by Taylor Barton
My Army All American Combine Experience
As I pulled into the PTC parking lot on just an average Friday afternoon, a half man half beast flashed in front of me. He was stretching and warming up, and I knew the face looked familiar. As the owner of PTC Mark McGloughlin walked towards me, we shook hands. “Who is that?” I asked him, staring in awe at the Physical Specimen right in front of me. “That’s Owen Marecic.” Replied Mark. “He just got back yesterday from an awards show.” If you’ve lived in outer space and aren’t familiar with the name Owen Marecic, let me give you a quick rundown. He played HS ball for the nationally renowned Jesuit Crusaders and earned a scholarship to Stanford. While there, all he did was start on BOTH sides of the ball, as a Fullback on offense and a Linebacker on defense. He was instrumental in helping turn Stanford into a national power, and this past season started for the Cleveland Browns at Fullback. As I stood there, still somewhat star struck, Mark let Owen know that his workout would be starting in 5 minutes. And that ladies and gentlemen, was my first impression of Mark McGloughlin and PTC. After spending a little over an hour speaking to Mark and watching him in action, I walked away from my experience very impressed. At NEI, we don’t just want to bring you stories of athletes. We also want to shine a light on the people and places training them. Here’s a story on one man, and one place that is making a difference in the Northwest.
Trainers and Gym’s are a dime a dozen, but Mark McGloughlin and PTC don’t fit any mold. For a couple years, I’ve had kids and their parents tell me at my football camps about a place called PTC and the trainer named Mark McGloughlin. They talk about how after only a few weeks or months, they’ve added a number of inches to their vertical, taken tenths of seconds off their 40 and shuttle, all the while adding muscle to their frames. “He’s worked with my son for a couple weeks and we’re already seeing results.” Said Jerry Woodin, whose son AJ is a Sophomore at Southridge High School in Beaverton. So finally, I contacted Mark and headed out to see for myself with my own two eyes. A few things stood out to me immediately upon gazing at the facility from the outside. PTC stands for “Performance Training Center”, but it really looks more like a small garage than a “Facility”. But that’s what makes this place unique, that it’s not about the “window dressing”. A sign on the wall inside the facility reads, “Results. Period.” After watching Mark and his staff of interns train their athletes, results are what they get. Another thing that stood out to me right away was Mark himself.
I envisioned the stereotypical meathead trainer. You know the one, muscles bulging out of a t-shirt that is 2 sizes too small. Walking around the gym with chalk on his hands and support straps around his wrists, dangling. Microwaving his home cooked chicken and rice with vegetables on the side. Sipping that down with a protein shake he just mixed up out of one of his 14 tubs. Really tan skin, almost leathery, from his countless hours in the tanning bed. Loud, walking around screaming out very cliché phrases of encouragement. Not Mark McGloughlin though. In fact, he was pretty much the opposite. In his 40’s, Mark isn’t super ripped and not very tan. He’s very quiet and soft spoken. He looks more like your Junior High PE teacher than an elite athletic trainer. And that’s exactly what I loved about the place. It isn’t about what the facility or trainer look like, it’s about the training. And that’s what Mark and his staff excel at. If you don’t believe me, just look at the list of kids who have trained or are currently training with him. Kevin Boss(Oakland Raiders), Owen Marecic(Cleveland Browns), Alex Brink(Winnipeg Blue Bombers-CFL), Colt Lyerla(Oregon), Jordan Talley(Eastern Washington), Miles Weatheroy(Eastern Washington), Oden Coe(Montana State), Steven Long(L.O.-PSU), Dan Wagner(WSU), Mike Remmers(OSU), Evan Voehler(West Linn), Brady Watts(Tualatin), Doug Brenner(Jesuit), AJ Glass(Jesuit), Adam Winterling(Jesuit).
There’s something even more impressive about Mark McGloughlin, and it has nothing to do with training. Mark McGloughlin is a parent, and a single parent at that. After his wife passed a couple years ago, Mark was left to raise his son on his own. “I love my son and have to make sure he’s taken care of.” He said, referring to why he opens around 3pm each day. And that right there is what makes Mark so amazing. Training is a competitive business. As High School and College athletics have taken off, parents are looking for the best person and place to train their child and give them an advantage. As Mark and PTC have taken off, he’s never lost sight of who he is or what it’s about. A single dad who is in charge of supporting his son, it would be easy to get lost in work trying to provide. But Mark juggles both, and makes sure that he’s a parent first.
As I sit there talking to Mark, Owen Marecic is doing his set of squats. He just finished his 20’s outside with Mark timing, and is now to his weight lifting routine. After piling on over 400 pounds to the bar, Owen straps on his safety belt. As most trainers would be lined up right behind the athlete, barking out orders and preparing to spot them, Mark just leans against one of the plyometric boxes a few feet away and tells Owen how many reps he’s doing this set. As Owen goes down and comes back up, Mark quietly lets him know he needs to go deeper in his sit. As Owen finishes and almost tips the Squat Rack while setting the bar with all the weight into its holder, Mark starts punching the keys on his laptop. “What are you doing?” I ask him. “I record every set each kid does.” He answered. “This way I’m able to keep track of the progress they’re making. It’s pretty simple, this system tells me what weight and how many reps each kid should be lifting, so they don’t overdo it.” A system that Mark created and keeps track of, it’s something that seperates him from so many others. “I don’t just clump all the kids into doing the same workout. Each kid is different, so each kid should have different weights and number of reps that they do.”
If you want a trainer that looks the part, like they should be training people on “The Biggest Loser”, Mark McGloughlin’s not your man. If you want a gym that you can take your friends to and make smoothies, then watch T.V. in a locker room after taking a sauna, PTC isn’t the place for you. But if you want to go and get the best training, with a man who truly cares about each and every athlete that walks through his doors, you’ve found your home in Mark and PTC. I’m very selective on the people, products, and businesses I endorse. I want to make it very clear. In no way, shape, or form am I getting anything out of this from Mark, nor the other way around. I know there are sites and their analysts that will endorse or promote a camp or trainer because they get “kick backs”, or it benefits them someway. At NEI and Barton Football, the kids come 1st, always. Whether we are running something, or our competition is, if it’s something that will benefit the kids, then that’s what we’ll recommend. My wife is 5 months pregnant and it’s our 1st child. If Mark McGloughlin and PTC are still around when our son/daughter is old enough to train, that’s where I’ll send them. I’m not sure how much stronger of an endorsement someone can give for a person or place than to say they’d have their own child use their services. That’s how strongly I believe in Mark McGloughlin as a great trainer, but an even better person.