By Eric Butler
CAROLINA REPORTER & NEWS
Staying in shape and trying to eat right and find the time to get to the gym can be a challenge. Almost all gyms offer some type of group class or personal trainer sessions, but many times customers are looking for trainers who offer a more personal touch to their workout programs.
That is where trainers like Tate Blackmon come in. Owner and head trainer of Torture By Tate, Blackmon offers something a lot of other gyms cannot: personalization. Blackmon has an initial meeting with a potential client before they go through with the training process to see if he and the client are a good match. He says compatibility is important in any client/trainer relationship.
Once employed by larger gyms, Blackmon says he prefers to be on his own because he can focus on clients in a way he could not before.
"It is a lot more personal when it's you working directly with a client," he said. "You're negotiating all the contracts and everything when you don't have a larger corporation doing all of that."
His clients agree. Drew Painter, one of Blackmon's clients for over a year now, says that with such little time to get to the gym, the real issue is finding an efficient and effective workout. He feels that his workouts with Blackmon have the structure and direction that he needs.
"My goal when I used to work out was just to go to the gym today," Painter said, "Versus now when I come in to workout we're doing really specific things that have more efficiency."
This type of personalization keeps clients coming back and also brings in new clients. Beverly Hamilton, who heard about Torture By Tate through a friend, says she has been on-and-off with staying in shape throughout her life and feels comfortable with the way Blackmon trains.
"The difference with Tate is he targets different areas at different times," she said. "Also, he is pretty in-tune to his clients as to when and how much to push."
Beverly Hamilton, who has taken classes and been a member at larger gyms, says the cookie-cutter mentality can get stale and lead to less motivation to go back. With Blackmon's unique program, he is able to make her meal plans and give her workouts that are personalized to her progress. Hamilton says Blackmon has improved more than just her strength and nutrition, but also her goals.
"My initial goal was to be able to play with my first grandchild and be active with him. Once I started seeing results, I felt like I could really do this," she said.
Both Painter and Hamilton say the structure Blackmon provides leads to results that keep them coming back. Blackmon agrees, saying that is the most rewarding part.
"Obviously the gratification of helping someone better themselves. When you are working so closely with clients you definitely develop relationships and become personally invested in their success," he said.