Doug Bopst
27 years old
personal trainer and nutrition coach at MAC Express Hunt Valley
Did your felony and conviction play a role in your interest in fitness?
After being convicted on drug charges, I started exercising in jail. I felt so much better every time I finished exercising. I knew it was important to keep doing it in order to overcome the adversity: probation, drugs, all of that. When I got out, I was totally changed — I felt like a huge light switch was turned on. For a while I worked out with a personal trainer, and when I got to a point where I was satisfied, I started trying to help other people.
You wrote a book about this process, "Felony to Fitness to Free," which was published in August 2014. How did that come about?
The book was something I'd been wanting to do just to kind of help other people, and show them that life's about making choices and you can make it into a positive. I wrote it to give people hope, I think.
Favorites
gym/fitness activity
I love strength training and lifting weights, anything that really challenges my body.
healthy snack
Steak
unhealthy snack
Cookie dough ice cream
cool down activity
I like meditation, but I don’t do as much as I should. I’ve been into it off and on for maybe two years, and when I do it, I feel so good.
Fitness motto
“Remember how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go.”
Client Love
“Doug has really made the most of his second chance. It's almost like fitness saved his life and now he's saving others through fitness. I think he's come full circle. He's always there to pick you up if you're feeling frustrated and remind you how far you've come, not how far you have to go.”
- Penny Comeau, 55, Jarrettsville
How would you describe what makes you or your technique successful?
I think it's about the relationships I try to build with the people I train. I try to make sure they leave the session feeling better than when they came in, and that they're getting better every day.
Who's your own fitness hero?
Todd Durkin. He's the owner of one of the top ten gyms in the U.S., out of San Diego. His passion and dedication to the industry is really impressive.
What was your proudest moment as an intructor?
I'm kind of proud every day. In terms of just pride in my life, in January of 2014, my felony came off my record, and it kind of closed the book on my previous life and wrongdoings.
What do you think it was about exercise that helped you to change your life?
I really think it was about the self-confidence. It gets you endorphins and I have an addictive personality, so now I just exercise. If i'm not in the gym five to six days a week, I can really tell. I start to feel different.
What is the best advice for someone who wants to get into fitness?
You can never give yourself a better gift. Your health can be an asset or a liability, so you've got to use it to your advantage.