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Headshots of four Team Training coaches at Life Time.

You might think that forming a connection with someone online is more challenging than doing so in person, but as we’ve learned with all of the FaceTiming and Zooming we’ve done over the past year, it is indeed possible. And in the world of fitness, it actually offers a new level of convenience and opportunities.

When it comes to selecting a trainer to support your exercise efforts, connection is key: You need someone who you click with and trust to provide guidance. If you’re not feeling that vibe, you’re more likely to veer off course or quit altogether.

That’s where virtual fitness programs offer a unique advantage: You can work with anyone from anywhere. “We want you to find the best coach that fits your lifestyle. In the virtual space, I can connect you with anybody in the country,” says Cliff Edberg, Master Trainer and director of strategic growth at Life Time. “No matter what you’re trying to do, we have a coach who can inspire, motivate, and help you reach your goals.”

In addition to one-on-one training, Life Time’s offerings include Team Training Programs, which, in addition to direct access to your coach, connects you with other like-minded participants in the same program. This builds camaraderie, encouragement, and accountability.

These four trainers have developed their own Team Training Programs, all featuring different focuses to suit different people. Get to know them and what their approach is all about — and maybe if their program might be a fit for you.

Ashlen Sandefur

Ashlen Sandefur, PT

Based out of Life Time in Des Moines, Iowa, Sandefur’s personal mantra is, “Perseverance not perfection. Dream big and be your own sunshine.” You can find her on Instagram at @ashlensandefur.

How did you get into health and wellness as a career?

I chose this profession because health and fitness changed my life. I went to school to be a teacher, and during that time, I was unhappy in my body and with the lifestyle I was living. This pushed me to get into the gym.

I started from zero with little experience of what to do in my workouts. As time went on, I learned a lot, and quickly found exercise to be a passion of mine. From there, I decided to make the switch from teaching to chase what I truly loved doing and make that my career.

What do you love about being able to train clients virtually?

It allows me to reach so many people — not just be limited to those in one specific area. Virtual training is unique because even though I don’t see my clients in person, through the Life Time Training App we are still able to connect, communicate, and really develop a bond.

Do you have any specialty areas you work with clients in?

I specialize in supporting clients with their strength-training and body-building efforts.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

I absolutely value being able to help clients fall in love with the body they are in, and gain newfound confidence in themselves.

Where does your motivation stem from?

Knowing that every day is another chance to be better than you were the day before. My mission is to be my best self! I am also definitely motivated to show up for the people who count on me to support them in their journey.

Tell us about your Team Training Program: What’s it all about?

My program is called “Ashlen’s Shred Program.” It’s an ongoing progressive program, featuring workouts that can be performed at home and in the club. There are five workout days and two rest days each week. It also includes monthly guidance around habits and education topics, as well as unlimited messaging with me.

Participants will complete upper-, lower-, and full-body workouts, including exercises specific for the cardiovascular system and abdominals. I like when my clients focus on upper- and lower-body splits because it allows them to train those muscle groups more then once a week.

The intent and design of this format is to build strength and muscle for overall fitness improvement. All levels are welcome to join — it’s great for anyone who could use accountability and motivation to keep going.

I believe that following a progressive plan is the key to seeing results. Some people may go to the club day-to-day with no plan, but if you’re looking for change or have a specific goal, having a plan — and accountability to it — can be a game-changer for success.

Is there something people may be surprised to learn about you?

When people meet me, they’re often surprised to find out I originally went to school to be an elementary teacher. I’ve also competed in two bikini competitions, which helped me learn a lot about fitness.

If you’re interested in training with Ashlen, you can get started here.

Bryce Morris

Bryce Morris, NASM-CPT, PES, USAW

In addition to his various fitness certifications, Morris also has an MS in exercise science and BS in kinesiology. He is a Master Trainer and the group training coordinator at Life Time based out of Houston, Texas. His personal mantra is, “Do it right, do it light. Do it wrong, do it long.” You can find him on Instagram at @_bmofit.

How did you get into health and wellness as a career?

I’ve always lived an active lifestyle, and am fascinated with the human body and the enormous capabilities an athlete can achieve through optimal training and smart program design. It’s been a passion and obsession of mine since playing collegiate athletics. To better understand the science of the body, I sought out my degree in kinesiology and master’s in exercise science.

What do you love about being able to train clients virtually?

Being a virtual trainer enables me to influence more people’s lives, as well as deliver my unique programming to any individual or group. It also allows for more access to clients anytime of the day, which results in better accountability than if I was just to see someone while they’re at the club.

