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.

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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.

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Trainer Spotlight | Helping Others Better Themselves

Trainer Spotlight | Helping Others Better Themselves

Shawn M., a San Diego native, grew up and was raised in the community of Spring Valley. Throughout his adolescence, he struggled with body composition and weight. Children teased him for his excess weight from childhood through high school. This affected him greatly, but he didn’t let it defeat him. Surprisingly, what originally got him into fitness was the death of a loved one. It came as a wakeup call to Shawn. He realized that he had to change his life for the better or he could be next.

Weighing in close to 300 lbs., and borderline diabetic, Shawn was not comfortable in his own skin. He began running Monday through Friday, even when he was mentally and physically exhausted from work and school. He changed his diet, which he admits was one of the hardest things for him to do, and had to change his attitude too. Shawn recognized that he had to believe in himself; he had to believe he had the power to actually turn his life around.

With determination, and consistency, Shawn was able to lose the weight and is now working as a Pro Results® personal trainer. He hopes to help others focus on how they feel, rather than how they look on the exterior, and to make a positive difference in people’s life through health and fitness. He loves what he does, and vows to continue helping others better their lives for as long as he physically can.

An Interview with: Pro Results® Personal Trainer, Shawn M.

We spoke with Shawn and asked him to share with us some advice for others who may be struggling with weight and self-esteem issues. This is what he had to say –

Q: How has living an active lifestyle helped better shape your life?

Shawn M.: I would have to say just by being able to help and motivate others. If I did not have a story to tell I would not be able to share and motivate others when it comes to health and fitness.

Q: What should clients know about personal training before beginning a program?

SM: I think people/clients should know that there are no short cuts when it comes to your health. If you are wanting to lose weight, gain mass, or want to change your life around […] I would most likely tell people think long-term and not short-term.

Q: Have you found that there is a way to help clients stay motivated when they’ve hit a fitness plateau?

SM: Yes. I usually would find out their eating habits, exercise routine, sleep schedule, and stress and then start from there. Four major keys I believe in, especially when it comes to a plateau, is stress management, modalities of different exercises, proper sleep, and of course nutrition. I share this with every new client of mine, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Q: What advice would you give for those struggling to start/stick to a healthy lifestyle plan?

SM: I would tell them think of your body as a luxury car engine that needs refueling. The foods that you put into your body will give you the energy that you need to get through the day. For an example, if you consume chips, soda, fast foods etc., your body will be fueled with 87 octane, but if you fuel your body with green rich foods, meaty proteins, healthy fats etc. you will be fueling your body with 91 premium. I try to keep it simple so my clients get a good idea of what I’m talking about.

What Lays Ahead for Shawn

Shawn M. is currently working on finishing up his Associate’s Degree and hopes to transfer to Portland State by the end of 2018. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Health.

Client Testimonials

“I became a member of LA fitness in 2016 and Shawn Montiel became my trainer. During my assessment with Shawn we discussed my physical limitations, nutrition and what goals I wanted to accomplish. Shawn was able to design a work out for me so I could strengthen my muscles and improve flexibility and balance. I was able to reach these goals with minimal discomfort using his workout plan. If I had difficulty with certain movements Shawn would reassess the workout and come up with an approach that accommodated my needs. Shawn is a very positive person and has a great outlook on life. He focuses on his clients’ needs and abilities. I had a lot of success with him as a personal trainer and would highly recommend Shawn to anyone who is looking to make improvements in their life.”

Lisa Van S.

LAF Pro Results® Client

“My husband, Doug, and I chose Shawn as our trainer because we observed his strong work ethic and attention to his clients’ needs at LA Fitness the latter half of 2017. Shawn spent our first session with him ascertaining our needs, our goals, strengths, and weaknesses in order to develop individualized fitness plans for each of us. Shawn worked with us individually twice weekly for two months inspiring us to increase our strength, endurance, nutritional balance, and cardiac fitness for overall improved health. Shawn not only inspired us to push ourselves harder during our workouts at the gym, but he also inspired us to work out at home and to stay on track with a balanced diet, increasing our daily fluid intake, and increasing our hours of sleep. In summary, Shawn helped my husband and I make positive life balance changes through exercise, nutrition, and rest to better our lives in a positive manner. Shawn is an excellent trainer who role models the healthy lifestyle he teaches his clients.”

