Kent Gresham

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised Athens, GA. I am an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Helping people has always been my passion and I saw personal training as a way to fuel my passion.

I specialize in strength training, muscle building, weight loss, mobility, post-orthopedic rehabilitation and myofascial release techniques.  I have also trained clients with a broad age range and varying goals, from ages 12-70 years old. This included student athletes, powerlifting, boxing workouts, general fitness clients, half marathon/marathon training, and clients with physical disabilities.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

For a lot of people, I think they enjoy the physical parts of fitness the most: getting stronger, faster, leaner, or more muscular.

For me it’s the mental aspects of fitness.

In order to make any type of physical progress or reach any goal, you must first decide in your mind what you “want” to accomplish.

Make sure it’s something you really “want”, not just something you’ve briefly thought about or something you simply “like the idea of”. Because when you really want something you will do everything in your power to make it happen!

How long have you been into fitness?

Since I was 4 years old and I am now 27.

I have a personal trainer for the past 7 years.

How did you get into fitness?

To be honest, it all started when I joined my dad one day during his morning routine of push-ups. I was hooked ever since.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

In the year 2000, my dad had open heart surgery. He had nine blockages in his heart; seven of which he had removed. At that point I knew that I needed to take my health seriously, so I started making changes in my diet and increased my workout intensity in the years that followed. (Yep I made that decision at 10 years old.)

How has fitness impacted your life?

It kept me out of trouble as a kid, been a source of stress relief, allowed me to change people’s lives for the better and has always been an outlet for me when everything seems to be going wrong. It’s always the one thing I can do right.

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

It’s never too late to start working on your body and your health. Maybe you have made excuses or possibly have had valid reasons of why you have been putting your health and fitness aside.

But all you have to do is get up and start moving. I don’t care if it’s walking down the hall and back, it’s still something.

The best advice I have is ”do what you can do”.

Don’t ever compare yourself with anyone else because they aren’t doing the work for you. Rather, work as hard as you can work, put forth all the effort you have.

And when you do this, you are successful every day!

Kenton Gresham (@swollbaby23)

Personal Trainer and Fight Club Instructor at Athens Health and Fitness

(@athenshealthandfitness)

Ezra Freelove

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

As a computer geek, I am a professional student of systems and processes. That brings a curiosity into how things work both individually and in the cascade of effects throughout the system. I mostly played soccer as a kid and was outside almost every day back then. And I did a couple years of Karate. As an adult, I was super sedentary in front of a computer 12-20 hours a day.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

Working out centers my mind and provides a calmness that I did not expect. I mean, I heard others talk about feeling good, but I suspected they were already happy people. Working in a stressful environment, fitness provides a place to change the brain chemistry. I definitely feel happier after a stressful day and even sense the need to get back to the gym when I have been away more than a few days.

How long have you been into fitness?

The weightlifting has been for the past three years. I also enjoy the occasional hike which has been for as long as I remember. I tried to get into jogging, but I despised it. That is how I tried weightlifting.

How did you get into fitness?

Really, I was dragged into it kicking and screaming. I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic (type II) almost a decade before getting the really diabetic one over 3 years ago. My diet was terrible. My life mostly consisted of sedentary sitting in front of a computer both at work and home. My weight would swing from 275 to 315 and back.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Armed with the diagnosis, I had to start exercising more or the bad things would happen. My doctor wanted me being active 30 minutes a day, three days a week. I started walking / jogging up to about an hour, but that was killing my feet. My doctor recommended building muscle as they would drink up the sugar in my system. Fat also messes with the blood chemistry to resist insulin, making the insulin less effective. So I came to the gym looking to cut fat and gain strength.

How has fitness impacted your life?

My doctors are pleased with my medical status. The sugar level is where it ought to be. My heart and kidneys are fine. The damage to my eyes is reversing. I feel happy and less stressed all the time.

What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

Find a friend who is serious about what you want to try doing. Tag along. Observe their form and ask questions. Make sure to get a number of perspectives. We each have our own goals and methods to get there, so feel free to pick and choose what works for you. Finally, if it hurts or you feel terrible about what you are doing, then do not beat yourself up about trying to fix the form or even trying something else.

Ezra Freelove (@sneezypb)

Tayler Jordan

To be completely honest, I’m not very good with talking about myself so I prefer to think how I would want someone else to perceive me. When asked about Tayler Jordan, I would want someone to say,

Being born and raised in small-town, Alabama would disable many, but that was never an excuse to keep her from striving toward big aspirations. Rarely was opportunity ever knocking at the back door growing up, so there is no doubt that burning passion to inspire others along with strong faith drove her to where she stands today.

