Rehoboth Beach trainer Paul Timmons recently accomplished something only 12 other people in the world have done - he earned a full certification from the renowned Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Known for whipping actors into prime physical condition for films and training world-class athletes, Gym Jones offers one of the most intense training certifications in the world. It's taken Timmons seven years to complete the four-part program.
“This was just an opportunity for me to continue down a path of learning in a philosophy that speaks to me and that I personally think is superior,” he said.
Timmons has been a full-time fitness professional for the last 20 years. He has competed in 20 marathons, six iron mans, more than a dozen Delaware weightlifting competitions and was the first person to complete a 15-mile solo swim from Cape May, N.J., to Lewes.
He was a third-team all-state soccer goalie for Cape Henlopen in 1985, then majored in political science/pre-law with a minor in philosophy at Western Maryland University, where he played soccer and tennis.
Timmons has achieved more than 20 certifications since becoming a fitness professional in 1993. He bought The Firm Fitness Center in Rehoboth Beach in 1999. Of all his experiences, he said, the Gym Jones approach is the best.
To complete his certification, he spent one week at the Gym Jones facility. He said he is a very organized and regimented person, so showing with no knowledge of what was ahead threw him for a loop.
“I get up at 4 a.m. and I'm [at The Firm] between 5 and 6 every day,” he said. “I know exactly what I'm going to be doing every moment of the day from start to finish. That is the complete opposite of what it was like out there.”
On any given day, Timmons could be asked to teach a seminar, train clients, train by himself or listen to a lecture. The whole experience was physically and mentally trying, he said.
“I felt like I was under a microscope every single day from a performance perspective,” he said.
Gym Jones was put on the map following the release of the popular film “300” in 2006. In the movie, Scottish actor Gerard Bulter is one of 300 warriors fighting against the Persians in 480 B.C. Butler's physique in the film attracted others to Gym Jones. Prior to starring as Clark Kent in the 2013 film “Man of Steel,” actor Henry Cavill tapped into the Gym Jones training program to get into shape. And most recently, a group of actors from “300: Rise of an Empire,” used Gym Jones prior to filming. The movie, a sequel to the 2006 film, opens nationwide in theaters this weekend.
Timmons is fully committed to the Gym Jones philosophy. He said everything he has learned is applied to his own clients.
“I use the same concepts and philosophies,” he said. “They might not be rowing at the same pace, but if they're giving 100 percent and everything they have, then they're doing the same thing.”
Timmons' work at Gym Jones has inspired The Firm's Manager and Personal Trainer Andrew McConnell, who recently completed the first phase of the Gym Jones program. He already has plans to continue on.
“I have my own version of an old saying, 'If you are the smartest and strongest person in the room, you are in the wrong room,'” he said. “Paul Timmons and Gym Jones have opened doors to rooms I didn't even know existed. With their mentorship, there is no doubt in my mind I will reach my full potential.”
Timmons said he worked with McConnell to prepare him for his journey. He said he wouldn't be surprised if McConnell makes it all the way to full certification.
“He has a lot of talent,” he said. “I'm really proud of him.”