The Journey to Confidence
Chris Pearson with Reform has challenged about every theory that I believed to be true about fitness, exercise, losing weight and shaping your body. I have to admit that he has been 100% accurate which is contrary to what I thought about these subjects since I am very cynical on trainers and boot camps. My wife still has a shoulder injury from an idiot trainer’s boot camp 10 years ago.
My experience with Chris has been nothing short of life changing. You can’t put a price on confidence. Chris understands the physiology and science behind the work out plans and specific exercises he assigns to his clients. Chris is a technical expert on assessing what you want and need to meet your short and long term fitness goals. Chris took the time to understand my goals and build a custom workout that evolves each month to meet the current and next set of goals. He understands what is too much to avoid injury and being too sore to return to gym.
I have known Chris for about 9 years since he roomed with my son in college. I’ve been watching Chris from a distance since then and finally decided to approach him as a personal training coach for multiple reasons. His online coaching program worked great for me as we live over two hours away from each other!
The biggest reason was how I felt about my appearance. I have let my fitness and weight slide to what it was 13 years ago before I began getting fit in 2004 when I was approaching 40. Last February my son made a remark about my gut being larger than he had ever seen it.
For me, that means its time to start something different. Because what I have been doing to maintain is not working any longer. I just keep getting heavier as my belly and muffin top grows proportionally larger.
Like many mid-lifers I had transitioned to the un-tucked shirts stage. I was buying new shirts and pants to feel comfortable, as I was no longer able to tuck in my shirt or button my pants. While on vacation over the last several years, I refused to go shirtless at the pool or beach.
Not being a stranger to fitness, I competed in Triathlons from 2005 to 2012. I run regularly and have completed at least 10 marathons and the infamous Dopey Challenge in 2015. The Dopey Challenge is an annual event at Disney and includes running a 5K, 10K, ½ Marathon and Full Marathon in succession over 4 consecutive days. Training for the event took 12 months and 1200 miles of running to prepare adequately. I completed the task with run times that I still can’t believe to this day.
One would think that with all this cardio training I would feel fit and gain confidence about my physique. I can remember how silly I felt with my gut bulging out from my Triathlon Singlet at my races. Since training under Chris, I have come to understand that cardio fitness alone does not shed weight and shape bodies. Circuit and strength training fitness is completely different than cardio fitness. The two together is unstoppable.
At my first visit to Cooper Aerobics Clinic in Dallas 5 years ago I was on the verge of being put on low Thyroid and high cholesterol meds. I told the Doc to give me 6 months of changing my nutrition while increasing my cardio fitness to avoid the meds. I dropped hamburger meat, fried foods and increased my cardio. My levels on both changed so much that my Doc at Cooper Clinic said he had never seen such a change in levels. Cooper Clinic always encourages me to add strength training to my cardio to improve health and bone density. They never told me that it would help shed weight, so I ignored them and continued the weekly cardio grind in the hope of losing weight and staying off the meds. The problem with cardio grind is you need races or big events to stay motivated to train on days your body says stay in bed dummy. The lack of weight loss results as you grind out the miles creates a pattern of missing workouts. You begin to ask yourself what am I doing wrong to lose weight and look fit.
Flash Forward – 3 months after began training under Chris and Reform.
Last May, I went on an 11 day Disney cruise with my family. I felt so confident about the change in my appearance and weight that I never wore a shirt on the pool deck or on the 6 beaches we visited while on the cruise. LOL, but this was actually one of my short term goals along with being able to tuck in my shirt.
After the Cruise, I was comparing my fitness appearance through pics taken in both 2015 and 2017. I was comparing my recent pics at 160lbs from May 2017 to my pics with my weight at 165 lbs taken in Jan 2015 after the Dopey Challenge event. I was shocked that I could look and weigh so much different after 3 Months of training under Chris verses 12 months and 1200 miles of cardio training. Although the weight was within 5lbs there was no comparison on belly fat and muffin top difference. I would have never taken my shirt off after the Dopey Challenge. Sure, I was at the peak cardio shape of my life, but you would have never known by my appearance. It was not sustainable to keep up that kind of cardio training. I tried by running 2 marathons the next 2 months but injured by foot with a stress fracture. I have never been able to return to that level of cardio and it has been a struggle attempting to do so after completing such an event.
Flash Forward – 4 months after began training under Chris.
My wife told me after 4 months that I have never looked better. My muffin top is 80-90% gone and I feel and look more fit than I have since 2005 when I completed my 1st half Ironman. I feel confident enough to do my long runs shirtless on the road and local school track. Not that most people care, but when its hot you would like to run without a shirt to cool off. A four month total transformation that I didn’t think was possible given the shape that I was in combined with the my past history of triathlon training that would never yield a fit looking physique. My weight is down 25 pounds and fluxing between 158-162 depending on how I’m eating and drinking. Of course it’s lowest after a long run and highest after I’ve loaded back up with water and carbs.
Flash Forward – 5 Months after I began training under Chris.
I’m maintaining easily under 160 pounds and I’m headed out this week to buy a new belt and pants. I’m to the point that the smallest pants and shorts in my closet sag off my frame and my belt notch will not cinch enough to hold them up. This is a first time for me. I have never had to go by smaller clothes in all of my life.
