Vikki Success Story

Vicki B’s Success Story

Vikki at Advantage Personal TrainingI came to APT in November 2016. I had been athletic throughout my life – played various sports, and had always been physically active. About 5 years ago, I began to have issues with my right shoulder and arm. Nothing too serious but I was in a lot of pain. I knew if I didn’t take care of it I‘d end up with permanent damage, and potentially have to get surgery. Working with health professionals I tried rehab. I would heal to a certain point but would eventually reinjure my shoulder/arm. I was also diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. My weight was increasing, while my physical and mental health were decreasing. I had tried other gyms, classes, and every fad diet out there. Nothing was working! I needed something to change, and it needed to happen immediately. After getting my shoulder to a good place again, last November I signed up for the 21 Day Challenge at APT Mystic.

I met with Keith Kessinger, Director of Programming, who assured me he & the trainers at APT could take on my case and we could work my body back to health. My goal was to be fit, lean, and healthy. I wanted to be working with experts in the field who would help me set reasonable & attainable goals but I was petrified I’d have another setback. In the 21 days, I lost pounds, inches, and body fat. Keith lived up to his word & so much more!

After the Challenge, I joined APT and have made great strides both physically & emotionally. The environment Greg, Calvin, and the rest of the staff have created is encouraging, supportive, and nurturing. Working with the Nutritionist, Bethany, I was finally able to begin replacing my old unhealthy habits with healthy habits, and my self-esteem and body image improved tremendously. Through APT I signed up for the Precision Nutrition online program. I receive daily emails which are teaching me about fitness & food, while Bethany acts as my Coach. The program has been an amazing learning experience.

After 9 months, I have a better insight into my fitness self, and feel more in control of my “Owners Manual”. I understand why I made decisions that ultimately formed unhealthy habits, and I now understand I have the power to change them. I’ve learned this is a LIFESTYLE change, not a fad diet. Not to mention it’s maintainable and enjoyable. In 9 short months, I’ve become stronger, leaner, and in better shape than I’ve ever been. I love the APT Community and can’t thank the staff and fellow gym members enough for helping me along my fitness journey!

steve's success story

Steve M’s Success Story

My odyssey began in the fall of 1999 when I first learned about a novel kind of gym that would soon be opening in Old Mystic. I wanted to join a unique kind of gym that was different from the predominantly mainstream chains or basic storefront fitness clubs that were becoming remarkably prevalent in the area, so this place really intrigued me. This new and innovative facility was called Advantage Personal Training (APT) and was unrivaled by the others.

My search for a gym all came about because I was entering my mid-forties and found myself sitting for extraordinarily long periods at my desk, chairing meetings, or on an airplane. Because I was involved in so many fast-paced and exciting new projects having targets for performance and deadlines for completion, the stress associated with my career was also exhausting. It seemed as though everything was taking a toll on me – both mentally and physically. My mind and body were telling me that I needed to care for them better and that I had to do something about it because I was out of shape.

Up until then, my job and career had always taken center stage, leaving no time for working out in a gym. The best I could do was to take the stairs instead of the elevator. The thought of beginning to work out at age 45 worried me – not so much in the sense of being frightened, or injuring myself, but in the connotation of finding a “good fit,” or suitable facility. I had read that one’s personality has a direct effect upon exercise performance, so being a ‘type-a’, I had concerns about everything – trainers, equipment, cleanliness, approach, and results. I was looking for structured and logical progression leading to success because failure is simply not in my vocabulary.

Fast-forwarding to the present, I am happy to say that I made the right choice by joining Advantage. In fact, I have been a true-to-life “case study,” where detailed plans and a path for my development that were specifically tailor-made to suit me, have resulted in overwhelming success. Over the last 19+ years, Greg and his staff have provided the guidance, tools, expertise, and encouragement, taking me from ‘beginner’ to ‘intermediate’, and now to ‘advanced’ levels of endurance, stamina, strength, and speed in my respective age group(s). During the last two decades, I have witnessed remarkable muscle growth and more importantly, muscle retention, using APT’s prescribed methods and direction. Not only do I look and feel better, but I am also proud to say that my waistline has returned to a svelte thirty-two inches – what it was in high school!

