Who is Sal Crispo?

Hello and welcome,

If you are reading this, you are probably looking for answers or solutions to your health and fitness problems. Guess what? That’s exactly where I started. Over 10 years ago, I received my personal training certification and I was on top of the world. I was ready to start helping lots of people solve their problems and achieve their goals. Little did I know at the time, but I was in for a rude awakening. Even though my intentions were good, I quickly realized that I was not able to help the majority of problems which people came to me with.  What’s more, I knew I could potentially make their problems worse.  

I remember being so frustrated when some programs, whether exercise or nutritional, would work wonders with some people and be completely ineffective for others.  It just didn’t make any sense to me; after all, I was using the strategies I learned from my personal training education. How can a program work for some people and not for others?  At first, I thought it may be that my clients were not following my programs correctly.  However, I knew this was not the case because I witnessed most of them doing the programs. 

Things got even more confusing when some of my clients could not do the most common exercises without feeling pain and discomfort.  I remember them asking me, “Why does this exercise hurt me?” And I didn’t have an answer for them.  I honestly had no clue.  According to my (limited) education, these exercises should be good for everyone. I immediately began to feel incompetent. I wanted to help people and yet, I could not differentiate between which exercises were good for my clients and which were not. 

I worked in a large fitness club with many other personal trainers so I began to ask them for answers. Much to my surprise, they didn’t know either. Some of them theorized, but none gave me a clear or definitive explanation. This surprised me because these trainers had many years of experience and I just assumed that they would know. Instead, they just learned to work around the uncertainty. If an exercise hurt any of their clients, they simply would avoid it.

Dr. Michael Colgan Performing a one-arm pull-up!
This solution was not good enough for me so I continued to search for answers. Intuitively, I felt I should search for a program that could determine which exercises and nutritional protocols were favourable and unfavourable for each person or in other words, on an individual basis.  Fortunately, I stumbled upon a nutrition book called “Optimum Sports Nutrition”, by Dr. Michael Colgan. In this book, he describes the principle of biochemical individuality which simply means every human being is unique and for this reason, every person should follow an individualized nutritional program. Not only did this principle make complete sense but it helped me to understand what was happening with some of my clients.

Dr. Colgan and I at the Colgan Institute
Naturally, the principle of individuality also applies to exercise science. What is beneficial for one person is not for another. Why? There are many possible reasons such as postural imbalances, joint instabilities, core strength and fitness level. Therefore, I went on a mission to learn the best methods of customized program (exercise and nutrition) design. To begin with, I studied the works of Dr. Michael Colgan and visited him several times in Salt Spring Island. Eventually, I became a level 3 Master Power Program Trainer with the Colagan Institute and gained a strong fundamental knowledge of nutrition and exercise customization.

Paul Chek lifting an enormous amount of weight!
While at the Power Program certification, Dr. Colgan spoke highly of another health professional named Paul Chek. After learning a little more about him, it did not take long for me to discover why this man was sought out and respected by so many other leading health professionals. His educational information is cutting edge and takes the principle of customization to a whole new level. What I have gained in his courses cannot be justly expressed. Aside from nutrition and exercise, Paul’s teachings have had a holistic influence on my life. In other words, I am a much healthier person physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.   
Paul Chek and I at H.L.C. in New York
Now the question remained, would these programs work for others the same way they had worked for me? As I began to put these programs into practice with clients, the results spoke for themselves. Clients that came to me with pain, healed very quickly. Clients who wanted to lose body fat, lost body fat. In truth, no matter what a client’s goal was, this customization approach was extremely effective and efficient. In other words, not only was I helping people solve their problems and reach their goals, but I was doing so much faster than ever before.

This whole experience has led me to strongly believe in these two mottos: ‘customization (in the true sense of the word) is king’ and ‘if you are not assessing you are guessing’ (I will blog about these two mottos and expand upon them in the future). Actually, I believe in customization so strongly that I based the name of my company on this principle. ‘SmartPath’ simply means following the smartest path toward solving your unique problems and achieving your specified goals. It is my job, to first determine the best program (using a detailed assessment) for the individual and then make sure the client follows through with the plan. And when a client does follow through or takes the ‘SmartPath’, great results are inevitable.  

Following in the footsteps of my mentors - walking the walk
That is all for now. I plan on writing as often as I can on this blog. I will try to keep it informative, motivational and at the same time, as entertaining as possible.

Thank you for reading about me! :)

In health & happiness,

Sal Crispo
Vaughan Personal trainer
Holistic Health Practitioner