By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Living in a beach city like Rio de Janeiro where less clothes is the fashion, having a healthy body is always on people’s minds. Matthew Bresloff, an American expatriate living in Rio, has focused his life and work on fitness and strength training, and helping others get into better shape.
Bresloff explains that he ended up in Rio de Janeiro because he met his Carioca wife in Florida thirteen years ago. Then they went on to move to the New York/New Jersey area, where he had worked as a personal trainer.
“Five years later, my wife became a little homesick for Brazil and sick of New York winter. She decided she would go back to Rio. She invited me to go and at the time I was a little burnt out from training people ten hours a day and I wanted a change,” he said.
In terms of work, Bresloff shares, “Personal training in Rio and in NJ aren’t very different. In Rio, things are a little delayed (methodology/equipment), for example six years ago, there were no Crossfit gyms or gyms like 24 hr fitness/SmartFit. Now Crossfit and Smartfit are booming.”
One big difference is the training and education process required to be a certified personal trainer. Bresloff explains, “In the U.S., I took a three month course and bam, I went out and got hired without really any experience.”
He adds, “The course I did was called NASM-CPT (National Academy of Sports Medicine-Certified Personal Trainer), ten years ago it was very popular in the U.S. and I believe it prepared me well for the job of being a personal trainer.”
But he says, “In Rio, it is required to have a bachelor’s degree in the physical education field; could be sports, kinesiology or actual physical education (what I did). So when I arrived here in late 2010, I studied one year of Portuguese then enrolled at the college, Estácio de Sá.”
Continuing, “There is a bureaucratic agency called the CREF (Conselho regional de Educação Fisica) that regulates all personal trainers and if you are not registered with them with a bachelor’s degree in the PE field you can be fined or arrested.”
As a personal trainer in Rio, Bresloff explains that his approach to his work as a personal trainer is to provide the client with an exercise program that will help them achieve the objective they have. “Most frequently the desired outcome is better health or body composition which requires strength and conditioning work,” he explains.
As far as who gets the results they want and who doesn’t, he says, “The people who get the most benefit are the ones who consistently work hard and do what I say. They have to want it, if they don’t have the drive and don’t put in the effort they won’t get the results.”
Adding, “People who don’t benefit are the ones who miss workouts, go through the motions, whine and don’t listen. Exercise should be like sleep, eating, relaxing or something you do a specific number of times a week. It must be understood that this is a life-long long-term process.”
“There is no such thing as a miracle diet or ab routine that shreds belly fat or “tones”. Nothing good comes easy, you have to put in the time, study, listen and most importantly try,” says Bresloff.