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Celebrity Fitness Trainer Mark Jenkins Loved by Stars

By Sumyi Khong on April 30, 2007

Mark Jenkins, pictures, picture, photos, photo, images, image, pics, pic, celebrity, personal, fitness, trainer, interviewsCelebrity personal trainer Mark Jenkins specializes in transformative training to garner what clients want to see—fast, dramatic results. Effectively melting off fat within weeks through a high-intensity blend of cardio, aerobic weight-training and diet, his personalized training program has attracted many high-profile clients, including musical heavyweights, LL Cool J, Beyoncé and Mary J Blige.

In addition to his clients' appearances, the theme of transformation weighs heavily throughout Jenkins' personal and professional life. As a mercilessly-teased overweight kid himself, Jenkins—who tipped the scales at 230 pounds and boasted a 43-inch waist by the time he hit high school—feels there is an important link between healthy fitness and high self esteem. After his high school graduation, he joined the Navy as a last-ditch effort to lose weight. He started training with a Navy Seal and noticed how his confidence rose as the pounds dropped off and the muscle filled in. So did his supervisor. Soon, Jenkins was assigned to whip other overweight recruits into shape throughout the remainder of his Navy career.

Post Navy, Jenkins moved to New York and became a trainer at a gym. With no formal business experience, he started training certain clients for free in exchange for advice and services to get his personal trainer business jump-started.

"I trained a business CEO in exchange for a free lunch, so I could pick his brain on how to start my own business. Soon after, I needed a photographer and a publicist, so I began training other professionals in exchange for their services," explains Jenkins. "Meanwhile, I was giving away so many free training sessions, I had to work two other jobs to support myself!"

His perseverance paid off. With his gym's close proximity to Motown Records, he began training the publicist for singer/actress Brandy. Thanks to Jenkins, the publicist lost 80 pounds in just four months. Brandy took notice, and soon after, she became Jenkins' first celebrity client, followed by fellow singer, D'Angelo.

Promising that he would get D'Angelo in shape or give him his money back, Jenkins got his full payday up front—and promptly spent his entire paycheck to incorporate International Fitness, his joint personal training and healthy lifestyle business with his wife.

"Because I spent all the money already, I had no choice but for D'Angelo to get into shape," laughs Jenkins. "I even resorted to shadowing him outside our training session and intercepting unhealthy snacks at the recording studio!"