Troy Robert Smith
Welcome my friends! My name is Troy Smith, and I am a personal trainer, former bodybuilder, husband, stepfather, and dog-lover. I tend to be an open book, and I am like a big kid trapped in an adult body – for better or worse. I am here to share with you what I have learned about fitness, and the kid in me will tag along doing his best to make you laugh and inspire you to take action!
If you are someone who struggles with getting into or staying in your top state of fitness, then you have come to the right place. With the knowledge, experience, and effective systems I have created, my mission is to empower you to achieve the results you desire and have fun doing it.
In the beginning
As early as elementary school people would ask me if I lifted weights. My answer usually consisted of a “no” followed by an explanation of why my body looked the way it did– that I was very active climbing and jumping out of tree forts and doing freestyle tricks on my BMX bike.
I now realize that the early influence of my mother teaching me her three fundamental principles of 1. Eating well 2. Exercising well (like rocking the Cathy Smith aerobic record we’d do together in our living room listening to the big vinyl record) and 3. Sleeping well was very instrumental to developing my fitness foundation -- thanks Mom!
One day for $30 dollars I acquired some old fashioned weights at a garage sale. Since there was no YouTube back then, my pre-workout inspiration often came from watching the training scenes in the Rocky movies before heading to the basement to lift weights (Eye of the Tiger blaring in the background). I continued to explore and train with weights during and in between my baseball and swim seasons. I have to admit that many of my insights and training knowledge arose from reading articles about nutrition, training theory, and body mechanics in Muscle and Fitness and Flex magazines. I would read articles in school when the teachers weren’t looking and daydream about my after school workout – and what new idea or technique I would try out that day. I continued to think about how I worked out every time I would train in a gym or meet someone more experienced than me. One of the best ways to learn is by listening and learning from other people who are already successfulTroy-Style
After injuring my lower back and unsuccessfully attempting to heal it by wearing a total immobilization brace (the Boston bucket) for three months, I was told by the reputable orthopedic surgeon that I would need to 1- learn how to always live with having back pain 2- change my lifestyle and 3- accept that I would likely never lift weights again. After shedding some tears and feeling like my life (well the important parts like climbing trees and jumping off things and doing tricks and being active and…) was over, I eventually decided to heal it “Troy-style.” I disregarded the doctor’s suggestions that hadn’t gotten me anywhere, and I started to be intuitive with respect to my living and training. With the help of a mobility expert, I eventually became pain free and developed a super strong and resilient back that allowed me to, ultimately, snow ski off cliffs at Vail and free squat 8 repetitions with 550lbs on my shoulders. This made me realize that I should not necessarily follow directions from accepted authorities without question.
BS to Personal Trainer
While finishing my pre-med undergrad degree in Biology (a BS in Biology – so I like to say I can BS biology) I found myself teaching and instructing the many people at the gym who gravitated towards my enthusiastic energy. When I was made the head APEX nutrition tech at a Gold’s Gym, I recall feeling that I wasn’t ready, as I hadn’t gone through the APEX schooling and certification process. After my clients starting getting really great results, though, I realized again that I didn’t necessarily need to be an official authority to be a valuable authority. Like the healing of my own back, I was doing it Troy-style, which I took to calling Troy-pex. It didn’t take long for me to choose to become a professional personal trainer and do what I truly love – teaching and empowering people to be their best.
Over the years I have been very fortunate to have worked with and alongside many top-notch trainers, coaches, and fitness experts, which has provided me with valuable experiences and varying perspectives regarding training and life. These experiences, coupled with my own self-education and academic background in biology, have made me who I am today. Personally, I have competed in four bodybuilding competitions, three of which I placed first in my weight class and one of which I won the overall title, allowing me to compete at the national level. I have also successfully prepared both men and women for shows.
After working as a trainer in Chicago, followed by Lansing, Michigan where I founded and ran my own True Body Bootcamp business, I re-connected with the girl who had a massive crush on me back in the 4th grade, proposed to her at the top of Mount Helena, and moved with her to Illinois just north of Chicago. Kristi is now one of my backbones and dearest friend!
Rebel Carving His Own Path
I do not automatically conform to the status quo (unless doing so makes sense to me), and I have a track record of non-conformity with regard to training programs, theory, and protocol. I find what works best, distill the principles that make the most sense to me, and then figure out how to most efficiently apply these principles. I avoid getting caught up with unnecessary and complex ideas that serve little purpose other than to detract others from the principles that work.
The following are some of the principles and clichés that I live and train by:
- It doesn’t matter how much weight or how many reps you do – so much as it is HOW you do whatever it is that you do in order to create a potent stimulus for your body to adapt. (Quality over Quantity)
- It is the lack of the appropriate nutrients at the right times that is way more detrimental than presence of “bad” foods. The focus should not be on what bad foods to avoid or eliminate so much as it should proactively be on focusing how to incorporate good nutrition at the right times to feed and fuel the body.
- There is no such thing as an inherently fattening food. – Rather, it is how all foods are incorporated into the overall diet that is most important.
My Mission to You
My goal is to teach and empower you to be the best that YOU want to be and inspire you to want to be extraordinary in your own way – whatever that looks like for you. I believe you don’t have to count repetitions. You don’t have to count calories. You can. But, you don’t have to. The efficient application of sound principles trumps everything. You don’t have to pay for fancy training programs. You don’t have to completely cut out the vices you enjoy. You can have a Ferrari of a body. It comes down to understanding and efficiently applying the principles that truly make the difference and having the guts to do the work.
Nothing worthwhile is easy. Hard work feels good and pays off in the end. I have my struggles with autoimmunity, which affects my ability to train and be productive with my business. I am human. Therefore I am vulnerable. I experience fear. I have a heart. I experience passion. I can connect with other people and animals as much as I choose. And all of this gives me power. My mission is to share everything valuable that I learn from the wonderful people and experiences that come into my life and do so in a way that touches, moves, and inspires you to live with passion and do extraordinary things. Follow me and embrace what is possible for you and your life!