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Hottest Trainer Contestant #6: Sage Noh

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Welcome to Racked LA's search for Los Angeles' hottest trainer. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile sixteen smoking candidates who work at local gyms and studios. Then, once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which you get to vote for your favorite. Let the games begin!

All photos Elizabeth Daniels

When word landed in the Racked "Hottest" inbox of a "very hunky Korean trainer" (to quote a reader and fan) working in NoHo, we had to investigate. And here he is. Sage Noh, our sixth contestant in the Racked LA Hottest Trainer competition, knows the value of diet and exercise. The former New Yorker got into the training biz after a particularly unhealthy freshman year of college, and has been helping people shape up ever since. He submitted to a round of questioning about everything from his off-duty habits to, of course, how to achieve a perfectly-flat stomach.

How did you get into training?
"It started in college. I was 109 pounds after my freshman year. I lost a lot of weight. I thought I was living a healthy lifestyle—I was working out a lot—but I didn't know anything about nutrition or exercise or kinesiology. I wanted to change my life and it might have saved my life.

I was already pre-med and taking courses having to do with the body and anatomy, so I added nutrition classes. I [also] started out with a trainer at NYU and [then I] really fell in love with the health and fitness field."

What is the hardest thing about the job?
"Because of the physical demands that a personal trainer has to go through to really give it all, [I can only do] five or six sessions a day. That doesn't sound like a lot for an office job but for a personal trainer it is. That's probably the most difficult part, the physical demands."

What's the most rewarding?
"This is probably a cliche answer, but it's just the whole process of working with a client. You're kind of in the trenches with each other and you work day-in and day-out. The entire process is definitely rewarding."

Do you have any tips for someone who's just starting to workout?
"The most important thing is consistency. Also, a lot of my clients tend to think about the big picture, the end game, and what their fitness goals are. Have smaller-set goals and when you reach them, think about the positive instead of, oh I didn't get to work out today or I ate badly this weekend. For me, it's really related to diet. I like focusing on meal to meal, so smaller goals like that. Like if you want to lose a pound, that's a great goal just for that week. If you don't get there try to get there next week."

What's the biggest workout mistake you see people making?
"Again, that they think too big. They don't set smaller goals."

Do you have tips for achieving a perfectly-flat stomach?
"Abs are made in the kitchen, for sure. And body fat, or abdominal fat, is lost on the cardio machine. The biggest key, though, is something that people shy away from using: weights. [People] run, run, run and do crunches (and crunches, by the way, are overrated). Being able to control the abdominal wall by overworking it, just like any muscle, with weights—heavy weights!—helps you get a flat stomach. It's not just diet, it's not just cardio, it's also not being too scared to use weights."

Where do you shop for workout gear?
"I like top-of-the-line clothes, and my secret is Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx. I go to the locations in Burbank. It's nice to save money, so why not? I'm all for that."

What do you do when you're not at the gym?
"I'm a pretty simple guy. If I'm not working or working out myself, I like to spend time with the people I care about, my family. I'm a homebody so if I'm home with my dog, that's really a good time for me. I like to travel as well."

Sage trains at his own gym, Sage Fitness, in NoHo and will soon be expanding Downtown. For more information, click here or email sage.fitness@yahoo.com.
· Sage Fitness [Official Site]
· All Hottest Trainer Entries [Racked]