Marla is an extremely knowledgeable, passionate, and special individual. I met Marla two weeks out from my first Figure competition. Bodybuilding is an extremely subjective sport, where a coach who puts your health first is hard to find. It is clear Marla practices what she preaches. She is receptive to all questions and is not afraid to answer with "I don't know", a quality that is rare in fitness professionals. Marla is willingly to do the research and help her client in any way possible.
Working with Marla taught me more than just "fitness". She taught me that food is fuel and that learning to love your body is more important than any trophy. She truly cares about not only her client's physical health, but mental health as well. I can honestly say that Marla is an amazing trainer, coach, friend and mentor!
-Abbey Roberts, Tucson, AZ


As I approached age 60 my wife insisted that Marla was different from other trainers.  Over a half hour interview over coffee, Marla appeared to be the real deal-so we got started.

Like most Americans, I was overfed.  Marla insisted on two things: more weight work on the core, and eating the right food.  I was already pretty good at the last.  But I took her analogy of not buying cheap gas for a Lamborghini and decided to not only cut out some more toxic food I consumed from time to time but to reset the carburetor to reduce the fuel consumption.

Marla listened to what I was really saying, almost psychic.  I showed up for one workout physically and emotionally exhausted.  Marla recognized this immediately.  I sat on a large exercise ball while Marla sat on a bench a few feet away, realizing that I need physical space as well, and we just talked.  For an hour.  It was the most cost-effective workout of all.

Brooks Tish, Seattle, Washington


"I have been working out off and on with moderate success for many years. Typically I would begin a program and do well for a few months and then either over train or injure myself causing me to stop. In addition, running and lifting weights were things I had to do to play sports. However, once I could no longer play, I lost any incentive to exercise. I tried working out with friends, family, and personal trainers with very little difference in the outcomes.

My experiences with other trainers really never felt personal. Rather than tailor the workout for me, it felt more like I was being squeezed into a preset plan. From the beginning, Marla fit the plan to me. She evaluated my strengths and weaknesses and designed the workout to maximally benefit me. I never feel like I am doing the ìworkout for the dayî. The first question she asks me with every workout is, ìWhat is sore or hurting?î She then adjusts the workout to prevent injuries. In fact I have been with Marla about 1 year and have not had one injury associated with working out with her. Not only is my training now ìpersonalî, but itís fun. A year ago, I would have sworn that those words would never come out of my mouth. She knows how to get a max effort from me and make me laugh at the same time. She does this because she is a professional and loves what she does. This love is so infectious that I look forward to our workouts.

My workout experience with Marla would be enough to recommend her without reservations, but thatís not all. She has been an invaluable resource with diet and nutrition. The knowledge she has acquired with nearly 30 years of bodybuilding is remarkable. Not only has she designed a meal plan for me, but also she has helped me figure out how to apply it. I am a heart surgeon. I can spend 4-10 hours of my day in the operating room. I frequently have only minutes to eat. She worked out a strategy for me to stay on diet. And to top it off, she has actually gone grocery shopping with me helping me learn how to shop wisely.

I am fortunate to have found Marla. Without a doubt she is in my corner. I have made tremendous progress, but more importantly I have begun a life-changing process with lasting benefits. The best part, however, is that in addition to finding the best personal trainer, I have also found a true friend. "

- Dr. Robert Binford, Bellevue, WA


Working with Marla was very rewarding and beneficial. Her approach was realistic, practical and goal oriented. Not only did Marla help me reach my goals, she helped me exceed them. I continue to use what she taught me every day.

-David C. Kansas City, MO


After several years of going to the gym, I had reached a point that I wasn't seeing or feeling any positive changes in my body form, definition, stamina. Also, as hard as I thought I was trying, I was slowly putting on weight as well, which bothered me extremely. It was at this point that I began to consider going to a personal trainer. I thankfully found Marla Battles. Thus began a new and rewarding transformation experience that I had desired. Believe me it wasn't easy and there where times I thought I had reached my limit but through Marla's knowledge, experience and with her positive can do attitude, she inspired me to keep pushing just a little harder and I began to consider working out in a whole new way!

Marla first gave me recommendations on how to change my diet and how to eat healthier, especially in regard to protein intake. My workout sessions became 100% more productive due to all the added routines Marla showed me, targeting on specific muscle groups.

She encouraged me to try new and different techniques, instead of the old boring same repetitious ways. Marla increased my repetitions from 10 -12 and 2 sets each to 20 repetitions at 3 sets each. The changes were dramatic, as I began to notice my body form change, with increased muscle definition, size, strength and stamina. There was never a workout session that Marla didnít show me a new and different workout technique which I always found amazing. In a period of under a year, I lost nearly 20 lbs and 2 inches off my waist. I could wear clothes, I hadnít worn in several years and more importantly gained self confidence in my appearance and myself.

Marla provided me with that extra push that I could have never done on my own. She gave me inspiration by her own positive can do attitude without ever making me feel discouraged or like giving up. She was always there, pushing me just a little harder each time and over the next hump. Marla is the kind of person that anyone can feel comfortable with and in the midst of sweating and maybe cussing under your breathe, still make the workout fun as we laughed and talked about our favorite movies, TV shows, kids and daily life. She is a very caring person in wanting what's best for the person in seeing they make their goals. She is a great friend and the best personal trainer around!!!

-Jeff K. Kansas City, MO


My name is Amanda and I met Marla through the gym I was a member at in KC where she lived before moving to Seattle. Marla helped me with a meal plan designed just for me and a tailored workout to help me reach the goals I wanted to achieve.

