Member Spotlight | Let’s HIIT It! Part 2

Member Spotlight | Let’s HIIT It! Part 2

“Challenge yourself, anything’s possible.”

Ed B.

HIIT by LAF® Member

I want to share my experience with my fitness journey at LAF to hopefully motivate and inspire all those who may be struggling to meet their fitness goals. I also want to show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

My story is divided into two parts. The 1st part (read here) focused on my fitness training and the second part is focusing on my experience with the HIIT by LAF® program.

I’m 67 years old. I’ve had a history of knee issues and a partial knee replacement on my right knee.

When I decided to resurrect my fitness journey at LA Fitness, my main goal was to get my legs/knees back in shape. So, I decided to get a personal trainer to assist me to achieve that goal. That is when I met Lauren H. (HIIT by LAF® trainer).

It has been 15 months since I started training. I couldn’t get off the floor without some assistance or go up and down stairs very easily. It took about 9 months to get my legs/knees back in shape. Now I’m pain-free. I don’t have to get injections in my knees or take any medications.

My success comes from Lauren’s leadership and months of hard work on my behalf. My flexibility, strength, mobility, and stamina have improved dramatically. I no longer need assistance getting up off the floor and I can go up and down stairs without any problems. As I continue to get stronger, Lauren brings on new challenges.

Lauren has taught me the following:

  1. Challenge yourself.
  2. Never give up.
  3. Nothing is impossible.
  4. Work hard.
  5. Practice the power of positivity. (Still working on this!)
  6. Set a few short- and long-term goals, then crush them.
  7. Believe in yourself.
  8. Nutrition and caloric intake (still working on this too!) This continues to be a hard one for me! I need to find an easy way to prepare nutritious food without the fuss.
My Journey with HIIT by LAF®

Last October I had the opportunity to take a free HIIT by LAF® class. I was amazed at how I was able to get through it. So, I decided to join. It’s been 6 months since my HIIT journey began and I just moved up to my third HIIT level which is silver. The other amazing thing is that I continue to always finish with the most MEP’s (My Effort Points) and the most calories burned at the end of each HIIT Class. HIIT continues to be a great way to relieve stress for me as well!

In the floor portion of HIIT, if I have difficulty with an exercise there’s always an alternative exercise available. In the cardio portion, I switch off between bike and rower since I can’t have high-impact on my knees.

I recently signed up to participate in a 90-minute HIIT challenge. On the day of the challenge, I was nervous and asked myself why I did this because I am usually gassed after a 50-minute HIIT class. After numerous texts back and forth with my personal trainer Lauren, who is always focusing on the positives, I settled down. Then it was HIIT time.

Once the HIIT challenge began, the only thing that I was focused on was HIIT. I not only successfully finished the 90-minute challenge, but I won it. It would have been a huge accomplishment for me to just finish the 90-minute marathon, but winning the challenge meant anything is possible. It was like winning an Olympic Gold medal.

Special Acknowledgements

A special thank you to Michaelangelo for generating lots of energy to get all of us to finish strong. Michaelangelo, you kicked all our booties as well! You’re awesome! From not being able to get off the floor to finishing/winning the 90-minute HIIT challenge and always finishing on top of the pack after each HIIT class. Wow! This continues to be surreal to me!

I’m being told that my success in HIIT is also motivating and inspiring other HIIT members. I’m really honored to have such an Impact!

My next HIIT challenge will be to “HIIT” the gold level in 6 months. Beyond that, platinum, which will take 1 year. My ultimate goal is to be the first 70-year-old to make it to the HIIT Hall of Fame (HOF) level by 2021.

I’m blessed to have Lauren H. as my personal trainer. I couldn’t have done it without her expertise. Lauren is truly the master of her craft. Lauren motivates, inspires, and brings out the best in her clients. Lauren may be small in stature but can kick your booty! I forgot to mention that Lauren is the “Master of Pain” as well!  I continue to work with Lauren to keep my legs/knees strong and work on getting the rest of my body in shape.

Ed’s Advice for Others Out There

Finally, find out what works best for you! Challenge yourself and work hard and never give up – You can reach your fitness goals too! I’m proof of that! I’m on the wildest fitness journey of my life! The combination of a personal trainer and HIIT has worked miracles for me. I look at this as an investment in my health. HIIT wouldn’t have been possible without Lauren’s expertise and my dedication to work hard.

From the start of my journey, Lauren already knew what end results were possible. I was the skeptical one!

Thank you, Lauren! Thanks to all the personal training and HIIT coaches at the LA Fitness Tinley Park location! I’m also friends with a few of them. I also made friends with many of the HIIT members too!

I wish you all the best on achieving whatever goals you set!

Remember, you’re never too old to “HIIT” it!

