Functional Fitness | Alex Ho
“I was in the middle of a “Year of Yes,” where I was saying yes to trying out more things, and my friend asked if I wanted to do a month of unlimited bootcamp. After only 2 classes I was completely sold and spent the next half year getting in the best shape of my life while falling in love with running. 6 months later I had studied for and passed my personal training certification course and started teaching classes before and after my day job. One year after teaching and working in construction management I decided to quit my job to become a full time trainer,” Alex Ho says. And that it where it all began!
Alex Ho is a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast. His training program is taking the city of San Francisco by storm. He does everything from one on one sessions to large group sessions. His specialty is focusing on what he refers to as functional fitness. “To me functional fitness is a way to train your body so that it can do what you want when you want in daily life. Yes, people have different functions in their life than others but there is a base functionality of being able to push, pull, twist, bend, crawl, and climb that humans should be able to perform,” Alex says.
Needless to say, you won’t be stuck in the gym while training with Alex. Not only will he push you to get a workout in, but also a great adventure around the city. “I think that most people in a gym are stuck in their routines of using the machines that only move in one plane of motion. There are some really strong men and women who can bench press a ton of weight but put them on a stability ball where they have to fire up their full body to balance and they’ll be thrown off completely. Functional fitness means that you can adjust your body to differing conditions under stress. That could mean moving a weight around while running, changing directions quickly, or catching a medicine ball while balancing on one foot. The key is to think of exercising in a 3 dimensions instead of 2,” Alex explains.
Everyone faces obstacles as they pursue their career, but according to Alex his biggest obstacle was a little different from most. Alex had already had a successful career in the construction and engineering field. However, his true passion was in fitness. He was forced with the decision to either stick with his well-paying job or take a risk and pursue his passion. “Leaving a stable career with a steady paycheck, benefits, retirement plan, etc. for a career where I would be working hourly and have to figure out how to sell my services in order to make a living was frightening. Thankfully I had the support of a lot of friends and family who helped me through the process and encouraged me to follow my passion,” Alex says.
Luckily, the risk paid off big time! And it came along with benefits that Alex never thought of. “The most rewarding part of the journey has been changing people’s lives in a positive way. I have some clients who I have been working with for a while and to see the change in them is incredible. Some have lost weight, some have conquered a new goal, and others have taken on their fears and adjusted their look on life to live happier. It’s not only the physical changes but the mental ones that really make a difference.”
Alex has plans to continue on this career path and expand in the future. “I see myself still training one on one but instead of leading a lot of group classes I would be leading more seminars teaching people about how to structure classes and how to connect with and help clients in more ways than fitness. I hope that Revision Athletics is known as a go-to company for the highest quality info about how to live a healthy life,” Alex details.
What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?
2) Resistance Band
3) Kettle Bell
In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?
I’d say the most overrated exercise is the bench press. Unless you’re a bodybuilder or just looking to build up your pecs you can get a lot more bang for your buck from doing a pushup.
The most underrated exercise may be a pullup. Most people are scared of pullups because they are so hard but it requires a lot of core strength and upperbody strength. It’s also very useful for climbing!
What motivational/inspirational books have you found to be most helpful?
I read a lot of books about running (mainly because it’s my passion) so I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from ‘Born to Run’ and ‘The Cool Impossible’. Born to Run has a great story while the Cool Impossible has a lot of great exercises for runners. I also really enjoy Kelly Starrett’s book ‘Ready to Run’ for how much he goes into the importance of mobility for athletic performance.
What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?
I typically bring an apple and a snack bar (Clif, perfect bar, Kind bar, etc.) when I’m out and about. If I’m going to do workout between clients I’ll bring some protein powder for a post workout recovery.
What’s your beliefs on performance diet like? Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?
I don’t follow any certain type of philosophy on diet because everybody has a different diet requirement. For myself, I really focus on eating organic non-processed foods as much as possible, drinking a lot of water, and staying away from processed sugars. The reason why most diets work is because people become more aware of what they are eating instead of just going for whatever is easiest or fastest.
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