Category: Meet Our Members

Jeff’s Personal Training Journey

Jeff's Elevate Fitness Gym Personal Training Journey in Syracuse NY

Written by Member Jeff Simpson

For those who really know me, I try to stay a bit humble, and I try to give credit where credit is due.  Other than that, I tend to crack jokes, and most are quite lame.  But as the adage goes, it’s the thought that counts.  In other words, I hate talking about myself at all, which makes this request a somewhat difficult endeavor.  My Elevate physical trainer, Patty Calabria, asked if I would mind documenting a sort of chronological biography about my health and physical issues. Moreover, how I’m attempting to overcome these problems, and my progress through time.  As I said, normally I don’t like to speak much about myself, at least seriously, but I will for Patty.  And perhaps you’ll understand why when I’ve finished.

Let’s start with the basics, and some of my history for a little context.  I’m currently 60 years old, male, and terribly out of shape, even for my age.  I was not always the sloth I consider myself now.  I joined the Air Force right out of high school in 1978.  I spent the next 20 plus years traveling the world.  During this period, I was a sports fanatic.  I wasn’t much into health or physical fitness per se, but I kept in fair shape competing in various sports.  I definitely did not watch my diet, but I guess I had a high metabolism because my weight didn’t change much during my career.  While at Little Rock, I played golf, but I traveled too much for team sports.  At Andrews AFB however, I played softball, flag football, golf, and I bowled. While I was in Guam, I played golf and basketball, I bowled, and I was in two different softball leagues.  I was also the fitness monitor for the squadron.  I finished out in Florida where I continued bowling and playing both golf and softball.  Aside from all of this we were required to pass various fitness tests annually, which required various exercises and running.  I semi-reluctantly decided to retire from the Air Force in November of 1998.  When I joined at 17 years old, I was six foot two and 180 pounds.  When I retired at 38, I was six foot two and 220 pounds.

In January of 1999 my wife and I moved to the Liverpool, New York area from the panhandle of Florida in search of post Air Force employment and to be closer to family.  I started working at International Paper in Oswego, New York in March of 1999.  If you’ve never worked in a papermill, there is a lot of running, a lot of hard work, and a lot of sweat which helped me to lose another 20 pounds.  I felt phenomenal.  I found this the perfect time to quit smoking after decades, so I quit on December 27, 1999.  This was my way of starting the new century out right.  And this was where life somehow took that proverbial wrong turn.

Six months later, during a routine exam, I was found to have slightly high blood pressure.  I had donated a kidney to my sister in 1989, and this elevated blood pressure caused some concern for my doctor.  I was initially placed on Hydrochlorothiazide for my blood pressure.  One month after that, while at work, I began experiencing severe pain and cramping in my hands.  After waiting a few months to see a rheumatologist, in June of 2000 my bloodwork revealed I had Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  I was immediately placed on prednisone while my doctor tried numerous other medications trying to help relieve my pain.  The pain I experienced from RA kept me from doing all those activities I once loved.  All of the sports I once played came to a screeching halt.

The pain grew to be unbearable and I was bedridden from 2002 to 2003.  For that year, I reIied on Social Security just to survive.  The combination of the prednisone coupled with the lack of exercise resulted in a dramatic weight gain.  Through the years I withstood a wide array of medications and some unusual injuries not normally experienced, had it not been for my RA and its treatments.  Eventually, my RA became somewhat manageable, but the damage was already done.  Over those years, I ballooned from 200 pounds up to 388 pounds, I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, I had an umbilical hernia, I broke ribs twice just from coughing, I dislocated my shoulder, and most recently, I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib).  I’ve had an umbilical hernia surgery, three surgeries on my shoulder, my ribs never healed, and I’ve had an ablation and two cardioversions for my AFib, none of which worked.  Now I take medications for AFib and high blood pressure, I get two infusions every six months for RA, and I sleep with a CPAP, not to mention all my other medications.  I reached a point of depression where I thought to myself, is this all there was left of me.  My wife and a dear friend I considered my Guardian Angel stayed on my side through it all.  I think it was the AFib that finally got me.  When my cardiologist said this was all due to my weight.  This is where Elevate and Patty came to my rescue.

In January of 2021, I got mad at myself and I told myself I’ve got to do something.  I had to try to take control.  I emailed Elevate to see what they had to offer.  I was blessed when Patty returned my email.  We set up a meeting at elevate to discuss my situation.  When I first arrived, I was afraid to commit to anything, though I was impressed by the array of equipment.  Patty and I sat down and began discussing my basic information, my health issues, my medications, and what goals I had in mind.  When we finished, I felt she understood well what I was going through.  She was so receptive and empathetic that she put me at ease almost immediately.  At that point I was somewhere around 368 to 375 pounds. I knew I had to try.

That first day after we talked, she urged me to try some of the equipment and that was almost embarrassing.  Fortunately for me, COVID restrictions and rules were still in place and there were so few people around.  My first attempt at exercising in over 20 years was on that Elevate exercise bike and lasted only six minutes.  But I told myself, this was my starting point.  I asked Patty to be my Physical Trainer and set a schedule for every Wednesday.  I told her I want her to work on my strength and stamina while I work on my weight.  I started in the beginning of February forcing myself to workout religiously, frequenting Elevate anywhere from four to six days a week aside from Patty’s training.  On my own I began with that exercise bike.  I expanded through time to include a treadmill, a stair climber, an elliptical and all sorts of weight machines such as the tricep press, leg extension, fly, row machine and many others.  And then there were Wednesdays.  Patty worked me hard, she made me sweat, she made it fun, yet she knew and respected my limitations.  I began shedding pounds the first week and that to me was exciting.  So I started doing a few things at home to help.

