Member Spotlight | From Broken Foot to Completing the Chicago Marathon

Member Spotlight | From Broken Foot to Completing the Chicago Marathon

At the young age of 29, Lewis C., of Atlanta, GA, feared he may never walk properly again. After a tough tumble down a flight of stairs, Lewis was confined to crutches for a week and a boot for 7 weeks, after learning he had broken his fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He was unable to walk, let alone work out. Being confined to having his foot elevated 12 hours a day, Lewis was quickly gaining weight and noticed his overall demeanor began to change. It was a long, and rough, 7 weeks.

Maybe it was being confined indoors, maybe it was the lack of exercise– whatever it was, something ignited in Lewis over these 7 weeks. With a broken foot, and a rough recovery, Lewis decided he was going to run the Chicago Marathon in celebration of his 30th birthday. Lewis was determined to not let the injury define him or make him lose sight of his fitness goals. After all, he had always been committed to fitness in his adult life and was active in sports like swimming and track when in high school.

The Training Begins

After a sufficient recovery period, Lewis began his training program in June of 2017, five months after his foot injury had occurred. Lewis  knew he needed a place to train and realized the incredible resources offered at his local LA Fitness. With the proper equipment he was able to condition his legs, core and overall body for the race. He paired indoor and outdoor running, along with the assistance of his LA Fitness coach, Lisa, and was able to get the job done in an unbelievable 18 week training period.

Lewis successfully crossed the finish line in Chicago, Illinois, on October 9th 2017.

An Interview with: Lewis C.

Q: Have you always been in shape? 

Lewis C.: Like most people I have had weight fluctuations due to inconsistent eating habits brought on by a job in the airline industry with variable hours. Since 2007, I had more or less worked out 5-6 days a week and do my best to take protein supplements regularly. It’s what keeps me sane, I have to get a workout in and LA Fitness has been the best gym experience I have had since I joined in 2016. I have been to and worked at many other health clubs and the resources included in the LA Fitness membership are vast. I didn’t know it until I really needed people to help me execute the extensive cardio conditioning required for training for your first marathon at age 29.

Q: Have you learned anything about yourself since joining LA Fitness?

LC: Yes. That it’s OK to not know something and ask somebody for help. LA Fitness has staff and members from all walks of the active world: former athletes, current ones, trainers, beginners, body builders, etc. that all have a perspective and voice you can use as a resource and pool to get new fitness ideas, completely change your life, and smash the snot out of goals you never thought possible. I never dreamed I would actually go through with running the Chicago Marathon last October until I finally just paid the registration and bought marathoner shoes.

Also, I think people think running a marathon is an individual sport. It is really a team sport, which I learned, as I had to rely and lean on all different perspectives and advice and change my way of thinking. That’s where LA Fitness is more than just a gym to me; it’s a blackboard where new and dynamic fitness goals are conceived and executed.

Q: How has living an active lifestyle changed your life?

LC: I have had great health and happiness in my 30 years, which I think is primarily due to my staying active. I am the kind of person who needs structure and a tangible goal to reach and a place where I can ask questions of like-minded people. My father always taught me “to be one, ask one”. This is where the structured training plan of a marathon challenged me and a place like LA Fitness nurtured my curiosity and helped shepherd me through the process.

Future Goals

Lewis is back to training 6 days a week in an effort to be in his best shape by summer 2018. With travelling also on the horizon for Lewis, including a trip to Budapest in May, and Shanghai in July, with his best friend Michael, Lewis joked that since he’ll be in a lot of pictures he looks to “LA Fitness to keep [him] camera ready 24/7.”

Lewis’ next big fitness goal is to complete an Ironman race by his 40th birthday.

A Special Message 

Lewis would like to recognize his LA Fitness trainer Lisa, and member services representative, Yolanda, who Lewis credits as the reason he joined LA Fitness.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Member responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Recommended Reading

AAT – Ep. 20: What Are the Best Exercises for Hips?