 Her purpose is to share the reality that health, fitness, and well-being can create feminine, radiant beauty. This beauty starts on the inside and shines on the outside. Living with a desire to have radiant beauty has developed a charisma about her that many describe as a “special sparkle”. 

 She implements this mentality through her every day life in several ways; sometimes by offering words of encouragement, providing educational content on social media, or maybe even as simple as flashing a genuine smile to a stranger.  She understands the smallest gesture can make the biggest impact.

 As The Sparkle Spreader, she is compelled to pursue her dream of spreading a special light all around the world. What began as a passion has evolved into a large opportunity for impact. Now she travels as an IFBB Bikini Pro and works as a Physique Transformation Coach at Mi40 Gym and Sponsored PEScience Athlete. She also represents CJ’s Elite Suits, Better Bodies clothing line, and Six Pack Fitness. Although she has already come a long way, she is more motivated now than ever to broaden her reach in order to impact even more individuals on a grander scale.”

My best advise…

Living happy and healthy looks different for everyone. My best advice it to adopt sustainable habits that fit well into your lifestyle while helping you reach your goals. And although you may have a single, ultimate goal, remember that the individuals you were able to impact along the journey are the most important part.

Instagram: @taylerjordanfit

IFBB Bikini Pro and trainer at @mi40_gym

Minh Ta

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I was raised in West Seattle by a family with a low-income. Growing up in poverty and in the projects has made me how strong I am today and to fight every day of my life. As I grew older, it was harder for my family to raise me with 3 other siblings to look after, so I ventured off and then was adopted at the age of 17 by my current loving family. They provided stability, enabling me to find my passion in life.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the daily challenges aspect of fitness. One day it can be physically challenging and the next mentally challenging, but I feel a sense of personal fulfillment when I overcome both these challenges. Fitness to me is the fuel I use to live life because I love and enjoy inspiring others to invest into their confidence, beliefs, and health.

How long have you been into fitness?

I’ve been into fitness about 3 years total. I started lifting back in 2012 but then had a knee surgery which took a year to recover and then continued 2014-2017.

How did you get into fitness?

I lifted for the first time back in 2012 and I remember walking out the gym feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally drained but also a true sense of accomplishment. From that day forward, I told myself I will never stop.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

After my patella surgery and I couldn’t walk for a year. I remember every day, for 365 days straight, I told myself that when I get back on my feet I will grind as hard as I can to prove to myself I can achieve any physique I want.

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness is my life. As crazy as it may sound I eat, sleep, think, live, and breathe fitness. All my friends are involved and I can’t stop thinking about my macros every time I pick up something to eat. It has pushed me mentally to the extreme and now after placing in finals for my first men’s physique competition, I want to earn my IFBB PRO card.

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

“Grind To Be Legendary”. In addition, follow me. From a kid in poverty, adopted, knee surgery, to placing finals in men’s physique, I share my whole journey on my page and leave not a single detail out. I personally live to inspire others.

Instagram: @legendary_physique

2x Nationally Qualified Competitor

Founder of L.P.M. (LegendaryPhysiqueMovement.com)

 

Sarah Murphy

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Sarah Murphy. I am a 24 year old junior doctor. While studying in college, I joined my first gym. And I ended up having a passion for it. I was never particularly ‘sporty’ as a kid (although I wasn’t inactive), but I developed a love for working out and exercise while in my 20s.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy a few things – I like the feeling of pushing myself and achieving things I didn’t think my body could do. And I always enjoy the post-workout endorphin rush!

How long have you been into fitness?

I have been into fitness since I was about 19, so five years ago.

How did you get into fitness?

I was lucky that my university opened a brand new gym on campus in my second year, with free membership for all students. So there was no reason not to attend! But I ended up developing a passion for it a little while after joining!

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

The turning point was about two years ago. I was studying for an exam all summer and not doing anything else, so I got very invested and serious about the gym as an outlet!

How has fitness impacted your life?

It has changed my life hugely – I feel strong and healthy. It has improved my outlook on myself as a person and my capabilities. And through Instagram, I have had the pleasure of meeting with and collaborating with a huge array of amazing people!

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

To just start. It doesn’t have to be big, you don’t have to have a huge plan. You just have to start! A great way to start is to join a gym and hire a PT or attend scheduled classes. They can help to get you into a routine, as well as give you tips on correct form etc! And most importantly, do something you like!

Sarah Murphy (@sarah.j.murphy)