Beating the scale: My Personal Trainer promises fitness for every body

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Education throughout someone’s journey is the key to understanding the difference between losing weight and losing fat. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studios)

By Patricia Nugent

Shakespeare famously asked in a line from Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name?”

The trainers at My Personal Trainer take that a step further and ask, “What’s in a number?”

What number the scale tells you might not be the truth you think it is.

Case in point: For this photo shoot, Marren Croley, district manager, has assembled five clients including herself.

Can you guess each of their weights? 110? 120? 140?

(Spoiler Alert: They all weigh nearly exactly the same—130 pounds.)

But that’s about the only digit they share. They range in age from 20s to 50s, in height from 5’ to 5’10” and come in all shapes and dimensions.

Following a New Metric for Improvement
“As trainers, we know the relevance of focusing on much more than the number on the scale,” she says. “We want our clients to measure their progress by real things that matter—strength, ability, endurance, health and, most importantly, happiness.”

She mentions that how much you weigh doesn’t actually have anything to do with your body composition, and this is an important factor that differentiates My Personal Trainer from other studios. The trainers measure clients on a Tanita Scale to determine amount of fat versus muscle in their body.

“That’s why we measure a client’s progress three ways,” she explains. “First, we do weekly weigh-ins, second, body measurements, and, third, we utilize our Body Composition Analyzer. We are able to make sure clients are on the right track, losing fat while gaining muscle.”

Education throughout someone’s journey is the key to understanding the difference between losing weight and losing fat. 

““We want clients to move into a positive body image and not judge their progress simply by a number on a scale,” says Marren.

Meet the Ladies of “Club 130”
The clients who generously took time out to be photographed and featured for this cover story are, Angie S., who is 5’ with 30 percent body fat; Krista, who is 5’6” with 32 percent body fat; Marren, who is 5’10” with 14 percent body fat; Sam C., who is 5’5” inches with 22 percent body fat; and Liz H, who is 5’9” with 21 percent body fat.

At a super fit 54, Sam C. is in the shape of her life. She’s been coming to My Personal Trainer for four years. 

“Since I retired, I wanted to focus more time on gaining strength—training for fitness and endurance,” she says, noting that she’s an outdoorsy person who loves to hike. 

“I started researching the benefits of strength training and studios in the area and had heard horror stories of how mean some trainers could be.”

She was pleasantly surprised at MPT. 

“Everyone was so encouraging and supportive,” she says. “And they push me to achieve so much more than I could do on my own.”

For Angie S., a busy lifestyle with kids ages 12 and 15 contributed to her weight fluctuating up to 181 on her petite frame.

“I have a degree in exercise science, so even though I know what to do, I didn’t have the motivation to do it,” she says. “The first time I came here, no one made me feel self-conscious. It was a welcoming environment and between last September and now, they’ve come to feel like family. They push you in a kind way.”

And the motivation is working. In just nine months, not only did Angie lose 50 pounds, but she dropped from a body fat percentage of 45 percent to 30 percent.

Liz H. has been coming to the studio for two years, and her husband decided to join her after seeing how wonderful she felt and looked. 

“I am active outside the studio, too, and I love it that the trainers are knowledgeable about anything I ask them, from yoga to nutrition,” she says.

An upcoming wedding was the reason Krista W. decided to join the studio after reading about it in Mimi Magazine.

“My goal was to get back to the body I had before giving birth to my six-year-old son,” she says. 

“And in nine months, together with the trainers, I did it. I lost 15 pounds, gained muscle, and my wedding dress looked beautiful. I feel so great, I’ll be coming here for a long time. I even referred my mom and sister to work out here.”

My Personal Trainer studios are conveniently located in Broadview Heights (7985 Broadview Road, 440-838-8400), Westlake (25959 Detroit Road, 440-808-0000), Berea (381 West Bagley Road, 440-234-3075) and Strongsville (20930 Drake Road, 440-878-9000). Program rates run $75-$159 per month. For more information and to meet the trainers at each location, visit