For Pinecrest Fitness trainer Rick Phillips, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing the transformation his clients experience as a result of his influence. Over the last 15 years, this enthusiasm has evolved into his life’s work.
“I really want to change lives,” says Phillips. “When people first started coming in, telling me how they lost weight, look better or that they just ran a 5K and beat their personal best, it gave me a rush and a feeling of self-fulfillment. Fitness has always been my passion.”
A lifelong athlete who played defensive back for the University of Maine before transitioning to semipro baseball, Phillips began working out when he was 15 years old, both to enhance his appearance and for athletic purposes. While attending the University of Tae Kwon Do – which later became Zone Fitness – an instructor suggested he try his hand at training. He started instructing professionally in 1997 and before long he was packing spinning classes. In 1999, while still splitting time between his family’s business and his burgeoning career in physical fitness, he made the move to Pinecrest Fitness.
“In the beginning, it was all for me,” he says. “Then I started seeing some of my workout partners change their training regimens and diets based on what I was doing. It really took off when I left the family business and started doing this full time.”
Often working 15-hour days, Phillips gets to the gym at 4 a.m. to fit his personal routine in before people arrive an hour later. To compliment his popular spinning classes, he created “The Workout,” a 50- minute exercise session that incorporates weights, cross training, plyometrics and running into a staggered, alternating program; and “Butts and Guts,” a program tailored for women, which has gained traction with his male clientele as well.
“My spinning classes have always been strong – I have many longtime clients who can attest to that – but now ‘The Workout’ has really exploded,” he says. “I call it ‘The Workout’ because each class I put together – the layout – it’s different, so your body can never get used to it. When they walk through that door, they don’t know what to expect except a great workout. When they leave, they’re left satisfied, feeling one step closer to healthiness.”
Phillips has embraced the mass adoption of social media as a promotional tool, often posting inspirational messages and photos on Instagram and Facebook, as well as pictures and videos of clients’ achievements or his “Exercise of the Day.”
“When they don’t feel like coming in, I want them to go online, see my posts and say, ‘Gosh, I should have gone today. I need to go tomorrow. I have to make that effort to get to the gym and improve my life,’” he says. “I’ve always been able to market myself and social media has just enhanced that. I get a sense of satisfaction from reaching out to people, getting them out of their regular routines and helping them make changes.”
For more information, call 305- 233-4896 or go online at <www.pinecrestfitness.com>.