HYLETE is passionate about sharing stories from our community of certified trainers. We sat down with Matt Sulam who shared his story about training a client who was prepping for Officer Candidate School.

How did you meet your client?

When I first met Leo, it was over the phone & right before he was about to embark on a late July kayak outing in New Hampshire. Leo and I spoke briefly after Lindsay, his mother, and I had a nearly one-hour consultation call. We began virtual training that following week. Lindsay had also started with her VTS Virtual Training Sessions a short time after that. Proving that "the training apple grows well off the family tree!" Is that a saying? Well, it is now!

How did Lindsay hear about the virtual training you offer?

This wonderful family and hard-working exercise enthusiasts had come to me shortly after I created my VTS Virtual Training Sessions; where I was the featured subject in The New York Times on May 26th, 2020. Honorable mention: Leo's Sister Neta, ran & finished the Boston Marathon on 4/18/22!

What was your initial reaction to virtually training clients who were out of state?

Not only was I enthusiastically adding Leo and his Mother to all my other client's VTS Virtual Training Sessions; they were the first out-of-state clients I had ever trained! This soon became a common theme as I started training clients in New York City and other states. It all started with Leo at Pennsylvania University when he began his Senior year. Leo's training has come a long way since then!

Where is Leo with his training today?

What we've been working on now is getting Leo primed, prepped, and ready for his OCS (Officer Candidate School). One of only three ways to become a commissioned officer in the US Navy.

Could you tell us more about Leo’s OCS training?

So, what we're doing is taking our firm foundational base in training knowledge & performance and putting it towards the calisthenic protocols along with cardiovascular tests, that you need to pass to get into the OCS program. And of course, we're only shooting for high numbers in all the categories!

Leo is on Pace to hit all the numbers he needs to hit. The saying of "putting your nose to the grindstone," does have a place in our training. But, when you're doing several weeks of push-ups and planks...nose to the gym floor, and his favorite running sneakers to the track...is a very accurate description. Leo is always outfitted in his HYLETE gear along with his favorite Hylete Icon Tri-Blend T-Shirt.

Training for something like Leo's OCS is very different from your normal intensive training sessions that one would do on a regular basis.

To reach all the numbers you need to hit means you must be physically tough, but just as mentally resilient. Hitting these protocol numbers is just what Leo accomplished for his Virtual PRT on 4/14/22! He hit the Very Good mark on his Push-ups, Plank & Running test! We never had a doubt!

Our training sessions pressed forward with the next phase heading towards Leo's OCS. His next mission consisted of Full-Blown bodyweight exercises. These included 3× rounds of [20] Chin-ups, [30] Push-ups, [40] Abdominal V-Sits, and [50] Squats. We then executed 3× rounds of [30] rep Burpees.

To say that these were a test of intestinal fortitude, would not do it justice! These workout programs would give anyone in the military a run for their money. We know Leo's true grit and determination will propel him into his 13-week basic training.

What do you hope for Leo and his future?

I have all the confidence in the world he will achieve and accomplish everything he undertakes and make all the right moves in front of him. The US Navy will be lucky to have him! Best of luck Leo! We are ALL already very proud of you!

Leo shared the following about his virtual training experience with Matt:

"Having a personal trainer like Matt definitely was vital in 'upping' my fitness to meet and exceed the requirement standards outlined by the US Navy. It's one thing to go workout by yourself but, having my trainer holding me accountable, helped me to break-through plateaus and push myself just a little bit more than I thought I was capable of. I feel prepared to take on the challenges of OCS and a lot of that confidence I owe to my VTS Virtual Training Sessions with Matt. He's walked me through all the aspects of fitness including what to eat and how to take care of your body before, during and post-workout!" - Leo