Katherine H.

LAF Pro Results® Client

“I want to send you a thousand thank yous because the advice and the program you put me through transformed my body more than ever before. The regimen I was put through garnered me lots of compliments inside and outside of the gym, which sky rocketed my confidence. Not only did you improve my appearance, my body was stronger and performing everything at a much higher level from basketball, to running with explosion, to more stamina throughout the day. You’ve been an integral part in putting my BMI at 3% body fat at 5’8 165 pounds. Now and in the future, my daily workout consists of everything you have ever taught me. Thank you so much. I am forever grateful.”

Aljon F.

LAF Pro Results® Client

If you’re interested in pursuing a healthier lifestyle and feel like you could use a little bit of help, sign up for a complimentary fitness assessment with LA Fitness and meet trainers like Shawn M., who are here to help you become your healthiest self.*

We’re all in this together, and we want you to succeed. Join us in club today! Click here for a complimentary guest pass.

*Pro Results® personal training services are subject to an additional agreement and 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.

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Trainer Spotlight | The Muscle Whisperer

Trainer Spotlight | The Muscle Whisperer

Tom Vachét, a Pro Results® trainer for LA Fitness in Florida, has lived a life that’s motion picture-worthy. Known as “The Muscle Whisperer”, Tom has worked with dozens of celebrities, top athletes and Olympians over the years, spanning sports such as MMA, NFL, NHL, MLB, to Tennis, Volleyball, Downhill Skiing and even Ballet. He’s even been credited with resurrecting an NBA star’s career. Tom’s notoriety quickly spread like wildfire as more and more people noticed the results that came from his training – but what makes Tom’s story even more remarkable is the life that led up to this

Born and raised in rural Southern Indiana, Tom wasn’t exactly the golden child for fitness. In fact, he describes himself as being the “chubby boy who loved to read and play violin” – when he wasn’t otherwise engaged in farm work. However, as time went by, Tom began developing a passion for sports. He was average in most, but excelled in a few: distance running, swimming, wrestling and boxing. He believes that his farm work experience is what helped keep him functionally fit.

At the time of Tom’s graduation from high school, the Vietnam War was raging. Undecided about his future, Tom enlisted in the United States Navy. At the end of his second tour of combat in Vietnam, Tom was injured and, following recuperation, left the Navy with a disability retirement. He was again at a crossroads in his life. He decided to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, and became a specialist in rehabilitation and medical case management.

Tom began work as a private health care consultant, and in time, he was recruited as the VP of Marketing and Sales for a company that manufactured wheelchairs in Southern California. As Tom led an unanticipated, but successful, turnaround for the company, his thirst for business knowledge led him back to school. He applied to, and completed, an intensive MBA program from Stanford University, and was immediately recruited by a prestigious accounting firm. His life transitioned to Washington, DC, as a marketing and sales consultant, specializing in the emerging, east coast, tech industry.

Soon enough, Tom describes that his life became a bit of a blur. He rapidly progressed through a succession of executive positions with several prestigious companies, each one coming with increasing responsibility. It was challenging and chaotic, but the thrill of it all kept Tom climbing to further and further heights. And suddenly – at what seemed to be the top of his career, Tom slipped. After being part of a prestigious merger team that created a well-known telecom company, he joined a startup as a partner. It was the singular opportunity he had worked for his entire career. Without warning, the tech market imploded; the bubble burst. Tom was 49-years-old, and he lost 600,000 shares of stock in a flash.

For the first time in his life, he had no plan.

He needed to regroup, but he didn’t know where to start. He eventually decided to focus on getting himself back to the physical condition he once was in, as he figured things out. He joined a gym, hired a trainer, and got to work. The trainer’s routine was to take Tom from machine to machine, changing the weight stack, “while drinking a coffee and lamenting about his love life.” It didn’t take long for Tom to think he could do a better job training. Then one day, on a whim, Tom spoke with a fitness manager expressing his interest in becoming a personal trainer, and an interview was arranged.

