Today I am interviewing Stephen Hercy, aka Dr Fitness USA, International Body Designer, Ergonomics expert, and Empowerment speaker worldwide.
Stephen is a trailblazer and icon in the health industry. His story and his life accomplishments are life-transforming and newsworthy.
Q: Please tell us a little about you and how you got started in the fitness industry.
I was born in Montreal, Canada. A ninety-pound weakling with no genetics and poor posture, I hated my skinny body and knew it needed improvement.
I loved the look of muscles, enjoyed reading bodybuilding magazines, and dreamed of a more manly body. Eventually, my mother bought me a membership at the Weider Institute of Bodybuilding, now known as the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB). I graduated in 1975 and received the last diploma signed by Oscar State, the executive vice president of the IFBB at the time, before he passed away. Today the Oscar State Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to health and bodybuilding is world famous.
During my studies at the Weider Institute of Bodybuilding, I spent time with renowned bodybuilders. However, even though they had great physiques and pleasant personalities, I noticed they trained without a system.
Shortly after that, I met Jimmy Caruso, the world’s best black-and-white photographer at the time! Jimmy Caruso had a training system that worked. He used to say, “When you train on my system, you’ll need a dog tag to recognize yourself.” He was right!
I had the great privilege of being mentored by Jimmy Caruso for the following five years. Even though Jimmy Caruso’s method worked, I realized it was a “one system for all.”
Q: What brought you to Los Angeles?
I came to Los Angeles in 1984 to attend a bodybuilding competition. I ended up at Gold’s gym, Venice, the Mecca of bodybuilding. After spending all these years at the Weider academy and later training with Jimmy Caruso, I was shocked by how people trained at the Mecca. That is when I realized I needed to develop my own system!
Q: How did you come up with this revolutionary system?
I documented everything, deciphering every move and examining the relationships between workouts, age, gender, lifestyle, and emotional state of the people I trained. I paid attention to the details while carefully observing the ongoing bodybuilding scene. My observations lead me to conclude that women should not work out like men.
Additionally, I had a deep interest in the work of Dr. Carl G. Jung. Finally, I applied male and female energy principles to my programs from these concepts.
I’ve created and perfected my formulas over 50+ years of research and development. My approach is opposed to targeting prominent problem areas used by personal trainers, partially because I address the body as a whole in a holistic manner. I also apply ergonomic principles and adjustments to exercises and equipment, alleviating stress on the joints, preventing injuries, and increasing performance. The results of my system are factual and proven.
Q: How did you come up with the title “International Body Designer?”
In 1990 Mr. Universe Andre Begin, also the President of the Canadian Federation of Physical Fitness, endorsed me for outstanding merits in the specialized skills of Body Design. This was the first endorsement of the kind, establishing me as the world’s foremost leading authority in the Art of Body Design.
Q: How did you get the title of Dr Fitness USA?
Later, I received the honorary title of Dr Fitness USA from medical community members based on the multiple recoveries of my clients worldwide.
Q: How does your system work?
Everyone has a unique divine design. Therefore, I create individualized Formulas, sequences of ergonomic sets of specific movements with weights that will sculpt your body into perfect form.
Q: You often say that you are an artist and create from your feminine side. What does that mean?
Yes, women create from their male intellectual side, and men create from their feminine side.
Like a sculptor looking at a raw piece of marble, envisioning a beautiful statue, I see bodies at their full potential. I am passionate about creating the ultimate, most beautiful piece of art. My chisels and hammer are the thousands of pieces of gym equipment in gyms worldwide.
When designing a program, everything counts:
- The choice brands of equipment
- The various angles of the machines
- The flawless sequence and combination of exercises to be done in the program
- The progressions of weights through multiple sets and reps are designed to produce the desired and anticipated stimulus.
My work is done behind the scenes, like playing a game of chess. I can spend hours studying a program, contemplating each possible move strategically. Even the slightest misstep could mean defeat. So I carefully consider every option, weighing the pros and cons, before finally making a move to come up with the perfect Body Design final game plan.
“If you are on a ship and the compass is off ever so slightly, you may end up at your wrong destination.”
This enables my pupils to make tremendous progress rapidly and effortlessly. Their physical transformations are unprecedented but go beyond achieving a beautiful, balanced, and pain-free physique; it affects everything in someone’s life. It puts one’s life in balance, incorporating body, mind, and spirit together through a powerful brain-muscle connection.
It is truly a holistic approach to transforming your life through body design toward optimum health.
Q: Is science catching up with your philosophy?
One of the foundational principles of my program and philosophy is a “20% to 50% strength increase, which controls brain function and produces a quiet mind”.
Neuroscience has become a popular topic recently. For example, research shows that the brain can regenerate itself, which we know as neuroplasticity. Other studies concluded that bodybuilding strengthens the nervous system before impacting muscular strength, which confirms my hands-on findings over the years.
Q: What about other conditions, such as osteoporosis
Research also shows that weightlifting is best for rebuilding bone mass. However, the results are site-specific, depend on the intensity of the exercises, and are quantified by the weight you lift. Based on the studies, the recommendations for weight range, sets, and repetitions parallel the Body Design Formula I created 50 years ago. My process and results are factual and quantifiable and not based on theory. Furthermore, I have 45+ years of case studies to authenticate it.
Technology is finally enabling me to introduce my systems to a broader market.
Q: How can people work with you?
We mentor people worldwide; having introduced our online methods in 2017, the pandemic helped us to reach an international audience. The first step is to have a conversation and establish a rapport. Then, if we are a good fit, we’ll proceed from there. In a few months, the individual will be fully independent, working out at their local gym confidently, increasing their strength and performance by 30% to 75%.
HOW TO CHOOSE A COACH
Q: What are you working on next?
Dr Fitness USA THE SHOW is launching in January 2023. THE SHOW is designed to uplift and inspire a world of healthier and stronger people. It will help solve our society’s lack of physical literacy. By expanding our vision of exercise, we interface it with medicine, bridging the gap between fitness and medical professionals together.
Our guests are inspiring; some have lifted themselves up from tragedy to victory.
We are interviewing three categories of people:
- SURVIVORS of tragedies and those who have overcome disabilities with strength training
- DOCTORS, scientists, and researchers, to provide the facts beyond the benefit claims of exercise
- BUSINESS LEADERS who have adopted a healthy lifestyle as part of their success strategies
THE SHOW will air on ROKU, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, The EZWAY Broadcast, In The Limelight with Clarissa TV on the Binge Network, and 100 other SmartTv apps, as well as in major podcasts platforms on the EMBC TV network
What do your clients have in common?
They all have a positive mindset and a vision to become more of themselves. However, they also understand they need a mentor to go beyond their knowledge and break through their limiting beliefs, and they are coachable.
Q: Do you have any last words?
If your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, then Dr Fitness USA can help you achieve it.