You’d be hard pressed to find me out and about at 7 AM on a Sunday. Nonetheless, at 7 AM this morning not only was I out and about, I was singing Happy Birthday to former Philadelphia Eagle and two-time Super Bowl winner Vaughn Hebron in his Newtown, PA fitness center and personal training studio.
Hebron had just finished putting 12 clients through yet another exhaustive, early morning workout at VMS Movement Specialists—a fast-paced routine of high knees and low plyo lunges mixed with enough push-ups, pull-ups, skips and sprints to make a pro-bowler grimace. Yet amidst the gasps and groans was also gratitude— in the form of a small cake and a familiar song—honoring the former champion of the gridiron who is now championing others along their personal fitness journey.
Hebron began teaching classes in 2002, but his history training clients goes back even further. People of all fitness levels look to Hebron for help achieving their goals, “I work with marathoners, triathletes, professional climbers, and people who haven’t worked out in years but are looking to make a change,” says Hebron who added that the first challenge is simply, “…getting through the door.”
Hebron freely admits that his facility is the last place people go to get in shape after years of commercial gym memberships and hours of monotonous cardio. VMS offers up a variety of hard hitting workouts that target every muscle group producing maximum results in minimal time. “I hear people saying they’ve done three hours of cardio. There’s no way you should be doing anything for three hours. If you can do it for three hours you’re not working hard enough.” Hebron gets clients in and out of the gym in 45-60 minutes, “I tell them to put it in my hands and we can make it happen.” Workouts at VMS never get boring as Hebron changes up routines every six weeks so his clients are always being challenged.
In addition to training adults, Hebron trains children and teens as well as breast cancer survivors through The Healing Consciousness Foundation’s Thrivers program. “Our Thivers are some of the strongest individuals I’ve ever met, and I’ve played with 300 pound men. Their fortitude is amazing. I’ve had clients workout the same week they start chemo, all while balancing work, family and other responsibilities.”
When asked what role his NFL experience plays in his training philosophy Hebron’s reply is simple and clear, “Everything! People ask me what I miss most in retirement, it’s the locker room.” Hebron’s eyes move to his clients, who linger on the fitness floor stretching, talking and enjoying each other’s company long after the workout has ended, “Look around, this is my locker room right here.”
Hebron’s clients are equally impressed by and committed to their trainer and mentor. “I have clients who have been with me for 12 years and longer. One is three weeks from delivering her first child. I started with her when she was 13, now she’s 28. I’ve seen her through graduation, her wedding and now the start of her family.” Recently Hebron even escorted a client who survived breast cancer, only to lose her leg in a horrific accident, down the runway at a charity fashion show.
Many of the Sunday morning warriors I met at VMS today will be back again at 6 AM, yes 6 AM, tomorrow for another round of torture. Luckily, I managed to escape perspiration-free as my Spanx rendered me to spectator status at such an early hour. However, I’m definitely not opposed so being put through the paces by the Denver Bronco’s all-time leading kick-returner.
If you’re interested in working out with Vaughn Hebron and learning more about VMS’s workout and training programs, including yoga, Pilates and cycling, go to www.vmovement.com . You may not be smiling as brightly as Vaughn is on his website when you’re done, but after a few weeks I can guarantee that your Spanx will fit a little less snugly.