When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, fitness coach Sean Robbins was well prepared to make sure his clients’ health needs continued to be filled.
Coincidentally, he had just begun to offer clients online training.
“I’m old school. I like showing people in person. Online is strange to me. But, if it’s good for them, it’s OK to me,” said the former high school and college athlete who has operated Fitness & Sports Excellerated at a facility in North Canton since 2006.
Robbins had to close down that facility for three months when the novel coronavirus surfaced.
“During that time, I transitioned to a lot of online stuff,” he said.
Robbins, who can be reached by calling 330-737-1154 or visiting FitnessSportsExcell.com, still uses his studio at 7555 Freedom Avenue NW for training his own clients, as well as providing space to other fitness trainers. But online coaching has fit nicely into his focus on teaching clients as much as training them.
“I try to educate them on how to work their own bodies,” he explained. “Everybody’s body is different. The easiest thing for me to do is design a general fitness program. The hardest part is making the adjustments to that workout to fit each client’s needs.”
Robbins has the training and education to be up to the task of helping his clients reach their individual fitness goals.
After graduating from Akron East High School, he earned a degree in sports medicine and recreation administration, with minors in both coaching and religion, from Ashland University. While attending that college and in years that followed his education, Robbins was a world-class amateur and professional track and field athlete—an Olympic team alternate in 1996 and 2004 in the long jump event.
One of his websites notes that Robbins is a certified trainer, “with specialist designations in personal training, sports nutrition, weight training and endurance training.” He also coached at Ashland University from 2000 to 2006.
He came to Stark County to be with his wife of 18 years, Cheryl, and opened the North Canton studio for himself and other area fitness trainers. There he provides fitness training for athletes and other individuals who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. He uses in-person coaching and customized workout programs, tracking progress through videotaping of clients’ movements, and enhances clients’ opportunities for improvement with online digital training.
“For kids, it’s more training for speed and agility and body coordination,” he said. “For older adults, it’s stressing general fitness needs, weight loss and alternatives to medication.”
On many weekends, however, Robbins is on the road, going to college sports events and professional athletic contests and clinics to provide fitness training to game officials. Currently, Robbins is working with officials in the Big 10, Mid-American and Missouri Valley conferences.
“I call them my adult professional athletes,” said Robbins, who noted that officials of sports contests have as much of a need to be physically fit as the athletes competing in the games, perhaps more. “They’re older—the majority are in their 40s, 50s and 60s—so they need to be more particular about their movements and their fitness. As their bodies deteriorate, they need to stay in shape to keep up with the speed of the game.
“I help with increasing the longevity of their careers.”
Robbins said he has been able to find a balance in his business between young fitness enthusiasts and adult clients, between competitive athletes and sports officials, between individuals and groups and between studio workouts and online fitness programs.
“It’s all fun and fulfilling,” he observed. “What I teach is a lifetime of health and fitness.”