CA: Tell me a bit about your career as well as outside interests.
I am a strength and conditioning coach in NYC and I have created a training method called Train P3, which stands for Performance, Power, and Physique. I teach private, semi private and group training. Most of my clients are dancers, bodyweight athletes or anyone interested in moving better, becoming more functional and developing an athletic physique while focusing on multi-modal movement.
In my own life, I constantly try to experiment with various training styles (e.g., bodyweight training, gymnastics, dance, Olympic weightlifting, parkour etc.) to become a better athlete and express my creativity.
I am also a fitness model with Wilhelmina Models, I love elephants and my favorite color is purple.
CA: How long have you been in the industry?
I got certified as a personal trainer when I was 18 and I have been professionally teaching for almost 18 years. However, growing up in Lithuania, I started recruiting kids in my neighborhood to train with me when I was 9 years old. I made them do agility and sprint workouts, practice martial art kicks and punches and perform bodyweight conditioning, splits, and other types of flexibility training.
CA: Why did you get into the fitness industry?
There was never really a question that this was what I wanted to do with my life. My modalities have changed, my place in the fitness industry has evolved, but I have always had a passion for becoming stronger, faster, more flexible and being able to express myself through movement. Training, moving and learning new skills have been the most consistent things in my life. They have helped me stay balanced, establish core values and made me a better person. It’s only natural that I want to share this gift with others.
CA: What is your coaching philosophy/approach?
My philosophy has evolved many times during my training career, going from aesthetics to strength to movement based training– until I developed Train P3. While all of those are still main goals of Train P3, performance and quality of movement come first, strength and power second, with physique coming later as a reflection of our training–never the main focus.
Initially, we emphasize gaining back the movement we start to lose as a dysfunctional, sedentary society. We practice basic patterns like crawling, hanging, deep squatting, multi directional bending, rotating, lunging, throwing, jumping, and sprinting. We concentrate on building skills and becoming efficient at using our own bodies before using a lot of external load. We then keep increasing complexity until our athletes can perform intricate hybrid exercises that fully integrate their nervous systems and challenge all their energy systems. Once people can move better, training becomes a lot more explosive, skillful and fun!
CA: What are a few of your biggest coaching successes?
I had a client who lost 100 lbs and multiple clients who have significantly improved strength and transformed their physiques in as little as 6 weeks while doing my program. The ones that make me most proud, however, are the ones who have changed their lifestyle and stuck with training and nutrition changes years after we stopped training together.
CA: What are the main reasons your clients don’t achieve their goals?
Clients who don’t achieve their goals are always malnourished, sleep deprived or overstressed. Especially in NYC, people are very driven and easily get overextended in multiple areas of their lives. They underestimate the daily commitment it takes to stay healthy and fit in our society.
CA: How do you coach them through their “sticking points”?
If my clients aren’t achieving their goals I don’t believe beating them up or training them harder will necessarily get better results. Instead we re-evaluate their original goals, current lifestyle and commitment level. I educate them on the changes they need to make or we readjust their goals and expectations. Then we continue measuring their improvements and readjusting as necessary. I also believe it’s my job to inspire them and to lead by example.
CA: Do you have any advice for my readers about how they might be more successful with their own workouts?
Sure! Focus more on skill practice, movement quality, and intricacy than on how many reps or sets you can do. Each day, practice basic movement skills, such as side, back and forward bending, rotating, hanging, and locomoting on your hands (bear crawls, side ape or other animal traveling forms, or handstands). Carry heavy objects, rest in a primal squat and perform various single leg exercises, like lunges, single leg deadlifts or single leg squats. Find a way to have fun while training! Also, get enough sleep and eat the most natural, clean, and real (unprocessed and unrefined) food that you can find.
Nerijus Bagdonas, CSCS is a strength and conditioning coach, fitness model and the creator of the Train P3 Training Method. He teaches private, semi private and group training in Midtown Manhattan. He has 18 years of experience teaching fitness, numerous certifications and a degree in Kinesiology. Check out his training method at:
Keep on Movin’