Levitating Monkey: Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you first come to be interested in yoga.
Todd McCullough: I grew up in a small town in North Florida. I was fortunate to live out my childhood dream and play college football at the University of Florida. After football, my body was hurting due to all the injuries. Yoga provided a way for me to sweat and feel great.
Levitating Monkey: With a background in college football, along with having a business degree and having worked as a financial advisor, how did you decide on making the career transition to becoming a personal trainer and yoga teacher?
Todd McCullough: I got laid off? Haha. When all of us young brokers got laid off during the financial crisis, it provided me with a new opportunity to decide what my next passion would be. Following that passion, ultimately led to me starting TMAC FITNESS.
Levitating Monkey: I’ve read that your personal training philosophy is “Sweat and Eat Clean.” Can you tell us a bit more about this philosophy and what it means in one’s day to day?
Todd McCullough: I spent the majority of life in fitness and have studied most forms. They all have their benefits: Circuit Training, Boxing, Pilates, Yoga, etc. I do not push one over the other. My philosophy is find something you like to do, that makes you sweat. If you enjoy it, you are more likely to be consistent with it. I want people to look at fitness as part of their daily life, as opposed to having to drag their ass to the gym, (if they don’t enjoy the gym).
Nutrition is just as, (if not more), important than your training program. I only eat what occurs naturally in nature. A good rule of thumb is: If you plant it, pick it, or catch it, then eat it. If man made it, stay away.
Levitating Monkey: As a personal trainer, how do you look to customize your trainings, in terms of how you incorporate cross training, boxing, and yoga?
Todd McCullough: I listen. What do they enjoy doing? I try to help them create a lifestyle. For example, if they like yoga. Great! Go practice 3x/week. The other days I have them do HIIT training with me that usually consists of cross training and boxing. The goal is to have them sweating, six days a week.
Levitating Monkey: What does a typical “day at the office” look like for you?
Have brunch, usually consisting of eggs and veggies, (coffee of course). See more clients. Lunch and usually go for a walk after. 10 Minute Shavasana, wherever I can get it in. Usually I go to a park. See more clients. Come Home. Answer emails. Followed up by my Evening Yoga Sequence. From there, cook dinner. (Click here for a tasty Peace Bowl dinner from Todd).
Levitating Monkey: Talk to us about online fitness training. What lead you to get involved in this type of training?
Todd McCullough: A few years ago, I created a program called TMAC FLOW “Yoga That Gets You Ripped.” People loved the workout and wanted me to make more, but shorter ones. So that is what I did. I took TMAC FLOW and condensed it to 20 Minutes. Now people all around the world get to workout with me online. Kinda cool! Click here to see Todd’s workouts.
Levitating Monkey: What advice would you give someone new to yoga?
Todd McCullough: Find a teacher you like. Try several. Eventually you will find one you connect with.
Levitating Monkey: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing today’s yoga instructors?
Todd McCullough: I believe the biggest challenge is that people are busier than ever. So a typical 1.5 hour class is not practical in most people lives. But therein lies a great opportunity, as well. Yoga offers an opportunity to be present. I believe you will see a lot of yoga teachers offering shorter mediation classes to help people deal with the everyday stresses of life. The “unplug” business is going to be huge.
Levitating Monkey: How has your job as a personal trainer, yoga instructor changed your life?
Todd McCullough: I believe we all have something to contribute. I have found what I am here to do. My role is to provide the tools for people to be the best versions of themselves by providing them with the opportunity to grow mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Levitating Monkey: If you could impart three key life lessons to others on their spiritual path, what would they be and why?
Todd McCullough: Couldn’t stop at three, so here’s four:
1) Understand that we are all connected. We are all God’s Children. I connect to God through Jesus Christ. Your path maybe different and guess what? It’s ok. I promise you this; you’re not going to have to answer to me when you die. I just hope to make the best of the journey with you.
2) Humility: We must understand that to truly love, we must GIVE to one another. If you understand Point #1 “we are all connected” this makes sense.
3) Love: I don’t care whom you pray to or what you preach. If it does not come from a place of love, it will not benefit anyone.
4) Listen: We have enough opinions. Yeah I know you’re smarter than everyone else. I get it. But listen to your brothers and sisters. Seek to understand them before you preach to them.