Many of us want to move exercise up our priority lists, but somehow it never happens. We come up with myriad excuses: the gym is too far, I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I don’t know where to start…Chaim Sultan,a certified personal trainer, has heard it all and he’s bursting with energy and creative ideas. Although he’s been working with clients in Jerusalem, he’ll soon be moving to a bigger, brighter, and better studio in Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel— so get ready, Beit Shemesh, Chaim Sultan is back in town!
What is LIFT?
My company name serves a dual purpose; the first conveys the literal motion of LIFTING: bringing power to how we train. The second is an acronym for Life In Fitness Training. The idea is that fitness should be a functional part of your everyday life. Even if you don’t have “time” for a workout, you can change your daily habits by throwing a fitness mentality into the mix. It may sound overwhelming, but it really is a lot of fun to discover.
What motivated you to enter this field?
You mean other than getting to wear comfortable clothes all day and help yourself and others get fit – simply, the greatest job imaginable! On a personal level, when I was a kid I was a bit chubby and had a negative body image. I started dieting and exercising in 8th grade, and that’s when I fell in love with fitness. I continued training and exploring fitness ever since. The human body needs nurturing, and when it’s healthy, you just live better. Not to mention, I really enjoy teaching and learning from each of my clients.
How would you describe your particular style or method of training?
I’d like to think that I’m sort of a fitness jack- of-all-trades. There’s no type of workout that I wouldn’t try with a client – whether it’s strength training, HIIT, bodybuilding, posture work, or yoga. I’ve also developed more unique methods, like using ordinary towels for resistance train- ing. The best body is one fit for whatever you can throw at it – we do whatever it takes! That being said, I do have a core curriculum for my clients, which I constantly adapt and refine.
How do you keep your clients motivated?
People are both complex and simple. Everyone has their unique take on life and reasons for being motivated or not. However, there are some recurring themes. For example, I recently had two clients with similar fitness agendas who both believed they were weak, overweight and without drive. After a few weeks, some praise and encouragement, some sweat and LIFT posture training, they realized just how strong and driven they actually were. Training is like a talk therapy in some ways, there is constant give-and-take in an honest conversation framework.
What is your overall approach to personal training?
Well, I’ll start off by saying what I don’t like: trainers who throw their agenda at you. I believe that power is from within and my aim is to cultivate that energy into pragmatic fitness. I also believe in working out with every client. As we train, we’ll discuss the principles behind what we’re doing, so you can learn to be a fitness master. My main objective is for the client to work out forever, to become his own trainer! To misquote a popular saying; it’s not enough to teach a man to fish (incidentally, a great source of protein) rather, he must become a fisherman if he wants to eat fish for the rest of his life and not quit after two months for summer vacation.
How much does nutrition come into play in your personal training?
We break nutrition into two main parts. The theory, like what carbs and fats are, and the practice, like not eating all the donuts. Obviously, the practical part is much harder to keep to and LIFT focuses on learning how to eat pizza occasionally but stay fit all the same. Actually, I’m eating candy right now – I love candy, and if you can burn it off, it’s not that bad as a quick energy source to aid in muscle recovery.
Who did you learn from and how do you continue your fitness education?
Over the years, instinct and experience have become my greatest teachers. Networking with other trainers, such as my buddy Moshe Richmond who is currently getting his masters in physical therapy, and online research are my main sources of additional information. The creator of P90X fitness program inspired me from a young age and I model some of my programing from him. Others, like posture experts from AthleanX and bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger have been vital in my gaining knowledge of the body and how to train it. Unique individuals helped formulate my ideas, like one of my first clients and good friend, Yoel Marmor or my Rabbi, Peretz Segal, author of Vagueness Vanquished, and a Rav at Ohr Sameach. Both my father and father-in-law have vast knowledge; they give me their time and wisdom and that keeps me going and growing, making it possible for LIFT to be what it is today.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to get in shape?
Start working out RIGHT NOW and love it! Just kidding, you can wait until you finish this article.
ABOUT CHAIM SULTAN
Chaim Sultan is the founder of LIFT – a dynamic fitness training program. Chaim received his certification from Gymnasia Tel Aviv, the only institution in Israel to offer authorized TRX training. Chaim sees clients in their location or in his Jerusalem studio, which will be moving to Beit Shemesh. He can be reached by WhatsApp or phone at 054-884-9240.