What is the biggest things I notice since I have begun training with Chris? I’m lighter, stronger, faster and feel more fit when running and lifting. I feel good when I’m tucking in my shirt or when I’m not wearing a shirt. I am confident about the way I look even if I made no further progress.
My core strength was literally non-existent as well as my upper body strength. I had let all the muscles in my upper body atrophy to the point of being too weak to lift most things without pulling a muscle in my back or being extremely sore the next day.
My body is gradually taking shape including my quads, which have never had shape. The biggest difference I notice on my runs is my legs don’t fatigue at the end of a long run or on hills. I recently ran stadium stairs for 15 minutes after a 1 hour cardio workout at the track. My legs never burned or got tired for the entire 15 minutes.
I’m beginning to work with Chris and Hillary on my nutrition plan including MACROS. When I started with Chris I made 2 changes to my nutrition. I cut out unneeded sugar — such as desserts. And I avoid eating any bread such as bread brought to the table at restaurants. I normally only eat the half top or bottom bun on sandwiches. I also stopped eating bowls of cereal and cookies late night. This probably put me in calorie deficit which helps, but nutrition alone wont’ yield results like I have seen over the last 5 months.
Recently my wife has joined Chris and Reform. We are both looking forward to great things as we grow old and fit together. Everyone needs a trainer at one point in their life. Just glad I found one that knows what he is doing with my health and fitness.
Two years ago, I weighed 360 pounds, I was taking a myriad of medications for type-2 diabetes, and I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without feeling as though I’d run a marathon.
In September of 2016, I signed up with Reform Strength and Conditioning’s online training program. I had lost about 80 pounds, and I felt like I was ready to combat some of the loose skin I was seeing, plus build both my endurance and muscle mass to help burn more calories.
I had questions, of course. So many questions. Chris took them all in stride, answering with texts, emails, and phone calls. I got my first workout and had even more questions, which Chris answered with all of the above and video tutorials, even taking the time to meet with me in person to show me regressions and proper techniques.
It’s now February of 2017, and I am in the best shape of my adult life. I’m completing workouts that I would have only done while gearing up for high school basketball as a teenager. My endurance has increased exponentially, I have come off several prescriptions (including an anti-depressant), my pant size has gone from 46 to 36, and I’ve dropped from a 4XL shirt size into a XXL and even XL with some.
One of my problem areas when I first started with Chris was my arms. I had a lot of saggy fat and skin underneath and not a lot of muscle mass. Over the past five months, my arms have toned and built definition, losing much of the sag, and I’ve noticed shirt sleeves are getting tighter in the bicep area.
As of today, I weigh 260 pounds. You can tell by the photograph my body composition has changed tremendously. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I wake up in the morning and I’m happy now. I don’t roll out of bed and stare at my enormous gut, I get out of bed ready to start my day, and knowing that if it’s a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday I’ll probably be cussing Chris by the end. I also know it’s worth it.
So take the money you were going to spend on fast food this month, pack a sandwich, and let Reform Strength and Conditioning take a crack at you. Your body will thank you, your spouse will probably thank you, and most importantly, you’ll thank yourself when you can finally walk from your car to the office without sounding like a fat kid with asthma on track and field day.
“Deciding to use Chris and his online training program was the best choice I’ve made in years. Letting someone else program for me was a huge stress relief. Before getting in his program I spent a lot of time false starting, I’d attempt to write my own plans and wouldn’t stick to them. I started gaining weight after my college days, almost 70lbs. It took me 6 years to get to that point and with Chris it took me all of 5 months to rid myself of most of that weight. I’m now within about 10-15lbs of my playing weight at Oklahoma State and I’m building a body that I can be proud of. I credit Chris and his ability to challenge me with varying training methods and finding ways to incorporate cardio (I hate cardio) into my strength training. You won’t find a more qualified trainer anywhere with the rates that he offers for his services. Chris has the education, knowledge, and eagerness to compete with trainers to all over the country and we’re blessed to have him stationed right here in Muskogee. If you want to make changes and you’re serious about it, Chris is your guy.”
Through my 21 day fat loss I lost almost 20 pounds. I completely changed the way I looked, the workouts fit into an extremely busy schedule and were very easy to follow! I would say the best part about the challenge was anytime I was struggling with either food cravings or workouts schedules Chris was literally a call or text away! When he says he is here to help in anyway he really is! It was a great program I cannot wait to do it again!
Wesley Jackson, UCO Golf & Dalton Rhoden, OBU Golf
Having Chris as my personal my trainer has improved my golf game! I felt as if I was not getting much better in golf like I should, but Chris was able to help me gain distance and have more stamina on the course. My body has never looked better and I’ve never felt better! Chris is also more than a trainer, he makes friends with anyone he works with and I’m glad we are now friends! -Dalton Rhoden
Gonna miss working out with Dalton and personal trainer Chris. Worked with him all summer to not only improve my golf game but to get stronger and more athletic. I’m hitting it farther than I ever have before and my body feels great. It’s fun to be trained by someone that has a real passion for it and his people. Y’all need to check this guy out in person or online ! -Wesley Jackson