benefit to staying healthy because you don’t get sick anymore and you feel better.

Since I always liked being outdoors and active, I decided this profession is perfect for my passion. They say follow your passion and it doesn’t become work anymore, it just becomes fun.

4. What was the first course you took that started off your fitness career?

I took a personal training course in the U.S. while I was living there at the time. I went to school and college in the U.S. and the course I took there was two-years long. Next, I took a nutritional course. After I finished those two courses I realized that there’s so much more to fitness and health.

I looked back to when I was training myself for 10 years before this course, but after, I learned so much about the right and wrong ways to train and those studies just expanded my mind. Now I’ll continue to take more courses. I want to keep doing that as much as possible.

I’m definitely more interested in taking courses related to helping people with weight loss and body transformations, those are my two specialties. Nutrition as well. I don’t really focus on athletes, I focus more on helping everyday people who are busy and just need to fit fitness into their lifestyle. I want to help everyone.

5. Would you say you’re a firm believer that there is no limitation to when you can start being healthy and fit?

There is definitely no limit. As long as you’re not in pain, you can be fit and exercise and be healthy. If your doctor says don’t work out then, of course, follow that advice but if not, then no there’s no reason you can’t exercise.

6. What do you think about the past, current and future trends of fitness in Thailand?

I’ll rewind a bit. So I started exercise 25 years ago when I was 18. Back then there was no knowledge about exercise at all. They were only some small weightlifting gyms and people were more focused on bodybuilding. So I started out with weightlifting and bodybuilding. After starting bodybuilding I gained 15 kg and became really muscular. It took me five years to gain 15 kg.

Fast-forward to when I moved to the US. After 15 years living and studying there, I learned all these new things about sports science. When I came back to Thailand, about four years ago, the local approach to fitness had completely changed.

The fitness industry in Thailand is booming now. Like CrossFit, for example, it’s only been in Thailand for three years, and now it’s doing really well–there’s like seven CrossFit gyms across Bangkok.

I didn’t really know what functional training was back in the day, 20 years ago, right? But now, Thailand has transitioned from pure bodybuilding to functional training, in sports and athletic training. Now I see the use of functional training for coaching athletes in Thailand.

Back in my day, we didn’t really have many Thai athletes but now that’s all changed. Now you see Thai athletes in weightlifting, tennis, golf, and even basketball and soccer.

I’d love to see a lot more talented Thai athletes 10 years from now, getting into the international stage and going to competitions across the world, like the Olympics, stuff like that.

The rise of Thai athletes in the international arena will really affect how Thai people approach fitness. You can already see that now. Thai people didn’t use to be into fitness so much but that’s changing. Nowadays people are much more active, you can see them running or walking in the parks and they’re learning the importance of being fit and healthy.

7. What do you think about the influence of fitness celebrities on the Thai population?

Celebrities have a lot of impact on acceptance to fitness and adopting a healthy lifestyle. I think Thai people, in general, look up to foreigners for beauty ideals and standards.

8. What about the influence of other Asian countries like Korea or Japan?

I would say it is similar. A lot of Asian countries follow the culture of the West I think. Hollywood celebrities and models, they’re all pretty much required now to be really fit and healthy looking, right? But if you look back 20 years ago, actresses just needed to be slim but not really healthy or muscular. Nowadays all Hollywood stars are very athletic, muscular and fit. Even female actors. This trend has trickled down to Asia and a lot of other countries.

These celebrities become role models. You follow them on Instagram and Facebook and you see them working out all the time and it motivates a lot of people to get fit. It has become cool to be fit and healthy. Everyone wants to have that nice six-pack, flat abs, and a firm, toned body.

9. Do you have any role models and fitness are people who you look up to?

I do have some role models that inspire and motivate me. I’m a big fan of motivational people like Oprah Winfrey, George Washington, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs. They inspired me because of their drive, passion, and work ethic.

They came from humble beginnings and they became so great because of their passion for work ethic and commitment. I aspire to be great just like them.

I also come from humble backgrounds but I think everyone should work on their dreams no matter their beginnings.

10. Any final words you’d like to share for your Shredded 17 members or people wanting to get into fitness?

My last words would be this: for anyone out there thinking about starting exercise but feel reluctant to start for whatever reason, don’t wait. Just start today. You’ll always find excuses to not start and you’ll never get the chance to commit. Today is the day.

Start simple, take one step at a time, and just take it easy, there is no need to rush.

Come to The Lab, reach out to me, and we can talk about your fitness goals and we’ll do our best to help you out. That’s what we’re here for.

We can help you with your fitness plan, and how to start out slowly. We’ll give you everything you need to learn about the facts of nutrition and fitness. That’s what I’m here for. It doesn’t matter how unfit you are, everyone starts somewhere.

So, get up off your feet and start feeling better about yourself now. Don’t wait! It’s never too late.

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Thanks for reading Lab Rats! We hope you enjoyed learning more about Coach Tony and his incredible wealth of knowledge on nutrition, weight loss, and body transformations.

Til next time 😉

– The Lab Team