Monday, April 21, 2008


STORY by Ma'at Atkins PHOTOS by Ma'atology, C3 Fitness and 100.3 The BeatEarlier this month, on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (that can be heard on FOXY 95 in St. Louis from 5am to 9 am) it was Take a Family Member to the Doctor Day (April 8 to be exact). Their annual day is used to get African Americans awareness of their health.

With all of the health problems that arise in the black community, not only is awareness importance, but so is prevention. One of those measures is eating right and fitness.

And Robin Keith Cason (aka Kay-Son) is on that mission of preventing health problems from occurring not only with black community, but America in general.

For starters, this handsome 6’ 2, 260 lbs Chicago native, former military man, father of three and current head of his own fitness business (C3 Fitness) can be heard every Wednesday on 100.3 The Beat as a co-host on Hypeman Dwight Stone’s show (2p.m. to 6 p.m.) on Workout Wednesdays where Cason gives prudent and durable advise to radio listeners on health and fitness.

In regards to training, his clientele, presently at about 40, meet up with Cason at “his” gym, a two floored facility located at the Lofts at the Highlands in midtown St. Louis where his days comprise of one-hour training sessions with clients 8 to 9 hours a day, Monday through Saturday. His focus is a boot camp style training consisting of super sets of dynamic, cross, core and squat training.

Not to mention, that this author has been knowing Cason’s exercise routine as a fellow gym buddy since 1996!

In late March, OUTTOWN had a chance to talk with Cason after one of his no-holds-barred training sessions with a young lady named Jessica Lockwood who was training to fit into her wedding dress. From the interview, Cason talked candidly about his tough journey to become one of the top fitness strainers in St. Louis, the do’s and don’ts and myths of fitness, the steroids controversy and a few bitz of his personal life which have some very uncanny circumstances.

Cason training one of his clients, Jessica Lockwood at the Lofts Highland Gym.

OUTTOWN: Talk about C3 Fitness. Why did you create C3 fitness? What does the name come from?

CASON: C3 stands for my last name with a C the 3 represents my three kids: Alaura, 18; Davon, 15; and Trinity, 3, and fitness is what I that stands for.

OUTTOWN: When did you create C3 Fitness?

CASON: In 2006. After being a trainer for three years at Bally’s (Total Fitness) My main thing was to learn what to learn the dos and don’t’s of fitness . As a trainer, the do’s are how you shop yourself to clients, pick out people’s needs without telling that they are overweight, being able to challenge an individual to a workout. If you see people and they are working out and their body isn’t changing that means that they are doing something wrong whether its how their working out or they are not eating right. So it taught me how to pick them out from a crowd and talk to them about their goals and have them to do at least one workout session with me and make them realize how importance it is for them to have me as a trainer.

The dont’s are how certain gyms overprice training, not giving people the quality service needed as a trainer and they take away from the one on one environment that a lot of people of need. If you’re an overweight young lady who is self conscious about their body, you want one on one time with a trainer not a group anything. You can build that rapport and that trust with the trainer. Certain gym trainers put people on front street all out in the open to see what you do. That’s tough. You need an individual room for trainers. I would say to myself, you know, if I ever get my own place to train, it would strictly be one on one. And I’ve been blessed here at the Highlands they allow me to train here at their gym where I can do that.

OUTTOWN: Why did you get into the fitness business?

CASON: I had a pastor…back in 2002, I was unemployed and my pastor at the time said to me what you need to do is figure out what you would for free. That’s where your money lies and your purpose is as far as your career. So I took a step back and I thought about what would I do for free and what I’ve been doing for free was fitness . I was writing out work out plans, helping people in the gym anyway. So I was like, shoot, as much as I love this, let me really study the true way of doing this and how the body works. So I started being a trainer. And in my first 6 months I had 20 clients (at the Bally’s in Fairview Heights) and that is unheard of. And God has always built and replenished the business. Within the first five years, its kinda outrageous, I went from having 79 cent in the bank in 2002 to finishing in 2007 in six figures. That’s what God can do for you.

OUTTOWN: How long have you been working out?