What’s more, my cognitive function is markedly sharper, and my memory & thinking processes have improved. I’ve read where studies show that regular physical exercise is directly attributable to these enrichments. Currently, at age 64, the focus has slightly been modified (from stamina, strength, and speed) toward including more emphasis on flexibility, coordination, and balance, as I enter my “golden years.” lol

Recently, I suffered a distressing personal setback where I was hospitalized and had to undergo a very delicate operation. Because of the nature and location of the operation, I was forced to use alternate methods of sitting up and overall mobility so as not to impede the healing process. As I called upon various other muscle groups away from the subject area (incision site) to do so, I was inexorably reminded of how Greg and I had worked together to strengthen and develop those substitute muscles in the gym – never knowing that one day they would be called upon and put to the absolute test.

Now that I am back in the gym after being sidelined for three months, carefully created routines are followed where incremental goals will accrue, and lead to the major milestone of complete recovery.

I am grateful to Greg and every member of his staff – past and present – that helped contribute toward achieving my goals. In addition, I am extremely proud to be a member of the APT family, and recommend that everyone experience the thrill of using state-of-the-art equipment in a first-class facility under the tutelage of trained professionals.

Laura's Success Story

Laura’s Success Story

I became interested in Advantage when a friend suggested I try it for a month. I knew I was looking for a different way of working out that incorporated more weights and circuit training. I had been sort of stuck in a rut with my exercise program.

I never wanted to give up, but there were certainly times when it really challenged me. I had been recovering from a long battle with Lyme disease that took several years to get under control. I had only been doing low-level cardio for the previous few years. It was a big step forward for me to join Advantage.

My goal is to go to team training three times a week. I also try to incorporate yoga, tennis or walking at least two other days a week. I believe that I can be a better wife and mother when I am healthy and strong.

Advantage has an incredible, positive atmosphere. When I arrive, I am greeted with a smile by all of the staff. The trainers know me and can make recommendations about adjustments to my workout that are tailored to me. The team training classes are different every time which helps keep me motivated and interested.

When I stick to a fitness regimen and a healthy diet, I feel more confident tackling what comes my way. In addition, I feel it’s important to set a good example of what a healthy lifestyle looks like for my children. I have noticed that I am stronger which allows me to keep up with my very active family. I have also noticed that it has built up my self-confidence.

Judy F's Success Story

Judy’s Success Story

I have always worked out my whole life, (maybe not correctly), but I always played sports and did strength training.

I learned how to use weights properly when I took an admin job at a personal training gym nearly 20 years ago.

A year later I became a trainer!

Many people will encounter health issues and injuries in this journey we call life, even Personal Trainers.

I’m here to tell you my story.

I’ve had many joint injuries and surgeries over the years. I was diagnosed 4 years ago with CPPD (Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition), which is a very painful joint disorder that causes calcifications in the joints, and unfortunately, it has no cure.

It has taken me almost 4 years to digest this news, and realize that I can no longer do things the way I once could.

If I’m going to cook a meal, work in the garden, clean my house, etc on a certain day, I need to know what kind of workout will be sufficient for me that day.

I also cannot lift the weights I once could. Every once in a while I will still try to lift heavier weights on a good day, which leaves me regretting my decision and causes sleepless nights due to the pain.

But I also know the importance of keeping strong so I do what I can and when I can!

I’m 54 years old and keeping the weight in check and staying as strong as I can. I consider myself a great cook (No matter what my son says). My cupboards always have glass jars with fresh ingredients in them, and I don’t buy a lot of pre-packaged food.
I have been lucky most all of my life to keep a good diet and I have always had a taste for good, clean food. I am definitely a label reader and have to know what I am putting into my body!

I’m here to tell you to keep moving. If you can move, then you can improve. So don’t stop being active, even if your body makes it difficult.

Danny's Success Story

Danny C’s Success Story

My name is Daniel Contino and I am currently a junior at Ledyard High School. As captain of the varsity wrestling team, I was fortunate enough to participate as our team won the Eastern Connecticut Conference and a Class M state title.

I chose Advantage Personal Training because it’s not as much of a gym as it is a community. In a traditional gym, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle atmosphere fueled by peer competition and self-proclaimed workout gurus. At Advantage, there is a cohesive environment amongst the clients where everyone shares a similar goal of somehow transcending themselves to a higher level of health and wellness. Through the guidance of the certified Personal Fitness Trainers and staff, one can rest assured knowing they will be trained with professionalism.

