From elite athletes to absolute beginners, this trainer is making exercise accessible to everyone.

At 31, Chris Collins is already becoming a well known go-to guy for all things fitness-related in Memphis. With an impressive roster of clients, including top American soccer player Tim Howard and a former NFL defensive back, he’s also earned the position of strength and condition coach for Memphis’s new professional soccer team, 901FC.

This dynamic and outgoing Collierville native grew up competing in football, basketball, and track. Chris went on to play football at Tennessee State University and majored in Exercise Science. While in college, he racked up experience as a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, and then graduated with a masters. He’s also a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

Even though he’s backed by some serious credentials and a notable client list, Chris says, “My goal is to help as many people as I can.” He works with those of all ages and abilities in person and online, and does corporate wellness coaching. “My goal has always been to be able to sit down with anyone, regardless of their level of fitness or socioeconomic status, and be able to help them. Everyone should be able to enjoy good health for a higher quality of life.” 

Chris takes a collaborative approach to training, which he credits to his background in team sports. “It’s easy to find a trainer who will kick your butt,” he says. Instead, he starts with a face-to-face conversation. “I believe in empathizing with people in order to motivate them. Understanding someone means getting to know the whole picture by looking at their social support networks, knowing what challenges they have faced, and taking in their concerns.”

With each person he takes on, he envisions long-term lifestyle changes and doesn’t emphasize a one-size-fits-all approach. “If there’s something a person dislikes, I don’t force that on them. This is particularly true for dieting. You have to see what works best for a person’s body and make it sustainable. This fitness journey is about changes that can be maintained for life.”

Chris has a solid record of helping people reach their aesthetic goals, but his priority is overall health. “I’m happier when I see people come in with great blood work than when they reach a number on the scale or can show off a six-pack. Appearance and athletic performance are great motivators, but I want to train people to be fit and healthy inside and out.”

“The fitness industry loves to promote success stories, but the reality is that there are even more people who lost their motivation and didn’t attain their goals. A good trainer needs to know how to motivate people and keep them motivated.”

Helping people be their best selves is a way of life for Chris. “I love it when a client tells me, ‘It’s getting easier.’ What’s really happening is that they’re getting stronger! That’s beautiful because we don’t need our journeys to be easy. What we need is strength and someone to support us along the way.”

By Caroline Sposto

901FC is Memphis’s new professional soccer team.

Memphis’s new professional soccer team is part of the United Soccer League. The season begins on March 9 with a match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. All home games will be played at AutoZone Park in Downtown Memphis.

For more information, visit

Reach out to Chris at