Godfrey the Godfather of Personal Training

Some consider Scott Godfrey, to be the “Godfather” of personal training at Canisius College. As assistant director of athletic performance, Godfrey has a hand in training 15 of the college’s sports teams.

On top of supervising the college’s athletes, Godfrey has 12 private clients and runs a “boot camp” group work out session three times a week.

Godfrey earned his bachelor’s degree in sports biology and his masters in exercise science and nutrition. His interest in fitness came from lifting weights with his father in his youth.

Godfrey shares the story of starter on the Canisius lacrosse team that exhibits the success achievable under his guidance. Godfrey began work with the starter during his freshman year. At that time, his unalignment prohibited him from performing body weight squats without knee pain. After three years of Godfrey’s instruction, the starter now squats over 400 pounds, in alignment, pain free, he said.

Godfrey shared another story, about a client of his, currently in his 60’s, suffering from severely limited mobility. His client was unable to wash his own hair without experiencing pain, Godfrey said.

After working from the “ground up,” starting with the ankles, then hips, up to the shoulder and neck, Godfrey helped to strengthen and increase mobility for his client, who is now able to squat, dead lift and press overhead, something that a short time ago, seemed unattainable, according to Godfrey.

For clients suffering from some sort of physical ailment, Godfrey uses the “ABC” method: Alignment, Balance, Control.

“Let’s get people back to that. Once we are back to that, we can introduce exercises,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey believes that when it comes to training, everything should be individualized. It is important to look at each new client methodically, he said. First, he learns their goals. Next, Godfrey considers their habits, what their diet is like, how they move, if they have pain, and their history. Then Godfrey deduces if those habits are in alignment with the client’s goals.

According to Godfrey, personal training is sought for a wide variety of results: weight loss, muscle gain, flexibility, mobility, decreasing physical pain, and sometimes for a new positive mindset.

“It’s just as much mental as it is physical.” he said.

The common ingredient in attaining any fitness goal is mindfulness, according to Godfrey.

“First step, look at what your habits are now, your everyday habits,” he said.

It is essential to become aware of your regular patterns, including your movement (physical activity), eating habits, sleeping habits, and stress levels. All are critical in a successful completion of any fitness goals, Godfrey explained.

Godfrey then helps his clients to recognize which habits are hindering their fitness goals. Godfrey said most failures come from people trying to take on too much at once. He emphasizes a step by step process for all fitness goals.

“A lot of people’s biggest mistake is that they try to do it all at once and it becomes the hardest thing ever,” Godfrey said. “It’s just like quitting cigarettes some people do it cold turkey, most people can’t. So, it’s more cutting back on things, tweaking things, moving things to appropriate times of day.”

He goes on to explain, “the habit that you are strongly emotionally attached to, is the hardest to break, that’s what you’re going to hold onto the longest.”

Godfrey says tweaking habits, rather than abolishing them completely, is more sustainable. For example, if you look forward to eating four scoops of ice cream right before bedtime every night, you wouldn’t attempt to eliminate eating ice cream entirely, but rather reduce it to an appropriate portion and partake at a more appropriate time of the day, he said.

Another important component in achieving any fitness goal, Godfrey says, is to “Stoke the fire. Getting up and moving will help feed more energy to your system.”

Regardless of the desire to gain muscle, or lose weight, there are a few staples products Godfrey recommends you keep in your kitchen.

“Your fridge should be full with a variety of color in fruits and vegetables,” Godfrey suggests. “When looking at your plate, it should be more than half full of vegetables, a quarter of it should be protein, and a less than a quarter of it, starches.”

Eggs are another staple Godfrey advocates for, “You need cholesterol in your diet, so it’s important where you’re getting it from.”

If you’re looking for some excitement in your daily diet, Godfrey advises to try hot sauce.

“Hot sauce can do a lot to something that’s bland, and is zero calories.” He said.

Godfrey also counsels to keep a pantry full of healthy oils such as olive or coconut, and nuts or seeds. As well as eating lean proteins, incorporating seafood at least once a week.

Godfrey warns about buying into trendy diets or fads.

“Take it all with a grain of salt and see what works for you.” he recommends.

He reiterates that the key to a healthy lifestyle, is “all mindfulness and putting things into perspective, not buying into everything you see.”