An Interview with Fred Fornicola by Tom Kelso
Fred Fornicola is a Fitness Specialist and the owner of Fit by Fred in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Fred has been involved in the field of strength and fitness since 1976 and has authored hundreds of articles. He has been featured in numerous publications including Coach and Athletic Director, Hard Gainer as well as Master Trainer. Fred has been involved in several books and has co-authoring the best-selling book “Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness” along with “Youth Fitness: An Action Plan For Shaping America’s Kids” and “50 Workouts for Strength and Fitness: Safe, Efficient and Effective Training with Free Weights” with Matt Brzycki. Fred is also the editor-in-chief for “Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime: How We Train Now” as well as the “High Performance Training Newsletter”. Fred also co-authored with Matt the YouthFIT Certification Program.
Tom Kelso: You’re a club owner, author, former body builder, and active sport participant. You’ve trained thousands including athletes and non-athletes from age eight to 80. You’ve also run the gamut of practical applications of exercise modes, prescriptions, and training schedules. After many years of service in the Industry, what do you see as the three most prominent flaws of the average trainee?
Fred Fornicola: The three most prominent flaws that come to my mind immediately are:
1) People tend to trust what they are told
2) They don’t always think for themselves
3) The get caught up into trends. Too many people take what they read or are told as gospel truth and follow it verbatim.
Following along aimlessly is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read or do what others are suggesting, quite the contrary, I think you should, but get as much information as you can. Read, analyze, experiment, evaluate and individualize as much as you can, keeping in mind that it needs to fit your specific needs as a trainee. This is why trends, organizations, magazines, self-anointed fitness experts and the like can cause more harm than good for today’s trainee. More people should take the time to read Eric Hoffer’s “True Believer” and they will gain a greater insight as to those responsible for and those who buy into mass movements. It’s very applicable to today’s health and fitness as well as everyday life. Part II to follow.