Erik Strouse has been a VIDA trainer for the past three years bringing his talents to the personal training department as well as to the group exercise classrooms of VIDA U Street and now City Vista. He’s been training for a total of eight years, which began with his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Rowan University and then George Washington for his Masters. After his Thursday 12:30 p.m. VIDA Xtreme class at City Vista we got the background story on what Erik loves about fitness along with some insider tips.
What is your favorite thing about teaching VIDA Xtreme and teaching group exercise classes in general?
Teaching VIDA Xtreme is great because I can show people that effective, hard workouts don’t need to be acrobatics. VIDA Xtreme isn’t a “trendy” workout; it’s a workout that helps build strength and is cardio effective all by using functional movements.
Group fitness in general is fun to teach because of the energy. One-on-one training is a lot about fine tuning and breaking down movements. Group fitness is much more of an endorphin rush and it’s easy to thrive off of the energy of the group.
What got you into the fitness world?
It sounds like a cliché story, but I was heavy as a kid, and once I hit high school I was motivated to do the work and lose the weight. When it came time to go to college, I wasn’t really interested in attending, but once I took a few classes related to fitness in the physical, mental and spiritual sense it all came together and that’s how my path to training started.
What is a client or student success story that has stuck with you?
More specifically, I had one client, a 65-year-old, who lost five inches in six weeks. It just goes to show that the motivation shouldn’t just lie in looking a certain way. Make the effort to be mobile and active and the rest will follow.
What is an exercise mantra you go by?
Do what feels good.
Whether it’s physically or mentally, if you don’t like it, don’t do it. And take time to rest.
When it comes to nutrition, what’s your mantra on that aspect of health?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Begin building healthy habits over time to sustain those behaviors; they’ll soon become second nature. Also, go for foods that have had as little manufacturing as possible. Food has powerful abilities, and the whole food source in it’s most natural state is going to be the best for you.