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Member Spotlight | From Overweight to Underweight to Just Right

Member Spotlight | From Overweight to Underweight to Just Right

“The one piece of advice that I would offer others during their journey is that EVERY DAY counts. Take on each day better than the last and with time, effort, and faith, you will achieve amazing things. You don’t have to master it all in one day.”

Courtney C.

LA Fitness Member

I struggled with my weight up until I was 20 years old. I was overweight for most of it and wanted to change. I didn’t start my diet the right way, I was just starving myself for hours and hours at a time, eating the minimal number of calories and doing excessive amounts of cardio. All I wanted was to be skinny, even if I was unhappy because I couldn’t eat a lot.

Now, being skinny is not the goal. Being healthy is the goal. I do cardio a few times a week, lift six times a week, and eat a lot. I eat all healthy and organic things, constantly making sure I am meeting all my goals carbs, proteins, and fats.

I don’t want to be starving, I want to be healthy, energized, and happy and that’s what I’ve become. Thank you for letting me share my story. 

Current Goals:

  • Currently, I am trying to increase my physical strength by eating a caloric surplus and pushing myself harder and harder every single day in the gym. I am also working on my flexibility and endurance. 

Follow on Social:

  • You can follow Courtney’s fitness journey on Instagram at: _courtneyclarkfitness_ 

Some slight edits may have been made for grammatical reasons and/or clarity. 

When Courtney was considered overweight. (June 2013)

When Courtney was considered underweight. (June 2016)

Courtney at a healthy and fit weight. (January 2019)

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Member Spotlight | A Father and Daughter Unstoppable Duo

Member Spotlight | A Father and Daughter Unstoppable Duo

“My basic goal is to keep fit and above ground as long as possible so I can enjoy Wednesday spin classes with my daughter! Exercise and good nutrition are the keys for a long and healthy life.” 

Peter B.

LAF Member

Current Fitness Goals

Kathryn B.: Now that I’m retired from the world of professional cycling, I still continue to keep fit on a regular basis but with a lot less intensity & racing! I ride 3 days a week, do yoga 3 days a week, and I always leave the door open to mix it up and go hiking, swimming, running, lifting, etc.

Every Wednesday, my dad and I meet for Cycle Zone spin class at LA Fitness in Tucson (East). We call it Spin n’ Din… we work out then grab dinner. It’s a highlight of my week to do spin class with my dad, who is 82. Our instructor Lainna is great and we’ve become friends with “the regulars” in the class.

My dad is too humble to admit it, but he inspires a lot of people in the class. They’re motivated that someone in their 80s is there working out with them. I’m inspired too. It brings a smile to us all when he calls out “whoop! whoop!” and sings along with the hip-hop workout music. It makes me laugh every time he sings along!

It’s also such a great message that his presence imparts on us – it doesn’t matter how old you are or how fast or slow you go. Fitness is all about showing up, pushing your personal limits on your own terms and doing what you can. My dad proves that by being there. Being able to work out with my dad absolutely makes my day. 

Peter B.: My basic goal is to keep fit and above ground as long as possible, so I can enjoy Wednesday spin classes with my daughter! Exercise and good nutrition are the keys for a long and healthy life. Less stress will also help one along the way.

How has personal training impacted or changed your fitness routine?

Kathryn B.: Now retired from two decades as a pro athlete – triathlon & cycling – I no longer use a personal trainer, but I do keep tabs on the latest fitness advances. The personal trainers at LA Fitness are always engaged, upbeat & knowledgeable. It’s great to see them working with clients of all ages and abilities.

Peter B.: I have not utilized personal trainers but would recommend one to those initially embarking on an exercise program. I have observed the trainers at LA Fitness and note their high qualifications as well as attentiveness to clients. For those seeking competitive training, I would encourage them to look into The Leukemia Society’s Team in Training program. They train you over four months to participate in an endurance event of your choice, providing excellent training schedules, advice and group/team support along the way. One’s competition is oneself, to maintain training and discipline and to go the distance. It is open to anyone of any fitness level and with a charitable purpose as well. I benefited from and greatly enjoyed this program for many years, beginning in my youth (age 66).


If you could give others one piece of advice, what would it be?

Kathryn B.: When it comes to fitness and workouts, my advice is to try everything once so you know what’s out there! Whether it’s spin class or Zumba® [class] or pick-up basketball or swimming, I encourage you to step outside [your] comfort zone and try everything once! If you’re used to going to the gym alone, try a class. If you always take classes, try a one-on-one personal training session or use a cardio machine that you’ve never touched before. I think it’s really healthy to mix things up and try something new.

