"Best Shape of Your Life Challenge" Changes Lives

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Story Updated: Nov 13, 2011

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The last day of the six-week “Best Shape of Your Life Challenge” proves it’s never too late to get healthy.

Seventy-four participants celebrated their health on Sunday after completing the “Best Shape of Your Life Challenge,” a six-week health and fitness program sponsored by Fort Wayne Strength & Conditioning and Parkview Health.

“Best Shape of Your Life” kicked off Oct. 2. Participants had their body fat and weight measured, received a spinal exam, and did a baseline workout.

Participants and their families gathered for one last workout, weigh-in and measurement. Josh Barkley and his wife participated in the challenge. He said he lost 28 lbs., six inches around his waist and dropped six points from his total body fat measurement. He and his wife dropped a combined 45 lbs.

“Awesome! I feel real good! It changed my life,” Barkley said.

Working out since July, Barkley has lost 66 lbs. He said his past never included running, but he did the challenge to ensure a healthy future.

“Through Fort Wayne Strength & Conditioning it's helped me better myself and be ready for when my wife and I have kids someday. [We’ll] be able to raise our kids and be healthy,” Barkley said.

The program included a healthy diet where participants had drink 64 oz. Of water a day, and no sugar, alcohol, or processed foods were allowed. Workouts were based on Crossfit training, a high-intensity workout combining gymnastics, weight training, and cardio. Participants were also required to get eight hours of sleep per night.

But Justin Springer, owner of Fort Wayne Strength & Conditioning and fitness coach, said the most important aspect of the challenge was accountability.

“Most people know what to do. They know they need to exercise regularly, they know they need to be eating better, but people sometimes need guidance. They need people they can collaborate and coordinate with,” Springer said. “If you don't show up for a workout, often times you'll get an e-mail or Facebook message from a friend saying, ‘Hey where were you today?’”

Laurie Reynolds said she’d been trying to get her cholesterol level down for the past three years.
Because of the challenge, it dropped from 263 to 208.

“I got fantastic results. I am feeling great! I feel like I'm 23 years old!” Reynolds said. “I’m more flexible…and I’m so happy because my body is firming from coming here three times a week.”

Reynolds also lost 30 lbs., but she said her biggest challenge was drinking 64 oz. of water a day.

“Due to the fact that I am a letter carrier, I had to be looking for restroom stops more frequently,” Reynolds laughed.

But through all the challenges and sweat for the past six weeks...a valuable lesson was learned

“Never give up,” Barkley said. “I’m committed. I want to lose another 100 lbs.”

For more information about Fort Wayne Strength & Conditioning, click on “Best Shape of Your Life” on our “News Links” page.

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