Success Stories

As I walked into Sentinel for the first time, I had to ask myself, “What am I doing here?!” I looked around at the vibrant graffiti-art on the walls and heard some pulsing music booming from the speakers, and I suddenly realized that I’m the oldest member of the gym. The kids around me were working out at high levels to condition their bodies because they are top notch athletes. This was a bit intimidating for someone like me who has never been an athlete, but I have a different agenda to attend to. To start at the beginning, I was diagnosed with lung cancer (no, I was not a smoker) about ten years ago and endured chemotherapy treatment and eventually had lung surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. The doctors at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center were cautiously optimistic that the cells had not spread. Unfortunately, the cancer metastasized into my hip, and it became non-weight bearing. I was rushed into emergency surgery, and now have a titanium hip. I then had to to walk again through rigorous physical therapy, though you can detect a slight limp. I still needed to heal my body as well as my mind, so this is where Sentinel and Collis enter the picture. I’ve known Collis since he was a young boy when he played travel soccer on the team that my husband coached. Collis was often late, and my husband would make the poor kid run laps. I wrote Collis’ letter of recommendation when he was applying to college. Collis attended my daughter’s wedding, and he and my son, Alex, are still the best of friends. Collis insisted that I had a place at the gym, so I decided to trust him. Initially, Collis was worried how hard he could work me, so he judiciously sent me to consult with Dr. Holmes of Monmouth Spine and Soft Tissue who assessed my condition and cleared me to work out. At the same time, the orthopedic surgeon said I had no limitations. That’s all it took for Collis to create a strenuous workout plan for me that included climbing the stairs, throwing the Bulgarian bag and pushing a sled laden down with weights. At times, I would complain, but Collis would have none of it. His mantra for me became, “No limitations.” I believe that there is improvement with each training session, and I look forward to coming to the gym that I initially thought was not for me. I might not be the typical member at the gym, but I do have a place at Sentinel. I have such love and gratitude for Collis, but I also want to recognize all of the special people including: Toniann, Dawn, Caleb, and Joe; they all make Sentinel a very caring and welcoming place. Thank you for recognizing me as Member of the Month; it is truly a tremendous honor. One more thing, Collis, don’t expect Frank to walk into the gym anytime soon; he expects payback after all those laps he made you run!

Margo Stuart

I cannot say enough about Collis Spann…the knowledge and passion Collis brings to each and every session is unmatched. My two high school boys have worked with Collis for years. With Collis’ education, certifications, and personal training experience, he was able to create individualized training programs for them, to strengthen and better prepare them for their soccer seasons. I have watched them progress, and more so, gain confidence. He is versatile, patient, and fun! I would definitely recommend Collis for any student athlete looking to up their game!

Lisa Brower

(Mother of Jake & Noah Brower)

Working with Collis has been one of the best things to ever happen to my athletic career. Collis trained me to be more explosive, quicker, and faster. He puts you in a competitive environment with athletes from all sports which makes you want to lift harder and allows you to be pushed by fellow athletes. The lifts are always interesting and dynamic which prevents monotony while training. I definitely saw huge results after working with Collis. I would highly recommend working with him if you want to be a successful athlete beyond high school.

Jake Curry

QB/S - Freehold Boro HS, LB - St. Francis University

About 6 months ago I sat as a parent watching my kids workout @SPS, coaching from the sidelines fully knowing I couldn’t last 5 minutes on the turf with them. I hit rock bottom, constantly felt unhealthy and was just eating my life away. So I decided to take a leap of faith and try some free trial sessions with Collis and the team at Sentinel. My first session took 8 days to recover from and then I did my second session and the rest was history. I found a family at SPS, Coaches and Trainers who #MOTIVATE every single day. My fellow members are amazing, from super fit to brand new we are truly a family. I’ve lost over 50 pounds and feel stronger than ever! I will never revert back to who I was but I know that I also won’t ever stop working towards who I want to be.   “Only those who attempt the absurd, achieve the impossible” me joining @SPS was absurd, I can’t wait to see what I end up achieving! This is just the beginning of my journey, thank you for all being a part of it…

Joe Alfieri

I want to say thank you for help pushing Sabi all off season he’s been killing it all playoffs your training and conditioning was definitely a difference maker. I just want to let you know he just won the state championship and is heading to Florida for nationals and your a big reason for that thank you Collis.

Xavier Madera

(Older brother of Sabi)

Strength and conditioning are a key ingredient to our football program here at Freehold High School. While consistently being undersized compared to our opponents, we rely on our training to enhance our strength and speed to level the playing field. Coach Collis has lead our strength program for the past 3 years. During this time, we have made significant gains in strength and flexibility under his direction. As a head coach, I would highly recommend anyone who is looking to gain a competitive edge in whatever sport they are playing. I would not hesitate to give Coach Collis the opportunity to use his vast knowledge to help you achieve your goals.

