AFAA-certified celebrity trainer Wes Ferguson has gone from self-professed L.A. party boy to a health and wellness guru. He has not only worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood to help them get those beautiful bodies we all envy, but he’s even created his own training system, hybridFIT. It wasn’t an easy road for Ferguson, so he decided to tell his story in Better by 30: A New You In 30 Days and hopefully change someone else’s life for the better in the process. BookTrib had the pleasure of chatting with Ferguson about his life, how he changed it, writing his book and how you can become a better you!
BookTrib: Tell me a little about your background and how you got into training and fitness?
Wes Ferguson: I grew up in a very small town in Ohio. We were for sure the only family that actually had a gym inside of our house. We had weights, machines, running track, everything, which made us kind of the neighborhood weirdoes! I grew up with a sense of body awareness and understanding of how to work out in the gym, so I know how to take care of myself. But cut to my mid-20s [when] I moved to Los Angeles and just like a lot of people who move to the city, it sweeps you up. It’s very glamorous with a lot of parties and the casual drug scene is very different than how I grew up in Ohio. I [had substance abuse problems] for a couple years and there was a point in my life where, maybe it was after sneaking into the bathroom to do drugs, that I came to this epiphany that I wasn’t being my true self; I wasn’t living my real life. I was living someone else’s life and I didn’t know how I got there. To peel myself off of rock bottom I went back to all the things I knew how to do. I knew how to eat healthy. I knew how to work out. I knew how to apply the discipline of fitness to any area of my life, whether that was getting myself on a new career path or eating healthier or getting out of bed. And that’s what my book is about.
BT: How did you decide to write Better by 30?
WF: Talking to people about my transformation and my journey is something that, no matter what I’ve done or accomplished, most impresses people: The fact that someone could go from being a total L.A. party boy to turning my life around and now being a wellness coach. Two years ago I wrote what turned out to be the skeleton of the book. I let it sit around for a long time because I didn’t have the confidence to release it. I kept thinking, “Do I really want to let everyone know what kind of dark place I was in?” And I had to let it go and realize that it is something that happened in my past and although I’m particularly proud of it, I can’t change it. But I could use that to inspire someone else.
Last year I made it my major goal to finish this book and that’s what I did; one chapter at time, one day at time, I went back in and finished it up. You’re supposed to read a chapter a day and the chapters are very short. You can easily read a chapter in say 15 to 20 minutes. You have an inspirational quote with each chapter, a mission at the end of each chapter, and after that you have a mission for the day and once you complete that then the next day you pick up the book again and go onto the next tab.
BT: Were there any challenges you faced throughout the writing process?
WF: I was definitely challenged in the process of writing this book by how deep I wanted to go [personally]. How real did I want to make it? Did I really want to talk about the things I’ve been through? I actually had a couple versions that didn’t even discuss my story at all and it seemed very hollow. It didn’t give you the “Why would I listen to this guy?” aspect. That decision was a big part [of my writing process]. My main goal was really just to finish this book and get it out there. That’s why I went the self-publishing route because in that way I was in complete control. I talked to someone at a PR company and they were really the ones who helped guide me towards really telling my story. They said “You need to make this about you. You need to tell people your deepest darkest secrets; all the mistakes you’ve made. That’s the only way you’re going to build trust with the [reader].” So that was very helpful to have someone say, “This is what makes you credible.”
BT: You’ve started your own program called hybridFIT. Tell us about that.
WF: hybridFIT is basically my own training system. It is an interval training system, which means you’re going from one activity to another, typically one activity that may be more intense then switching to an activity that is less intense. Interval training has been shown to raise your heart rate to that optimal level of burning both calories and fat while also building muscle. No singular method is the best one. Everyone loves yoga and it works for a lot of people but yoga doesn’t really give you a lot of muscle strength and muscle definition. Then you have people who hit the weight room and that gives them a lot of muscle but they don’t have flexibility. The best way rather than trying to marry myself to one particular discipline was to use them all. I wanted to create something that works for everyone.
BT: What’s your advice to really hit the ground running and getting in shape?
WF: Prepare by creating a cause to action. So when you say, “I want to be more fit this year” what does that mean? Does that mean you’re going to work out for a half an hour every day? Does that mean you’re going to work out for an hour three times a week? You have to define more than just your goal. We’re always thinking of the final result. But if you don’t think, “How am I going to attain that goal,” then you keep pushing it farther and farther away. You have to think to yourself “OK, what am I willing to invest?” It’s almost like money, right? So if you’re willing to invest time and your energy into something, then you will achieve the end goal and get the result you want. But, if you don’t do that then you don’t have any means of getting there. You really just have to think about what it is that you’re willing to do each day.
BT: Are you currently reading anything that inspires you?
WF: When I actually sit down and read, it’s for pure enjoyment. Right now, I have a book called Why You Say It and it is filled with over 600 everyday words and phrases. You open it up and it will say “OK, why do you say ‘We’re up a creek,’ or Why do you say, ‘Clean as a whistle’ and it tells you the whole story behind the saying and where it originated from. It’s just a fun little read. One book that really inspired me to write was Ellen DeGeneres’ book, My Point and I Do Have One. When you read that book you read it in her voice because it sounds so much like her and if you’re a fan of hers, I would highly recommend the book. It is a great, quick read. It’s silly, it’s fun. Those are the kind of things I really enjoy reading.
Wes has graciously offered to give away a FREE 15-20 minute phone wellness consultation (US only)! The winner will also win a free copy of Wes’ book, Better by 30. To be entered to win, follow BookTrib on Twitter and Facebook, and then leave a comment below telling us why you’d love to win. Good luck!
Main image: Nick Hernandez/HNS Imagery