Meet Brett – new Biggest Loser trainer

brett hoebelA 15-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, fitness instructor and nationally-recognized personal trainer Brett Hoebel has helped shape-up some of Hollywood’s finest, including Victoria Secret supermodels, A-list actors, fashion designers and music icons. He was co-star of a reality fitness show on cable called “Fit Family,” and has made numerous appearances on talk shows like “The View,” “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America.” He has served as a contributing fitness expert for many publications, including Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, InStyle, Shape and Self. Brett is also certified in corrective holistic exercise kinesiology, kettle bell instruction, Olympic lifting and lifestyle coaching, Hatha Yoga instruction and prenatal and postpartum conditioning.

Recently I asked Brett a few questions about his background and motivations.

What led you to become a personal trainer?

After graduating pre-med from college, I became a lab-technician doing biomedical research while taking my MCATs and applying to medical school. On the small salary I was earning, I couldn’t afford a gym membership and decided to apply for a job as assistant boxing instructor at New York Sports Clubs in Manhattan, where I was living. I quickly found that teaching boxing — and eventually kickboxing — classes was the one thing I truly enjoyed and looked forward to every day. It was while I was working as a boxing/kickboxing instructor that I realized I could combine my medical background with my love of fitness and health. In the locker room one day, I ran into a group of trainers who were studying for an exam. They were stumped on a physics problem, which I helped them solve. Turns out, they were studying for their personal training certification. That changed my view of what a personal trainer was, i.e., a super buff guy who just counted reps. I was intrigued with the science aspect of personal training so, after switching from medicine to finance, I finally chose fitness as my full-time career and have never turned back.

What’s your training philosophy?

I have what I call a “walk your talk” philosophy. I use an integrative approach for living a mindful, healthy life, which comes not only from my background in different Eastern and Western disciplines, like martial arts and biomedical science, but also from my experience growing up as an over-weight teenager. Being in the health and fitness industry is not a job; it’s a privilege and a way of life. It’s not a part-time thing; it’s about making sure you walk your talk. The health revolution needs leaders, so lead by example and embody the values that people will be inspired by. It’s about mental strength — that’s what it takes to endure the physical, mental and emotional challenges you will face getting in-shape and staying in-shape. It’s about discipline — living a healthy lifestyle is done one day at a time. It’s about trust — you have to build it — and respect — you have to earn it. Once you do, you can transform someone’s body and their life. It’s about love and tough love — when someone gives their best effort, show them some love, but when someone wants to give-up, you have to be tough and motivate them not to quit. And it’s absolutely about going there — once you push to your limits, you won’t settle for less.

How do you keep up with the trends in the fitness industry?

I had two colleagues who pointed me in the right direction for higher learning in both personal training and group fitness, Joe Dowdell and Stacey Krauss. They introduced me to several of my fitness mentors as well as many informative conferences and seminars I’ve attended over the years. I always say, “You have to invest in your knowledge and your future.” I have spent a lot of time and money on my education over the past 15 years, learning from some of the best in the industry. I believe higher education in the health and fitness industry is a must because there is no guesswork with science — physics, anatomy, kinesiology and biomechanics — you either know it or you don’t. Sir Isaac Newton, the father of physics, said, “If I’ve seen far, it’s because I stood on the shoulders of giants.” That’s exactly how I feel about my mentors and my contribution to this field.

What’s your greatest strength…what’s your greatest weakness?
My greatest strength is being able to admit when I’m wrong and putting my ego aside to ask for help or advice.
My greatest weakness is probably not having enough patience for some things…this Jedi is still learning.

What’s your biggest struggle with motivation?
Always finding the balance between personal life, fitness life and business — too much of one or the other has hindered my motivation in all of them.

Have you ever been overweight?
Yes, as a teenager from sixth grade to freshman year in high school. It was probably the most difficult time of my life. I changed my mindset, my emotional foundation, and became determined to make varsity teams in football, wresting and lacrosse. I weighed in at 170 pounds for football my freshman year, and then wrestled at 120 pounds my sophomore year. I lost 50 pounds that year through blood, sweat and tears.

How do you deal with failure and disappointment?
I try to learn from them. Rather than taking failure or disappointment personally, I try to look at what positive can be gained from the situation or outcome.

What’s your biggest goal/wish for the Biggest Loser contestants?
That they “walk their talk” and inspire others to do the same. If they do this, they will keep themselves accountable and not gain the weight back.

Anything else people should know about you?
I was adopted as an infant and feel it was the luckiest thing ever. My adoptive family and family I’ve met on my birth mother’s side are the most AMAZING people ever. Everything happens for a reason!

© Cheryl Forberg 2016