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John Byrne

ACE Personal Trainer


ACE Profiles |  John Byrne

Exercise has always played a huge part in my life. Even as a child, I devoured books and articles about the methods used by my favorite football players to improve their conditioning. I emulated those techniques on my own constantly.

One big influence on me was Pat Croce, who at that time was a trainer for several Philadelphia pro athletes. During 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers broadcasts, the Prism cable channel would air video clips of Croce demonstrating the exercises he used with athletes. Those tips were a way for a chubby kid to work on getting into better shape to participate in activities both in the neighborhood and for the grade school teams.

High school took my interest in fitness to a different level. My coaches educated me about on the best ways to safely exercise with weights. By the time I had started running on the track and cross country teams, that chubby kid was beginning to see tangible results from his efforts.

I took that love of exercise into college. Though I was not a scholarship level athlete, I was determined to continue competing in track. I knew I had to take my training to another level in order to compete with more naturally gifted athletes. My track coaches at Gettysburg College were great resources to help me do so. I took elective classes that helped educate me on the other aspects of health/wellness, such as nutrition and sports psychology, because I understood the importance of fueling my body and learning how to utilize my mind to stay motivated. I never stood on a podium at our conference championship, but the compliments I received from coaches, teammates and competitors for my dedication and effort stick with me to this day.

Choosing to pursue a career in fitness and use the lessons I had learned to help others was a natural fit. Aside from my family, the most influential people in my life were the athletes, coaches and fitness friends who helped transform a shy chubby kid into an athlete. The idea of helping others achieve that positive feeling about themselves in their own lives led me to continue my education and pursue the certifications necessary to become a personal trainer.

Sometimes people wonder why I did not obtain a degree in fitness in the first place, but I have come to consider my background in the humanities and social sciences–as well as a series of jobs that called upon strengths I had in customer service–strengths that I bring to my work.

The ability to connect with individuals and talk to them in terms they can relate to is essential in communicating the necessary tools for success in a fitness regimen. Creating a terrific environment in your gym and offering your clients a personal and pleasurable experience that allows for achievement is also a key element in success. Many clients come to us with similar “goals” but the underlying motivation for each person is different. Whether it is as a manager, trainer, coach or instructor, I know that everyone that comes to me is different, and I pride myself on being able to adapt my approach to meeting their needs. Personal training is a partnership we create that brings about success.


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