After training clients in “every secular health club in this area,” certified personal trainer and massage therapist Connie Burback said she felt called to branch out on her own and offer health and wellness counseling from a Christian perspective.
Burback opened Temple Training about 12 years ago and continues to offer personal training, massage therapy and nutrition counseling — and a whole lot of prayer — to clients “ages 8 to 85 and beyond,” Burback said.
She offers free half-hour consultations before customizing a fitness training plan.
“I assess what their goals and needs are and then I design a program with them to meet their needs,” said Burback, who has 25 years of experience in the industry. “No two people are exactly the same; we just see how the Lord leads.”
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The former Miss Teen Iowa has been lifting weights since she was 12 years old and was a runner and cheerleader from seventh grade through college. She became a Christian and was baptized in the ocean near Coronado in 1980.
Burback thought she wanted to be a pharmacist like her father, but “God knew better and called me to be a certified personal trainer and help people with preventative medicine,” she said.
Her son, Christian, is also a certified personal trainer and they opened Temple Training together before he moved to Redding.
Burback said she chose the name Temple Training after being inspired by 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
“We need to keep our bodies, minds and spirits fit for God’s kingdom,” Burback said.
Although she originally opened her business near Peach and Alluvial, Burback recently celebrated one year in The Barnyard Shopping Center near Clovis and Barstow avenues. Although the new location is three times larger than the previous building, and more expensive to rent, Burback said God opened the door for her.
“If He calls me, He equips me,” she said. “God also sends me clients from all over. God just kind of drops them in here. It’s a blessing.”
In her second-floor studio, Burback has a private massage room — she offers massage therapy to women only — and a gym featuring weights, a stair stepper, a stationary bike, a treadmill and more.
Her gym features a collection of decorative magnets her clients have brought back from their travels. The decor is beach themed — there’s sand in the paint on the walls — to pay homage to the place where Burback feels closest to God, she said.
Clients usually visit her two to three times a week for physical training and once a week to once monthly for massage. Some come for a few months, others for years, Burback said.
“I had one client for seven years,” she noted. “They needed the encouragement and accountability.”
Some come with specific goals, like a woman who came in using a walker and wanted to regain balance and be able to ride a bike. Through Temple Training, the client was able to ride a three-wheeled bike, Burback said.
“That’s one miracle that God did,” she said.
Burback suffered a back injury two years ago so severe that she slept in a hospital bed at home and used a walker to move around. She rehabilitated through physical therapy.
“Now I see why God let me have that injury,” she said. “My specialty is back injuries and all around injuries. I’ve been through it and now I know how to help people through it.”
Many of Burback’s clients have become her friends because as their personal trainer, massage therapist and prayer partner — she’s an ordained chaplain — they often “share life, cry together and laugh together,” she said. “There’s been a lot of healing at Temple Training. That’s God — that’s not me.”
While many Temple Training clients are from the Fresno-Clovis area, Burback also sees people from Madera, Kingsburg, Sanger and Visalia.
“You don’t have to be a Christian; just come,” she said.
Burback will discuss her rates in person, but says clients shouldn’t worry about the money.
“If God wants you to be here, God will provide,” she said. Gift certificates are available.
Burback is a single mom of two and a grandmother of four. She enjoys the flexibility of her work and has a passion for helping people lead healthier lifestyles.
“I don’t get rich,” she said, “but my riches are in heaven.”
1450 Clovis Ave., Suite 219, Clovis.