“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength… not a lack of knowledge.. but rather a lack in will”
Simply Mei's Experience with Prime Time Aesthetics
“Hey. You’re here… hop on the bike. Let’s get started. Okay so how today is going to work…” he carried on with a verbal layout of the day’s workout regimen for the class. (paired with visual demonstrations of how to do each exercise as he called them out) - - “he” being James Shipman of Prime Time Aesthetics, better known as Ship.
Whew! You sure don’t waste any time do you Mr. Shipman?
I arrived at Ship’s gym located on 1185 N. Tryon Street in Charlotte, N.C. expecting to simply interview him for the Simply Mei blog since he is one of Charlotte’s hottest personal trainers and all. Yes, he did sort-of, kind-of disclose beforehand that he was going to put me through one of his workouts too. Okay, I’ll be honest he was very clear with me, but I didn’t think much of it. I sure as heck didn’t think he would have me exercising the very minute I treaded through the door.
I work out enough. I’m in decent shape. How intense can his workout really be?
Without really knowing Ship too much, I assumed his workout session would be like any other personal training session I’ve ever had. Tuh! You know what they say about people that assume, right?
There I was expecting Ship to perform the “normal” personal trainer routine - - evaluate my fitness level and “start me off light” with easy variations of exercises until I proved I could handle more. Because I expected a “beginner” workout, I took it upon myself to purposely select cute gym attire for the occasion. I even made sure my hair was SLAYED and LAID. Besides, I knew Ship was planning to record this encounter and I, Simply Mei, wasn’t breaking a sweat on camera.
Ha! Girl you THOUGHT!
I was so mistaken.
From the moment I stepped one foot into Ship’s workout area, I was put to work along with four other people who I later found out were regular gym members. Ship had designed a relay race course for us to complete in teams, a tactic he often uses with his group fitness sessions. Yep, I was thrown right into the loop with the regulars. Ship assigned me to a competing team and gave me the same goal as everyone else: to WORK.
It was at that moment that I knew something was far different about Ship and his training style.
You see as far as Ship was concerned, I was a normal member just like everyone else when I walked through his gym doors. There was no special tailoring of the workout just because I was the newbie. He didn’t sell me this idea that the workout routine was going to be easy. Most importantly, he didn’t allow me to sell myself short by watering down a fitness routine that would suit my comfort. Instead…
He pushed me.
Past my limits.
My team members pushed themselves during the relay race which in turn motivated me to work just as hard. This competitive spirit that I didn’t even know I possessed overcame me and I just wanted to win. With some hip hop tunes blasting in the background, it almost felt like I was at a social gathering with friends except our motive wasn’t to have fun - - it was to GET FIT.
By the end of the workout I was drenched in sweat and I’m sure I was looking a bit hurt (in other words, I wasn’t remotely as “cute” as I had tried to be at the start of the workout). Surprisingly I wasn’t bothered by it. Though I felt like I had exhausted every muscle in my body, it was a good burn.
Ship had pushed me past what I even thought I was capable of doing in one session.
How? Who is this man?. And how’d he get so good?
Exclusive Simply Mei Interview with James Shipman
You may not know him personally but chances are you have seen the name “PRIME TIME AESTHETICS” everywhere. Born on January 15th in 1992, James Shipman is a native of Piscataway, New Jersey. At the age of 25, he’s already becoming a household name in Charlotte and has become THE personal trainer to go to for all of your fitness needs. With all of his winning, I was fortunate enough catch up with him.
Read on for the exclusive Simply Mei interview with none other than Ship himself. In his own words, learn why he doesn’t believe in competition, where he sees Prime Time Aesthetics in 5 years, and much MORE! This is one trainer that keeping it REAL. If you can’t take the heat…well you know the rest.
Q. How did you come up with the name Prime Time Aesthetics?
A. Since high school, I’ve always been called Prime Time Ship. I added on “Aesthetics”. Aesthetics means fluid as in smooth. I’m real big on no supplements... no extras… just smooth fitness only. You have Prime Time Aesthetics
Q. What motivated you to become a trainer and open your own gym?
A. I’ve always had a passion for fitness but I remember when I was trying out for the football team at UNC-Charlotte. I got cut. I cried at first but ultimately that just made me go harder especially in the gym. I tried out again and finally made the team during my senior year but I couldn’t play because I had classes that conflicted with my practice schedule. However, one person randomly told me one day, “I appreciate your hard work” (pictured below) and asked if I ever thought about training. This person along with others had seen my progression. With help from an ex-girlfriend, hard work, and word of mouth I am able to do what I love today. I’m not in it for the money. I get joy out of helping others live healthy lives. In fact, my first three clients were all free.
Q. Describe the atmosphere of your gym.
A. Prime Time Aesthetics is the place to be. It’s where you want to be. On any given day, you’ll hear music playing in the background and see me walking around motivating everyone. I do a lot of group fitness sessions. It’s typical that as a newcomer you will form friendships or find a workout buddy here. As a member you’ll see that nothing is the exact same day to day. I like to keep people on their toes so I am constantly doing my research, crafting unique workout routines, and staying up-to-date on my fitness knowledge.
Q. What would you say to someone that just doesn’t feel like they have enough time in the day to work out?
A. You want the real answer or what?…That is an excuse. You place time into what you value. If your air conditioner breaks down in the summer and you value being cool, then you’re going to make time to go get it fixed it immediately. Same thing with your health. If it’s what you value, you will find a way to make it priority. If you’re that busy, you need to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. Everybody has a schedule. I don’t do excuses.
Q. Tell me about your biggest success story.
A. Christina Jackson. She was my first major client and lost over 100 pounds. Her transformation picture speaks for itself. (pictured below)
Q. Name three essential exercises that you suggest for all of your clients.
A. Burpees. (full body) Squats. (lower body) Push Ups. (upper body) Everybody should include these since it hits everything.
Q. How do you accommodate to varying fitness levels when teaching a group?
A. Unless someone has an injury or special case, I don’t treat anyone different. I know the difference between someone not being able to do an exercise versus someone not pushing themselves. I don’t lower expectations for anyone. I don’t lie. If hard work and weight loss came in a can everyone would have it. I push everyone to achieve