Friday, April 4, 2008

I Did It!

What an amazing 6 months! When I look at my before and after pictures, I am both embarrassed (at my before) and pleased (with my after). Jason Minich really inspired and helped me to achieve some personal goals, lose weight and get healthy.

When I first started in Oct. 2007, the first thing I did on testing day was squats on the wall not holding any weight. I did only two sets. On the first, I did 15 reps and described it as a 6 on a difficulty scale of 10. On the second, I had to stop at 10 reps. Through Jason’s persistence and encouragement I was able to do much more weight and multiple reps as he helped build my stamina throughout the following weeks and months. I went from doing 5 pull-ups at the beginning to doing 18 during the last week of training.

In 6 months, Jason helped me lose 22 pounds and 10.5 inches. He also helped me to gain quite a bit of muscle. He shared with me that for every pound lost on the scale, I lost about 1.5 pounds of fat and gained about .5 pounds of muscle. He shared with me that even though my chest and shoulders got firmer and more cut, I still gained an inch on my chest and 3 inches on my shoulders.

Also, my skinfold pinch test results showed some exciting results. My original measurements totaled 158mm. My last measurements totaled only 95mm. That is 63mm dropped off the thickness of my subcutaneous fat – which was obviously some good news to hear for a guy trying to lose weight!

I deeply want to thank Jason and Catalyst Fitness for all that they’ve done for me; not only for helping me to lose weight and feel better about myself physically, but also for his friendship. Jason truly cares about his clients and their well-being. He cares about their families and wants all members to succeed in every area of life. He’s not in the business to just make a buck, but genuinely wants to help people make the positive change that they are seeking in their lives. He’s the real deal and I would highly recommend him to you. He is an expert on fitness, nutrition and exercise; and, he will help you to reach your goals and maximize your potential!

Tom Burch

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


On March 6, 2008, I received my very first professional massage! Better late than never, eh? I didn't know what I had been missing out on all these years. I had given my wife numerous spa and massage gift certificates over the years, but had never experienced one myself. So, when I had the opportunity to get a free hour-long massage by Michele Berkes-Adams at Catalyst Fitness, with the only condition being that I write a blog entry about the experience, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up! There was soft music playing, a rock display with running water, a heated massage table and friendly conversation from Michele. Of course, it was awesome to be able to lay on a table for an hour and have my muscles massaged with lotion as I relaxed. The only drawback about the experience is that I feel like a heroin addict now! One good massage makes me want to keep coming back over and over. I told my wife that she needs to get in there as well. Now I am going to have to figure out how to make this a regular part of my life :) Seriously though, if you want a great massage in a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere, contact Michele Berkes-Adams at Catalyst Fitness and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!


Monday, March 3, 2008

One Month To Go!

Well, I am approaching the home stretch with one month to go. Time flys - I can't believe it's been 5 months. Jason did another round of calipers and quite a few areas stayed the same, but I did see some improvement in my thighs, my neck and my chest; so that was encouraging. I was also down 3 lbs from 4 weeks ago. So, overall things are going well. I feel stronger and fairly toned. Jason took some more pictures and it's encouraging to see the difference from where I am now compared to where I started!

I'm still eating little to no starchy carbs M-W, eating extra starchy carbs on Thursdays, and balanced eating the remainder of the week. I'm now pretty used to that. I'd still like to lose some more weight, but I've had good progress losing around 20lbs. We are going in a good direction! I did 14 pull-ups in a row two days ago and that was the most I had done in years! So, that was neat. I think when I started working with Jason I could only do around 5 or so. Either way, I feel great!


Friday, February 29, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

February is here... and I can't believe how far I've come!

Two days ago, Jason measured me again with the calipers and I was down several pounds from last time. I am now 15% body fat. I was 24% or so at the beginning of training.

I am very pleased with the results so far. I feel a lot better, my back no longer hurts when I sleep (due to excess weight), and I have more energy during the day. Right now I am on a new eating plan for the next month. Mondays through Wednesdays, I avoid starchy carbs. On Thursdays, I have somewhat of an overload on starchy carbs. Fridays through Sundays, I eat normal (a balance of starchy carbs, fibrous carbs and lean protein). So far, so good. Hopefully I'll be able to burn off some more fat. Jason has me doing some heavier weights, usually 4 sets with reps of 8, 6, 4 and 3. I am excited about this next stage. I looked back at this blog earlier and the pictures of when I first started compared to now. It's pretty neat seeing the difference. I can't believe I was carrying around so much extra weight. I never want to go back to that place. Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Losing Weight and Feeling Great!

