While one set of the population is plunging wholeheartedly into their 2014 fitness resolutions, one group still has yet to start. With the recent rise in popularity of high intensity fitness programs designed to challenge even elite level athletes, just starting an exercise program with little or no experience these days can be downright intimidating. But what if there was a fitness program designed specifically for people new to exercise, overweight individuals, or those just starting up again after an injury or period of inactivity? Welcome to True Beginner, developed and directed by Mason Bendewald, DailyBurn’s Chief Production Officer. Launched in December of 2013, True Beginner is already receiving tremendous feedback from people who have, until now, been too intimidated or too inexperienced to start a traditional fitness program. I sat down with Mason Bendewald to find out more about this exciting new release.
This program came about because of feedback you were receiving on DailyBurn. What were the biggest obstacles facing people new to exercising?
“I’ve always wanted to create a fitness program for an older demographic and people who are truly starting out and ‘de-conditioned’. Regular workouts are often just too much because if you haven’t worked out in a long time your range of motion is limited, your cardio vascular system needs a tune up and your muscle strength is lacking.”
What’s True Beginner’s answer to these obstacles?
“True Beginner is a stepping stone to ease people back into fitness. Basic balance, mobility, strength and cardio exercise all get attention – but we like to point out ‘basic doesn’t mean easy!’”
How was your approach to this program different from the high-intensity programs you’ve developed?
“First I needed a trainer that wasn’t going to be intimidating. After a long search I found Justin Rubin. He was raised in Louisiana and had that southern good nature about him that just made you want to mix a tall glass of lemonade and sit on the front porch with him. I knew I found my guy.”
Do you hand select each of the DailyBurn trainers?
“Yes, and I’m always looking for exceptional new talent. I only work with trainers I believe can truly be masters. Every trainer says they’re ‘passionate about fitness’ but I want to see their humanity. In the end I’m helping sell an experience with a trainer – and that experience has to be exceptional.”
True Beginner has only been out a few weeks. What kind of feedback are you receiving from the program?
“I long believed their was a void in the market for this type of program and it’s proving to be true. We’ve been bombarded on social media with positive feedback. We’re seeing overweight people feeling empowered instead of alienated, and folks coming back from injury that are in rehab excited that there’s a program they can start doing while they’re healing. But my favorite endorsement comes from my 73 year old mother – She had never done any of the hundreds of workouts I’ve directed because they were too hard. She had double knee replacement surgery a few years ago and loves Justin and True Beginner. That’s when I knew I did something right.”Check out just a few of the community responses to True Beginner: