Who is Alex Garcia?
Alex Garcia is the mastermind behind AFit Training Studio; as the founder, CEO and Head Trainer, he created this studio specialized in Fat Loss and Body Transformation providing guidance through proper nutrition, suitable training methods and a warm welcoming community support.
Currently, Alex is a regular floater. Before trying, he was a bit skeptical but after reading all the research and science behind floatation he decided to give it a try. Now after a couple of month of floating he says:
"I can say with no doubt that floating reduces stress and speeds up recovery. I feel totally recovered with 1 hour float after an intense working morning (from 6am to 1pm non-stop) and then back to evening sessions (from 5pm to 9pm), it boosts my energy!"
People who sign up for AFit's Body Transformation programs can expect positive results. If you look at the "before & after" pictures from previous AFit clients, you will realize that the coaches at this studio are experts on what they are doing.
How come you changed direction from a promising MBA graduate to a fitness trainer?
There are two words that come to mind when I hear this question- PASSION and HAPPINESS.
We only live once and we need to make the best out of it. I truly believe that we become our best selves when we help others to do the same. This is exactly what I do for a living and the reason I changed my career path. At AFit, we do our best to help change people's lives for the better. These words may sound pretentious, but they are not mine, I'm just rephrasing my clients' feedback. Their feedbacks and the numerical and experiential results, they speak for themselves.
Do you find it hard to balance work and personal life?
Balance is not an easy task for almost anyone. Even if you have enough money to live without working for the rest of your life, reaching that balance won't be easy either. In the end, we need to be aware. That is why being mindful is the key. We always tend to rush everything out and we don't live the present moment. Most people are not even happy now, they are expecting for something that might never arrive. Taking a deep breath and being fully aware of the present helps me deal with stress and achieve that balance.
At the same time, being an entrepreneur and creating your own company requires at least 12 hours of your day everyday for the first 1-2 years. This is something where I'm transitioning and currently I begin to have more room for balance again. I call it "self-denial" (now) for a better future.
What drives you to work hard and help people to improve their physique?
As I mentioned before, it makes me happy helping other people. With our programs we transform people's lives.I receive messages from clients telling me how everyone in the office noticed the difference, not just physical but also attitude changes (like feeling more comfortable, energetic, outgoing or, in general...happier). I don't think anyone in history have ever complained about being healthier and fitter than the year before. Becoming "a better you" should be a quest for everyone.
What do you do to eliminate stress?
To eliminate stress, first of all, I turn off my phone. Some days I do workout for an hour to let any negative energy flow away (like, just walking in the treadmill) and after that, I block my agenda for a "me-time", just pampering myself during a massage, a float, dinner with friends and chat about things not related to work or even just having a proper haircut.
What makes you a good trainer?
My clients say that I am. I believe it is because they experience and see the results as they trust in me and the process. Anyone can entitle themselves as the best trainers in the world, but not every client will say that their trainer is the best in the world. I don't consider myself the best, actually I don't think anyone is the best; I just have my personal approach and believe in 3 things: being professional, caring and understanding.
I think everyone should seek for a professional trainer, meaning, certified and experienced. Sadly, Shanghai is full of "Master Trainers" without the proper credential, it is like hiring a driver without a driving license. It doesn't matter how many years of experience that driver or "trainer" has, but they shouldn't be allowed to train people, because people have severely risked their lives due to bad practices from this kind of trainers.
Understanding your clients needs and goals is the key. Some trainers think that everyone should become an athlete, and that's totally wrong. As we mentioned before, balance must be the objective and training 2 hours a day until you get exhausted is not healthy by any means for the general population. I do not recommend more than 2-3 hours a week of intense exercise. Actually, 2 hours is more than enough.
What is AFit?
AFit is a fitness studio specialized in Fat Loss and Body Transformation providing guidance through proper nutrition, suitable training methods and a warm welcoming community support.
What differentiates Afit from other fitness studios in Shanghai?
We don't have drop in sessions. I realized back then in 2014, when I founded AFit, that "just signing up in the gym" does not work for the 90% of the population. A lot of people may have paid yearly gym memberships and then never go, and if they do, they only last maximum for a month as they don't see results and, at the end, giving up. At AFit, we have our signature program, the "10-Week Body Challenge". Right now we are on our 7th edition with groups from 6am-7:30 pm where we take people with little or no fitness and nutrition background, and guide them to a complete body transformation.
Where does the Science in “AFit - Scientific Fitness” part come in?
Everything that we do in our studio is based on science and scientific research. I invest part of my time studying on the science behind exercising and nutrition and extract the facts that really work, combine them together and transfer them in our programs for our clients to get the best accurate approach with no fad diets, no insane workouts that leads to overtraining and adrenal fatigue and might cause the opposite of the client's goals.
What is the three most important reasons in your mind to why people should exercise and keep in shape?
Health, Self Confidence, more energy, and productivity
Do you think anyone can become fit?
Yes, I do. It’s all about healthy habits aligned with their individual goals. We all are different, with different goals, but at the end, long-term healthy habits will be the key to a fit body.
Would you say a person's mind and body are connected and that to fix one of them you need to work on both?
