Wilmette personal trainer caters to seniors
Bruno and Paula Misale have been married for 41 years. | Jackie Pilossoph~for Sun-Times Media
Bodies By Bruno
1413 Lake Ave., Wilmette
Updated: April 9, 2013 1:19AM
WILMETTE — Bruno Misale is a personal trainer with a niche — training seniors.
“Not a lot of trainers want to work with older people,” said Misale, who has owned his personal training studio, Bodies By Bruno, for 17 years. “It’s a lot of work and you have to have patience, but the biggest reward is seeing clients achieving goals, and seeing their conditions improving.”
Misale said he’s been active in sports his whole life, and decided to become a trainer 35 years ago when he’d be at the gym working out, and people would ask him if he was a trainer, and tell him he should become one.
“They would say, ‘You look like you know what you’re doing,’” said Misale, who is CPR certified, and a certified trainer with the American Fitness Association of America. “I started giving them tips and ideas, and showing them exercises, and that made me think I should do this for a living.”
Bodies By Bruno offers one-hour training sessions that cost $70-80. The sessions can involve weight lifting, cardio, core work, stretching, balance work and circuit training, depending on the client’s needs and goals. Each workout is personalized and tailored to the specific client, and is different every time.
Misale has a staff of four other trainers, all who he said “walk the talk.”
“I have to make sure my trainers are fit because that says a lot to a client,” Misale said. “I also look at experience, and if they’ve worked with older people. But do they love being a trainer? That’s most important.”
When a new client comes in, Misale does the consultation and then determines which of the trainers, including himself, would be best for the client.
“It’s very individualized,” he said, “We determine their injuries and conditions, and their strengths and weaknesses, and then we work on their weaknesses.”
Jane from Wilmette is 77 years old, and has been a client of Misale’s for 15 years. She originally came to him because she had shoulder pain and wanted to avoid surgery.
“I was in a lot of pain, and in the beginning we worked on stretching it and lifting weights,” said Jane. “Within three months it started getting better.”
Most recently, Jane has been in treatment for ovarian cancer, and was told by her doctor that the good shape she is in helped her to recover much quicker and with less pain.
“Without this 15-year backlog of exercise, I would not have survived this serious illness,” she said. “This is only one of the benefits a serious and concentrated exercise program does for an older woman.”
Misale has had health challenges himself. At 29, he was diagnosed with type one diabetes, and said that gave him a real empathy for people who have certain health conditions, and that it made him want to help people even more.
“I tell my wife I’m not ever going to retire because I get so excited watching the results, and seeing my clients’ health improve,” said Misale, who has been married to his wife, Paula, for 41 years, and with whom he has four adult children. “My clients are so thankful that someone is spending time with them, and I always feel like they leave here smiling.”