I conducted an interview with last month after discovering his entry video for the American Ninja Challenge on YouTube. Fitness runs in Rick’s family and I was able to interview his brother Justin as well. Justin is also a personal trainer and very active in martial arts. Justin offers some great advice below. Enjoy!
1. Could you tell us a little about your background and how you got started in fitness?
I live in sunny South Florida and work at one of the largest high schools in the nation in the Physical Education Department. I teach weight training to beginners and help coach the Wrestling team. I also have my own Personal Training business, where I train clients in the convenience of their own home. I specialize in working with teenagers, helping them with confidence building and stress relief through fitness.
I have been very active my entire life dating back to Karate at 5 years old and have been working in the fitness industry since I was 16. I am a competitive runner, cyclist, and martial artist. I engage in positive visualization and meditation on a daily basis.
2. What does your personal workout routine consist of?
On a good week I run 25-30 miles at a moderate pace, I go to three 45 minute intense kickboxing classes, I bike around 20 miles at a fast pace, and weight train 2 times a week.
3. What is your nutrition program like? Do you ever allow yourself a “cheat day”?
I eat only natural and organic foods. I never eat any processed foods. There is no such thing as a Doritos tree! After doing a lot of research and reading the book “Skinny Bitch” I have decided to become a Vegan. I strongly recommend this book to everyone. I don’t eat any products that come from an animal. This decision has changed my life. Not only have I lost 15 pounds, I feel better than ever. I have eat a lot of fruits, salads, and the tasty meat substitutes. For snacks between meals I eat salt free mixed nuts, and I love fresh hummus. I drink at least a gallon of water a day. I also take Juice Plus vitamins. I don’t allow myself a cheat day. I work too hard to blow it by eating junk food. I ask myself if the couple of seconds of pleasure that I get from eating something unhealthy, worth what it does to my body. Center your life around activities not eating. Eat to live don’t live to eat.
4. How does your approach to training differ compared to other personal trainers?
I am very different from the average personal trainer at your local gym. I make it easy by training you at the convenience of your own home. I provide all the necessary equipment. I specialize in not only weight loss, and muscle gain but confidence building, stress relief as well as martial arts and self defense. Training in your own home allows you to multitask. Children can be doing homework, dinner can be cooking on the stove and laundry in the dryer, all while you are getting in the best shape of you life. My customized workout and diet program is crafted to meet my clients’ individual needs. I incorporate music and cardio kickboxing into the workouts. Everyone I train tells me it’s the most fun work out they have ever had.
5. If you had to recommend 3 top exercises, what would they be?
Running, pushups and sit-ups
6. Many individuals exercise after work and barely have any energy left at the end of the day. What would you recommend to boost energy before a workout?
It is scientifically proven that exercise gives you energy. Once you get in a workout routine you will see your energy level go through the roof. Exercise also helps to de-stress you, allowing you to think clearly and focus on the really important issues in your life.
7. Is there a fitness myth you would like to debunk?
Don’t wait until everything in your life is perfect to start a workout routine because that day will never come. Today is the day! Remember at the end of the day your health should be your number one priority.
8. Staying motivated to workout can be tough. Do you have any advice to keep the motivation level high?
I love to read motivational stories. I strongly recommend by Dean Karnazes, by Lance Armstrong, and by Kyle Maynard. These books will get you fired up!
9. Do you have any tips on how to stick with and meet fitness goals?
You have to find exercises or sports that you really enjoy to do and then challenge yourself. Get the right equipment and accessories to make it fun. Sign up for a charity event, Kids in Distress and The National Society for Multiple Sclerosis are great organizations that have cycling and run/walking events. It really is a great feeling when you get sponsors, train, and then finally finish and event. You know that you are helping people and you don’t want to let down your sponsors.
10. Thank you for your time Justin. Would you like to add anything?
I really hope this information is helpful for anyone interested in achieving lifetime fitness. For more information or to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact me at or at
Please read my Brother as well, he is one of the most amazing athletes and human beings I have ever met.
Thanks so much Justin for this interview!
B.S Physical Education
Certified Personal Trainer