I’m 45 years old and I’m not GETTING back in shape. I AM back in shape. It feels so good to be able to say this from where I started 6 months ago. My friends, people at work, at the gym, at Taekwondo, everyone, is making positive comments about the transformation in my appearance. In six months I lost 50 pounds, I am stronger than I’ve been in a decade, and I’m in great physical condition.

Carl 6 months

My next goal is getting in the best shape I’ve ever been in.

I’ve rediscovered this whole part of my life (fitness) and I hope that by sharing my story I can help you take that first step today. It feels amazing and I achieved this transformation with the help of Skill of Strength.

Out of Shape …

For most of my life I’ve been pretty fit, sometimes even in great shape, but over the past 6-8 years I lost focus on fitness. I got married, bought a house, had kids, yada-yada-yada, and ended up looking like one those people in the dreaded “before” pictures.

Over the years I kept starting and stopping new diets and exercise programs. I bought a couple of the fitness infomercial programs … P90-X (made it for 2 weeks), Body Beast (still in the box). I just couldn’t stay motivated for more than a few weeks straight because it turns out that watching the same DVDs over and over alone in the basement is just as boring as jogging on a treadmill.

Something always “came up” and I’d find an excuse to stop. While I was at it, I stopped looking in the mirror because it’s not fun looking at your out-of-shape self. I stopped being in family pictures because I was so embarrassed with the way I looked. You get the idea. I just stopped.

Getting started …

One day I went to my Eye Doctor in North Chelmsford and noticed Skill of Strength on my way in. I chug my chubby self up the stairs and as I’m panting I think to myself that maybe I should just walk in to that gym.

On my way out I look in the window of SOS again and say, “Ah, not today, later.” I’n not really sure what happened, but as I was walking to my car, a little argument erupted in my head between “Formerly Fit Carl” and “Chubby I snack all day and watch too much TV Carl.”

Formerly Fit Carl says to me, “What do you mean later? Later when? Dude, you’re 45, it’s not going to get easier when you’re 50 and probably 30 pounds heavier.” The old adage, “if not now, when” was staring me in the face and I turned around and walked into SOS for the first time.

I met one of the coaches, Steve, and said “Help me Obi-Won, you’re my only hope” or something to that effect.

MOVEing …

Steve got me going with SOS’s MOVE classes. This is a 60-minute guided group exercise class. Yes, I said group exercise, but this not your typical rockin’ to the oldies type of class.

One part strength training, super-setting exercises to fit in more training in a short amount of time and the other part conditioning training. Not just trodding away on a treadmill …. we’re talking the kinda stuff real athletes do to sweat.

The MOVE classes have provided the best calorie burn I’ve ever had in 60 minutes. My highest was 1,266 calories in one hour and I average about 1,000 calories per hour. Did I mention they have a heart rate training system where you can see your heart rate during class and the coaches even give you tips on where you should be based on what you’re doing at that time?

Stretch, warm-up and go! The classes fly by as the coaches keep you so busy you don’t have time to be tired, let alone bored. You blink and it’s over.

Since you go through the classes with other members, you have a built in support group and it going to the gym becomes fun! I can tell you that unlike any other fitness program I’ve done, I never even thought about not coming to class and from very early on I’d look forward to heading to the gym.

Personal Training …

I decided to hire Steve as my personal trainer once a week. It’s great to work with a real professional who has built his career conditioning people. At SOS you’re not going to get an amateur. All of the coaches know their business and they take their work very seriously.

I can ask Steve any question about muscle development, how to do an exercise, what kind of exercises targets what muscle, what does this soreness mean, etc, etc. and I could never stump him! With Steve I learned all about conditioning training (who knew there was more than just jogging…). The right type of conditioning training will burn fat faster than doing boring old cardio on a stationary bike or treadmill. Hooray!

Steve and I also spent a lot of time working on strength training. This was a big treat for me as I used to be quite active in the gym with weight training and thought I knew what I was doing. How wrong one can be. Turns out I was even doing bench press wrong and never realized my shoulder and neck soreness was simply due to bad form on the bench.

An SOS personal trainer can help get you on the right path and stay there!

The Staff, Members, and Overall Skill of Strength Experience …

Finally a word about SOS from the point of view of a new member getting started. I could not have achieved these results without the encouragement of my fellow members and the staff cheering me on.

I was embarrassed about the way I looked and apprehensive about group exercise. The environment Mike & Amanda have created at SOS starts with the positive, professional and friendly staff and extends right to the gym floor as is reflected by the members.

Everyone was so encouraging right from the get go. Peer motivation was a key to my success. Joining SOS is like joining a family.

I can’t say enough good things about my experience getting back into shape (at 45) at SOS.

Thank You
Steve, Hector, Cindy, Mike, and Amanda!

Carl 6 months chin

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