Entering the current wrestling season, I was moved up a weight class from last year. I knew I needed to add some size to my frame. I told the Director of Personal Training, Keith Kessinger, about my goals and he designed a series of workouts targeted toward the concept of hypertrophy- the enlargement of muscles through the stimulation of muscle fibers which causes cells to expand- which is more commonly known as “bulking up”. Keith integrated speed, agility, quickness warm-ups and “drop set” hurricane workouts into my program enabling me to bring my cardio and endurance to an extremely high level.

Advantage Personal Training has improved my performance as a varsity athlete. I look forward to a healthy and successful wrestling season. Thank you APT!!!

Caroline's Success Story

Caroline’s Success Story

I’ve always been an athlete. From a young age, I’ve played softball, soccer, basketball, as well as had stints swimming, doing gymnastics, etc. You name it, I’ve done it. Because of this, I was always pretty lucky to be able to eat what I want, but as most know, this eventually catches up with you. For me, it caught up with me in the fall of my senior year of high school. I was decently active because of volleyball and the travel softball team I play for, but with how much time I had to spend on my coursework combined with poor eating habits, I was becoming less and less fit every day.

In September, I committed to play Division I softball at Princeton University. This had been a lifelong dream of mine, so as you could imagine, I was ecstatic. I really did think I was ready to go, but in November I took a hard look at what was in the mirror – I was out of shape and had little to no strength from always putting off lifting. Luckily, a family friend and fellow softball player recommended going to Advantage to start getting into shape for college ball. It ended up doing all that for me as well as changing my life.

You can ask Greg Drab, my goal never was to lose weight. I just wanted to gain speed, power, and the like. However, I quickly fell in love with Advantage, the trainers, the facility, and the other people there. I never felt uncomfortable, and because of this, I started to spend more and more time there. I would go after school, even after games, and sometimes on the weekend, I would go twice in one day. I discovered a love for heavy lifting, and I changed my eating habits in order to have more energy to go to the gym. All of this began to pay off as I saw results. I lost 30 pounds and gained an awesome amount of muscle mass. High school umpires asked me what fitness program I was doing, people who hadn’t seen me in a couple of months couldn’t believe how different I had looked, and I felt amazing. I’m sleeping better, and waking up earlier (sometimes now you’ll see me at the gym at 6 AM, which I would have never thought was possible before!).

Overall, my whole lifestyle has changed. I enjoy working out, and it’s hard for me to go a day without it. I love being known as the gym rat of my friends, and I know I’m going to college ready to play at the Division I level. This weekend, I’m even running my first 5k, which is super exciting! I now know that fitness will be an important part of my régime for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Angela

Angela’s Success Story

When I was in High School I participated in track, varsity volleyball, swimming, and cheerleading.

Later I made a life-changing decision to marry and become a mom instead of going to college and while I managed to play volleyball in the Mediterranean for a year after that, I put everything I had into parenthood and my level of physical exercise waned considerably. Little did I know how much I would miss it or how much it would affect my self-esteem.
Fast forward 35 years…..My children are now 33 and 29 and I have decided to return to an active, healthy life-style.

I joined Advantage Personal Training in October 2014 for two reasons. 1) I needed to awaken the dormant athlete in me, and 2) I accepted a challenge to run a Spartan Race.

I have joined many gyms in my lifetime but was unsuccessful in achieving my goals. I have found the perfect combination of instruction and comradery here at APT and somehow I have fallen in love with exercise again.

I completed the Spartan Trifecta this year which consisted of roughly 29.3 miles and 97 obstacles through mud, hills, and steep ravines. I feel FANTASTIC! I have learned that it has always been a part of me, just buried all these years.

As I not so patiently await the birth of my first Grandchild, I intend to continue on my physical journey to get my BMI in check and I am looking forward to doing it with the continued help of everyone here at APT

lisa's-success-story

Lisa’s Success Story

lisa's-success-story
I used to run. I used to go to a gym without trainers, using various equipment with what I realize now was pretty bad form. The result was knee pain. I then fell on my knee and injured it. The fall along with misguided exercise, yo-yo dieting, and arthritis made it harder and harder to get around. I also have a hereditary swelling in my legs called Lipedema. The combination made me increasingly immobile, over-weight, and depressed. I bent over when I walked, unable to straighten up without pain. I was having trouble straightening my leg out after sitting, intermittently. It was bad.

