What was it like walking in to The Studio (MDR) for the first time?
My girlfriend, Ariel, is the one who discovered The Studio (MDR) and wanted me to try the workout after she went for a few weeks. I am doing what I can to stay healthy and active for the ones I love. She and my two young boys are my inspiration for staying in shape. So, I agreed to give it a shot, put on those funny socks and jump on the machine. I hate the unexpected, so not knowing the workout or how hard it would be was a bit unsettling. But guess what? I never stopped!

Tell us a little about that first class you took! How difficult did you find the moves, and what was going through your mind?
My first class was in January 2014 with Lindsay and she was awesome. She taught me the moves and helped me get through the session. Stepping on the machine for the first time was a challenge since I had never tried Pilates or anything similar. I’m sure I wasn’t the finest “warrior” at the time, but she got me through it. Her words and explanations are thorough, very supportive and motivate you to push to your limits throughout the session. In July 2014, I signed up for my first MegaMen class with Ky. My first thought was, “The guy is crazy! I’m no athlete! I’m just an old average Joe trying to stay healthy! Why is he screaming at us?” I’ve signed up for almost every MegaMen class since. Ky’s loud, and he expects the seemingly impossible. But with him pushing you, nothing is impossible! He pushes the limits and he pulls the best out of you every single time.

What was your starting point?
My main goal is to stay healthy and active. I ran plenty of half-marathons and marathons, transitioned to spinning, and then found The Studio (MDR). I had my share of extra weight and plenty of body fat to lose last year. A few months after starting, I also decided to change my diet. Actually, Ky came up to me one day and said, “Great work buddy, but now you need to change your diet.” That day was a game changer. I knew Lindsay spoke highly of the “Whole Life Challenge” and achieved great results. So Ariel and I looked into it and started following the eating lifestyle in the program. I cut a lot of things out: soda, dairy, pasta, processed foods and sugars—and I increased all fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. The results of my workouts at The Studio (MDR) combined with the diet showed very quickly. Ariel and I are still eating the same WLC-compliant way, but allow us one “cheat meal” a week.

Did you have any setbacks along your path of transformation? Any times where you got off-track or wanted to give up?
I think the biggest challenge has been exhaustion! My body sometimes doesn’t recoup quickly enough, so some days are tougher than others. The balance of rest and workouts is important. Like everyone, many times I didn’t feel like working out but forced myself to go to class. Eating and hydrating properly can also be challenging, but they are so important.

What’s the one move that you feel like you’ve (finally!) conquered? And the one that still makes you curse on the inside?
Plank was something I was never good at. But with all the practice we get at The Studio (MDR), I feel like I am getting there! The challenges to hold a 1-minute chaturanga and training for the 5-minute elbow plank keep the program interesting and the motivation high. Now let’s talk about “cursing”… Every time I hear “Plank to Pike,” no matter if it’s on elbows or on the rails, I curse inside! I don’t know what it is about “Plank to Pike” but can we just not do that one, ever? I thought that because I am getting better at planks, the “Plank to Pike” would get easier. But no, not yet. So I curse, a lot, every time I hear the name of that move!

How far have you come?
Physically, I’ve never been in this kind of shape in my adult life. I’m proud of the results. So far, I have lost 15 pounds and 5 inches off my waist. I’ve also reduced my body fat low enough so that the chart states “Lean” when I read the stats. My core is also much stronger, and my entire body is toned and a lot stronger overall. The Megamen class with Ky had a great impact on my overall body shape and physical abilities. I’m also grateful for how The Studio (MDR) helped me get through some very difficult times mentally. It helped clear my mind and reduce stress. The last two years of my life have been pretty tough, and I needed something to help me clear my thoughts, cope with high stress and stay healthy. The minute I start the workout, I focus on it and channel everything through the Megaformer. The Studio (MDR) helped me physically and psychologically. It’s truly a “full body” workout!

Now that you’ve come so far, where are you hoping to go from here?
I may want to lean out a little more while I gain some weight, adding more muscle mass. I’ve been increasing the intensity and adding tension as often as possible. Honestly, I simply want to be healthy and in good shape for the ones I love. I am doing this for myself first, because I want to, and I feel great about it. But I also want to be an example for my children—to show them that it is important to be healthy, active and to take good care of yourself. And obviously, I want to look good for Ariel. She is so awesome, and I love her. I need to stay in shape to keep up with Ariel and keep her on her toes!