In this WatchFit Exclusive, we sit down with founder and owner of Custom Body Fitness, PT and weight management specialist Sandro Torres. 

Read for information on fitness tips and ‘quick fixes,’ and an insight into motivation and mindset from an Expert with over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.

1. In your article ‘Cognitive Process – Making Changes in Your Mindset’ you talk about providing in depth personal assessments for your clients as a part of the cognitive process.


Can you tell us what it is and how essential personal assessment is for your clients success?

Some people don’t have clear goals or objectives. They have no idea where to begin while many others already have an idea but they find themselves stuck with no results. Others just need to get back on track.

The assessment is essential to find out where a new member currently is. This can help me find out injuries, limitations, personal beliefs, knowledge  about the individual and how I can approach them.

Assessment is key

For example, some people may believe that to get in shape all they need to do is exercise and not eat a balanced diet. They allow themselves to drink and eat junk food. While it is true that exercise may help, it may not help the individual to reach their desired goal. Here, the approach is about the belief.

Another example is that someone may have had a bad experience with exercising and was never told about all the obstacles he or she needed to overcome before reaping all the benefits that exercise provides. Therefore, this individual will probably quit.

My job in the assessment is to describe all the obstacles he or she must go through, so they know what to expect while at the same time making the new client feel comfortable.

There are many examples.

“I can’t help someone if I don’t know what motivates them”

Everyone has a different goal, they may want to get in shape to fit into a wedding dress, others want to feel confident, some may want to be able to do more recreational activities, and so on…

I can’t help someone if I don’t know what motivates them and I can’t keep track of progress if I don’t have a baseline. To get to point ‘B’ I need to start at point ‘A’. I need to know both, point A and point B to build a map. This is one of the reasons why assessments are important.

Sandro Torres Q&AIn addition, I can’t help someone who doesn’t have the right mindset.

My job is to influence people’s cognitive process to change or re-emphasize their beliefs about how to get to their goals. Otherwise it would be impossible to help them.  In other words, their beliefs is the starting point.

2. Gym sessions are usually seen as an insular activity, do you think working in a group is more beneficial for people looking to lose weight?

I’m a solo exerciser. I exercise alone no matter what. However, having a partner may help me to push more because of the pressure, encouragement  and I have a spotter as well.

I think it has to do a lot with personality. However research shows that people adhered more to their exercise program when they work in groups.

I personally think it depends on many factors:

– Acceptance

People don’t want to be judged or criticized by others. They want to feel welcome and supported. When people find groups that are supportive and accepting the percentage of people adherence increases.

– Competition

When we do something we like, we want to be the best. Whether we want run a marathon, lift heavy weights, and hike the goal it is to be the best we can be, even though we start by only enjoying the activity.

Competition with oneself is very healthy. Competition against someone else can become a dilemma.

I think competition makes most people reject their training. Can you imagine competing every day or at least 3 times a week with your friends? Making them feel that they are not at your level or you feeling that you are not at their level? Plus, everybody is made different, muscles attach in different areas, different types of muscle fibers and so on, allowing people to be stronger or not as strong.

People can feel overwhelmed, making adherence more difficult. A culture where a healthy competition against oneself allows the individual to adhere more to he or her exercise program it is very important.

– Rapport

Wolves usually are not found in packs of elephants or ducks with crows. We humans are creatures of habits and we look for people with the same habits, values and similar beliefs.

Finding a group that meets these requirements also helps the person stick to his or her program. Practicing same habits allows understanding of people which in turn it helps with our level of rapport.

Yes, group training can be very beneficial for the individual, but many requirements need to be met. Solo exercise, I believe, is only for the person who has developed strong exercise habits.

3. You’ve been in the fitness industry for over a decade now, are there any health and fitness regimes, tips, workouts or ‘fixes’ that you’ve seen reworked, recycled or ‘gone in and out of fashion’?

There are many of those you have mentioned that are reworked, recycled and not practiced any longer. People are always looking for easy ways to get in shape.

If you look back in history you will find many programs that are not on the “hot list” anymore that promised results. Why? Because simply don’t deliver the results people want. Back in the past people would practice them because all the advertising about their delivery.

sandro torres q&a_2Now, I’m not saying that these programs are not beneficial. It may help to some level. However people are expecting better results and when they don’t see them, the program drifts out of fashion. There were, there are, and there will be all these program being advertised and people will still follow them because they are looking for an easy fix.

The only programs that continue to outlive the next “fad” are the ones that will deliver the results. However it is not the level of difficulty people usually want. They want the quick and easy results that are falsely promised.

4. At this time of the year people do tend to be inconsistent with their fitness routines. Do you have any advice for those who may not be feeling as motivated?

I wrote an article about “Burning Desire.” You will find it on WatchFit or my business blog website.

The truth is that people who don’t have a burning desire to achieve their goals will never get there. Therefore, the first piece of advice is don’t waste your time “trying.”

Do it. It is that simple!

To wake the burning desire, you need to know how exercise and eating healthy will improve your life and what the benefits are. Weigh them against the results of not exercising and eating unhealthy. The suffering people have experienced and will be a result of not exercising and eating healthy.

I’m going to sound a little arrogant here, but I can’t compare my past with my present and future because I started to exercise when I was 19 years of age and I don’t experience the negative consequences of not exercising. Nevertheless, I used to eat horrible and

comparing my life back then and now…it’s very different.

I prefer to spend more money, take my time preparing foods and eating healthy as opposed to eating unhealthy.

Anyway, thinking about the suffering that a sedentary lifestyle and eating unhealthy brought, brings and will continue to bring, such issues as pains, sickness, illness, increased body fat, dependency, embarrassment, suffering and overall decreased quality of life.

Thinking of combatting these will light the candle of the burning desire.

Another good idea is to set goals in the beginning and revise them every week to stay on track and remember the reason why you are doing what you are doing.

Setting your mind to obtaining the goal, no matter what, gives you the motivation to continue when things get difficult.

Understanding the virtue of persistence helps people understand that if they give up they will never get to their goal, and the only failure that exists is the failure of giving up and never getting back on track to their dreams.

There is a new day every day. No need for the New Year to get back in track. If you wait until then you have lost an entire year of your life.

5. Do you have any favorite workouts or exercises for outside the gym? Could you provide us with any tips or plans for people who want to steer clear of the gym?

I think all depends on the goal.

Do you want to lose a couple pounds? Do you want to tone your body? Do you want to stay healthy? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want hiking to become easy? Are you fighting MMA? Once the goal is defined, requirements can be met.

Do I love the gym more than hiking?

No, the gym gives me the body I want and hiking helps me clear my mind and improve my cardiovascular system. I prefer hiking because it is easier and it clears my mind. However, it won’t give me the body I’m looking for. Therefore, I love the gym because it delivers the results I want. This is the only reason why I love the gym.

I used to work for a tree company where climbing is required. I think climbing is one of the most effective exercises out there to develop muscle groups. This is a good outdoor exercise. People need to be in shape to perform this outdoor activity.

Going back to the goals, if the goal is to stay healthy to some level, running, hiking, swimming, biking regularly are some exercises that will help. However this will not deliver optimum fitness.

Now the question is – why are people avoiding the gym? What are the reasons? If you find the reason, maybe you find out that perhaps is not the gym what people are trying to avoid but the atmosphere, people are not friendly, the four walls, the distance, or they don’t feel confident.

Tomorrow in Part 2 of this Q&A, Sandro will be giving us a look into his fitness regime and fitness program changes. Sandro will also be discussing his book ‘Lose Weight Permanently: Effective Body Transformation Through Lifestyle Changes’ and plans for his next book release.

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