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Learning What Counts Personal Trainer

June 23, 2023

Supervising the Supervisor

Some people need numbers to be convinced. Some people, perhaps, like Jonathan Mack.

Jon is a self-described “jaded executive.” Throughout his decades-long career, Jon has supervised thousands of professionals. One might say that’s a pretty big sample size. But recently one individual stood out in particular: personal trainer Cindy Clemens. Though it’s more accurate to say that Cindy supervises Jon rather than that he supervises her, Cindy’s effectiveness still strikes him. But that’s getting ahead of the numbers.

Doctor’s Orders

 “I showed up at the Jordan Y because my doctor basically told me that I was slowly killing myself via my inactive, not well-thought-out lifestyle,” Jon admits.

This is the journey that Jon has been on:

Sixty pounds overweight before training

Fifty-two years old at the start

Twenty-seven months of Personal Training

Eight personal training sessions per month

Two people…

five stars from one satisfied member

He shares that he had been a serious college athlete in the eighties and nineties. Although he looked fit and healthy at the time, he has since realized that over-training did more harm than good in the long run. By the time he came to the Y, he was in fairly constant low-grade pain.

Additionally, he had no idea what or how much to eat, and considered all eating plans restrictive. He may have gone overboard in counting reps, but he shied away from counting calories.

Part of the Equation

It didn’t take long for Cindy to assess Jon’s poor habits. Identifying his weaknesses, she inserted recovery rhythms, deep stretching, and flexibility routines into his schedule. Easy as 1-2-3, right? But these tactics were only part of the equation! Cindy also emphasized proper eating, rest, and consistent, safe workouts. She continues to monitor Jon’s form and prevents him from using too much weight or performing too many reps.

These “quality over quantity” measures have finally stopped Jon’s proclivity to lift in ways that ultimately result in self-injury. And, consistency is key.

“You have to be active pretty much five days a week for there to be a change,” Cindy remarks.

Jon completes his “homework” both at his house and at the Jordan YMCA. He enjoys riding his own stationary bike as well as swimming at the Y. He’s now lost 45 pounds and is on his way to losing more!

Counting the Cost

Several months after Cindy and Jon started, the personal training was going great. He was seeing results. But then, Jon had to have surgery that would require 6-8 weeks of at-home recovery. Cindy got to work. She understood the surgery, the recovery, and how they should proceed. Not only did she succeed in getting Jon back into shape, post-op, but she also prepared his body before the operation ahead of time.

Counting the cost of the time away, and compensating for it, helped both the surgery and recovery go very smoothly. Cindy went well beyond her duties as a YMCA trainer.

“During this time, Cindy checked in with me,” Jon remembers, “offering reassurance and encouragement. I found out later she was suffering from an acute health setback of her own, and at the time was in pain.”


Cindy’s contribution to Jon’s fitness journey cannot be overstated. Her work with him has been immeasurable.

“Over the past year, Cindy has noticed when I have been distracted or anxious,” Jon says.

She knew before he even realized it, how stressed he had become over family challenges. Cindy was able to collaborate with him and adjust their sessions so he could make time for loved ones. She helped him understand how stress and a lack of rest could affect not only his workouts but his entire person. Her caring approach made all the difference.

At one point, Cindy took a month off to take care of her elderly mother on the East Coast.

“In her absence, I was rather good at keeping up my cardio and resistance training, but completely fell off the wagon in terms of stretching and flexibility,” Jon confesses, “which she noticed immediately upon her return. In her own unique way, she was able to express disappointment not in me, but for me. That’s a testament to what she brings to the Jordan YMCA – her clients feel cared for, not judged.”

… and that’s something you simply can’t measure by the numbers.

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