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Monday, June 17, 2024

Samir Becic on Front Cover of Houston Chronicle

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Bosnian-born personal trainer takes holistic approach

Samir Becic won’t try to sell you any pills or powdery supplements, special athletic shoes, high-tech gadgets, gym memberships or food plans to help you get fit.

What this determined personal trainer will do is get you to think the way he does: that smart fitness, good nutrition, social well-being and some form of spirituality can change your body, maybe even change your life – just the way it has changed his.

Becic was born in Kjluc, Bosnia, and lost much of his family in the ethnic cleansing of that country’s civil war in the early 1990s. He and his family fled to Germany, but Becic never stopped dreaming about America, where he hoped to someday make it big like his hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian bodybuilder-actor-politician.

“I woke up one morning, and they had killed 300-400 people. I knew at least 80 percent of those people. My uncles, my cousins, my friends and neighbors were gone,” Becic said. “Where is God, I thought? I stopped socializing with anyone. I focused only on school and training.”

By 2000, Becic was done dreaming and ready to start life in his adopted country, the United States. He was born on July 4, 1976, the 200th anniversary of American independence, a fact not lost on him.

Becic arrived with a plan to enroll in college – he excelled in school as a youth, he said – but he quickly ran out of money. He’d trained in martial arts and boxing, so he found a job at a Bally’s gym, where he worked as a personal trainer.

He worked his way up the ranks and was recognized many times as a standout trainer and supervisor, he said. Throughout that time, Becic was focused on helping others gain strength and good health naturally. No steroids or supplements, and no rigorous workouts using massive weights.

Today he uses those methods – he calls it ReSync – with private clients and in corporate settings to inspire people to use good, old-fashioned exercise and healthful foods to eliminate chronic disease and live happier, more productive lives.

On weight loss and diet, Becic said he prefers to teach his clients good nutrition and why we should eat more healthful foods.

His website lists the top 20 items that should be in your kitchen: coconut water, avocados, 100 percent whole grain bread, apples, spinach, almond butter, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, 70 percent cacao dark chocolate, 100 percent whole grain pasta, almond milk, green tea, lemons, lean meats, fish, frozen berries, nuts (almonds, pecans and walnuts), free-range eggs, herbs and spices to use in place of salt, and tofu.

For exercise, he takes a broad view.

“Bodybuilders use these big weights and barbells, but the motion is very limited,” Becic said. “My method uses more overall muscles, and the movements are using much more of the body, so that the whole body, all of the muscles, get worked and strengthened.”

Instead of weights and barbells, Becic shows clients how to use body mass to gain strength, endurance, flexibility, mobility and improve cardiovascular health.

If you’re looking for dramatic change or an overnight fix, Becic isn’t your guy. His philosophy is that people starting a fitness routine should work with a fitness professional and move slowly to avoid injury.

He’s also started the nonprofit Health Fitness Revolution to take his health initiative into churches, schools, prisons and even homeless shelters.

“I want to teach parents that if they are physically fit and eat healthier, then they feel better, they do better at work and do better at home, are better parents. They have more time for their kids. They are more patient with their kids. Then the kids mimic what their parents do,” Becic said.

The personal trainer volunteers at Lakewood Church by bringing the Healthy Fitness Challenge, and he hosts a radio show at 5 p.m. Mondays on KSBJ, urging listeners to stick to their current spiritual routine, to do what feels good. “My spiritual practice, philosophy, is to give. I feel like I was given so much that I now want to give it back,” he said.

In addition to ReSync and the Health and Fitness Revolution, he works with several high schools and a university in Mexico City. He and his wife, Dijana, are also about to become parents for the first time.

“(Becoming a parent) is an overwhelming feeling at times because I don’t know what to expect,” Becic said. “I am excited that I will have somebody who will continue my family name. I know it will change me forever, and maybe that is what scares me – although I am certain it will be in a good way.”

As originally published on www.chron.com

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