Meet Your Trainer - Ben Crane of Do What You Can't

My name is Ben Crane, and how I became a personal trainer is a pretty interesting story. It all started with some pretty serious injuries; injuries that were in the works since I started resistance training in High School. Like most teenage boys, I wanted to look more muscular, which as a naturally tall and skinny guy was (and still is) very difficult. All through college and my mid-20’s I lifted heavy weights with what I thought was good form and adequate nutrition. But at age 27, I strained my back on a heavy set of squats and tore my rotator cuff out of nowhere on a vacation.

Both of these injuries sent me into an operating room, followed by physical therapy. It was in physical therapy that I learned how little muscular control I really had. My shoulder blades were all over the place, I had multiple degenerative discs, a couple that were bulging, SI joint dysfunction, and an endless amount of trigger-points in my hips from so many weak muscles that were compensating for each other.

From then on, I devoted a little time every day to learn how to exercise better. It turned into so much time spent educating myself on physiology, nutrition and exercise science that my wife pointed out that I should consider becoming a Personal Trainer. I had literally never thought about being a professional in the fitness industry, much less a Personal Trainer, until that moment. I laughed it off at first, but over the course of several months, unable to shake the thought from my head, I started to realize just how much I would love sharing with others what I had learned so I could help them avoid and overcome similar challenges. What began as a comment, quickly became a calling.

I thought I knew a lot before pursuing a formal fitness education program, but boy was I wrong. The more certification programs I complete, the more I realize how much more there is to learn, but I have never found a subject I love learning more about than diet and exercise! Not only does it make my life better, but there is nothing more rewarding than the feedback from others when they share how my guidance transformed their lives, not just their bodies!

For those of you discouraged by either weight or an ailment, I’ve been there. Before I became a trainer, I was 30lbs overweight and my back was so bad I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes. I couldn’t even walk with a backpack on, my wife had to wear it on hikes because my back could barely keep me upright without it. I couldn’t believe I was still in my 20’s and felt like I was in my 80’s. What kind of father was I ever going to be if I couldn’t pick up my kids? What kind of husband was I, not being able to pick up my wife? Never in my life had I felt so powerless or emasculated; I felt like a complete failure.

Skip forward to today in my mid-30’s and not only are these problems completely behind me, but I can squat with full range of motion and >300lbs on my back. I can pick up >400lbs off the ground, I can wear a size 32 whenever I want, and I have more muscle than I’ve ever had before. I had 2 surgeons tell me that I needed back surgery to alleviate the amount of pain I was in, and that I would never be able to lift heavy weights again. I chose not to believe them, and I thank God that I said no to back surgery and yes to fitness. I’ve lost a lot of faith in the medical industry. I’m not saying I don’t believe in doctors, but I am 100% certain that far too many people place way too much faith and trust in what a medical doctor recommends, and far too little faith in what fitness can do.

Nowadays, no one wants to work for what they want. They want to throw money at the problem, and trust that a cream, pill, powder or scalpel will provide not just a fast fix, but the best fix. If you want something in life, you need to earn it. When you train with me, you will work, you will work hard, and you will never be more proud of the results you earn because of the fact that you earned them. My job is to lay out the straight and narrow path that safely but quickly gets you leaner, stronger, faster and happier than you’ve ever been with your body. All you have to do is follow it.