Matt Weik Interview
Matt Weik is a renowned fitness expert, author, and model. He has over 500 published articles on the internet and has been featured in 48 magazines. He also had research on exercise dependence published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine. He is a certified strength & conditioning specialist, certified personal trainer, and also a certified sports nutritionist.
MP: Why did you get involved with health and fitness?
MW: I have always been active in sports but growing up was never heavily into weight training. Once I got to high school and started to narrow down my athletics to something I wanted to continue in college (tennis), I decided to read up on how to train properly for just that specific sport. When I started sport specific training, I got bit by the bug and enjoyed working out. I found myself trying new things in the weight room and saw my body transform from a skinny tennis player to a very athletic/muscular tennis player. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I decided tennis was just a “hobby” to me and that fitness seemed to be consuming my life. It was then that I knew my passion was fitness and that I needed to direct my career down that path. I knew that if I would have had someone show me early on in my athletics that weight training was so beneficial, I probably would have taken my tennis career further. If I can teach as many kids and adults as possible the benefits of weight training and living a healthy life, it could really be life changing for them.
MP: You started your career as a personal trainer. What types of workouts and diets did you preach to your clients?
MW: All of my programs have always been client specific and tailored to their needs. It’s really hard to explain just one specific type of workout or diet given to a client. Obviously if a client was looking to lose weight we made a programs specific for fat burning along with a very clean diet that will help shed off the pounds. On the other hand, if a client wanted to add lean mass to his/her frame, a program would be made up of using heavier weights along with adding more calories to their diet to help with the building of lean muscle mass. All diets are in moderation, there are no fad diets I put anyone one or yo-yo diets given. People are eating normal sensible meals to help them reach their goals. Something I really push is that you can have anything in moderation as long as it is kept in check. Most of my clients were not getting ready for a competition or show so there was no need to be super strict and cut out the things that they could enjoy every once in a while such as an alcoholic beverage if out with friends. This is really a lifestyle change for people, so it’s teaching them the things they should and shouldn’t eat, but also showing them that they don’t have to deprive themselves of things they enjoy as long as it isn’t a regular occurrence.
MP: You decided to jump into the supplement industry, in which you are a Regional Manager for MET-Rx and Pure Protein. What sparked this change? Do you still personal train?
MW: For me it really wasn’t a “change”. Once I got into the fitness industry supplements became a necessity for filling in the gaps in nutrition for not only myself but my clients. In order to take in enough protein and get all the necessary vitamins and minerals in your diet it was apparent that a supplement would be needed. Protein powders as well as a good multi-vitamin/mineral became staples in my plan as well as creatine/glutamine to help recover from workouts.
The switch from being a full-time personal trainer to working with MET-Rx was an easy adjustment. Even when I was a personal trainer I still helped MET-Rx with Q&A on some websites back in the day. This got my foot in the door for the position I currently hold within the company. I already knew the products and used them personally so the fit was very natural. There are very few companies out there that I trust in terms of meeting label claims and producing good quality products and MET-Rx has always been on the top of my list. The possibility for growth within this industry is a lot greater than the growth possibilities being a personal trainer (other than simply gaining more clients). I love helping people and being a Regional Manager allowed me be in front of many more people and help them reach their fitness goals through my quality sports nutrition products. Also, knowing the fitness industry allows me to communicate on a higher level with the end consumer and retailers since I have a better understanding of how to use and when to use the supplements for better performance/results.
I haven’t given up personal training even with my position within MET-Rx. I still have a passion for helping people reach their fitness goals and not only transform their body but also their lives. I have my own studio where I train clients at, but due to my travel schedule I have found online training to be a much greater avenue for reaching clients.
MP: Describe your day to day job in the supplement industry.
MW: My day to day job with MET-Rx involves going out to active and prospective accounts and helping them grow their supplement sales with MET-Rx/Pure Protein products. I help educate these accounts about our supplement line and how the addition of these products will help fill the gaps in their nutritional/supplemental needs. I schedule product sampling/demos with accounts which allow end consumers to try the products within retail locations as well as create product promotions to drive sales to the retailer. I over-see all the everyday business activities within the Mid-Atlantic region which includes Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware.
MP: You have over 500 published articles on the Internet and have been featured in over 48 magazines. Where does your passion for writing come from?
