FITNESS COACH AND FORMER MARINE
TONY MASLAN RAISES THE BAR FOR CLIENTS,
COMPANIES AND AUDIENCES
WITH HIS INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO
PHYSICAL, NUTRITIONAL AND LIFESTYLE HEALTH
By Vanessa Van Petten
As one of the top Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists and the founder of Custom Fit Personal Training in Evansville, Indiana, Tony Maslan has reached hundreds of clients to help them take control of their health and lifestyle.
Maslan’s groundbreaking programs aim to achieve maximum fitness and weight loss results in less time. His company also works with corporations to help them attain measurable results with their wellness programs. Custom Fit Personal Training and Maslan’s techniques have been recognized as a premiere model in the fitness industry. In 2011, Maslan was picked by Evansville Living Magazine as the Best of the Best Trainer and in 2009 Maslan was selected as the Member of the Year by the Net Profit Explosion community (NPE)—a leading company in the fitness industry that helps trainers with their business management, sales and business acumen.
Growing up in the small town of Leroy, Illinois, Maslan jokes, “There were only 41 people in my graduating class so I had to play three sports.” Finding his passion for athletics and fitness at an early age, Maslan continued onto the University of Evansville and joined their national champion power lifting team. While on the team, Maslan spent many hours with the head strength coach in the weight room, volunteering to help work with the athletes and teach technique. Maslan was also open-minded to a variety of athletic experiences. “I made a deal with a friend that if he joined the power lifting team, I would join the cheerleading team. So he lifted and I cheered and I ended up meeting my wife on the squad,” said Maslan.
Maslan competed in national competitions before setting the Junior American Dead lift Record with a lift of 611 lbs in the 181 lb weight class. He also competed in three bodybuilding contests winning one individual title and one mixed pairs title. In 1997, Maslan graduated from the University of Evansville with a bachelor’s degree in biology and went on to work as a Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at both the University of Utah in Salt Lake. During this time Maslan decided to join the Marine Corps Reserves. “My father was a Marine and I almost quit school to do it in College, but he encouraged me to get my education first.” In 1999 Maslan completed Marine Corps boot camp and infantry school and came back to Indiana to begin building his personal training clientele.
In January 2004 Maslan’s Marine Corps Reserve unit was activated and he was deployed to Iraq, leaving his three-week old son and wife, Chrissie behind. Maslan served as sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and then as Infantry Squad Leader as a part of the Operation Iraqi Freedom II campaign. Maslan described the character building experience that helped him learn about himself and the importance of teamwork—skills he used later to grow and successfully lead his business, “I was put in the legendary Abu Ghraib prison a month after the scandal came out so we were left cleaning up a lot of the mess. We had to control prisoner riots, media attacks, prisoner escape attempts and immediate threats around the base. I learned a lot about the importance of having a good team and leadership,” said Maslan.
Maslan returned in October 2004 with a lot of experience and an even bigger passion to grow his fitness business. “It was a million dollar experience—I wouldn’t trade the experience for a million dollars, but probably wouldn’t take a million dollars to do it again,” said Maslan. Maslan worked with clients out of a rental space and finally opened his own facility for Custom Fit Personal Training in 2007. Quickly, his business exploded to having over 15 personal trainers. Maslan has attributed his success to both his strong team and influential mentors. “I have amazing mentors at NPE and learned to take advantage of the knowledge of other fitness professionals in industry. Most importantly, I surround myself with good, knowledgeable trainers. I am lucky because having a good team makes my job easier.” Maslan’s job is far from easy—he not only balances a quickly expanding business but is also the father of five children: Owen, Nikolas, Maggie, Joshua and Colin.
