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In to Out Series: Physical Fitness w/Marc Comar

September 12, 2011

Beginning his fitness career as a trainer at Bally Fitness in 2003 while finishing up at one of Atlanta’s premier HBCUs Clark Atlanta University, Marc Comar laid the groundwork for what is now the coast to coast operation of Quick Fitness Solutions. Several years ago I had the pleasure (and pain) of meeting Marc while trying to regain my pre-baby svelte. Those sessions were a montage of razor-sharp focus, thoughtful considerations, a lot of educational moments, and even laughter. With Marc there was no loud, boisterous pep-rally type hype. He is smart, hilarious and serious at the same time, and committed to the business of good health from the inside out.

In 2006 Marc Comar and Akil Sherman started QFS Fitness Consultants, to assist corporations in cutting down health care costs by implementing wellness programs to benefit the employees. Studies have shown that for every dollar spent on health promotion, the ROI is $2-$8 in both direct costs and indirect savings (United States Dept. of Health and Human Services). That’s enough to make upper management smile. QFS outsources independent contractors in the fields of personal training, massage therapy, chiropractic care, nutritional counselors and chefs.

What are the core values of QFS?
True, genuine concern for the individual person; personal training sometimes gets watered down to pick a trainer, pay a fee, do these steps.  We focus on the individual person because needs vary from person to person. We make sure that we keep the individual person’s best interest at heart.

Who are your top 3 corporate clients?
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
RSUI, Inc.
Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders

QFS is expanding to Los Angeles, CA. Can you share with us how that came into being?
Yes. We started working with RSUI, insurance company, at the beginning of the year. I went out there to get them set up with trainers and saw an opportunity to expand and grow QFS. So I am relocating in a couple of weeks to manage that process.

In your growth personally and professionally, can you site any particular activity or moment that helped your company move to the next level?
Not really. It’s diligence, staying focused and consistent. I think that it’s not about necessarily the ‘a-ha moment’ in business, it’s about staying the course towards your vision. We’re always reading motivational, spiritual works, and business relevant pieces to enrich ourselves. From those things we get ideas that place us in the position of growth.

Good stuff, encouraging your staff to read and to actually have a reading list is an awesome concept for business. Now let’s talk about fitness for a few minutes-which is more important exercise or diet?
A healthy lifestyle that includes nutrition AND exercise. But first you must be strong mentally. Second you have to have a good nutrition plan, third- resistance training, fourth good cardio. Those are our four philosophies in that order. When your mind is strong, you will go into your program strong.

We don’t like to say diet; diet is something you do for a short time and get rid of it. When you have a good nutritional lifestyle then you will be more apt to make a change when needed. Your physical activity has to be conducive to what you do on a daily basis. If you’re an athlete, then you train athletically. If you’re a corporate employee, you need to make sure you train accordingly. You must know how to train yourself properly. Everything you do has to make sense for you.

I absolutely love to hear you say that, this whole series In-to-Out is just that. I will venture to say that most people live from the outside in. We should be living from out of our spirits; spirit, soul, then physical being. If we don’t have a solid inner being everything else just falls apart. I don’t think one is as effective as one would like to be if there is no inner strength.
I like your series being centered around that thought. That’s your foundation. In our interviews, we ask our new hires ‘what are your core values’. This lets us know what we can expect from that person. It all starts from the inside.

How much does your nutrition program affect your fitness goals?
Tremendously, 70-80% of your fitness goal is dependent upon what you eat. I always start my nutrition presentations with ‘you are what you eat or lack thereof’. If you’re not putting the proper micronutrients and macronutrients in the body, then you won’t get what you’re looking for. Or you may be taking in the right things, just not enough of them. It’s the biggest part of your physical health.

Is there one plan that could possibly work for everybody?
Not really, everyone is different. To get people going, like with anything else in life there are fundamental truths. The fundamentals are eating 4-6 times a day, exercise 3 times a week a minimum of 30 minutes each. Now if you can only eat 3 times a day and exercise 15 minutes at a time do that. Do what you can do, just try to improve over time. But within those ‘rules’ diversification takes place depending on the individual needs and goals of the person.

Of all of the interviews I’ve conducted in this series, the scariest was with diabetes educator Patricia Addie-Gentle, RN. Over 21 million Americans have diabetes, and the population of young people with diabetes is growing.  With that being said, how do you help or encourage clients to manage their condition?
Close to home, my father, in the midst of moving him and my mother down here we found out that he is diabetic. He has always been healthy so this was a little bit of a surprise. I told him that he had not really been active and not taking care of himself as far as nutrition is concerned. But I also told my father not to fall prey to a negative mindset, and don’t over analyze what the doctor said. This is a controllable condition. So I got my parents down here, changed their nutrition, got them drinking more water, and walking. In less than 2 months my father lost 15 pounds, checking his insulin every day. And guess what? Now, no diabetes. Numbers were under control and everything. See what you can do when you put your mind to it? Now he is an ACSM Certified Personal trainer, working on getting a job with LA Fitness.

Shut up!
No seriously. 😀

So does he walk around with tight shirts on like you?
No not quite. Come on now, I only do this on occasions. (LOL) But getting back to the original question-I start with the person’s mind. What are you doing? What are your habits? What are you eating? Are you exercising? Then we talk about that compelling reason to get healthy and get fit. You’ve just been told you have diabetes, but what does that mean to you and your future endeavors? People don’t talk enough about their personal, compelling reason for maintaining a good wellness program. Lahronda, you’re married, you have 2 kids. You can get caught up in their lives, and yours can be taken away.  But if you take care of yourself through in through, don’t you think your husband will appreciate that? He will reap those benefits. Your kids will get the benefits: mom has more energy, mom is not so stressed, and mom handles her stress well.

So we address diabetes by helping you to understand your compelling reason, don’t allow the condition to be a crutch. ‘Oh, I’m sick, I can’t do that’. Well you are sick if you think this is as far as you can go. You can change your quality of life. Take responsibility, and we’ll walk you through the process to get out.

Amen. Do we really need to lift weights?
Do we really need to lift weights? That’s a good question. Yes and no. Resistance training is important. Now when we say lift weights, your body is a weight. Resistance training prevents the onset of osteoporosis. The big question is how. You don’t necessarily have to grab 10lbs and go at it; you could use resist-a-bands. You could do squats with your own body weight. Push-ups and pull-ups are also good examples of using your own body weight.

How do you manage those clients with conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.? Those conditions that could potentially be painful.
The one thing to remember is as personal trainers we are not doctors. So before any program is started, a visit with your doctor is necessary. Then we prescribe a plan that is based on the doctor’s orders. Our job is also to figure out ways to design a program that works around the issue, but by the same token try to improve the condition if we can.

What are some alternative cardio exercises? Water aerobics, walking, elliptical machines, Precor machines, really machines or activities that are conducted in a circular motion. You can also get cardio with high repetition resistance training as well.

And what else Marc, what else do you have for us? Take time for yourself; your time is so important. We have so many things on our lists that we can squeeze ourselves out. Be protective of the time you have for yourself.

~Live Healthy. Look Healthy.
Lahronda Little

Lahronda is a wife, mother of 2, and owner of HqO Skincare LLC. She lives in a suburb of Atlanta.

Please remember:
1) ***Our intention, through this series, is to help others to live a whole life in a healthy manner – not to treat any condition. ***
2) All features are accessible throughout the feature series.
3) All material within this blog may used for educational purposes only, providing you retain this copyright notice and use an appropriate citation including the record URL of the information. We would like to know how you are using the material, please send notification to
©2011, HqO Skincare LLC. All rights reserved


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