MINT Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Sam Donin uses his own experience and love for wellness to help his clients achieve their goals inside and outside the gym.
Sam played sports like soccer, basketball, and baseball throughout his life, but only did the minimum amount of weight training necessary to compete. While at the University of Maryland, he started to get more involved in strength training and weightlifting. He discovered that he loves the feeling of getting stronger and seeing what his body is capable of.
His passion for fitness progressed from there, as he began to train friends and family for fun. As he gained more experience, they started asking him for complete programs rather than just a few exercises. Sam decided to turn his hobby into a full-time job. He got his certification as a NASM personal trainer in November 2018 and began at MINT a month later. Sam is also a certified Behavior Change Specialist (which focuses on the psychology of behavior change and how to make a lasting impact towards your goals) and is working on a pre/postnatal certification.
His personal training style revolves around classic strength training with a focus on functional moves. He tries to work with his clients to create target programs suited for their individual goals and needs rather than prescribing a generic routine. He also makes a point to explain how certain moves will impact their everyday life. For example, a client may not care much about being able to do more pushups but will be motivated by understanding that developing strength with that move can translate into a positive daily function. He enjoys helping clients achieve new levels of success while, at the same time, making each workout unique and fun.
He uses his experience in corporate America to relate to his clients’ daily stresses of balancing work, family, and fitness. Not everyone can dedicate two hours a day, seven days a week to working out. Instead, he emphasizes that it’s possible to be healthy every day, and not just in the gym. To further help clients achieve goals beyond their workouts, Sam has also become a nutrition coach because he believes health and fitness are a lifestyle that must be maintained consistently.
His advice to anyone interested in personal training is to not be afraid to jump in and speak up. The most successful clients actively communicate with their trainer. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra help when something doesn’t feel right.
Outside of training, Sam’s favorite DC-area hike is Old Rag in Shenandoah and his favorite place to grab a healthy meal is Sweetgreen. He recently got into sandbag workouts and said, “the shifting weight is incredible. In real life, you don’t always get to pick up a nice, evenly balanced barbell so being able to handle a sandbag is tough and fun.” When he’s not exercising, he spends time with family and friends or watching sports.
Interested in training with Sam or learning more about nutrition coaching? He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org.