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Andrew Titherington, NSCA-CPT Andrew Titherington, NSCA-CPT, is an up-and-coming fitness professional in the world of personal training. A current student at California State University-Sacramento, Titherington trains clients at Arden Hills Resort Club and Spa in Sacramento. A former Division 1 track athlete, Titherington also coaches high school track and field. 1. Describe a typical day in your life Depending on whether or not I am in school for a particular day determines my schedule. I normally wake up somewhere around 5:00 in the morning. During the summer, I head to Arden Hills Resort Club and Spa but during the semester I either go to the gym or school (California State University, Sacramento). I pretty much always have a split shift so I will have clients from about 6:00 to 11:00 am and then again from 4:00 to about 8:00 pm. After that, I try to get my own workout when I have the weight room to myself. The highlight of a split shift, in my case, is that I am able to go to school and study for the bulk of the day and then I get to work with my clients before and after school. 2. What attracted you to a career in personal training? There are a couple things that are attractive about personal training. The hours are always flexible—you decide when you are available to work. I like being able to help people on their journey through a healthy lifestyle. Not many paths allow you to directly make somebody’s day or life better. There are few other careers where you get to take somebody from being completely out of shape and through their hard work and a trainer’s guidance, turn them into a healthy active person. 3. Why did you decide to become an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer? Has your NSCA membership and/or certification helped you? If so, how? I chose the NSCA because of my internship with Robert Linkul and how he had volumes of the Strength and Conditioning Journal. I was thoroughly impressed by all the research the NSCA did. At the time I became interested in personal training, I was in track and field at California State University, Sacramento. I was aware of the weight an NSCA certification has in college weight rooms. Those factors led me to go for my best option, the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT). My certification and NSCA Membership has given me access to all sorts of research and knowledge that my peers simply do not have access to. 4. Who has had the greatest impact on your career? As far as who has had the biggest impact on me, it is a tie between Jennifer Enos, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Arden Hills and the NSCA Northern California State Director and Robert Linkul, the Strength and Fitness Director at Arden Hills and the NSCA Southwest Regional Coordinator. Both of them took me under their wings in the earliest phases of my career and helped shape the trainer I am. Enos has a great command of physical movement and simplifies the most complex of issues with excellent cues that make both children and adults understand what they are supposed to do. Linkul has awesome energy in all of his workouts with his clients and can get a whole room of people to give 100 percent before they realize it. Both of them have impressive attention to detail, something I am still working on. 5. In your opinion, what are the three most important qualities that a successful trainer must have? I feel the three qualities that make a successful trainer are as follows: compassion for their clients, knowledge of how the human body moves and functions, and problem solving abilities to help clients attain their goal and avoid injuries. 6. What does a typical training session with you consist of? As a personal trainer, what do you think are your key strengths? Are there any areas you would like to improve? A typical training session with me consists of mobility work, a “metabolic rev” (warm-up), strength/balance work, and metabolic conditioning. The goals of my clients determine how those factors are implemented. One of my key strengths as a trainer is adapting to my client’s needs. I have a fair amount of older adult clients and some of them have pacemakers/implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), artificial knees, artificial hips, and other limitations. Being able to shape the workout to their specific needs and still make them feel as though they are being challenged is an example of adapting to a specific client’s needs. A skill I definitely need to work on, is how to efficiently managing large groups; pretty much all of the other trainers where I work are experts at it. 7. How do you stay current on what is happening in the industry? I stay current with the industry by reading various blogs and websites. I am a big fan of Bret Contreras and Brad Schoenfeld. 8. Fitness trends come and go, how do you decide what to incorporate and what to discard? I look at fitness trends skeptically. Some trends are downright goofy while others make a lot of sense and fit very well into my programming. My goal at the end of the day is to have happy, healthy clients; whatever gets them there most efficiently is what I try to use. 9. What has been your favorite experience as a trainer? My best experience as a trainer happened recently. A client has been going through some pretty serious health issues and their doctor cleared them for some light resistance training. They had one of those issues where a fair amount of research was required before meeting with them. The session went without a hitch; we went through some injury-specific stretching and band work, with plenty of squats. At the end of the session, my client started to tear up and started thanking me for all of the time I had spent talking, planning, and just supporting them. It was a very touching moment, I felt myself starting to tear up. It was one of those golden moments where one realizes that they have done something to positively affect somebody else. 10. Tell us about yourself - what catches your interest, what do you do for fun, etc.? I have a wide array of interests, so I bounce from activity to activity. I have played the drums forever and love music. I also love backpacking, rock climbing, and skateboarding/snowboarding. I am not a huge traditional sports guy, so I tend to favor outdoor activities and alternative sports. I am 22 years old and a fifth-year senior at California State University, Sacramento. I am a former Division 1 track athlete (thrower) and a four-time California State meet qualifier in the shot put and discus in high school. I am currently an assistant track and field coach at Jesuit High School.