Mark E.

Maple Grove, MN

marc e. spring 2021

Mark’s Story

Picture a chilly, gloomy, spring Friday evening.  I had just finished my third full workout back in over a year – feeling drained, sluggish, and overweight.  I found myself questioning, ‘why am I here?”  I had done a leg workout earlier in the week and found that I was STILL struggling with the stairs to get out of the gym – my burning, dead legs pulling me back at each tread, my wife urging me forward.

I’ve always been into fitness – to some degree.  I have been running and lifting since middle school in addition to sports.  In the last few years, I had built a solid support system – a group of guys at work that lift or run after work.  But as COVID struck, the gyms shut down, my work shut down, and like so many of us did; I found myself in a basement corner, hammering away at a keyboard to try to glean some value out of my work.  I tried to keep running through the summer, used a few random dumbbells laying around to hit a muscle group or 2 a week.  But by fall I was officially done.  I had hit the end of a 24-year streak – I was done working out.

As I reached the top of the stairs and turned to leave, there, by the door, was a white bulletin board.  On it was a simple message – Transform your body and you could win!  Ask a trainer how you can qualify.  I pointed it out to my wife and the attendant quickly jotted down the site for me on my way out.  As luck would have it, the challenge started the next day.  I scheduled an initial appointment with a trainer – and after measuring my 21% body fat and almost 200 lbs, I decided that weight/fat loss was my goal.  I set an ambitious target of 12%.

Over the next few days, I got acclimated to the Life Time and Life Time Training App.  Combing through the exercises and finding healthy options for some of my favorite foods, learning how to schedule classes or time in the gym, and exploring the challenges yet to come.  I like the easy naming and clear shopping/recipe lists.  The guides are clear and contain a lot of surprisingly healthy fresh ingredients.  There are quite a few that I took a screenshot of – and will be taking with me when this challenge is over. The trick that I learned early on was – to ensure I could succeed in following the program, I had to prepare.  Once I got organized, it was easy to follow!

The other half of the program – was the workouts.  I must admit, it’s quite a bit more legs and bodyweight exercises than I’ve ever done before!  But the videos, pictures, and detailed plans were easy to follow, and the stepping-stone approach made it easy to assess my capabilities and track my progress.  I also appreciated the scheduled cardio workouts – they were more frequent than I’m used to and gave very good guidance and incremental goals.

The 60day program worked better than I originally expected.  By 5 weeks in, I had lost 16 lbs, had reached my goal body fat % and had gained a lot of confidence back, and was ready to hit the 2nd half hard!  I felt good, and when I did – I pushed my workouts – my weight, my speed, and my reps.  I set a new goal of 10% body fat and really focused on making sure my meals were on portion, and on time.  Also, in the second half of the challenge, I started exploring Life Time a little more.  I would throw in a row machine, a few more minutes on my run, or some heavy bag work – to keep the sweat going!

Overall, I was very satisfied with this program.  I’ll use what I learned here and carry that motivation onward.  I was pleased with all the amenities Life Time has, and I can’t think of a workout I couldn’t do in my local gym.  The shakes in the Café are the perfect thing to cap off a workout, and I’m excited to explore all Life Time has to offer.  I’m grateful that I happened to see the 60day challenge advertising in the gym and feel lucky that I was able to participate in it – as well as lose 24 lbs and 12% body fat in the process.  Now let’s hit those mats!