I have been training with Vincent Allen for 3 years and this is my story.
I had some colleagues who had been training with him and he came highly recommended. I requested a meeting and he did so, free of charge. My first impression was great. He asked me what my goals were (short term and long term) and what my commitment level was. This is something he takes very seriously and wasn’t going to work with me if I wasn’t going to commit as well. That was something I was impressed by because even though this was his career, he was willing to say no to additional income if the fit wasn’t right. Luckily, we were on the same page J
I started training right away. I had a lot to learn. I feel like I am good at taking instruction and can perform the exercises but he offered more than that. He explained the exercises and where they worked the body. He explained proper form and why we go in certain order. He explained the benefits of everything we did and he didn’t stop with exercise. He focused on nutrition as well. He asked me to log my food and report to him weekly. This was huge for me because I was (and still am) an “accountability” type person. If I have to prove myself to someone else, I work harder. He knew this about me and helped to keep me accountable. This was all done in addition to my weekly training.
As we continued to train, he suggested I find an event as a goal to train for. This was something I had never done in the past (other than a couple 5k’s). He suggested the GoRuck event – something I had never heard of. It was nice because these were events he had done himself and could train me to be successful. Not only did he gear my training sessions for this event, he added additional pro-bono sessions on his own time to get me prepared. This was a huge time commitment on his part but he is very committed to his clients and to a healthy lifestyle. I took this event very seriously and it has now become one of my greatest accomplishments as well as a continued goal. I am planning another one this Spring! Aside from the events, my personal strength goals have all been met and continue to improve. I never thought I would be able to do a pull up, and now I can do multiple in a row. Pushups used to be done on my knees and now I am cranking out 20 at a time with great form.
Fast forward to now…..I am still training with Vince with new goals and aspirations in mind. We recently ran a strength building program and I hit a back squat PR just last week! I have two more weeks of PR testing that I am so excited for. We are also going to work into GORUCK training again and continue to keep my strength goals in check. It is going to SUCK and I can’t wait.
Vince is very much an encourager but not a sugar coater. He has made it clear (on multiple occasions) that this is my journey and my choices and he is there to support, guide and push me through. He can’t do this for me and in the long run it is my decision to make. With his support, I have chosen a healthy lifestyle. He has told me that with exercise, every day is a new day. Don’t let one day get you down. Come back tomorrow and work harder. This has been very true for me. I have experienced my ups and downs, my successes and failures. I come back every week and work hard again.
Vince Allen has been and continues to be a fantastic trainer. I would definitely recommend him to anyone looking to attain their exercise goals. You won’t be disappointed!! -Emily Hurley
I have had the pleasure of training with Vince now for almost 1.5 years and am very pleased with his professionalism and skill. I am in my 50’s and have had a sedentary life for the last 25 or so years due to working long hours as a physician. I had tried many times to develop an exercise and weight loss regimen on my own only to be stymied by injury and discouragement. Vince has an infectious enthusiasm for his craft and is very skilled at assessing my individual needs for increased flexibility, and lifestyle modification. He has been very encouraging and amazingly flexible at accommodating my erratic schedule and periodic emergencies at work. I’ve gained muscle and endurance as well as increased flexibility such that I’ve avoided the usual back, groin and shoulder injuries that have derailed my personal efforts in the past. I have been so impressed with his abilities that I had my wife sign up with him to rehabilitate after a serious injury as well as my teenage son who wanted some help body building and strength training. They are both very pleased with the training he has offered them. I feel that Vince has helped me towards my ultimate goal of developing more healthy life habits that I can sustain on my own and grow into a more active lifestyle as I approach retirement age. If you want a serious trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals I cannot think of anyone more able to do this than Vince. -Dr. John Brown
Vince Allen is a truly talented and dedicated trainer. He is professional, organized, and committed to making the experience rewarding and fun. I’ve been fortunate to work with him since August of 2012. Vince is tough on me when I need it, however patient and willing to listen when needed. After suffering a torn ACL and meniscus during a Spartan Race, Vince did the research and worked closely with my physical therapist to assure a fast and safe recovery so I could continue doing Spartans. Vince encouraged me to take the process slow and recovery the right way so I can enjoy a lifetime of fitness. Thanks Vince for all you do for me.
