Some reviews from some 5 Rings Systems Members and Students
I’ve been participating in small group (5 people) personal training sessions five times a week for approximately the past month with James Neidlinger at Balanced Fitness. In that relatively short period of time James has helped me significantly decrease back and neck pain, and increase strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular duration. What is most refreshing about James personal training style is that he works with you and your physical and mental limitations to incrementally improve your physical well being based on your goals. His motto, ” Better is Better “. If you are looking for a personal trainer to work with you, not break you, and improve the overall quality of your life, James is your guy. -Reno Harnish, San Diego CA
My personal trainer is James Neidlinger, a great believer in using neuro science in his workout regimens. James has a passion and commitment to help his clients achieve the results they want. James has introduced me to a whole different way of looking at workouts. They have also become a lot more fun and interesting to me. I have more agility and mobility (I’m 60) than I have ever had at any age. With James, you learn to test the exercise you’re doing at the moment with the body itself through muscle testing. This has been an eye opener for me in that you’re actually in contact with your body about the exercise you are currently doing. James’ exercise regimens incorporate a great deal of flexibility to allow the body the exercises it deems appropriate at any given time (through muscle testing).
I highly recommend James Neidlinger for anyone who wants to get results for their body in the most effective ways. He is a great personal trainer for the 21st Century. -Keith Capp, San Diego CA
Being told by your doctor that you are borderline diabetic and in high risk blood pressure territory is never a good thing. I decided that working with James was a way to start on the right road. Turns out, it was the best decision about my health I could have made. After assessing my abilities and potential improvement points, James set me on a course for better diet, achievable training results, and effective neurological triggers that I could employ to reverse the damage I had caused. In the six months I have been working with him I have lost 55 pounds, completely left the at risk diabetes category, ceased my blood pressure medication as my doctor recognized the results, and am now outpacing my kids in activities. This man changed my life. I am sure he also appreciated my kids writing him the thank you cards that simply read, “thank you for making my daddy not fat!!” Working with James is an education and a life changer. Do not miss the opportunity to do so.
Bryan Woodyard, Tuscon AZ
James did a fit assessment with me, and taught me some Z-health corrective exercises. The exercises dramatically increased my range of motion and posture within a half an hour. I consider him highly adept.
Paul Berg, Minnepolis MN
James is an outlier. He should be the norm, the standard by which others are measured. In my career as a coach, inventor, entrepreneur and overall fit pro, the input, guidance and education James gave me established the key turning points of my progress. Sharing cigars and fine liquor is an added quality.
Philippe Till, Meta-Systems Training, Santa Monica CA
Extremely thoughtful, lateral thinker. Someone putting the fun back in healthy, skillful movement. A practicer and well as a teacher; with open mind and closed fist.
Zachariah Salazar, Phoenix AZ
Not only is he an excellent trainer who will teach you movement, martial arts and personal training, but gives it to you with the wisdom of a life coach. 2 Birds, One Stone. One awesome instructor…
Matt Regaldo, CA
I am patrol officer in a midsize police department, and assigned to our dual-purpose SWAT team. I have been training with James on-and-off for several years. I initially was introduced to James by some friends of mine with a shared interest in martial arts. James is able to provide excellent physical and martial training, and gear it toward your specific needs. In a group of individuals with mixed needs, he was able to tailor each drill to fit those needs, without extraneous “because that’s how it’s traditionally done” drills. I have found his training platform to be highly effective, and still acceptable within proper use of force procedures. Whether it is low end joint locks and control techniques, or high end close quarters firearms use, the platform he teaches meshes well, and does not require additional techniques to accomplish the same goal. He also makes a point to be up to date on use of force and self defense law, to enable students to be able to correctly judge and articulate when force is necessary, and why it was used. In addition to martial training, he is an excellent physical fitness coach, and was able to provide tools to stay in shape in general, as well as address specific concerns related to low back pain from sitting and carrying heavy gear for the entirety of my work day. As icing on the cake, he has an excellent sense of humor. If you can’t find a way to have fun while training with him, you’ve done something wrong. -Jay Bloyer, ND
I had known James for about a year before I started training with him. He was a customer at a coffee shop I worked at, and he was just “the weird trainer dude who put MCT oil in his coffee”. 🙂 Then when I started training with him, I realized how beneficial his knowledge base could be for more areas of my life than just lifting or physical movement. He has a vast knowledge of how the human body works, which influences his training technique, how he coaches you through tougher movements, how he helps you heal, and how he gives advice on other areas of life (nutrition, habits, self discipline, life in general).
Some of James’ coaching may feel silly and weird and uncomfortable at first, but once you start following his plan and guidance, you see yourself and your capabilities change. I came into James’ classes barely being able to hold myself up in a plank, and using very light weights just for basic movements. One of the last classes I did with him I was deadlifting 175 pounds and doing hand stands! After 6 months of training! (I honestly never believed I could do either of those things!)
I think Minneapolis definitely lost out on James moving away, but I’m glad more people get to train with him!
