Sandy Cochran is a Chicago based fitness trainer, motivational speaker, and nutritionist. Sandy is known for his work with celebrities including Beyoncé, Tyrese Gibson, Usher, and many more. As a Celebrity Fitness Trainer, Sandy would accompany his clients on tour, on movie sets, or wherever his services were needed. In addition, he was hired to be the on call fitness trainer for the set of Transformers 3 and The Fast and The Furious Part 2. During these projects, Sandy would work out with the actors as needed and would help with last minute filming preparations as well. In addition to working with celebrities, Sandy works with non-celebrity clients throughout their entire fitness journey. He provides one on one training and small group fitness training. He also teaches cycling classes, which can contain larger groups of clients. After visiting Sandy in his Chicago studio, here is what I learned:
When did you start working in the field?
20 years ago. Sandy went to school for theatre and classical music, but somehow transitioned into the fitness industry.
What made you decide you wanted to pursue this career path?
Sandy was approached one day to be a model for a fitness magazine, and stayed in that industry for some time. However, people kept approaching him asking about how he got in such good shape, and he realized that he wanted to help other people reach their full potential as well.
What is your favorite aspect of your career?
Sandy’s favorite part of his career is seeing the change in each of his clients. He told me a story about a female client he worked with for a couple years, and she ended up losing over 70 pounds. She was at her ideal weight and had the body of her dreams. In addition, she got a promotion at work, and broke up with her boyfriend who was bringing her down emotionally. Sandy said that she turned her whole life around, and that he was honored to be a part of it. She also ended up becoming a fitness trainer, which Sandy thought was the coolest part of the whole story.
Sandy also competes in body building competitions, which he enjoys tremendously. He is in the process of becoming a professional.
What is the most challenging part of your career?
The most challenging, or Sandy’s least favorite part of his job, is when he has celebrity clients who just bring him along for the ride. He’s worked with celebrities before who are traveling around the world and ask him to go with. He doesn’t mind that aspect; he just gets frustrated when they bring him along and don’t genuinely appreciate his services. He likes the clients who appreciate the work outs and actually want to engage in them. In addition, he doesn’t always have clients who take interest in his life and that upsets him too. Sandy explained that one of his favorite celebrities he had the chance of working with was Beyoncé. This was because she would take the time to ask how his trip home was, ask how is family was doing, and to genuinely take an interest in his life.
What type of workout is your favorite to teach/do yourself?
Sandy’s favorite types of workouts are anything that strengthens the upper body. More specifically arms and chest focused workouts. When it comes to cardio, Sandy prefers to switch up his method. He enjoys cycling the most, but also thinks that the stair master is a great way to burn a large amount of calories. Sandy also enjoys riding his bike, running, or going for walks downtown Chicago!
When it comes to nutrition, what are some examples of healthy food you suggest to your clients?
When it comes to nutrition, Sandy is very strict with his clients. He urges them to log their daily food intake and report back to him as well. In addition, when working out without him, he asks for photos of their accomplishments on the treadmill, etc. However, Sandy suggests that his clients eat smaller meals more often throughout the day. For example, he would suggest a client to start their morning off with oatmeal. After a workout, Sandy recommends a protein bar. He really stressed the importance of eating something after a workout, and he said a protein bar is the best option. For lunch or dinner, a salad or wrap with kale, spinach, and a source of protein (chicken, turkey, tuna, etc.) would suffice. He believes that carbs are important, but shouldn’t be eaten during the late evening hours.