SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Fitness Solutions in Springfield has a new owner. Equipped with eight years of military training, five certifications and three years of experience as a personal trainer, Nathan Marshall has pushed through countless personal challenges to make his dream come true.
Marshall, 32, is a Springfield graduate who emanates both the traditional fitness trainer and an eclectic go-getter personality.
The feel of Fitness Solutions with high glass windows casting a warm light on the bright white training equipment and vintage bodybuilding posters of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu has a classic feel and Marshall a laid back, calm, tattooed heavy metal enthusiast is as unique as his story.
Three years ago, Marshall felt unhappy with his professional life compared to his personal life and his love of physical fitness.
“I was working a punch-in punch-out job at Jeld-Wen and I just wasn’t happy,” said Marshall who at the time was grateful to have a job but didn’t feel like he was living out his potential.
Marshall’s wife Denise Gebroe, a massage therapist, yoga instructor and boot camp leader was also a training enthusiast and she told Marshall he needed to make a plan to do what he loved most; focus on teaching others about physical fitness and nutrition.
“She said, ‘I know you can do this,’” Marshall said.
Gebroe was somewhat relentless in encouraging Marshall to pursue his dream but in the end he said that is what it took for him to make the change.
“I just kept getting up and going to work unhappy and she just kept reminding me what made me happy,” Marshall said.
In addition to his full time job he began moonlighting as a personal trainer on the weekends and getting his certifications of which he has five, and building a small clientele at Snap Fitness in North Springfield.
Marshall’s client base grew quickly through word of mouth and within a year he switched to a part-time job and gradually increased his hours personal training and eventually he became full time.
It has been three years and Marshall has trained over 100 clients, he stopped counting at one point, and now has a regular client base of 35 regular people.
“I have never had any hands on training or personal training. My knowledge is self taught and all my certifications were online,” Marshall said.
He bought Fitness Solutions from Bill Cole, who owned the training center for 20 of its 25 years of establishment, on Dec. 27.
Cole rents the other half of the building in a separate gym now and someday down the road Marshall sees himself doing some renovations but for now he said he is happy to have a neighbor.
“I love bodybuilding. The presentation of the body’s ability to go through that transformation has always fascinated me. I knew from the age of 8 I wanted to be involved in physical fitness,” Marshall said.
Marshall said by the age of 10 he was exercising regularly and at 15 was a regular in the gym and fascinated by body mechanics.
“I can look at someone and tell if they aren’t positioned correctly,” he said. “It was something I picked up on very early and I’m not sure why but it has always been something that I was interested in and noticed quickly in myself and other people.
Marshall said the first step to physical transformation is one of his favorite moments in personal training.
“I feel like a proud parent no matter their age. I have 80-year-old clients and they still make me feel a sense of pride that feels parental,” he said.
Within four weeks he said his clients see results and he said it’s a great feeling to see them cross over and hit the first real milestone of progress.
“By the third or fourth week people are either increasing their repetitions or lifting more weight,” he said.
Marshall achieved his certifications in exercise and nutrition through the American Council on exercise.
He offers two programs; personal training and nutrition consultation.
After Marshall becomes familiar with his clients life, habits, challenges and goals, he then offers program design which is a fitness and nutritional accountability regimen with more interactive coaching throughout the week beyond his one hour sessions.
“Everyone knows sugar isn’t good for you. We know the candy bar we are eating isn’t nutritious. But there are a lot of things people eat that don’t seem bad but are empty calories with no energy in them,” he said.
Marshall explained that the bowl of cereal someone eats might be as bad as the candy bar but goes unnoticed. He said he wants to change that for his clients.
Marshall said fitness and nutrition take work but no one has said it wasn’t worth it so far.
“It might mean one day of food prepping for the week to make it easier to eat healthy every day,” he said.
It’s all in the correct body positioning, according to Marshall.
“I show people how to exercise the right way. Proper body mechanics and movement are about posture and positioning and it’s very important,” he said.
In three years, Marshall has turned his life into his dream and he said it doesn’t feel like work at all.
“The difference is I can do this for 15 hours and not even notice it. This is my playground. I look at a piece of equipment I haven’t been on in a little while and I make a plan of when I will jump on it,” Marshall said.
Fitness Solutions is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 802-591-2957.