A exercise physiologist and personal fitness trainer, Douglas S. Brooks is a seasoned veteran in the fitness industry with 30 years of experience.
An ex-Ironman, triathlete, he’s currently the consulting Exercise Physiologist for product research and development for numerous fitness companies, and serves as Head Physiologist and Strength & Conditioning Coach for several athletic teams.
Douglas is also the co-owner of Moves International Fitness, provider of educational resources, continuing education and live workshops for fitness professionals.
Author of six top selling books, Douglas is a fitness expert on cable and national TV, and often the quoted expert in popular magazines like Shape, Self, Men’s Health and Glamour.
His counsel and input is sought on an international basis serving on the advisory boards of Sweden’s and Belgium’s most respected training and educational organizations.
Douglas serves as vice president of the International Sports Trainers Association (ISTA) based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was named ISTA’s Trainer of the Year in 2002. In 2006, he received the Lifetime Achievement award at OBOW presentations in New York City.
The following is an interview of Douglas Brooks conducted by Carol Bardelli.
RealRyder abf8 Spinning Bike Highlights
Carol Bardelli: Hi Douglas, thanks so much for agreeing to this interview.
Douglas Brooks: My pleasure.
Carol: I understand you’re a part of the team that developed RealRyder, International’s first un-stationary bike. Can you explain why the RealRyder abf8 bike is so unique and if there will be a home version in the future?
Douglas Brooks: As the Director of Programming and Education for RealRyder this dynamic indoor cycle is going to change the face of indoor cycle training.
The RealRyder represents the FIRST un-stationary bike, the bike moves under you like a real cycle, and marks the most significant change in bike design in over twenty years. No matter what any other bike manufacturer adds to the bike, pedals, unique bar design, electronic panel for rider feedback, they’re all the same it’s like putting lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.
The ride on the RealRyder is incredibly smooth because of the quality design and heavier flywheel. Having the bike move under you is appreciated by both a pro rider and a novice because it is FUN, easy on the body and “feels right.” Plus the RR looks cool with its stunning design and rear-flywheel placement.
Bottom line, no one has our ride and RR is all about the ride. Once you roll with us, there is no going back. Instructors who have taught since the inception of spin-type indoor training are jumping ship. Why? Because of the ride!
Carol: I viewed the slick design and saw the incredible motion of the newest version, the RealRyder abf8 Spinning Bike. I can see why riders are jumping ship! When visiting the site RealRyder.com the pictures of this new bike are quite impressive.
Douglas: Thanks! Our current RealRyder bike is used by many consumers, athletes and fitness enthusiasts as their training bike at home and/or in the club environment.
We have bikes placed in clubs and homes all over the world. Having said that–we have a “home version” in the works that will incorporate a number of unique design features including an amazing onboard computer and a user feedback package that will provide information about the rider’s personal performance.
Besides having the most unique, real and fun ride, we have created an entirely new approach to teaching in the indoor cycle fitness market using the information provided by the onboard computer.
National Fitness Hall of Fame
Carol: You were recently inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2008, as well as Personal Trainer Educator of the Year. Those must have been thrilling experiences. What does it mean to you to be honored for your work in the field of fitness?
Douglas: I’ve helped to change lives, saved lives, helped athletes excel, but, there is no greater honor than being recognized by your peers. It is both humbling and exhilarating, and it is my colleagues, clients, and athletes that continue to inspire, motivate and challenge me. So, when my peers let me know that a little of what I’m doing is valuable, that is pretty amazing!
Carol: You are co-owner of Moves International Fitness which provides educational resources, continuing education and live workshops for fitness professionals. As such, you have influence over many fitness professionals. Do you see any new and exciting trends coming in the fitness world?
Douglas: In a word, the consumer is demanding a specialized and personal approach, with attention to detail in program design. Basketball will surge in interest because of President Obama’s passion for the game! The fitness and exercise programming trends reported by ACE and ACSM support this growing desire of the consumer and is reflected by their reports on 2009 trends (see below).
A survey by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) predicts that fitness programs that are easy on the pocketbook will shine in 2009. Consumers are also looking for workouts that provide maximal return on fitness benefits with minimal time and cost investment. Boot-camp style workouts, technology-based workouts, unique and out of the box programming and continued/increased interest in fitness in the over 50 year old market will take front row priority (ACE 2009).
Consumers will continue to demand educated and experienced fitness professionals to direct their training. Other trends reported by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM 2009) include: children and obesity; personal training demand will continue; strength training; core training; integrated training; balance training; Pilates; sport specific training; functional training; small group personal training, as well as indoor cycle training remaining with a strong and steady presence.
Brooks’ Ironman Triathlete Training Tips
Carol: You’ve been an Ironman, triathlete. Your dedication to training for such an event must have been enormous. What training tips can you offer other athletes training for demanding sports?
Douglas: Quite simply, don’t do it, just joking!
Consistency, preparation and discipline to quality training are the keys. Quality and intellect rule over banging out endless “training miles” that don’t fit into a periodized program. Cycling intensity and activity changes over specific time periods (periodization) is critical.
Listen to your body and pay attention to what is, or is not, happening in the adaptive process, which occurs in response to your training. Triathlon represents a good model for a sensible approach to training and keeping your program, mind and body fresh because of the built in cross-training.
A balanced approach to Triathlon training requires an open mind as to the value of a complete and varied program plan. Finally just do it, go big or stay home!
The Trainer for the Top Fitness and Personal Trainers
Carol: Your book “The Complete Book of Personal Training” has been called the most comprehensive and authoritative resource for personal trainers. The book impressed me as truly a complete resource for all aspects of the personal training business. Can you enlighten my readers on common challenges that trainers face in their work with clients?
Douglas: Endurance and consistency will be a trainer’s biggest hurdles. What I mean by this, is that sure, a certain personality and style motivates people and technical competency is required, but at the end of the day, professionals who can be consistent with regard to energy and service delivery–independent of personal circumstance on a daily basis–will be the ones who surface to the top and sustain a long and successful career!
Carol: What advice can you share to those new to the field in order to be successful?
How to Be A Successful Personal Trainer
Douglas: Within ethical boundaries, do whatever it takes to align your career direction with your goals and partner with a mentor(s) who can give you perspective to help with your professional/career decision making process. Initiative and a go-get-’em attitude are essentials.
Follow your passion! I love people and impacting the quality of what they do physically and from a wellness perspective, improving the quality of individual lives. Secondly, I stay fresh by daily being challenged by my athletes’ or clients’ training/personal challenges. Finally, staying abreast of an ever changing field of new and/or theoretical information is exciting.
I challenge myself to take top-shelf information and bring it to an application level.
Carol: Thank you for sharing your insights, Douglas.
Douglas: Thanks to you as well. I appreciate the time and effort and loved the questions.
You can learn more about the RealRyder abf8 spinning bike by visiting the RealRyder.com website.
Watch a Lifelike RealRyder Workout