One of Maslan’s innovative business areas takes corporate wellness programs to the next level. Maslan and his team meet with corporate decision makers or human resources managers to discuss the goals and benefits of their wellness programs. Maslan explained the importance of corporate wellness programs, “It is very important for companies to have wellness programs because it helps their employees feel better, work better, take less sick days and in the long run be happier, healthier people. It is great because corporate programs let me reach even more clients,” said Maslan. Maslan builds a plan for companies on how to get employees to change their lifestyle for the better—doing everything from nutrition workshops to daily workouts and boot camps. This not only helps employees be healthy, but also builds camaraderie within the company ranks. Maslan’s workshops have been enormously successful and they have already worked with several corporations to produce measurable results.
Maslan puts a heavy emphasis on measurable results for both his corporate partners and his clients. “We are extremely goal-oriented and focus on best plan to help someone reach their goal. We always want to make sure that our clients are moving forward and progressing. We do this by using measurable results,” explained Maslan. The Custom Fit Personal Training program is so successful that Maslan offers a money back guarantee with his programs so clients are absolutely happy with the training they get.
A major part of Custom Fit Personal Training lives online. Maslan, wanting to have greater reach and provide even more support for his existing clients, created his website, www.evansvillepersonaltraining.com. The website provides informational articles, instructional videos and online updates for those wanting to get Maslan’s expert help from home. “Videos are the best for clients when they need to workout on their own. It was important to me to have videos because it adds value to our clients and makes demonstrations more clear so clients are doing exercises correctly,” said Maslan.
Nutritional counseling is another feature of Custom Fit Personal Training. Maslan has a nutritional counselor and chef on staff to talk to clients about healthy eating and post recipes on the website. Maslan, who jokes that he eats for nourishment more than taste brought the counselor on staff and began putting recipes on the website when he realized clients needed help with food choices. “I knew we needed to help clients go beyond a microwave. A lot of our clients love the recipe ideas and by giving them healthy food options we help increase variety for them so the nutrition aspect of losing weight is easier,” explained Maslan.
Maslan also insists that nutrition is often the hardest part of health for most people because even though they might know what they should eat they still have no idea how to prepare the proper food and carry out healthy eating across a whole week. Maslan also works with clients on the mental approach to eating. Maslan said, “We help clients focus on their goals. So instead of them thinking ‘eating this donut is not going to hurt me’ we have them ask the more accurate question: ‘Will eating this donut take me closer to or further away from achieving my goals?’” This approach has resonated with clients and is one of the major contributing factors to his success rates. Staci Inman of Evansville says “The encouragement and support from Custom Fit has helped me lose 50 pounds and almost 9 inches off my waist!”
Maslan and his trainers are constantly working to improve and set their facility apart from other personal training gyms. In fact one of Maslan’s biggest challenges was learning how to run the business side of his training facility. “I didn’t learn a lot about how to run a business on a shoestring budget from my biology degree and the Marine Corps—I got other great training from them but accounting and marketing I had to learn on my own,” said Maslan. Maslan’s creative business strategy is one of the reasons his business has been so successful. One program Maslan and his partner Eric Patterson are working on is the Ultimate Weight Loss Resource. In this innovative program Patterson and Maslan are reviewing many of the top weight loss and fitness resources and giving real reviews to their clients. “Clients come in and ask us about a popular program that they have heard of and they want to know if it works or is healthy for them. We decided that in order to become an authority on weight loss and provide everything our clients need we wanted to try these programs out ourselves,” said Maslan.
Maslan has a number of unique programs that attract and appeal to clients. A few times a year Maslan runs Get Fit for the Cure where Maslan contributes 10% of all proceeds from his personal training programs to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation which is a nonprofit that supports finding a cure for breast cancer. Maslan hopes that by constantly providing new programs and reaching new clients Custom Fit Personal Training will continue to grow. “We want to continue to grow and provide high quality service for clients. In the next few years we will probably be in multiple locations. For us the most important thing is to continue to deliver top quality service as we grow,” Maslan said.
Maslan and the other top quality Custom Fit Personal Trainer’s techniques have produced raving clients and changed lives; for example, Traci Harrison lost 70 pounds in 6 months and over 100 pounds overall with Custom Fit.