I am the youngest of 3 from the small town of Lewisburg, TN. I grew up playing sports and being inspired by my older brothers to take up weight lifting at the age of 12. Since then, I have always had a passion for fitness.
Personal Trainer/Online Fitness Coach
Is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue in your opinion and why?
In my opinion Weight Loss is a health issue. On the flip side of the coin, some people want to lose weight for health-related reasons (family health history, current health, past health, etc.). Some are more driven by external elements such as wanting abs, better physique, a desired vision, etc. At the end of the day, it comes down to what will bring happiness and propel an individual toward their goal(s).
If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?
- Fitness level:30
- Health level:70
Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, others?
I love all of them. All forms of exercise have been useful in the last 11 years of training clients. Over the course of my career, I have been able to utilize each of these tools as a way to create programs fitting for an individual’s fitness lifestyle and personality.
My current training split is Mon-Friday. I train for 45-75 minutes to get the most out of my workouts as well as it keeps me focused on the plan. I do about 10-30 minutes of cardio each day. Cardio is something I have always done since my younger days of playing sports. I’ve always had the philosophy: if it works for you, stick with it.
A balance of proteins, carbs, and fats. I eat around 2900-3200 Calories daily. I tend to keep higher calorie days for training days and lower for rest days. I am always adapting my nutrition to fit the current goals such as gaining strength or shredding for a photo shoot/project.
Fish Oil for the win. I have never been one to take multiple supplements. I focus on getting micronutrients and micronutrients from whole food as much as possible. My goal was to keep my pantry from looking like a supplement shop.
Do you prefer to take and recommend all natural (no sugar, no artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavors and sweeteners? And why?
I prefer to make recommendations on variables that would promote a healthy lifestyle for the client as well as myself.
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status Fitness focuses on bringing the fitness community together and inspiring all levels of fitness.
Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
My coaches throughout my life have played a huge role in my life and continue to do so. They helped me form a foundation that I have been able to apply to all walks of life. My coaches taught me to be open-minded and never stop learning. I recall one of my coaches telling me two things “You must always be willing to learn” and “All coaches could use a coach”. Those statements have been with me for about 20+ years now.
If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
What inspired you to start your fitness journey?
Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you for this opportunity?
Super Excited about the opportunity
Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
My Family. Not the typical sponsor; however, they are my biggest fans and push me to go after my dreams.
Future fitness goals and plans?
The biggest goal is to keep making a difference in the lives of others with the power of nutrition and exercise.
To be the best father, friend, brother, uncle, coach, and person I can be.
5 things people don’t know about you?
- I love computers and technology.
- Love to build stuff.
- Family Board game night is the best.
- I had tick fever when I was 7.
- I bowled in a league when I was a kid.
5 lessons you have learned?
- Always show up for yourself
- Keep your word
- Life is what you make it
- Make time with family a non-negotiable priority
- Keep Smiling
5 most important attributes you see in a person?
- Passion for going after goals
- Makes an attempt to TRY
- Positive Attitude
If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
I person feeling stuck. To encourage and remind them each day that they too can reach any goal they set.
Who inspires you? And why?
My family inspires me. They inspire me to wake up daily and give it 100%. They are my WHY.
Your transformation story:
All of us start somewhere. Everyone’s journey is never linear or goes to plan as you will see in the context below. This is only a small glimpse into my life, but I wanted to share a few of my setbacks. All of us endure the ups and downs; however, it is how we respond which determines the outcome. We have presented 2 choices: GIVE UP or KEEP FIGHTING.
In 1997, right before my 12th birthday, I made the decision to make a change. The goal was to stop beating myself over my current health and fitness. To be honest, how many of us are focused on the fitness portion at 11. We find ourselves more concerned with outward appearance. Body shaming ourselves into a state of depression and decreasing our own value, potential, and self-worth. Long story short I DECIDED…I decided to take charge and make change happen. As long as life was in my body, I would see my goals through.
(1997-2004) From age 12-19, I spent these years pushing hard and learning more about my body. During this time, finding my own love for fitness was essential as it is for any of us. Usually, during our teenage years, we make the mistake of aspiring to look like those who inspire us. I admit…it was one of my greatest mistakes. Sure, gains were made in the gym; however, I still felt a part of me was never happy with the results. The search for fitness happiness was over the moment I began to focus on becoming the best version of myself.