Dave Ellis

Head Football Coach, Freehold Boro HS

It is nearly impossible to put into words how one person can make such an impact on so many people in so many ways. All you can do is be grateful and do what you can to make sure that person and their positivity stays a part of your life once they are put there. My son and I met Collis Spann about two years ago when my husband was looking for a gym for my son to train in off football season. I had spoken to Collis on the phone ahead of time and he had informed me that my son who was only eight years old at the time was a little too young to take on for the program he had going. I told him I thought he could most definitely keep up, him being an athlete and that he was used to rigorous training. Instead of brushing us off he told me to bring my son Dirk in and he would let him try it out. I agreed and told him if he couldn’t keep up I would completely understand and thanked him for giving my son the opportunity. I brought Dirk into the gym and we met with Collis who I’m sure was assessing my son’s size, build, and attitude while speaking with us and he told him to get out there with the group he was working with which I believe was made up of 11,12, and 13 year olds. Dirk participated in the training session under Collis’ direction and watchful eye and excelled both physically and mentally. I will forever consider this to be one of the most pivotal moments in my son’s life for many reasons. With that one chance, that one opportunity Collis taught my son one of the most valuable lessons of his life and I will continue to refer to this day constantly with my son who is now ten and continued to work with Collis over the past few years and will continue to work with him as long as he will have us. That day, Collis showed my young and impressionable son that no matter the odds against you or whatever preconceived notions someone may or may not have about you never get discouraged. Without realizing it he taught my son to always allow his talent, work ethic and character to speak for itself and to never stop building and working on these things. As a parent I couldn’t have hand picked a better role model for my son. Collis took him under his wing and the progression my son has made as an athlete and the confidence and work ethic he has developed as a person is unimaginable.

Several months later my nephew who was 19 at the time moved back in with me for his sophomore year of college at Monmouth University. Also an avid football player and all around athlete he too was looking for a trainer and I immediately sent him over to Collis and he has been training with him ever since. Not only has his body and mentality developed and progressed drastically but his confidence in himself and his abilities have flourished exponentially. My nephew David like most college students, had been struggling to pinpoint what direction he wanted his education and ultimately his career to go. He always knew he wanted to work closely with people whether as a teacher or maybe even a physical therapist, however after working so closely with Collis and seeing all that he had accomplished for himself with his own education and career he finally made a choice. He realized that he didn’t just want a job, but to utilize his passion on a daily basis and with that realization he Is now in his senior year pursuing the appropriate channels to become a physical trainer. He has plans to pursue his masters after graduation and continue to expand on his knowledge in different aspects of the field. One person, the same person impacted yet another person in a life defining manner and this is just the story of one household.

All of the words above prove how exceptional Collis is at what he does and provides a minuscule view into the type of person he is but fails to truly display his heart of gold and a character to envy. My husband and I run several recreational sports programs in our town of Keansburg and even started our own non-profit summer training camp so that our towns athletes can have access to an affordable and enriching program while school and sports are out for the summer. Collis not only provides us with help and advice on appropriate regimens for each age group, but also volunteers his time to the program. We hold yearly fundraisers for the programs such as a flag football beach tournament and an end of season “Battle at the Bayshore” basketball tournament. Collis is always down for the cause coming down to our town himself with friends to participate in these events to help raise money for the kids and make it entertaining for all. He has donated his time and his money for the kids in this town not only in our sports programs but in the schools as well. I can’t tell you how excited my son was to come home and tell me that Collis was at his school talking to the kids about health, nutrition and the importance of physical activity amongst our youth.

In summation, Collis Spann is a talented, hard working, kind spirited person who never tires in his efforts to be the absolute best in his trade. He takes the upmost pride in his reputation within his business and as a human being and faces challenges and obstacles with grace and welcomes them as opportunities to move up word and forward. Anyone who is in is presence for more than five minutes can feel the passion for what he does radiating off him and it is a truly inspiring and motivating experience to be a part of

Monica Hohenkirk

(Mother of Dirk Hohenkirk)

I had known Collis for a while, as he taught classes at my gym, but never knew about his ability / gift to successfully train someone with a specific goal. My son had just finished his sophomore year of high school football and was discouraged about the next season as he didn’t play that much as a sophomore. His goal going into his junior year was to start on the varsity team and to earn his high school letter. My son has always been strong, due to his genetic makeup, but didn’t have much flexibility or agility. Both he and a teammate started training with Collis 3-4 times per week, generally 2-3 hours per session. I would sometimes watch the end of the workouts and saw the different drills they were doing and liked what I saw. Each of the kids being trained played different positions, and I noticed that some of the work they did together, but some was specific to the positions they played. After about 5 months of hard work my son became a great deal more flexible, agile and much, much stronger. He met both his goals of starting and getting his letter. The best part of the entire process, as a parent, is that my son continues to contact Collis for help and advice. He looks at him as a mentor. I believe in and highly recommend Collis and you should too.

Steven Cohen

(Father of Justin Cohen)

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