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New Year, New Resolve: Turn fitness resolutions into fitness lifestyles

THE DAILY LEADER / KIM HENDERSON / Stefanie Orr of Curves believes the key to meeting fitness goals is discipline. “You've got to stick to whatever program you've committed to,” she says.

THE DAILY LEADER / KIM HENDERSON / Stefanie Orr of Curves believes the key to meeting fitness goals is discipline. “You’ve got to stick to whatever program you’ve committed to,” she says.

Many of the New Year’s resolutions people will make this week involve physical fitness goals – losing weight, starting an exercise regimen, joining a gym. And while intentions are good, it’s often iffy whether or not those who make the resolutions actually see success. Three area personal trainers were asked what advice they will share with new clients who approach them about making good on their resolutions in 2014. Here’s what they said.

Rico Sorrell – Snap Fitness

Gyms typically see a surge in new memberships in January. Rico Sorrell, a personal trainer at the Snap Fitness franchise on Brookway Boulevard, said it’s no different in Brookhaven.

“We’ll probably have at least 50 new clients,” he estimates.

At their gym, employees show these newcomers how to use their exercise equipment in order to get results.

“We’ll advise them to focus on being consistent in two areas – their diet and their workout regimen,” Sorrell explains. Clients receive motivational emails to keep them on track, a personal contact the trainer believes makes a big difference.

“Our smaller membership makes Snap Fitness feel like family,” he adds.

Sorrell’s very first clients at the Brookhaven location were a man and his wife seeking to reach New Year’s weight loss goals.

“I had seen them struggling for a while because they didn’t know what exercises would help them the most. I suggested more compound movements – involving multiple muscle groups – like squats and dead lifts.” The advice worked. The couple dropped a combined total of 95 pounds, and they’re still active members today.

The key, Sorrell said, is consistency.

“Figure out your goal and stick to it,” he said, “even when it’s tough. The first step to success is showing up.”

Stefanie Orr – Curves

Stefanie Orr, manager of the Curves facility located at 122 East Monticello Street in Brookhaven, said their women-only designation proves attractive to many customers, especially after a season of holiday eating.

“Our rolls will definitely increase next month,” she says. Her advice to those who will be walking through their doors because of resolutions they’ve made is this: “The very first thing I’ll tell them is if you need to lose 10 or more pounds, you’ll need to come in for about 30 minutes a day. Are you willing to make that commitment?”

In addition to a circuit of workout machines, Curves members are encouraged to participate in exercise classes offered at the location, like the dance-fitness routine Zumba, in which Orr is a certified instructor.

One Zumba participant who wished to remain anonymous, said the reason these sessions represent one of the hottest trends in exercise is that they don’t seem like a workout. “It just feels like you’re dancing and having a good time,” she said.

Orr notes that resolutions most often meet reality at the dinner table.

“We’re now considered a weight loss clinic that offers exercise,” she said. “We provide one-on-one coaching, which is a big plus in achieving goals.”

Orr will celebrate her ten-year anniversary at the establishment in January, and her mother operated the franchise for seven years prior. Longevity, Orr stresses, means the staff at Curves knows their clients.

“Relationships matter here,” she adds.

Todd Peavey – KDMC Fitness Center

After more than 20 years of helping Brookhaven residents manage fitness resolutions, Todd Peavey of the KDMC Fitness Center said he tells those who are serious about meeting their goals that it won’t be a short race.

“What’s important is where you are six months down the road,” Peavey said, “or even a year from now. We help clients set short-term and long-term goals and decide on the steps it will take to get them there.”

Peavey estimates their facility on Highway 51 North, may see 200 new members join up in the first months of 2014. He said most will be seeking to improve their lives through cosmetic changes – losing weight, fitting into their clothes.

“I ask them to see beyond the weight and consider whether or not they’re healthy,” he said. “Skinny people have heart attacks and high cholesterol, too. The main thing is to increase quality of life.”

The exercise physiologist emphasizes the need to set reasonable goals.

“Losing one pound a week will lead to 52 pounds over the course of a year. That’s a lot of weight,” Peavey said. He goes on to describe the approach he takes with an average middle-aged female client.

“First, we’d measure her body fat percentage,” he said. “That’s important because females need more muscle to support their bone structure as they age. Then we’d prescribe a program that includes weight training, aerobic activity, and a flexibility regimen. We offer nutritional counseling as well.” It’s encouraging that Peavey has witnessed real-life resolution success stories.

“I saw one client lose 40 pounds and, as a result, come completely off her blood pressure medicine and insulin,” he recalls. “I’m more impressed by that than the weight loss.”


SMART is a commonly-used acronym for goal setting. SMART goals are:

Specific – Determining to lose weight isn’t specific enough. Three pounds or 30?

Measurable – You can’t stay on track without a destination in mind. What’s your overall plan?

Active – How will you reach your goals? Will you join a gym or take up a sport?

Realistic – Is your goal achievable? Take time to consider whether you’re reacting or responding.

Timely – Your plans need to include a timetable. When do you hope to reach your goal?