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Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Inspirational stories are important to spreading positivity and encouraging others to try something they may have never done. We hope you are inspired by these testimonials of FITOLOGY members whose lives have been transformed by Les Mills group fitness programs and the instructors who lead them. They are just like you until they were inspired by the science of being FIT.


GinaGina Frank: "I have never felt better.
I am a fan for life."

"From 2009-2011, my life was a big blur: I had my first child in 2009 and then surprise, in 2010, I had twins. All of a sudden I was a stay-at-home mom and my active lifestyle was replaced with changing diapers and doing arts and crafts. I still did not lose the baby weight from baby #1 and, as you can imagine, finding time to workout was hard. I needed something quick and I needed an exercise plan that would be effective.

I started going to a gym using free weights and jumping on and off all of the cardio machines. Now, there is nothing wrong with this. However, as a tired, cranky, out-numbered mom, it just wasn't working for me. In fact, I started gaining weight. I tried TV OnDemand workouts but my kids would just jump all over me or scream for me to put on Dora the Explorer. I tried diets: carbs, no carbs, broiled fish, juice cleanses and shakes. It became clear to me I needed help.

I needed to eat healthy and exercise. I needed to be motivated and challenged. I would find myself "stretching", or napping, in a group fitness room when classes were not going on. I would drag on the elliptical and read a book or I would watch TV on the treadmill only to find out I watched an hour of TV and walked 2 miles. I was pretty sure I could nap and walk at the same time. Needless to say – no results.

Then one day, I was "stretching" (napping) in a group fitness room when a certain Australian Les Mills Instructor with a powerful voice said, "'You…are you taking this class."

That was my first Les Mills Bodypump class. I then added Bodyattack. After a month I added Bodystep, Bodyflow, and now I am doing GRIT 2-3 times a week. I have been so inspired that I ran six 5ks, one 10K, and 2 half-marathons in 2012. I am in the best shape I have ever been in, and I thank Les Mills group fitness classes. I have gone down 6 pants sizes and lost 68 pounds in 1.5 years. I have never felt better and will continue to workout only with programs that are powered by science - Les Mills. I am a fan for life. Not to mention I have more energy to chase my kids around and be a healthy role model for them.


RebeccaRebecca Freeman:
"Yes, I can do this."

Prior to the summer of 2011, Rebecca Freeman was not into working out or fitness in general. Concerns about her weight and diabetes motivated her to be a part of a 30-week study (Get Fit Together*) to establish if group fitness itself could reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

During the first six weeks of the study, her first Les Mills Bodypump class pushed her to the limit -– even though she was instructed to do only 20 minutes of the class. She didn't want to give up. She told herself, "You have nothing to lose." Week by week, she took the group fitness classes and soon her mentality began to change. Her mindset of wanting to quit and give up improved to knowing, "Yes, I can do this."

As the study came to an end, Rebecca went from doing 20 minutes of a class to completing seven 55-minute classes per week. Nonetheless, it was a challenging 30 weeks, but in total she lost 11 pounds and 4% body fat, while her cardiovascular fitness level increased by 40%. She believes her positive attitude served as a major factor that motivated her to keep pushing forward.

With a hectic schedule of raising two children and working full time, Rebecca manages to fit working out into the mix. In fact, after having a frustrating day, Rebecca says a Les Mills Bodycombat class takes it all away.

The most challenging class for Rebecca is Bodystep because it requires a lot of coordination. However, she does not plan on giving up on it.

You'll find Rebecca at the early morning classes at Fitology. She admits that although it's tough to rise, especially in the dead of winter, working out the first thing in the morning gives her the energy she needs to get through her hectic day.

In addition to the health benefits, Rebecca says the Les Mills group fitness classes have provided her with great friendships among the many members and instructors. She believes the social aspect of group fitness definitely helps coming back for more.

  • Favorite class: Les Mills Bodycombat
  • Most challenging: Les Mills Bodystep
  • Fantasy Instructor of: Bodycombat
  • Advice: "Try it more than once. You will hurt and sweat while you are working out, but in the end you feel so much better. The instructors are AMAZING, so chat with them, they are there to help!"

 


BeckyBecky Holmes: "I could see results."

Becky Holmes was training for a half marathon when the weather brought her inside. The idea of running on a treadmill bored her at the thought. "I really had no desire to go running, " she says. "It was too cold and rainy to go outside." She saw a Bodyattack class on the group fitness schedule at her former gym. She took the class and was hooked. After getting confident at Attack, she added Bodypump and Bodystep. That was March 2011, and 93 pounds ago.

