Uncommon Valor
Valor Personal Training has a singular mission: to provide each client with a pathway to tangible, sustainable health as part of a holistic personal training experience”
by Phil Gianficaro

When a mission needs to be successfully completed, who better to rely on than a U.S. Marine?

And when that mission is to get one’s self in the best physical condition possible, and the Marine in question has decades of experience helping people attain that goal, why go anywhere else?

Rob Walesyn is that Marine, as well as an Iraq War veteran. He and his wife, Maggie, opened Valor Personal Training, a 3,000-square-foot exclusive personal training studio in Paoli in June. This modern, well-equipped studio offers private, partner and group personal training for all fitness levels and life stages, as well as nutritional counseling and massage therapy by appointment.

“This has been years in the making for both of us,” says Rob Walesyn, a health club industry veteran with 16 years and a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology/fitness specialist and physical education, as well as minor degrees in health and nutrition. “In holding positions such as front desk staff, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, fitness director and general manager, I know what customers want. I’ve seen a lot of health clubs go under or suffer because they don’t understand the customer. We home in on what the customer wants—100 percent.”

Maggie Walesyn comes to Valor Personal Training with solid credentials as well. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and athletic training, which included more than 1,800 clinical hours of personal training and rehabilitating athletes with a wide variety of injuries.

“Both Rob and I have a passion for health and fitness, a passion to better people’s lives,” she says. “I’ve seen other clubs that use gimmicks and fitness fads to get people in their door that don’t work long term. We’re different; we get people healthy and help them sustain that health through ongoing education and accountability.”

Valor Personal Training offers a wide range of top-of-the-line commercial cardiovascular and strength training machines and free weights. It also boasts a large cardio and open space area with specialized equipment for core, functional, cardio, strength and flexibility training—all in a spacious facility that offers plenty of elbow room.

“The size of our facility is a big difference compared to other training studios,” says Maggie. “Other studios are small and don’t have a lot of equipment; maybe they have some free weights, a bench press and a squat rack, which limits their ability to customize workouts to all fitness levels. We basically have a mini health club.

“Lots of gyms are crowded, too,” she adds. “A lot of times when people are getting personal training there, they can’t use certain equipment because others are using it or people are waiting for machines. We don’t have those problems because we are exclusive to personal training clients.”

Rob’s mission is to create exercise and nutrition programs that produce results specific to the client’s goals such as functional training, strength training, weight loss,  sports movements, and pre- and post-natal wellness.

“Nutrition is No. 1 for me,” he says. “My philosophy is, if you don’t have the right fuel in the body, it doesn’t matter what you do in the gym.  I keep my clients accountable for properly nourishing themselves before and after training with me. ”

He applies many of the disciplines learned with the Marines to the clients he instructs. He’s upfront, direct and lays his cards on the table to let clients know precisely what they need to do to achieve their health goals.

“I’m an exercise science guy, and physical assessments are necessary to construct a proper exercise prescription,” he says. “Some people need to see the results of these assessments, to see what they’re up against with their health and to motivate them to make healthy lifestyle changes.  

“The reason why we chose the word ‘valor’ for our name is because it’s not just a brand; it’s a virtue meaning courage, bravery and fearlessness,” he says. “For many people it requires a virtue like this to take the first steps in improving their health, and we want to help inspire this. We even have the service star in our logo, because we serve everyone. We also offer services for veterans, police, EMTs. I am an Iraqi Freedom veteran who served during [Iraq’s] liberation in 2003, and I was in Kuwait a week before the war started.  I’m dedicated to helping our veterans.”

Valor Personal Training’s motto says it all: “Inspiring the Courageous Pursuit of Fitness.”

“As our tag line says, it’s not always an easy journey [to better one’s health],” Rob says. “But with commitment, determination and a team effort, we can get you to where you want to be with your health.”

Valor Personal Training will be different from other health clubs in terms of staffing, according to Maggie.

“We’re building an elite team of fitness professionals,” she says. “The members of our team have significant depth of knowledge in the health and fitness field. We prefer people with four-year health science degrees. A lot of clubs hire people with weekend certifications who don’t have a depth of knowledge in nutrition, physiology, anatomy and kinesiology, all of which inform the services they provide to clients. Not us; we want to provide our clients highly educated trainers who can provide them customized programs.”

Rob is confident clients who come to Valor Personal Training will notice a tangible difference from health clubs they previously frequented.

“Our place is going to be their place,” he says. “We built this for them—this is their safe zone. They can exercise privately with personal trainers in a large studio, down to simple things like us asking what music they want to hear during their workout and setting a comfortable temperature for them. We will tailor everything to them because we want to make their experience better than anywhere else they’ve been.”

Valor Personal Training
209 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 100
Paoli, PA 19301

Photograph by Jeff Anderson