Imagine that you join a gym and sign up for sessions with a personal trainer. You’re overweight, inactive and a little insecure about working out in front of someone who is in tip-top shape. Would it help to know that your trainer was once in your shoes and completely understands what you’re going through?
Trainer Drew Manning thought so. He gained 70 pounds on purpose - just so he could empathize with his clients that were trying to lose weight. Yoga teacher Trina Hall did the same, gaining 40 pounds to better understand her heavier clientele. As Manning took the weight off, he learned that it wasn’t so easy to do all of the same exercises on his larger frame; and Hall confessed her self-esteem plummeted as a result. The whole process made them both learn the struggles of weight loss and just how challenging it can be.
When I first joined a gym ten years ago, I was about 40 pounds overweight with zero athletic ability. I felt a little uncomfortable working out in the gym (where I felt like everyone was in better shape than me). I managed to get over that pretty quickly and realized that I was there to get fit! Even though I got to a point where I felt comfortable running on the treadmill or riding a stationary bike, there was one thing that continued to intimidate me more than anything else: group cycling.
I could hear the classes going on while I was pounding away on a cardio machine and I’d see the people come out at the end covered in sweat. I was convinced that group cycling classes were for super fit, super thin folks only and that I had no place there. And then one day, I got the courage to take a class – and I loved it! It was definitely challenging and tough, but I made it. Taking group cycling classes not only helped me lose weight and get in shape, but it also made me realize how much I love group fitness. I loved it so much that I went on to get my Spinning certification and eventually became a personal trainer.
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Two Ways to Win a Ticket to Fitbloggin’ 2012
Find out how to win a trip to Fitbloggin’ 2012! The third annual fitness blogging conference will be held in Baltimore during the month of September. DIR, along with hundreds of veterans and new fitness and health bloggers, will learn, play, and work out with others during September 20-23.
Miss USA 2012 Stays Fit with Zumba and a Small Meal Diet
Judges in Las Vegas crowned Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island as the new Miss USA. Olivia hasn’t always had a bikini ready body. The beauty queen gives detail of how she stays fit and healthy.
Drew Manning Completes Fat to Fit Journey by Losing 70 pounds
Most people dream of having a fit body, but for Drew Manning experimenting with his fit physique was an experience he will never forget. Drew Manning, a personal trainer, went from fit to fat to fit in a one-year time span. Drew documents his journey for others to prove to the world getting an over-weight body fit takes time and dedication.
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For personal trainer Drew Manning, gaining 70 pounds on purpose was a personal choice. And not for the attention or to see if he could withstand the challenge, but to better empathize with his clients.
A lifelong fitness junkie, Drew took up personal training as a side job after earning her NASM fitness certification. Having never struggled with his own weight, he found himself wanting to better understand what his clients were going through. So, he decided to complete a year-long project in which he gained weight intentionally for six months and then spent six months losing it all again.
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When I called Drew Manning, he answered the phone noticeably winded, with a couple of apologies about how he’d just run down the stairs and was currently under the weather.
“I haven’t been sick in years,” he told me in a raspy voice.
This might not seem out of character for most people, but for Drew, it’s far from anything he’s ever known. Almost six months ago, Drew had a body most men dream about and women fawn over. His 6’2″ frame weighed 193 pounds, weight that had very little to do with fat and very much to do with a chiseled frame. Today, Drew weighs 263 pounds and his body resembles that of a couch potato.
This past spring, the part-time personal trainer realized he’d been fit and healthy his entire life, and while he helps many clients find their way to fitness, he’s never really walked in their shoes.
“My passion is fitness and I wanted to find more people to influence,” Drew told us in a recent interview. “What if I got fat and showed people how to get in shape? It could be a good learning experience.”
So Drew embarked on a journey that some DIR fans have called idiotic, ridiculous, and crazy. Since May 7, 2011, Drew has intentionally gained 68 pounds, and is documenting the entire experience on his site Fit2Fat2Fit. This is certainly not a permanent lifestyle change for the husband and father, as two weeks from now he’ll turn things around and start working to lose the weight and regain his fit body.
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