Former American football player-turned-personal trainer and yoga teacher, Todd McCullough, combined his love of asanas and cardio to create a 20-minute workout that’s taking over Hollywood. Sporteluxe spoke to the inspirational Los Angeles local about his exercise philosophies, what his female clients want most and how he arrived at it all…
Todd McCullough chats to Sporteluxe
Q: Let’s go back a bit, you were a hotshot linebacker at the University of Florida but ended up working in finance…
Todd: “I was raised to be a football player and I loved it, but once football was over it was like, ‘What do I do now?’ I worked for Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor but I wasn’t living my passion. I was busting my ass six days a week and thought, ‘What the f&^% am I doing?’ I was trying to figure out what that next step was when the market crashed and I got laid off. It was a blessing in disguise.”
Q: Now you have hugely popular TMAC Fitness. How did that happen?
Todd: “The first few years was a real struggle. I was passing out flyers religiously. I had boot camps going; anyone that had a pulse, I would train! I did that for two years and during that process my body was hurting all the time from surgeries I’d had from football. Then one day I followed some cute girls into a yoga class and ended up feeling great afterwards.”
Q: Now you’re a trained yoga teacher?
Todd: “The guru that I went to you for years, Vinnie Marino, is from New York and phenomenal. I went to his class for years and did my teacher training through Yoga Works. Then I merged my athletic background with yoga and I created TMAC Flow. It’s 30 minutes of training and 30 minutes of Vinyasa flow. It’s a kick-arse workout.”
Q: What about your other 20-minute workout that kicks arse too?
Todd: “A lot of clients would say they only had 20 minutes during the week to work out, so I experimented with that program and broke it down to 20 minutes and called it TMAC20. It’s 20 minutes, no equipment and no excuses. All you need is your yoga mat. We’ve got people losing 50 pounds [22 kilograms], quitting their gym memberships and getting phenomenal results.”
Q: How do you approach your own fitness?
Todd: “I used to have a nutritionist and a personal trainer but I went back to the very basics of sweating and eating clean. If I can get enough sweat, I’m good. I’ll take some buddies, go down to the beach and do a workout and then hop in the ocean. I absolutely love that. But I know my arse needs to workout more than once a week so I use those 20-minute workouts to supplement the other days.”
Todd: “I think of food in very simple terms – if you can pick it, catch it or plant it, it’s probably good for you. Before breakfast I’ll do my 20-minute work out, then I’ll hit a green juice of veggies, one piece of fruit, ginger and lemon. Then I’m out the door to train before I have a brunch like a vegetable omelette. I’m not measuring calories or counting my macros, I eat when I’m hungry and I eat anything that occurs naturally in nature.”
Q: What’s the trend with clients as far as their fitness goals?
Todd: “Most people want to lean out, people like looking lean and strong. Even with women now it’s more about being fit and strong, not skinny. It’s not about taking away from femininity at all, embrace that, it’s about being healthy.”
Q: Do you practice any type of non-physical fitness like meditation or mindfulness?
Todd: “What I typically do in the evening is a 20-minute asana practice I created and that’s like a moving meditation for me. It’s how I wind down my day. I am all about being still and unplugging.”
Q: So how do you unplug?
Todd: “Sundays I call ‘surf and church’. I turn off my phone and go surfing in the morning and have my cup of coffee and then I usually go to church. Being out in the ocean, watching the sun come up, then going to church for praise and devotion, then the farmer’s market, and then dinner with friends. That’s how I keep my head from going completely insane in LA.”