ABOUT SAM

NASM certified Performance Enhancement Specialist

NASM certified Corrective Exercise Specialist

NASM certified Youth Exercise Specialist

ISSA certified Personal Trainer

AAAI/ISMA certified Fitness Trainer

Enrolled in Centenary University

Student of life!

See that transformation? Read my story below to find out how I made that happen!

My name is Sam Letson,

I am just your average guy trying to do the same thing you are… Live the best life possible.

Early on in my life I hit a roadblock. I entered into a DEEP, DEEP, nasty and dark depression. At the time it seemed like there was no way out. I had thoughts of suicide.

I knew there had to be a way to be happy again. I read every book possible, tried all different types of practices and methods that are suppose to help bring you to happiness. Nothing really helped, and I usually found myself back at step 1 after I tried one thing after another.

After more than a 2 year depression, suicidal thinking and the exhausting effort to find happiness… I finally did, kind of. And I’m going to share that with you, but first I will tell you my story.

After graduating High School I decided not to go to college. It was just not for me at the time. I made the decision to become a Personal Trainer and work at my local YMCA until I gained enough momentum to build my own business.

I eventually left my local YMCA to work at my local Work Out World, where I really grew as a trainer and really started to understand the field. I was working 7 days a week, upwards of 65 + hours a week doing 125-175 sessions a month and working for bare minimum pay. My girlfriend just went to college and I was struggling to stay sane with the stress of a relationship and the workload I put myself under.

Eventually around a year and a half later I felt I was ready to start my own business. 

I went on and studied over the course of those 3 years to obtain the following certifications:

NASM certified Performance Enhancement Specialist

NASM certified Corrective Exercise Specialist

NASM certified Youth Exercise Specialist

ISSA certified Personal Trainer

AAAI/ISMA certified Fitness Trainer

I have worked with everyone imaginable.

  • People from the ages of 10-75 years old
  • Middle school, High school, College AND Professional Athletes
  • I have taught Cross-Training classes, Boot-Camp classes, Small-Group training classes and more.
  • I have trained people with multiple different disabilities or problems such as hypertension, past heart attacks, kyphosis, autism, obesity, sprains, vertigo, asthma, tendonitis, and the list goes on and on.
  • I have helped clients lose 45lbs of fat, or gain 25lbs of muscle and everything in-between.

And it was such an amazing experience. There is just something very fulfilling about helping an individual reach their physical goals.

So I started my own Strength and Conditioning business. I would train people 7 days a week for $120 a month at my local park. 9am-2pm and back again 4pm-8pm. I would load and unload my pickup truck up with 400-600lbs of weights, kegs, sleds, sandbags etc. 6 times a day. I was making decent money but not enough for the time and effort I was putting into it.

FullSizeRender-2 FullSizeRender-5FullSizeRender-4  FullSizeRender-6   IMG_1313

And then all of the sudden, after my first 3 months of starting this business… My body started becoming dysfunctional. I had tons of pain in my upper body, every part of my upper body started to not work correctly, and it felt like I started falling apart.

I thought it was just some nagging injuries from lifting and being an extreme athlete. So for a while I tried not to think much of it. But it kept getting worse and worse. Until I couldn’t do a push up without shaking like a baby deer learning to walk. And it would hurt to breathe when I would run. I would get shooting pains down my arms and my middle back was on fire all day every day.

It got so bad to the point where I couldn’t work out anymore, everything hurt, and everything was falling apart.

And everything was falling apart. My body, my mind, and my spirit. My relationship, my career and business, everything in my life was falling apart.

I took a risk. I did not go to college and I tried to start my own training business. I had no "Plan B". What do you need to be a trainer? A healthy functional body! And I lost that.

Imagine a professional basketball player losing an arm, or an Olympic sprinter losing a leg. They would not be able to do what they had planned to do for majority of their life. And this is exactly what happened to me.

I went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out just what was going wrong with me, and the majority response from them was “you’re young kid its just some bumps and bruises, take it easy, relax and you’ll be fine.” I lost 25lbs of muscle mass, most of my strength and just overall wellbeing. After 2 years of wondering what was going on I broke down completely. I cried in my father’s arms and told him I think I am dying.

