Manwell was kind enough to answer questions for us in the latest installment of our Featured Trainer series.
1. Share a little about your fitness background. How did you become a personal trainer? How long have you been a trainer?
Growing up, I was always a natural athlete, playing football, basketball, and just staying active. It wasn't until I started (Division One athlete) and continued playing football (9 years pro) that I began to see how a change of lifestyle (eating, lifting, running etc.) was a plus. I started to see how this change of lifestyle improved my performance on and off the field. From that moment on I knew it was something I could possible do at some point in my life. Moreover, I chose this profession to change lives through fitness. I have been training for four years and been challenged and empowered and amazed at every minute.
2. Has your background in football helped you be a better trainer? If the answer is yes, than how so?
Yes, I think it definitely has been an eye opener for me. It's because of being an athlete I was able to experience what it felt like to be in incredible shape and challenge myself. To this day I am still growing and learning what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
3. What makes your training style unique?
Mentally, I know what it feels like to be challenged and overcome. I know what it feels like to have to push through. I also do something that I don't see too many other trainers do - "I listen to my clients". It's something that is very important, as it's not always about being a drill sergeant. Physically, I'm very aware of my client's body and capability and what exercises make him/her sore. I know what being sore feels like, and I'm able to adjust. I think one of the things that sets me apart is that "I'm quick on my feet". I change workouts and can modify in the blink of a eye, I'm always ready.
4. If you could change one behavior you see in your clients, what would it be?
If I had to pick one, it would be consistency, whether it be there eating habits or getting in the gym more often.
5. What is your favorite exercise and why?
This is a very hard question. I must say that if I had to go with one exercise it would be squats. Legs are very important as they are what keep you standing. It's your foundation, you can't do much without strong legs. Squats can make or break you.
6. Briefly describe your weekly workout schedule. Is it seasonal? How many rest days do you take each week?
It depends, on how I'm feeling. I can say that I am pretty consistent with days off. I take two days off a week. I also stay with legs one day and arms the next. Cardio and abs all the time, sometimes before and after workouts. As I stated, it depends - I try and do different exercises all throughout the week. I swim, do yoga, play basketball. I'm all over the place when it comes to my workouts. I believe it's because I know so much. If I had to give a beginner a workout; arms and legs on different days beginning or ending with cardio.
7. What is your favorite outdoor Washington D.C. activity? Do you have a favorite hike or run?
I'm not really a runner or a hiker, but DC has some amazing hiking and running trails. My clients speak highly of Rock Creek, Beach Drive, C & O canal, the National Mall. The downtown area anywhere is great and full of runners.
8. What do you like most about being a personal trainer?
The thing i enjoy most about being a trainer - I get a chance to give back and change lives. I get to be the reason people smile and overcome physical and mental obstacles in life. I get to be that difference and that is the best feeling in the world.
Train with Manny at the National Capital YMCA.