Danielle Cox, Minneapolis MN
Dear James, I want to send Alaina and you special congratulations on your new life together! While I am disappointed you are no longer here in Minneapolis, I completely understand and I hope you thrive and grow in your new community of San Diego, CA. Since we started working together at Corrective Exercise Specialists and eventually Vinna Fitness in Minneapolis in 2013, I have seen significant progress in my mindset, physical agility and functional fitness. You and the team at CES/Vinna have been incredible. I came to CES as a hardcore competitive CrossFitter with great results but constant injuries due to repetitive poor movement under load. I have been happily injury-free with higher levels of performance ever since. My dedication to constant improvement is due to your encouragement and coaching which is now sustained by your fellow team members at Vinna. You are irreplaceable though, James! I am especially thankful for the passion, dedication and enthusiasm you put into your practice. Here are some specific attributes that make you a special coach and trainer, James: 1.) You practice what you preach so you are authentic. You are a product of your practice which also creates authenticity. Authenticity creates trust, validation, confidence and compliance among athletes and fitness clients; 2.) You are an ardent student and learner. You have an open mind and can see the correlation and practical application of consistent themes across wide movement domains and disciplines; 3.) You have a keen coaching eye and open coaching method dominated by the Socratic method….answer questions and problems by asking questions and forcing the listener to guided resolution rather than a “trust me” or “figure it out yourself” or “bummer….too bad” or “my way or the highway” method. 4.) You encourage your clients to savor and enjoy the journey and to have fun. 5.) You use structured and thoughtful play to help your clients accomplish many objectives. 6.) You are a student of movement, balance and life. You are always learning and turning around to share your gifts to those who treasure them. You are an expert not only in movement but also in balance, visual correlation/acuity, mobility, human energy and fueling systems, breathing patterns and their correlation to performance, mental attitude for performance, etc. James, the best part is that you become a trusted friend to your clients. It’s not a job to you. You are helping people and making a positive difference in people’s lives and you just happen to get paid for it. Come home to visit often James!
Best Regards Greg Larson Greg Larson Chief Executive Officer
Allison-Williams Company Investment Bankers
James Neidlinger has worked as my personal trainer for about three years.
He had purpose in his circuits. He could also provide an insightful explanation of what the intent of a specific exercise or drill was. He gained my complete trust.
He taught me to love clubs, pads/gloves, kettle bells and eye movement drills. Sorry, I am still not in love with the rowing machine.
He excels in what I consider important from an instructor/trainer. He listens. He has an excellent “toolbox” in response to particular needs. James is a lifetime student. He is not satisfied with the status quo. He wants to learn and have students benefit from his learning. I did and am very grateful.
Mike Hamilton- Minneapolis MN
“If you’re looking to improve your skills as a “human,” – look no further than James. His knowledge and tools to train and test the brain, vision and body will make you better. As a distance runner, he helped me work on my breathing and strength to preform better, running faster and farther. If you get the chance, take the time to train with James, you won’t regret it.”
-Blaine Thompson-Minneapolis MN
James Neidlinger has been my personal trainer for the past 3 years during which I saw him two to three times per week. James is very conscientious conservative and creative in his approach to training. His thoughtful training sessions were never dull, from the use of Indian clubs to proper breathing and neurologically engaging eye exercises during warm up I always felt primed for the workouts. James natural empathy for clients and their wellbeing resulted in very creative training sessions that included.cardio strength flexibility elements interspersed with engagingly enjoyable boxing or fighting stick routines. I always felt better after training with James and often felt his watchful eye urging me to demonstrate better form while preventing injury. As a result I enjoy improved range of motion, flexibility, strength and stamina.
Unfortunately for me James and his wife recently moved to San Diego. I miss my sessions with James and would encourage anyone searching for a great personal trainer to hire him. I promise you will be engaged with a true professional who gets results for his clients.- Phil Dow, Minneapolis MN
I started working with James Neidlinger at Vinna Fitness in Minneapolis in February 2015. Vinna was the first gym I had ever joined where there was a focus on strength training and functional movement. As a newcomer to both of these areas, James was both incredibly patient and helpful as a trainer. He was more than willing to help me work on things that I wanted particular focus on, and through this we managed to get a special deadlifting class started on Friday evenings which proved to be one of the most popular classes of the week. One of the best things about working with James was being able to tap into his extensive knowledge of neuroscience and the brain’s connectivity to the body. Any pain or discomfort that I came in with, he was able to run various movement tests for to figure out where it was coming from, and offered various exercises to help improve mobility in the affected area. Although he vigorously denied being a licensed medical professional, he was the closest thing to a voodoo witch doctor that I think I will ever have. My strength, mobility and attitude improved dramatically while working with James. Rather than working out to be slimmer, I wanted to work out to be stronger, and learned to value my strength. In July, I was able to put my strength to the test in a very practical situation outside of the gym. At my workplace, we had a fire alarm go off in the middle of a large event that I was managing, and we had to evacuate over 100 septuagenarians. Many of these people had difficulty walking down five flights of stairs and I had to carry down someone in a wheelchair. This was something that six months ago, I may have not had the physical strength to do, but also would not have had the confidence that I could do it. James’ coaching has had a big impact on me. Not simply on just my mobility and physical strength, but it has helped me realize the value of fitness for my long-term health. When I started Vinna, I had just moved to Minneapolis after years of living abroad, and James helped make Vinna a community rather than just a place to get yelled at and sweat (my previous concept of a gym). Even after he moved to San Diego, he still keeps in touch, enquiring about my fitness progress and the deadlifting class that we started. His skills, knowledge, humor and dedication make him, in my view, an excellent trainer.
-Sasha Hulsey, Minneapolis MN