AAT – Ep. 20: What Are the Best Exercises for Hips?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Personal Trainer, Kayla V., shares some insider trainer tips on the best exercises to help strengthen the hips.

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

5 + 2 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.

Recommended 'Ask A Trainer' Videos

Understanding Functional Fitness

Understanding Functional Fitness

What is Functional Fitness?

Cardio and strength training usually dominate fitness talk, but what about the often-overlooked concept of functional fitness? At its core, functional fitness is really about focusing on building your body so that it can better handle everyday tasks such as bending over to tie your shoes, playing catch with your dog, or chasing after your kids without the added exhaustion, aches or pains.

Real Life Samples

Let’s think about this from a practical standpoint. Our daily habits cause us to turn, twist, bend, climb and lean to get things done. We’re using our whole bodies, so why not focus on exercises that use multiple muscle groups? Isolated weight training is great, but it doesn’t always help prevent strained backs or pulled muscles.

Exercises like kettlebell squats are a great way to stimulate a real-life scenario – you’re bending down (squatting) using your lower body, and at the same time picking something up (great with the added weight of the kettlebell) using your upper body. Try forward lunges with a twist to help work the lower body, upper body and help stabilize the core. Bent over rows can also help with upper and lower body strength. Bosu balls can also help aid in stability training!

Think about which muscle groups are actively being engaged when performing your desired exercise. If it feels like a move that mirrors real life movements, most likely you’re engaging in functional fitness.

The Benefits

To put it simply – fewer aches and pains! Less strain on your body, less worries about not being able to perform day-to-day activities and more confidence in moving around with a stronger body. If this all sounds like what regular or “normal” exercise does to improve the body, you’re right… sort of.

Functional fitness focuses on movements, rather than muscles.1 In your ordinary day-to-day routine, chances are you’re not doing an activity that focuses on the same muscle repeatedly. Think of lifting a semi-heavy grocery bag, similar to a bicep curl. Sure, you may do this a few times, but realistically you’re not going to be standing in your kitchen doing biceps curls with your grocery bags.

Depending on age and activity level of your life, the functional fitness exercises you’ll want to focus on will vary. If you’re uncertain what’s right for you or where to begin with this type of training, reach out to a representative in the personal training department.

Another alternative is sending your fitness related question to us for a chance for it to be one of our featured ‘Ask A Trainer’ questions on our LA Fitness YouTube channel or Living Healthy blog!

A better life starts with a decision that you deserve more for yourself. LA Fitness is here to help, and functional fitness is a great way to begin your training for the everyday!


  1. Roberts, | BY: Amy, and Amy Roberts. “What Is Functional Training and How Can It Benefit You?” The Beachbody Blog, 20 July 2017,

Recommended Reading

Where to Begin with Weight Training

Where to Begin with Weight Training

The clanking of weights, the grunts, the sweat… the intimidation of the weightlifting area for those who don’t know where to begin. We get it – weight training can be scary if you’re new to this form of exercise. However, if you’re looking to create a balanced workout routine for yourself, your body is going to need a combination of cardio and strength training. But you probably already knew this. Let’s jump right into it then – where to begin?

First, ask yourself what muscle areas you want to focus on:

  • Lower Body
  • Back
  • Arms
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Core

We’ll get into specific machines or body weight exercises you can do to tone each of the areas above a bit further on. Next, you should determine how much weight you want to be using. This varies depending on the results you’re looking for. Always remember this –

If you’re looking to tone, but aren’t necessarily looking for bulk or noticeable, muscle, then it’s best to stick to lighter weights at higher reps.*

If you’re looking to build muscle and bulk up, you should look to increase your weight (safely, over time) use heavier weights at lower reps.

*Reps – Short for repetitions. This is how many times you will be repeating the exercise.