Do you have any specialty areas you work with clients in?

My areas of specialization include performance training, functional fitness, weight loss, and increasing muscle.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

Hearing a client say, “You’ve changed my life!” I value building communities that have an infectious energy. I love what I do and having the ability to do what I love.  

Where does your motivation stem from?

It’s important to me to be an example to my son so he is able to see what a healthy, fit lifestyle looks and feels like. 

Tell us about your Team Training Program: What’s it all about?

I offer three programs: the “Glute, Abs, and HIIT Program,” the “Muscle Builder Program,” and the “Elite Performance Program”.

The “Glutes, Abs, and HITT Program” is a supplemental program that can be done in addition to any program or routine, but focuses on specific areas and needs pertaining to cardio, glutes, and core. You will tone, tighten, and build your core and glutes with a mixture of quick — but intense — cardio.

The “Muscle Builder Program” is a perfect for anyone wanting to increase muscle, build strength, and incorporate isolated muscle groups, while the “Elite Performance Program” encompasses all around functional fitness and is designed for strengthening and conditioning the heart while building muscle.

In all of them, you can expect accountability, structure, and variety in the programming, as well as a mix of at-home and in-club workouts. I’ve designed the programs to challenge and push your fitness abilities.

They are 12-week monthly, progressive-phase programs, featuring four to five weekly workouts and undulated and periodized programming. Each workout contains movement patterns that build off the previous workout so that you can train day-to-day and maximize your workout and efficiency with less risk of injury.

These programs can be suitable for beginners or those who are more advanced. Really, they’re good for anyone who wants to increase their performance and get fitter, faster, and stronger.

Is there something people may be surprised to learn about you?

I have a crazy sweet tooth, so I eat a lot of fruit to help fight the temptation.

If you’re interested in training with Bryce, you can get started here.

Crystal Parker

Crystal Parker, NASM-CPT, ISSA-CPT, NASM golf specialist

Parker, based out of Life Time in Lenexa, Kan., has her BS in physical education and is Precision Nutrition-certified. Her personal mantra is, “Extra efforts are what make the biggest differences at the end of the day — great things happen when you get out of your comfort zone.” You can find her on Instagram at @mrsrealdealfit.

How did you get into health and wellness as a career?

I grew up in a very small community where there wasn’t a lot of focus on health and fitness. I played the same sports everyone else did, but really only because that was just what you did in a small town. By the time I left for college, I realized that, outside of sports, I had never really learned how to work out, let alone how to maintain a lifestyle of health and fitness.

In college I pursued a physical education degree, and during that time had a job working at the front desk of a local gym. I was able to gain a lot of knowledge while I was in that role, and my passion and attention quickly shifted to wanting to help as many people as I could live and work toward a healthy lifestyle. That’s when I started getting certifications in the areas of personal training and nutrition.

What do you love about being able to train clients virtually?

I still have many one-on-one clients I work with in-person at the club who I love having a special connection with, but like everyone else, I only have so much time in a day, so I can only take on so many in-person clients. Being able to now also offer virtual training programs has helped me reach and impact more lives. I can connect with clients through the Life Time Training App, and they can complete the workouts I provide for them on their own time.

Do you have any specialty areas you work with clients in?

I really love working with people of any and all fitness levels. I enjoy designing workout plans that enable people to feel strong and proud of their accomplishments. I also value the opportunity to educate clients on the importance of taking time to care for themselves as part of their health and fitness journey — that’s always my number one goal.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

Whenever a client says to me, “I never thought I would be able to do this!” That right there is what keeps me coming back every single day. I love to see that lightbulb go off in their head when they realize they really can do more than they originally thought possible.

Where does your motivation stem from?

Client success stories. It doesn’t have to be a major transformation, I just am always motivated after hearing them share how amazing they feel after a good workout, or how they’re now able to play with their kids or grandkids without pain. I could listen to those stories all day long.

Tell us about your Team Training Program: What’s it all about?

My program is called “Crystal’s Build and Burn Program.” The program focus changes monthly, but is always grounded in building muscle and burning fat.

Clients are always kept guessing as to what will come next — and because the workouts progress monthly, they’ll notice they become a little more challenging as they advance through the program.

When you sign up with me as your virtual trainer, you will be added to a “Team Crystal” group where others are completing the workouts right alongside you. The community and support in this group is like nothing I have ever experienced.

All of the workouts can be done either in the club or at home — whichever you prefer or your schedule allows for. They also can be completed by all fitness levels. The workouts are broken down into muscle groups, which lets everyone learn how to “connect” with that muscle instead of just going through the motions of the exercise.