IMG_4976 IMG_4966

This is when beating around the bush stopped and we went to go see some real specialists to get to the bottom of this.

At first they could not figure it out. I was being told I might have a muscular skeletal or neural muscular disease and had to get multiple blood tests done. They found antibodies of Lymes disease and told me it wasn’t enough to rule it positive. But they put me on medication anyway. It did not help.

Then they got MRI’s of my spine taken… and what shows up? A bulging disc and stenosis in my neck.

Requiring a double level artificial disc replacement of the cervical spine C3-C4 and C4-C5. They gave me an epidural steroid injection hoping it would cure it and it did not. It looked as if I was getting cut open and operated on very soon.

But of course before making a giant decision like that, you go get more than one opinion. So that’s what I did, and 2 other specialists agreed I had stenosis but not enough to operate on. They believe it may be the cause of some of the pain and discomfort but it can’t be the only thing going on with my body because I have more symptoms than just stenosis.

It turns out I also have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome as well as Snapping Scapula Syndrome.

And as of right now for the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, they believe I need to get both of my first ribs dissected from my body, because they are compressing the major veins, arteries, nerves and blood vessels of my upper body. This surgery is fairly rare and very high risk.

As for the Snapping Scapula Syndrome, the surgery is not high risk, but has not been ruled necessary yet.

As of right now I have not undergone any surgeries as I am trying to work through these 3 issues conservatively. But surgery down the road for all of these looks very possible.

During all of the testing and visiting with surgeons, being told I could have this disease or that disease, this surgery or that surgery, and just not knowing what is happening to me… I completely lost my sanity.

IMG_5694 IMG_5878

I entered into the deepest, darkest depression. I had suicidal thoughts; I was crying everyday in my room alone. I was lifeless and couldn’t feel or show any emotions. I isolated myself from the world without even realizing it.

My career was over, I had no backup plan. I did not have a college degree, I spent all of those years studying health and fitness and worked on perfecting my craft and then it all came crumbling down.

I lost my body. We only get one body in this life and mine was not functioning properly. Most people can have their car, house, money and belongings taken from them and thrown in the street butt naked and still have their real home, their body.

I didn’t. I felt as if my body was a prison.

My 4-year relationship with the love of my life crumbled, the most important person in my life slipped from my hands and could not be in a relationship with a lifeless man. I was drained physically, mentally and emotionally. I had nothing left to give at the time. And relationships require a lot of energy to keep them healthy and strong. 

My Ego’s or masks I was wearing were completely ripped from my being. I was no longer a high-class athlete; I was no longer a shredded jacked Personal Trainer. I was no longer a boyfriend or a business owner. I was broken. I had reached the bottom of hell.

I started drinking heavily, popping muscle relaxers and partying. Spending my days angry and not caring about anything. I died on the inside.

And then one day I had to make a decision. Either I was going to go mad and commit suicide or work towards figuring this shit out!… I decided that I must pick myself up, figure out how to overcome these challenges so that I can help others do the same.

I came to realize that life happens in seasons of death and rebirth. I literally died, my life died. But I was in the middle of a rebirth and I didn’t even realize it.

I completely changed my outlook on life. And I came up with the motto “Train your life to change your life.” I realized that you can train your life to make it better. That is what I have been doing ever since.

I completely changed my life. My attitude changed, my energy changed and I started picking up the pieces of my life.

I am still a Personal Trainer at heart. But I realized that Personal Training is not just about the body. It is about the Body, Mind and Spirit.

I am now dedicated to taking people on my journey of learning how to live the best life possible and relaying the information to you guys.

I have not been fixed physically and I am still struggling with all 3 issues, but my mind is strong. You have the ability to change your life. You can create the life you dream of by working towards it little by little every day.

TRAIN YOUR LIFE TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

“Change in life is inevitable. Either your life will change… or you will change your life.” -Sam Letson

This is the transformation I have made using the information I will share with you through The Training Experiment: