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Ernest N. Spurlock

Energy Never Stops founder Ernest Spurlock was born in Chicago, raised in Racine, and has lived and trained in Madison, WI for the last 16 years.  He is an NAFC certified personal trainer, amateur boxer, and boxing coach, known for his enthusiastic no BS approach.  His ability to form effective exercise programs is molded by his life’s experiences and his time with the 5th Marine Corps Regiment, but his love for combat sports was first formed at the age of 9, when his parents enrolled him in taekwondo.  Upon discharge from the Marines, Ernest earned his Associate of Arts Degree in video game art and animation before turning his attention back to his health. After a decade spent learning and teaching, he has mastered the ability to safely and effectively teach complex exercises to participants of all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced. His focus on full body functionality is refreshing, motivating, and focused on the things that matter. His programs include both combat based and conventional exercises, promoting balance, strength, endurance, and, above all, knowledge and empowerment.  Ernest’s teachings are born of experience, competition tested, and have been beneficial to hundreds of clients at places like Orthdx Natural Fitness, Peter Krause Fitness, Canvas Club, Omni Fight Club, and many others.  Some of his other notable accolades are his motion capture acting with Mad Marker studios.


When Ernest isn’t training clients, or himself for an upcoming contest, his hobbies include reading a new book, meditating, spending time with his puppy Jada, or expanding his artistic abilities with different 2D & 3D mediums. His energy will motivate, support, and carry you to the version of your best self.


Phillip M.

Working with Ernest is both fun and challenging without any intimidation. You won’t meet a nicer guy with so much knowledge and experience about physical well-being and improving one’s self-image through exercise and a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you see this guy, you know he practices what he preaches. The guy is in amazing shape, and that only makes you wanna try harder. Like any first-rate teacher, Ernest knows how to work with each individual person’s strengths and weaknesses to achieve the best possible outcome. He’ll make adjustments to his workout plans to help you achieve your goals without you feeling stupid or ashamed or just plain unmotivated.


I've been working with Ernest as my personal trainer for 8 months. I am also a frequent attendee of his combat class. I’ve not only gotten stronger, faster, thinner, but I also feel great about myself again. The actual workouts themselves are amazing. Ernest always has new exercises and ways to improve your strength and cardio. He mixes up all the different workouts so you don’t get bored doing the same things over and over. There is a huge variety to what he does. I also like the fact that almost every exercise he teaches you can be done in your own home. I never knew I could work so hard using so little equipment. I’ve learned it’s not all about just machines and pumping out reps. There are many natural ways to work your core and strengthen your muscles without have to sit on a machine. This approach definitely helps lower the intimidation factor in exercising at a gym.


Come on, who wants to sit on a bench-press lifting an “embarrassing” weight when the Incredible Hulk is next to you benching 500 pounds? For me, I’ve been decent my entire life about exercise but absolutely terrible about a healthy diet. As a result, I got up to 250 pounds at 6’2”. My gut was outta control. You know your gut is too big when you can feel it jiggle when driving your car. I got to the point I knew something had to be done. I joined Gold’s Gym and for a month I kinda did my own thing. One day, I went upstairs to work out and hide from all the beefcakes downstairs. I looked in one of the rooms and saw a bunch of people laughing and having fun while working out. I was intrigued. Turns out, it was Ernest’s combat class. He saw me looking in and invited me to participate. One session and I was hooked. I never knew exercising could be so much fun. It really motivated me. Each class is a little different while focusing on core strength, cardio, and even overall strength. The hour-long class goes by in a heartbeat. I find myself sad that it’s over.


One last point about diet, from day one Ernest urged the importance of BOTH diet and exercise. For months I just worked out but still ate the garbage I’ve lived on for years. Don’t get me wrong, I saw the muscle definition, and I noticed the increased strength, but I was still a bit fat. Finally, one training session, Ernest challenged me to eat healthy for just one month. I quit drinking soda. I stopped the candy, sweets, and deep fried foods. Talk about hard! However, in just one month, I lost 16 pounds and at least four inches from my waist. I even saw abs in the mirror for the first time in years. I went down two pants sizes, and, most importantly, I felt great. I was able to buy new clothes and fit in stuff that hadn’t fit in years. I even didn’t feel ashamed to take my shirt off. All of these results were from simple suggestions Ernest provided about eating and living healthy.


Couple the diet with Ernest’s brand of exercise and I feel like I’m 30 again instead of 42. Plus, I sleep like a baby now. Again, Ernest is an outstanding personal trainer and fitness instructor. He leads by example and never makes you feel stupid or intimidated. Everything he does is to make you a better you, a person who looks in the mirror and says “You look marvelous”. (A little shout out to Billy Crystal). In all seriousness, Ernest is a top-notch person who just happens to be one of the best trainers out there. He’s a motivational expert. When was the last time you had a blast while exercising with a smile on your face? If you can’t remember, try working with Ernest for even one session. You’ll be in the best of moods afterward. You won’t regret it.

Deanna G.

Superman, Evil Ernesto, Boss…these are just a few of the names that Ernest has been dubbed by his many clients; mind you there are many more names but probably shouldn’t be repeated here (haha!).  Every name is earned and has its place.  Ernest is the complete trainer.  I’m one of the lucky ones that has been working with him since day 1 so I like to think I would know!  Ernest will meet you where you are; physically, emotionally/mentally, and dietary.