I have had the privilege of having Vince Allen train me for more than two years now. I must say it has been one of the most positive experiences of my life. I have made gains in strength, conditioning and health. After a serious injury two years ago, he helped me come back stronger than before and within one year of what doctors called, “I would never be the same injury”, I set bench press, deadlift and squat personal records. Vince has the knowledge, patience and willingness to listen and encourage. For training my wrestlers, I often refer to Vince for advice and feedback. His training has made me a better executive, coach, father, husband and athlete! Thanks Vince for making me better!!!
Dr. Shane Needham
My testimonial probably falls in a special category because I am by far the oldest trainee being molded into shape by Vince. My name is Kjell Christophersen and I am 73 years young. To date I have had 150 one-hour sessions with Vince over the past two years and am looking forward to many more.
I was an athlete from Norway in my 20s attending the University of Idaho on a skiing scholarship. I was in great shape and competed in both the Nordic and alpine skiing events. I also played on the University of Idaho soccer team back in those days, so athleticism and training were part of my daily routine. In my 30s, however, my career began to take off, and so exercise and eating right quickly became things of the past. Most of my work for the next 30 years was overseas, so travel and perpetual jet lag effectively prevented me from doing any exercise—it was just too painful and I always kicked the can down the road tricking myself that getting back in shape was just a matter of a little self-discipline. “I’ll start next week” was the oft-repeated mantra.
But “next week” is rarely happening and for every delay, the probability of getting back in shape is dwindling rapidly. It wasn’t until our 10th annual sailing trip in the San Juan Islands—a glorious annual event with four close friends—when I finally decided to get serious. After one particularly spectacular meal on the boat with far too many calories and too much wine I really felt my age, my over-weight, lack of stamina and shortness of breath. After the meal at this particular marina, our tradition is to do a fairly short hike, but up a steep hill to a vista point overlooking the islands. I remember I could barely move, my breath was coming in gasps, and my legs felt like they were full of lead. It probably was the day when my mortality became more real than ever.
My friends urged me to contact a personal trainer—I had to do something to rectify the situation, or I would be depending on a walker and oxygen bottle in just a few short years. I took the leap and was very fortunate to be accepted by Vince, a most patient and thorough personal trainer who cares for his clients and isn’t into showing off the stuff that these supreme athletes can do.
Vince began with patiently diagnosing my weak spots (I actually don’t think I had any strong spots) and gently began to work on those areas to build both mobility and strength. After such a long period of neglect, I can only say that the process was not without pain. Everybody has a dominant side, and mine was on the right, which meant that the pain manifested itself on the left side. It moved up from the heel, to the ankle, to the knee, to the hip, and on to the shoulder, like clock-work. I couldn’t walk or stand without pain, but I labored through it with Vince and today I know this was a process of waking up muscles that hadn’t been used in 30 years. You can’t do that without going through some agonizing moments. In my sessions with Vince these days I have moved from what I perceived as “geezer” training (although Vince tells me he wasn’t going easy on me in the beginning). I did reps of cheating push-ups for months (on my knees), but now I do real push-ups because I can.
In short, today I feel a lot younger than my biological age. In addition to the twice a week training sessions I have with Vince I’m also on my road bike every day for a 20-mile round trip, and I’m not just going at a slow pace. I can’t wait to sprint up killer hill in the San Juan Islands after dinner on our next sailing trip.
Working with Vince has been a God-send for me and it confirms my hypothesis that it is never too late to start. I had it all: shortness of breath, overweight, stiff as a board, no strength (upper or lower body), aching joints, and a propensity to just sit, read a book or watch television while snacking away. No more, I feel great, the weight is disappearing, my mobility and flexibility have greatly improved, and my joints have a good ache only because of the exercise I give them. Thanks, Vince, for your patience with me, or more importantly, for your persistence in molding me into a much younger man. ~Kjell Christophersen
I first started training with Vincent Allen after I had trouble rehabilitating my leg after a serious tibia/fibula fracture that required surgical repair. My original goal was just to be able to use my leg without pain—I didn’t have a particular desire to lift weights or become an athlete, but I did want to be able to get around. I don’t have an athletic background, never played sports, have a rotator cuff defect, and am over 50. Not exactly the ideal client type, I’m afraid. But Vince didn’t hesitate to take on the challenge. When we first met, he spent considerable time asking questions and listening, to find out not only my specific goals, but what kind of lifestyle I led so that our training sessions would improve my general quality of life.