Tom showed up for his interview in a business suit and tie, toting a briefcase and laptop, and proceeded to share his portfolio. His interviewer cautioned Tom, warning him that he seemed overqualified for the position he was applying for, but Tom didn’t care. Satisfaction was now the main objective for his life, not the money. With some convincing, Tom was hired. With his experience in the military, as well as sales and marketing, Tom was a natural fit. After a year of outstanding work, Tom was promoted to Assistant General Manager of a fitness club in Manhattan Beach, California.

With the promotion, Tom wanted to ensure that his clients weren’t left behind. He negotiated a deal allowing him to continue training his clients in addition to his management responsibilities. His commitment to his clients was unmatched. Slowly, his reputation as a sought-after trainer for pro athletes and celebrities was being established. Later that summer, Tom met a well-known, veteran, NBA player whose career was in decline due to recurring injuries. Tom assisted him in identifying a biochemical dysfunction, and referred him to a trusted physical therapist. With their combined effort, the NBA athlete was restored back to his pre-injury state and went on to have the best season of his career. By the end of that summer, Tom became t he player’s full-time, exclusive strength and conditioning coach, and he went on to enjoy two additional, back-to-back successful seasons.+

Tom’s client list suddenly exploded.

He credits this to his unique approach to training. Having trained clients who are capable of training consecutive days, he would work with them three days per week and then allow them four days of rest. Tom shared that no client of his has ever lifted more than 45 lbs. when working with him. The intensity is high, sets are anywhere between 20-30 exercises, most using integrated movements, with active rest between sets. Tom shared that he always works towards a purpose, delivering programs based on proven principles of training from the floor up, achieving a foundation of biochemical wellness, while developing the core, for useful and practical functional strength and power.

Tom has noticed that using low weight performed in a high-volume, complex, high-intensity, often unstable environment, provided his clients an increase in strength and endurance. Tom preaches the importance of balance and stability in exercise and sport. Tom’s dedication and commitment to his LA Fitness clients, comes from a lifetime of constantly striving for the best, and working to bring out the best in those he trains. He loves his work, and is grateful that the whim he followed in 2009 provided him with a career that he never would have expected. It just goes to prove that some of the best adventures in life happen when you least expect them to.

Tom Vachet

An Interview with: Tom Vachet

Are you interested in Pro Results® personal training?* We asked Pro Results® personal trainer, Tom Vachet, to share some of his expert advice before getting started.

Q: What should clients know about personal training before beginning a program?

Tom Vachet: First, any successful training endeavor requires attention to three key areas: physical work, good nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle. As to the work piece, anyone considering undertaking a new fitness program should understand and consider that the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve success is not part of their own DNA. All of us have at some time in our lives needed to call the plumber, or the auto mechanic, or the doctor. So, when it comes to starting a new fitness program, hiring a trainer as your guide can be useful.

I suggest interviewing that person. You need to be certain their personality, demeanor, and conduct are a fit and provide a sense of safety and comfort. Experience in the field is obviously beneficial, though all of us start somewhere. Considering your goals, ask yourself whether the trainer’s education, experience, and interest fit your needs. Some trainers love body building, but dislike rehab. Others enjoy helping clients lose weight and don’t enjoy working with athletes. So, try to find a match based on your goals.

Do not underestimate the impact of nutrition as it relates to success in achieving your health and fitness goals. There are many resources available to help guide you. Avoid “diets,” which are generally short- term, and instead make changes in your eating habits you can sustain for a lifetime. And when you begin to experience that endorphin “high” many enjoy from working out, don’t become an addict. Appropriate rest between workouts is essential to optimizing results, and will prevent overwork and breakdowns of your body.

Q: Have you found that there is a way to help clients stay motivated when they’ve hit a fitness plateau?

TV: I try to communicate to my clients that fitness is for a lifetime. If you’ve neglected your health and fitness for many years, and if you are older, the changes come slowly. The body’s metabolism requires time to adjust. Be patient. Stay off the scale and pay attention to the fit of clothing. I am quick to point out things that are changing in my clients, like their incremental improvement in balance and stability, or their increased strength in exercises. Although these things will begin to emerge early in the program, substantial change will not come for six to eight weeks.

