Chris Runyon’s experience as a college athlete, personal trainer, strength coach, and gym owner has given him a special appreciation for fitness. He believes the understanding of fitness and the importance of a healthy lifestyle begins at a young age and will provide the body and mind what it needs to develop properly. Chris also believes it is never too late to start a fitness program.
His focus is to build confidence in the individuals he works with so they can reach their goals and perform at a higher level in everything they do.
NSCA – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
ACE: Peer Fitness Certification
B.S. in Exercise Science
Working, Camping, My Dog.
Operations Manager - BA
About Heather Patterson
Heather spent 13 years as a competitive and recreational dancer which gives her a great understanding and respect for athletes, and attracted her to hire a personal trainer so she could reach her own fitness goals. She is a recent graduate of Arizona State University, with a BA in communications, and a minor in public relations. Heather values the importance of outstanding customer service and takes pride in being the first point of contact for new and existing members of Elite. By making everyone feel welcome, Heather’s goal is to ensure Elite is the facility in which all members and guests feel comfortable. Approaching the 3 year mark at Elite, she has enjoyed watching the business grow and feels a sense of pride in the hard work and accomplishments of many of Elite’s members and athletes. Heather is positive that Elite’s future will hold many more great achievements for our members and many more championships for our athletes.
Traveling, relaxing poolside, and spending time with family.
Fitness Specialist - BS, PT, DC
About Erica Layton
Erica brings 30 plus years of experience in the health and fitness industry to Elite. This includes 15 years of clinical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Nutrition, and 30 years of personal training and group exercise instruction. Mother of 6, Grandmother of 4, Erica personally as well as professionally understands the importance of lifetime wellness, time management, staying active and injury free, as well as facing weight challenges throughout a lifetime.
To Erica, wellness is a core value. Wellness equates to balance. All the body’s systems (physical, chemical, mental) must be in balance to achieve true health and wellness.
Her background as a collegiate track athlete, Chiropractor, Personal Trainer, and Corrective Exercise Specialist provide Erica with knowledge to help EVERYONE achieve their exercise goals (no matter how broken) in order to balance the physical part of the wellness equation. Erica believes activity and exercise is appropriate and necessary for everyone to improve and maintain quality of life if done in a safe, supervised environment.
BS-Biochemistry. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Doctor of Chiropractic. Palmer, Davenport, IA
Personal Training Certifications: YMCA, ACE, NASM
Group Fitness Certifications: YMCA, AFFA, ACE
NASM: Corrective Exercise Specialist
Functional Medicine: Functional Medicine Institute Gig Harbor, WA
American Heart Association: CPR/AED/FA Instructor
Exercising, Time with family and dogs, Hiking/camping, 4 –wheeling, and Marksmanship
Aaron Whitten, nutritionist and trainer for Elite Sport and Fitness, has over twenty years of experience in the industry. He has competed in over sixty bodybuilding contests and several dozen power lifting meets including international level competitions. His primary strength is in the field of nutrition which is feels is the single most important element for success in any athletic endeavor. He has helped individuals ranging from professional athletes to those needing to lose hundreds of pounds. Whatever your goal, Aaron feels that he can help you to achieve it with the power of precision nutrition.
Bachelors from ASU in History and premedical sciences, emphasis on chemistry and physics. He is a 2017 doctoral candidate in naturopathic medicine (NMD)
ACSM- Personal Trainer
Aaron has been involved in martial arts for thirty years and has been professionally ranked. He has also competed in amateur strongman events and enjoys integrating the movements into his client’s workouts. Additionally, he is an avid reader of political, religious and medical journals and books. Aaron is a published author of several hundred articles, mostly on the topic of health and wellness and has plans to write a book after finishing his current degree.
Fitness Specialist - BS
About Kyle Arnold
Kyle Arnold comes to Elite from Iowa where he attended high school and college. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science/ Human Performance with a minor in coaching from Buena Vista University (BVU). Kyle played football for BVU and served as a team captain in 2015. He looks to use his experience as a college athlete to help improve individuals athletic performance.. Kyle has worked with athletes of various age groups, serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Ridgeview High School, Holstein, IA. Additionally, Kyle was a prominent figure in his collegiate strength and conditioning program as well. He served as the interim football strength and conditioning coach at BVU from December 2015 through January 2016. Kyle has also been involved in Unified Sports Day sponsored by Special Olympics, in promoting physical activity and competition for individuals with disabilities. Kyle enjoys helping others reach their specific goals in athletic performance and overall fitness.
BA Degree Exercise Science/Human Performance – Buena Vista University (May 2016)
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (May 2016)
Hanging out with friends and family, working on and with cars and weightlifting
Fitness Specialist - BA, NASM, Tribe Master Coach
About Justin Bates
Justin’s experience as a college athlete showed him the importance of training and nutrition and further shaped his passion for fitness and helping others. Justin has over 11 years of experience in the fitness industry and has worked with a wide range of of people ranging from professional athletes in the NFL, MLB and NBA to kids and adults 90 years young.Justin believes if you move better, more often and add some strength you will feel better and be better prepared for anything life throws at you! Justin specializes in functional movement, strength and conditioning and fat loss. He uses a wide variety of tools and systems to help his clients achieve their goals.Justin also believes in the power of team work, because together we can achieve more!
