Meet the Team
Proof Personal Trainers
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Tony SandovalCorporate Director of Training and Professional Development
Warren SmithPersonal Trainer
Brandy ElliotPersonal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor
James ClarkPersonal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor
Hayley BenningerPersonal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor
Lea Ann AbbeyDirector Personal Training
Lydia SweetserDirector Personal Training
Elisabeth NewmanPersonal Trainer
Jennifer SmythPersonal Trainer
Alfonso GonzalezPersonal Trainer
Benjamin Martinez-FloresPersonal Trainer
Alyssa ReisterPersonal Trainer
Ian KossickPersonal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor
LaMarr HarrisPersonal Trainer
William CarterPersonal Trainer
Kelsie BickettPersonal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor
Troy WilliamsonPersonal Trainer
Haley Jo PattonPersonal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor
Tony holds a Masters Degree from Sacramento State in Exercise Science, with an emphasis on Strength & Conditioning. He has over 13 years of experience in training college athletes at UCLA, University of Colorado, University of Pacific, and most recently, the University of Kentucky Football Team.
What I love most about working in the health and fitness industry is the people I get to meet and help on their fitness journey.
One of my clients, who is an equestrian athlete, had been in a terrible riding accident at one of her competitions. She returned to me and asked me to help her with the rehabilitation. Our goal was to return back to competition in only 4 months. Not only did we meet our goal but she performed very well in her first competition back. I was so proud of her and consider myself lucky to be able to help her keep doing what she loves to do.
What I love most about working in health and fitness is the opportunity to help people improve their quality of life.
I am inspired by anyone who is willing to sacrifice in order to help others. A teacher dedicating extra time to a student, an athlete who may give up something personal to help the rest of the team, soldiers fighting for our freedom, the list goes on…
I do not have one favorite fitness story to tell.
I have been working in the field for almost a decade now and helped many people. My favorite concept is experiencing people reach goals that they didn’t think were possible.
I love the health and fitness because there is no better feeling than the feeling you get when you help someone feel better about themselves. Being a personal trainer is so much more than just helping someone lose weight or get stronger. It’s about helping them change the way they think and so that they believe on the inside that they are capable.
I guess I’d have to say my daughters are my biggest inspiration in life. I want to live by example for them. I can’t think of a better example than one where I get to help others and show my girls how rewarding it can be to use your gifts and talents to improve someone else’s life.
I honestly don’t have a single “favorite” story from my job. I love all the little moments;
The excited ” I dropped a pant size” text from the fitting room , the hug after they get off the scale , the thank you for believing in me comments, I could go on and on. Everything about this job is so rewarding I couldn’t ask for a better profession than the one I’m in.
Working in Health and Fitness allows me to teach others knowledge and skills that last beyond their time working with me and can impart a real change in their lives.
One of my best motivators was an old coach and friend of mine who kept pushing me to always “work harder than your talent”, he used to say that a lot. Without that mentality I don’t think I would have been able to participate in college sports or achieve what I have.
I had a client who came to me and needed to lose weight. He was a firefighter and was coming up on retirement in a few years and was worried that he wouldn’t be able to pass his physicals to continue working and lose out on his full pension. He also was a diabetic and was taking medication for it. He put his mind to doing his program consistently and diligently, basically had great self-motivation even without one-on-one sessions. After about 14 weeks he was down 40 pounds and his A1C levels were in half, effectively his weight loss and lifestyle changes were combating his diabetic state and winning. I still work with him and we are about halfway to his goals, but his A1C levels continue to drop and I hope that he soon will not need medication at all.
I love inspiring others to not only achieve their fitness goals, but to make exercise an enjoyable part of life, whether it be through classes, training sessions, or simple fitness advice. It makes me incredibly happy to hear clients, class members, etc. that they loved their workout and are ready to come back for more!
My favorite fitness story isn’t much of a story, but a proud moment. While completing my own workouts at Proof Fitness, or teaching my classes, I constantly see my clients completing workouts I’ve given them and have had them participate in numerous classes I instruct. It makes me so proud to see that they have the drive outside of our sessions!
Lea Ann Abbey
Being able to help people reach their goals makes me thrive. For me, as a Personal Trainer, seeing a client ecstatic that they are reaching / reached their goal is just as gratifying for myself as it is for them.
Survivors inspire me. Whether you are a cancer survivor, overcoming an eating disorder or have a physical disability, it is you that I admire. As a survivor, I know first-hand the challenges that are present, mentally and physically.
A woman came to me very obese, depressed and ready for change. On day one, I told her she HAD to clean up her diet and take my nutrition advice, as this was her biggest issue. It took about two months for this to sink in, which set us back somewhat on reaching her goal.
After changing her eating habits along with consistent training, she was over-the-moon happy when telling me how many of her co-workers have asked her about her weight loss!
THIS is one of the many reasons I LOVE what I do!
What I love most about working in the fitness industry is seeing the changes in people. Not just the physical changes but the mental and emotional changes that come with this process. Coming into the gym and sticking with a routine is not an easy task but watching my clients see progress is the most rewarding job I have ever had. Knowing you are a small part of helping someone see themselves in a new way drives me to do the best job I can in supporting them in and outside of the gym.
My inspiration comes from watching YOU, the members are my gym family. Watching you guys coming in day in and day out, it pushes me and inspires me to push myself that much harder in the gym. Outside of the members, two women who have inspired me over the years to get into the fitness industry and train have been Jillian Michaels, and Cass Martin. These women make me want to accomplish new goals and make a difference in the fitness world.
