J fitness trainer is dedicated to clients’ goals

Bryce Banaszynski

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light

If you’ve already broken your New Year’s fitness resolutions, you might not be ready to think about getting in shape again until next January. But for Bryce Banaszynski, exercise and diet are year-round concerns.

“I deal with clientele that have a wide range of goals to achieve, and I try to help them get from Point A to Point B,” said Banaszynski, 30, a native St. Louisan who went to work at the Jewish Community Center’s Marilyn Fox Building in Chesterfield right after graduating from University of Missouri-Columbia.

Since then, he’s marked eight years at the J. The facility offers a number of amenities, but it is work by trainers like Banaszynski that help to bring everything into focus for members looking to shave off a few pounds, bulk up their biceps or recover from an injury.

“Mostly, it is fitness goals, but [I do] anything health-related,” said the Parkway North graduate who grew up in Creve Coeur. “A lot of what I deal with is weight loss, which can be all over the board in terms of how much success an individual has. It depends on how much weight they want to lose and all those key factors.”

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What is your best advice when it comes to losing weight?

I think it starts with diet. My guess is that about 75 or 80 percent of it comes from changing diet habits. The remaining 20 to 25 percent is getting them on a structured fitness routine goal-specific to them, taking into consideration any limitations they may have in terms of injuries. 

But there are always challenges. What’s the biggest stumbling block?

Staying committed. A lot of people initially have success dropping weight when they begin a weight loss program. Your best opportunity to lose the maximum amount of weight is as soon as possible. Then you tend to do what is called “plateau,” where it becomes a little more difficult to continue losing weight at the rate at which you began. People tend to get frustrated very quickly when they don’t see results immediately. That’s part of my coaching strategy. I try to keep people engaged in the program. It is very individual-specific. Some people are more prone to stay engaged versus others.

Clearly, taking off weight is one thing, while keeping it off is another. How can people avoid gaining back what they’ve lost?

Keep doing what you are doing. It is a lifestyle change. A lot of that comes from the diet. To some individuals who I think are a good fit, I promote coupling with Weight Watchers and getting the whole concept of portion control down. Some people feel a little more accountable when they sign up for something like Weight Watchers in addition to working with me on the fitness aspect of it. 

Are there dangers or health concerns for someone who wants to start a workout program?

There are. That’s why I highly suggest working out with a personal trainer, at least to start. A personal trainer can show you the right and wrong way to do certain exercises. Even if they choose to not continue working with the trainer, I think that the trainer can be very beneficial in terms of giving you the initial education that you need to stay on the program.

Diets are easy to make but easier to break. How do you address people who cheat on their new menus?

Sometimes, you have to be a little stern, so what I tell people is the sooner you get your diet under control, the sooner you’ll see results. Then both you and I are happy.

Any advice for those trying to do rehab after an accident?

If you are trying to overcome an injury, the best thing would be to stay disciplined and hold yourself accountable continuing to do the exercises that you were doing in physical therapy from a progression standpoint. 

How did you get into this field?

I’ve always had a passion for fitness. I actually began my collegiate career undecided, undeclared. I had a few professors in some of the courses that I took who kind of pushed me down the exercise/physiology line. 

Why do you like being a trainer?

Honestly, it is just the satisfaction of helping individuals achieve their goals, whatever their goals may be. I’ve worked with individuals who are rehabbing injuries. I’ve worked with some individuals who are weight-loss specific. I’ve worked with individuals who just want to get stronger overall and don’t necessarily want to lose any weight. The satisfaction once they get there is unlike any other feeling to me.