Health and Fitness

John Ford

Brother, mentee, Manic Training guru


A lifelong lover of fitness and the youngest of seven children in an athletic family, John Ford earned a degree in Physical Health and Wellness from the University of Rhode Island, where he competed on the track and field team. But it wasn’t until years later that he would find his calling as a fitness professional. “I don’t know if you believe in serendipity, but Manic Training literally fell into my lap at the exact time I was ready to take on the challenge,” he says.

While working at the Mews Tavern, the restaurant’s owner Dave Barnes piqued John’s interest in the Manic Training concept: small group workouts that combine high intensity interval training with functional movements. Developed by Rugby player Graham “Bushy” Muir in Steamboat Springs, CO, Manic Training is a one-hour guided workout that incorporates everything from squats to sandbag carrying, rope pulls to pushups, burpees to Bosu jumps.

Dave had become such a believer in the “no frills, no nonsense” workout while living in Colorado that he wanted to bring the concept to other parts of the country. John began training with Dave and was instantly hooked on Manic workouts. He loved that no two workouts were the same, and they were always challenging. Having recently obtained his personal training certification, John completed an internship of sorts under Dave, and was then able to take the reigns on the Manic Training facility in South Kingstown.

Since officially opening last August, John has seen his clientele range from professional athletes to students to grandmothers – and that’s what he loves about it. “Manic Training is accessible to anyone and everyone,” he says. “Novices begin to build strength and endurance, while high-level athletes break through plateaus and reach new levels of performance.”

The genius of Manic Training, he says, is that each workout can be tailored to fit the needs of the individual. This way, it doesn’t matter who shows up to train; each person can work at his or her own level. “It’s a group atmosphere, but instead of competing, everyone is working hard and encouraging each other,” John says. “You can’t help but feel the energy.”

Crediting Manic Training with giving him the “six-pack I never dreamt of having,” John hopes word-of-mouth continues to bring new students to train with him: “My goal is to give you the best hour of your day. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.”

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