“Interview with: Julie S
Over the years, I’ve joined many gyms, always with some well-meaning but vague plan of getting healthy, but I never achieved much success.
In the summer of 2012, I bumped into a friend—the estimable Suzy Oge!—who recently had great results at The Lab—Suzy lost 60lbs in 5 months and looked strong, happy, energetic. When I found her “success story” flier deposited in my mailbox a few weeks later, I took it to be an omen…
I came to The Lab fifteen months ago when my weight was at an all-time high (170lbs), I had a painful frozen shoulder, and I was (at age 52), frankly, tired of being tired.
I signed up for the six-day laser program and my frozen shoulder thawed within a few months. I was amazed—I’d been sure that pain was something I’d have to live with, a part of getting older, but now it’s just a vague, distant memory.
I’ve lost about 30lbs and went from 35% body fat to 20%.
Sometimes I ask Pat to look back in my folder, to remind me of how slow and weak I was 15 months ago. But mostly I look forward. I’ve discovered how strong I am, a complete revelation to this never-been-an-athlete-before-never-ever.
I remember when I was 13, watching gymnasts in the Summer Olympics, realizing that I was already too old to compete, feeling as a young teenager that the opportunity had already passed me by. But now in middle age, I’ve been introduced to the concept of “personal records” (pr’s) and it propels me each week to keep getting stronger, to compete against myself. A couple days after my 54th birthday, I hit a 200lb pr on squats (nice round numbers appeal to me…). But more important than the actual PR is the mindset that I’m getter better, stronger, even at my age, a great answer to a midlife crisis.
Consistency seems to be the key to success for me. I mean I keep hearing that 90% of life is just showing up. The other 10% must be GET A GREAT TRAINER, AND MAKE SURE YOU SHOW UP AT THE LAB! How it works: I show up every morning and Pat takes it from there, shepherding me through the workout, reading my energy level, focus, stamina, and tailoring the session to suit my needs on any given day. I show up and Pat makes sure I get a great workout, simple as that.
One thing that has surprised me this past year is encountering mental blocks, namely, frustration and fear—and when I first started, a good measure of self-consciousness. But here again is where a great trainer makes all the difference. Pat has been truly awesome, amending the workouts to accommodate my frozen shoulder, cheering me on even in the early days of my draggy-ass cardio. I give him tons of credit for never making me feel like a chubby out-of-shape housewife. He was able to push me from day one and pushes me every single workout. And he does an amazing job of quieting that defeating voice, making me confident enough to try stuff I’d never considered before, making it fun with a good balance of instruction, humor, competitiveness, cheerleading.
I’m now doing things I’d never considered before—I never imagined myself lifting barbells (I only had a vague idea of what a deadlift even was fifteen months ago). I’d never heard of a burpee, farmer’s walk, weighted plank, hammer curl, military press, upright row… It’s been a steep learning curve, acquiring a whole new vernacular. The free weights section at my previous gyms were very intimidating spaces, and I’m still a bit amazed that I now feel comfortable.
My mental approach to exercise is to show up and to trust Pat.
Pat, like God, never gives me more than I can handle, lol! Seriously, I trust my trainer that much. I get a challenging workout each day (just by showing up), and I’m confident Pat will keep me safe, watch my form, avoid injury. Works beautifully.
Lab trainers are well-trained and professional. They don’t just go through the motions, they expect results and get them. Verifiable results—they write everything down, every rep, every weight. Clients are regularly assessed to see if goals are attained. Pat wants my success as much as I do. In fact, some days I swear it seems he wants it even more. How can I not win here? All I gotta do is show up.
And on the rare day Pat is gone, I get a sub—I’ve worked with almost every trainer at the Lab. And they’re all fantastic. Every one of them.
There’s a supportive friendly vibe at The Lab—everyone from trainers to gym members root for your success.
The Lab now has my entire family drinking its magic koolaid. My husband and daughter are members, as are two sisters and a brother. My son and future daughter-in-law recently got on board, working via internet from DC with a Lab trainer.
I think as a family, we’ve lost a collective 150+lbs!
Even my 80-year-old diabetic mother (who we unfortunately have been unable to get to the Lab) has benefited. As a byproduct of her children’s healthier diet, my mother’s diabetes meds were cut in half. Cameron’s nutritional advice is steady, patient, kind and effective!
As Pat likes to say, “Results don’t lie!”
All I can say is SHOW UP.”