What I liked best about working out with Marla was that it never felt like work! She made coming to the gym fun and each workout had a new challenge, so it was never boring or routine. The best thing about her was that she understood there were some bad days sometimes, but she would help me push through them.

She was encouraging and supportive and continues to be, even though she has moved halfway across the country!

Marla brings energy to the gym that you can't help but catch some of when around her. I'm still working on achieving the goals I had set when I first met her, and it's not easy at times, but it's easier to feel they are possible with her support and guidance.

She started out as my trainer, but she's ended up being a friend and mentor, too. Thank you Marla!!!!

-Amanda K. Kansas City, MO


I met Marla Battles when she became my personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness almost 5 years ago. I had watched many of the "trainers" at the club and knew that Marla was different. Most trainers know a lot about muscle strength and conditioning and some know a little about nutrition, but few know a lot about both and have the professionalism and heartfelt dedication that Marla does. I have seen trainers at the club make 300 pound people do things that are completely physiologically unsound. While these people are struggling to do the task, the trainers are looking around at other people or checking their watches and paying absolutely no attention to their client. That never happened with Marla.

Marla assesses the person and sets up training based on their body habitus and prior conditioning. When she is training, she constantly monitors the client to make sure the exercise is being done correctly and that the weight is heavy enough to challenge but not so heavy as to cause injury. She cousels about eating habits and changes that can be made to make dieting easier and stresses the importance of doing resistance training to prevent age induced injuries and illness. Prior to working out with Marla, I was a cardio queen. I would spend hours on the treadmill, but never, ever lifted weights. When I worked out with her, she helped me realize that I have to do both to maintain my health as I age. It isn't so much about looking "hot" as is about being healthy and staying that way.

When my son hit the age of 12, I was disgusted by his PE class at school. The coach never supervised the boys and had them doing things that haven't been considered appropriate for the last 20 years. When is the last time a fitness person or magazine recommended doing full sit-ups? At any rate, I pulled him out of the class and had him train with Marla twice a week. She educated him on the proper way to handle weights, got him used to using muscles that he didn't even know that he had and talked to him about eating habits. More importantly, she helped boost his self-esteem. She is absolutely one of the most positive people that I know and she transfers this karma to everyone she encounters. My son had to do a paper last year about a special person in his life and he chose Marla. She has done wonders for him and for me.

Marla is an awesome personal trainer who has an incredible working knowledge of her subject but, more importantly, is truly dedicated to helping others gain more healthy lifestyles for the long haul. I could not recommend her more highly.î

-Patti F. Kansas City, MO


I was at a point in my life where I knew I needed help to be healthy and to be fit. I only had to look at my parents and the condition of their health and lifestyle to know that I did not want to go down the same path. Not only that, my own weight gain was frightening. I considered different options and even had tried some over-the-counter diet pills but saw no real impact to my life. My husband talked me into going to the gym but I did not feel like I knew what I was doing. I realized that what I needed was a trainer that could work with me and be in my corner to help me get where I needed to be. I needed someone who could teach me how to exercise correctly and how to eat...not diet. I wanted a life change.

I cannot express how grateful I am that Marla was that trainer for me. She gave me the incentive to keep trying when I felt like giving up. She encouraged me, taught me, and stayed in my corner to support me. With Marla in my corner, I found the confidence and the courage and the motivation to keep working. Marla taught me the proper techniques for cardio, free-weight and machine exercise. I learned the importance of doing cardio and weight training combined.

I also learned the importance of what I ate. Marla has a vast knowledge of proper nutrition and many ideas to put good nutrition into your diet. Marla took the time to help me journal and review what was happening on a daily basis. She then helped me to see where I could make the easy and the hard changes in my patterns.

Over time, I developed muscles that made me feel excited and proud. My endurance grew, I was able to use more weight in my exercises. Marla makes training very personal. She makes it a point to know you and learn about your patterns so that she can build a plan for you to become successful in your goals. I count Marla, not only as a my personal trainer, but as a trusted friend.

-Laurie K. Kansas City, MO


After years of being overweight and type 2 diabetic, I finally decided to take steps to improve my health. I signed up for a 12 week program with a personal trainer at the gym in Lee's Summit, Mo. As luck would have it I ended up with Marla Battles as my trainer. From day one I knew she was someone special. She really cares about you and your goals! Marla laid out a meal plan and a workout schedule. With my blood sugar issues, the meals could be tricky but she planned things out and found foods I liked and could eat and always made adjustments to keep me going. The workouts at first seemed hard, but Marla always reassured me it would get easier and the weight would drop off. How right she was! After 12 weeks I lost 47 pounds, put on a pretty fair amount of muscles, and my blood sugar now runs in the 90's consistently. I am wearing the same size clothing I wore in High School 25 years ago!

Marla is one of those rare people you meet that talk the talk and walk the walk. She doesn't ask you to do anything she doesn't do herself. She is a wealth of knowledge for people like me who are kinda gym-challenged. I don't think we ever did the same workout twice in 12 weeks. If I had problems with some lift or exercise, Marla would find another way to work the same muscles. She always gave me her undivided attention during our sessions and always made sure I was in top form.

My life has been changed and probably extended by a great deal and I owe a lot of that to Marla and her training and influence. I will forever be grateful for the time I was able to work with her and thank her so much for helping me.

-Jim W. Pleasant Hill, Mo.