Specifically, regarding training plateaus, I found a solution many years ago. I don’t design client exercise programs that follow a pattern. Every single training session I deliver is completely unscripted, and I’m completely comfortable with the idea of training extemporaneously. I firmly believe there are big benefits. For the client, they never know what is coming. They are forced to stay engaged, and the challenge for them is high. For me, I have the freedom of following my intuition, creating as I go, and allowing my observations of training opportunities to dictate the direction of the session. On a scientific level, my style eliminates the neural adaptation common in fixed repeating exercise programs. There is no pattern to any day’s workout, or the sequence of workouts across time. For those skeptics of my approach, the results I’ve seen in my, now decades, body of work, leads me to believe it works.

Q: What advice would you give for those struggling to start/stick to a healthy lifestyle plan?

TV: Understand decades of neglect can’t be undone in a few weeks or months. So be committed for the long haul. It may take a few weeks, or few months of challenging work, to begin to see or feel the changes. In addition, understand frequency affects the rate of change. That does not necessarily mean five sessions with a trainer per week. But one or two, with you doing a reciprocal number, is an important thing. More than anything else, keep your eye on the prize. The benefit of your effort to reclaim your health will not just give you a sense of satisfaction, it will improve and elevate the quality of your life overall, allowing you to live free of the restrictions of poor health, and to enjoy freedom you never imagined possible.

Client Testimonials 

“I met Tom summer of 2007 as I had just ruptured my Achilles playing professional volleyball in Italy. I was a member of the USA Olympic team since 2000 and was in full preparation mode for China. Tom saved my career. I was 32 yrs. old at that time, all the team coaches and players had told me that I was done playing. I worked with Tom for a full year. He is truly professional, attentive to details, disciplined, super talented, and guided me through each and every exercise.” “I was back in shape within 7 months, ready to play in Europe professionally, and back with the Olympic team. I continued to play for 7 more years, played in London Olympics in 2012, and had my best performance ever. Not only did we work out, Tom also guided me through the nutrition and mental toughness part of me. I was truly lucky to have met Tom and I would recommend his service to anyone, all over the world and anytime.”

Read Don’s Member Spotlight story here!

Don Suxho

USA Olymic Volleyball Setter, Four-Time All-American

“Tom Vachet has refined the art and science of progressive, transformational personal training. While training with Tom weekly for over one year, he has changed my entire approach to fitness. We began by pushing through my perceived mental, and longstanding physical, limitations, then proceeded to build my stamina, balance, coordination and strength. I have transformed my diet and nutritional habits with his invaluable guidance. The results…increased lean body mass, lower body fat and slimmer waist. More importantly, Tom has renewed my functional strength, endurance and energy. If you would like to transform your training regimen and physique, connect with Tom.”

Joe Scarano, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Florida State University

“I met Tom back in 2009 and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made to train with him. He was tough but the way he cares about what he is doing is obvious. You know he is just as passionate about achieving your goals as you are. Tom’s expertise, own personal experience, medical background and vast knowledge (of the body, nutrition, training) all play into how he approaches working with each person. And that is a key with him- each person… he truly focuses on you as the individual to strengthen & transform your body as a whole. His theory with me was “chaos” in that he wants to introduce different aspects of training each time we did a workout that all goes towards the same goal and to keep the body ready for anything. He pushed me to limits I didn’t even know I had mentally and physically but it was exactly what I needed. The years I trained with him, I was in the best shape of my life in regards to balance, strength, functionality, stamina, injury prevention and just overall health. It was an all-encompassing experience, every aspect of who I was as an athlete and healthy person was explored and worked on then transformed. I can’t say enough positive things about what he can bring, as a trainer and as a person, when working with him.”

Paige Jensen

Former Competitive Volleyball Athlete

Pro Results® Personal Training

*Pro Results® personal training services are subject to an additional agreement and fee.

+Tom generally trains professional athletes outside of LA Fitness, but uses a similar approach for Pro Results® personal training clients.

