Here is the trainer bio for our trainer, Matt Bible!
TRAINER – MATT BIBLE
CERTIFICATION – NASM CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER
SPECIALTIES – Weight Loss, Strength Training, High Intensity Interval Training, Aerobics, Building Lean Muscle, Fat Loss, Circuit Training
I started my fitness journey my freshman year of high school as a member of the cross country team. I was never gifted at sports…NOBODY wanted me on their basketball team. However, in middle school, we were tested on the one mile run. I would always get first place. At first my goal was to get one of those cool looking Letterman Jackets with some pins attached (I thought the ladies would’ve liked it, anyways). I also wanted to participate in a sport I was actually good at. There was a lot of hard work and discipline that went into being a successful cross country runner. I had some skill, but that wasn’t enough to conquer 5K races. I knew I also had to work harder than most people since I was not athletically gifted. Motivation is what got me to finishing first place in several races. Motivation is what made my coaches believers after I walked pretty much the entire last two miles of my first race ever. I ended up almost breaking a school record in the mile run for track with a time of 4:50.
After high school, I discovered strength training. I wanted to do something about my toothpick frame. I definitely made some positive gains. I also didn’t really have any direction. I would work the same body parts out daily with little gain and lots of fatigue. I also let my ego get in the way, as I put too much weight onto exercises, compromising my form. I didn’t think I needed to stretch, even though when I ran cross-country, we stretched for about 20 – 30 minutes total before and after the races. What happened next? If you guessed injuries, you are correct! Then with the injuries, you can’t workout or if you can, the quality of your workout diminishes. Once I started learning better form from a couple more experienced people in the school and YMCA gyms I split my time between, I hit another hurdle…the Penn State Main Campus lifestyle. I sprinted past the freshman 15, and gained 40 pounds in one semester. I didn’t completely stop working out, but I lifted weights maybe twice a week with no cardio. I took advantage of the buffet style eating with meal points at my dorm cafeteria. I also consumed lots of alcohol and pizza as well. By the time I was 190 pounds, I became scared I would reach 200 pounds. I did not want to reach that milestone. I knew unhealthy eating, excessive drinking, and lack of exercise were my contributing factors. How to solve these problems were the pieces of the puzzle I had yet to solve. I had no personal trainer. I had little to no guidance. My friends looked at me for weight lifting advice even then since I sometimes went, and benched 200 pounds from time to time with lots of rest in between.
It was time for change. Sure, I was only 20, but my family has a history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. I lost my Grandfather the year before to complications with diabetes. I saw how diabetes overtook his life, forcing him into painful kidney dialsys, in addition to getting one of his legs amputated. I knew lots of people who lost family members way too early to ailments that are preventable. I focused on going to the gym at least four times a week. I walked on campus instead of taking the bus (even when it was cold, which in State College, PA in January was a guarantee). I did not lose any weight, however, I did not gain anymore weight. What could possibly have been wrong? Well, even though I cut out most fried foods and high fat foods, I did not know anything about refined sugars, simple carbohydrates, and empty calories. I would eat a half big bag of Baked Lays, for instance. I would eat fat free salad dressing, yet it had high fructose corn syrup, added onto the cheese, croutons, and other condiments I slapped onto my salads that were keeping me from losing weight. I didn’t have much focus in the gym. I socialized more than I worked out. I figured going was enough.
However, I was going to work at Cedar Point Amusement Park a second summer. I did not want to spend my days off at the lake wearing a shirt in the water. I made a goal to lose 20 pounds over the summer. However, the simple fact that you will lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume in a day, you will lose weight, held very true. I did not have a car, so I ran two miles to the gym, did a workout, then ran two miles back to the dorms I stayed at. I then worked 12 to 14 hours a day walking around outside. I barely thought of food. I would’ve lost 20 pounds, if I followed a proper diet. I went to the other extreme, and lost 20 pounds in three weeks. Eventually, I lost 50 pounds that summer. I may have eaten 1,000 calories a day, which is not healthy either.
After my weight loss at Cedar Point, I dedicated time every day to learn new exercise routines and proper diets. It took me a while to fine tune everything, since I still had no guidance. I eventually eliminated simple carbohydrates, sodas, and fast food from my lifestyle. I also briefly took diet pills, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND AGAINST taking. Food is truly the best medicine, in my opinion. The diet pills made me dizzy and jittery. The upside was that I only gained 10 pounds of muscle to keep myself around 155 pounds. I have maintained that same weight for the past seven years, except for losing some weight during my lower back injury, which was unrelated to weight lifting, but a direct result of a weak core.
I suffered the lower back injury about two and a half years ago. There were days I could not walk, and I was mentally defeated for a time. However, once I mentally convinced myself I will bounce back from this injury and be in the best shape of my life, I applied myself to rehabilitation and training. The rehabilitation helped me overall. I became stronger than ever, lowered my body fat count to under 7%, and began leading friends and other people in workouts. I also managed a music group, Kings of Dreamland, and I helped discipline them while they were on the road touring. At first, they wondered why I shopped at grocery stores along the way and always found a way to workout. I told them, not only was it cheaper to shop at grocery stores than it was at gas stations, there were a lot more healthy options to choose from. In addition, I told them I would lose everything I worked hard for, plus it is the best stress relief. I also trained them so they can be in peak shape while they are performing on stage, since not only did they take their shirts off for the ladies, they more importantly needed endurance for energetic performances.
Last year, I decided I wanted to pursue a personal training career after I was spending most of my free time giving advice to people in regards to health and fitness. It took a couple more months for me to make that jump to get certified. Also, the obesity rates in the United States, and seeing people suffer as I observed people in everyday life, knowing they don’t have to if they had the proper guidance, hit me emotionally. Going into the fitness world seemed like a perfect fit. I already had a passion for fitness, and I know first hand how it changed my life. It grew my self-confidence, it gave me more energy to take on the physical demands of everyday life, it helped me recover from a major injury, it kept my blood pressure at a perfect level, it helped steer me away from bad habits, it relieved my stress, it has made me a better person overall. I already know once you experience the benefits of an effective, yet fun fitness routine, combined with a proper diet, you will want to continue with your new, improved lifestyle.
FAVORITE FOODS AND DRINKS: Blueberries, Cherries, Oranges, Mangoes, Non-GMO Vegan Protein Powder, Kale, Spinach, Carrots, Non-GMO Tempeh, Sweet Potatoes, Grilled Chicken, Non-GMO Veggie Burgers, Turkey Burgers, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Apples, Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread, Organic Dark Chocolate, Trader Joe’s Thomcord Grapes, Pumpkin
FAVORITE WORKOUT MUSIC: Linkin Park, Yun6 Canon, Holliwood Pennsylvania, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, The Game, Yelawolf, Jay-Z, Jeezy, Lupe Fiasco, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, Ice Cube, 2-Pac, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Nirvana, Wiz Khalifa, RDGLDGRN, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn, Papa Roach, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, System of a Down, P.O.D., Eminem
You can also view Matt’s bio at http://cassfitness.net/trainers/matthew-bible-2/