Why is personal training a good investment?

Marilyn and Mark Get Dirty for Their Fitness at the 2013 MS Muckfest

Sometimes it helps to have a fitness milestone. Mark and Marilyn used the 5-mile mud run with obstacles to motivate them to train through the summer.

Marilyn beat over 200 other women in her first race of this kind!

“Yahoo!!! thanks for all your support through the race. It really meant a lot to me! You are such a great friend and an awesome trainer!!” – Marilyn


“When Mark started working with me almost 10 years ago, I was not a fan of exercise and thought that I knew a lot about nutrition already. I’ve also learned a lot about nutrition—particularly about the strategic timing of food and exercise.

The gradual way that he introduced changes to my diet has been very effective. As a bonus, the knee pain that I used to have has been eliminated almost completely by Mark’s thoughtful strengthening regimen.”

“Training with Mark has been more engaging than I ever expected. He is terrific at motivating me.”

Katherine shows off her biceps on her wedding day, with Mark to cheer her on.
Katherine shows off her biceps on her wedding day, with Mark to cheer her on.


“I’ve been working with better living for 5 months. I used to be a fit, athletic person, but over the past 5 years, I let that slip away and gained quite a bit of weight. Having twins did not help my situation. My goal when I first started working with Better Living was to lose about 40 pounds. I worked with Rachael as a nutritionist and Mallory as a trainer. I had tried every gimmicky diet in the past, with little success. Rachael totally changed my eating habits by switching me to 5 small, balanced meals a day. By eating more frequently, I was not as hungry and able to keep my calorie intake low. I learned from Mallory and Rachael that if you don’t lose weight in healthy manner (1-2 pounds per week), then your body is not able to adjust to the weight loss as well. It becomes much easier to gain the weight back. I had definitely experienced that in the past. I’ve lost 25 pounds so far, but I don’t pay much attention to the scale anymore. I pay more attention to how I feel and how my clothing fits. My body has completely changed. I am amazed at how much stronger I am than when I first started. Our first week, I was using 10lb dumbbells for bench press; now I use 25lbs. Most importantly, I feel so much better. I’ve always been a happy, positive person, but I’m amazed at how much more upbeat I am.

In my opinion, a great trainer is knowledgeable, a fantastic motivator, and affable. Mallory exceeds at all those criteria. Mallory is so nice that you don’t realize she’s totally kicking your butt. Don’t let that small voice fool you; she will make sure you work hard. I really enjoy the variety in my workouts. I usually work with Mallory three times per week. Two sessions are weight training (with cardio subsets) and one is something different every week – Zumba, kickboxing, yoga. Even the weight training exercises are extremely varied. She has dozens of different exercises for each muscle group. It never gets boring or repetitive.

Mallory helped me train for the Merrell Down and Dirty Obstacle race and even participated with me (see attached picture). I kicked butt on the obstacles and finished in the top half of my age group. Not bad for an admittedly very slow runner. When I had trouble with the hills, she was there to push me along.”


“Three years ago I’d have laughed my socks off if you’d asked me to exercise for an hour. Yet for the past two and a half years I’ve been meeting with Joey Smith twice a week and, tho it’s hard for even me to believe, I’m really enjoying it. When I leave it’s with an increased sense of well-being, and not just because I’m done for the day. As a trainer Joey has completely mastered the art of encouraging me to go just a bit further and he rewards me with all the positive reinforcement I could possibly need. It’s clear he knows his “stuff” and he cares about his clients.”


“I have been working with Mallory for the last six months. I have just returned from Paris, France where I worked with a French coach for ten years. Prior to that I had two women trainers at the Washtenaw gym also over a ten year period. Of these trainers, all professional and conscientious, I would rate Mallory number one for the following reasons. When we first met she asked me what I expected to achieve and how much work I was prepared to do. I told her that at the age of eighty four, I was interested in simple maintenance, and that I did not expect to improve. She agreed that maintenance was the priority but she suggested that if I would make the effort, she would gradually improve my health, strength and self confidence.
I was surprised to hear this thoughtful promise from a twenty six year old young lady. I work two full and strenuous hours per week with her, and as promised, my strength and self confidence have increased. Walking alone for two and occasionally three miles in the Arboretum, I feel much more sure of myself and my ability to climb gradual slopes now without loss of breath. I enjoy that challenge in the Arb rather than feeling somewhat apprehensive which was the case six months ago. All of this, thanks to Mallory.”


“On an exceptionally strong recommendation of a friend, I chose Better Living and am so lucky to have found my most wonderful trainer, Rachael! Working with her the last six months has been such a positive, rewarding and fun experience for me! Rachael epitomizes what every client would want in a trainer. Each session, taking into account my age & capabilities, she plans a full-body workout ahead of time. And it always varies with each session. Rachael is very knowledgeable and professional having had extensive education and training. She is often checking my alignment and form; and is supportive, encouraging, and has a friendly, very personable manner. We laugh a lot. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do this without her. She motivates me to go beyond what I thought that I was capable of doing. My goals are being met: I’m noticeably stronger; have more endurance, and the beginnings of a waist! Can’t wait to see what another 6 months brings!”


“I have trained with Joey for over two years and am 100% happy with both the process and the results. When I first contemplated strength training, I was a little anxious about it because I had never done this type of activity before. But the sessions are custom tailored to my goals, needs and abilities, making this something that anyone, of any age or physical condition, can do. I am very happy with the continuous progress that I’ve made, under Joey’s supervision, with weight stabilization and increased strength. Joey is extremely knowledgeable, with a degree in physical education and many years of coaching and training experience. What I especially like about Joey, though, is that in addition to his expertise, he is very personable. The training sessions are challenging and motivate me to exert myself, but the time also goes quickly because Joey is high-energy and very engaging.”


“I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Rachael since late July. In that time I’ve seen phenomenal improvements in my overall fitness, particularly my strength and stamina! The two best things about Rachael are one, that she listens to what I want to achieve and then creates plans to help me get there and two, the fact that she is obviously and always in my corner. Finally, I deeply appreciate the fact that Rachael, and from what I can tell the entire Better Living team, deeply respects and supports each individual client’s wishes about their goals. At age 50+ I’m not interested in training for a marathon — I am interested in insuring my health and mobility well into my 90’s. While I’m certain that any Better Living Trainer could help me become a “Superwoman,” their support and reassurance about my actual goals is comfortable and leaves me feeling empowered, not intimidated by how incredibly fit they all are.”

Ann Marie

”Mark ‘knows his stuff’ and studies or researches to provide the right information/answers for his clients. If you are considering hiring him, be open and honest about what you expect from him, then trust him as the caring, consummate professional that he is. You’re bound to have fun and feel better!“


”I can give a testimony too. It is 8 weeks since the major surgery on my R ankle. So far have not needed any P T and the main reason I think is the top condition that my trainers at Better Living helped me achieve in the weeks leading up to the surgery. The surgery wound healed quickly and successfully, another result of my body in healthy condition. I do not plan to use a cane or limp around.“

Joey Mullick

”Better Living personal trainers are definitely the right pick for anyone who is looking at getting into exercise for the first time, or if you want to get back into working out.“