CASON: I’ve been serious since 1996. I’ve always played sports and all that but nobody was really lifted weights and watching watch they ate. I never did that until I became a trainer and learned about nutrition and proper supplements. That takes skill and trial and error. You really gotta study that stuff. That’s why I tell people, if you go to the doctor and he tells you not to workout, you should ask your doctor why shouldn’t you work out? Not just because. A lot of doctors are not trainers. They are doctors . I had a client one time, who hurt her leg from skiing and the doctor told her not to work out no more and I told her what was wrong with your upper body? You can’t take what a doctor says saying don’t workout not how to workout. Then I asked her how does he look? She said that he was out of shape. That’s exactly why. He says don’t workout because he don’t workout.

OUTTOWN: Talk about the training process.

CASON: About six years ago, I researched about ISSA, International Sports of Science Association. They are one of the very first fitness certification programs ever created. I went online, read up on it. I ordered the course. And man, you gotta study for three final exams. It’s like a college courses. Very in-depth . Very hard. But I just did it.

OUTTOWN: How long did it take for you to get certified?

CASON: It sup to you. It’s a self paced course. I don’t think anyone can do it less than 2 months. It took me 6 months but I didn’t do it consistently. I was doing a little here. A little there and I said you know what, enough. I was done with here and there. I got half way through it in 4 months and the rest of in the next 6 weeks.

OUTTOWN: What is the outline of program?

CASON: It introduce you to how to be a personal trainer, learning about the body and it teaches you when its time to have your own business as a trainer, how to market yourself, and how to interact with clients. As far as the clients, the pros are getting them fit and making money. The cons are keeping people motivated and patient and never break the Cardinal rule of messing around with a client. When you start doing that, its like suicide.

OUTTOWN: When you say messing around, what do you mean?

CASON: Like sleeping around with your clients. Like I always tell people your reputation gets out of bed before reality gets out of bed. So lets say you’re that guy who sleeps around with clients. If a husband wants to get the right trainer for his lady, he wont send them to you. Your rep is F--d up. It’s how you act. But so many trainers have broken that rule because of the desire of the flesh. Working out is one of the most intimate relationship one can have with another individual, but you gotta make sure you don’t cross that line. No matter how fine women are.

OUTTOWN: Have you been tempted?

CASON: Oh god yes! All the time. But you gotta know what’s more important to you, is it your family, your livelihood as far as financial stability or just some girl to kick it and have sex with. I would rather drive the BMW instead of the Hyundai. Its not about the money but I just don’t wanna struggle because I couldn’t keep my penis in my pants. That’s retarded. And I know trainers who are in that situation. And I say, you know you will never be a veteran in the game. You will always be a rookie. Mature individuals are bigger than that.

OUTTOWN: Why do people come to you to train?

CASON: I think they see that I am extremely hard and how committed I am to their goals. And I have a strong passion for this. Failure is not an option and I think people really want that accountability from someone who truly cares because it’s definitely not about the money. That’s just an extra. I want you to be fit. Everybody needs money to survive, but that’s not my goal. It’s all about health first. Vanity second. Because if your in shape your gonna look good, but being healthy and living a long life is first.

OUTTOWN: Talk about the juicing controversy. Why do people do it? Have you seen people get on the juice?

CASON: I have been around so many cats that’s done steroids, its over the top. A lot of guys I know have Little Man Syndrome. Either they’ve been skinny or short dudes and they don’t wanna take the hard route. They feel it’s too hard to be patient. To take it slowly. I tell everybody that fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take time to reach your goals but everybody wanna take the short cut. Why would you open a business and say in ten years you will be rich, but it will be 2018 or play lottery. You don’t wanna wait you wanna do it quicker. If you take short cuts, it will cost you. With the thing about the steroids, I know so many dudes on them they act like they are not on the stuff. They end up with some issues: hair loss, acne, testicular cancer or having testicle reduction.

When you start taking steroids, your testosterone shuts down and your n**s….they say your penis shrinks. That’s not true. It’s your n**s. They stop making testosterone so they shrink up. The reason why the n**s are full is because they are producing testosterone. If you’re a guy and do that, and you’re willing to risk your life, you need to get mental help. Steroids is like heroin.

