The Late Bloomer
Kurt Gillon’s 67-year-old client decides it’s time to focus on his health and fitness.
Personal Trainer: Kurt Gillon, Workout Anytime
From contemplation to action. At age 67 Emmett was just over 6 feet tall and weighed 275 pounds, with a body mass index of 39. “I was a classic ‘apple’ shape,” Emmett recalls. “I had tried on several occasions to lose weight, only to gain it back.” Compounding the issue, he had degenerative osteoarthritis in his left knee and pain in his left hip. “Walking and other daily activities were getting more difficult to do without experiencing pain,” he adds. To manage the pain, he took two capsules of naxopren daily.
Despite these roadblocks, Emmett made another attempt at losing weight and joined Workout Anytime in summer 2010. “I initially joined to have a place to ride a stationary bike and to do some strength training on my own.”
A budding partnership. On joining Workout Anytime, Emmett was inspired to place greater focus on his health and fitness. “Given my sedentary background, I felt this could best be done with the help of a trainer.” After an initial assessment, he was paired with personal trainer Kurt Gillon. “I knew he had trained with a lot of different types of clients and was knowledgeable about a number of techniques, so I was glad to work with him,” says Emmett.
Gaining insights. Prior to his first meeting with Emmett, Gillon had already learned about many of Emmett’s potential limitations. “One concern I had was what exercise movements Emmett would and would not be able to do,” Gillon says. But before making any judgments, Gillon simply listened. “I needed to listen to what Emmett’s expectations and goals were and determine if they were realistic for the condition his body was in.”
From there, the two moved to the gym floor to see what Emmett’s body could do. “We went through a variety of body weight movements, continually gauging and charting, mostly to see where there was pain and discomfort.” With a solid baseline, the two could begin to inch toward Emmett’s goals.
Building trust. Each 30-minute session was presented differently than the previous one to avoid predictability. The two used tools such as resistance bands, the Lebert Buddy System™, the TRX® Suspension Trainer™, free weights and some machines. As sessions progressed, Emmett’s knee continued to be a concern and a potential impediment.
A careful and compassionate trainer, Gillon recognized his client’s fears and adjusted the workout accordingly. “I learned to trust that Kurt wouldn’t make me do anything that would be harmful to my body, nor would he push me to do something because other people in the gym were able to do it,” recalls Emmett. He also enlisted the guidance of a physical therapist, which helped improve knee function.
Recognizing weakness. “During the first 6 months, I gained considerable strength, flexibility and durability, but I had challenges in trying to lose weight,” Emmett says. Despite his efforts, he never lost more than 10 pounds. “I did volunteer work with refugees who insisted on feeding me large amounts of high-carbohydrate foods and lots of tea made with milk and sugar.” He quickly realized that he needed more structure and accountability, so he joined Weight Watchers®. This combination of training and nutrition planning eventually resulted in a 56-pound weight loss.
Seeing success. “It has been about a year and a half that I’ve been training with Kurt,” Emmett says. Along with being stronger and more flexible, Emmett is now more capable of performing daily activities. “By spring of 2011, I was easily walking 40 minutes in a nearby park 3–4 days per week. I was also enjoying gardening, as well as hiking in the North Georgia mountains again.” Emmett was also able to reduce his naxopren dosage from two pills a day to one pill every 1 or 2 weeks.
“At the end of the day, it is about the client,” Gillon says. “The rewards are not always going to be financial; there won’t always be a celebrity client or the all-star athlete. But you will have an Emmett—someone who is looking to get results and have a better quality of life.”