Suwanee trainer caters to a wide variety of clients with several health and fitness programs

By: Rachel Fasig

“I have cerebral palsy” is not exactly what you would expect to hear from a very fit, NASAM certified, 25-year old fitness instructor and business owner. Douglas Kelly is the owner of Clean and Press, a personal training company that caters to a wide variety of clients through several health and fitness programs. Kelly also suffers from cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects DSC_0208muscle growth and development, motor skills, body movement, coordination, strength, reflexes, posture and balance.

Born in Dundee, Scotland, where knowledge of cerebral palsy was extremely limited or unknown, Kelly did not learn how to walk, brush his teeth or write until the age of 5 when his family moved to Georgia. It was then that he was diagnosed with the disorder and given the resources to manage it. With years of therapy, rehabilitation, and the willpower to exceed doctor’s expectations, Kelly’s physical results have been astounding.

Kelly’s story is the foundation of his business – it is a true testament to the fact that anybody is able to achieve the physical results they desire. One of Kelly’s clients, Mark Childress, has been training with him at American Bodyworks for several months and has already noticed muscle gain, decreased stress levels, better sleep and increased energy. “The difference for me, was working with someone like Doug,” Childress explained, “I am 42-years-old and had never done weight training…I didn’t feel like I was doing it right, on my own,” he continued. Despite watching online training videos and attempting to teach himself the ropes of the gym, Childress continued to feel tired, sore and fatigued after every workout. Kelly noticed and offered him a free training session.

Childress’ workouts immediately improved, and subsequently so did his results. He trains with Kelly once or twice a week, and is in the gym up to five days a week, feeling confident now that even during solo sessions, he has the foundation of proper form. “I preach form and technique over everything else,” Kelly said.

Kelly carefully modifies workouts for each client, depending on their individual goals. Annie Bourke, a 33-year old woman with Down Syndrome, has been training with him for three years now. “In her case, anything wcleanoressith a lot of movement, like steps, is good for her. Coming here gives her an activity to look forward to, while helping maintain her weight… plus she loves to pick on me the whole time!” Kelly said.

Kelly is passionate about working with individuals with special needs because of how much working out has helped him physically, emotionally and psychologically. “Cerebral palsy never goes away and is something I have to work on everyday,” he said, “I think that is what helps me relate to people with special needs, because I know some of the things they are going through.”

The gym has given Kelly an outlet that most people with cerebral palsy don’t find, and in turn, he is passionate about giving others the opportunity to live life as fully as possible, no matter what limitations they are facing.

Clean & Press




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