It's hard to believe it's 2008. I feel great about how things have been progressing! I weighed 211 on my scale a couple days ago, the lowest I have been since I've started (lost 19 lbs). The thing is...I've gotten so much stronger! So I know that I have gained a lot of muscle weight and lost a lot more than 19 lbs of body fat! I think I'm starting to see a 6 pack!
I feel like I have quite a bit of energy and Jason has just put me on a eating plan phase that utilizes more protein and fibrous carbs as well as no starchy carbs on an every other day rotation. This is my 3rd day of really doing it. I was going to attempt it over Christmas week but it was too difficult over the holidays to start, especially while staying at my parents for a majority of the week. I am roughly halfway through this journey and I'm excited to see what the next 3 months entail!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Lowest Weight

When I got on my home scale Fri. a.m. I was encouraged because it was the lowest I have been since starting this program. I am excited to see some progress on the weight. I have worked hard but haven't seen a lot of weight loss. Jason has been encouraging me that it takes time and that my body is adding muscle and that's why at the beginning you don't see a lot of weight differential. I know the holidays are upon us and it's important that I eat right and don't go after too many of the desserts, snacks and candies.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007


It's been exactly two weeks since I've been back from South Africa and it's still been an adjustment getting back in the swing of things, esp. with diet. I lost about 4-5 lbs. on the trip and I didn't eat very many meals per day like I was doing here. So, I am just starting getting back to eating more regularly. I am encouraged to keep on eating well even though the holidays make it a little more challenging with all the sweets so prevalent. I did measurements with Jason on Fri. and showed some good progress with my waist line being an inch smaller and some other good muscle gains as well. Keep on!


Sunday, November 4, 2007

I've Been Learning... To What Extent, How I Eat Affects Me

I'm getting ready to leave for South Africa tomorrow for a 2-week mission trip. I won't have access to weights but I plan to still stay active, do some running, push-ups, sit-ups and some stretching. Hopefully my diet won't be too disrupted. Overall things have been going well. I wish my weight would go down more, but I know I am getting stronger and feel more lean than I did before. I have had some issues lately with low blood sugar at the end of some of my workouts and I'm trying to adjust my eating to help me w/the process (make sure I have a nightly meal around 9 or 10pm) and I'm also eating fruit before, during and right after my workout and that has been helping me to not "hit bottom" if you will. Last week was tough and after I drank grape juice on Wed. and an orange on Fri. I seemed to recover well. I have been eating a protein bar around 3-4pm most days to give me a supplemental meal to keep my metabolism going. It's easier than trying to make a protein shake which is impractical for me at times being on the go as a Realtor.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Three Weeks and Feeling Good!

Today Jason did a weight and body fat test to see my progress in the last 3 weeks. I was exactly the same weight as of 3 weeks ago but my body fat was 1.8% less and all my measurements showed progress from lower neck and waist sizes to larger shoulders, etc. That was encouraging. I have also found that I have more energy throughout the day which is a nice bonus. My body is starting to get in a shape a little in that I am able to handle more intense workouts compared to when I first started. I used to be winded very easily and now it takes more reps and more intensity to hit the momentary muscle failure. Jason has been doing a nice job of rotating muscle groups with a variety of exercises to keep it interesting. When I used to work out by myself, I would pretty much stick to the basic exercises and weights that you'd do in a gym class. Jason even had me boxing last Fri. which was kind of fun. I noticed this past week that I also was able to go one more notch on my belt buckle, which was a good feeling. This week was also significant in that I was previously missing meals during the day (like the meal between lunch and dinner) and now I'm eating a protein bar if I can't conveniently get to regular food. Hopefully this will help my metabolism.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My First Two Weeks

It’s been about 2 weeks since I started working out and it’s been good but tough. Being so out of shape, I have been pretty winded. I have built up a little tolerance, but Jason has done a good job to push me forward. I have been eating fairly healthy and have avoided sweets/desserts for the most part. Jason has wanted me to eat every 3-3.5 hours, which has been difficult because I am not used to it. The past month I have been eating mainly 3 meals a day to try to lose weight, but evidently that’s not the best way to do it. By eating more meals it keeps your metabolism more consistent throughout the day and ultimately burns off the calories more efficiently. I have been using a protein shake mix for some of my late evening meals or meals around 3pm between lunch and dinner. Sometimes I still miss, but it’s better than what I was doing before. I also have found that I don’t have such a starvation mentality when I can eat more meals. What I mean is that when I was eating 3 meals a day, I would sometimes think that I need to eat quite a bit so that I wouldn’t feel the hunger as much later on. What has been nice with the extra meals is that I don’t feel that pressure to need to eat a lot during the main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner.)

Also, I have never had a personal trainer before and it’s been excellent. In the past (high school, college and even as a working adult), I would mainly do upper body weights to look good and the only lower body exercises I would do was running or the elliptical machine. Jason has had me do a lot of leg work, squats, lunges, etc. because it’s important to work the major muscle groups to help speed up my metabolism. It’s been nice (most of the time!) to have someone to push me and to do some exercises that I would never have done before. I feel like I am getting a broad spectrum of exercises and muscle development. It’s also easier to go to the gym knowing you have someone rooting for you and trying to help you.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007