MW: It’s funny, growing up I was always the kid who would rather write an essay rather than taking a test. Writing always came natural to me and I actually find it soothing. I love helping people so through my writing I find it a great way to reach thousands of people easily. The feedback I get from my readers/followers has always been great and motivates me to continue to do what I do and reach as many people as possible. I feel I have so much information that I can share with people and want to make sure I can make a difference in someone’s life. I love the fact that I can reach so many people across the world and supply free fitness tips and advice. I get emails every day from readers who appreciate what I do and/or thank me for supplying them with the information they were looking for and had great success with it. All the time spent in front of my laptop is worth it if I can help someone reach their fitness goals and help them feel better about themself and their body/physical capabilities.
MP: Out of all your publications, which was your proudest accomplishment and why?
MW: Honestly, every time I’m featured whether it is in a magazine or website, I’m always proud. It’s always an amazing feeling to see something you wrote in a publication where hundreds to thousands of people can read and enjoy it. Just knowing that your feature can touch someone’s life and help them make a healthy change is really rewarding in itself for me.
MP: Weik Fitness was voted by Bodybuilding.com to be one of the best studios to train at. Describe your studio and what makes it so respected in the health and fitness industry.
MW: I was extremely surprised when my studio was nominated as Gym of the Month on Bodybuilding.com. I wouldn’t say my studio is any better than anyone else’s, as we all care about our clients and want to help them reach their goals. My studio is very private and caters to anyone looking to improve their fitness and their physiques. With all the equipment and features, the studio allows me to train anyone from a child to an elite athlete looking to take his/her game to the next level. I really feel that a gym/studio gains respect when you have people who are able to communicate with their members/clients and help them understand the value of what they are doing and keeping them motivated to continue. My clients know that I’m passionate about this industry and genuinely care about them as if they were family. There are no cookie-cutter workouts or diets given out by Weik Fitness, everything is customized to fit the individuals needs and goals.
MP: You are the jack of all trades. Besides being an accomplished writer and certified personal trainer, you are also a certified strength & conditioning specialist and sports nutritionist. How did you find the time to tackle all these endeavors and accomplish so much in the industry? What have all these certifications done for your career?
MW: Time is never an issue if it’s something you feel is beneficial and something you want to do. The same goes with workouts and I cringe every time someone says they don’t have time to work out during the day. If you really wanted to and made it a priority, you would find a way to fit in a workout. With the certifications I have, not only does it help you grow as a professional, but it also adds credibility to your work.
I really don’t feel that I have accomplished that much in the industry when I look at some of my idols and fellow trainers that I am friends with. There are plenty of things that I can do more of or better in the industry and I will. I will never settle for “average” with anything I do—I always want to improve. I have flaws, everyone does, but it’s your choice if you want to make a change and better yourself.
The certifications that I hold have broadened my existing knowledge of health and fitness and have given credibility to me and my work. I don’t preach that I know everything and that my certifications make me any better than any one person. I do feel however, that my certifications allow me to be more well-rounded than someone with just one certification.
MP: If you can give advice to a beginner and advanced weightlifter, what would your advice be?
MW: The best piece of advice I can give to a beginner is to be consistent with their workouts and not to get frustrated if they don’t see results right away. Every body is different and some people it can take months before their body decides to make changes. The body wants to stay in equilibrium and hold onto bodyfat for protection and survival. It could take several months before the body decides to start responding to exercise.
As far as advanced weightlifters, the best advice I can give is listen to your body. When people start seeing results they think the more they do the better results they will get. This doesn’t ring true and can actually lead to overtraining. Get plenty of rest, including 8+ hours a sleep a night. Your body recovers and makes changes outside of the gym, not inside. Inside is what tears down the muscle fibers in the body but in order for the muscle to recover and grow it needs proper rest and recovery. If you hit a muscle group again before it recovers, it can inhibit growth and could even lead to injury.
MP: What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
MW: Personally: I would love to start a family someday. I have a puggle (dog) that fits the bill for now, but I think it would be great to be a father. My parents and I have always been close and there wasn’t anything they would ever not do for me. If I can be half the parent my parents were to me, my kids will grow up in a very loving and supportive household.
Professionally: I would like to continue to grow within MET-Rx and see where my abilities and knowledge can take me. I would also like to continue to grow my studio and online personal training business. Also, for as long as I find it fun and my finger are capable of typing, I’ll continue writing for any publications that care to share my work. I am truly blessed for all the opportunities I have had in the industry and for all the friends I have made who support me. I look forward to continuing my quest of making the world a healthier place—one person at a time.
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