About Raph

Hey my name is Raphael Konforti but I go by Raph.  Yes like the ninja turtle, angel and endless other possibilities.  I promise I was not actually named after any of those things.  According to my mother I actually names myself, that’s another story.  If you want to have fun getting to know me scroll down a bit to my not chronologically ordered photo biography.   Or you can keep reading if you’re really interested in the nitty gritty resume type info or my very unlikely but happy journey into fitness.

Fitness Background

Currently I’m a freelance writer and personal coach.  I recently launched the new fitness concept for Club Med in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  It was a huge success bringing in all types of group and personal training with many other aspects to boot.  I was formerly theGraduate Assistant for Group Fitness at UF overseeing 165 classes and 70 instructors per week. Prior to that I managed around 35 personal trainers at UF.

I work with sources such as stack.com, gymjunkies.com, conFITdent.com, mygroupfit.com, theinertia.com and the UF RecSports Fitness Department to provide useful training and nutritional guidance.

It’s my goal to spread fun yet challenging exercise to people of all backgrounds. Exercise should have purpose, and that means not just working out but training towards a goal. A goal can be anything, it’s important to acknowledge whatever superficial goals you may have but to also set life goals that can be attained through exercise. Having fun, showing dedication and gaining control of your body are results anyone can see and enjoy.

As both a physique and strongman competitor my training methodology brings together the combination of functionally and aesthetics. I specialize in providing the means and motivation to create dramatic changes in physical appearance and performance, via resistance and metabolic training, from beginners to professional athletes.

Getting Into Fitness Wasn’t So Obvious at First

Exercise was not something that came natural to me. Being last pick in recess can initiate the fight or flight response with how you handle your body. For a long time I took the flight response, I gained weight, and I became more and more out of shape. Getting into surfing, diving and the like got me out of the rut, but not to the level I wanted. I had always had a secret admiration for the physically elite. I went through spurts of waking up at 5am in high school to run, and even taking a weightlifting class (I literally did curls and bench press nearly every time).

None of that ever stuck.

Not until I was convinced to play lacrosse, on the quote “No experience needed”. I had my first serious shot at team sports. The first day of conditioning left my legs sore for literally two weeks, whilst the football players on my team had the time of their life drilling teammates into the ground. I got the spark. I wanted to big and bad. I wanted to be the big hitter on the team, or at the least not the easy target. I picked up weightlifting and the coach told me: “Raphael, if you keep up this physical regiment there is no reason you can’t be a starter next season.”

Since that day I have never taken any time off, and my love of exercise has been contagious. I’ve made all the classic bulking, cutting, programming and form mistakes. I’ve never made the same mistake twice though, and no one I can influence ever will.

Just Some Words That Give Me a Pickup

“Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated”

“The amount of satisfaction from achieving your goals and dreams far outweighs the struggles along the way.”

“Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation”

“Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” Aka “Tell me what you eat, I’ll tell you what you are”

Or If you prefer here’s a fun little photo bio!

Pump You up

Basically I’m here to “Pump, you up!” I’ve been a personal trainer for 7 years, managed both personal training and group fitness programs.

Awesome clients

We’ll get you results and we’ll most definitely have some fun.

Crowd Surfing

I’m not kidding, if you wanted you can just throw me up in the air at a tailgate for your workout, or we can get results in a more traditional way.

Gator Tunnel

We’ll “tackle” your goals with the vigor of a few walk ons, or the 08 National Championship Gator football team, can you see da resemblance? If you love or hate the gators we should have plenty to discuss, I spent 6 years in Gainesville…

Beer Olympics

We’ll train as intense or as mellow as you need.  I’ve trained some pro athletes so don’t think the Olympics are out of sight, not your thing?  No worries we’ll train for the Beer Olympics and there’s no free passes on being in shape there.

Yoga

Or if some wild Beer Olympics aren’t your thing I’m actually a quite mellow and spiritual person, namaste.

learn to surf yoga

I’ve got endless passion for the ocean and surfing.  Have no fear my dear we shall link your passions and make your life lovely…like me leading some morning yoga at our “Learn to Surf” fundraiser.

Dr Dancing

Even if your passion is to be like Channing Tatum in Magic Mike, trust me there is no limit to what we can achieve.  I learned a whole lot about limits when I launched a fitness concept for Club Med in the Dominican Republic in 2015 (Note I am a less than gifted dancer but now like to think I can kinda shake it, even sober).

Gator Grad

Don’t start thinking I’m some kinda lunatic, I’m legit.  I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in Business Admin and a Masters of Exercise Science, I’m no fool or tool.

Flex Cam

Also it’s not like I’m a book worm nerd, I like to workout (Or as I like to say “Blast”).  Give me a chance to get on the Flex Cam at a basketball game and I’ll rip my shirt in half without a second thought.

"A Florida Gators fan screams into the camera during the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats. Florida Gators vs Kentucky Wildcats. September 13th, 2014. Gator Country photo by David Bowie. "

Give me a chance to show my stuff in the front row of a football game and I surely won’t disappoint

Row1

This was a seriously good game, we beat Kentucky in triple overtime including a 4th down touchdown, flippin nuts bro.

Co Snowball

Also I’m so strong that when I throw snowballs they literally disintegrate like a meteor burning through Earth’s atmosphere.

Beach Spike Ball

I’m also pretty good at smashin stuff, after all I’ve done strongman contests and competed at shows in the Men’s physique category.

DR Sail

One day I plan on taking a real sail boat for a spin, I seriously love anything in the ocean.

 

Ok so not really a bio but you feel like you know better right?  Truth is, there’s a lot more to me than that.  I’m on a real mission to make people healthy.  I’m also on a mission to get one of my infamous jokes on a Laughy Taffy wrapper. I’m just holding out so that it doesn’t end up on a bad flavor, how embarrassing would that be, yowzers!

Well, you don’t know it all but you know some, if you want to get in touch shoot me an email!