"The human body is the best picture of the human soul."
Photos courtesy of Zimbio
I have been working in the world of fashion for a while now and often see things coming and going. However, there is one rule that never seems to change: the most important thing for models is their body and health. Whatever happens, you always need to be fit and look your best. With travelling around the world and skipping meals, it is not always an easy task.
As soon as I arrived in London, I started asking around for the best personal trainer in town and that's how I heard about Sebastiano Bitti.
Sebastiano is the CEO and the founder of Sebastiano Bitti Personal Training System. I contacted him immediately and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Sebastiano has not only a detailed knowledge of how the body works, but also a great understanding of fitness, health and nutrition. His professional advice helped me achieve my fitness goals and get the form of my life in just 12 weeks.
Besides training a lot of fashion models, actors and celebrities, Sebastiano likes to keep a low profile and, as he says, he trains everyone who wants to get fit and healthy. In an exclusive interview for Fashion Studio Magazine, Sebestiano gives a glimpse of his work as a personal trainer in London and shares a lot of useful tips with our readers.
Occupation: Personal Trainer
City: London, UK
FASHION STUDIO: How long have you been a personal trainer and how did you get involved in the industry? What is your background?
SEBASTIANO: I've been a personal trainer for 20 years. When friends asked for my guidance at the gym, I decided to study sports science and anatomy, got my degree and then travelled abroad to further my knowledge in these areas. My background is in martial arts.
FASHION STUDIO: What got you interested in personal training?
FASHION STUDIO: What do you specialise in?
SEBASTIANO: I specialise in fat loss, helping people lose body fat rather than simple weight loss!
FASHION STUDIO: What do you think is the number one thing keeping you motivated?
SEBASTIANO: My clients, they are awesome!
FASHION STUDIO: Why exercising and keeping fit is so important to our health and well-being?
SEBASTIANO: As Socrates said : "Healthy body, healthy mind".
FASHION STUDIO: Why personal training is more effective and brings quicker results then exercising on your own?
SEBASTIANO: A personal trainer will not only design a program customised for the individual and also help prevent injury. So it's the fastest, safest and most fun way to reach your goals.
FASHION STUDIO: How long do you train an average client? How long would their transformation take, on average?
SEBASTIANO: Minimum 45mins, maximum 60 minutes per session. Depending on the individual and the time they can commit, I can facilitate a complete body transformation within 12 weeks on average, sometimes even shorter for more committed individuals.
FASHION STUDIO: Tell us more about training the models...
SEBASTIANO: Models are under immense pressure to keep their bodies in excellent shape. Training them requires a lot of focus and ability to work under pressure to get them into shape for special events, catwalks, magazine shoots etc.
FASHION STUDIO: As far as training goes, do you have a specific approach for all models or do you design each program based on the individual's personal requirements?
SEBASTIANO: It's got to be 100% customised as each model has a different need, condition, schedule etc.
Photo courtesy of Zimbio
FASHION STUDIO: As a personal trainer, do you find that women are reluctant to lift weights because they think they’ll get too muscular? How do you convince them otherwise?
SEBASTIANO: Yes, women tend to be more reluctant about weight training but when I show them it's results, they get convinced. After all, Marilyn Monroe used to weight train, yet she was still very feminine.
FASHION STUDIO: What are 3 fitness tips you could give a female seeking advice from you?
SEBASTIANO: Never follow programmes advertised in magazines. Forget about cardio, especially the treadmill. Don't be afraid of good fats when it comes to nutrition.
FASHION STUDIO: Who has been your easiest celebrity to train and why?
SEBASTIANO: I never mention names as a principle!
FASHION STUDIO: Have you had a client who was especially difficult to work with?
SEBASTIANO: I've been quite lucky with my clients generally. I did have a difficult client once but when I explained that this would be truly beneficial for him, he started seeing results and got bought in.
Victoria's Secret model Erin Heatherton (Photo courtesy of E.Heatherton)
FASHION STUDIO: What is people's main barrier to exercise? How can they overcome it?
SEBASTIANO: The main challenge is usually creating the habit of regular exercise. They can overcome it by basically doing it and establishing a habit!
FASHION STUDIO: If somebody comes to you with a body image problem, what would you do? Have you ever encountered this in any of your clients?
SEBASTIANO: I make them understand that it's not worth torturing themselves trying to attain an unrealistic body shape advertised in media and computer games. They should love their body and keep it fit & healthy with regular exercise.
FASHION STUDIO: For people who read the gossip magazines and wish to emulate a particular person, like Gisele Bundchen for example, what advice would you give them?
SEBASTIANO: Every woman has been born with a different beauty, they should love it and keep it healthy with exercise and good nutrition to be their ultimate best!
FASHION STUDIO: How important is the right diet? What is the secret to maintaining low body fat year round?
SEBASTIANO: I always tell my clients: "You can out-train a bad diet." There is no secret to low body fat other than: regular exercise, good sleep, balanced nutrition.
Photo courtesy of Pro Form
FASHION STUDIO: What top 3 tips you can give to our readers regarding nutrition?
SEBASTIANO: Avoid gluten, don't be afraid of good fats, never count calories!
FASHION STUDIO: What is your take on people who become obsessed with the way they look and their training in general?
SEBASTIANO: That doesn't make them a bad person at all! On a serious note, I prefer the word focused to obsessed.
FASHION STUDIO: How many clients do you see in a typical day?
SEBASTIANO: I don't want to accept more than 4 clients a day.
FASHION STUDIO: Do you remember your first client?
SEBASTIANO: Yes, it was a lovely lady who had just broken up with her boyfriend and wanted to get into the dating scene with confidence. Exercise gave her the self esteem and she was spoilt for choice in the end actually!
FASHION STUDIO: How do you get your clients? How do you market yourself?
SEBASTIANO: Mainly word-of- mouth. I also get clients reach me via twitter @SebastianoBitti
Photo courtesy of Erin Heatherton
FASHION STUDIO: What do you think is the biggest problem that today’s personal trainers face?
SEBASTIANO: People tend to get bad knowledge from media regarding fitness and nutrition. The challenge for the personal trainer is sometimes reprogram these wrong / bad references.
FASHION STUDIO: What do you think is the biggest mistake personal trainers make?
SEBASTIANO: The most common mistake I hear about is putting clients on a cardio machine and leave them there half of the session. It's wrong.
FASHION STUDIO: What last 3 tips would you give to our readers to reach their fitness goals?
SEBASTIANO: Train, train, train!
FASHION STUDIO: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years time?
SEBASTIANO: Opening my own club where I can practise my exercise principles that I have cultivated during my learning trips around the world.
FASHION STUDIO: Thank you and good luck with all your plans!