It’s the start of a new year, and with that knowledge comes the mental motivation to work on new goals. Fitness is often the first piece in the healthier lifestyle puzzle that needs to fit into place before good eating habits and increased happiness follow. The intimidation factor or impersonal approach at many fitness facilities can turn a long-term achievement into one that is short-lived. Enter Advantage Training.

Conveniently located in North Scottsdale, Group Wellness Director Mark Santistevan and National Performance Director Spencer Tatum have turned their vision of creating a comfortable and customized gym experience into reality. From the moment you enter, the staff is focused on the individual needs and unique backgrounds of the client and take in-depth factors into account, leading to astonishing results that are both exciting and maintainable.

“I believe we all have challenges, but we rise above them if properly motivated. I struggled in formal education growing up, and fitness gave me hope. It was my escape and pleasurable activity. I obtained my degree in physiology and biomechanics because I was always striving for the ‘why,’” Spencer says.

He explained it simply: We all have pain, anxiety and struggles, and if you can’t move well, then you can’t move often. Many trainers at typical gyms will ask a client to do things they aren’t ready to do. It might be the right strategy but the wrong time. Advantage Training can assess the parts that make up the whole person and focus on the “why.” Why are someone’s movements hindered—trauma, lifestyle, wrong state of mind, lack of focus? Looking at people from the inside out and not the outside in and understanding the “why” not “how” first has been the key to Advantage’s success.  

So what are the first steps in the Advantage Training process? The three Es:

  • Environment – the right mindset to allow the experience to come to life
  • Experience – an unbelievable experience to show progress, that’s the biggest motivator
  • Evolution – mind, body and performance all engaged and working together

“For me, it was about how to make things easier for people,” Mark says. “The question I asked is, ‘why does the fitness business only attract fit people?’ I wanted better engagement from all people. Advantage Training was formed because both Spencer and I knew each other well and cared about people. We merged our objectives, mine being in business and his fitness.”

Mark went on to explain what other aspects of Advantage Training are unique.

“We wanted continuity, meaning all of our trainers speak the same language and use terminology that people can carry into their lives and routines. Our trainers are flexible. Yes, we offer all the equipment and classes that typical gyms do, however, our trainers plan each client’s workout in advance and are able to acclimate if something isn’t available. We want our clients to be able to feel confident when they train on their own and carry the ideals they’ve learned here into their routines. Proper fitness planning, knowledge, coaching and accountability—it all helps with longevity.”

So, what can be expected with an initial visit to Advantage Training? It begins with a performance screening process.

“We look at sports history, injury history, questions about lifestyle—where would you go or what would you do if you could do anything or go anywhere? We believe people express more in this fashion; it’s more impactful and meaningful,” Spencer says.

Results are compiled and put through a classification system to place each client where he or she will have the most effective strategy, as efficiently as possible. It will also focus on limiters such as high body fat, injuries or just needing a well-rounded fitness program.

“There’s a misconception that you have to crush yourself at the gym to get results. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Spencer says.

“We love putting smiles on people’s faces, seeing novices to athletes. We designed our system for comfort for all people. No mirrors, no distractions—it’s unnecessary,” Mark says. “There is no intimidation so our clients can focus on themselves. That was very intentional when creating Advantage.” advantagetraining.fit