Personal trainers offer 'accountability' to those who want to begin exercising


Eddie Myles, trainer, works with P.K. Kong at the OCH Wellness Center earlier this year.

Eddie Myles, trainer, works with P.K. Kong at the OCH Wellness Center earlier this year. Photo by: Courtesy photo/Ben Mackin


Beth Jeffers

Beth Jeffers



By Ben Mackin and Amanda Lien



Starkville resident Chelsi Brasher, a 33-year-old mother of three, wanted to get back in shape during the new year after giving birth to twins last year.  


Columbus resident Roya Asadi's New Year's resolution was to fit into dresses from when she was younger. 


Both women chose to seek personal training to help with diet changes and exercise routines, a common choice for New Year's resolutions. 


"I feel way better," Brasher said. "I have a lot more energy, and my health is a lot better." 


Beth Jeffers, owner of The Fitness Factor in Columbus, said the months of January through March are often the busiest for her business. 


"People make lifestyle changes at the beginning of the new year, of course," she said.  


She recommends that people serious about making lifestyle changes through exercise do what Brasher and Asadi do and get a personal trainer -- or at least find a friend to work out with. 


"There's accountability in that," she said. "A lot of times, people do the same thing and get bored. I see a lot of people who just do the same thing every day." 


Tom Campbell, owner of Tom Campbell Fitness and Sports Performance in Starkville, begins receiving inquiries around Thanksgiving from people with a New Year's resolution to get in shape. He said clients often find excuses to not follow through on their good intentions. 


"Several things happen," Campbell said. "Life gets in the way. I had a guy who was on a ladder at work, fell off the ladder at work and broke his arm. He said, 'I have a broken arm, and I can't work out'. But in reality, we can always work around that." 


Brasher started working out with Campbell after giving birth to twins last February. After she started training, she realized that her lifestyle change was doing her a lot of good. 


"Everything in my life was completely different," said Brasher. "I started off really strong on my nutrition, and I haven't been doing as well eating (recently). I gained a little bit over Christmas, but besides that, I've been working out." 


For some, getting to the gym is half the battle, especially as gym memberships rise and more people use the facilities. Eddie Myles, director of the Wellness Connection in Starkville, had a client that weighed nearly 600 pounds and had trouble getting out of bed, let alone out of the house. 


"I got a call and she wanted me to come to her house," he said. "I started going to her house because she was having problems getting from her bedroom to the kitchen. That was like an hour workout for her, carrying that much weight, and you're out of shape." 


Eventually, Myles got this client to the gym, and in the time working with her, she lost about 100 pounds. After she moved away, Myles learned that her health and fitness had just kept improving. 


"She was doing so good," he said. "I mean, literally, she was on the phone crying." 


Campbell often sees that people want results immediately, and they get discouraged when that does not happen. Jeffers agreed, saying she finds that most of her clients fail to follow through on their health-related resolutions because they have too high or unreasonable expectations. 


"I tell them to be patient," she said. "I really believe slow and steady will get you success." 


For Asadi, commitment to her resolution wasn't always easy, but she realized that she felt better after putting in the time and work. 


"I had such a good feeling when I would work out so that was enough of a motivator for me," she said. "When I do fall off the wagon, then it's like 'Oh, I'm so ready to get back in the gym.'"




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