The gym became my life-line. The trainers (particularly, Keith) never let me give up. If I couldn’t do one thing they always had an alternative. They were both compassionate and upbeat. I came six days a week, determined to regain my mobility. I also saw Bethany (the wonderful Nutritionist) once a week. I learned how to eat whole foods and avoid inflammatory foods. I also learned to stop making food the enemy. I slowly started to lose weight and gain strength! A little less than a year later I had a total knee replacement, and after a difficult recovery and painful physical therapy, I came back to the gym (as soon as the doctor gave the OK).

I have lost more weight but I have also replaced fat with muscle. I am doing things now that I haven’t done in years, from walking up the stairs “like normal people,” to doing squats. The swelling in my legs has also gone down and I am standing up much straighter. The gym for me has been life-changing and I cannot thank everyone enough for helping me get to this point.

Holiday Tips from APT

Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season from Coach Greg Drab

The holidays are in full force and so far you’ve been lucky and the viruses circling the block and your house have missed you. What can you do to keep healthy and end the year on a high note?

Here are a few tips for you:

  • Wash your hands – this is a no-brainer! Keep those hands free of germs by washing whenever you come into contact with an infected person and especially before eating.
  • Stay in control of stress – I know the holidays can really bring a person to the brink, but take a few moments to yourself throughout the day to just … breathe. Stay calm, it’ll all be over soon!
  • Sleep! – You’d be surprised how much the amount and quality of sleep you get can affect your well-being.  Make sure you’re getting to bed at a decent time and getting solid sleep.
  • Keep your cooking surfaces clean – wipe down all prep areas with antibacterial products prior to and after use.
  • Do not drink and drive – if you will be imbibing, make sure you have a designated driver to get you both home safely.
  • Stay active – if you can’t make it into the gym, take a walk around the block with your pets, take your kids to the park, walk around the mall if you’re up for that sort of thing. Just keep your body moving – it’ll help with the stress as well.
  • Eat as healthy as you can – Eat those veggies and fruits and keep a pack of almonds in your pocket for the times you’re looking for a snack.

With these tips, you’re giving yourself the best advantage to stay healthy through the holidays.

Linda’s Success Story

As a teenager, I carried a few extra pounds and did not like the image in the mirror. A few years after having my daughter at age 18, I joined my first gym, a women’s only facility. Not feeling challenged enough, I moved onto a coed gym, where I worked with a personal trainer. While I loved working with weights and my muscles became defined, I grew bored with the routine and decided to try the glitzy gym across the street where I mainly took spin classes and wandered aimlessly. Yet again, I grew bored.

I started running outside and a whole new world opened up for me! In 2005 I did a full marathon. This was my new thing! I could eat all I wanted and never gain weight due to all the cardio, but I still had these few extra pounds that would just not go away and was still not happy with the image in the mirror. In addition, I lost my muscle definition because I had stopped strength training.

Over the years, I’ve completed numerous 5K races (taking 1st place in my age group once), many half marathons, Ragnar Relay Road & Trail Races, and several obstacle course races (taking 3rd place in my age group in the Hartford Down & Dirty race a few years ago). I love the challenge, all the like-minded people I’ve met and all the sights I’ve seen while running through the countryside I otherwise never would have seen.

But still, those few extra pounds until I joined one of APT’s 21-Day programs in May of 2017. The nutrition plan was not at all hard to follow but was certainly different from anything I had tried before: counting calories or points, the South Beach diet, the Atkins diet (remember that one?)…But this plan worked! Quickly! In 21 days I lost those last stubborn 7 pounds and I could look at and carry myself in confidence!!! I was so psyched that I joined APT and I am so happy I made that decision because, the personalized strength training programs have brought back my muscle definition which in turn has improved my running performance and endurance, all while having fun. Amazing, right?, that at age 57, I’m in the best shape of my life and I feel it too! I LOVE Advantage Personal Training, where the workouts are never boring, the trainers are dedicated and obviously love what they do, the atmosphere is upbeat, and I always leave with a smile on my face. APT is most definitely “The best part of my day”.

My next goal? The unassisted pull-up. Why? Because with APT I can!