Bet you’ve sat there and wondered about fitness experts and trainers. Admit it. You probably think that they eat celery and asparagus all day and that they sleep with weights under their pillow. And that all the TV screens in their house is set to a fitness channel. Celebrity fitness trainer and reporter Fallon Mercedes probably does some of these things, but if she did, who would blame her? She is the owner of Fit With Fallon, her own fitness and training firm, and regularly appears on TV as a fitness expert. She has to practice what she preaches, no?
Glamniac: Were you the type of kid who was really into fitness growing up…the type who would do forty jumping jacks when the teacher asked for twenty?
I so was! [Laughter] I was so hyper that my parents had to put me in gymnastics to help me get all of my energy out. There are home videos of my family hanging out at the house on a Saturday morning. My sister and brothers are watching TV or cooking and I am the only one outside working
out—trying to practice for my next gymnastics meet.
Glamniac: How did you get interested in taking things professionally?
Well, I went to school for broadcast journalism. When I graduated I had a difficult time finding work as a reporter, so I started using my spare time to workout. I lost over twenty pounds, then started helping my family and friends lose weight and I decided to become a trainer.
Glamniac: What goes into a day in the life of Fallon Mercedes, fitness coach?
I like to call myself a “fitness reporter”. I do train private clients part time, but my passion really is interviewing and reporting about athletes and celebrities and their health and fitness regimens.
Glamniac: “You have to look the part.” That’s a piece of advice that’s given to career professionals in certain fields. The beautician’s makeup and hair has to be on point. The fashion stylist has to look well put together. The English teacher’s grammar has to be no less than flawless. And of course a fitness coach has to be and look fit. How do you personally stay fit?
I workout, but I have to be conscious of what I eat as well. This, to me, is the hardest part—looking the part. But, I love the fact that I am comfortable in my own skin. I am half-Dominican, so I am curvy. I do not down play my curves at all. I embrace them! I am not skinny, but I am still fit. I feel like a real woman, and I think that is why a lot of people identify with me. You don’t have to look like a model to be fit and healthy.
Glamniac: Do fitness magazines play a role in your work?
Yes! I get lots of great ideas and things to report on from Magazines. I am obsessed with Oxygen magazine. I enjoy fitness websites as well, like bodybuilding.com. You can see real people and their stories and body transformations. They give great examples of workouts and meal plans.
Glamniac: And what about sports and fitness related shows?
I love to watch ESPN and Dr. Oz. There are no real set fitness shows out there other then workout DVD’s etc. I plan to change that in the near future.
Glamniac: What sort of measures do you take to stay knowledgeable about what’s going on in your field?
I am always exploring new grounds. Trying new classes and products. I love acupuncture! It such an ancient chinese practice, but still is used today. They even have weight loss Acupuncture. I also love Crunch gyms Anti gravity yoga. It’s a yoga class where you are suspended in the air in sheets.
Glamniac: There’s physical fitness, and there’s mental fitness.
The greatest athletes, and people who are in amazing shape, you know they are not just physically fit but mentally fit. It’s starts in the mind. If you think you can, you can. When your body gives up, it’s your mind that says one more rep and pushes your body. That’s where champions are made. In the mind, it’s a mind set.
Glamniac: Word of mouth goes a long way in building a client base, but so does social media.
Social media is amazing! It’s one of the greatest platforms we have to date for networking. I have met so many amazing people, and have been blessed with great job opportunities because of social media.
Glamniac: What advice would you give to someone who’s looking into making fitness coaching a career?
If you’re passionate about it, do it. Start with getting certification as a trainer. Then, figure out what field of training you want to go into. Decide what your long term goal is. Maybe it’s to have your own gym etc.
Glamniac: Do you have some tools that you favor in terms of helping others look their best?
Put in the work, and have discipline. There is no magic pill to this.
Glamniac: Now, workout wear is a big deal with you or not?
Yes! I love funky workout clothes. It does not improve your performance, but it can improve your self-esteem if you look good and feel good, then perhaps have a better workout. Again it’s all mental.
Glamniac: Sometimes when a previously physically unfit person becomes fit, mentally he or she still may have a bad self-image. How can a sense of balance be maintained where this is concerned?
I think it’s important to work on the inside as well as the outside. A lot of times, people can do the work on their own, but they have a trainer to coach them thru it all. To push harder physically and mentally. That’s why Jillian Michaels is a beast! She will break you down and build you back up, stripping away that negative image you may have of yourself building a new one, while you body is physically changing on the outside.
Glamniac: How are you planning on growing your brand?
I plan to produce a health and fitness talk show one day. That’s the goal! The Oprah of Fitness. In the meantime, I will continue to do interviews, reports and workout using social media, and my website FitWithFallon.