Client Testimonial from L. Fox

What do you want to be when you grow up? It is a question I often ask my students, and one that I recently asked myself. I never wanted to be overweight, with sluggish energy levels, and difficulty breathing. I never wanted to be acutely aware that the first thought on many people's minds when they first met me was that "she's overweight." I didn't want to have difficulty finding appropriately fitting attire to appear professional at work each day, and to worry if every outfit made me "look fat." I didn't want to be at risk for high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes, nor did I want to continue focusing on the negative aspects of an emotionally trying year. Instead, I wanted to set a good example of healthy living for my students.

"Before" Stats:
Date of First Body Composition Evaluation: 8/22/06
Height: 5'7"
Age: 31
Weight: 179
% Body fat: 37 (Poor)
BMI: 28 (Poor)

I have more energy now (teaching high school students) than I did as a teenager, and I get through my daily work and home routines more efficiently. I am physically stronger, so completing everyday tasks such as moving science classroom laboratory equipment across campus or carrying groceries up the stairs are now a breeze, instead of being exhausting as they were before. I believe that more people now focus on who I truly am on the inside; not my extra weight on the outside. I no longer rely as heavily on my asthma medication, and at my last visit my doctor happily declared that my breathing was comparable to a non-asthmatic's. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all to me is how my workouts have disciplined me to focus and prioritize on the important, most positive things in life.

“After” Stats:
Date of Most Recent Body Composition Evaluation: 2/12/07
Height: 5'7"
Age: 31
Weight: 122
Body fat: 13.9% (Excellent)
BMI: 19 (Excellent)

In Gratitude:
For all of this and more, I credit my trainer, Ian Gordon, and the support of Jill Koval-Kahler. As a high school science teacher, I was impressed from the beginning with their high level of professionalism, education, experience, board certification, and updated knowledge as lifelong learners in the fields of exercise physiology, athletic training and conditioning. Everything they practice in the gym is backed up by science and experience.

Overall, Jill helped me to realize that in everything I do I am making a choice, and as a result I am empowered as I now consciously make choices that make me a happier, healthier, higher- energy person. Perhaps the greatest gift she gave me was to point out the choices that we all make in our daily lives, often without realizing the alternatives.

Ian immediately made me feel welcomed, like a member of a big family, even as I worked out alongside others who he has trained for ten or more years at Mr. Jill's, and his own father! During workouts, Ian challenges me while always providing me with the scaffolding I need to successfully attain each goal. He constantly reassesses my abilities and modifies my exercise program to meet my individual needs. I must admit that I've never been an athlete and have never been fit enough to actually enjoy participating in sports! Miraculously, Ian has been able to work with this raw material, even as he works with seasoned athletes, and make every single workout fun! His consistently positive attitude and sense of humor inspire me to work to my highest ability, even at the end of a challenging workday. His patience in demonstrating exercises (and re-demonstrating, after I forget in ten seconds!) reminds me to be patient with my own students.

Ian helps me to structure my daily nutritional program and keeps me accountable by regularly reviewing the daily nutritional journal that he has provided to me. He makes suggestions for stocking healthy foods in my kitchen, and is a constant source of healthy meal planning and cooking ideas. I do not feel food deprived in the least. On the contrary, I now enjoy eat a greater variety of foods than I ever imagined eating. Ian has taught me to have a nutritionally balanced variety of foods at every meal and to time my meals properly. This allows me to maintain both portion control and high energy levels.

Perhaps most importantly, Ian teaches me to "Live in the Moment," celebrating the small as well as the large victories as they occur in the gym as in life. He teaches me to take care of myself; to put my health first so that I can better enjoy my time with others and be a better resource for them.

Jill and Ian are two of the most generous-spirited people I have ever met; they truly care about the success of their clients and touch many lives in a positive way each and every day. That holds true for all of the trainers at Mr. Jill's, who have all been extremely positive and encouraging to me. My time at Mr. Jill's is the only time of the day that is truly for myself, and I value it so much. For one hour three times per week I continue to gain innumerable health benefits that will last a lifetime. Prioritizing these workouts truly helps me to achieve greater balance in my life.

