Will Coleman is a Georgia native, but Memphis became home when he was a center at the University of Memphis. He turned down a chance to play professional basketball in Europe to focus his passion in the city he loves.
Will, age 30, now works as a development representative for the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) whose sole mission is to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He also runs his own boot camp class three times a week out of the gym at Colonial Park United Methodist Hospital and spends his weekends teaching spin at Germantown’s CycleBar.
“If you can run, jump, skip or hop on it, I’m usually involved in it,” Will says.
Will has been building up his own “one-stop shop” over the last year to provide affordable opportunities for Memphians to keep their nutrition in check and meet their fitness goals. It’s called Coleman and Company.
“Being healthy and staying in shape has to be a priority because it is expensive,” he says. “It costs a dollar to buy a cheeseburger, but five times as much for a salad. The whole reason I started Coleman and Company was to keep it simple: two dumbbells and a yoga mat.”
His vision is to expand to personal training, group fitness, nutrition education, kettlebell training, and TRX training.
“I have goals, and I’m willing to do what I need to do to meet them,” Will says. “I started this fitness journey to help people. I want to get people from point A to point B with a little hard work. That varies through different methods fit for different people, and that’s the beauty of fitness: getting to see what works for you.”
What works for Will is keeping up with his clients. “I can’t tell someone to do 10 pushups if I can’t do 10 myself. I feel like I need to double it, to be a leader, to put in more work than anyone else,” he says.
Because he is teaching six days a week on top of his work at ALSAC, he consistently pulls 12- or 14-hour days. Interval training is what he loves, and he advocates it for everyone. “It’s ideal: flat surface, quick results, modifications if you need it.”
“The human body is one of the few things you have 100% control over, with the proper discipline and determination,” he says. “The most important thing I like to preach is balance. Not everyone wants to have a raging six-pack and bulging biceps. Some just want overall health, and that’s okay.”
Will’s active lifestyle requires upwards of 4,500 calories a day, the majority of which come from lean proteins and vegetables. Typically, he eats two breakfasts, one with meat and one with eggs, and pasta for lunch. Snacks are bananas, protein bars, and LoveGrown cereal with low-fat milk. Dinner is chicken, steak, or maybe bison, with a side of beans and rice.
“My metabolism still moves at an alarming rate because I am young and so active. It’s a blessing to run around and eat how I want.”
For the average Memphian, Will advocates sticking to the basics: water and rest.
“A lot of people underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and proper nutrition. Just get your proteins and your greens. Keep it real simple,” he says. “Only when you’re trying to gain muscle or lose weight is when you need to worry about weighing out your macros and all that fancy talk.”
His daughter Charli, age 7, is a huge source of motivation for him. Occasionally they share Chick-Fil-A or Jerry’s Sno Cones, but he says she’s “very conscious of what’s going on” when it comes to healthy eating.
“She sees how much I work out, how much her stepfather loves CrossFit, and her mother working at Lululemon. She’s in soccer now and about to start basketball,” he says proudly.
Will fully appreciates the Memphis community, always giving credit to the people who have supported him: Gibson’s Donuts who gave him his first job after college, his friends at diversiFIT, contacts at the hospital, and old coaches.
“I am so grateful for Memphis. I’ve shown my loyalty to this city, and they’ve shown it back,” he says. “I’ve been here almost 10 years. I’m still trying to show my appreciation and give back the encouragement and positivity.”
By India Nikotich
Photo by Tindall Stephens