During the week, the client will experience a full-body workout day, a HIIT cardio day, and a yoga day. I can help modify as needed to make them easier or harder, and provide alternate exercises if you have any injuries or limitations.

Client’s will receive anywhere from five to six workouts a week with my program, however, it is not required to always complete all workouts. I encourage my clients to listen to their bodies: If they are too sore, they can send me a message and I may encourage them to do something different, such as take an on-demand yoga class or go for a light walk.

Is there something people may be surprised to learn about you?

I am an unnaturally early riser. I’m talking waking up at 3 a.m. almost every day. I love getting through my morning routine and starting my day by watching the sunrise while I drive into work.

If you’re interested in training with Crystal, you can get started here.

Kelsey Martin

Kelsey Martin, NCCPT–PT, NASM–CES, PN Level 1

Martin, based out of Life Time in Savage, Minn, is a certified coach for applied women’s physiology and training. Her personal mantra is, “Life is short. Make the most of it each and every day.” You can find her on Instagram at @kmartin1212.

How did you get into health and wellness as a career?

Growing up, I always wanted to be a physical therapist. Then in college I started running, and that deepened my passion for health and fitness. I originally planned on going to graduate school, but by the time I finished my undergraduate, I was burned out. So, instead I got a job as a personal trainer at a chain gym. I intended it to be just for the summer, but I fell in love with training. I had a few small jobs after that gym, but then I became a member at Life Time.

Shortly after I joined, the manager approached me, asking if I would be interested in becoming a trainer. It was the best decision I could’ve made. I was able to find my passion and my niche. I’ve had mentors who’ve helped and guided me to live a healthier lifestyle and I wanted to make that impact on other people’s lives.

What do you love about being able to train clients virtually?

I appreciate virtual training because it allows me the opportunity to create change in more people’s lives than I otherwise would be able to in person. I’m able to help, educate, and connect with so many people from all over — I love that.

Do you have any specialty areas you work with clients in?

I specialize in helping clients in the areas of nutrition and woman’s health. I love working with females and helping them incorporating all three major areas of health — exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle — together for impactful and lasting change.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

Having my clients experience “aha!” moments. I always enjoy seeing clients who are looking to transform physically accomplish that, but it’s incredibly rewarding to also see the benefits they achieve mentally and emotionally as well.

Where does your motivation stem from?

I make it a point to always try to be better than I was yesterday, last week, last month, or last year. I appreciate looking back and seeing how far I’ve come, but at the same time knowing the future holds even more for me. 

Tell us about your Team Training Program: What’s it all about?

My program is called the “Ultimate Woman’s Program.” Clients can expect full-body workouts, weekly lectures on topics such as macronutrients, meal prepping, eating during menstrual cycles, and other nutrition and fitness tips. They’ll also be a part of an awesome community with the other women on the team.

The program integrates cardio and strength training, and focuses on foundational movement patterns that get progressively more challenging as time goes on, as well as building strength and stability in the shoulders, spine, and hips. It’s all about progressions and developing a strong base for the body.

We know that too much stress from working out can take a toll on anyone’s body. I want to make sure my clients are trying to keep their body in a homeostasis state as much as possible, while still achieving the goals of losing body fat and gaining muscle.

I’m a firm believer in getting really good at a movement pattern first, and then progressing it with load or more time under tension. The strength exercise selection starts with more externally stable exercises, for example, a seated leg press, then progresses to less externally stable exercises, such as a counterbalance squat.

The workout layout begins with output exercises followed by more accessory work to the main movements. For example, the main movement may be squats, then the accessory movement may be split lunges or step-ups.

For cardio, during the first month we focus on step counting, then move to increase output with walking, elliptical, or stairmaster.

The program approach works well because it educates women on how to view exercise, nutrition, and hormones differently than they may have in the past, with a goal of reframing their mindset so they can make this a lifelong lifestyle. 

Is there something people may surprised to learn about you?

I used to compete in bodybuilding. This was around the time that I first got into health and fitness, and as a result, I ended up struggling with my hormones and internal health. This made me want to be an advocate for my own health, so I started educating myself more. In turn, I not only was able to become healthier, but I can also share my knowledge and experience to help my clients.

If you’re interested in training with Kelsey, you can get started here.

Keep the conversation going.

Leave a comment, ask a question, or see what others are talking about in the Life Time Training Facebook group.

Callie Chase
Callie Fredrickson

Callie Fredrickson is a content editor at Life Time.

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