Steve Majeika

Although I never had been overweight or terribly out of shape, the idea of working out had been in the back of my mind for several years.  One day, after reading about a new kind of gym that was opening in Old Mystic, I finally decided that I wanted to develop some muscles for myself.  My real ambitions were to look great in a pair of jeans and even better while wearing a pair of swim trunks during the summer.  I had also heard that regular exercise and working out might make me look and feel younger, as well as providing some of the cognitive benefits that can be derived from regular physical fitness.

As I entered my mid-forties, I noticed that my waistline had increased a bit and my pants and shorts were feeling tighter around the waist.  As I think back, I went from a size 32 waist to a more comfortable 33.  Then, after a few more years passed, I had progressed to a size 34.  I justified my “middle-age spread” by reading that size 34 was the most popular size in men’s pants and shorts.  Nonetheless, I was feeling “ill at ease” in my clothing, sometimes even having to loosen the top button for comfort while sitting.

I knew that I did not want to join a mainstream type of gym, where so many people use the expression “I’m going to the gym,” as if it were a trendy fashion statement or some sort of chic expression to sound “cool.”  What’s more, my job at Electric Boat (EB) had me deskbound for extraordinarily long periods of time – sometimes up to 10 hours per day!  If I wasn’t sitting at my desk, I was chairing meetings or worse – on company aircraft, enroute to another General Dynamics Operating Unit.

Back in the early days, Greg worked with me three days a week.  On certain days we would work the upper body and on others, the lower body.  There were times when we would mix it up, working all muscle groups with fierce intensity, although my favorite is “classic bodybuilding.”  Greg took a personal interest in me, and was always asking about my diet.  He had me keep a log of everything that I had eaten on any given day, and would make recommendations for improvement, suggesting substitutions (or elimination) of certain foods for better nutrition.  Greg was also constantly challenging me to increase the amount of weight that I was lifting, but at the same time never allowing me to lose the proper form while attaining new levels of strength.

After a few weeks, I was starting to see some improvement and I definitely felt better.  I was sleeping so much “sounder” – especially after my sessions with Greg.  After several months, I found myself going down a notch or two in my belt, and curiously, and I had much more energy.  My reflection in the mirror was strangely different.  I was looking at an image of someone with muscles – someone who was toned and ripped.  That person was me!  Now, I can wear any pair of jeans and look good in them.  At the beach, it’s great catching a glimpse of someone who is admiring my physique – even at age 60!

When I stop to think that once upon a time, I couldn’t even do one pull up, and now I can do 30.  These days, I have progressed to ‘advanced level’ training and we are currently working on my endurance and stamina.  I love my “new” body, complete with six-pack abs, vee shaped torso, and small waistline.”

Lisa Stevens

At just shy of 50 years old I was feeling more like 80. A past injury resulted in the loss of the cartilage behind my kneecaps and is a source for the difficulty I experienced in climbing and descending stairs. This along with rheumatoid arthritis made every day chores seem like insurmountable tasks.

After years of struggling and compensating for my poor health I decided I had had enough and it was time to do something about it. Thus a year and a half ago I started working with Mike at Advantage Personal Training with a goal to become stronger and more flexible. I knew I could not expect immediate results so I kept telling myself, “I will judge my success in a year… just keep going.” I knew this would be a lifetime commitment. Mike was great at accommodating for my limitations. I worked as hard as I could to do everything he had set up for me. I began to feel better all over and my joints did not hurt in the way they had previously. I began sleeping better at night and I had more energy during the day.

After about 4 months I was feeling good enough to set some new goals for myself. Now it was time to lose weight. I started a diet plan with Ideal Weight Systems and over the next 4 months lost 37 pounds. I was very excited to accomplish this.

Last summer I began working with Jesse and Denzel at Advantage who continued to challenge me and always come up with tough workouts to keep me on my toes. I have been able to maintain my weight and I feel like I continue to get stronger. My arthritis is not as noticeable these days with my only limitation being my knees. Though, with the strengthening of the muscles that surround my knees they have been feeling much better and I do not dread the stairs the same as I did a year and a half ago!

This past May I celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary and it was especially gratifying when I was able to fit into my wedding dress again! Now, I feel I can judge that the work I have done has been successful in getting me to my goals. Now I am feeling like I have a new life with energy, strength, and flexibility along with balance that I lacked over a year and a half ago plus the added bonus of being the size I was 25 years ago!

Thank you to all who have helped me along this journey for you have helped me stick with it for the long haul.

Couple Success Story

Manny and Irene Makiaris

Couple Success StoryJust a couple of weeks after Advantage Personal Training opened its doors, my wife and I were running errands in downtown Niantic where we saw the newly-opened Advantage Personal Training. Even though I was handling the normal activities of daily life pretty well, I was severely overweight, not exercising and had tried every weight loss program under the sun. On a whim, we went into APT, met Calvin McCoy and was immediately very impressed with him, his staff, their professionalism and the relatively small size of the facility as compared to the glitzy “meat market” gyms. I signed up immediately, followed by my wife some time later. I began working out twice a week, eventually increasing to three times a week and rarely miss an appointment.  I look upon the decision to become a client of APT as one of the most important decisions of my life. Calvin, and later Paul Palazzo, worked with me in designing varied exercise programs that took into account my physical reality.

I was severely overweight, had osteoarthritis in one knee, and lower back pain. As time went on, my physical condition significantly improved but I still did not permanently lose significant amounts of weight.  In fact I actually gained some weight to where I weighed over 370 pounds. I realized that I had to do something.  To make a long story short, after doing lots of research and consulting with my personal physician, I made another milestone decision: gastric bypass surgery.  After a long and difficult process I am happy to say I’ve lost more than 150 pounds and have maintained my current weight for almost ten years.  Calvin, Paul and occasionally other APT staffers continue to play an important role in my efforts to stay physically fit and to maintain my weight. They have risen to the occasion, continuing to assess my personal needs in designing exercise programs modified to account for those needs. In recent years I have had back surgery, which unfortunately has not worked.  There is the possibility for more back surgery and perhaps other procedures. If this comes to pass, I will once again lean heavily on APT for their expertise and counsel. Thanks a million!

IRENE MAKIARIS: My original goal in joining APT was to encourage my husband to stay with his weekly workouts. I soon realized that I felt much better after working out and joined my husband regularly twice a week at the gym. I also began to walk daily and at times would ride my bike to the gym before my workouts. Calvin continued to encourage me and with weight training as a focus, I was quickly taken off my medicine for osteopenia and showed great progress in my bone density scans.  Paul joined APT and became my regular trainer and he continues to train me as if I was 50 Years old – but I love it!  My workout sessions are on my calendar and I schedule the rest of my life around my training.  Working with a group of individuals who are customer-focused has kept me on top of my strength and balance training which has allowed me to keep up with our 4 grandchildren.  I look forward to very long and continued successful training through my golden years. Thank you Paul and Calvin for keeping us fit and young!