Albemarle Neighbor: For personal trainer, a healthy life is a winning life

By Anna Goodwin McCarthy


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As the sun rises on the Pasquotank River, Donnie Markham is a few blocks away on Main Street helping people get a start to a new day with a healthy fitness routine.

Markham started Go Training Camp in January 2012.

“It is for all fitness levels,” said Markham who has trained people from 14 to 73 years old.

Certified as a personal trainer since 2001, Markham said he works with people in his bootcamp and personal training program three mornings a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. to 7 a.m. Markham said he recently started an evening session twice a week from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays conducted by another personal trainer.

“Everyday is different,” said Markham. “It is all functional training.”

Some of the most effective exercises utilize the kettle bell, “One of the oldest exercise tools,” according to Markham.

“The kettle bell focuses around the core moving in multiple planes,” said Markham.

Markham said he keeps people energized by providing new exercises and routines. As the music plays in the background, “You are wide awake after the first or second exercise,” said Markham.

“Probably one of the best full body exercises is the burpee,” said Markham.

Markham said the best aspect of working with his clients is helping them achieve their fitness goals.

“There is no better feeling,” said Markham.

Originally from Perquimans County, Markham grew up playing sports as a member of his high school football and baseball teams.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years where he learned a rigorous fitness regimen. He moved to Elizabeth City in 1999, and worked for the Police Department for a few years.

Markham is currently a sales representative with Verizon.

Markham said he became involved in power lifting and entered Strongman Competitions. Pulling fire trucks, lifting Atlas stones and flipping large tires were some of the events that Markham participated in, leading to a back injury and surgery six years ago.

After his surgery, Markham decided to concentrate on his own physical fitness through core exercises and running.

He said he enjoys sharing his love of sports with his three children, Josh, Austin and Kyndall. Markham said his son, Josh, a recent graduate of Northeastern High School, received a wrestling scholarship to Old Dominion University.

Last weekend Markham organized his 3rd annual Culpepper’s Rebellion 5K Mud Run. He said he first participated in similar mud run obstacle courses in the Marines.

Markham said he was motivated to start the event to benefit local charities and give back to the community. Four community organizations benefited from this year’s event.

Dedicated to helping others through fitness, Markham helps people “create a lifestyle change.”

At the end of each Go Training Camp morning session, Markham asks people to bring their hands together and he repeats “One, two, three win!”

“No matter what you are doing in life you should try to win,” said Markham, inspiring his clients to excel at leading a healthy life.