Heart pumping, body rocking, calorie burning, sweat dripping, “happy hour” cycle. These are a few things The Sweat Shoppe trainer Scott Brickner promises riders when they take one of his sweat cycles.
For years, Scott wanted a “fitness body.” When he started his journey to a better physique, something incredible happened: He experienced a transformation of his internal self.
With sweat dripping and a smile on his face (a common look for our Sweat Gangstas), Scott sat down with us after teaching his class and gave us a glimpse of his road to fitness.
Like most, Scott struggled with balance, teetering between having a good time partying and getting in shape. He said he was simply not happy when he looked at himself in the mirror. Finally making the commitment to get in shape, Scott looked online for a personal trainer and found Frank, who eventually became his trainer, life coach, and good friend.
“Frank taught me how to be motivated. He taught me that through the struggle and pain, I will become something more. I took myself away from the things that would set me back from my goals.”
In the four and a half years since Scott started his fitness journey, his life has changed in a number of ways.
“A lot of bad things were in there.”
Scott said his lifestyle now is dramatically different from the path he was on. He said he grew into fitness and had to reevaluate the people in his life who made him feel guilty—as if he was neglecting their relationship.
“When I was at my darkest point, my trainer read me the Riot Act. That made me take a look at all my relationships. Sometimes losing people is a personal gain, because you know you are doing what is right for you. You can only count on you. You can’t hold someone else back.”
Scott kicked up his training and worked out with his best friend. He also continued to train with Frank and then began to realize the true meaning of a trainer.
“Like a good trainer does, you outgrow them. I found my own balance. Frank changed me. Eventually I was able to take boot-camp classes and spin workouts on my own, and now I'm able to give back.”
As Scott further developed his fitness routine—and with the help of his friend Sim—he found indoor cycling. At first, he thought it was something he couldn’t handle. He couldn't keep pace or form, but he liked the complement of cardio to his weight training. He stuck with it.
Scott remained committed to his goals and now gives back as one of the Shoppe’s trainers. One of the things he loves most about heated indoor cycling is the low impact on his joints and the endurance he has gained from being in the saddle.
“I actually lost friends and a relationship because I was prioritizing working out. It takes only one friend to lead you in. Sim and Frank inspired me to worout. If I can change even one person’s life, it’s worth it.”
Every year on his journey, Scott has experienced personal growth, and that has given him a newfound confidence. He said that making the decision to embark on his fitness path changed him from a “little boy” into a guy.
One of the most important lessons in confidence Scott has learned was how to be alone. “I didn’t know how to be alone. Now I can watch Netflix and binge watch something on TV. Why? I made the commitment to love the person in the mirror. I can sit with myself. I'm also comfortable at a bar or a restaurant by myself.”
A big hurdle for Scott was going to new gyms for the first time. Once he became confident in himself, all his worries melted away. A telling moment and testimony to his hard work was walking into Barry’s Bootcamp in Miami. He said he felt like the training wheels had come off. He was secure.
Other aspects of Scott’s life have benefited from his growth and journey. He takes pride in his career. He has been a Cardio Thoracic ICU Nurse at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for 8 1/2 years.
“My interactions with patients are so much better because I am so in charge of me. I am comfortable and confident.”
Reaping the benefits and rewards of his continued time, effort, and discipline, Scott knows one thing takes precedent: consistency. Without fail—regardless of his schedule—Scott makes it a point to train at Barry’s Bootcamp at 5 a.m. every morning.
“Whether I'm on or off, 5 a.m. boot camp is happening. Anything else—a hike, cycling, yoga, Pilates—is icing on the cake. You can always add, but you can’t subtract. If you're not consistent, you will lose it.”
If you spend time with Scott inside or outside of The Hot Room, it will be easy to see his commitment to fitness extends beyond him to his students. He motivates students to do better, be better, and most importantly have some fun.
“By making an excuse not to workout, you can easily throw away three days—and then you wonder why you didn’t reach your fitness goals.”
Scott’s secret to success is being as organized as possible. It has served him well and helps him maintain his professional and fitness goals.
“I take the same class. I have the same colleagues. It all helps me stay organized. I can’t live recklessly—I hold myself accountable—and I do not see it as sacrificing having fun. I go to bed at a reasonable hour. If you don’t structure yourself, you can’t do meet your personal goals.” You don’t have to worry or anticipate what to do next. Have a plan. If you can make an appointment at 5:30 p.m., you should always show up to class, sign up early, and get on the list.”
Looking back, Scott said that four and a half years ago he never would have thought about making the choice to go to the gym on a Friday night.
“Now, going out is a treat—a glass of wine and a movie and call it a night. Nailed it, perfect. Done.”
Scott’s advice for anyone looking to build their routine is simple and inspirational.
“Commit to working out for more than 45 minutes. You will want to quit, you will want to cry. But do it, and then do it again. It has to be that way. There's a little S&M in everyone’s struggle. There is pleasure in the pain.”