Every workout with Ernest is different and will be physically challenging.  Ernest constantly makes modifications to the workouts so any/all those participating can feel empowered, encouraged, and able.  The variety of his workouts make it easy to come back for more because you never know what you’ll get to do…you just know it’ll be a great workout!  He takes any injury concern seriously no matter how big or small, and finds the things that can still be done safely (without causing further aggravation to the injury).  Ernest will also get in the trenches with you and put his money where his mouth is!  He is never one to leave you hanging, he will jump in right along-side of you, and he will never have you do anything he wouldn’t do himself.  Best of all, he boxes!!!  Before working with Ernest I never knew anything about boxing…. I LOVE BOXING!!!!  Thanks Boss!


Ernest doesn’t just help with your physical (in the gym time) but he also gives you an outlet whenever and wherever needed.  Whether it’s a long day at work, feeling defeated in your routine or diet, or just lots of stress, he will give you an ear.  There’s never been a workout session that I don’t feel better after it’s over (and it’s not just because it’s over!).  Ernest listens and there’s always laughing, joking, and smiling during our sessions no matter how physically taxing the session is.  Even outside of our session times Ernest has supplied me with inspirational videos, quotes, and thoughts that have been helpful to get through even the hardest moments.


Diet…everyone’s favorite word... NOT!  Ernest understands the importance of diet in conjunction with exercise.  Ernest has gone grocery shopping with me, provided me recipes/cookbooks, and even offered to help go through my kitchen to see what’s lurking in the cupboards.  If you’re wanting help with your diet Ernest will take the time to review your food journal and give you suggestions.  My favorite part of about diet conversations with Ernest are he believes in moderation; he’s never preached at me to give up all my favorites, doesn’t criticize or condemn you for a bad day, and is ok with the idea of having treats on occasion.


Ultimately, when working with Ernest I see results.  As Ernest’s client I’ve participated in the Gold’s Gym Challenge twice and placed both times.  Prior to that I had done the Challenge one other time and didn’t even make it 6 weeks in before hanging it up.  Ernest has helped me meet my goals, set new ones, and overall make fitness fun!

Mary Ann N.

In December of 2014 I started my membership at Gold’s Gym.  I was looking for a gym with a pool as I had decided to learn how to swim at age 54.  When I joined I was given a fitness assessment and at that time Personal Training was brought up.  After I lost my first Personal Trainer in July of 2012, I said I would never have another trainer.  I became very close to this Marine and my heart was broken when he left.  As we were talking I said if I had a trainer I would need another Marine who would believe in me more than I believed in myself.  Someone who would get in my face and not let me give up.  At that moment the person said meet Ernest Spurlock. 


Beginning the last week in December 2014 my journey with Ernest began.  When we started I was 170 pounds and today I’m 150 pounds.  Not only has he taken the pounds off, but I have definition in my back, my arms and I have abs!!!!  I am running faster and stronger because of his core workouts.  I love the workouts, even the ones that suck (i.e. planks, squats and six inch holds).  He has introduced me to boxing, and kickboxing, which I love. 


Beside the workouts, he has given me great nutritional tools as well.  He introduced me to new foods like sweet potatoes, kale and spinach.  I’m eating healthy without depriving myself of foods I like.  I could not have asked for a better fit for a trainer than Ernest.  He truly cares about me and my goals.  Most trainers see their clients as just clients.  Not Ernest he truly cares about all his clients.  He has texted me on weekends to see how a long run went or a race.  He truly cares.  My goal was to compete in Ironman Wisconsin by 2019, but as of today that goal has moved up to 2018, because Ernest believes in me more than I believe in myself.  I truly believe when God closes a door, He opens a window.  Thank you Ernest, for being my Trainer and my Friend!

Ernest has been my personal trainer for over a year now.  I value his fitness and nutritional knowledge and expertise, along with his passion for what he does.  Ernest is a true asset to Gold's Gym.  He is not only a great trainer but also a great person who genuinely cares about his clients' well being and goals.  From our individual session to his group classes, Ernest incorporates a variety of exercises that have continued to make me stronger.  If I set a goal and am serious about it Ernest will help me achieve it.  Who knew I could do an 8 minute wall squat? Ernest did and I did it! He helped me train for my first marathon which I ran in a decent time while avoiding injury.  Thank you, Ernest, for all of your support, positive energy and sense of humor.  Even though I sigh and complain during the challenging workouts they are actually fun, too.  Thanks for letting me listen to my songs and dance in between grueling sets.  Now if you could only just eat for me ...  I joke, but thanks to you I know what to do and I know I'll meet my next goal.  Eat better and lose 10 pounds by 22 October - done.

Jen M.

I have been training with Ernest for two years. I have never felt so strong and connected to my body! Fitness and combat training helps me clear my mind, focus on increasing my energy, and pushes me to do things I never thought I would be physically able to do.. Click here to see more

Shira P.

Kendall S.

Ernest is the absolute best trainer I have ever had. When I first started working with Ernest, I was out of shape and overweight. With his help, I was able to drop almost 40 pounds. Not only did I lose weight, but he helped me to improve in overall strength and toning to give me body I wanted. I left Wisconsin in the greatest shape of my life! Since then, I have tried staying in shape on my own, which wasn't working. I called Ernest and he immediately accommodated me with some FaceTime training sessions, which are great as well and just as personable. Needless to say, Ernest is an amazing trainer and I wouldn't use anyone else when it comes to personal fitness!

My wife and I have been training with Ernest over the past 3+ years. He has helped me reach functional strength goals that I never thought were possible. He constantly changes his workouts to keep my body guessing and changing. Workouts include high-intensity, resistance, isometric, and cardio just to name a few. His leg/core/abdominal workouts are next level and your body will thank you after just a couple weeks doing them. The biggest benefit of training with Ernest is the improvement in mental health and stress-relief aspects. The "workout highs" and gains are real!

Ben H.

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