Grant Weaver, NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer
Precision Nutrition Certified Coach- Level 1
BS Kinesology, 3.91/4.00 - Illinois State University
IHP Functional Training Specialist, Performance Coach
IHP MMA Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach LV. 1
Amateur Natural Bodybuilder, Powerlifter
I have been heavily involved in sports my entire life. Growing up, I played soccer, baseball, tennis, and basketball, and while I loved the competetion and the environment, I never really excelled in any single one of them. When I entered middle school, our basketball team was coached by a former army drill sargeant, who used intense physical conditioning to punish us for our errors we made in practices and games. While most of the team hated it, I didn't mind it. Conditioning had always been worked into our practices when I was in elementary school, but never to this intensity or degree. Basketball practice coupled with the old school weight room in one of the smaller gyms in the building got me curious about a side of sports I had never seen before.
Towards the end of 8th grade, the football coaches for Bartlett High School came to my middle school with their team captains to get us soon to be 9th graders to sign up for high school football. When I saw what I perceived as bodybuilder-esque running backs and linebackers, coupled with the coaches boasting about their collegiate level strength and conditioning program, I knew it was time for me to try the one big sport I still had zero experience in. I stopped playing baseball and basketball and as soon as 8th grade ended I diligently attended every morning strength and conditioning sesssion during the summer leading up to my freshman football season.
I was one of the few kids on our team who was brand new to football, and the coaches didn't really know where to play me, so I was shuffled around quite a bit throughout the season. At seasons end, when many kids played other sports, I spent almost every day with the football coaches in the weightroom and quickly became one of the strongest players on the team. By the end of sophomore year, while my role in the team as a running back/linebacker had solidified and my playing had improved, I still felt more at home doing squats and bench press than I did on the football field. I made getting bigger and stronger my sole hobby, and began doing my own research on websites like T-Nation and Bodybuilding.com to learn more about what I was doing. All the football players who spent the offseason in the weightroom got to compete in an annual powerlifting meet which was as exciting to me as the football games.
My junior year I tore and then retore my MCL, and as a running back my abiliites were diminished, and I knew I would not be pursuing football into college, as most of my best friends were. I had always been an extremely intelligent kid, but the only thing I wanted to do anymore was lift weights and learn about lifting weights, so when I met with my advisor for college I told her that unless I could study that I really wasn't terribly excited about attending college. I was informed about the Exercise Science degree, and set my sights on attending Illinois State University to study that.
I graduated Cum Laude from Illinois State University with a BS in Kinesiology with a focus in Exercise Science, as well as a minor in Business Administration. While completeing my degree I served as an intern at the ISU Exercise Physiology Lab. Upon finishing my ISU coursework, I immedietly began an internship at the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton, Florida, where I was mentored by JC Santana, a published strength and conditioning expert who also served as a consultant to several MLB, NFL, and NHL teams. I got to work with a variety of clientelle, from professional and Olympic athletes to the every day gym goer, and I credit nearly all of my abilities as a trainer to the experience and knowledge I gained there. At the conclusion of the internship I was offered a full time position, but instead decided to return to Chicago, where I immediately began training at River North Gym. After several years there I decided to finally realize my dream of owning my own training/coaching business, and thus created Transcending Limitations.