Archive for August, 2013

Russ Hunter: His journey to success

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Russ is a Fitness Plus client who trains with Rob Sweet. Here is his story, in his own words:

Ever since I was in the 3rd grade, I had always been on the larger side. I may not have been “fat” but I was definitely chubby. I was chubby until about the end of 8th grade, where I stopped playing lacrosse and just dropping exercise in general.

After this, I started gaining massive amounts of weight and eating a lot more food. I was incredibly unhappy. I tried multiple times to lose weight, but they would all only go for a day or two before I quit. Once I went to the doctor, and saw that I was weighing in at a whopping 330 pounds, I knew that I needed to make a change or that I wouldn’t be around for much longer, and couldn’t live a happy life being so heavy.

I texted my trainer Rob, and told him that I was serious about losing weight this time. I was lucky that he would take me back to train because I had always been making up excuses to not have to go into training before. In my first week of attempting to lose weight, I lost 6 pounds. Even though it was only one week, seeing that 6 pound difference really instated in my mind that I had the power to conquer my weight, and I was going to do just that.

As the months progressed, I started getting thinner and thinner, and as I was losing weight my general attitude increased as well.

Whenever I felt like  I couldn’t do something, Rob just kept pushing me and reinforcing me telling me that I could do it, no matter how hard it was. I never had any mako slip ups on my diet, but some foods were tempting, but my end goal was just as tempting.

Now, 7 months and ten days after sending Rob that text message telling him that I was ready to lose weight, I am weighing in at 220 pounds, and am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. Even though I still have a ways to go,  my BMI went from 45 to well under 30. I have seen results and know that with hard work anything can be accomplished.

I now have the energy and confidence to do and try things that I have never been able to do before. I can’t thank Rob and Fitness Plus enough for what they have done for me, because without them, I feel like I may still be where I was 7 months and 10 days ago.

I am now leaving for college at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana in a few days, and even though I won’t have Rob 3 times a week every week, I know that I have everything that he taught me, and will continue to live a healthy active lifestyle.

Trainer Tip: Kids and summer vacation

Monday, August 12th, 2013

How your kids should spend summer vacation

by Rob Sweet, Fitness Plus Personal Trainer

Recent research has shown that K-12 kids lose so much knowledge and academic skills during the summer break that the first two to three months of the next school year are primarily used for catching up.  Likewise, during summer vacation, the usual answer to the familiar essay question “What I Did Over Summer Vacation” is . . . nothing.

And that’s especially true for kids’ bodies.  Research also demonstrates that K-12-ers are sleeping around nine hours a night and using electronic devices—that’s cellphones, TVs, tablets, computers, etc.—for another nine.  That doesn’t leave a whole lot of time in the day for exercise.

Ask your grandparents, or even parents, what they did during these 10-12 weeks, and they’ll likely talk about getting up at the crack of day and riding their bikes off to play or even going to summer camps.  In other words, they naturally got the requisite amount of exercise.

And that exercise, as neuroscientist John Medina points out in Brain Rules (2008), helped in turn to boost their brain power.

Let’s encourage kids to get back outside.  When I was a kid, I spent my summers riding around Richmond on my bike, which built up my legs and my cardio.  I also attended sports camps and, like every Kentucky kid used to, played hoops on my driveway court.  When August came and school opened, my brain was in almost as good shape as my body.

What should today’s kids be doing in the summer?  Exercise.  Recent guidelines suggest that EVERYONE ought to get 30 minutes of exercise a day, even if it’s in two 15-minute spurts.  Another useful guideline is the doctrine of 10,000 steps—that means walking about four miles a day.

Then there’s strength. All kids should develop a love for building muscle and why it will help them with their journey through life. There are some simple ways young kids can start to develop muscular strength. I myself, start my young clients with body weight activities:

  • Push-ups- This exercise will develop the chest and arms while working the mid-section as well.
  • Pull-ups- Will help them build the muscles of the back and arm
  • Squats- Work the muscles of the legs while helping with balance and stability

Not sure of the proper way to perform these exercises?  Consider a trainer.  An experienced professional not only ensures you do the exercises the proper way, but optimizes your efforts.  A professional personal trainer can also develop a well- rounded fitness program, including nutritional counseling.  Remember, you’re up against the armies of the fast-food nation, and grilling at home together has not been outlawed.  Sticking with your solid proteins such as chicken, turkey, and fish is always a healthy option. Also, feeding those brains and bodies their daily fruits/veggies is essential to a well-rounded meal.

And it’s not too late to get started with exercise and a personal trainer.  Those ever-shortening summer days are whispering that the start of the school year isn’t far off.  After all, when they write those September essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” you don’t want them drooling about the Pretzel Burger at Wendy’s, boasting about the number of new BFFs who friended them, or how they watched the Glee CDs so often they’ve memorized the entire playlist.