Check out our interview with Koa Fit trainer, Brian Carver. Scroll below to learn about Brian’s love of learning, his library of unique exercises, and his approach to setting and achieving your goals.
Tell us about yourself personally.
I am originally from Augusta, Georgia. My father was an officer in the Army and my Mother was a reference librarian. As I grow older it becomes more obvious to me how their personalities have shaped me and my approach to training. From my father I gained perseverance and discipline while from my mother I retained her veracity and resourcefulness.
Growing up I was more into music. I spent most of my time playing in bands with my friends and learning music theory. It wasn’t until I was 24 that I really developed an interest in health and fitness. I used the gym as a way out of a pretty dark time in my life. I still remember my first workout. It was some meathead arm routine I picked up out of a fitness magazine. I never would have thought that something so petty could act as such a large catalyst.
How did you start training?
After my brief foray into fitness magazines I started reading every book I could get my hands on. I read everything from sports conditioning and periodization strategies to biomechanics and therapy manuals. I thought it was really cool being able to gain new knowledge and then apply it to my workouts and observe the results. During that time I was offered a job while working out at my neighborhood gym in Chicago. After a few months of training clients I had way more questions than I did answers. I decided to enroll at The National Personal Training Institute in downtown Chicago. It was a great start.
How would you describe your style of training?
Although I love to learn, I am hypercritical of any information I am given. I question EVERYTHING, especially the fundamental aspects of human movement. As far as training, nutrition, and lifestyle coaching are concerned, there are tons of modalities and different schools of thought. Instead of subscribing to just one I pull the pieces from each that I think are correct for the individual client. I even have a library of some unique exercises I created. By the time I left Chicago my “Carver Getup” had become quite popular with some of the local trainers.
How have you helped the people you have worked with?
I think a large part of what I’ve seen work for my clients is realistic goal setting and accountability. It can be easy for people to get comfortable in their routines and hide from forward progress by not setting goals. The people I see benefit most from my training are the ones that set clear achievable goals and then develop a plan of action. It’s my job to equip them with the emotional intelligence to make the right decisions and then hold them accountable. It doesn’t matter if its weight loss, joint pain, sports competition, or general well being, change can be a scary thing. Most people are relieved when they realize that the most important changes are usually much smaller than they imagine. Once I can get someone to realize that, then they have already won 90% of the battle.
What’s your favorite part about training?
Wearing sweat pants to work.
Seriously though, helping people change. Whether it’s hip pain, binge eating, drugs/alcohol, or a nasty divorce, exercise can be a game changer. It’s great when people start training to “tone up” or “fix knee pain” and then walk away with so much more. I have seen some MAJOR transformations and it is great to be a part of it.
What are you working towards or want to accomplish next in your career?
I hope one day that personal training will be more integrated into health care. Our current health care system focuses on fixing problems rather than preventing them and it is not sustainable. On the plus side we’re seeing more health insurance companies and work places that incentivize preventative measures. There are also more practices opening that track and analyze health markers and use them from more of a preventative perspective. As things progress and our health care system and personal training integrate I look forward to being able to use my experience to contribute to a more realistic and sustainable model.