Sound good? Great, but how many sets** should you be doing? This varies too, and really is based on personal preference. A sample workout may consist of 3 sets of ‘x’ exercise, comprised of 10-12 repetitions of that particular workout. For example, you would do 10 biceps curls, then you would rest. Then do a second set of 10 biceps curls, then rest again, before doing a final third set of 10 biceps curls.

**Sets – A group of exercises performed.

This is a good starting point, but perhaps you’re looking to build muscle. Some people enjoy increasing their weight with each set and then lowering the amount of repetitions they do. An example of this would be to start off with a 20-lb. barbell for your bicep curl, complete your 10 reps and then rest. For your second set, you may want to increase to a 30-lb. barbell, this time only completing 8 reps, and if you’re feeling strong enough for the third and final set, you can increase your weight to 35 lbs. and decrease your rep again to only 6.

Make sure you’re listening to your body, because the amount of weight, the number of reps, and number of sets you choose to do will vary from person to person depending on what you’re looking to accomplish, level of experience and strength level.

Body Weight vs. Machine/Equipment vs. Free Weights

When it comes to strength training, you have options. Some people prefer using their body weight to build strength, others enjoy using the machines, while some prefer training with free weights. Is one necessarily better for you than the other? We break down the pros and cons of each of these exercises so you can determine the best option for you.

Body Weight

Pros – This is a great way to truly understand the proper form of an exercise while allowing your core to be engaged and obtain the full range of motion of the movement. You’ll be able to perform a high number of reps doing a body weight exercise which will generate an increase in heart rate producing both strength and fat burning.

Cons – Once performing these exercises for 2-3 weeks, the amount of strength gains plateaus resulting in primarily fat burning. You will eventually need to upgrade to either machines or free weights to obtain more solid strength gains.

Responses above provided by LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F.


Pros – Another great tool to understand the form of an exercise. These exercises will provide some good isolated muscle strength gains while also allowing your joints and muscles to stay in line with the exercise. They will help keep your body out of harm’s way while you are still early in your weight training program.

Cons – Although strength gains will be more than with body weight exercises, with the limited range of motion for machines the amount of strength gains won’t result in as much as free weights. The limited range of motion will also not allow your joints and muscles to maintain their flexibility. It is also tougher to engage your core resulting in only the isolated muscle group being worked.

Responses above provided by LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F.

Free Weights

Pros – This is the optimal strength gain exercises. They allow for the most range of motion and increase in resistance as you progress through a program. With a program centered around free weights, the strength results will typically happen faster than the other two forms. These exercises also require the core to be engaged during the duration of the exercise so more muscles are being worked during the movement.

Cons – This form requires the most knowledge and understanding of the movement of the exercise, as they have the tendency to produce the most injuries of any of the three types. It is best to utilize the first two forms and then work into free weights if you are entering into a beginner’s weight training program.

Responses above provided by LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F.

Our suggestion? Mix it up! Not only does that help keep the work outs fresh and fun, but it’s actually going to help build the optimal body. Check out how body weight exercises combined with heavy weight exercises act as a power duo for the body, here!

How Many Days a Week Should You Focus on Strength Training vs. Cardio?

Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., suggests a balanced routine of strength training anywhere from 3-4 days per week, and cardio between 4-5 to maybe 6 times week, depending upon what your level is when you first start out. Check out the full Ask A Trainer video below for more info on how to maintain a balanced workout routine.

!! Trainer Tip: Cardio after weightlifting can help release lactic acid built up in the muscles and can help you feel better in the long run. Check out why, here.

Sample Beginner’s Weight Lifting/Strength Training Guide

It’s important to note that the videos below only touch upon a very small fraction of what’s available to you when it comes to weightlifting in one of our clubs. In order to know what weightlifting routine would work best for your body and your goals, set up a fitness assessment with someone in your club’s personal training department. They will be able to help target what exercises should be done to help you reach your goals.