Fast forward to 2006. 21 years young with a full life ahead of me. This is a year I will never forget. In Late November/early December I was faced with the diagnosis of Vasculitis. The doctor informed me my body was experiencing 2 types (HS Purpura and Wegener’s Vasculitis). The diagnosis led me to cease all weight training (Doctors orders) from December 2006 – March 2008. Talk about a punch to the gut. I was devastated. Along With the diagnosis, came the possibility of having up to 5 years to live (worst case scenario) which my tests were leaning more towards that coming to fruition. The doctor spoke with me about going after any goals I wanted to accomplish and making the best use of my time (considering it was up in the air). In August 2007, I began my college journey and path to becoming a personal trainer as my career of choice. Fitness was my love, passion, and outlet (STILL IS). It was hard to stay focused at times. I always enjoyed going to the gym, pushing myself, and being around like-minded friends. Rest assured I never stopped going to the gym. Just had to approach it with a new perspective and routine. Just going to the gym made me feel great and gave me something to look forward to once I could return to some iron therapy. Since I couldn’t lift weights, my focus was on my studies. Speed up to Jan 2008. My doctor talked to me about the next steps we were about to take (Chemotherapy and Radiation) in hopes to possibly beat it or slow it down. The plan was to start it in March 2008> He always ended our visits with “Keep your head up, and stay positive young man”. February 2008 same conversation, same game plan, and another blood test. March 2008 – The doctor and his team met with me to give me good and bad news. Bad news – we had to take another blood test/Good News – vasculitis was nowhere to be found. Talk about a level of being shocked. God delivered me that day. During my time with vasculitis, my trust and faith in Christ grew 5-fold. God wasn’t done with me. We had more work for me to do. April 2008 I was released to start training again (power walking and very light duty work) …that’s all I needed to get going again. Keep in mind I went from 172 lbs. to 150 lbs. soaking wet. I was ready to return… GOALS NEEDED TO BE MET!!
From April 2008-2010, I focused on college and putting Weight back on. Just trying to get back to a normal routine and enjoying life!!!
October 2010, I started Xtreme Fitness LLC (which would become Eric Rodgers Fitness LLC) with a great friend Robert Perry. Couldn’t have asked for a greater fitness partner in crime. We set out on the journey to change as many lives as we could through the power of fitness, motivation, and inspiration. Also did my first fitness photoshoot and decided I wanted to compete with WBFF (World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Inc) (2 goals I had planned before (2008). I reached out to Micah Lacerte who I later met with at the Arnold Expo along with Wash Candido. These guys inspired me to compete with the WBFF for my first show.
May 2011 through 2013 – stepped on stage with the WBFF and had my 2nd fitness shoot. During this time, I also finished college along with becoming a writer for Faith & Fitness magazine. All of these were goals I set out to accomplish. As far as the writer part, God blessed me with the opportunity to which I am still a part of almost 10 years later. Give all glory to God!!!
Fast Forward – August 12, 2013 – Car Wreck – Yet another setback. Just when everything was going smoother than freshly made almond butter. BOOM!!! Life changed in the blink of an eye. What was just a routine day of travel to train clients, turned out to be the day I totalled my vehicle and walked away with a few parting gifts of being banged up. I had to tailor back on teaching Bootcamp class, training clients, and training myself. Very difficult…. but not as difficult as the above-mentioned case in 2008. It wasn’t a huge setback but still a setback. The biggest key here was to focus on returning back to 100% and allowing my body time to heal so I could provide the best service to my clients.
Present Day – Business is going strong and the family is doing well.
The point of sharing this timeline is to show that everyone’s journey is not linear. We all have setbacks as well as better than ever comebacks. Either we overcome them or not. Dreams can become a reality or dreams can be shattered. I left many things out so I didn’t write a book, but I hope it inspires at least one reader.
Biggest takeaway – Never judge a book by its cover. You never know the battle someone has faced to reach where they are in the personal journey. Try not to sweat the small stuff. When setbacks happen, hit them full force and never give up.
Hope all of you have a blessed day!
“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela
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Cover Photo By: Barry A. Noland