Meet John Stathas. If you are at Pinnacle (Fitchburg) in the mornings you’ve probably noticed John working out. Early-evening members won’t feel left out – a couple times a week John is back to finish a two-a-day workout! Healthy habits like this are just part of what’s earned John Client of the Month for August.
John has been working out with Hans for over two years. Workouts have evolved, success has been achieved, a friendship has developed, and the best is yet to come.
John, how has your fitness journey developed while at Pinnacle?
I have been working out at least five days a week for the past five years. The workouts have helped me get control of my diabetes and have made me more fit; however, I have struggled with my ultimate goals of weight loss (getting to a healthy weight) and nutrition (better eating habits for life). For several years, I increased the intensity of my workouts hoping to exercise away the weight. While I had small victories, I always ended up putting the weight back on. This resulted in constant frustration and self-loathing. My success lately has been the result of three key components.
You have participated in Fitness Tracker class (FT2) since it began. What has the experience been like?
FT2 provided me with great interval workouts and a better understanding of my fitness level. I have enjoyed the camaraderie of the group classes. I always know that the others are suffering with me and that keeps me going. We share workout, diet and general successes or difficulties we have experienced during the week. This helps me understand what is working for others and I share what is working for me. The incorporation of the heart rate monitor has helped me better understand my level of exertion – when I can work harder and when I should back off a bit. I also find the comparison of results from workouts over the weeks/months very encouraging as it provides a graphic view of my improvement.
Talk about your weekly routine in 2017: 300 kettle bell swings per day!
One of my challenges is to complete 300 kettlebell swings per day. I talked with Hans and he convinced me to work within the principles of exercise training and give the body rest. We agreed that two days rest still gives me five days per week and we call that “300 swings per day.” January through July at 300 per day – do the math, that’s a lot of swings!
How did Team John form?
When I went to the doctor in December, I had gained back much of the weight I had lost a year before. I decided that I was going to commit to make the changes necessary to improve my health and quality of life. I elicited the help of my trainer (Hans Schiefelbein) to talk through what was working and what might need to change to have more success. I have been working with Hans for two years. He not only engaged me in discussing what was working, but also what might be holding me back. Hans listened, provided suggestions and started varying my workouts to try to help me achieve my goals. Hans worked with Hallie Ringhand to coordinate the the nutrition and exercise program necessary to help me see the results that were escaping me. Working with Hans and Hallie, it became clear that my nutrition was the missing piece of the puzzle. I just had to get to the point of committing to make the changes necessary in my diet and workouts to reach my goals. Hallie, Hans, some awesome Pinnacle friends (Lori Cerniglia, and Andrea Lang) and my family formed Team John to support my commitment to my new lifestyle which focused on nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
How do you measure success at Pinnacle?
My scorecard for my progress is measured by weekly weigh-ins for accountability. From my doctor visit in December to last week, I have lost 41 pounds. I can also measure progress via the heart rate monitor used in Fitness Tracker and After Burn classes at Pinnacle (heart rate recovery time after strenuous intervals). The nicest measure of my progress is how great I feel and how well (or poorly) my clothes fit
Come back next week for part 2 of our interview with John.