Personal Trainer Highlight: Eric Su

Posted on: December 15, 2017

Like many personal trainers, Eric Su played a lot of sports as a young man. He had well-rounded interests, including football, basketball, and tennis. But after breaking an ankle, which required surgery to repair, he spent time in physical therapy to further his recovery. “Physical therapy opened my eyes to how I could help people,” said Su, a Personal Trainer for the Glen Ellyn Park District. “I decided to learn more about how I could make it a career.”

During college Su worked several internships, then decided to change the direction of his career to better fit his lifestyle. He owned a fitness facility for ten years, and eventually switched gears to become a personal trainer. “I liked the idea of having the ability to solve a problem to help change a person’s life,” said Su. “Even after all this time, I like having the power to help people get in shape to be healthy and to feel better.”

After working in the business for the past seventeen years, Su has seen what works and what doesn’t. “Everyone is different; knowing the type of person I’m working with and understanding what will work for them allows me to tailor a precise workout,” he added. “The challenge today, especially for people over 40, is finding time and motivation to stay consistent with a fitness regimen. For those under age 30, many are doing what’s trendy, versus what’s effective. Social media isn’t doing them any favors by suggesting “anything and everything” that may not be best for an individual person. My job is to educate and motivate my clients.”

Su serves a wide spectrum of clientele, and is proud of his success stories. “I had a client in his fifties who wanted to get in shape to try out for a baseball team. He’d be competing against younger guys for a spot on the roster. He worked hard, and was successful in making the team,” said Su. “I also went on a journey with an older gentleman to help him rehab from an old shoulder injury. Over time, I was able to help him improve his strength and range of motion.” Su is also currently training a high school football player being scouted by several Ivy League college football programs.

“I specialize in a more functional-based strength program, with cardiovascular conditioning. That means I have clients use their bodies as machines instead of using actual machines. I create and design workouts using tools like straps, free weights, and stability balls,” explained Su.

Su’s past experience with physical therapy gives him perspective when he’s working with a client. “People need to understand and communicate their physical limitations and abilities, and realize their expectations may not match their current fitness level,” he added. “It’s imperative to understand what’s appropriate to avoid injuries from overtraining. I teach special movements and techniques to help clients avoid pain and re-injury of an old trauma.”

Su offers the following advice to anyone wanting to get healthy and fit: “Go into it with a positive and specific mindset,” he said. “This is a lifestyle, not a “quick fix”. There’s a process, and the mindset will give you long-term results, not just instant gratification.”