Elliot talks basketball and training with NBA strength and conditioning coach Steve Hess in this podcast
Q:Matt can you give the listeners your fitness background...
A:I’m a certified personal trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, and sports nutritionist. I started personal training back when I was in college (roughly 12 years ago) for a group of privately owned gyms in the area. I also had the opportunity to work with a local high school where I worked with not only all the athletes, but also the staff and community. I’ve always had a passion for fitness as I was active in athletics all the way through college. It was when I graduated high school that I knew I wanted to do something fitness related. I was unsure if I wanted to go into personal training, physical therapy, or athletic training. After much consideration, I decided to go into the personal training side of the business and went to Penn State to get my degree in Kinesiology.
Q:Let's get right into it...what changed after a decade working with MET-Rx ?
A: I honestly loved working for MET-Rx. I was able to run a territory and distribution as a Regional Manager for 6 years until they decided to give me the Team Sports division that I controlled myself. I learned a ton from running a division alone and got to work with many amazing athletes and coaches not only at the collegiate level, but also professional. Unfortunately, as time went on I noticed they were shifting more towards mass and less towards the specialty channels like health and fitness. They never invested any money into the Team Sports division even though I showed 70% growth year over year without any help or funding. In February 2016 I parted ways with MET-Rx to start up Weik Fitness, LLC. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.
Q:How do you see the supplement industry evolving? Good thing or bad thing?
A:For those following the supplement industry, you already know that there are several brands who are financially crumbling. It’s a shame honestly. There’s a lot of deceptive marketing going on out there which leads people to buy certain products. There’s also a lot of fake reviews being put up on ecommerce sites. One of the largest online retailers of supplements is the worst of them all. It’s known by those in the industry that certain companies are paying people to rate their products with a perfect score. This is total deceptive and not what this industry needs. There are also quite a few supplement companies that are being sued for spiking/tainting their products. Eventually I can see the FDA stepping in to control the supplement industry and we’ll see a ton of supplement companies going out of business (more than we already are seeing today). I’d love to see the supplement industry get their act together and stop with all the nonsense. There are so many intelligent people out there working with brands that it’s a shame by putting out great products they don’t get the recognition because they don’t have outlandish claims. In my opinion with the cost of raw materials seemingly always on the rise, in about 20 years I can see the industry going back to where it was in the 90’s where there weren’t many companies in the industry. Right now companies are opening and closing like a revolving door. Everyone thinks they can get into the industry and instantly become rich, which isn’t the case as they soon find out.
Q:The fitness industry that you and I know, where do you think it's heading?
A:Honestly, I think it’s heading in the right direction. More and more doctors are pushing patients to get active and join gyms as well as take control over their nutrition. Likewise, there are many businesses that now have their employees engaged with wellness programs—some even pay for their employees gym memberships which is awesome. I have always been a huge advocate of the fitness industry. If you really think about it, personal trainers and nutritionists are the people who can help prevent people from needing to go to the doctor. Healthier individuals get sick less often due to an improved immune system. So we are kind of the first line of defense that people have which is pretty cool. I’d love to see even more people getting active, including kids. The percentage of overweight kids in the US is on the rise. In my opinion that’s due to technology. Everyone has their face in their smartphone or has their hands on a video game controller. If we could put down technology and push it to the side and get active for at least 30 minutes a day, people would see amazing results in their health and physique.
Q:The coming Olympia- what are you looking forward to?
A:Oh man. I’m more excited for this Olympia than any other in the past. You have Kevin Levrone coming back so you have old school versus new school. As one of the top bodybuilders ever coming from the 90’s, Kevin will go toe-to-toe with guys like Phil Heath, Cedric McMillan, Big Ramy, Shawn Rhoden, Roelly Winklaar, and someone closer to his age, Dexter Jackson. Phil is the current 5-time Mr. Olympia champ so it will be hard to dethrone the champ. Should Phil win, he would tie the great, Dorian Yates, for 6 Sandow’s. One thing is for sure, I’ll have my laptop hooked up to my big screen television when they broadcast it online and I’ll be glued. With some of the stuff I’m working on, I might just be there in person. Who knows?
Q:What projects are you working on currently?
A:My current business, Weik Fitness, LLC is keeping me super busy. I’m writing a ton of content for websites and magazines and working with a ton of clients online with training programs. I also had an opportunity come up that could put me back into the supplement industry. I can’t say who it is or in what capacity I’ll be working with them just yet, but it’s an amazing opportunity where we are finalizing the contract as we speak. Hopefully I’ll have a big announcement very soon though. This has put a current hold on the consulting I have been doing with some supplement companies in the industry to help them grow their business. On top of that opportunity, I’m looking to work with a local gym in my area on some projects to bring something to the community unlike anything they’ve ever seen or experienced here. It’s something I personally have been wanting to do for years but the timing was never right. Hopefully in the next few months we can get everything together and figured out to bring another dream of mine to life. I know I’m being extremely vague here, but at this point I can’t give too much away. Maybe we’ll just have to save these 2 things for the next interview!
Interviewd done by Elliot Rivera for healtHaven.com