OUTTOWN: Seen any females juice?

CASON: Haven’t seen or known any females whose done them. I know a bunch of dudes who are on it and lying about it. One day your 220 pounds and ripped and 6 months later you’re back to 185. There’s a problem and you gotta juice back up because you can’t stand the scrutiny. This is how the game is run. When they get off steroids they leave the gym just when people are seeing them when they were on them If you see them 6 or 7 months all swollen, they are about to get off the drugs. Now they’ve lost all this weight, they go to another gym so you don’t see them and where people don’t know them . Then they decide to get back on them and get their weight back and come back to that same gym so there’s no difference.

OUTTOWN: So a lot of people do that?

CASON: All day Some of them got three gym memberships. Gyms don’t care. They just want your money. Hell with all that just to keep a lie going.

OUTTOWN: What about Creatine?

CASON: Creatine is fine. I take Creatine. As long as you drink a lot of water you won’t have any problem. Creatine is in meat. The problem is its not enough Creatine in meat for you to get the dosage needed that you would take for fitness

OUTTOWN: How did you land the gig as health consultant on 100.3 the Beat?

CASON: I did a Biggest Loser contest in October 2006 with Dee Lee of the Beat at the time so through that program Hypeman Dwight Stone of the Beat saw what I was doing, heard about me and asked me to be his trainer. So that’s how I started training Dwight, for about 8, 9 months and he said to me one day that we need to do a health and fitness show. So in September of last year, we started doing the show every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

OUTTOWN: What are some of the common questions people ask on the show and the wildest question?

CASON: A Common question is how can I lose my stomach and keep my booty? Black people .N***a stuff. (CHUCKLE) If I hear that…… See the problem….. They are looking at Smooth Magazine and all that outlandish photoshop, plastic surgery shop. The stuff is not reality. I’m 41 years old. I haven’t seen a bunch of 22 inch waits 36 inch booty girls and I’ve been all over the world. So that ain’t the real world. Its some. It’s a couple. But don’t tell me they found 50 or 100 of them for this magazine. That’s some bull. That’s photo shop, airbrush and plastic surgery implanted stuff. The thing now is people getting silicone injections in their booty. That’s what’s happening.

I train a plastic surgeon now and he got back from Miami last week and he went down there to learn a technique about fakeness without having to cut and use a technique that won’t leave scars by cutting behind the ears. He had to do one on a girl’s face and a butt lift instead of the operation. The girl came in his office and he said to her if she had work done on your butt and they were in the room with a world-renowned doctor from Romania and asked her what kind of silicone she was using. You can’t dictate where your fat is gonna go.

OUTTOWN: And the wildest question?

CASON: How can I lose weight while I’m pregnant. I said (to the caller) are you insane? As you grow, your baby grows. But the caller said that they didn’t wanna gain weight.

OUTTOWN: What did you tell her?

CASON: That she needs to talk to her doctor because she was talking like she was gonna do something drastic just for the sake of vanity. She was on the borderline of some retarded stuff.

OUTTOWN: What do you see your self in the next 5 years?

CASON: I see myself, Gods will, training on the sets of Hollywood sets. Film crews, actors and still doing personal training. I don’t wanna be the guy who ever leave who got me where I am today. The common folk. It’s not about celebrities and all that crap because when you start thinking that defines you, you’re gonna lose all of the good people. They can be part of the mix but not the whole mix. I wanna do the movie stuff but I wanna commute. I don’t wanna live in L.A. I would love to live in Houston. Beautiful weather. Low cost of living. The thing I can say that the people in St Louis, my clients , I love them all. Without them, there would def be no me in fitness. I could have all the goals and hopes in the world, but they made it all possible for having the faith in me to allow me to train them. That s what makes me good at what I do. I mean, if I know this stuff but I cant use it, what does it matter? If I’m a doctor with no patients, you don’t know how good I am. I thank them a lot. I think that’s why I work them so hard because I want them to be the best becasue they bring out the best in me.

