Training for life outside the gym

John Breslin is a coach at Arsenal Strength in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

That means he’s crazy fit, exercises all day and lifts millions of pounds, right? 

John is fit, but not because he’s a coach with some secret superpower or innate ability. Just like you, he works hard in the gym for one hour, four to five times per week—and it’s not so he can win the CrossFit Games.

“I want to be able to move well and feel great,” the 43-year-old said.

John is like a lot of clients at Arsenal.

He works full time and enjoys spending time with his family. He loves to take his three young kids hiking and biking or spend the afternoon shooting hoops in the driveway.

“Every day, I see them grow stronger and faster,” he said. “Whereas if I don’t do anything in the gym, I’m just regressing.” 

That’s why John trains at Arsenal Strength. And while he may not be training for the NBA or the CrossFit Games, he’s definitely got goals.


“I would like to be able to be active for myself outside of the gym,” he said. “I’d like to be active to participate in my kids’ activities in a constructive way—and I would just like to be healthy, especially when you see like the times that we live in with the pandemic.”

Just like any client at Arsenal, John sets specific goals and works through a customized program to reach them. For John, that looks like a blend of aerobic and functional movements coupled with slower, more traditional bodybuilding exercises.

The goal, he said, is to prioritize safe and quality movement.

“It forces you to slow down in an effort to speed up,” he explained.

That’s a good thing, he continued, for an athlete his age. Instead of pushing the body to the breaking point just for bragging rights, the personal-training program at Arsenal “teaches you how to train with intent over intensity,” he said. “I always say, ‘Play the long game.’” 

And personal training is a great way to do that, he said.

Though he enjoys the camaraderie of group fitness classes, “the great thing with the personal training is you have this guidance of a coach.”

Whether John’s goal is to get stronger and faster, feel more energetic, or even simply to recover, his training is built to complement those goals. 

“It’s a program designed for you, the athlete,” he said.

And it’s a great way to get fit at the pace that’s just right for you.

“If someone has been struggling with being in a classroom setting and the rest days seem to be (more frequent) and the aches and pains seem to be getting more acute, this is a great program to kind of hit reset,” he said. “And just to have fun with your training again, feel reinvigorated and get stronger—and just feel great in and out of the gym.”

Want to learn how personal training could benefit your life? Schedule a No Sweat Intro to meet with a coach who will build the perfect program for you.