Recently I posed a few questions for my friend, Scott Herman, a model, fitness expert and budding actor, to answer. It goes without saying that visiting your physician and having an annual check-up would be the precursor to starting any exercise regime. This way you are not caught by surprise and can work around any difficulties health concerns might bring. So, here's the scoop from Scott himself and he's done an awesome job answering the questions in detail. - Volker
1) What's your family background? What challenges are there for you when considering the physical traits of your ancestors, if any?
My family background is your normal middle class family. We have always had to work extra hard for everything we have. There are no physical traits that posed a challenge for us. I’d say the only challenge was not having enough time in the day to get everything done. But who doesn’t have that problem, right?
2) What's your prime motivator in life? This can be a person, an ideal or what ever.
My prime motivator in my life is my family. My family has always pushed me to be the best that I can be. They were always participating in school field trips and came to all my sporting events growing up. As I got older, my family got bigger. I have three younger brothers and one little sister and when I look at them I remember all the hardships I went through to get to where I am today and I don’t want them to have to go through the same thing. Granted, those hardships made me the man that I am today, but I want to give them things I never had. I don’t want them to have to stay up till 5am changing crankshaft seals in the engine of their cars in three feet of snow just to make it to school the night day and learn to appreciate what they have. But it is bigger than that. I have a big brother and step sister who are about my age and I work hard and push myself to give them inspiration to shoot for their dreams. You don’t always have to talk to someone to inspire them. Actions speak louder than words and I must say my actions have proven to be very powerful. I constantly involve my family in everything I do, and I am never too busy to give mom and dad a call to catch up.
3) What did you do earlier in life that got you interested in fitness, helping yourself and others in the process?
What got me interested in fitness? Honestly, I was tired of getting picked on all the time at school and needed a way to vent my frustrations. I was very introverted as a kid and thus became an easy target for older kids to pick on; mainly my older brother and his friends. I know that a lot of kids turn to many things when they are angry but if I can inspire them to vent that anger in the gym; well the gym has a way of turning that negative energy into positive energy. At first it starts out as a way to vent but as you start to see results something happens. Now all of a sudden you are feeling better about yourself because you are starting to look fit. Then other goals start to be created such as. Oh, I want to have a bigger chest, or I want my abs to look even better. I remember when I finally got the veins to bulge in my biceps, you may laugh but I was pretty excited about it!
4) What are the prime factors to consider for someone wanting to get into shape and staying that way?
Basically it works like this, if you want to get into shape and stay that way, fitness needs to become your lifestyle. YOUR LIFESTYLE not your HOBBIE! If you practice proper eating habits and workout regularly, you will always be fit and healthy. Even if you have a bad month and don’t make it to the gym that much. As long as you keep eating properly you will not lose your shape. You are not going to lose all your muscle and gain fat because you don’t workout. You lose it when you don’t eat properly and therefore your body can’t maintain the muscle it has.
5) The role of food in our diet and the water we drink is very important. What role do these two have in fitness?
Your meal plan plays a huge role in fitness. In fact, it is 100%. Your body will not be able to grow, maintain, or lose fat unless you are feeding it properly. Your body is very smart and WILL adapt to your eating habits. For example, if you eat only once or twice a day you body is going to hold onto more fat because subconsciously it doesn’t want to die. When you are tired, a lot of the times you are dehydrated. Being tired is your body’s way of saying, HEY, I don’t have enough water to keep doing this so stop moving around! Again, your body doesn’t want to die so it does things to make you realize that. However, most of us do not listen to our bodies. If you went from eating twice a day to small meals six times a day, your body will realize that it is now being fed regularly and will start to shed the unwanted fat…for help with this, check out the meal plan on my website. www.scotthermanfitness.com
6) Does a particular body type have a greater challenge in keeping fit than another (i.e. endomorph, ectomorph, etc)? Is there something that works better for one type than another?
