kid flexing muscles

Who’s Watching you?

Getting fit and healthy is an individual journey.

It takes focusing on yourself, your choices, your progress, and ultimately your results.
And so it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that it’s all about you.

Sure, it is about you, but at the same time, each and every choice that you make, and action that you take, is being noticed by someone.

Who’s watching you?

Your kids.

Kids care very little about what we say. They will wait for you to finish talking and will then take note of what you do.

Are you following the advice that you give?

Who else is watching?

Your partner, your friends, your co-workers, your parents, your siblings, your neighbor…

We are all in this together, so the next time that you are tempted to throw in the towel on your quest for a healthier, fitter, happier, BETTER you, remember those eyes watching you.
When you aren’t strong enough to stick with it for you, stick with it for them.

If you’re ready to take your fitness to the next level, I’m here to help. Call or email me now to get started on a fitness program that you will be proud to accomplish.

Let’s do this together!

man stretching

Anti-Fitness Habits

The following 3 habits will result in weight gain faster than you can say ‘anti-fitness habits.’ Break these habits quickly.

Drinking Calories. Soda pop, coffee drinks, smoothies, and fruit juices are filled with calories. Since liquids won’t give you a ‘full’ feeling, these drinks slide by without notice of how many extra calories you’re getting. Stick with water to avoid extra calories.

Not Exercising. Skipping the gym day after day, week after week, and month after month will lead to muscle loss and reduced metabolism. Exercise 3-5 days per week to keep your muscles strong and metabolism high.

Eating a Heavy Dinner. Eating a large heavy dinner sets you up for weight gain. Instead of eating the majority of your calories late in the day, spread it out over the entire day.

motivational quote

21 Universal Benefits of Exercise

The number one reason that most people are out-of-shape is that they don’t exercise enough.

I’ve often wished that I could give each and every one of you a personalized pep talk to get you up off the couch and into the gym, day after day. So here’s my pep talk in bullet form – 21 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise.

Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day. When you need motivation or encouragement simply read over this list and feel your motivation soar.

You’ll reset your body:
Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep.

Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better but to also look nicer. Also, exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading your clothes in for smaller sizes.

You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life – it’s time for a break. A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.

You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% of them prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it will the most powerful tool available: exercise.

You’ll be stronger: Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.

You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part by an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone, which has an appetite-taming effect.

You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Fight back by burning loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts.

You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch as your confidence sky-rockets.

You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited.

You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.

You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs, and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program.

You’ll increase insulin sensitivity: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.

You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done.

You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.

You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your bloodstream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.

You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease.

You’ll meet cool people: You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, boot camps, workout centers, and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends.

You’ll improve your BMI: You know that maintaining a healthy BMI is key to disease prevention. Exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control.

You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities.

Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back!

You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks, you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places.

What are you waiting for? Lace-up your shoes and get moving!

looking at fitness tracker

Getting Back On Track

So you took a break from your fitness routine. You ate, you drank, you relaxed, and ate some more.

Well, now it’s time to face the music.

As you look in the mirror after a period of less-than-healthy eating… Your body is puffy and bloated. Your joints are achy. Your clothes feel tight.

Maybe you are feeling that way right now.

Here’s how to get you back on the fitness fast track.

1) Find Your Focus
It happened. You ate things from the “never eat these” list, you drank more that you should have…but now it’s over.

Draw a line in the sand. You’re back now so the bad eating stops now.

If you’re serious about your fitness goals, then the past few weeks were the exception and not the rule. Don’t beat yourself up for letting loose. Simply get back up, dust yourself off and get focused.

2) Get Hydrated
While vacation can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore your balance is to get hydrated.

Your first priority in getting back on track is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Start with a tall glass of water in the morning, and carry a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day.

Don’t add any artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will sabotage your hydration efforts. For flavor, add sliced fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to your water, just like at the spa.

3) Cleanse Your System
For your first few days getting back on track, I need you to be extra picky about what you eat. Stick with only whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Whole, real foods will help to restore balance and block out cravings.

Don’t eat any packaged foods for the next few days. This means no snack foods, processed meat slices, dairy, baked goods or alcohol.

4) Get Some Rest
As relaxing as vacation days are, most end with the feeling of exhaustion. Make catching up on sleep a priority over the next few days.

When your body is low on sleep, it becomes easier to make poor eating choices. You’re also less likely to get back into your workouts if you don’t give your body a chance to rest.
Aim for getting a full 8 hours of sleep each night.

5) Jump Back Into Your Exercise Routine
It’s time to sweat out all those indulgences. So lace up your shoes and put on your favorite gym clothes. When you start your first workout, ease in slowly. Take the time to warm up and stretch your muscles before powering up to a solid 30-minute routine.

I have just the exercise plan for you – one that will not only help you recover from your summer but will help keep you motivated and going strong in the future.

If you haven’t joined yet, now is the perfect time for you to start. Together we will get you to your goals with my results-driven method.

Dave G.’s Success Story

Man lifting weightsGrowing up I was a pudgy kid. I liked sports, but I didn’t always make the best food choices. I started training at Advantage Personal Training when I was 13 years old. My father and I would work out together. He showed me that hard work and discipline would yield positive results.

From Day 1, I have always enjoyed exercising. Now as an adult, I appreciate the healthy habits I have learned along the way. I would encourage any kid who has a few pounds to lose to join this gym. They will truly change your life!

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.