Becky now averages about 6-7 Les Mills classes per week at Fitology: Bodyattack, Bodypump, Bodystep, Bodycombat, CX, GRIT and RPM. When she's not at the studio? She's training for her third half-marathon. She found the perfect balance to run and take Les Mills group classes, something she referred to as "cross training."

Les Mills classes have not only improved her health but improved her endurance for running. "I could see the results," says the health worker. "I could see things tightening, toning. I could last a lot longer in classes. I was getting stronger. And, when I went running, three miles came easy."

Performing better in her races was her focus. An avid runner, Becky says she never saw weight loss with just running and attributed to a thyroid problem. Now, with the correct balance of diet, Les Mills classes and running, the weight started coming off. She wasn't trying to lose weight, but says she got "motivated by the weight loss." In addition to the physical benefits, Becky says she has gained confidence that she had not had before. She has made friends and comes to FITOLOGY for the social, motivating aspects of group fitness. Although her best friend may be her heart rate monitor so she can track the calories burned in each class.

Continuing to work out keeps her healthy and in shape no matter what the scale says. Overall, Becky says she is just a happier person. When she doesn't work out she feels miserable. Exercising alone is not the same when compared to the motivation she receives when surrounded by others "I am a lot stronger than I thought I was, not only physically, but mentally," she says. "I have more confidence. I feel better. I know if I go to a class, I will feel good."

  • Favorite class: Bodyattack
  • Challenging class: Bodycombat
  • Would teach: Becky is now certified to teach Les Mills Sh'bam and will attend CX training in May.
  • Advice: "Don't feel intimidated. Just go into the class, there is always an option. Challenging yourself is good too!"

 


Note: We made our PSU PR intern take all the classes. He's taken 6 so far – in two weeks. Here's his story. So far...

JamesJames Swanson: "How hard could this really be?"

My first thoughts when I was preparing for my first Fitology class were exactly this: 'How hard can this really be?' I've always considered myself to be in pretty good physical condition. From an athletic standpoint, I've done it all from the time I was five years old. But nothing compared to the workouts I've had thus far at Fitology. They have challenged me in a way-- physically and mentally-- that I haven't been challenged in all the years I've played sports.

I knew that as soon as I was done with my first BodyAttack workout that I would be coming back for more. This class really focused on everything—from upper body strength, to core strength, to lower body strength, and especially cardio. The next class I took was BodyStep. During BodyStep, I found that my balance and agility skills were constantly being put to the test. If there's one area of my physical fitness that truly lags behind, it's definitely flexibility. BodyFlow made me feel rejuvenated and definitely relieved some of the soreness that I had as a result of BodyAttack earlier in the week. My fourth and final class for the week was CXWORX. This was hands down one of the best core workouts I've ever had. There were different variations of core exercises that I honestly never knew existed.

Just when I thought I couldn't be pushed any harder was when I was exposed to GRIT. A 30-minute session on paper might not sound like much, but then again there aren't many workouts out there like this one. I'm not sure if I've ever had a more intense yet efficient workout wrapped into one. From squats, jump squats, planks, pushups, the use of weighted plates – and plyometrics, GRIT is a total body workout. I know my performance in sports will increase if I keep this up.

Before participating in the classes I was apprehensive about the thought of group fitness. One of my biggest fears was that the people attending were experienced in the classes and therefore I would be out of the loop and would have a difficult time getting up to speed. For anyone that shares that same fear, I can honestly tell you that you won't feel that way after just your first class. There are participants of all different ability levels from first timers, to people who have been taking the classes for years. One fear that guys might have is that you think you might be the only male attending a particular class. I speak for a lot of guys out there when I say we like to be a part of a sport or workout that embodies masculinity. Get the idea that these classes don't fit that mold out of your head. For example, a lot of the same agility drills I remember from high school football practice were used in BodyAttack. I've been a fairly serious weight lifter for about four years now. Over those years I've constantly tried to adjust my workouts to obtain a new level of physical fitness. I know there are a lot of guys out there that too strive for a newer, better plan. I've never been more confident about a routine than I am now. By incorporating a few Fitology classes into my gym schedule, I am confident that I will soon be in the best shape of my life. Hope to see you at Fitology! You won't be disappointed!