NASM CPT, PES3
Tribe Team Training Master Trainer
Barefoot Specialist Level 1 and 2
Working out, writing programs, hitting balls at batting cages and driving range, reading books on training and successful people, hiking, watching sports, spending time with family.
Fitness Specialist - BS
About Rachael Labender
Rachael has been a personal trainer for over five years and is excited to bring her passion to Elite Sport and Fitness! Rachael holds her bachelors degree in Nutrition and Exercise and Wellness from Arizona State University. She is an active IFBB Pro bikini competitor and specializes in helping people get ready for fitness competitions. She also loves working with anyone who wants to increase their strength, lose fat, and learn how to accomplish their own unique goals. Finding each person’s unique motivations and showing them that they can achieve what they once thought was impossible is what makes this career so rewarding for Rachael!
BS in Nutrition and Exercise and Wellness – Arizona State University IFBB Pro Bikini
Spending time with family, Hanging out with her dog Lucy and Exercising
Sandra comes to Elite from Massachusetts with over 30 years of experience in personal training, stretch therapy and fitness team management. Her passion passion for fitness began with youth sports playing softball for local teams, recreational running and racquetball. She was a group exercise director and teacher for 10 years before moving onto personal training. Sandra spent the next 10 years at a Division III college writing and implementing strength and conditioning programs for basketball, soccer, golf, ice hockey, swimming and softball. For the past 10 years, she was the Director of Fitness and Coaching at a fitness and wellness facility. Sandra believes that the human body is gift capable of achieving great things – and deliberate, goal-based movement on a regular basis is the key to longevity and a better quality of life.
Tribe Team Training – Tribe Life, Tribe Core, Tribe Fit, Tribe Kids
(AIS) Active Isolated Stretching – Basic and Advanced Techniques
Trigger Point and Soft Tissue Release
Fitness Specialist - Performance Coach
About Cameron McDonald
Cameron McDonald comes to Elite with a desire to impact the lives of the people he trains. Cam was raised in Arizona and received his degree from Northern Arizona University. While at NAU Cam was a collegiate hockey player and was captain of the team during his senior season. After college, Cam moved back to the valley and has been involved in the physical therapy and sports performance fields. He combines the best of both fields to develop training programs. Cam believes in the proven results of functional training, and corrective movements, and he is always trying to learn more about the field of strength and conditioning. He knows by continuing his education he can better serve his clients and help them reach their fitness or performance goals. His philosophy is smarter training, better results.
Education / Certification:
NSCA – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist C.S.C.S.
B.S. Exercise Science – NAU
Golf, Hockey, Spending Time with Friends
Fitness Specialist - Performance Coach - BS, ACE
About Tyler Holmes
Tyler Holmes comes to Elite with a passion for fitness and past experience as a college athlete. He was born and raised in Chandler, AZ and was a two-sport athlete at Chandler High school. Tyler accepted a football scholarship to play at Fort Lewis College in 2012. While at Fort Lewis, he was a leader in the strength and conditioning program. After moving back to Arizona, he became a high school football coach and strength and conditioning coach for a local school. Tyler eventually found his way to NAU where he pursued and obtained a degree in Fitness and Wellness with a minor in Business. He believes that his experience as an athlete and coach helped shape his training philosophies and makes it easy to relate to youth, high school, and collegiate athletes. He works to see others progress and improve their athletic performance as well as general fitness. Having the opportunity to play a huge role in changing someone’s life is the reason why Tyler loves what he does!
BS Degree Fitness and Wellness w/ Exercise Science Accreditation- Northern Arizona University
ACE Personal Trainer
Tribe Team Training- Tribe Fit, Tribe Life
Hanging out with friends and family, watching/playing sports, exercising
Fitness Specialist – Performance Coach
About Nick Johnson
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Nick Johnson was very active in sports and recreation. His love for football took him to California where he played at the junior college level. After two years, he earned an athletic scholarship to play football at Northern Arizona University. His exposure to college athletics, other athletes and coaches introduced him to a world of passion about fitness and health. After football, he developed a passion for exercising and encouraging others to reach their fitness goals. Nick had the opportunity to intern with the Head of Strength and Conditioning for NAU where he worked with various sports teams in the design and implementation of their workout programs. Nick is excited to bring his passion to Elite to help other athletes better their performance and to also improve the daily lives of his clients.
BS Exercise Science
NSCA CSCS (June 2017)
Working out, Watching sports, Designing programs, Eating, Traveling, Spending time with family
About Trevor Pyska
Trevor comes to Elite as a hard charger ready to use his education in strength and conditioning and experience in the military to improve lives through physical fitness, proper diet, and discipline. Born and raised in Arizona, he found his love for powerlifting and Olympic lifting while working on his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Arizona State University. After graduating, he joined the United States Marine Corps to serve his country. Teaching fellow Marines the proper way to exercise and keeping them in fighting shape led him to pursue a new-found passion in personal training where he hopes to aid others in bettering themselves through exercise and showing them the strength within themselves they didn’t know they had.
Education / Certification:
NSCA Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F)
B.S. Criminal Justice and Criminology from ASU
Exercise, music, cooking, computer technology, and reading.