As a celebration of our launch of the WellFit Wellness and Fitness Liability Insurance program, over the next months, we will be featuring Fitness Instructors, Personal Trainers, Nutritionists and many others in the Wellness and Fitness industry, and interviewing them on the rewards, challenges and motivations of their vocations. Our first interviewee is Aaron Manheimer, a Personal Trainer from Chicago, IL.
Business Name: Wattage
Location: Chicago, IL
Certification/Occupation: Personal Trainer – NASM – CPT, NASM – PES, EXOS – XPS
Photo Courtesy of Neil John Burger Photography
CPH: When did you start working in the field?
AM: I started learning how to train the body in college when I started playing club rugby in 1993.
CPH: What made you decide you wanted to pursue this career path?
AM: After many desk jobs I pursued a career as a pro rugby player. When I came back to the states the last thing I wanted was to go back to sitting at a desk.
CPH: Who/what was your biggest influence when you were starting on your path?
AM: My family and friends. I never seriously considered training as a profession. I come from a family of academics, no one I knew did this for a living. However, the people close to me saw that I enjoyed and convinced me to try it.
CPH: What is your favorite aspect of your career? Figuring out what works for each person.
AM: Clients come in and usually have things that they are good at and things where they are deficient. I love creating a plan to correct those. I also enjoy learning about the different aspects of life. You learn a lot from people and you get to see people in different times of their career/life.
CPH: What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect of your career?
AM: Time management. When I was single I didn’t mind working 14 hour days. Now that I am married and about to have a family, it takes a lot of planning and creating a great team so that you can spread the workload. Owning a facility is a lot like having a second home and a second family to take care of.
CPH: What sets your practice apart from other professionals?
AM: We don’t compromise. Our facility is spotless. Someone walks in and thinks the place is brand new, even though we opened two years ago. Cleanliness is greatly valued by our clients. As strange as it seems, we really pride ourselves on that. We hold that high bar throughout everything we do here. Do it right or don’t do it at all. We do the same for our clients. We take our time with each one.
CPH: Since you’ve began working in the field, what is the strangest health fad you’ve encountered?
AM: Super slow training. They promote that you can do their workout without breaking a sweat.
CPH: Who is an athlete or fitness professional who inspires your fitness career?
AM: I am a big fan of the All Blacks Rugby Team, New Zealand’s national rugby team. They run an amazing organization and are the fittest team on the planet, have a great work ethic, and make it a point not to be egotistical. I also enjoy learning from Mark Verstegan of EXOS and Mike Boyle of MBSC. To greats in the field of training athletes.
CPH: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your field?
AM: Everyone comes into the field wanting to train athletes. Change your mindset, make all your clients athletes, from the stay-at-home mom, the middle aged computer programmer, to the grandmother of 85 years.