GREAT BARRINGTON -- For people who suffer with pain or discomfort associated with a variety of health reasons, including stroke, surgeries, athletic injuries or chronic joint or muscle pain, the idea of physical training can be overwhelming.
But with the right trainer, those people can learn to work through their pain and reach their peak fitness goals.
At Berkshire Functional Fitness in Great Barrington, owner Antoine Alston has brought in an Olympics-level conditioning specialist and fitness trainer to help clients do just that.
Glen de los Reyes, known as a biomechanics specialist, has recently returned to the United States after providing his skills to both the men's and women's Canadian beach volleyball teams at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Now he brings his expertise in biomechanics and his certified training as a Muscle Activation Technique specialist to help clients achieve their goals.
Alston said Reyes fits in well with the programming at his fitness center, which focuses on helping people perform natural human physical activities and motions with strength and without pain.
"We work to give our clients the skills to maintain movement independence and functional strength for life," Alston said.
He said Reyes has a unique ability to identify the physical motion-related source of discomfort; quickly understanding the type of physical movement training needed to alleviate the discomfort and providing strength to areas of weakness needed to correct the situation.
"He says that if a client needs to see him for more than two sessions, he doesn't feel good about himself," Alston said. "He can get you out of pain fast. He'll figure it out and fix it, and then strengthen you so you don't have to deal with it again."
The center features a 4,000-square-foot, two-story structure with cardio treadmills and some machine-based weight training equipment as well as Human Sport training equipment, which offers independent weight-based movement training, allowing for a wider range of movement, strength, flexibility and balance, Alston said.
The other is a studio space for classes in fitness, movement and even yoga.
Alston, 39, was raised in Housatonic and is a 1991 graduate of Monument Mountain Regional High School, where as running back and captain he helped the football team win its first county championship. He has been personal trainer for 19 years, and has performed more than 18,000 hours of fitness training with clients from all walks of life and a variety of physical ailments.
He also has worked as a personal trainer with some well-known clients, including Woody Harrelson during production for "White Men Can't Jump" and Danny Glover to help prepare for one of the "Lethal Weapon" movies.
Alston said he's always enjoyed athletics and fitness work.
"I always loved it, even as a kid," he said. "Of course, I had no idea back then it would be my career."
Berkshire Functional Fitness, at 325 Stockbridge Road, opened in November 2010 and offers a number of membership options.
"We're trying to give people the tools to be empowered," Alston said. "The body is amazing if you give it what it needs."
To reach Scott Stafford:
or (413) 496-6241.
On Twitter: @BE_SStafford