Client Testimonial from M. Buers

I considered myself a moderately active 55 year old man. I was able to do fairly hard physical labor, cycle, row hike and the like. As I aged, I noticed that the pounds were being added and my recovery time after physical activity was getting longer and longer. I joined a 24 hour fitness, set a goal of loosing 25-30 pounds and went to work. within 8 months I had achieved my goal, relaxed a little bit. A change in my schedule that took me out of my "rhythm". Within 5 months I had gained all my weight back - I was back where I started. I wallowed there for months, trying to get started back into my routine. I knew about Mr. Jill's but resisted because It sounded like too much money- I should be able to do this by myself. I finally came to the point that If I didn't go to Mr. Jill's nothing was going to change. I made the decision that my life, family, and friends were worth the investment. There are 3 factors that I feel makes Mr. Jill's program successful (at least in my life)

1.) Professionals yield success: While I could take the time to read the books and develop "great" workouts for myself - I have to believe a trained professional with years of experience is going to be able to do a better job. Besides, I really am not that interested in investing that much time into the science, I just want the results. I go to a doctor, a mechanic, or financial advisor not because I'm not able to learn all that they know, but I have other interests and ways to spend my time that I enjoy more. My trainer (as well as the others there that I know) is a trained professional and has professional levels of information. She develops an individual workout for me for each session.

2.) We progress more within the context of personal relationship: Mr. Jill's pairs you with a trainer that is there every time you are. While I had worked out with friends before, schedules always have hiccups, and it only takes one glitch to throw the rhythm off . With friends there is a voluntary feel - It's not that urgent to work out. By having my trainer there on a set schedule keeps me accountable and motivated to show up even when I don't feel like it. Most big goals and changes in our lives are achieved in relationships with others that are like minded - and nobody is more like minded when it comes to the goal of fitness. My trainer is there with the goal of my well being and fitness.

3.) I need to be treated as an individual: At Mr. Jill's, my trainer listens to me. They are there to help me reach my goals, not theirs. I want to "grow old young". My goal is to be able to ride, row, hike for all the years God gives me here. They have listened to me, adapted my workouts to what I am experiencing and helped me immensely. I have stable weight that is slowly dropping and my performance on the bike or the rowing machine has also steadily improved . (Even through the winter - typically a less active time in my life)

Thanks Livia for all your help - I really do believe what I've said - Thanks for all you do to help me

Here are just a few of the many fitness-related things I've learned from Trainer.

  1. You might think you can't do something but actually, you'd be surprised to find that you can, if you learn how, and practice. Like 6 months ago, I thought I could never do boy push-ups, never jump rope for more than 1-minute sets, never to Tabata sets on a treadmill, never kick-box. Today, I can do 10 decent boy push-ups, jump for three 3-minute sets, do killer Tabata sets on a treadmill, and I would say I'm becoming a decent kick-boxer. Funny though ... new challenges that Trainer introduces still make me doubt myself. Like right now, I'm learning to jump high onto these tall objects. They scare me. But I'm learning.  
  2. To lose weight, you should eat right after exercising and in general, practice moderation but never starve yourself. Slow and gradual loss is longer-lasting and better for you than fast and dramatic loss. It's true. I've been living this truth and seeing the results for the past several months.
  3. It's important to stretch. So true. It feels like something that doesn't matter and something you can just brush off but I do them regularly now because I never want to endanger my workout routines to potential injuries.
  4. It's important to breathe. Honestly, I've never really thought about the concept of proper breathing but I am realizing how much it is related to exercise. I'm a bad breather. But I'm learning to become better. 

Finally ... the most important thing I've learned is that at the end of the day, no matter how great any trainer or any gym may be, it boils down to me and my commitment and my discipline. The discipline to wake up and drag myself into the gym to work my ass off every single day, even when I don't feel like it. When I am fit, I feel fit not only physically, but emotionally, socially, intellectually. It's not a temporary thing to do and check off my list. It's a new way of living.

PS: Many thanks to Mr. Jill's ... the gym where Trainer and other great trainers train in a safe, supportive, inviting environment.