This depends on what you mean by fit. You can be super healthy, but not look like a body builder. I guess the best question would be is it easier to stay super lean as an ectomorph or mesomorph compared to an endomorph. The answer is yes.
7) Can you advise us on which exercises are best for each particular muscle group in the body?
I feel this question is more of what your preference is and I say this because if you REALLY like the exercise and have proper form, you will look forward to that exercise and push harder while doing it thus working the muscle harder.
8) Machines or free weights? What works best, or is there a place for both?
I believe that if you want to get the best workout you should use free weights. You activate more muscles resulting in burning more calories and a stronger body. However, when it comes to my leg workouts I feel that in order to really work them I need to use the machines. I enjoy training with heavy weights and I just can’t get the same burn from doing walking lunges that I would get from racking up the leg extension machine.
9) How did you get started in the fitness business?
As working out quickly became a staple in my life one of my close friends asked me to join him on a Saturday morning at Gold’s Gym Methuen in Massachusetts. I was 14, I wanted to work, and I needed a better place to workout than my basement. So I came in and started working three hours on a Saturday for a free membership. As time went on I started to work more hours, started to make some money, and then decided that fitness was not going to just play a huge role in my personal life, but in my career as well.
10) What is currently happening at Scott Herman Fitness?
Scott Herman Fitness is currently undergoing major updates. I spent a lot of time while on the Real World structuring the site to make it easy to use and a place where anyone could come for help whether it be a meal plan, workout routine, or a question about a condition such as diabetes. I have just launched my “Body Image” diagram which I know is going to be a staple for the site. I know that many of us are visual learners and to be honest going through lists and lists of exercises isn’t the most fun thing to do. So we created a feature that allows you to “click” on the muscle you want to workout and then all the exercises that work that muscle will pop up.
We also have a section on the site where you can talk to our exercise physiologist. The “Articles” section has articles written by both Brian (exercise physiologist) and myself. In this section you can also ask Brian a question and he will respond with an article for the masses to read. There is also a search bar that allows you to type in key words to find articles relating to them. For example, if you searched “diabetes” articles related to that subject would pop up.
11) What are your future plans? Anything new to expect?
A lot is in store for members of the ScottHermanFitness.com community. As a given, SHF will always be updating with new workout routines, more information about fitness related topics, and soon to come video demonstrations. We are also working to put the site in gyms to give members who can’t afford a trainer a way to still be able to see how to perform various exercises with proper form and how to train to hit their goals. We believe that having access to the site in gyms will give members the confidence they need to know they are not wasting their time and don’t have to feel like everyone is staring at them if they feel like they are not exercising with proper form.
I have some great future ideas for the site in that I would like to set up contests to win free sessions with me. I want to go out and meet the members of the SHF community and show them that I really care.
I want to go to high schools and colleges and preach the ways of fitness. Being a trainer I take great pride in being able to educate and motivate people to want to go to the gym. Also, I know that steroids are becoming more common in schools and I want to help educate the masses about why they don’t need them.
12) Aside from the fitness program you have started, what other interests do you have that motivate you in life?
Aside from fitness, my motivation comes from a deep drive within myself to want to succeed at everything I do. I am very interested in acting and modeling and have been pursuing this new career path vigorously. I tend to set extremely high goals for myself and then focus all my energy on reaching them. At times I am so competitive that I even compete with myself. Challenging myself to reach goals thought impossible by others. But it is the challenge of proving that I can do the impossible that really gets me going. I am a role model for friends and family and now with the show I have been able to influence the lives of people from all over. To be honest, even the feeling of knowing that I have the ability to be a role model and give inspiration to others is something the deeply moves me and motivates me to push harder at everything I do.
13) What sort of goals do you have in your life as far as the future goes?
My main goal is to one day have a family of my own. But before that happens, I have a lot of other things I want to accomplish. By the next year’s end I want to be an established professional actor. Captain America is going to be filmed soon and I want the lead role. I also want to keep building my site and redefine the fitness world. I will also one day own my own fitness facility, dance club, restaurant.... maybe a plaza. What can I say? I am an entrepreneur and have been given the opportunity of a life time. I see opportunities in everything I do and want to be able to enjoy the rest of my life with friends and my family.