Lower Body




!! Tip: Like these videos? Many more of these Premium Fitness Tips can be found on our LA Fitness YouTube channel and help break down how to properly use the equipment found in a typical club.

Nutrition’s Effect on Strength Training

Weight training needs to be fueled properly in order for all that hard work to be effective.  As opposed to cardio which burns more fat, strength training uses available carbohydrates because it is rapidly oxidized for those quick, intense muscle bursts. Consuming easily-digestible “simple” carbohydrates before and during your workout can keep that supply running.  But that’s not the only thing. Adequate muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrate) is also used, and this reserve is built up by a consistent diet of complex carbohydrates, complemented by lean protein and healthy fats.

The protein provides the needed amino acids for building new muscle fibers while the fat gives both energy and structure. So why not load up on all of the protein you need before or after strength training? That’s because it (along with fat and fiber) slows down the delivery of those quick carbohydrates. Also, you don’t use that much protein at once and without a reserve for it you need a more constant supply throughout the day. In other words, save foods like beef loin, broccoli, baked potato, nuts and avocado for meal or snack time, but have an egg white with a banana or white toast before your workout. When you provide the right nutrients at the right time, your muscles can do more work for a bigger result.

Nutrition advice above provided by LA Fitness registered dietitian, Debbie J.

Pro Results® Training

If you’re still feeling like you may benefit from an in-club, hands on approach to learning what equipment would be right for you, set up a consultation for personal training at your local club. There are a variety of Pro Results® packages available to you, so whether it’s a short-term helping hand you’re looking for, or having someone on a longer-term basis to help you reach your fitness goal, LA Fitness is here to help you succeed.

Already have a personal success story you’d like to share with us? Click here to submit it for a chance to be one of our featured Member Spotlight stories!

Recommended Reading

Member Spotlight | How Exercising Got Me Off Prescription Meds

Member Spotlight | How Exercising Got Me Off Prescription Meds

Trish O., a single mom working full-time, joined LA Fitness in March 2017 in hopes of turning her health around. An increase in weight put Trish in the unhealthy category. Due to this, her doctor started Trish on medication for high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Unsure where to begin after these diagnoses, Trish began participating in aerobic group fitness classes 3 to 5 days a week. With a consistent workout routine, Trish managed to lose 20 lbs. – but then she hit a plateau. Instead of giving up, or letting this weigh her down, Trish was determined to find a new approach to continue on her journey to getting healthy.

It was time to up her fitness ante.

The Training Begins

Trish started training with Pro Results® personal trainer, Matt E.* She didn’t want to limit herself to scheduled group classes. Instead, she wanted to learn how to incorporate other aspects of the club into her workout routine. Through her training, Trish now understands how to properly use the equipment in the club to her benefit. She shared that Matt has also helped give her exercises that she enjoys doing, which keeps her feeling inspired and motivated.

5 Months Later

Five months after Trish’s training with Matt began, her doctor has taken her off her diabetes and cholesterol medications. She was told that if she continues to lose weight, she can ditch the high blood pressure medication as well! So far, Trish lost a total of 35 lbs. and doesn’t plan on stopping there. She is well on her way to becoming the healthiest she can be. Not only has Trish enjoyed the change LA Fitness has brought her, but she shared that LA Fitness has become like a second family for her and her son. As a single parent, “it really helps [to] have the Kids Klub there for my 2 year-old; he loves the staff and kids there.”*

Trish hopes to continue losing weight, building muscle, and eventually get off her remaining medications.

A Bit of Advice

“Stick to it and don’t be discouraged. Keep a routine and don’t feel bad about taking a break from time to time. My goals are long term and I’m okay if it takes more time than I expected to reach my goals. I recommend personal training so you can get a customized workout plan that you can use for life. Fitness can save your life!” – Trish O., LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

Pro Results® and Kids Klub services are each subject to a separate agreement and an additional fee.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Recommended Reading



Be the first to know about exclusive

content, deals and promotions

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest