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Mario L. Koonce:  A competitive bodybuilder, Fitness Professional, Certified Personal Trainer, and Exercise Rehabilitation Therapist


With degrees from Western Illinois University and Loyola University Chicago, Mario L. Koonce is also a professionally certified nutritionist. With over 18 years of fitness industry experience, he utilizes his education and expertise to assist clients in achieving weight loss/management/gain goals, and rehabilitation therapy patients to regain functional mobility, flexibility, and independence. “Coach Koonce” (as he is affectionately called), also conducts sport-specific training for athletes (baseball, basketball, football, and golf), administers group fitness classes and Boot Camps for seniors, adults, and youth and develops fitness programming options for facilities. He is also an International Sports Sciences Association certified personal trainer, a Silver Sneakers certified instructor, and skilled public speaker who conducts wellness-related workshops and seminars. Additionally, he is the founder and developer of the Silver Foxes, Grey Wolves© senior fitness program, FitKidz© Youth Fitness Initiative and Fit Together© Relationship Enhancement through Fitness Programming. In July 2018, Mr. Koonce acquired a fully-equipped, full-service gym. Located at 295 Main Street in beautiful downtown Park Forest, Illinois, Vanguard Fitness Center seeks to improve the overall level of health and wellness for all who enter its doors.  My personal belief is no matter what a person’s gender, age, or physical condition optimal levels of health can be achieved through dedication, determination, and diligence.

Training style, beliefs, and objectives:

  • There are no shortcuts. Cardiovascular development, resistance training, and solid nutrition are the keys to attaining physical fitness.

  • It is vital that each client receive my very best every time they attend a training session.

  • In order to achieve success, each client’s goals and objectives must be completely understood.

  • Every client must be provided with ethical and professional treatment.

  • Consistent client motivation.

  • Instilling the belief that training with consistency provides benefits that include increased strength, improved self-confidence, injury prevention, and self-discipline.



Contact Info:

Mario L. Koonce, CPT, CN, MBA                                                                                                     Owner, Vanguard Fitness Center

Director of Operations, Vanguard Exercise Management                                                                             

295 Main Street                              Park Forest, Illinois 60466 

Email -                                                                                                          (708) 638-3279

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