Aaron Evans ALBANY, NY
I’ve been working out with Tom Sokol as my trainer at Best Fitness on Central Avenue since July 16, 2016. I started with 3 sessions a week and have since increased it to 4 sessions. My weight has gone up from 187 lbs to 205 lbs. That’s a good thing! My wife once commented that I’m starting to look like a Marine. For a computer guy who moves a mouse around all day, nothing sounds better than that! My physical hobbies are all endurance based. Hiking in Adirondacks, cycling with the Mohawk Hudson Cycling Club, jogging, tennis, etc. Unfortunately, they don’t tend to build upper body muscle. It is working? It’s easy to report the stats. In short, every exercise has at least doubled in weight and my arms, chest and legs has gained inches. • Deadlift 305 lbs (max just reach Sept 15th) • Leg Press is now at 700 lbs! • Bench press is now 225 lbs (that’s working weight not max) • Single arm dumbbell rows are now 90 lbs (3 sets of 10 each arm) • 100 inclined sit-ups Most importantly, I look forward to going. Getting up in the early morning three times a week has become the routine I’ve always wanted. The morning is perfect but getting up has always seemed impossible. Now, with an expectation of an appointment, I no longer make excuses and fall back asleep. I show up! Tom has had to adjust many different exercises to help me out when I have weak points over the last year. It hasn’t always been a smooth progress. Fortunately, he always gives me pointers on proper form and, most importantly, demonstrates it. I’m getting better at knowing what to do at this point, but lifting weights is very new to me and, without a trainer, I would’ve never dared go heavy. There’s also the motivation factor, if I’m doing 100 inclined sit ups, if I reach failure at 99 (like today!), he doesn’t let me get away with stopping. A little assistance and I get it done. No excuses! Tom also keeps it interesting. I don’t know what the next workout will be. We’ve done every dumbbell, kettle bell, bar weight and machine type of exercise I can imagine. Variety is the keyword. I’ve never been bored! As an unexpected benefit, he was former coach at a university for many major sports! This year my jogging was suffering. I was down to 9:30 minute/mile. I’m not a quick runner, but with duathlons being two 5k runs, with a bike ride in the middle, that’s a noticeable drop. He changed my program for the summer to accommodate. Then with just one session, he decreased by mile per minute by 30 second by explaining efficient running mechanics and having me prove I got the message in the gym. He also tailored my program for this summer so my biking would improve. It actually was too good. I went from 13-14 mph average to 17.5-19. That means my group rides of 25-30 miles start having the other riders arriving 20-30 minutes after I’m back at the parking lot! Of course, I usually don’t sit at the car, I tend to go out again for another 3-5 miles up some hill! Too much fun! Suffice it to say, I’m not stopping anytime soon! It feels good to feel good. This is working for me.