DERBY CENTER–Tyler Tinker is man of multiple passions.
Two of those passions happen to go hand in hand with each other; Fitness and professional wrestling.
Tyler, after moving back from Florida last year, intensified his wrestling schedule, appearing in independent shows throughout New England, but something was still missing.
With a degree in exercise science, he also went to work as a trainer with Ben Warstler at Ben's Bootcamp in Derby.
After working with Warstler for several months, Tyler offered to buy Ben's Derby location on John Taplin Rd.
The negotiating/purchasing process lasted a few months, but on July 1st all the i's were dotted and all of the t's were crossed and Tyler was now in possession of the former Bootcamp space, as well as the client list that went with it.
After a grueling week of ten-plus hour days that featured help from his family, his friends and even some of his clients, Tyler proudly opened the doors to his new gym, Pride Fitness Performance.
The last time I had seen Tyler, he was getting ready to make the move to Florida to pursue his wrestling dreams and put his degree to work.
Feeling like a visit to the man known in many wrestling circles as The Hybrid Tyler Sexton was long overdue, I went up to see this new gym and catch up the businessman/personal trainer known as Tyler Tinker.
"It seemed more of a real possibility when I fell in love with the people I was working with and grew attached, as you do in this industry," Tinker said when asked when he first started to seriously think about operating his own gym. "It is my hometown area and I knew a lot of people, I knew the community well, and if there ever was going to be a place that I could make it work, this was going to be the place.
"A lot of people liked seeing that and liked the renewed energy that I brought to this place, so it was all about timing."
Tyler had been working with Ben since last September, but had never really thought of it as a career.
But as the bonds began to grow between trainer and client he started probe a little deeper into the possibility of making this one-time transitional job a more a permanent thing.
"It got to the point where I started poking (Ben's) brain a little bit and just figured out what his plan down the road was going to be and eventually we agreed on everything," said Tinker. "
With the terms between Ben and Tyler agreed upon, the real work began, as Tinker explained.
"It was a lot of work and I definitely underestimated how much time and work was going to go into it. All of the work and processing with lawyers, accountants and the bank lasted from late March to July 1st.
"The 1st was the day I projected to close and we did it."
With all of the mental work more less put to bed, at least for the time being, what came next was the grueling week of transitioning the facility from Warstler's to his own.
"That was, without a doubt, the hardest week I have ever worked in my life. A lot of people were like 'Hey, you got the week off.' Haha, yeah right. I was here ten, twelve, fourteen hours a day from Saturday to the following Sunday.
"We open at 5:00 AM on Monday's, and I was still here the night before till 10:00 PM cleaning. We stretched every hour and every day. I could not have done this by myself and I am very grateful to all of those that helped out."
One of the reasons that Tinker was looking to branch out on his own is because he wanted to bring more of his own style to his clients workouts.
"I like to pride myself, pun intended, as being very open minded and very multi-dimensional as a trainer. A bad quality, well not necessarily a bad quality, is being close-minded and one dimensional as a trainer. It is great to have a niche and preach that and practice what you preach, but that may not be what everyone needs.
"I work with young athletes all the way up to people in their eighties and everyone has different abilities and capabilities, so it is all about finding what is right for the individual. So, with a lot of the programs I offer here from our personal training, our group training and our YogaCorr, which is a creation of mine that I started while working with Ben, I offer a wide variety of options because everybody is different."
Tyler spoke a lot about having his clients make their workouts their own and not looking at what somebody else was doing and trying to compete with them.
Pride Fitness Performance has been open a little less than month, but Tyler, with his feet firmly planted in the present, does have an eye on the future and what it will bring.
"My goal is to expand this place into the best training/fitness facility in the area. I really look up to what Adrian Guyer (A trainer in the Lyndonville area) has done with XPI, and I think I can do the same in the Derby area up here."
Something else Tyler is now starting to have to think about is potentially hiring other trainers to come work at his facility because he is nearing the point of having a waiting list for people who want personal instruction.
While PFP is not ready to fill the open gym (a place where people can just come and work out by themselves without instruction) void, it is offering a host of other workout options which include personal training, group fitness, nutrition consultation, YogaCorr, post injury/rehab programs and hybrid fit.
With all of these activities Tinker not only wants to increase performance, but he is passionate about and strives for injury prevention.
"Right on the front of my brochure it says increase performance and prevent injuries. I am huge when it comes injury prevention. People have gotten hurt because they are pushing themselves too hard, were not shown an exercise properly or the group was so large that they did not have the correct supervision.
"That is why I limit my groups to no more than fifteen people. Sure a larger group means more money, but I prefer quality over quantity. I care more about how you move, how you feel, how you look and how you live."
Now I mentioned that Tyler is wrestler, and wrestling is a very physically demanding endeavor, so it only makes sense that Tyler should join the ranks of such wrestling luminaries like Mick Foley, Diamond Dallas Page and Sting and own his own facility while competing in the squared circle.
In fact his in-ring experiences have weighed heavily on how he has evolved as a trainer.
"Wrestling I think is the biggest factor that makes my training philosophy multi-dimensional. In pro wrestling you have to be athletic and you have to aesthetic. There is the body building and there is also the athletic performance training and that is how I train. I don't preach that upon people, but it has broadened my horizon so that I'm not too one dimensional. Wrestling has been huge and is one of the biggest reasons that injury prevention is so important to me."
Ironically enough, after leaving the hot bed of wrestling that is the state of Florida, Tyler has seen his in-ring time expand greatly.
In fact he has been in talks with former WWE wrestler Paul London, who operates a wrestling school in Austin, TX, about heading down south and training together and working some shows down in the Lone Star State.
In the coming weeks he has a show with Lucky Pro Wrestling, and he also may get a chance to wrestle for CZW out of New Jersey as well.
"Both my business and my wrestling are evolving, and both are better than ever because I am keeping them going together while not getting burned out with either one."
If you are looking to get back into working out, or are perhaps a newcomer to the fitness community and are looking for a safe, nurturing environment that is free of judgement and focused on the well being and physical development of the individual, then perhaps Pride Fitness Performance is the place for you.
Tyler's group fit classes take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30 AM-9:30AM, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:15PM-6PM. His YogaCorr classes take place at Monday at 8:00AM and on Tuesday at 7:00PM.
Personal, buddy or special training are available by appointment.
For more information you can give Tyler a call at 802-535-6395 or check out his website www.pridefitnessperformance.com