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Manning Sumner is a known name in the NFL. He counts Miami Dolphins players Branden Alberts and Dallas Thomas as personal clients, and they're just a minuscule fraction of the long list of NFL and NBA players that he trains from teams across the country. That is, when he's not running his own massive bootcamp-style gym near Wynwood, LegacyFit, which he's positioned perfectly for a major expansion. "We're opening up a location in Charleston South Carolina hopefully in October," he says. "I want to have a franchise in every major city by the end of 2016."
Manning is a former football player himself, having played for University of Auburn before a back injury forced him to sit out. This, he later found, was actually a good thing. It forced him to really hone in on his degree in health promotions and exercise science and train, instead of train with, his former teammates. In a sense, he's carried on that team player role at LegacyFit.
"Every day you wake up, every time your eyes open, be the best version of yourself you can be that day." – Manning Sumner
"We came up with our own philosophy, P.I.T, which stands for 'Partner Interval Training,'" says the 38-year-old stunner. "It's a group exercise class environment with a partner style training to it. It creates accountability by having a workout partner. Although there's 40 people in the class, you're paired up with an individual, so class is about you and your workout partner. I've always liked having a workout buddy, so we formed a class that does that."
But don't mistaken class camaraderie with easiness. The class combines boxing, rowing, spinning, leg work, resistance training, TRX, body weight, calisthenics, and running. An entire half of his LegacyFit facility is dedicated to this partner-style workout, and if Manning's leading it, you know that not an ounce of your body will be void of sweat. "Im known for not putting up with anyone's shit," he says.
You'll find him popping in and out of his gym to train his own personal clients, deal with business details (he's a sucker for the studio design process), and check in on the trainers who are carrying out the bootcamp-style class he's created. But at the end of the day, this blue-eyed steel-bodied trainer is just like anyone else with a full workday, and enjoys a bit of solitude when he's not re-sculpting his clients' physiques and lives.
"You tend to be a loner when you're a trainer or own a studio because you're around people all the time," he admits. "You're a life coach. You take on so much and hear so much throughout the day that sometimes you like the silence. I like to hang out with my dogs on my off time. I'm a bit of an off the beaten path kind of person."
But that's not to say he's a wallflower. No, beneath that tough exterior is a fun-loving guy who just wants to hit up the dance floor with his diverse playlist, which can easily jump from Fetty Wap to Ed Sheeran. We bet you're wondering what his go-to move is. "Gyrating, maybe? Magic Mike kind of stuff," he says.
As the founder of the #NoDaysOff movement, it's all about consistency for Manning, a virtue that's gotten him far, and will continue to do so. "It's about not taking a day off," he says. "Every day you wake up, every time your eyes open, be the best version of yourself you can be that day. And if you screw up and don't do the best, wake up the next day and try again."