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.

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Member Spotlight | The Greatest Investment You’ll Ever Make Is in Yourself

Member Spotlight | The Greatest Investment You’ll Ever Make Is in Yourself

What would inspire you to make a change? To wake up, get dressed, and walk through the doors of an LA Fitness, determined to change your life – what would it take? For Kyleen S. of Wyoming, MN, it was a series of ill-fated events that led her up to that very moment. This is her story.

In 2015, Kyleen’s mother passed away. A year later, Kyleen and her then boyfriend decided to call it quits. Between the stresses of life and a busy schedule, fitness was not a priority for Kyleen’s. She had a gym membership, but never used it. She was tired of being overweight and unhappy. She wanted her life back. Kyleen’s best friend, Crystal S., and her husband, Matt S., had both been longtime members of LA Fitness, which helped Kyleen make the switch from her previous gym. She was hoping that joining a gym her friends belonged to would help her stay committed.

Once she had her mind set on making a healthy lifestyle change, Kyleen took a tour of her local LA Fitness and signed up for a yearlong membership that same day. The club’s Fitness Director, Ramon N., spoke with Kyleen about how LA Fitness’ training programs differ from what other gyms may offer. Ramon shared with Kyleen that occasionally he would go through the personal training progress books to see if any improvements had been made with clients, and if not, he would work with his staff of trainers to see how he could help. Ramon even took it a step further and shared that if trainees stopped showing up, he would call or text them to see what was up. He wanted to help hold them accountable so that they could reach their fitness goals.

Kyleen shared that she needed that, and appreciated it 100%. Ramon then walked her around the club, and started her complimentary fitness assessment. Kyleen knew that she was out of shape, but until her fitness assessment took place, she had no idea just how poor her health had become! She recalled being on the stair machine for barely 30 seconds and thinking she was going to pass out. Her stamina was incredibly low and she was struggling to perform the simplest of tasks. There was a part of her that wanted to turn around, walk straight out the door, and never look back. However, she knew this was something she had to do. She had to gain control of her health again.

Right: March 2017 Left: November 2017

After the fitness assessment ended, Kyleen decided that it was in her best interest to sign up for personal training. She needed the support of a trainer to help hold her accountable for maintaining her fitness goals. She began with two training sessions a week. Kyleen shared the following about her how her experience went when signing up for personal training:

[Ramon] did not pressure me or make me uncomfortable in any way. I really am grateful to [Ramon] for taking the time to care about me because I truly believe that if I had said no to his and the trainers help, and died a week later from something health-related, that I could see [Ramon] thinking to himself, I wanted to help her. He genuinely cares. I still talk to him on a regular basis about my workout routine and about life in general. He truly does care about this program and everyone he signs up.

Kyleen has only ever missed two of her training sessions. The first due to her appendix rupturing and the second when she was severely sick. Otherwise, she makes it a point to stick to her schedule. Of course, there are days when she doesn’t want to go, but she makes herself go anyway. She doesn’t want to slide backwards. Another reason Kyleen continues to pushes herself is because her mother had a lot of medical problems, and she does not want to endure what she witnessed her mother go through.

When Kyleen first started her fitness journey, she had no intention of changing her diet. However, the more she started to workout, the more she began to find herself eating more fish, salads, and fruit than before. She shared that she now goes out of her way to grocery shop in order to cook herself healthier meals. She’s also increased her water intake. Between having a trainer, staying consistent at the gym, maintaining a healthy diet, and tracking her progress, Kyleen has continued to lose weight – even after transitioning to a desk job within the past year.

It’s common knowledge that sitting too much can be detrimental to the body’s physical health and knowing this, Kyleen keeps 3 and 5 lb. dumbbells at her desk to use as both paperweights and for a quick wrist-strengthening workout. Under her desk sits a yoga mat, ready to go as soon as Kyleen is. She tries to go to the gym anywhere from 3 to 5 days a week. On the days she doesn’t go to the gym, she now misses it! Since joining LA Fitness, Kyleen said she turned a complete 180 from where she was a year ago when it comes to her fitness, health and diet.

