Hey guys, what’s up? My name is Maria Pontillo, and I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy, fitness instructor, and yoga teacher, and I am here to chat with you for 5 minutes and you can get to know me, my business, my online fitness career, and my physical therapy career.
How’d you get into fitness?
So I got into fitness back in college, I was a cheerleader growing up in high school, and I was always active and into group workouts because I was a cheerleader so I decided to take group exercise classes and it was then that I got really into it and one of the instructors – I’ll never forget her, her name was Shauna – I would say she played a big part in inspiring me in my career so thank you, Shauna if you’re out there watching hopefully, you are my inspiration for all of this!
She randomly came up to me and say hey you should teach! And I said you know what, I didn’t even think about it and it was just that one day that she came up to me that made me consider it and I pursued getting certified and I moved on to teaching at the Leach Center at FSU in Tallahassee
How’d you get into physical therapy?
Then I pursued my doctorate in physical therapy after a same situation with my father in law suggesting that I try to pursue a career in physical therapy because he had suffered back injured his whole life. I watched him do his physical therapy and the same routine and at the time I didn’t know what he was doing, but he saw how passionate I was with teaching so he suggested it when I called asking for advice on picking a major and I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t into business and I wasn’t into finance or communications, and he recommended physical therapy and from then on I just went on with the pursuing of it and it came to me, it was one of those things that the industry invited me in which I am grateful for because I know now it is very competitive to get into and it’s a very demanding profession so I am excited to be a part of it.
What classes do you teach?
I teach a variety of classes, anywhere from HIIT, hip-hop fitness, dance, abs. core, and those are all available on my app. I teach spinning, I teach yoga, the list goes on. For my signature popular classes I teach now are Total Body Pump, and Yoga HIIT are classes that have evolved over the years and seeing what others enjoy and want people like and what gets the best results quickest and so those two classes you can check out on Studio1.
How do you deliver physical therapy to people, and how does that carry over into the fitness you teach?
I deliver physical therapy in a concierge-style approach. So a lot of one-on-one. I’ve gotten a lot of experience learning about individuals in a one on one setting but I also have experience working in the outpatient orthopedic setting, I’ve worked in the acute care setting, so over the years of being a physical therapist I’ve have the opportunity to see a vast diversity of patient cases. With that experience there, I’ve taken that and implemented it in the fitness industry by creating workout programs that are safe and effective that you can do to prevent injury and help you obtain your fitness goals and dreams.