Robert’s fascination with fitness started in the summer before freshman year in high school. That year Robert experienced a rapid growth spurt of six inches. The coaches wanted him to play sports because he was tall but because of his growth spurt he was very uncoordinated. His training started with weight-lifting, running cross country and training with the wrestling team. These activities helped him build movement awareness and increase his size, speed and strength. His training was so successful he went on to be a walk-on player for the University of Illinois football team!
With his degree in Industrial Design, Robert worked for a company designing fitness equipment. He was there for 11 years and came to appreciate that our bodies are the best designed pieces of fitness equipment. He left to attend the National Personal Training Institute. While there, he developed his philosophy, ‘Choose to move well, move often and challenge your body everyday’. His primary training approach uses full body, primal movements with resistance as well as other other unique methods, to help his clients move and feel better.
Q&A with Robert McDonial
Q. How long have you been a personal trainer?
A. I have been a personal trainer/fitness coach for five years. Before becoming a personal trainer, I designed fitness equipment.
Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. I specialize in body weight and non-machine based training. You can accomplish strength, endurance and hypertrophy goals with your own body weight. I prefer to use kettlebells, sandbags, superbands, the TRX Suspension Trainer and the Rip Trainer when I do use equipment.
Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. Having designed fitness equipment for 10+ years, I saw how people routinely discarded the equipment shortly after buying it. I also so how people became frustrated waiting for occupied gym equipment and being unable to take the equipment with them while traveling. I quickly realized that there was one piece of equipment, that everyone had: their own body. They just did not know how to use it. I began to learn and teach myself various types of body weight training, so I could show others how to use the ultimate training machine, their own body.
Q. What can a new client expect?
A. A new client can expect to receive a full assessment with an explanation of the findings and a road map for the fulfillment of their needs and goals. Clients will also be challenged to safely step out of there comfort zone.
Q.What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. I like that primal/natural movement is catching on. If you can control your body, then you can control external loads and reduce your chance of injury. I also like that tools such a as kettlebells and sand bags, are starting to get programmed into training regimens.
Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. My current personal wellness goals are to bulletproof my body from injury and to improve my handstands. I practice primal movement patterns to activate my entire body so I can move well and with intention. I also practice my inversions a little bit everyday.
Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. I love being in and around water, so any place along the lakefront is perfect for me. If I had to choose one place, then it would be Atwater park in Shorewood. Not only is it a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the beach below, but the stairs and the walkway are ideal for training.
Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Having lived in Florida, I love seafood, so I like Screaming Tuna for their sushi. I have heard that the Harbor House has excellent seafood, so I’m going to have to try them out sometime. Occasionally, I will go to Kopps for a burger and custard. You can’t eat perfectly all the time, haha!
Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. My three favorite things to do are going to auto shows, visiting unique architecture-both residential and commercial, and watching movies at the theater.
Q. What do you do to de-stress?
To de-stress, I love to listen to music while taking long walks with my dog.