CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Byron Dovales at East End Fitness
When it comes to personal training, Byron Dovales says his philosophy is simple — Improve Quality of Life.
“I do that by finding what my clients need to help improve themselves and finding out which way suits them best,” says Dovales, who typically works at East End Fitness in Bakery Square. “Every single person I’ve come across is different, they’re motivated in different ways, have different lifestyles, and are all at a different space in their fitness lives, so they need to be accommodated to their own personal needs.”
Those needs, he says, range anywhere from weight loss, to improving range of motion, to gaining muscle mass. And sometimes they take the former college and arena football player and long-time fitness professional out of his comfort zone.
“I promise my clients I’ll find a way to help them in the way that suits them even if that means going out and researching and learning how to teach a different style of training than I’m accustomed to,” says Dovales.
Since he was 12 years old, Dovales, a native of Reading, Pa., has focused on sports and fitness. He started playing sports at a young age, eventually landing a football scholarship at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He completed a master’s degree in Sport Science, then went on to play arena football for the Erie Explosion.
He believes his sports career and educational background, as well as being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, has given him a wide range of expertise.
His passion for football has also continued, as he now coaches young players at Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic High School.
While he’s usually at East End Fitness, Dovales says he also does private sessions for clients. He also started providing training over Zoom because of COVID-19, adding that the option has become “more popular than I ever could have expected.”
Dovales says that, besides the birth of his first son in May, having Best of Pittsburgh readers crown him as this year’s Best Personal Trainer is “definitely the highlight of my year.”
“It’s such a great honor after almost 10 years professionally in the field,” says Dovales. “It feels amazing that so many people appreciate what I do or did for them, their family members, and their children.”