My name is Raphael Konforti (Call me Raph) and I’m a personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Gainesville at The University of Florida. I work with sources such as conFITdent.com, mygroupfit.com, and the UF RecSports Fitness Department to provide useful training and nutritional guidance.
I’m currently the Graduate Assistant for Group Fitness at UF overseeing 150 classes per week. It’s my goal to spread fun yet challenging group exercise to people of all backgrounds. Exercise should have purpose, and that means not just working out but training towards a goal. A goal can be anything, it’s important to acknowledge whatever superficial goals you may have but to also set life goals that can be attained through exercise. Having fun, showing dedication and gaining control of your body are results anyone can see and enjoy.
As both a physique and strongman competitor my training methodology brings together the combination of functionally and aesthetics. I specialize in providing the means and motivation to create dramatic changes in physical appearance and performance, via resistance and metabolic training, from beginners to professional athletes.
Exercise was not something that came natural to me. Being last pick in recess can initiate the fight or flight response with how you handle your body. For a long time I took the flight response, I gained weight, and I became more and more out of shape. Getting into surfing, diving and the like got me out of the rut, but not to the level I wanted. I had always had a secret admiration for the physically elite. I went through spurts of waking up at 5am in high school to run, and even taking a weightlifting class (I literally did curls and bench press nearly every time).
None of that ever stuck.
Not until I was convinced to play lacrosse, on the quote “No experience needed”. I had my first serious shot at team sports. The first day of conditioning left my legs sore for literally two weeks, whilst the football players on my team had the time of their life drilling teammates into the ground. I got the spark. I wanted to big and bad. I wanted to be the big hitter on the team, or at the least not the easy target. I picked up weightlifting and the coach told me: “Raphael, if you keep up this physical regiment there is no reason you can’t be a starter next season.”
Since that day I have never taken any time off, and my love of exercise has been contagious. I’ve made all the classic bulking, cutting, programming and form mistakes. I’ve never made the same mistake twice though, and no one I can influence ever will.
To find more information, workouts and training tip videos visit my Facebook page or my site.