Marc Gordon’s Fitness Philosophy

My philosophy as a personal trainer is based on one simple fact: There is a huge difference between “moving your body” and getting the body you want.


Gyms and health clubs are full of people who spend endless hours taking classes, running on treadmills, lifting weights, etc., and still wonder why they don’t have the body they desire. It is because there is no one exercise ideology that works for everyone; there is no one nutritional plan that works for everyone; and there is no one trainer that can cover the needs of everyone from the competitive body builder to the Pilates enthusiast. This is why I constantly push myself to create new exercises that personalize workouts based on individual body needs; emphasize the roles nutrition and lifestyle play in helping a person achieve their physical desires; and why I specialize in training the female body (women present the unique challenge of wanting to lose weight while toning up).


My philosophy as a personal trainer was developed over time and trial, and built around my ability to see and use movement differently than others. Very early in my training career, I realized that I was given a gift to see movement from different angles than other trainers. More importantly, I had the knowledge on how to use this gift to create new movements that were not circus tricks, but were actually relevant instruments for changing the female body. I also discovered that I had a knack for squeezing more out of “tried and true” exercises by placing a much higher emphasis on correct form and its relevant balance to the strengths and weaknesses of the body in question. I quickly started looking at each person’s body as a puzzle onto itself whose solution lay in an intricate framework of balancing some very key components against one another to help individuals achieve their goals.


The first component is what I call “Genetic Truth”. As a trainer, I have to be able to look at someone’s body and give them a realistic assessment of what I think their genetic potential is for acquiring the body they want. Simply put, I need to ask how much my client wants to change their body and, given their genetic makeup, what is their capacity for achieving that change? The second component is what I refer to as “Lifestyle Relativity.” Again, I need to access my client’s desire to change her lifestyle and ask what sustainable lifestyle changes she is willing to make relative to achieving her goals for physical change. The probability of success hinges on these two components. They are the starting points for change in the mental and physical relationship a person has with themselves that must be initiated in order to have any chance for long-term success.


The further away a client is from where they want to be physically, the more important the aforementioned variables become. Having trained more than 200 of the top models in New York City, I am known as one of the best trainers of the female body. I’ve created an “outside of the box” system for training that I call “Model Strong”, which I’ve used on my model clients as well as the hundreds of business women and housewives of all ages that I train, and I am known for my professionalism and my ability to succeed where other trainers have failed. Because of all this, people continually ask me if I see a change in their appearance after only a few hours of training with me. To this I reply that there are no magic wands to physical actualization. It is about one word and one word only-adherence. Adherence to proper nutrition; adherence to the proper movements each individual body requires for change; and, most importantly, adherence to the systematic lifestyle changes that must be implemented in order for the first two to be effective. I believe, because I’ve seen this struggle with my clients, that of the three manageable elements of physical actualization, proper nutrition is a much harder component for the majority of people to manage than movement – and movement can be extremely challenging.


To elicit change, I believe that every person must be challenged in accordance with their current level of physical fitness. As simple as this may sound, I see trainers pushing new clients in poor condition beyond the level of movement they can safely achieve as dictated by their current fitness level. This is the easiest way to thwart adherence because it sets the client up for frustration and failure. I am also a staunch believer in teaching the body to perform exercises it has not done in the past, as long as they are relevant to helping an individual achieve their desired physical expectations and are within the framework of their current level of fitness. I think it is far more important to look for a weakness and strengthen it, than it is to continue to work on a strength. I would rather have a client fail at a movement and learn to get better at it, than to watch them do the same redundant movements they have in the past over and over, and see no gain. But most importantly, I believe that it is my job to teach my clients how to manage the infinitely fantastic world of their bodies and all the wonders that can come from proper management of their cardiorespiratory system and skeletal muscle systems, and the infinitely important role that nutrition plays in helping achieve their physical fitness goals.