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Porfirio Sutton

If you keep going back to the same personal trainer, for six years, they must be doing something right. But Sandi Freeman and her husband Gary contest that with their trainer, it’s not just about fitness, but changing a way of life.

The Freemans had health and muscle issues and chose medication over fitness to help with the pain. Then they found personal trainer Porfirio Sutton, and everything switched.

“It changed our lives. We were both having injections. Now, we’ve adopted him [Porfirio] as our next child,” Sandi said.

But before you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your lifestyle and health, you need to show that you’re ready to put the work in, that you will actually commit to your end goal.

It starts with an introductory yet hard class outside in the sand pit.

“The first time I met them, we did a personal training session in the sand pit, it was a test to see whether they were going to stay or whether they were going to go, and here it is, six years later, they still with me,” Sutton said.

One of the reasons Sutton is able to have such success with his clients is because he is familiar with the people of Mansfield. Sutton was born and raised in Richland County and it was his cousin that got him into personal fitness.

Sutton played football growing up and saw how the dedication he put toward that sport could translate into fitness regiments for other people as well.

After getting certified in Cleveland, there were already people lined up for Sutton’s services, as they had seen his own workouts and dedication to body health.

Sutton started with six clients and the base kept growing to 20 in 2012 and around 50, currently.


Trainer Porfirio Sutton with his clients Sandi and Gary Freeman.

If you are interested in getting Sutton or another personal trainer at the Y, here’s how it works. Head over to the Mansfield Area YMCA, and check out the trainer board.

The board shows the training staff at the Y, and ideally you want to try to find the best fit, not who is the most popular.

“When I meet a new client, I tell him my pros and my approach, cause every personal trainer has a different, you know, what they do, what they specialize in. So it's basically up to the client,” Sutton said.

You don’t need to be a YMCA member to have a personal trainer, but the rates are different. Sutton only does one-hour sessions, but others will do half-hour time slots.

For Sandi, you can’t beat the price and facilities at the YMCA.

“Those other places and gyms, they can be over a hundred dollars an hour. Here, it’s quite a bargain,” Sandi said.

Even after six years, the Freemans have continued to conquer new goals and keeping the training regiment fresh hasn’t been an issue for Sutton.

“If you're creative, if you know the equipment, know the anatomy of the body and how to use the machines, it’s easy. Just one small exercise. If you got two dumbbells, I should be able to create 100 to 200 exercises with two dumbbells. I mean, you've got to know exactly the anatomy of the body,” Sutton said.

Another big aspect to Sutton’s and the training approach of the Y is a focus on the positive and understanding the whole story of the client.

“So the first time they walk in, once you do that first assessment, you should know your client inside and out. My clients, I know every last one, I know what their strengths are. No weaknesses. Cause we don't play that. No weaknesses, only strengths. So there's always pros, no cons,” Sutton said.

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If you are interested in Sutton’s services or have general personal trainer questions, stop in to the Y at 750 Scholl Road or call 419-522-3511.

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