I spent two years training with Alex. Initially, I was referred to him to address my back pain. After years of competitive rowing, back pain was present in my workouts and everyday life. My work with Alex addressed the back pain and lead me to strength gains I (honestly) never imagined. When I started working with Alex, I could do 2 underhand chin-ups. After two years, I could do 8 pull-ups, far more than I ever thought possible. As I made strength gains, the pain also subsided. Before working with Alex, I often experienced back pain doing Turkish get-ups. Two years later, I was able to TGU over half of my bodyweight, with no pain.
Alex is thoughtful and systematic in his approach. Looking back on the two years, I am struck that he was able to address the back pain and help me achieve significant strength gains at the same time. Before working with Alex, I thought I had to choose one or the other.
Alex Tanskey is a magician with the human body. He understands the mechanics and dynamics of the body better than any trainer, physical therapist, or sports MD I’ve been to—-and I’ve seen a lot of them, having played varsity tennis at Duke, followed by two major shoulder surgeries years later.
Before I met Alex, I didn’t think I’d be able to play tennis again. My shoulder hurt whenever I worked out and often when I didn’t.
I’ve been training with Alex for two years. He not only knows what exercises I need; he knows my body better than I do.
(And much better than my surgeon did: after my major rotator cuff surgery, my surgeon told me I could never do arm presses again; Alex has me pressing 20kg kettlebells on each arm.)
Before Alex, I didn’t even know what kettlebells were. Now I love them—-even more than tennis, which I still play.
Before Alex, I was afraid of working out, afraid of getting injured again. Now, I look forward to every workout and am in better shape than I’ve been in since college.
Before Alex, it hurt to do more than two pullups; now I can do seventeen (the last few hurt, but in a good way).
And he’s a joy to be around: has a great sense of humor (read his brilliant blog!); is a wonderful listener; and wears his erudition lightly. A master teacher and true friend.
Even though he moved to Raleigh, he’s still my trainer, still advises me. Thank you, Alex!
Training with Alex over the past year changed my life. It's not just that he showed me how to get stronger; he also helped me to relieve stress, to move better, to sleep more soundly, and to think more clearly. In short, he transformed everything about the way I feel in my body on a day-to-day basis. When I started working with him, I had chronic shoulder pain. Now that pain is gone, and I have reached several fitness milestones, including a deadlift of 1.75x my bodyweight.
Every session with Alex was a pleasure. He's intelligent, patient, kind, and funny. He provides detailed explanations of every maneuver, so you're never just "going through the motions," but actively learning the right way to move and to breathe. I am certain that these lessons have enabled me to keep gaining strength––without the risk of injury––while losing weight.
It was a sad day for me when Alex moved to Raleigh, but I'm glad we keep in touch. I still think of him as my trainer, and I apply his advice to all aspects of my life. Strength has a higher purpose.
I didn't know when I signed up for training classes with Alex how much it would change my life. I am fitter and stronger and my chronic back pain went away. I find myself using my new core and back muscles in everyday activities from gardening to carrying groceries. As I got stronger, Alex had confidence in my abilities even when I was unsure and helped me to keep going, which is a great confidence builder! I highly recommend training with Alex!!
I came across Alex by chance when I wanted to get in better shape and had no idea how to do so. Over the 2+ years that we were together I quickly got in the best shape of my life and developed a close friendship not only with Alex but the small group class that he taught. Alex fosters a great sense of community in his classes and his knowledge of how the human body works shows in how he handles each of his individual clients. When I was looking for a personal trainer many moons ago I didn't expect to cry at his going away party, yet here we are. You're in for a treat with Alex.
For a long time joining a gym meant only using the elliptical machine or treadmill, never had I even considered using weights. Then after going through PT for an injury I decided to take the plunge and start working with a personal trainer. From day one, Alex was great at removing the mystery that weights posed for me and actually made them fun (well as fun as lifting heavy things can be). Patiently, he worked with me for 2 1/2 years, slowly building my strength until I actually reached a PR of a 210 pound deadlift. Alex is great at knowing when to push you and when you need to go back and work on your basics. He excels at building relationships with his clients so that he can really understand their needs and what will give them an effective work out on any given day, always keeping in mind past injuries. Our training sessions always involved a lot of sweat, great tunes, a few laughs and occasionally a few curses (by me) that were later forgiven.
Alex loves the word "GAINZ". I originally thought I was signing up to work with him to gain strength. In my three years of working with him (he inspires loyalty), I definitely got what I came for, and more, in that department. However, I also gained a ton of confidence, insight about my body and how it works (or, tries to), and an amazing workout community. I lost some important things, too, including hip and back pain. Although we were really sad when Alex moved, our loss can definitely be your gain =)
I met Alex a few years ago when I joined his TRAC (Training, Resistance and Conditioning) class at The Training Room in Somerville. I had always been very active, but had just recently had a series of long hospital stays, which caused me to lose a lot of muscle, while gaining a lot of fat! I was extremely intimidated to join such a crew, but Alex immediately put me at ease. His sincerity and genuine interest in helping me achieve my fitness goals were only second to his sense of humor! We focused on weight training as well as nutrition and I can now say that I am healthy and much happier. The best part about taking this class for the past three years is that I gained a group of my closest friends, Alex included. Tears flowed freely on his last day of class (and the going away party the week after)! Take a class with Alex and you'll see for yourself.