Vince is very professional—always on time, focused, and prepared for training sessions. He always asks how I’m feeling before we begin and makes adjustments in my workout at the last minute if some joint or muscle seems to be giving me trouble. He’s never discouraged by slow progress or occasional setbacks, and when I have a less-than-optimal workout, he looks at the whole picture and reminds me that every day is a new training session. His eye is always on the goal of a better life, not just better statistics. In the beginning I tended to be a numbers-kind of person, probably because I didn’t have a lot of confidence that I would be able to become truly fit, but Vince kept reminding me that the gym is not the end, the gym is the means. As my general fitness and strength increased, I started to see the possibility of leading a more generally active life and pursuing my hobbies with greater ability, energy, and enthusiasm.
Vince’s cheerfulness and good humor was important to me, especially in the beginning, when training sessions were particularly difficult and just making myself go was a mental challenge. After some months, I noticed that the workouts were becoming more tolerable, and then enjoyable. I have come to the point where I can comfortably go to the gym on my own and work out hard…as long as I have a Vince-designed workout.
Even if I sometimes still approach workouts with a little trepidation because I’m tired or out of sorts (and because I know Vince won’t let me off the hook, but will push me), I never worry that he’ll have me do something that will be unsafe for me. I have complete confidence that whatever he asks me to do, I can try safely, even if the little voice in my head is saying, ‘you can never do that!’ And many times I find myself doing the very thing I never thought I could.
I made the decision to start working with Vince after seeing him work with other clients. I could tell he was different than some of the other trainers as far as what he had clients doing in the gym and I wanted to see if he could help me after a friend highly recommended him. Really, I had no athletic background from growing up, so I was worried about working with a trainer. I knew I wanted to lift weights and to become comfortable on the weights floor. I just always felt like I didn’t belong there because I wasn’t an athlete. I had worked with a couple of other trainers in the past, but never stuck with it. The other problem was that I had been in physical therapy for several months with low back and knee pain and things were better, but I wanted to do more.
Vince was very professional with me. After one of our first meetings I was upfront and told him fat loss was not my goal. Of course that would hopefully be one of the great benefits of lifting, but I did not want to focus on it and have too many let downs when I was learning so many new things. Finding my passion for lifting heavy things was my goal. Vince was great about my issues and willing to work with suggestions from my physical therapist. He knew when to make things challenging and when to give me breaks so I could still get stronger without being in a lot of pain. Slowly, but surely my issues started working themselves out. My imbalances caught up and I was able to lift more than I ever could.
I have been working with Vince since April 2013, almost a full year now. I would say that Vince has taught me A LOT. I am no longer afraid of the weights floor where all the guys are. Vince has been extremely patient and understanding about my condition. Of course there were some setbacks where my pain would flare up, but Vince would adjust my training accordingly. He even made adjustments the day I walked in to see him if something was really bugging me. He always reassured me that we were making progress even if we had to change things up a bit.
