Billy Garnon started on his health and fitness career instructing and teaching at the age of only 16. Now 20+ years later and still under 40, Billy is known for coaching and working with celebrities, industry personalities and corporate CEO’s across India, the UK and US.
Starting out as a fitness instructor born and raised in Ireland, Billy turned his personal training career into a personal development coaching brand saying “The difference isn’t simply understanding the clients physical need for change and altering it for a specific date, but their overall need to grow and reinvent themselves both physically and mentally whilst working towards their constant personal growth daily”.
Billy goes further into detail and says, “I’m not a life coach, in fact, I don’t even know what that is? Is my life so perfect that I can show you how to be ‘just like me’? I have good days and bad days just like everyone else. What I can do is, make you have less of the bad days and more of the good, Now, that’s just good math.”
He adds, “Personal training and development isn’t just about walking around a gym floor, making you do alternate movements in a planned manner or reading some self-help books, it’s more than that.”
Billy works with a slew of CEOs, Fortune 500 companies, politicians, celebrities, actors, and producers. There’s a reason they continuously choose and come back to Billy: the sheer self-awareness he imparts to his clients, understanding their needs, with persistence, determination and repetition so that you could look and feel your best. He extends his service by approaching the finer details in his clients’ appearance, aura, communication skills and presence, and in the process revamps the clients’ overall look and feel.
Billy Garnon talks to Life, Luxe and Labels about this art of chiselling bodies and transforming the lives of many.
Your philosophy of fitness and above all, in being healthy?
I do not have a “philosophy”. The industry is full of “philosophers”. You can find a lot of health bloggers posting their fitness philosophy on social media platforms. So I like to keep it real, simple and straight-forward. If you do not find time for health, then you better get ready to make time for illness.
What do you strive for while aiming for your clients’ fitness goals?
Though I primarily focus on the results, I make sure these results correlate to the client’s requirement. I try to understand what their primary goal is, is it weight loss or weight gain. Some clients approach me for better mental health, clarity and perspective whereas other as part of developing their personal relationships. There are clients who approach fitness and wellness as a path of self-awareness and self-acceptance. In the end, whatever their requirements may be, it is the result that counts.
How did you build a loyal celebrity clientele?
I think it was initially based on results, you show up, you get the look needed for their project and just build a rapport on that. It then becomes a friendship and mutual respect. Celebrities are actually due to contrary belief ‘people too” they act, feel and do the same things as you and me, they also respond to loyalty, kindness, understanding and a bunch of other things we all do. The only difference is that their work schedules are crazy and if you can show them patience when needed, and urgency when needed you get a loyal client.
Celebrities form a crowd with high aspirations and standards, and obviously, an exceedingly challenging group to work with. How do you see it?
If I were to answer on an overall scaled picture, I would have to say ‘Yes, they’re the exact same’. The difference lies just in the approach. It also depends on at which moment in their life and career they are at, whether it is preparing for a character for a movie or for a magazine shoot, a commercial or a TV show. I also enquire if they are committed to these projects all year round and demand consistency in their look. If so then each of these things would make them show more dedication and urgency to their workout time they have been given in which to be ready, right?
What things do you take into consideration while designing a fitness program for your client?
By understanding 3 major things in each and every one of us. People’s personalities, lifestyle habits and choices, and their current occupation. Clients are all different and I give priority to learning to adapt to the situation and circumstance presented. Over my 20+ years in the industry, I have come across hundreds of personalities that in the end “really” narrow down to 6 types of personalities, and I have been able to categorize each client into one of those and cater to each of them and their own singular unique ways.
How do you motivate and inspire them?
Ah, now that one is tricky because no two personalities are driven by the same motivational needs. Like I said above I try to understand their personality and then work backwards from that. Example, I find out what drives you, whether it is money, health, family, career or finding a partner. The list goes on for each of us. My aim is to find the fast twitch and the long-term goal. Meaning, fast twitch, written, verbal and picture. e.g. How many of us have watched a Youtube video, listened to our music playlist or read a quote, got so inspired and motivated and got up and went to the gym or worked out directly after? Right? What I’ve seen is that it initiates a spark, but, the above-listed GOALS are what has to keep the show going so finding which one is their aim, you manoeuvre a plan towards that.
How do you see your competitors in the Bollywood industry and how do you stay ahead of them?
I and my team at Opportunity Given do not have competitors, we have friends and acquaintances. We are not a gym or a club fighting for memberships, we are a team that provides unique personalised services that we can only handle a handful of clients at a time. Any team or trainer thinking they can take on EVERYONE will soon have NO ONE. Because time is our best asset, and if you are not allocating ample time to your clients because “you’re rushed” then they notice. We like to pass over our clients to other industry friends and recognised teams because it all comes round sooner or later.
There are people who under the influence of media, desire to emulate a particular celebrity. What advice would you give to such people?
It is dependent on what their vision of emulation is. If they aim to emulate their physical look and body type, I would say ‘GO FOR IT’. You must understand that most celebrities live a fantastic healthy lifestyle and in most cases give out a pretty good message. Why wouldn’t you want to look like a Ranveer Singh, a Tiger Jackie Shroff or a Jaqueline Fernandez? They are perfect ambassadors in a healthy balance. Just remember that to look EXACTLY like anyone else isn’t healthy and your body is unique and will transform in its own unique way, and perhaps, even better than the names I just mentioned.
How do you deal with people who are too obsessed with their looks, have anorexia, etc?
Well in these instances I first have to recognise that I don’t know everything and nor do we claim to. But, if it is an unhealthy body issue, like Body Dysmorphic Disorder then we can’t do anything except refer the enquiring clients to the appropriate professionals and later we can apply our years of education and nutrition guidance to help such clients.