To maintain one’s body is a struggle. The calorie-coated items of our daily lives plague our healthy mind, or, well, the part of the mind that is trying to be healthy. It’s hard to master a nutritional, healthy lifestyle, and yet, not only has Tal Barnston perfected the task, he’s helping others do it for themselves.
The 21 year old, Los Angeles native has spent the past few years taking his physique and overhauling it, for the growth of his athletic abilities and for his blossoming modeling career. And of course, it only makes sense that he studies Physical Therapy at the University of Santa Barbara. To hear the intensive training he undergoes, as well as his trainees, was incredibly interesting, even though I felt exhausted just hearing about it myself. So, take a gulp of water and a deep breath, for it’s time to undergo some training.
Making it in the modeling world requires you to have a near perfect physique, but with Mr. Barnston, he’s already one step ahead of the game. So, while maintaining an incredible body is one large portion of his life, where does modeling fall? “I have never officially signed with a modeling agency. Since the age of 18 I have been asked to model for different shoots. Various photographers have been interested in shooting for mutual portfolio development and I have also done several shoots for up and coming clothing companies. Modeling has not been a lifelong passion. However, keeping in shape, healthy, and looking as best possible all the time has always been consistent throughout my life.”
So the interest in a healthy lifestyle has been a constant through his life, but when did he first express interest in helping others achieve their ideal bodies? “I started personal training at the age of 17. I wasn’t trying to establish myself as a trainer at the time, but simply develop as a basketball player. I played basketball all 4 years of high school and was by far the smallest and skinniest for the first 3 years. Hiring Rene Johnson, basketball and personal fitness trainer, was one of the best decisions I had ever made. He started as my trainer and developed into my best friend until this day. He helped me gain 35 lbs in the first month and half and take my game to a much more advanced level. After having such drastic changes, I must have influenced a few people because others were now asking for my help as well. 1 person turned into 10 people by the time I was 18. 10 people turned into 15 by the time I was 19. At the age of 21 I currently assist and train 20 people. The numbers seem to increase as I spend more and more time in Los Angeles. Studying Athletic Training and working in the Athletic Training room with all Santa Barbara City College athletes has translated over to my ability to develop men, women, and children all over Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.”
And with his intensive knowledge of training and the human body, he got a gig with The Santa Barbara Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. “In Fall of 2014, I rushed the University of Santa Barbara Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity simply for the experience I would receive. I felt that the frat had a collection of individuals who I could create some memories with and build relationships that could only benefit my success in the near future. In the process of pledging I became known as that fitness guy that could most likely answer questions and help out with anything fitness related. I always helped out and decided that after initiation, it would be a great opportunity to help and build my personal experience with a fraternity boot camp. I began hosting open workouts 5-6 times a week 1-2 times a day for 3 months. In a frat that reaches numbers over 100 individuals, over 3/4 had came to the workouts.”
Well, with his popularity among the frat, he must have a great workout system. So, what would a workout with Tal Barnston entail? “Training the fraternity consisted of a 30-40 minute high intensity and high pace bodyweight workout from start to finish. The workout would always begin with a group dynamic stretch (stretching that involves active movements related to the exercises about to be executed). It would then move into separating everyone into even groups to work with. If there were 15 people at the workout that day there would be 3 groups, 20 people and there would most likely be 4 groups. In that group I would choose exercises that needed to be accomplished in a collective fashion in an attempt to always keep our brotherhood working together and keeping the family aspect involved. An example would be one person doing 10 clap push ups while everyone else was in a squat hold. Once the person finished the push ups he would get up into squat position and the person to the right of him would begin his clap push ups. This would continue until everyone in the group had completed the pushups. Group exercises like this may start off easy for the first 2 minutes, but it soon turns into a lot of motivating and positive enforcement in order to finish and move on to a collection of different exercises.”
I’m literally winded from just imagining that. I can’t even begin to imagine what he does on his own. “In order to maintain my physique, I workout and stay active 6 days out of the week. I surf in the early mornings before work 3 times a week, have a high intensity 40 minute weight lifting/bodyweight workout in the late afternoon, and usually find time to do a different form of cardio 3 times a week at different times of the day or night as well. This includes sprinting, cone work, soccer, basketball, swimming, hiking, jogging, jump rope, and anything else that is available to get my heart rate going for 15-40 minutes of my day.
With such a large focus on physical training, where do his aspirations for his future lie? Do they include modeling? “My aspirations are based mainly around on helping others. I find enjoyment out of training people because I feel amazing as a person develops before my eyes and becomes the person physically and mentally that they have always wanted. Helping others reach their goals has a return that is priceless. However, helping others and training others only benefits the people that I personally work with. For this reason, I aspire to create a system that can help people reach their fitness and health goals on a much larger scale. With this I plan to also be an established Physical Therapist. But besides the training side, I do really enjoy modeling. It keeps me focused on maintaining a clean cut look and body. It is rewarding to see a great picture as I know that it was worked for. If the opportunity to model more than part time rises, I would be more than happy to take it. I would love to travel the world for modeling purposes. I feel that traveling and modeling would be an amazing experience.”
Well, while on the subject of body images, many in the fashion industry hold negative connotations regarding their bodies, as is the case when looking at extremely thin models. What would a trainer say to this? “People that struggle with weight issues go through a very hard time feeling comfortable in there own skin. I speak from experience in being one of the skinniest kids in high school. My younger brother and many of my clients can speak from experience in being remarkably overweight. I advise all people that have such issues to not walk to get what they want but to sprint. It will take a lot longer to walk to the grocery store than to run there. If people want a change it is completely up to them on how long it will take to be successful. The answers and opportunities are out waiting for us.”
And if people are searching for a change, a change to live a healthier lifestyle, they should contact Mr.Barnston, an incredible trainer and, possibly, future model. So, if you’re a model, looking to obtain the perfect physique, or just an average joe, looking for a healthy path, you know who to call.