OUTTOWN: Talk about people here in St. Louis who think fitness more as a luxury than a necessity.

CASON: In cities like St. Louis being overweight is more acceptable than other cities. It’s not like California, Florida and Colorado where being fit is a big deal. Having a trainer is a necessity so people are like listen I need to look a particular way so I’m gonna hire someone who can get me there. In a city where being overweight is okay they don’t understand the lifestyle of being fit. St. Louis is the 4th fattest city in the Unites States. So, fitness is not a high priority. So when you get a trainer people here think that’s a luxury item not a necessity item. Where it should be a necessity to be healthy. It shouldn’t be like a luxury. If everyone can do it on their own , it wouldn’t be a lot of overweight people.

One of his STL star clients is Hypeman Dwight Stone (pictured with Cason) of 100.3 The Beat. Stone got Cason a weekly radio gig, Workout Wednesdays, during his popular radio time slot.

OUTTOWN: Is that true with African Americans or in general?

CASON: African Americans never invest in their health as they should. I train a lot of folk, but I train more white people because they think a trainer is a necessity. Black women who can afford it kind of look at it as a necessity to a point. Still the jury is out

OUTTOWN: Why you say that?

CASON: Because too many of us that have money still aren’t fit. If you are overweight and you are wealthy, why aren’t you in shape? No excuse……………If you make money as an African American you need to get your priorities right. It’s not about a car, how to dress. That’s for everyone’s benefit and look at you get some praise. We need to get away from that. I rather have someone say to me, “Man that dude is fit”. Instead of, “ Man look at that fat dude in that Bentley.” I don’t want that. The car don’t make me. You cant afford it you cant afford it but you have to pay for your medical bills. Say the doctor say you got a heart problem, you gotta pay for that. Kidney failure--you gotta pay for that. Diabetes. Pay. But you could have avoided all that if you got a trainer, ate right, got in shape. If you don’t do what you suppose to do you’re gonna get a lot of it later in life.

OUTTOWN: Besides Hypeman Dwight Stone who are some of your other STL celebrity clients?

CASON: Bryan Fletcher of Indianapolis Colts; the late Damien Nash of the Denver Broncos; Amber Ameredes, she’s a fitness model in the Fitness Universe pageant, numerous doctors, lawyers, NFL hopefuls and CEOs and everyday people. The guy that invented the Energizer Bunny John Marlow, him, too.

OUTTOWN: How many clients do you think you’ve trained from day one to now?

CASON: Wow, man, at least 500 people. I’ve trained a lot of folk.

OUTTOWN: Do you feel a bit robotic when you train?

CASON: I try to make the routine different for everybody because everybody’s goals are different. I try to be sure that in their workout, I take them through first their goals. Nothing can be the same.

OUTTOWN: Do you observe boredom sinking in with clients?

CASON: You meet people that you train and they start off they wanna train, but then they don’t. Those are the people that frustrates me and I wanna get the session over with because their not giving you anything you can use to help them. Its nothing I can do .I can force you to do it. You gotta come to me with right. Leave the drama outside. I understand we all have our situations but please leave it at the door. I have to give you an hour of my time, you’re giving me an hour of your time and money and you don’t get that back. Nobody because of race gender, or income get an extra day on this planet. Make it a good hour, maximize.

OUTTOWN: CASON: Is Hypeman D Stone like that?

CASON: (CHUCKLES) D Stone crazy. For real. He is all over the place. One day he is one way and one way he’s another way.

OUTTOWN: Talk about your cross training.

CASON: I think to many people just do weightlifting. So If I jus lift weights that means I’m not working on any conditions my heart. Lungs. You need to be strong, but you need endurance. I make sure that my clients are strong and fit with good endurance. Core is strong. The center of your body is what people see.

OUTTOWN: I hear your training sessions can be pretty rigorous, like a boot camp. Is that true?

CASON: Yeah, I treat it like you’re here to accomplish a mission. And the mission is to be fit. The enemy is your mental state and fat. So let’s fight fat together.

