A local personal trainer turns goals into reality.
Matt Sabella, personal trainer at New Orleans Athletic Club, was born and raised in Kenner. A few years ago, he purchased his first home there as well. That’s good news for us, because it means he isn’t going anywhere soon. Sabella developed a passion for fitness at an early age, and the desire to help people find the same passion wasn’t far behind. “I began weight training at 14 years old,” he says. “I was a small guy, so my initial motivation was to build muscle. I started out at home with my dad’s old bench press and a few dumbbells. That grew into a local gym membership at 16. That’s where I really developed a passion for training.”
Sabella began training at New Orleans Athletic Club in Sept. 2009. He says he was immediately interested in the history of the club and impressed by the buildings and old New Orleans charm. “In terms of personal training, I offer a variety of programs personalized to meet my clients’ specific goals,” he says. “In over 14 years of training, I have had success with programs ranging from toning and weight loss, to bodybuilding and sports-specific training.”
However, he gets the most satisfaction from forming connections with his clients. “There is something special about helping someone achieve their goals that maybe seemed intimidating or even unrealistic,” he says. Yes … we can all identify with that feeling of it being impossible to get fit. But your goals really can come to fruition. And Sabella is happy to help you get there.
In terms of his personal fitness and diet routine, Sabella likes to vary his training as much as possible. “Changing the focus weekly to avoid plateaus and improving weaknesses [is important],” he says. “As for nutrition, I stick mostly to a high-protein, balanced meal plan. Everything in moderation.”
ON STAYING MOTIVATED
“I’m a firm believer in setting short-term goals for yourself,” Sabella says. “I always make sure the goal is realistic, but, at the same time, slightly more challenging than the last. I also find that the more knowledgeable you are about something, the more it will motivate you to pursue it. Weather it’s watching training videos, reading articles or getting involved on social media, I’m always learning.”
“I like to eat several balanced meals per day,” Sabella says. “It’s much more efficient to eat several moderately portioned meals versus say two big heavy meals. My daily must haves are eggs, chicken and fish, but my favorite meal would have to be a good ribeye and baked potato. Everyone deserves a cheat meal here and there, and mine are definitely pizza or a roast beef po-boy.”
“I have had the honor and privilege to help someone change and literally save their life,” Sabella says. “This man came to me dangerously overweight and had the side affects that accompany this type of lifestyle choice. His motivation was simply to be around for his kids and grandkids. So we got to work. In one year after following a strict program, we were able to relieve his lower back pain and better control his diabetes. By keeping a positive mindset, he was able to achieve his goal weight by losing 155 pounds.”
“One consistent, positive change can start a lifestyle change,” Sabella says. “It doesn’t matter if it’s packing your own lunch instead of ordering out, or starting to walk or jog twice per week. Everyone started the same way. One change.”