In high school, Adam Goldberg admits being scrawny, awkward and a less-than-stellar student.
“I was a kid who had all sorts of problems,” he said.
But after he started working with a personal trainer, his confidence grew. He also credited his father, Robert, who at 13 was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Robert, a Penn State alumnus, relearned how to crawl, then how to walk, then how to run, his son said.
Goldberg said his problems began to seem trivial by comparison.
“When you have a person in your life like that, it’s hard not to be in awe of him,” he said. “If I can aspire to be half the man he is or give off half the inspiration he gives to me, that would be a huge success.”
Goldberg, 24, is working his way there. He founded his personal training service, MBI Fitness, in August, and is working toward his master’s in counseling. (“MBI” stands for “mind-and-body integration.”)
The company’s ethos is overall wellness, he said, though it offers specialized training in golf performance. Goldberg is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the Titleist Performance Institute.
Like his dad, he’s a Penn State grad, turning his tassel in May 2015.
Exercise, he’s found, means more to his family than a few burnt calories. He thinks it can do the same for others.
“Fitness has changed my life,” he said. “I want to be both a mental health practitioner and the guy who is helping people make physical changes in their lives for the better.”
Q: How would you describe your business?
A: A lot of it has to do with changing behavior through exercise. The first time I meet somebody we go through a comprehensive fitness assessment. It’s an hour long. Depending on what his or her goal is, I go through a whole medical, exercise and cardiovascular history. And I can also cover strength-training, nutrition, body stats, percent body fat and skeletal muscle mass.
I also have specialization tests based on goals. So if someone is trying to run a half-marathon, I can do a submaximal VO2 max test, for example. If they’re doing golf fitness, I have a level one fitness exam and cover degrees of motion so we could look at the quantitative data to help with goals. Then there’s a level two test that gets into power output and tells you where you are compared to tour average players.
Q: What’s your personal training regimen?
A: I don’t always exercise to always look the best or always be the biggest around other people. For me, it’s about wellness; I want to be able to respond to adversity when it comes up, either mentally or physically. I do have programs that I change each month — because you have to change your program every four to six weeks — but my main goal is wellness. For one month I may do total body exercises where I may enhance my mobility and stability of my joints, another month I may switch it up.
Q: With the holidays upon us, any tips for saving our New Year’s resolutions for something non-gym related?
A: It’s that time of year where you do stuff that you know might not be the best for you. Most of the results come from consistency, with eating healthy and working out. It’s about creating good habits — and you can still have some fun doing that. For instance, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday: There’s tons of food. And I love going out to try new restaurants.
Q: Do fitness instructors have guilty pleasures? If so, what’s yours?
A: (laughs) I can’t turn down wings. I really can’t. Champs wings in State College are the best.