One of my favorite fitness stories comes from a client that I had worked with for about 2 years. She came into the gym every single day, following every workout assignment I gave her and showing up rain or snow to our sessions 3x a week. Over this two year period she lost over 100lbs, and completely transformed her body. As exciting as this was, the bigger before and after was how she saw herself in the mirror, not just physically but mentally. Watching her confidence grow with every PR and through all the sweat and tears, she pushed herself harder than I ever knew was possible.
I feel very fortunate to be in position where I can help improve someone’s life, confidence, physical appearance, and overall health. You simply can’t put a price on watching clients reach their goals and being the happiest version of themselves.
My Mom and Dad always inspired me to do whatever makes me happy and teaching has always been my passion. I taught elementary school for several years and now have the pleasure of trying to make a difference with clients through personal training.
I had a client in her seventies who was fighting obesity plus severe arthritis. Her determination was unshakeable and there wasn’t a class she wouldn’t take or an exercise she wouldn’t try. She lost a significant amount of weight and improved her mobility. I trained her but her generation is salt of the earth and she taught me about what really matters in life.
Fitness turned my life around and I love helping others improve their lives and health by teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle. Watching my clients reach their goals and feel better makes my heart full.
Jillian Michaels has always inspired me. She and I both believe that health and fitness starts from within. Exercise is only a single piece of the puzzle to living a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Briefly describe a favorite fitness story in a few sentences.
When one of my clients told me they are feeling better and that she needs to go shopping for a smaller size because her pants are getting loose, which makes her feel fantastic about the hard work she is doing. Then after returning from a doctor’s appointment she tells me her cholesterol has dropped and blood pressure medication was lowered. Her doctor said she will be off her blood pressure medicine completely on her next visit if she continues on the healthy journey we have been taking together.
What do you love most about working in Health and Fitness?
I love the diversity that Health and Fitness offers. There is always something new to learn or practice. This industry allows so much room for growth and self- improvement because it is always evolving. You will never meet a person in the fitness world who can’t teach you something new.
Who inspires you and why?
My dad is my biggest inspiration not because he’s the most fit or can run the fastest, but because my entire life I have never known him to miss a day of exercising. Rain or snow, Christmas day or Monday morning, he is the most dedicated, consistent human I know, and that motivates me every day.
Working in health and fitness has given me the opportunity to combine work and play. I love being in the position to network and build myself as a professional, while staying centered around a passion I’ve had since I was young.
My mother inspires me. I was raised in a single parent home and her continuous selfless acts have helped put me in a position to succeed. Her selflessness has always been remarkably inspiring to me.
Being a coach and centered around athletics, of course I’ve loved the impact I’ve had on young men and women. Though my favorite fitness story is unrelated to sports, and was an opportunity for me to integrate my fitness education with rehabilitation experience. Through aggressive stretching, postural corrections, and overall strengthening; I was able to help a client who came to me with chronic sciatic pain. After about 10 weeks of training, the gentleman got off his yoga mat to conclude a routine session; and interrupted my farewell with a giant hug and the affirmation that he had been pain free for two weeks for the first time in over two years. “My quality of life has been restored and I could never thank you enough.” To think I was in a position to go above fitness goals and help someone restore value in their life was the most fulfilling feeling I’ve had in my career so far.
What I love most about working in Health and Fitness is the feeling I get from helping others realize their potential to be the best version of themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually.
My parents inspire me because they have always motivated me to be true to myself and to pursue what makes me happy. These days people are consumed by wanting to fit in instead of standing out. These basic teachings are instrumental in my training of clients by explaining to them that in a world of cookie cutter molds for people’s appearances you can look and feel great being true to yourself by carving out your own unique self.
My mother has type 1 diabetes and has struggled over the years to maintain a healthy A1C level. I worked with her over several months to help her to create a workout plan and a nutritional diet. She now maintains a suitable A1C level, and credits my assistance with this improvement. I feel privileged to have play a role in the betterment of her life.
A healthy lifestyle can drastically improve one’s quality of life. I love working in health and fitness, because it gives me the opportunity to introduce those habits to my clients and inspire them to create a love for self-improvement all while reaching their physical goals. There’s nothing better than teaching self-love and better health through fitness!
I’m inspired by people and things that generate within me a strong sense of empowerment: self-help books, thought-provoking conversation, new perspectives.
A friend reached out to me, feeling frustrated with her fitness journey, because she was spending countless hours in the gym yet seeing no results. After two months of working with me, she had overcome her gym frustration, developed a greater sense of self-love and was again excited about fitness! Watching her drive, commitment and determination transform her mind and body was one of my first and most memorable client success stories.
Health is something we all share. It’s common ground that, when well-trod, can become a diving board for revolutionary connections. This industry provides the opportunity to meet so many incredible people, all of whom come full of stories and life experiences. The journeys are filled with vulnerability, triumphs, downfalls and an endless number of adjectives that characterize the human experience. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.
I find my biggest inspiration to be my mother. There is an unfathomable amount of resilience it takes to raise four children at poverty wages in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With every visit home I seem to uncover a bit more of her story and each word only furthers my admiration for her. I can’t help but to find myself humbled by where I am in life by looking to the sacrifices my mother has made to put me here.
Haley Jo Patton
Working in health and fitness is the most rewarding and uplifting experience. It’s always amazing to see results, but creating a lifestyle devoted to health and wellness is my goal for every single person I encounter. I am contributing to an individual’s overall quality of life and that is the most incredible feeling.
My clients inspire me. It requires a lot of trust to put your body and goals in someone else’s hands. Training is collaborative, built on effort and responsibility. I promise to put the plan in place, and they promise to give it all they’ve got. That’s inspiring. We live in a culture bombarded with instant gratification. I am motivated by teaching clients to respect the process. It’s a journey full of ebbs and flows. To watch them evolve and grow throughout is inspiring.