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Welcome to Racked SF's search for San Francisco's hottest trainer. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile a dozen-plus smoking candidates who work at local gyms and studios. (Not only do they look hot in spandex, but if you take their classes, you might someday look nearly as good.) Then, once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which you get to vote for your favorite. Let the games begin!
Tommy Stracke has some of the biggest muscles we've ever seen in real life. The best part is he's also one of the nicest guys we've ever met. He's been studying fitness and health since high school, and is committed to helping his clients reach their goals and making sure they have fun in the process. He is especially interested in butts—as a trainer, of course. He hopes soon to offer a glute-sculpting class at Crunch on Chestnut Street in the Marina. And read on to find out how Stracke is a skilled sculptor in more ways than one.
How long have you been a trainer?
"Right after I graduated college in 2004 from University of Central Florida I started personal training, so 9 years now!"
What prompted you to become one—did you have a different career path in mind prior?
"I attended a small Catholic high school in Florida, and one of my teachers personally knew some professional body builders who actually met with a group of us who were interested in fitness. That meeting really inspired me. I saw and learned first-hand the power of fitness and nutrition."
What classes do you teach, and which is your favorite/why?
"I don't teach any classes right now, although a 'Tommy's Burning Buns' is a class that I'm looking to start teaching here at Crunch, designed to focus just on developing a muscular glute—stay tuned!
I think many women especially are concerned with their glutes. More often than not, I find that most men and women are so quad dominant, so I really enjoy teaching people to really get that mind muscle connection with their butt!"
Describe your training style: Are you drill sergeant? More laid back?
"No I'm not a drill sergeant at all. Although, I wouldn't say I'm laid back either. Most people I workout with deal with enough stress and pressure outside the gym, I personally try to give them an amazing workout by empowering them and motivating them.
I think a lot of my clients work hard because they don't want to let me down. I make sure I continually encourage and hold them to the highest standard. I show them the door and help them imagine how good they'll feel when they get the strength and drive to go through it."
What's one piece of advice everyone should hear before beginning a new workout?
"One piece of advice everyone should know before working out is just to pace yourself. I believe in heart rate training as the best way to decrease muscle catabolization and increase fat loss. So, know your target heart rate! Otherwise, if you haven't been working out and you turn things up too high right out of that gate—you might be doing more harm than good."
Tell us a fun fact about you—the weirder and wackier, the better.
"Ok, one fun fact about me is that I am a fine art sculptor. Not professionally by any means but I'm pretty good, I must say. I love working with clay and sculpting anatomical figure sculptures, fitness sculptures or portrait busts of anyone who wants an immortalization of themselves or a loved one. Fitness for me is like sculpting but with a different medium."