Cover Story: Taylor Reynolds’ Homecoming! The Babylon native and Athletic Advantage scholorship winner (circa 2006!) returns to his home turf as a Personal Trainer at Fitness Incentive.
- Interview by Paul Smith
While the name Taylor Reynolds may be familiar to some local residents and long-time F.I. members—he’s from Babylon and was a star athlete for Babylon High School—the name will soon be familiar to many more of you. Taylor has just recently joined Fitness Incentive as a certified personal trainer, bringing his knowledge and expertise to our outstanding staff. But Taylor’s story has an added dimension to it: in 2006, as a high school senior in line to receive an athletic scholarship to play Division 1 lacrosse, Taylor was a winner of our 2006 Athletic Advantage Training (AAT) Scholarship. He trained in FI’s AAT program (created specifically to train elite young athletes) for a year before heading off to college. Then, like now, Taylor was featured on the cover of Fit to Print (June 2007 issue). So in effect, he has come full-circle; has “come home” to a place that played a role in his achievement and success—Fitness Incentive. Welcome back, Taylor!
PS: The last time we spoke for Fit To Print, you were heading to the United States Naval Academy to play D1 lacrosse, followed after graduation as an officer by five years of service. Can you catch us up/provide a snapshot of your college and military careers?
TR: Absolutely. I graduated Babylon High School in 2007. August of 2007, I checked into the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS), located in Newport, Rhode Island. Many of the Naval Academy’s recruited athletes attend the Prep School to prepare ourselves for the mental, physical, and intellectual demands of future student-athletes at the Naval Academy, as well as acclimate us to the military lifestyle. The first month consists of an indoctrination period, basically a boot camp. At the start of the academic year shortly thereafter, our course load consisted of calculus, physics, chemistry, English and study skills, balanced with military training, and in my case, my commitment to lacrosse and our training program, fall and spring seasons. I had the option to go to the Naval Academy directly out of high school; however, I chose to attend NAPS. I wanted to re-familiarize myself with the curriculum, adapt to the military lifestyle, and, most importantly, get bigger, faster, and stronger for lacrosse. NAPS was a success, and I accomplished everything I set out to do there and entered Plebe Summer of the Naval Academy in June of 2008.
I was a four-year lacrosse player at the Naval Academy (see photo above), playing a significant amount during my freshman and sophomore years. I earned a starting attackman spot my junior and senior years. During my lacrosse career at USNA, I was a Patriot League Champion my freshman year, Patriot League Honor Roll my junior year, and elected Team Captain my senior year. Additionally, I received the Brendan Looney Award after my senior season, an award dedicated to a former Navy Lacrosse team member who was killed in action. The award is given to a player that “Leads by example, displays mental and physical toughness, shows dedication to his teammates.” Of all the things I have accomplished to this day, I hold this award the highest, and I commit to upholding Brendan’s legacy every day. You may often see me wearing shirts that have “BE STRONG,” “NEVER COMPLAIN,” or “BE ACCOUNTABLE” across the front, those were phrases Brendan lived by and phrases he inspired others with.
I graduated USNA on May 29, 2012, with a BS and was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. I shipped out to San Diego, California, where I would be stationed for the entirety of my Naval career. I completed two tours on two diesel class warships, USS SAN DIEGO LPD 22 and USS ARDENT MCM 12. I resigned from the Navy as an O-3, LT, on August 29, 2019. I exited my Naval career with various unit and personal decorations.
I am always open to discussing the military and my service with anyone and everyone. I love telling stories and expanding on my experience, so I am happy to engage with members if they are curious.
PS: At what point did you decide to focus your energies on fitness and personal training, and make it a part of your professional life?
TR: At the conclusion of my collegiate athletic career, it is safe to say that I took a break from training in all aspects and allowed myself to enjoy more recreational, outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, snowboarding. In addition, I kept lacrosse close by, I coached all levels of boys and girls from youth to high school and I played in a men’s league.
Unfortunately, I sustained back to back hamstring injuries while competing on the lacrosse field. From that point, which was about 2 years ago, I re-dedicated myself to a higher degree of personal fitness and an overall healthier lifestyle. I took it upon myself to research training techniques, nutrition plans, stretching/warm-up routines that worked best for me. I experimented over the course of a year a so, committing to 6-8-week regimens at a time, documenting my results, and implementing lessons learned into my next regimen. I have helped other family members and friends achieve their fitness goals through my self-study and experimentation.
PS: What degrees, licenses, accreditations, credentials do you possess?
TR: BS from USNA
Adult and infant CPR Certification
AFAA Personal Fitness Trainer Certification
PS: How did Fitness Incentive come to be a part of your current career focus?
TR: I have trained at Fitness since I was a junior in high school. Even during my time at USNA and active duty, I always came back to Fitness during my stints home. Recently I relocated back to Babylon after 13 years. With much influence from family and friends, I earned my Personal Training certification, with a personal mission to give back to a community that had supported my athletic career and gave me the opportunity to excel.
PS: Do you have any specialties/areas of special expertise you plan to focus on?
TR: I focus on muscle strength and endurance training, which would include various weight training techniques, circuit training, speed/agility training. I would also offer any specific techniques as it pertains to specific sports.
PS: Can you talk in a general way about your health and fitness philosophy? What might clients expect from your approach?
TR: I check my ego at the door when I train. I do not concern myself on the weight; I focus on each concentric and eccentric movement, my breathing, my alignment, my mind-muscle connection. I plan to approach personal training the same way, except my focus will be on you, and together we will learn what works best for you because, at the end of the day, I want you to be comfortable and confident in your own personal fitness.
PS: What would you like to achieve/do you have any long-term goals?
TR: Short term, I want to help as many members as I can achieve their personal fitness goals.
Long term, I would like to have a training clinic specific to high school or college student-athletes who want to progress in their athletic career. Additionally, I would offer my personal experience with collegiate athletics to the parents of these athletes and assist in the various aspects of life as a student-athlete at the high school and collegiate level.
I would also like to get the community more involved in fitness associated charities and events that support a greater cause.
About the Author
Paul Smith is the manager of marketing and member communications at Fitness Incentive. He is a frequent contributor to these pages.