TESTIMONIALS - The people behind the trainer

MICHELE STRAUSS, PT, DPT, CSCS - Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS) by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association

"In 7 years of clinical practice, I can count on one hand the number of personal trainers who have asked me for training advice.  Jon asks for my advice so frequently I am thinking of charging him a fee!  His inquiries are intelligent and thoughtful. He is always thinking of his clients and what is best for their musculoskeletal health.  I would be happy to refer my clients to him."
TIM VAGEN, CSCS - USA Swimming Strength and Conditioning Coach

"Your writings are dead on.  You are one of the trainers
who get it."

"I am a Physical Therapist with 15+ years of clinical, academic and leadership experience in varied settings. As an Ironman triathlete and avid marathoner, I find Jon's literature not only to be insightful for my patients, but also for my own training.   There is no other personal trainer I would rather refer clients to upon their discharge from physical therapy services."

"I am an oncology geneticist who practices for a local community health system.  I used to dabble in triathlons and local runs back in the day.  Unfortunately, five years ago after the birth of my first child, I developed chronic back pain and was on again off again with Doctors and Physical therapists.  Nothing my own community hospital could provide seemed to help and always bordered on the edge of surgery as the next step.
Fate is a weird thing and a solution to my back pain came from winning a raffle with a personal trainer over one year ago.  That trainer's name was Jon. Jon does not make any erroneous claims nor does he falsify any information he presents to us. No, Jon told me, 'Let's workout. Let me design the program and then let's see how your back feels.'
My back felt better almost immediately. I was shocked. And hooked.  Jon will be the first to tell you that results usually are not that quick. But still...
I could not be happier with my results. I can run again, stand tall with great posture, as well as, lift and play with my kids without pain. Thank you Jon!"

"My son is a high school swimmer and he is one of the top recruited 200 backstrokers in the nation. He had a hip injury in 2010 resulting in muscle imbalances and Jon helped him return to intense national level competition. His posture, strength, power, and flexibility have been improved under Jon's expert eye and he remains injury free to this day. I highly recommend Jon's program!"
MIKE S - Stressed Out

“I have an incredibly stressful job (for 30 years) coupled with a long commute. I hold all of my stress in my shoulders…ask my wife,
Jill, who keeps telling me my shoulders are always jacked up to my ears.
Anyway, Jill was training with Jon for 2 years and feeling amazing and finally one day she had enough of me not taking care of myself, so she signed me up with Jon. By this time I couldn’t move my neck much. I was so tight and she knew Jon could help me (if I listened).
I have also had pain in my knee forever. The orthopedist told me that I had a hairline fracture many years ago and that is why I still have pain. Jon said it doesn’t take years and years for a bone to heal.
Fast-forward the tape 2 years later. I am still under the same stress, maybe even moreso, but I can move my neck and my shoulders feel good. In addition, I have no knee pain! I can play competitive tennis, snow ski, mountain bike (and keep up with my wife).
Now I have to figure out how to get Jon to let me do biceps curls!”


DREW SEAVER - Marathon Runner

"Jon Messner is onto something here.  Read on.
Before I start speaking volumes about Jon Messner's
Core Training for Distance Runners, a little bit of history about myself first needs to be shared.  I was a Division 1 collegiate distance runner for four years and have been out of school for roughly two years now.  While in school, I was injured two to three times a year - knees, IT band, hips, achilles, shins, and overall burnt-out-ness (you know what I'm talking about).

I thought this was normal and I thought it was just part of the territory of being a college distance runner. I'd run hard for a couple months, throw in a good race or two, then be sidelined for a few weeks.  I was also a firm believer in doing anywhere from 80-90 miles per week to get fast.  We certainly had a strength program, but I always considered it secondary to the running, and there was no one to explain to me why it was important.
I tried training for a marathon the first year out of college and didn't even make it to the starting line.  I was unhappy, and I hated running.  I didn't know what I was doing anymore.  Then someone said to me "Hey Drew, you're REALLY weak!"  I was taken back - how could I be weak? I'm able to run so much!  Boy was I mistaken. 
Stumbling onto Jon's book, he explained the "why" of strength training, and it's really quite simple: if you want to be a good distance runner, you MUST strength train.  We are not meant to just run - JUST running makes the body weak and dysfunctional.  Distance running is damaging to the body so one has to reverse this damage by strength training.  The book taught me that if I want to stay healthy and run fast, I need to have a strong core and a functional body.
I've also learned much about injuries and the right way to go about treating pain (which, by the way, doesn't consist of icing till you go numb and stretching till you feel like a noodle.  In fact, if you WANT to be injured this is exactly the way to go about it).
I learned much about trigger points and foam rolling.  From what I've gathered in the book, I firmly believe time is better spent foam rolling pre and post run as oppose to stretching.  In fact, I barely stretch at all and I have better hip flexibility than I ever have before!  Foam roll everyday - make it hurt!
My training now consists of running about 20-30 miles per week less then what I was running in college, taking days off, foam rolling, and incorporating much of the strength training that Jon has in his book.  I am actively protecting my patterns.
Taking all this information in, this past year has been awesome. I've competed in a half marathon with a PR (1:15:34) and my first full marathon (2:48:23).  I wouldn't have even made it to the starting line if not for the information in this book.  Nothing hurts; no knee pain, no achilles pain.  I've been healthy for 10 months now (longest I've been healthy in my running career) and I'm easily in the best shape of my life.  I've become enlightened.  I feel like a kid again running (watch a seven year old boy run around the house - not a care in the world!)  It's fun and I love it.  Thanks Jon!"
KATHIE - Low back pain no more!

