Turning Injury Into Inspiration
Efrain Larenas was an athlete all of his life, but didn’t decide to pursue a career in personal training until fate–through football–stepped in. While playing football at Coastal Carolina College, he was sidelined by a severe injury that separated his left shoulder’s AC joint and biceps tendon. The injury required surgery and a long recovery process. After Larenas began physical therapy he “fell in love” with how the body responds to prescribed exercises for healing and recovery. He gained a greater appreciation for his own physical journey and was inspired to share it with others. That jump-started his successful career as a personal trainer.
Now Larenas is a Certified Personal Trainer with the Aerobics & Fitness Association of America (AFAA), a certified TRX Trainer with Fitness Anywhere and has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration. Based in Columbia, Maryland, he specializes in personal training, youth fitness and sport-specific training. His practice philosophy is “to educate and motivate clients on how to successfully make the transition from their current lifestyle to a greater quality of life.” He oversees wildly popular boot camp classes with 30+ participants and his clients are effusive in their praise for him. He was a finalist for the 2009 Personal Fitness Professional, Personal Trainer of the Year award and the 2012 Gym Source “My Trainer Rocks” Best Trainer award.
When asked how Gym Source specifically influences his business he explains. “Being a mobile trainer, I need to buy portable equipment to service my clients at their various locations.” Larenas purchases kettlebells, Body Bars, resistance bands, medicine balls and SandBells from Gym Source. “I use all this great equipment to provide and add variety to my training clients, small groups & boot camps that can have 30+ participants in any given class,” he continues, “So, it’s important to me to be able to come in to Gym Source or call on short notice and ask if there is equipment in stock that I can pick up quickly.”
Larenas observes that the fitness industry has changed since he first started in 1995. “In the 90’s, it was a lot of cardiovascular exercise, Nautilus machines and little variety for core and abdominal exercises,” says Larenas, “The industry changes constantly now. There is more emphasis on exercise science and functional movement. It’s kind of funny because that has always been my approach. Even back in the late 90’s I was experimenting with moving the body in various planes of motion. I was challenging clients to ‘shock their bodies’ by never doing the same workout twice within a given 3-4 week training period. The biggest fitness trend that has helped me is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and incorporating the TRX, kettlebells and other equipment to provide people with variety that allows them to achieve greater results.”
A sample workout with Efrain Larenas could include:
- Squats, curls & presses
- Kettlebell swings
- Step ups with a medicine ball
- TRX chest presses
- An abdominal exercise, such as bicycle crunches
Perform 5 rounds of 30 seconds for each exercise with minimal rest (ie.20-30 seconds in between exercises).
“I end every session with a handshake,” Larenas says, “It’s my way to finish the session saying job well done.” You can learn more about Efrain Larenas at www.eclassfitness.com.