The past year Kyleen has made it all about her. By focusing on her health and happiness she has seen what a difference focus and determination can make both physically and mentally on the body. When asked how the gym has influenced her life, Kyleen shared the following:

I feel that I am surrounded by more people now that want to see me succeed in life than I have been before [….] This gym and its trainers have really helped me to change my life, and I am so grateful for that. I live and breathe LA Fitness, and I try to get my friends and family to come in and see what it’s all about!

Kyleen’s passion for fitness has made her want to help, and inspire, others who may be where she once was. It’s never the wrong time to start working on becoming healthier. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to put off fitness due to being tired after a long work day, wanting to relax, or grabbing something quick to eat (just this once, which easily creates a snowball effect). If any of those reasons sound like you, you’re not alone, which is why the Living Healthy team asked Kyleen to answer the following question:

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

KS: You have to want it to achieve it. You always hear people say that you have to want it and most people think, Yeah, I want to be healthier. Yeah I want to be thinner. But, you have to actually want it. Not because you think society is telling you so. Not because your friends or family are telling you so, but because you actually are ready, and willing, and truly wanting it. If you go in and say I want it, but in the back of your head you know you’re just going to go to the gym, swipe your card, maybe do a lap and go home, then you are not ready. You have to be in that state of mind where you have finally accepted that you need to make a change and you actually want that change to happen. You have to be willing to put in the work and fight.

Would you rather go out to eat than make a piece of salmon with a fresh salad and a side of quinoa? Probably, but not only are you saving yourself money by making your own food, you are choosing a healthier option and controlling what is going into your body. It is all worth it. Do not go at it alone. If you do not sign up with a trainer and you cannot get a work out buddy, at least get a friend or family member that will help hold you accountable for your actions, or lack thereof. Find someone who will ask you, did you go to the gym? For how long? What did you do? How many reps? How many sets? What part of the body did you work on? Maybe next time you should bump up your weight? Maybe next time you should try the sled? Someone who can cheer you on and be your coach, that is what my trainer is for me. He is my coach and my cheerleader.

Keep a log of what you work on. Take a notebook with you to the gym and write down everything that you do while you are there, and then the next time you go, you can see what you did. Change it up. See what weight you were lifting last time and see if you can increase it. If you are afraid or nervous of something in the gym, ask a trainer. They are more than happy to answer your questions and show you how to use a piece of equipment. You need to trust your gym and those who are there to help. Once your body starts to get used to working out on a regular basis, what was once hard will become easy. That is also why you cannot just give up after a while, and why you need to push yourself to excel even further. You might just see a change not only in your physicality, but mentally as well.

A Little About Kyleen’s Trainer, Markus M.

Q: How has your trainer inspired you?

KS: I train with Markus M. who is a Master Trainer at both Blaine and Roseville. He pushes me so that I do not become complacent in my workouts, and he instructs me to set small goals that we can work toward – at the moment, that is to tone my arms so I look amazing in my bridesmaid dress for July.

He helps to build up my stamina weekly when I meet up with him. I had a bad knee from when I used to play volleyball in junior high school, and at times it would just give out. He has helped me to strengthen it to the point that I can do a 135-pound weighted squat without it even phasing my knee. He makes me want to be the best that I can be when it comes to my workouts. If he gives me something that is really difficult for me, then I include it into a pre-workout that I have created for myself so that I can improve on that move. That way, when I work out with him again and we do that same exercise, I can show him how much I have improved.

If I have any questions I can just go to him and he helps to answer them, if he doesn’t know then he will refer me to someone else to help direct me to what I need to know. I cannot even fathom having a different trainer at this point. Markus knows my body and me as a person, and I can put my all my trust and respect with him.

Kyleen S. and her trainer Markus M. 

Where She Is Now

Kyleen’s current fitness goals are to build muscle, tone her body and weigh in at 160 lbs. Her end goal is not to necessarily be skinny, but to be healthy and fit.

Start your journey with LA Fitness today.

ProResults® personal training services are subject to an additional agreement and payment of 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. Member testimonials have been edited for clarity and length.

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