Fit and Healthy 2016

Who is Rob Medsger?
(and his furkid Riley)

There was a time, not too long ago, when thin was in.

Physical fitness, as it were, consisted of being “skinny,” and not much else. Then along came some dude named Arnold, and the world of weightlifting – and getting “ripped” and muscle-bound – was thrust upon us.

Now, though, we as a society know better. Being “fit” means many things to many people, and it doesn’t always necessarily mean the same as being well, which is the ultimate goal for most people.

Which brings us to people like Rob Medsger, who have the often-thankless job of discerning what people truly want with their physical fitness – and their emotional and mental states, many times as well – and creating master plans that will facilitate the attaining of these often-elusive prizes.

Medsger, you see, is a personal trainer, whose role in and of itself – much like society’s view of fitness – while still quite fluid, has evolved with the times.

Gone are the days of spotting clients during weight-lifting sessions and comparing biceps in gymnasium full-length mirrors. Now, the job calls for much more than that. More often than not, too, it requires the wearing of more than one hat.

“Let me first say I love what I do, I really do,” Medsger – the personal trainer of WY Enterprises CEO Ted Wiga – says. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. I grew up playing a lot of soccer. When I was in school at Cal State Hayward, I was studying to be a graphic designer. I had a teacher who talked to me and encouraged me to take an exercise science class.

“I was enthralled. The more I learned about the human body and how it works, the more I wanted to learn, and I started to reflect on that. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t think my youth coaches even knew a lot of this stuff.’ I was hooked.”

He was so hooked that after getting his undergraduate degree, he didn’t stop. He earned his Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, became a certified strength and conditioning specialist (C.S.C.S.) and is a U.S.A. weightlifting certified sports performance coach. All of which is a long way of saying he knows what he’s doing when it comes to getting bodies to do what we want them to do.

Earlier in his career, Medsger worked more with children, but once he began working more with adults, he knew he’d found his true calling.

“Kids don’t get it,” he laments.” They’ve got these lightning-fast metabolisms that let them eat whatever they want and get lazy in workouts because they know they can play ball all day and not have to worry about anything. With adults, it’s a much more different deal. Somewhere along the way we lost that ability to kind of be lackadaisical with our fitness and we settle into our lives of work and life and kids and family and we don’t have time for this stuff like we used – and we want to regain what we’ve lost. And we’re much more serious about it.

“I’ve found that the more mature demographic is so much more grateful for getting back what they’d had. It is much more rewarding to me.”

Which is not to say that it is easier.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s challenging,” he says. “But, you know, that challenge is part of what makes my job so great. “Knowing the physical side of the human body is only part of the job. The mental side comes into play plenty as well.

“There is a reason these people are coming to see me, and that is they have issues they have been unable to overcome. So if I say, ‘OK, here is the plan,’ a lot of the time that won’t be enough. Some require different methods of motivation to get them engaged in helping to change their lives. Because is a life-changer. In some cases it’s even a life-saving event. Some people come in because they need to. Some people because they want to. They’re ready. “

Wiga was one of the latter.

“Ted found an ad for us,” Medsger explained. “At a time he was ready to make a change in his life. And randomly gave us a call. We hit it off right away. He’s very interesting and wants to know why we’re doing this or that, which is great. He is much more interested in being well than just working out.”

Find out what Ted has to say about Rob here.

Which underscores the transformation that fitness – and, by association, personal training – has undergone. Fitness has much more to do with being well than merely looking good in shorts.

I’ve always felt that fitness was much, much more than just going to a gym,” Medsger said. “Health and fitness is not just having six-pack abs at the beach. Fitness is finding out what your body is capable of becoming or doing, but health and wellness are kind of separate from that.

“You know, that is a journey, but the journey in becoming healthy and understanding what wellness is and what it means to live well is important in that the things you learn – both about yourself and for yourself – are the tools you’ll use to maintain it.

“But sometimes, we forget, and that’s what I am here for. In a perfect world, my job would not exist, because people would have it figured out. But a lot of time, people need guidance. A lot of times my job is less physical and more mentor or emotional cheerleader in a way. People get habits that complicate what we’re trying to do, but we work on making every day better than the previous one, on thinking better, on eating better.

“When those things happen, then you’re talking about a lifestyle change, which is what this is all about. And that’s something you’re always working on. You’re never dome with that. “

In order to for that to happen, though, considerable buy-in has to happen.

“Yeah, that can be interesting sometimes,” Medsger acknowledged. “Maybe what someone imagines it will be like is different than the actual experience and I need to win their trust. Sometimes it takes longer than others. But sooner or later people will always see that I only want what all of them do.

“I want them to be well. It is so rewarding to see people make progress and decide to be better.

“That’s why I love what I do.”

To contact Rob, call 1 (925) 451-4553
And be sure to check out his website at