I went from deadlifting a 35lb dumbbell to deadlifting 235 lbs in 10 months. That says something about the progress I have made with Vince! I would definitely recommend Vince to friends and family whether they are beginners, recovering from injury or just looking to switch things up. ~Codie Durfee
I began working with Vince in December of 2010. When I came to Vince, I had little knowledge of basic nutrition or fitness. I was misinformed, misguided, and very frustrated with the way I looked and felt. I was a new mother when I met Vince and during the course of my pregnancy had gained 40 lbs of baby, fat, and water: I was 5’2” and weighed 196lbs at my heaviest. My first visit with Vince my body fat was 34%, weighed 170 lbs and was a size 14/16. What I weigh today doesn’t matter – but I can tell you I am a size 8, am in a healthy range for body fat percentage, and a complete powerhouse! I only share the numbers because I know that so many people new to personal training care about this and I did too, however today I am completely different person. I don’t ask what I weigh, I ask how much can I lift today? What I think is most important to stress about the value of training with Vincent is his commitment to education and independence. I knew from our first session that this trainer, and this endeavor, would be different. Vince took the time to talk to me about all facets of my health and he went through the painstaking work of answering all of my “why” questions during our sessions. The more I trained the more I wanted to know about fitness and my training program and I learned a lot because he cared enough to teach me. In addition, the pace at which he taught and we progressed was managed to a tee. If at any time I felt overwhelmed with the task at hand, whether that be a new movement or change to my nutrition, Vince was attentive to my needs and he never made me feel stupid, weak, or insignificant. A year and half later I continue to maintain a fitness program and I still enjoy cooking and eating as much, if not more, than I did at the beginning. What I have lost in inches and pounds was gained back, and more, in self-confidence and joy. Honestly, I cannot say enough about Vince as a trainer and as a person – he is a top-notch, professional, friendly, educated, energetic, and caring trainer and you will be hard-pressed to find anyone better. -Jessica Chase
After running myself into two rounds of stress fractures, and an orthopedic doctor who told me I’d never run again, I vowed to do just that-run again. But it was time to find a trainer, as I was obviously not doing something right. I discovered Vince through a family member, and he didn’t sugar coat it. Based on my history of injuries, he laid down the law and told me what I needed to do. Vince has an attitude and philosophy that does not include the word never, impossible, or fail. To him, it’s simply finding the way that safely works best for you. In the past 3 years that I have worked with Vince, I have pushed my limits and become a much stronger runner as well as healthier. Vince is a thorough and knowledgeable trainer; he can assess your strengths, weaknesses, and devise a program that tackles each, while keeping safety and avoiding injury in the forefront of his mind. He also emphasizes the other key to training: nutrition. Without a focus on that piece you will get nowhere. To Vince everyone has potential. You need not be an elite athlete to achieve your goals of running, or whatever your goals may be. He will work with you, he will push you, he will encourage YOU dig deeper and find your inner strength. You will see a change. You will see improvements. Even with my crazy, stressful life and schedule, Vince remained flexible, optimistic, and patient with whatever obstacle life threw at me. I highly recommend Vince and VGA Strength and Conditioning to finally get you to those goals. The online format is perfect for someone with an unpredictable schedule, and Vince makes it easy to navigate. Since working with Vince, I have completed two half marathons, and several 5Ks INJURY FREE. If he can get me to my goals, he can get anyone there!- Renee’ Reed
I’ve always run, but never raced more than a 6K. I decided to turn my life style around and challenge myself for a healthier addiction. I decided I would take the big “next step” and run a marathon. This is where I started training with Vince. The first thing he asked me was, “what do I want out of my training?” I wanted to become a strong runner and go the distance to accomplishing a full marathon. That was my goal. Working with Vince for over 18 months, I learn from the ground up, step by step to what it took to become a better runner. Never knowing how important nutrition, sleep, weight training, and the right pair of shoes could make a difference. There was a lot of tri and error in finding what worked the best.
I feared that I could never overcome of long distance and pushing myself to the greatest limit. I delt with a lot on my plate work, family, friends and lack of support for a better new me. Having a great trainer by my side has helped me built more than confidence, strength, stamina, endurance and knowledge of what it takes to be the best I can be.
Not only I was I able to accomplish one marathon, Vancouver USA Marathon, I told myself why not make it two more? I finished total of 3 marathons in 2011. Vancouver USA Marathon, Sunriver Marathon and Columbian gorge. Continuing my training had helped improved with pace and better results. The last marathon Columbian gorge i feared as my most challenged one. The course being 13.1 miles up hill I was able shave 20 min off my time.
In 2012 I completed my next adventurous goal, Hood to Coast. Making a self-breaking record, and placing well in my leggings. The greatest accomplished feeling knowing I had the stamina, endurance, it being the mother of all relays and still improving on my times and a constants pace in all my races. Leaving me to say thank you Vince for helping me with my success. -Amanda Shoote
I have been a client of Vince’s for about 4 years… I guess you can say I am a lifer! Prior to having Vince as my trainer, I was no stranger to exercise. I played soccer in my 20s, worked with a few health trainers in my early 30s, taught/competed and enjoyed Latin dance in my late 30s, and while still dancing – slowly found myself falling away from health and exercise as my daughter grew and my job became more demanding. I am now 43, and healthier than I have been in a very long time.
I have followed Vince through 2 business endeavors, and now I am successfully being trained by him remotely. Being under his advisement has been the best and smartest move I have ever made. Even though I have had a few medical setbacks, he has helped me to be stronger and healthier despite my crazy schedule. He has also equipped me with the tools and education necessary to continue on my health path – by myself – without his assistance.
Being under his advisement, I have accomplished something that I always had a desire to do – which is to run. I never considered that I had the ability. Furthermore, I had always thought my body size would be a hindrance. Despite the hesitation, I became a member of his running club. In 6 months time I went from wanting to die after 2 minutes of running to finishing a 10K/7 mile run without stopping! (Vancouver’s ‘Hot Buttered Run’ – November 2010) In June of 2012, I completed my very first mud race! (Spartan Race 2012)
I am very confident and proud to say that Vincent Allen – VGA Strength & Conditioning is by far the best training experience and choice for me. He has taken such a personal interest in my success that there is no doubt he has the passion and desire to helpANYONE be their healthiest. He not only helps me make the right health choices in my life, but he is realistic, assertive, understanding and empowering all at the same time.
It is NEVER a bad choice to invest in your health. Take a look at what Vincent Allen has to offer. It’s unique and it works!
Molly Jo Baiar
I have worked with Vincent Allen for the past 18 weeks. I continue to work with him because of his technical knowledge and experience. He is able to design a program that produces results and add in new exercises to create variety and interest. His program has helped me reach my goals of diminished body fat and increased muscle. I am grateful for Vincent’s encouragement and coaching. -Maren Barnett
“Personal training is easily one of the most important gifts I give myself. Its benefits appear throughout daily life in ways never imagined. Sure, it is always fun to see trimmer, toned thighs and a butt lift in smaller jeans. Training has also significantly improved my strength, endurance, mental focus, and overall commitment to wellness. Chores such as raking leaves or moving are easier while hobbies like mountain biking are much more enjoyable. Stress and anxiety and have a new, far more effective, outlet and I trust my body more than ever. I have always been active, but greatly prefer the outdoors and frowned at the thought of a gym. Entering the gym now brings joy knowing I will be motivated by those inside and will leave feeling accomplished and fantastic.
I am particularly grateful for Vincent’s expertise, guidance, and support. He is committed to wellness and improving his clients quality of life while meeting specific measurable goals. His holistic approach helped me manage obstacles life inevitably presents that previously kept me from achieving goals. His program is highly effective, efficient and diverse. He is able to clearly demonstrate proper form and has an eye for detail, making subtle corrections while you build proper muscle memory. I was able to master movements and gain confidence with enough variety to hold my attention for 2 workouts per week for a year. Vincent held me accountable while building this new habitat; I can’t imagine a week without the gym now. He also has a way of making you want to push hard, give 100%, by accurately assessing your potential and helping you recognize it. You’ll leave feeling like a bada$$ and the confidence will last for days.
As for results, Vincent helped me reach my original goal, dropping from 34% to 28% body fat, and was pivotal in maintaining momentum following a recent move. He is a top-notch trainer and person; he became an inspiring friend. I miss working with him and highly recommend him to others.” – Lisa Duarte
GORUCK Performance Enhancing Program Reviews
GORUCK Light- Performance Enhancing Program Review by Cynthia Womack
I will start of by saying I am incredibly grateful for the program and leadership that Vincent Allen gave throughout this process. Getting ready for my first GR event was exciting and nerve racking all at once.
The workouts during the week seemed very simple at first, I was already doing a lot of other stuff in the gym and I was scared it wasn’t enough. I will be the first to say I was wrong. The workouts were heavy and taxing in a short period of time. I felt the time given to cross train and rest was more than adequate. Simply put, these workouts are short, sweet, and to the point. No extra fluff. I learned quickly why Vince always says “less is more.” Now when I say simple, I mean compared to the amount of things I was doing, which was a LOT, so take that into account when reading this.
Now for the group beat downs, I mean training sessions. They were more than promised and way more than I thought. Before you go running away in fear let me explain. I was expecting it to be tough, I was not expecting it to bring me to a point of wanting to punch Vince in the face and run home crying. BUT that is the point. Taking you out of your comfort zone, which is what best prepared me for the GR events. Not only did it prepare me, it helped me discover things about myself I never knew.
Pushing past that point is painful, scary, and just downright uncomfortable. It is all mental and that is one of the key things I took away from the group sessions. Finding your mental barriers and pushing through them is hard but it is also incredibly liberating and strengthening.
The other key nugget I took away from the group massacres, I mean training sessions, is team work. GR events are meant to get people to work as a team. It is a wonderful thing to experience, watch, and be a part of. Our group sessions made us get well acquainted with each other and with the idea of team work. This was an immense help during the events. Knowing how to stop being an individual and start helping your team was a key to success at these events. Not to mention it makes me a better person, so there is that.
Now that I am done with all the scary stuff I will tell you I have never had so much fun while doing so much work. The people I have trained with and the people I have met at the events are like family to me now and I am unsure how I lived without them before. These events are more than some weekend thing, you will take things from them that will stay with you for years to come (might be a scar or two 😉 The group sessions Vince puts together will be tough but there will also be laughs and camaraderie like you have never experienced.
So in review-
Weekly training at the gym = simple but hard and effective = strength and stamina.
Group Sessions = uncomfortable and worth every second = team work and pushing past comfort zones.
So I could go into detail about what he had us do and different things we did at group training but I think you should just join us and see for yourself. It is a lot of fun.
GORUCK Light- Performance Enhancing Program Review by Sherry Croston
I followed Vince’s program to prepare myself for my first GORUCK Custom and Light event. I ended up getting stronger as the training was very well put together and customized for an event like this one. I have been lifting weights for several years and found this program to be efficient and useful. I was not spending hours trying to complete it and I enjoyed the variety. I would highly recommend Vince’s programming to effectively prepare anyone for an event such as this one. -Sherry Croston
GORUCK Light- Performance Enhancing Program Review by Emily Hurley
I’ll never forget it, standing there on a cool August morning in downtown Seattle, waiting for the infamous “Cadre” to show up, wondering if he was already among us and I didn’t even know it. I watched as groups of people mingled with each other, high-fiving, giving hugs, noticing that none of them had the fear that I had. The fear of the unknown, of what to expect, of where this even may take me, and then it happened………..”THREE LINES! ON YOUR FEET, ON YOUR FACE, ON YOUR BACK, ON YOUR FEET, ON YOUR FACE………”
Oh my gosh!! What was going on? I clung to Vince Allen and Nancy Sheffler Smith because they were my only comfort in getting through this, but I soon realized that was not the case. I soon realized that everything Vince had told me was coming true. I am here with a team! I am here with a group of strangers who have instantly become family. They would support me, encourage me, protect me and make sure I could “get my mind right”. It was amazing!
We traveled through the streets of Seattle, into the Puget Sound, up the dreaded Queen Anne hill and crab walk along bridges, casualty carrying and stopping for PT the entire way. Yes it sucked but it was one of the most invigorating experiences of my life.
As unsure as I felt that morning as the event started, I discovered how fortunate I was to have trained with Vince Allen. He told me we will never know what to expect in each event as every Cadre is different, locations are different and the team will vary but we can prepare ourselves to be as strong as we can be both physically and mentally and we will get through it. And boy did we train! I was lucky enough to have personal training with Vince so he could focus on my weaknesses and motivate me through the pain. It was not easy (not easy at all) and yes it did suck! I’ll never forget the day when Nancy and I had to ruck through the University of Idaho campus (lots of hills) in 103 degree temperatures and there was no mercy from Vince. We were bear crawling, running stairs, “finding poles” and just when we thought we would get some relief from the heat by crab walking through the sprinklers, the sprinklers shut off! And yes……we crab walked anyway!
The training was really amazing. It was truly a mini GORUCK event and we were so fortunate to have it. It didn’t stop after our first event. It grew into a bigger group of crazies who felt the rush of GORUCK and through his training we have all succeeded in our events. The training still continues now as I am preparing for my first GORUCK Challenge. I know that Vince will make sure that I am ready physically and mentally and I will again amaze myself with this huge accomplishment.
Those six – eight – twelve long hours can really put it into perspective for you. Life is short…..embrace it…..embrace your family……embrace the suck! -Emily Hurley