Local trainer motivates clients of all types, abilities

Known for training champion bodybuilders and bikini models, Doug Casebier also trains athletes, rehab patients and 'normal' people
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Personal trainer Doug Casebier requires complete focus and dedication from his clients, and he won’t accept anything less. But as he directs client Cindy Morgan in exercises to strengthen her upper body on a recent afternoon and she huffs and puffs, the pair joke about the funny, strained faces she makes as she lifts 70-pound weights. The 53-year-old trains three days a week, an hour each time. “He’s just awesome because he’s working your tail off but he makes you like it,” Morgan says, in-between repetitions. “He’s so motivating. I don’t even think about not coming to the gym.” Casebier, 40, co-owns Sugar Fyx Fitness Studio in Roseville. He’s been training Morgan for almost two years and she’s one of several clients. But that doesn’t mean they’re all the same to him. He creates a unique training program for each client, applying what works best based on individual lifestyles. “A trainer needs to pay attention and adjust the workout properly,” Casebier says. “My clients know they can tell me everything … (and) they should never just be another client coming through the door.” This mentality has made Casebier an increasingly popular local trainer, and the go-to guy for women and men around the world looking to excel in the fierce industry of bodybuilding, figure competitions and bikini modeling. He’s taking four clients to the Amateur Bodybuilding Association and International Natural Bodybuilding Association World Championships Saturday, Oct. 16 at Cosumnes River College. Casebier and his business partner, Marquis Phillips, currently have about 85 clients and seven trainers at their gym, but Casebier also has several more clients throughout the world, including in Canada and Australia. “I’m a caretaker,” he says. “That’s what I do.” Raised in the Bay Area, Casebier’s parents divorced and his dad suffered from alcoholism. The self-described “biggest mama’s boy you’ll ever meet” says his mom means everything to him, and he often gushes over girlfriend and fellow trainer, Karen Dancer. As a trainer of fitness competitors and bikini models, he meets lots of beautiful women and treats each with respect. “My mom taught me the value of a woman,” he says. The young athlete injured himself playing football so as an 18-year-old fresh out of high school, he pursued personal training and nutrition. And his passion continues some 22 years later. He typically works 13-hour days, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., although he gives himself a break on Thursdays. Casebier may be best known for his high-profile clients, such as Chady Dunmore who won the Overall Professional Bikini Championship at the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation World Championships in Toronto in September. She made the cover of the Press Tribune in May after winning the 2010 Arnold Classic. Dunmore is on his Team Total Body Advantage, which includes about 10 women who compete in national and international bodybuilding and fitness challenges. “It’s competitive, it’s not a hot body contest,” he says. “I put them through absolute hell. I train them like they’re Navy Seals.” He helps shape their physiques, develop a balanced meal plan and learn the tricks of the trade. But these tricks don’t include shortcuts — Casebier requires that his clients stick to a strict rule of no steroids, performance enhancers, diuretics or appetite suppressors. He said every so often “goddesses” enter the fitness studio, clearly on steroids, which “breaks his heart,” and he tells them to get out and clean up. Teaching people about natural weight loss and healthy eating is another one of his fortes. “I’m not good at what I do because I have some magical cure,” he says. “But because I’ve taken the time to educate myself.” Casebier devotes equal passion to the athletes, physical-therapy patients, weight-loss and “normal” clients he also trains, including Morgan. As the owner of Mt. Pleasant Stallion Station in Lincoln, Morgan has a demanding job working with horses and baling haystacks. She’s suffered numerous injuries through the years and went through several fitness professionals seeking the right fit. Then she found Casebier. And the two agree — they belong together. “I started getting stronger and stronger,” Morgan said. “I dropped probably 15 percent of my body fat and three dress sizes. And I healed from my injuries.” Her two daughters, both in their 20s, now train with Casebier, who Morgan describes as wonderful and honest. “I am a firm believer, just do good by people,” Casebier says. “We don’t live by the almighty dollar. We actually truly care about other people’s results. When you cure people from the inside out, you’d be amazed at what people can do.” Sena Christian can be reached at ---------- Doug’s tips to be a great trainer: 1. Have a genuine interest in the client’s goals 2. Build a realistic health plan for the client’s lifestyle 3. Make the client accountable to herself and the trainer 4. Stay involved and consistently revisit the client’s goals, helping to set new goals as she progresses 5. Once you help the client reach his goals, teach him how to maintain his newfound health and fitness for the rest of his life Doug’s tips for clients: 1. Set goals for yourself on a daily or weekly basis: “Set a goal. It doesn’t happen, just because.” 2. Make sure your trainer is someone you enjoy spending time with 3. Focus on lowering body fat, not pounds 4. Make up your mind and stick to it: “The things you can do when you make your mind up is crazy.” 5. Know what you eat: “It’s not just about calories in, calories out. It’s about what kind of calories.” ---------- For more information about Team Total Body Advantage, visit To learn more about Sugar Fyx Fitness Studio in Roseville, visit