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Meet My PT: “Marathon” John Burton

Meet my PT is a new series that features personal trainers from around the world


Although I’ve always been in (and out of) fitness, I’ve never had the honor (and exhausting task) of having a personal trainer. As a self starter-type who’s mostly used my diet to control my weight, I’ve always associated a personal trainer with serious training, serious weight loss, serious rehabilitation…or serious money.

With an average rate of $150 per hour I jumped (literally) at the invitation to do a free session with “Marathon” John Burton while visiting Chicago. I’d recently attended a group session at a “big box” gym in L.A that was so underwhelming that I forgot to pick up my “personalized workout.”

So, I was definitely ready to try 1 on 1 treatment.

John and I briefly met a few years back in Chicago (my hometown) under completely different circumstances but it wasn’t till now that we were authentically engaging, a phrase that popped up often throughout our session.

Like me, John had his fair share of the entertainment industry where inauthentic relationships are the norm. He started out in his early twenties working closely with major record labels such as; Kanye West’s GOOD Music, Warner Music Group, etc., and through a series of fortunate (and unfortunate) events found marathon running as his release.

Fast forward a few years later and John’s got a few 30k marathons under his belt while running his training program in one of the tallest buildings in the world.

We met on a rainy Friday at Precision Human Performance a private gym in Chicago’s West Loop. Educational and intimate are two words that came to mind when our session was over. I tried out a ton of new machines, learned a new push up technique and once and for all broke the squat myth. (FYI, there’s no “perfect stance”)

It was truly the first time I felt super accomplished after a workout. I most definitely felt “the burn” (for days after) but it was well earned.

When you work out alone, it’s so easy to sell yourself short by doing things like wimping out on your last set so for me accountability is the number one benefit of having a PT.

Here are a few more benefits from the man himself plus a few steps on finding the perfect PT.

In Chicago or NYC? Book a session with John!

Benefits to a PT

1. Accountability & Reinforcement.

2. An accurate course of direction when executing a proper training program.

3. A consistent resource (open lines of communication outside of the session).


Most important things when picking a PT

1. Certification: Is he or she certified to tell you anything related to fitness? This is pivotal because this will limit your chances of being exposed to injury.

2. Accountability: I hear stories all the time of clients feeling abandoned during the training program. From not having any guidance during the training program (i.e. no training program period (aka “a overpaid workout partner”), and a lack of access & attention from the trainer (i.e. they’re just burning through the session not caring about the client).

3. Presence: Are they present with you when they are in the moment with you? This is important because you should want someone that’s there with you mentally and physically when it comes to your health.

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