Fitness had always been Doris’ passion. After years in upper management, Doris finally quit her “day job” and pursued her dream of becoming a trainer. While she loved working with clients, Doris hit an unexpected roadblock: she completed many certifications and training programs but always felt like something was lacking.  

She wanted a different approach that considered movement holistically. 

“When I became a trainer, I wanted to put the clients’ best interest first, not just their body, because we’re more than just bodies,” Doris says. “The conventional way of training wasn’t working for me. And then, I began to question all the different types of certifications. You have to memorize reps, directions… It just wasn’t working out. I couldn’t find what I was looking for. At one point, I thought, “should I go back to school and become a physical therapist?” Because I just couldn’t find ‘it.’” 

Thankfully, there was something within Doris that told her to keep searching.  

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Everything Changed When Doris Discovered Gray Institute® and Applied Functional Science® 

Always fascinated by anatomy and physiology, Doris enrolled in an anatomy course in Colorado. One of her course materials, a book called Born to Walk, mentioned someone called “The Father of Function,” Dr. Gary Gray. Doris started to read about Dr. Gray’s work, Applied Functional Science, and Gray Institute and immediately knew that she had found the missing piece she’d been looking for.  

Doris enrolled in the Certification in Applied Functional Science® (CAFS) and everything “just made sense.” From training on three planes of motion to viewing the body as an interconnected whole, Doris couldn’t get enough of the Gray Institute methodology. 

“CAFS isn’t like any other certification where you need to memorize. It’s like a mold. You have the information, but you also have to embody the information. You need to understand the three planes of motion, gravity, mass, momentum, how the client reacts to these movements… You also need to pay attention to how the person moves. When you do, you’re able to really use it in a way that truly helps the client.” 

Doris’ Personal Approach Helps Clients With Unique Needs 

At her studio in Coral Springs, Florida, Doris works with clients individually to make sure they get the time, attention, and individualized coaching they need to achieve their goals. 

While she works with all types of clients, many of the people she trains have conditions that require a personalized approach: people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, who’ve had triple bypass surgery, or are recovering from cancer.  

“Very few clients who want just to lose weight,” Doris says. “Their priority is to move better.” 

Doris takes helping her clients seriously. After completing CAFS, she began applying the principles she learned to her own movement and goals. Her own health improved, and it gave her an understanding of what her clients were going through.  

“There is an emotional release,” Doris says of her training sessions. “As soon as my client comes into my studio, it’s just me. No other trainer; it’s just one-on-one with me. I chose to have it that way. We [trainers] are responsible for their bodies. We need to be able to understand the emotional aspect and react and decide what to do.” 

This is also why Doris never accepts a client who only wants to “beat their body up” to lose weight; she prioritizes an emotional connection.  

“When I train, I respect the body. If a client comes to me and says I want to lose weight, that’s it, I will not do it. If the person just wants a “beat up” session, I won’t do it. We need an understanding of what our bodies go through. We’re not just doing things if it feels bad. If they’ve worked all day and are very stressed, then I understand that and can put a routine together. Gray Institute's approach helps me understand and put a program together.” 

Her Gray Institute education has also transformed exercises that felt like punishment into an enjoyable activity. 

“In the past, I hated planks and I never taught them because they were torture. Torturing clients for holding planks for one to two minutes never made sense. Now, planks are done differently; it’s a pleasure. It’s just such a pleasure to train with this information.” 

RELATED: How Personal Trainers Can Break Workout Plateaus Using AFS 

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Doris’ Gray Institute Education Helps Her Grow Her Personal Training Business 

After CAFS, Doris also completed Chain Reaction® course and is currently enrolled in 3DMAPS® (3D Movement Analysis & Performance System). She’s already looking forward to having her practice shaped by the new information. 

“The info that the trainer gets through CAFS, Chain Reaction, and 3DMAPS is so valuable. It’s really a gift. The information is well thought out and well put together, so it’s easy to understand,” Doris explains. “I’m so grateful that I found this information because I would have had to go back to school otherwise. I thank God every day that I could find the book [that led me to] Gary Gray.” 

While the coronavirus pandemic has affected her business, she’s applied her problem-solving skills to help her clients in new ways. When she can, Doris trains clients in parks and other open spaces in addition to in her studio with all the necessary safety precautions. Her business, which had once solely relied on word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals, is now booming. “I needed to make a website,” Doris says, laughing. “But it’s good because training is not a job. It’s a calling.” 

Grow Your Skills and Your Business With Gray Institute 

If you, like Doris, have felt like you’re missing something in your training approach, you’re not alone. It’s our honor to work with passionate movement professionals who are looking for more. Gray Institute equips them with the tools they need to treat and train the mind, body, and spirit.  

To learn more about our courses, which is right for you, and how Gray Institute can help you achieve your goals, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  

We look forward to speaking with you!