Peter B.: I would direct my comments to those who have heart issues or wish to avoid them. Had I not been very fit ten years ago when I barely escaped cardiac arrest after a buggy (virus) ate at my heart, I wouldn’t be here now. Had I not engaged upon a regular and moderate exercise regimen during my recovery, I wouldn’t be doing so now. My advice: get off the couch and get the heart pumping each day mixing strength and aerobic training. Personally, I prefer the Erg (rowing – gets 70% of body muscle and is very aerobic), swimming and cycling; all smooth and easy on old bones.

Also recommended for all is a book entitled “Younger Next Year” which provides great motivation and understandable medical/physiological information on how and why exercise and nutrition act positively on one’s body, right down to the cells. It explains how ten years can be added to one’s life. Again, get off the couch and go for it!

Social Handles:

  • Twitter/Facebook: @kathrynbertine & @pbertinesr  
  • Instagram: @Kathryn_Bertine

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Member Spotlight | Competing in an NPC Bikini Competition 6 Months After Giving Birth

Member Spotlight | Competing in an NPC Bikini Competition 6 Months After Giving Birth

“Nothing worth having ever comes easy. There will be obstacles, nay-sayers and failures but with hard work and persistency success is possible.”

Nastassja W.

LAF Member

My name is Nastassja Williams. I switched over to LA Fitness from another big box gym after feeling ashamed and embarrassed after losing a lot of weight, only to gain it back a few months later. I was looking for a fresh start and LA Fitness was the perfect fit. I trained here in preparation for my wedding last year and for my entire pregnancy up until the day I gave birth. I like to think that staying active helped with my speedy 2.5-hour labor and delivery.

During pregnancy, even with working out and eating clean, I still gained 40 lbs. and was at my heaviest at 193 lbs.

After giving birth, I was determined to not only “get my body back” but to feel good inside and out and set an example for my daughters. I trained hard every day waking up at 4 am. In addition to being a full-time nurse practitioner, I am a wife and also the mother of a teenage daughter and newborn.

I am proud to say that I am 6 months postpartum, down 67 lbs., and have just competed in my first NPC bikini competition. The outpouring of love from family, friends, co-workers, strangers and postpartum mommies has been overwhelming and humbling. 

I feel so compelled to share my story and let people know that anything is possible. I remember standing in the mirror one-week postpartum thinking that this would never be possible.

The most rewarding moment came last week when my teenage daughter woke up at 4 am and asked if she could join me at the gym then afterward said she had a good time and could we do it again. Now that moment right there made the ENTIRE journey worth it and I had the best workout ever.

My goal in life is to uplift and inspire the most important girls in my life – my daughters.

My fitness goal initially was to hit my pregnancy weight, then it changed to my ideal body weight of which I have now surpassed by 4 lbs. 

My fitness goal now is to maintain. We all know that losing it is far easier than keeping it off. I try to set periodic goals for myself to prevent complacency. I have always wanted to participate in a triathlon.  I plan to train for all aspects of that at LA Fitness. 

My advice would be that nothing worth having ever comes easy. There will be obstacles, naysayers, and failures but with hard work and persistence, success is possible. 

Disclaimer: Some slight edits may have been made for grammatical reasons and/or clarity. 

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Member Spotlight | Change Your Outlook, Change Your Life

Member Spotlight | Change Your Outlook, Change Your Life

“Life is full of hard times. You can either stay [on] that path or you can learn from it and [rise] above it. Don’t let life throw you a curve ball without knocking it out of the park.”

Wendy Z.

LA Fitness Pro Results Member

I am thankful for the staff and trainers at LA Fitness. They are always so encouraging and friendly every time I visit.

I am 45 years old and last May I went through a very tough divorce. That is when I decided to change my life. I started to focus on self-love and what makes me happy. The first thing that I did was move to Florida, and I absolutely have loved living here. Then, I joined LA Fitness after a friend recommended it to me. 

When I first started, I could barely do 15 minutes of walking on the treadmill. Now I am known as the dancing queen because I put on music and dance on the treadmill. 

Now, my routine is 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the weight machines. 

I have also changed the way I eat. I have become a vegetarian and cut out meat from my diet, and after doing so it’s given me so much more energy. So far, I have lost 85 pounds and I feel fantastic. I continue to lose weight and have shifted my focus to toning my muscles. I have inspired many of my friends and family to also take steps to a healthy lifestyle and they have also joined the gym. 

My advice to everyone is this: Life is full of hard times. You can either stay on that path or you can learn from it and rise above it. Don’t let life throw you a curveball without knocking it out of the park. 

Some slight grammatical corrections have been made to the original testimonial. 

The motivation and determination [have] to start within yourself first and follow through with it and not give up. We are here just to help guide our clients and see them through, but the fire to do so must come from inside yourself.

Sharon Read

Pro Results® Personal Trainer, LA Fitness

Wendy Z. and LA Fitness Pro Results® Trainer Sharon Read.

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