Timothy Corner knows the path to getting fit and staying healthy is different for every individual.
The techniques that help one person achieve their goals might be totally ineffective on the next.
So rather than provide a “cookie-cutter” workout regimen and nutrition guide, the certified personal trainer and licensed massage therapist works with each client to design a plan that fits their individual needs.
Corner’s business, Man 2 Machine, combines massage therapy, personal training and nutrition to give his clients a multifaceted, customizable approach to achieving and maintaining their fitness or rehabilitation goals.
The business is currently based out of a small massage office and the garage of Corner’s Briargate home, which is packed with commercial-grade lifting equipment.
He also designs and sells his own Man 2 Machine clothing to support the business, shipping nationwide.
The 31-year-old spoke with the Business Journal this week about his business and the importance of fitness coaches customizing services to their client’s needs.
How did you get started on this career path?
Originally what I wanted to do was go to school to be a physical therapist. That’s what I really wanted. But the year I was graduating high school back in 2006, they changed the curriculum and made every physical therapist nationwide go back to school to get a doctorate. And part of my brain kind of registered that as being a part of the new age medical movement, and … I really didn’t want to be a part of that. Which is why I chose physical therapy in the first place, because I wanted to be able to rehabilitate people without medicine and teach them pain management.
So somehow that ended up turning into thinking, ‘Well, I’ll just go to massage therapy school and figure it out on the way.’ Then I came here [to Colorado Springs] after massage school and was like, ‘Man, this is the perfect environment. It’s beautiful, it’s dry, everyone is active and there’s no reason to just sit in the house.’
Tell us about this three-tiered approach you use.
Think about it this way: You’re driving your car — what’s going to make your car run? Gasoline. So that’s [like] nutrition for the human body. Then you have maintenance. You have to get your car maintained and if you don’t, it’s going to fall apart. So there’s your massage. And if you’re not fine-tuning that car and making sure you’re [doing upkeep] on that car, guess what? Your drive goes away and that car is going to break down. So that’s your training. It’s this trifold system that has to work together and people don’t realize if you’re missing any of those three components, ultimately you’re going to melt apart.
What’s rewarding about this line of work?
I’ve had quite a few people this year who couldn’t lift their arms over their heads or people who couldn’t get out of a car without having to put an immense amount of pressure on their knees or their hands to get up.
When I get these kinds of people and I’m able to deliver a service that allows them to get up out of their chair … Those kinds of things, they just really do it for me. It’s what really keeps me around.
How did you choose that name, “Man 2 Machine?”
It’s the evolution experience, the growth experience, the human experience. I have watched so many people tell me what they can’t do and I’ve watched so many people struggle with illnesses and all these types of things.
My kids, their names are Malachi and Maleyah, and my name is Tim. So initially it started off as MTM, and I took it to a designer and told him I want this to be something for my kids and something that will represent what I truly believe in, which is not allowing people to believe that just because you’re overweight, you can’t do it. Or just because you have an injury, you have to turn to medication. Because we are essentially the apex predator. We are machines. Our body never stops unless we allow it to stop.
What advice do you have for those who want to break into the fitness profession?
Set yourself apart. Find a specialty that you desire and you love and capitalize on it. You have to make sure that you’re doing something that doesn’t cookie-cut like everyone else, because it’s easy for somebody to come here and for me to just take them through a workout you’d get at any corporate gym.
If you’re not showing people how what you’re doing is different, what reason do they have to come to you anyway? So I always tell people to have a specialty — have something that sets you apart and doesn’t make you fit into the mold. Because we are individuals; we are not meant to fit into the same mold.