OUTTOWN: How come you never got to any weightlifting championship stuff?

CASON: I didn’t wanna get into like, being up there in a Speedo and people being so subjective to who you are. F all that. Then it’s gonna be biased of who they like. I didn’t wanna be in that environment. Get up on stage, little shorts on, ding-a-ling is small because its freezing up in there. That ain’t the core. (LAUGHS) I don’t need all that. I always tell people that I wanna look like I need to be on stage. That’s the highest compliment.

Cason with his wife, Piper at the Kimora Lee Simmons Fashion Week Launch party at Lumen recently.

OUTTOWN: You’re from Chicago?


OUTTOWN: Which part?

CASON: Chicago Heights. And I went to high school in Kankakee , ill.

OUTTOWN: That should have been interesting being in a mostly white area going to school.

CASON: I went to Catholic High School. Kankakee is like 42 miles from Chicago. It’s like being in St. Peters, Mo. A lot of rich wealthy people there. My parents always believed in good education.

OUTTOWN: After high school?

CASON: I went to University of Louisville for a year.

OUTTOWN: What year?

CASON: 84-85.

OUTTOWN: After that?

CASON: Military. U.S. Air Force.

OUTTOWN: How long were you in the Air Force?

CASON: I was in it for four and a half years (1986-90)…I was at the station to get on a plane to leave for basic training and the SpaceShip Challenger blew up. It was a trip.

OUTTOWN: What was your specialty?

CASON: I was in computers to a point. I was making sure the jets were able to fly. If jets didn’t have a part, I had a use a computer network system to call other bases to get the parts in . After I got out of basic, I went to Denver for 4 months, and spent a year in Iceland . I left Iceland. Then I spent three years in Miami in the early 90s.

OUTTOWN: After that?

CASON: I got out of the military, stayed in Miami and become a correctional officer for two years.

OUTTOWN: After Miami?

CASON: I left Miami in 92, and girlfriend at the time was pregenant,. I moved back home and stayed home for a few months. Then, Hurricane Andrew hit and my son was the last child born at Homestead Airforce Base(in Florida) . My girl was there, evacuated everybody and waited to see if she was gonna have the baby . That morning before Hurricane Andrew they induced her labor because they had to evacuate. She went to the bathroom, water broke, rushed her to the hospital, delivered my son and led her out of there with my son, he was born 7 that evening, 4 o’clock that morning the Hurricane hit.

OUTTOWN: Oh my God! Wow!

CASON: Yep. The Chicago Tribune called me with a phone interveiw to put in the paper about that. My son will be 16 in August.

OUTTOWN: After Chicago?

CASON: Since the Base was destroyed and my girl was in the military they could go anywhere for an assignment so she went to Scott Airforce Base. So I decided to stay with her and move with her.

OUTTOWN: She was in the Air Force too?

CASON: Yep, she just retired this year.

OUTTOWN: What year was that you moved to Scott?

CASON: In January 93.

OUTTOWN: Been here…

CASON: Every since.

OUTTOWN: What your hobbies?

CASON; I like boxing, train of course , and weightlifting.

OUTTOWN: Any hobbies our readers wouldn’t think you would be interested in?


OUTTOWN: Like stamp collecting…

CASON: I’m thinking…. uhm, wow,. I don’t have any hobbies like that. I use to draw when I was little but… mostly sports I’m on the straight and narrow.

OUTTOWN: You said earlier that you played sports. Did you play football in college?

CASON: No, basketball for the military Armed Forces Team overseas. Played in Iceland for a year.

OUTTOWN: You’re married?

CASON: Yep, to Piper. It will be six years in September.

OUTTOWN: Three kids.

CASON: Yep, my older two kids are in Texas and my newborn is with me and my wife here.

OUTTOWN: Thanks man, this has definitely been interesting.

CASON; My pleasure, man.

POSTSCRIPT: Currently, Robin Cason is working on a website for his C3Fitness business and is in negotiations with 590 AM Radio for his own fitnesss radio show.

If you want to contact Robin Cason for training services or questions, feel free to contact him at

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