FRED FORNICOLA, B.A., is the President and exclusive fitness professional of Premiere Personal Fitness in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Fred has been involved in the field of strength and fitness for nearly 30 years. He has authored more than 100 articles on strength and fitness while maintaining several regular columns on nutrition and training for numerous Internet websites. Fred is a contributing author of the book Get Fit New Jersey! and recently co-authored a book with Matt Brzycki entitled Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness which can be found at Barnes & Nobles, Borders and on-line bookstores.
In the Beginning
In 1977 I had my first “formal” introduction to strength training at a Nautilus facility in a nearby town where I lived, and ever since then strength training has been a passion of mine. Thankfully, I was taught to always emphasize proper form and that hard work and dedication would produce results, and that it did. I certainly got stronger, had very few injuries while playing sports and felt that I was in better overall shape than my competitors and peers. Over the next 9 years I experimented with different training protocols, used different types of equipment and even engaged in some noncompetitive power lifting for a while. The results were that I became quite strong and put on a good amount of muscle. The problem was I put absolutely no emphasis on eating properly and my cardiovascular (CV) conditioning training was sporadic at best.
The Turning Point
One day I was looking at some recent photos that were taken by my mother and came upon one of me where I was lying on my side, dressed in jeans and a sweater. I was appalled at what I saw. I was an over sized, out of shape 25 year old who neglected to address the more important aspects of what proper fitness is all about. This demanded immediate action and in 1986 I visited with a nutritionist who assisted me in structuring an effective eating plan to address my excessive body fat and my overall health. After assessing my situation and finding out that not only had let my weight get to 220 pounds (at 5’7”), my body fat level had soared over 20%! This was not going to be tolerated and I immediately dedicated myself to achieving my goals of decreasing my unhealthy body fat and improving my CV condition. I worked so diligently that after only 9 month’s of eating good, wholesome foods, training hard and being consistent with my aerobic training that I entered my first and only bodybuilding contest. I didn’t fare all that well, taking a 5th place in the competition, but I had already achieved my goals with the efforts I had made at improving my body and health. I stepped on stage that night at a bodyweight of 165 pounds with 6% body fat.
Where I am Now
Ever since 1986, nutrition and cardiovascular training became another aspect of fitness mindset and I have read countless pieces of information as well have authored over 75 articles on nutrition, strength training and cardiovascular conditioning as well as co-authored a new book entitled "Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness". Till this day my family and I maintain a very healthy lifestyle and after all these years I still enjoy my training immensely and encourage others to incorporate fitness into their lives so they too can benefit both physically as well as mentally.
Through my 30 years of training, research and experimentation, my philosophy on fitness is one that is quite simple: Keep your health as the main priority, educate yourself as much has possible and use common sense as your guide. With those thoughts in mind, developing an effective fitness program can be quite simple.
I hope I can impart some of my knowledge and experience to help you achieve your physical goals.
Best in Health,