Pushker Mookim

By Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor and member

Pushker Mookim grew up fairly athletic, so it’s no wonder he gravitated toward a career in fitness.

“I was always running around outside, usually with a soccer ball,” Pushker said. “In high school I started getting more into building muscle. Once I got into fitness, it started taking over my life.”

Although Pushker studied business in college, he didn’t feel the same passion that he did for working out. “I decided to take a break from school to figure out where my life was going,” he said.

Pushker went to California to visit family for a few weeks. While there, he frequented a local gym and was approached to interview for a personal training job. He nailed the interview and was ultimately offered the job.

It was decision time: Should he move to California, or turn down such a great opportunity? In the end, it came down to being financially responsible. “California is an expensive place to live, so I couldn’t make it work,” he said. “I came back to the DMV and began studying to get certified here.”

California’s loss is VIDA’s gain: Pushker is one of the newest personal trainers at The Yards location, and he’s ready to help you reach your goals and transform your routine.

“I love being able to use my biggest passion and talent to help people improve their lives,” he said. “At VIDA, we all want to see and help each other grow. Going in to train a client hardly ever feels like work.”

When it comes to his training style, Pushker said he’s all about making his clients look and feel stronger. “My goal is to never string a client along for the ride,” he said. “I like to teach my clients about different muscles, movements, lingo, and gym etiquette. I want all of them to be functional members of the iron jungle.”

Pushker is speaking from firsthand experience: He’s undergone a big physical transformation himself and continues to work hard to maintain and build upon his progress. He trains six days a week and focuses on bodybuilding and strength training. One of his goals is to bench and squat at least 225 pounds for five reps. Another goal is to increase his body weight to 185 pounds while staying under 10 percent body fat.

“I have a whopping 45 pounds to go for that one, so it’s a long term goal,” he said. “For goals like this, it’s a good idea to split it up into smaller, short-term goals. It’s theorized that if everything is done right, you will gain a half pound of lean muscle each month. So I have about 90 months, or 7.5 years, to go.”

Fortunately, working and training at VIDA provides Pushker with the perfect environment for staying on track with all of his goals, both short- and long-term.

“Working and working out at VIDA has stepped my game up ten fold,” he said. “There is no lack of equipment, and there is no shortage of motivation and inspiration. Plus everyone — from members to management — is so willing to help. It really is an environment for growth.”