"A big part of why I am writing this testimonial is because of how much I believe in Jon and his ability to help others as much as he has helped me.
I’ve been working out on my own for the past 25 years, and by “working out” I mean running 25 to 30 miles a week with an occasional aerobics class thrown in and very little strength training. While my routine allowed me to maintain my weight I could never seem to get my body to look the way I wanted.
After a fall a few years ago left me with constant back pain I found I was not able to run or even walk without pain. After months of Doctor visits, X Rays, MRI’s, physical therapy sessions (which actually made the pain worse) and cortisone shots my doctor informed me the pain was something I would just have to live with. A few weeks after my final physical therapy session I was lucky enough to hear Jon speak about how stupid exercise habits, poor posture, and how living life seated behind a desk can physically weaken you to the point of back and joint pain. I decided I needed to find out more about Jon’s “post-physical therapy personal training”…

My training sessions with Jon started in October 2009. In two months I realized I was getting up out of a chair without pain, in six months I was again working in my garden relatively pain free, and in nine months I was doing sprint work on the treadmill without back pain or achy joints. While I originally enlisted Jon’s help to ease my back pain I received so much more than that. I cannot tell you how much my body has changed since working with Jon. His expertise in correction of posture, core work, strength development and a customized cardio routine have resulted in my muscles and body taking on a whole new look. In addition, Jon reinforced with me the importance of not only strength training, but nutrition, diet, rest and other facets of health that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Now at 57 years old I am in the best shape of my life and pain free!!!!
Jon is extremely knowledgeable, passionate about his work and truly cares about the individual needs of his clients. More than that he practices the art of personal training with energy, enthusiasm and a great sense of humor.
Working with Jon Messner is the best thing I have ever done for my health and fitness!
Thank you Jon!!!"


LARRY THOMPSON - Competitive Powerlifter

"I have been in power and strength sports all my life. I enjoyed a successful career in football throughout high school and college, finishing as a Division III All American, NJAC Defensive Player of the Year, Team Captain, and finding a place among the top all time defensive players at Montclair State University. I then got into drug free power lifting as a means to stay competitive and strong, competing on the state, regional, and national level; winning NJ States Power lifting championships on several occasions, placing 2nd regionally, and placing 12th nationally at my best. I last competed in 2004, prior to my beloved wife’s diagnosis with breast cancer. I have since retired from power sports as I realized I could never be as strong she was, watching her walk with the disease with grace and courage for over four years.

With my beloved’s passing from cancer, the needs of a young son, and the overall change in my life, it was time for a change in my training. I enlisted the services of Jon to help me make adjustments to my workout program. I wanted to learn about the training paradigm and the trainer I used to make fun of as a power lifter...why does Jon always have his clients standing on one leg!?

Jon had me squat (single-leg and split squat) more in a week than I ever had, and my knees felt better for it. He introduced push-ups and pull-ups into my routine and some strange exercise called wall-slides, and my shoulders began to feel better. As of now, I have no knee pain or shoulder pain. However, it is my level of strength that is really surprising, considering the amount of bodyweight exercises we now perform in lieu of free weight or machine training. My strength levels are as good in the core lifts (squat, bench, deadlift) as they have ever been!
I joke that when I started working with Jon I hung up my power lifting belt, but the fact of the matter is Jon did not take me out of my element, he only added to it. I still bench once a week and squat and dead-lift every other week. Jon understood my needs as a power lifter and catered to them. I can now consider returning to the sport when life calms down and feel confident that I will be competitive once again.
I highly recommend Jon to any athlete who is suffering from chronic pain or who wants to improve his/her performance in their discipline. Jon’s level of attention to detail and his commitment to results are second to none.
Thank you Jon!"
- Howell High School Lacrosse Coach

