Jason Brader overcame personal obstacles to become one of the Lehigh
Valley's premier athletic performance trainers
Express-Times Photo | Bill Adams
JASON BRADER hopes to
make his mark as a personal trainer.
The conditions inside Jason Brader's facility - a warehouse at 1716 E. Tremont
St. in Allentown - aren't always ideal.
are days they're downright brutal.
not like a Gold's Gym," Brader said smiling, with an apparent sense of
aren't mirrors on the walls, it's not a social hangout and there aren't
regulated temperatures. We care only about performance and improving
cold outside, it's cold in here. If it's hot out, it's really hot in here.
When you're playing, you can't choose ideal weather conditions or perfect
was a standout football player at Liberty High School and Muhlenberg
College. Now he teaches psychology and coaches football at Phillipsburg High
30-year-old has quickly built a reputation as one of the elite athletic
performance trainers in the Lehigh Valley, relying on a relentless work
ethic and utilizing state-of-the-art Keiser Fitness Equipment inside his
F.A.S.S.T. (Functional, Athletic, Strength, Speed, Training) Performance is
the official name of Brader's self-started business.
no bitching and moaning here, or you're gone," he said. "It's like a badge
of honor to train with us and that's the way I want it."
me," said Liberty sports star Dan Persa, one of Brader's prized pupils, "I'm
not the type of person who sits around and talks. I want to work. And Jason
doesn't give you any breaks. It's demanding and it's a challenge but it's a
fun time and it's rewarding."
who resides in Center Valley with wife Alyson and 21-month-old daughter
Alexis, lives life full-tilt from sunrise to sundown.
drives from his job in Phillipsburg to his gym in Allentown almost daily,
and, along with his staff of five, trains more than 70 athletes of all ages
- some on an individual basis, others in small groups or camps.
F.A.S.S.T. Performance offers packages with prices ranging from $100 to $160
my passion," Brader said.
passion has become big business. Parents are sending their aspiring athletes
to "get an edge" at younger ages, and there is a demand for professional
help, according to Brader.
is to make a full-time career out of personal training.
really enjoy it," he said. "But I love teaching psychology. Not only do I
try to train the body in workouts, I try to teach the mind. I combine the
appreciate Brader's enthusiasm and success is to understand his upbringing
up in a poor section of Bethlehem, and both of his parents died 10 months
apart while he was still at Liberty. Brader moved in with a friend's family
- Paul and Joan Albus, who he credits with keeping his life on the right
remember our house falling apart, laying in bed at night thinking, 'Is this
as good as it gets?' " Brader said. "I refused to believe it was. My mom
taught me what hard work was all about, working two or three jobs to make
ends meet. My dad was an eighth-grade dropout but I learned from him.
when my parents died, I was nothing. I was below dirt. It was a tough time."
to a strong support system and sports, Brader made it through Liberty and
decided to continue his education.
the long road to make something out of myself," he said. "I went to prep
school, I went to junior college, to Muhlenberg, to grad school at Lehigh.
It wasn't always easy but I made it."
Phillipsburg football coach Bob Stem believes Brader's upbringing molded him
into a good role model for young athletes.
is an assistant on Stem's staff and is in charge of everything related to
was an assistant coach at Phillipsburg in track and field until this season.
relates well to kids, gets into their head and talks to them," said Stem,
who coached against Brader when he was still at Bethlehem Catholic. "He's
been there, and he was a heck of a football player himself.
thing is, he's not exclusive to the football team ... I've seen him working
with our golfers and our basketball players, anyone who has a desire to get
"Phillipsburg is lucky to have Jason."
Mondays during football season, the Stateliners never practice in pads. Stem
instead sends his players to Brader.
runs those kids and he'll work 'em really hard," Stem said. "It's probably
the most demanding day of the week for the kids. I'm old now, so I'm easy."
anything but a pushover to the athletes he trains.
high-profile clients include Dustin Barno of Easton, an arena football
player for the Colorado Crush; Justin Gaymon of Phillipsburg, a
nationally-ranked hurdler at the University of Georgia; and Persa, an
all-state quarterback who earned a scholarship to Northwestern University.
always feel like I'm in the best possible shape entering camp," said Barno,
a 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle for the Crush who typically works
with Brader from October to January.
train a lot on speed and agility-type things. I've noticed each year my 225
(bench press) reps have gone up and my 40-yard (dash) times have gone down."
working out with Brader this summer until he leaves for Evanston, Ill., and
program's been very beneficial to me," The Express-Times Football Player of
the Year said. "I've built strength and speed. He's made me a better
present, Brader is content teaching by day, running F.A.S.S.T. at night and
enjoying his family. (The Braders' second child is due this fall.)
future, he hopes to make a career out of training athletes to reach their
big," Brader said. "I'm a high-risk, high-reward type guy. I don't go into
things expecting to fail. I'm going to go for it."
From The Express-Times --
May 7, 2007