Yes, I believe so, because everything in our body is interconnected. A healthy mind should be in a healthy body and vice-versa. In my opinion, it's really hard to get one without the other. Our body is a perfect machine that has almost infinite processes and can repair by itself, but if we are constantly abusing it, it will end up in an early aging, low energy, depression, constant lack of energy among other more dangerous sickness such as cancer or Alzheimer; all of them heavily linked to nutrition and exercise during our lives.
Would you recommend a person to first try to solve their mental problems or first try to get fit? Or work on both at the same time?
It all depends on the type of mental problem. However, research have shown that with a proper nutrition and frequent exercise, for example, depression can be managed. Also Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is linked to lack of Zinc and with just a simple mineral supplement and without taking any other pharmaceutical drugs it can be managed as well.
What are the most common mistakes people do when they try to get fit?
One common myth is that they need to be on a strict diet, forget about their favorite cravings and just eat as less as possible and exercise as much as possible, all of these are just huge mistakes.
What are the most common reasons to why people give up and put on weight again?
They come up with unhealthy and unrealistic objectives like, "I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks for an important event, holidays, etc" which is not healthy, unsustainable and might probably damage our metabolism in the short and long run.
Why is rest, recovery and sleep so important when trying to get into shape and stay in shape?
When we do exercise, we are actually breaking down our muscles. In order for our body to return to its normal and balanced state, we need to work on building stronger muscles and joints; with no rest, the restoration process will be interrupted, sooner or later, and we will be in an overtraining state.
Let me put a simple example to help you visualize it: "imagine tomorrow there is a huge earthquake in Shanghai. What will happen is that, the next day, the city will be cleaned and it will be reconstructed stronger in case it happens again. But after a month, another earthquake hits again, and so on every single month. When this happens the city doesn't have time to recover". We cannot control natural disasters, but we can control our trainings. So, an appropriate rest to recover prepares you to be stronger rather than weaker for your next training sessions. I always advice one day rest (yoga, stretching, rolling, walking, etc) after an intense workout session and don't train more than 2 days in a row.
What tips and tricks do you want to share with our readers?
First of all, set up realistic goals and a specific time to make it happen. Then find a training program that suits those objectives, don't just go and exercise, because most probably you will fail with your attempt.
Eat better, not less. Avoid processed, fried and fast foods.
Train somewhere from 2-4 hours a week, no more nor less, and 40-60 mins training each time is more than enough. I don't recommend to do more than 1 hour training in each session.
How do you help your clients with their diets? Do you give them individual meal plans or more general tips for a balanced diet?
As a certified nutrition coach and handling hundreds of clients already gives me enough experience to know what works for each case and different body types. Most of all, understanding their busy lifestyle and suggesting them a realistic plan. Not everyone can or will do meal prep for the rest of their lives. I focus on simple steps that everyone can follow including eating out and food delivery.
At AFit we believe that making things easier to follow, at least 70-80% of the time people will do it and they will be near to achieve their goals; instead of trying to create a 100% perfect plan, with high percentage of failure and only 5% of success.
What kind of results can someone expect to see after 10 weeks with Afit?
I developed the program 3 years ago and after 7 successful editions I can say that they will lose an average of 20-30% of body fat (meaning from 30% to 21%-24€), 3-10kg of fat and gain 1-2kg of lean muscle. In any case, just check the pictures as they speak for themselves.
It says in your information about the challenge that the students need to put in less than 3 hours per week. Would you say that they can get better results if they do more or is that amount of time enough for anyone to get good results?
More than 90% of the people following the challenge don't do more than those 3 hours a week training. It's not necessary to do more to get amazing results. Personally, I don't do more than 3 hours a week of intense workout. Most clients get surprised on how with that little time it's possible to achieve that much, but as I mentioned before, our body is an amazing machine and knowing the right buttons to activate, everything is possible!
The problem is that people assume that they already know those buttons and everyone consider themselves as an expert in training and nutrition. I actually compare this to flying a plane, it's full of screens and buttons that only professional pilots are able (or even allowed) to handle. How our body works is as complex as flying a plane. Just be aware and careful with those who call themselves "experts" (including your neighbor from the 3rd floor) and really seek for most prepared and certified professionals. Do not hesitate in asking their certifications and credentials, someone just wearing a "coach" or "trainer" T-shirt doesn't make them professional trainers. Be alert!
You have been floating almost every week now for a couple of months. What benefits have you experienced from floating?
I have to admit that at first I was skeptical but after doing all the research and reading the science behind it and using it already for a few months, I can say with no doubt that it helps me to reduce stress and speed up my recovery. I feel totally recovered with 1 hour float after an intense working morning (from 6am to 1pm non-stop) and then back to evening sessions (from 5pm to 9pm), it boosts my energy!
Also, Epsom salt is proven to help with body detoxification which is a basic component in keeping the balance in our bodies and hormones, meaning being healthier and fitter.
What do you like about Floatasian?
I recommend to everyone that has the chance to go, to give it a try. Also, I would like to mention how you guys at Floatasian have taken care of every single detail, from an extremely clean space, exquisite design, lighting, a professional team and all the quality products (Aesop) to offer to the clients. I don’t need to prepare anything when I go there (towel, gel, shampoo, creams, etc), and due to my busy schedule, this is something I personally appreciate a lot.
Floatation is an excellent gift for someone who deserves a relaxing break, for booking or more information add WeChat id: Theo-ma, or call 021-63855189
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