I'm Steve. I started working as a personal trainer in 2012 after leaving a career as an officer in the Marine Corps. I now own and operate Bonfire Wellness, which is an Austin-based fitness and nutrition club.
Bonfire Wellness focuses on small group training for people looking to lose weight, build good eating habits and improve their overall health and fitness. We train in crews of three clients and a trainer. Each crew chooses their own workout location and schedule. Sometimes our trainers host workouts and cooking sessions in their homes, and sometimes crews meet outdoors for workouts when the weather is nice. Crews meet with their trainers twice a week for workouts and twice a month for cooking sessions.
Upon signing up for a Bonfire membership, each client is given their own equipment. Clients are encouraged to workout on their own in between sessions with their trainer so that they can achieve results more quickly. In the event that they have learned enough to train themselves and would like to discontinue their memberships with Bonfire, clients keep their equipment so that they can stay fit for life. I personally believe that a trainer is an educator first and a motivator second. If I can help my clients understand the importance of what we're doing and guide them to motivate and train themselves, I can make a much bigger impact on their lives than I can by pushing them to do a few additional sets of a particular exercise.
My favorite client story
My favorite client success story is a client of mine who came to me asking if he could lose twenty pounds in two weeks to fit into his suit for a wedding. I promptly told him that that would not be feasible, because I would need to progress him more slowly in order to ensure he stayed healthy. He signed on anyway, and lost the twenty pounds in six weeks, which was still impressive, but he did it safely in two sessions a week.
My favorite exercise
My favorite exercise is a deadlift.
My favorite quote
"If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime." I really enjoy teaching.
My training philosophy
My philosophy is that each client's training program needs to be tailored specifically to his or her needs and goals. I carefully track my clients' performance through each session and then draw on the information I have collected to build progressively more challenging and effective workouts. At the same time, I make sure that my workouts are scaled precisely for each individual's fitness level.
My training experience
While at the Naval Academy, I worked with a number of the underclassmen in my company to help them meet the high standards of the Academy's semi-annual Physical Readiness Test. As an officer with Third Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I trained a number of Marines both in group settings and one-on-one to help them to meet the height and weight standards set by the Marine Corps and to be prepared for the rigors of a combat environment.
Upon beginning my career as a trainer in Brooklyn, I started training at Brooklyn Fit Lab. I trained there for about two years, and learned a great deal from both my training mentors and my clients.
While working at Brooklyn Fit Lab, I started an in-home personal training company and began to train several clients in Brooklyn and Queens. I worked with several heart patients, and made use of special heart rate monitors to help them continue to improve their cardiovascular endurance. All of them were able to significantly reduce or eliminate their heart medications within a few months. One client even cut his cholesterol levels by two thirds. I also worked with several clients recovering from various surgeries on their knees, hips or shoulders. Through various corrective exercises, I have been able to help people get back into their normal activities, like running, golfing, and even power-lifting, much more quickly than their doctors had anticipated.
In 2014 I moved to Austin and began training at 24 Hour Fitness. I enjoyed working at a big gym with a lot of other trainers with whom I could trade ideas about various approaches to fitness. Ultimately, however, I decided that the corporate gym's business model was not right for me, so I started my own personal training business in 2015.
In 2016 I founded Bonfire Wellness and began training other trainers to help me broaden my availability and work with more clients. I love training trainers, because I really enjoy helping them understand the subtleties of various training techniques and seeing that knowledge passed on to as many people as possible.
Areas of Expertise
- Core and Balance
- Strength Training
- Weight Loss
- Functional Training
NCCA Accredited Certifications
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist, NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist
BS in History from the US Naval Academy