December 06, 2023 3 min read
MENTAL HEALTH, WELL-BEING & EXERCISE:
Life Lessons from Trainer, Alex Siquig
Alex Siquig is an LA-based personal trainer who exemplifies the life-changing power of exercise and fitness. Not so much the physical changes that happen to one's body, though he experienced those as well, but rather changes that happen to the brain. Regular exercise profoundly benefits mental health and well-being, which is rarely given the attention it deserves. For many devoted trainees, these benefits are what keep them consistent. Alex discovered this firsthand as a way to lift himself from the depths of depression.
Now 32, Alex has found his calling in life through fitness. But it was trauma that led him to find it. Ten years ago, Alex found himself crushed after a breakup. The relationship was so toxic it left him with low self-esteem and low confidence. Alex was so stricken with despair that he was unable to leave his bedroom, spending hours in bed staring at the ceiling in shock at the trauma of a broken heart. Then, “One day,” Alex recalls, “I was just like, man, I cannot stay in my room all day because she broke up [with me].” Alex searched Google for answers. “How do you become happier after a breakup?” The answer: “Focus on your health and fitness.”
Alex’s overall confidence was lacking because of the relationship. His body confidence was worse, being very skinny with no background in strength training. Not to be deterred, Alex kept at his Google research. “I followed a random workout routine on Google. I followed it to the ‘T’ for three months. Working on my fitness consistently, it really transformed everything physically and mentally. I felt leaner, stronger, and happier.”
The lessons Alex learned from building himself up from such a low point led him to become a personal trainer, which he does full-time online these days. Although the online space has opened the amount of clients that Alex can see, it does have its shortcomings. “With a lot of my clients, the most accessible fitness tool would be, like, a dumbbell, maybe a few bands and a yoga mat,” he pointed out when discussing the high-intensity and functional training he likes to do with clients. For many, this means they have to find a gym to get the biggest benefits of training with Alex. But this comes with drawbacks, “You’ve got to think about gas, the expensive membership at these gyms, and just the time and energy to even get to the gym and back.” The team at Verse Fitness has aimed to solve this with the Agile Rack, something that Alex agrees with, “I definitely see a big impact from the Agile Rack because you don't have to go to the gym when you could just walk out of your kitchen, go straight to your garage and work out.”
Sharing the confidence and mental health-boosting benefits of exercise is one of the joys of a job as a personal trainer. Being able to do it without any limitations makes it easier to accomplish, and making it accessible to your clients as often as possible is even easier. For this reason, Alex strongly recommends a home gym setup to those who can afford it. “I think what's really important in life is time efficiency, like how easy [the Agile Rack] is to set up. All you need is two hands,” he said about the Agile Rack as an option for his clients.
Most people start their fitness journey to change their body, only to discover along the way that their brain has started changing as well — and not simply because they have better body image. Exercise leaves people feeling more positive and energetic, even if it doesn’t dramatically change one's body composition. If someone has no concerns about their body composition or physical health, they should not write off the powerful effects that exercise can still have for them. For Alex, it lifted him from depression, changed the way he felt about himself, and ultimately led him to a better life. If just one other person can experience the same powerful effects, it makes it all worthwhile.
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