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Posts Tagged ‘Total Body Integration’

Antonio Valladares Interview

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Antonio is the Founder and President of Burn Sports, Burn Sports Performance and the Healthy Urban Kitchen.  He is a world renowned personal and performance trainer, based out of New York.  We are honored to have him here on the Foresight Personal Training Blog, for an interview that I am sure you will find informative!


Tom Godwin: May I first of all thank you for giving up time in your busy day to take part in this interview.

TG:  Let’s start from the beginning, what is your background in the wellbeing industry?

AV: I stared training in martial arts when I was 5 yrs old and got into yoga as a teenager in the 80’s. I ate whole foods most of my life and was introduced to organic food and health food stores when I was really young. I even had my own outdoor produce stand when I was 10.

I became a certified personal trainer in 1994 and licensed massage therapist in ‘96. I studied aggressively, read voraciously and got certifications & specialized training from the most important organizations.  I’ve trained with experts, taken many courses over the years and read too many books to recall.

I worked at private training studios as a trainer and taught a successful medicine ball conditioning class at the best health clubs. I did a little work as a massage therapist at some exclusive spas for a minute before venturing out onto my own to run my own business, which I have been doing since 1998.

I have a holistic approach to coaching each client so the work I do now is different for each person. Some clients are high performance conditioning and others are recovering from damaged metabolisms, adrenal fatigue or digestive problems and they do mind body exercise.

TG:  Can you tell us a little about your Total Body Integration© approach to training?

AV: Simply put, I integrate different components of health & fitness a person needs to be truly healthy, instead of just working someone out.

Working with a large variety of clients in NYC, I knew first hand the importance of different programs.  So Total Body Integration is a fitness, nutrition and wellness approach that’s designed to meet each individual’s needs and integrates all components of true health & wellness – physical, mental/emotional & spiritual.

As far as training, I started out training the entire body in a circuit format in every workout and did a lot of functional work before it became trendy. I was never a body builder. I’ve been doing integrated fitness workouts since I started and took a little from yoga, martial arts, core work and performance conditioning.

These days, I incorporate more mind body work than I used to because I live in a city where most people are burned out. Some clients get mind body exercises and others get straight up high performance conditioning. Some clients will spend most of their sessions on nutrition and repairing any damage that they got from years of dieting.

Total Body Integration on the physical level involves flexibility, bodywork, strength & conditioning. On the spiritual level, I first explain what spiritual means. Many people have misunderstandings of the concept, but it simply means whatever inspires you.’ That’s it. Keep the religious overtones and dogma out of it, and you can find true health. Whatever inspires you is different for each person and it can have absolutely nothing to do with organized religion. In fact, the healthiest people I have ever met or worked with have all liberated themselves from the stress of carrying around other peoples’ ideas of ‘spirituality’ and discovered what works best for them. That answer can only be found in their heart, not in a book or a church. That’s real health and it gets deeper than ‘fitness’ but most people are afraid to go there.

TG:  Can you explain to us a little about your awesome Healthy Urban Kitchen e-book?

AV: I put the program together to make my most basic nutrition method available to more people. Also, instead of repeating myself to each new client, I have them get the program and learn it and practice it before we meet. It makes it easier to help them and I can reach more people this way.

My clients and I are very busy in NYC, so I put together a system to make it real simple for people to eat healthy. I give them recipes and meal plans and tons of resources to find the best food on the planet no matter where you live. Its really much more simple than people make it out to be.

TG:  Can you tell me a little about what inspired you to develop the Healthy Urban Kitchen system?

AV: First of all, there is so much garbage and so many charlatans posing as experts when it comes to nutrition. I needed to set the record straight and get real deal information out to people who are sincerely interested in learning the truth and getting healthy.

Also, the two most common questions I hear are: what is a healthy diet and what should I eat? There is so much nonsense out there surrounding nutrition and everyone acts like an expert. It’s nauseating at times. So, I teach people how to discover what a healthy diet truly is and what they should eat so they can radically improve their health and look & feel their best.

TG:  You have a highly successful strength and conditioning practice, can you tell us a bit about what it is and how it differs from your personal training practice?

AV: Some of my friends are world-class athletes and I played sports my whole life so I have been surrounded by athletics forever. I only worked with a few athletes over the years, but I love it. I’ve worked with teenage athletes and a few pros, but I can’t do everything. So I haven’t done any real marketing for that part of my business. Over the years my bread and butter has been my personal training and nutrition consulting business.

They don’t differ too much – everyone gets individualized assessments and programs. The exercise choices, the intensity and a few other variables are totally different, but the individual attention to detail is the same.

TG:  What would you say is the most important attribute that a personal trainer must poses?

AV: Genuine concern for their clients. There is a lot of nonsense in the personal training industry, trainers who are unqualified and have no idea what they  are doing and they abuse the client in the session. I see it every day. Being able to listen to the client and truly know what’s going on so you can help them the best takes practice and you really have to love what you do to develop that skill. Listen to them, support them and give them the fitness & nutrition coaching they need, which is not always what they want. Beating someone up in the gym is ignorance and it dominates the fitness industry, at least in New York City.

TG:  What would you say has been the high point of your career so far?

AV: Early in my career I got tons of media coverage and I made no effort to get it. It just sort of found me. That was exciting and at a critical time. Now, the clients I work with are my high point. I work with really cool clients that I love being around and we work as a team and they get some impressive results. My clients are clearly my high point in the last few years.

TG:  What would you say is the best part of your job?

AV: The best part is when my clients get results. Seeing clients have breakthroughs and get results after suffering for years is really fulfilling. Many of my clients saw doctors, therapists and trainers and got no results. Sharing a new and more empowered perspective and a new direction in health & healing is cool, but when they get results, its truly awesome.

TG:  What does the average day look like for Antonio?

AV: I’m up early and see clients most mornings, except for Monday. Monday is the day I prep for the week. My gym is only 5 minutes away and I can skate along the river which is awesome! I then go home and work on my internet business for awhile until lunch. I cook a lot and write blog posts, answer emails or create new products. I’ do yoga down by Ground Zero in the afternoon and ride my bike to Central Park 3-5 days a week and then by evening I see more clients. Sometimes I ride in the evening either along the river or in the park.

I bike or skateboard all over Manhattan and sometimes my days are packed. Friday and Monday mornings I keep open so I can focus on the big picture or catch up. I keep the big picture in mind and visualize my ‘ideal day’ and use checklists to stay on track.

TG:  So what does the future hold for Antonio Valladares?

AV: Mostly nutrition and lifestyle coaching and working with kids. I started public speaking & doing workshops and I enjoy that a lot. I have a prenatal fitness dvd coming out and performance nutrition for athletes as well. I have an audio program on goal setting and mindset called ‘Fat Loss Psychology’.

TG:  Thanks for giving up some of you time to share with us, it has been awesome!

My pleasure man, I can talk health and fitness all day long. Feel free to give me a shout at and check out my new updated blog which should be out in the next week at