14) What role do family and friends play in your career as a fitness instructor? Do you get any great insights from any of them useful in your field of interest? Any useful tips given to you by your fans at Scott Herman Fitness?
Looking back my brother and I laugh about it, but he takes the credit for starting my career in fitness. “You would have never started working out if my friends and I didn’t constant pick on you”. Haha.. But that is just how kids are and to be honest I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. My parents were very supportive of me with having a career in fitness. They always drove me to work. My first day of work my Dad told me to never take anything other than protein shakes. He said that in time I would grow and as I got older I would look better because I did it naturally. These are words that I took to heart and to be honest I have such respect for my parents that being told that at the age of fourteen was enough to turn away all the other “supplements” that could have propelled me to become stronger and bigger in high school.
As far as useful tips from fans, I read every email I get and do my best to cater to the needs of my members. This site was built for “you”. So I want to make sure I am giving the SHF community the things they need to reach their goals.
15) If you had to do it all over again, what sort of things would you have avoided in setting up SHF and what would you have included?
If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing. The product that is now ScottHermanFitness.com is built upon past ideas. Things that didn’t work spawned new ideas to create the finished product that is online now. One of the best things about an online business is that I can always restructure the site to make it more user-friendly and informative. You can’t do that with your typical brick and mortar business.
16) Anything you would like to offer your young fans that would motivate them to get fit, if they aren't already, or to help them even better if they are and want to do even better?
Here is the thing. Fitness is something that belongs to you. You can work at it as hard as you want, when you want, and now with ScottHermanFitness.com you have the tools and knowledge to reach your goals if no other way of getting the information is available to you. Also, do not get discouraged if you can’t focus on fitness every day. You don’t need to in order to be healthy and look great. Remember that your results are directly related to your eating habits and guess what, you may not make it to the gym every day, but I know you have to eat at some point. So focus on making your meal plan a part of your life. Make conscious efforts to eat correctly and eat small meals every 2-3 hours. You can do it. The only person who can make up an excuse for yourself is you. YOU are the only person standing in the way of what you want to accomplish. No one else has control over your life. So realize that and take control and make fitness work for you. Find ways to have a snack every couple hours. Tell your friends that you need to spend an hour in the gym before you go out Saturday night or better yet, have them join you. Surround yourself with motivated people because that energy will then transfer to you. Fitness needs to be a part of your life, and I believe that anyone can make that happen.
17) How is your modeling career coming along? Any new shoots coming up? Any prospects for the future?
My modeling career is doing very well. I am going to be in the next two issues of Cosmopolitan Magazine. I will be the Man Manual for the month of March and have another spread in the April issue. Right now I have my sites focused on landing an underwear campaign with Calvin Klein. But I do not want to be just a body model. I love wearing suits and hope to book jobs for big companies such as GQ, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, etc.
18) Have you done any acting? What would you like to do in the future as far as an acting career is concerned?
I took acting classes in college and continue to take them now while living in New York. I love being able to be a different person and really explore my creative side. I see myself at first taking on a lot of action roles. I want my first major role to be Captain America. Growing up I idolized super heroes and to me, being able to take on the role of one wouldn’t be much different than my normal life. Except as Captain America I would have an awesome uniform and an indestructible shield!
19) Anything you would like to add that hasn't been covered so far?
I am also highly involved in some upcoming charity events. I am getting myself ready right now for an event called “Breaking The Cycle”. This event is a 300 mile charity bike race from Boston to New York to raise money for HIV/AIDs research and is going to take place from September 11th to September 13th. If you would like more information or would like to make a donation to the cause please send me an e-mail to email@example.com. I will also be posting updates for this event and other events to come on my website, www.scotthermanfitness.com.
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