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MADISON, Ala. – Fitness is just as much a mental game as it is physical and sometimes having a mental block can keep you from your goals. Charles Gardner, CEO of Synergy Strength Systems, says he not only loves to see the physical and mental strength they gain from training with him but also their achievements.

“My favorite part of that is watching people actually go from not believing in themselves to believing in themselves,” Gardner told News 19.

Synergy Strength Systems operates out of Empire Fitness in Madison, a full-service gym that offers everything from Personal training to Yoga.

Gardner says the concept behind Synergy is simple. “I worked at a hospital as a transporter and thought how do I help people,” Gardner said, adding that with his knowledge in fitness and wellness and the individual bringing their strengths, “Magnifying everything about you, the individual.”

When it comes to personal training, Gardner brings a lot to the table. A Bachelor of Science in psychology and certifications in strength and conditioning, personal training and sports performance nutrition.

Being successful in your journey boils down to listening on both sides. “If I can reduce the amount of stress that they are under by listening to what they’re wanting, not putting my own personal demands on them, then I can get through,” Gardner said.

No matter what age, race or gender, Gardner takes time to get to know his clients and makes sure they can achieve their goals.

Not everyone has the same goals. Gardner says he evaluates each person individually and bases their journey on their capabilities. The key to success is consistent work towards their goal and that takes time.

“They can see the progress with the strength goal and they can also see the process with the strength goal. If that’s the case, then their adherence is going to be better. They’re going to stick to it, they’re going to keep coming back,” Gardner said.

Gardner says the most rewarding part about his profession is seeing his clients achieve and reach their goals.

“If I can teach them to not be afraid of that and that takes time. Each person is different, some latch on to the mental tricks and others it takes a while. This is that patience aspect but once I see them overcome that or once they see themselves overcome that. That’s the most important thing, them seeing themselves overcome it. Once they do that, it’s like a rocket ship straight to the moon,” Gardner said.

But, he says he couldn’t have gotten to where he is today if it wasn’t for those clients who continue to come back, his dad Billy Gardner, Mentor Andy McCloy of BCI Performance and Fitness and Sarah Longshore, Owner of Empire Fitness where he currently operates out of.

Gardner is constantly looking for more ways to always help out in the community. Most recently he’s working on a community outreach program that will be geared towards Breast Cancer Awareness, in honor of his mother who passed.

It’s safe to say, Gardner’s heart is as big as his expectations of his clients. I was even able to hit a personal best on the bench press in the short time I was there.

If you would like to train with Gardner, click here to visit his Facebook page or you can call, (256) 683-0775 or email,

News 19’s Yvette Sanchez reached her personal best during her session with Gardner.