"I entered my freshman year at Richard Stockton College, unaware of the commitment that was needed to be successful as a college player. In high school, I never spent time in the weight room or at the track to improve my strength and conditioning. Now all of a sudden, I was a freshman in college trying to make a roster of kids who were bigger, stronger, and faster then me. I was not able to get by on talent alone anymore and I barely saw the field. By the end of the season I realized that I needed to make some changes going into sophomore year. I took it upon myself to start lifting. I started getting so obsessed with becoming a stereotypical “meathead college athlete” that I even stopped running in order to gain weight. I did see a significant increase in playing time, but I was also destroying my body.
While in season, I would leave after every two-hour practice and go straight to the weight room for another hour. By the time the season ended and I returned home for summer, my rotator cuff in my right shoulder started to tear. I ignored the pain and kept lifting until it finally gave out.
This is how I met Jon. Not only did Jon help me begin my rehabilitation process but most of all he changed my mindset. He built me a new foundation for the way I view working out. He always preached to me that as an athlete it is not how big you are, but how well you move. He told me to stop worrying about my size, and focus on my strength. As he was selling me on this idea, I also started to feel and see the changes in my body, and noticed I was in much better shape. It is because of Jon that I was able to get back onto the field junior year and have a productive season. The athletic training staff at Stockton named me Male Comeback Athlete of the year.
I believe in Jon, and now that I am a lacrosse coach, I believe that Jon can help my athletes achieve their goal and more. As such, Jon and I are implementing a strength & conditioning program specifically for lacrosse players at any level."
JILL - And her amazing story

Jill's story is quite extraordinary and it is a testament to the benefits of strength training. Not only is she stronger and pain free (neuromuscular corrections), but she is taller (postural corrections) and no longer hypoglycemic (neural corrections). But don't take my word for it...

"Training with Jon Messner has changed my life.
I have always been athletic; I live to enjoy life. That was becoming more difficult, if not impossible—a little over a year ago I was to the point of having low back pain every time I had to drive.
Over the years I had had been to orthopedists, chiropractors, and physical therapists, and I’ve worked with other trainers. Although they all helped me feel better at the time, no one ever offered any advice on how to prevent the pain from recurring. I was resigned to the fact that I would have to live with it since it seemed like there was no fix.
Then, as fate would have it, I met Jon. During our initial session he was very confident that he could help me. I was skeptical; Jon’s explanation was logical but seemed all too simple in concept—he said I needed to get my “glutes to fire.” The rest is history.
After two months, I felt a huge improvement; after five months, I felt amazing; after nine months, the amazing feeling began to feel normal.
If eliminating my back pain wasn’t enough, here is a list of other ailments that improved due to strength training:

IT band pain—gone (pain on the outside of my knees)
Neck and shoulder tension and pain--gone
Two other benefits of my training with Jon—I am now 5/8 inches taller (I have scoliosis), and I literally worked my butt off and lost inches!!!

I’ve been an avid water skier since I was in high school and I recently had an opportunity to ski while on vacation. The last time I tried it, about five years ago, it killed my back. Jon assured me I could do it, and for me this would be the ultimate test. Check out the photo . . . I was on Cloud Nine! I had no residual pain, and at age 48 I am in the best shape of my life and feel like there is nothing that I can’t do.
Jon pays great attention to detail, is passionate about his training, and is patient and very encouraging. He takes a genuine interest in you, and makes hard work fun with his great sense of humor.
In the past I considered working with a trainer a luxury, but after finding the right trainer, I now consider it an investment in my health. Jon is also working with my husband to help him keep up with me! He has had great results as well.
I became so passionate about training that I invited Jon to give two seminars for the company I work for which have already had a positive impact on many of my co-workers.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have Jon as my trainer and my friend."

JILL - Part Dos

"It’s my two year anniversary training with Jon and I thought it appropriate to provide an update on my (our) success.
Amazingly and thankfully, the euphoria of feeling incredible is still there, and I have been completely pain free. The ability to stand with good posture is something I am constantly aware of.
I was a little modest in my first testimonial, but now, what I want to share with you most, are the incredible things that Jon has enabled me to do. This soon to be 49 year old can do sets of military style push-ups (check out the video), pull-ups and one arm presses with 40 lb weights!
A normal week for me now is strength training 3x (2x with Jon and once on my own), cardio 4x per week (because I can), and tennis 2x per week (because I love it !). Jon has monitored my cardio from day one and the program that I am on now has me doing interval training, supposedly at a level that an athlete would be capable of.
This past year I’ve gone snow skiing, mountain biking and boogie boarding and I am so excited to say that I have been able to travel again. I couldn’t even sit for 1 hour at a time, now long distance travel is no problem. I can carry and lift most anything on a daily basis and the concern of hurting myself doesn’t even enter my brain.
So I can say that the past two years have been two of the best and I have treasured and made the most of every moment. I can’t wait to see what I’ll be writing about in a year.
In my free time you may find me preaching the benefits of training with Jon to anyone who engages me. Warning: don’t ever tell me you are in pain because you are getting old because it makes me crazy! If you want to 'live your life' and not 'just exist', Jon is the person to get you there."