I’ve limited myself to 1800 calories using my FitnessPal to track what I eat.  Now, after four months, as of June 8th, I am at 310.2 pounds, and have much more energy.  As a result of Patty’s commitment to me, and the many who have been in my corner throughout, that six minutes on an exercise bike has turned into 30 minutes on an elliptical at increasing tensions, 30 to 60 minutes on a treadmill with increasing inclines and speeds, 10 minutes on the stair climber at increasing speeds and three or four different weight machines, all within the same visit.

There have been some setbacks that, for a short time would make me question if this was all a just a futile effort.  The most notable instance was when I snapped a tendon in my left elbow while flipping the tire.  As soon as that happened, I wasn’t sure I could continue.  I wondered for the remainder of that day if this was truly worth the pain and trouble.  Patty tried pushing me, cheering me on, but this became a personal barrier.  I remember thinking if Patty and my wife both vested so much of their time and effort on me, why didn’t I.  Then I got mad at myself again and pushed myself that much harder.  The doctor verified the tear in my elbow, but there was nothing he could do because the tendon had shrunk and couldn’t be reattached.  I talked to Patty about the injury, and she began creating routines that worked the surrounding muscles to help strengthen my left arm.  She has made herself available to me whenever I need to talk, to ensure I’m staying on track.  She praises my successes and supports me in my setbacks.  Now that COVID is over and work is returning to normal, I fear I may not be given the latitude to continue as I had in the past.  But if I’ve learned nothing else, I am realizing it’s just another obstacle to overcome. 

It’s exciting for me to be heading in a positive direction.  I have made a deal with Patty that once I break that 300-pound mark, I get to treat myself to a chocolate shake.  That has now become her fun way to push me.  And I can’t wait until I get that chocolate shake, not for the shake itself as much as it means I’ve made it to that goal.  So you see, I may have made the decision to ignore the pain from the RA, from the shoulder dislocation surgeries and all the arthritis, from the broken ribs, and everything else.  I may have been the one who is slinging the battle ropes, climbing those stairs, kicking that bag, and doing those sit-ups for the first time in 20 years (all eighty of them),  But it would never have been had it not been for people like my wife, my Guardian Angel, my friends, but most of all, Patty Calabria.  I guess you could say she may have saved my life. God Bless her.

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A Letter From a Friend

This letter is published here with permission from the author. It was sent to us when we were still a Gold’s Gym facility, so references to the Gold’s Gym brand have been omitted. No other changes have been made.

Dear Friends,

Thank you again for allowing me to come in last week to do the Alzheimer’s Indoor Warrior triathlon. I was unable to make it on the official event day (4/6/14), because I needed to be with my family in NJ. Sadly, my mother, Claire Matthews Huling lost her battle with Alzheimer’s and we (her family) had gathered for her memorial service!

I had signed up to do the triathlon several months ago as a way to honor of my mom and to raise awareness (and funds) for the work of the Alzheimer’s Association. In fact, I raised more than $1,100 in pledges. A well-meaning friend suggested that I just skip the triathlon this year, that everyone would understand, given the circumstances. My reaction was: no way! My mother taught us to carry on and to follow through.

Needless to say, it was important for me to be able to do the triathlon, so thank you for helping it to happen. Not surprisingly, it was very healing! I was able to celebrate Mom’s life and honor her memory in a very special way. I think she would have been proud!

Yes, the triathlon turned out to be a glorious experience. You have a beautiful facility in Liverpool and everyone was so helpful and friendly.

I just wanted to thank [you] again for helping me to realize my goal and for your generous support of the Indoor Warrior event and of the work of Alzheimer’s Association!

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Huling Hummel
Elmira, NY


Finding My Inner Athlete

By Matt Sims

This past Saturday, I ran my first spartan race, something I’ve been training 4 months for. Initially, it was a way of getting back into shape but in reality, it meant much more than that. For most of my life, I haven’t been able to accept my body for what it is. Being a naturally lean guy no matter how much I ate exposed me to a lot of name calling and questioning from people who think size directly translates to athleticism. My athleticism was constantly in question. Was I strong enough to make the play? Was I big enough to take the hit? None of that ever mattered to me but that doesn’t mean it didn’t effect me.

I was constantly questioning how much of a “man” I was just because I was skinny. This lack of confidence followed me around on and off the field. In early October, this started to really bother me. After getting off the scale, I was the lightest I have been since sophomore year of high school. My eating habits were terrible and I was beginning to get nervous about what was happening to my body. After finding out about Spartan races, I promised myself I would try to change my daily habits for the better and signed up for the race at Greek Peak.

Here we are 4 months later. In these past 4 months, I’ve managed to put on 17 pounds since I initially started training. My confidence is through the roof and I’ve never been more proud of myself. Most importantly, I love how I look and feel.

No matter what you are doing in life, don’t do it for the sole purpose of inspiring others. I did this for me. Not for any of the name callers. Not to have people gas me up. I just did it for me and I’m damn proud of myself.

I can’t thank @spartan and @elevatesyracuse enough for taking me on this journey. I’m just getting started…

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A Legacy of Fitness

Guest Post by Liverpool Member Kate Langlois

My name is Kate Langlois. I am the daughter of Ginny Ryan. My mom was a member of Elevate Fitness (Gold’s Gym and Sundown) for decades. While she always enjoyed sports and activities, she did not commit to her fitness until mid-life but once she made that commitment, she was all in. She became a fixture with the early morning crowd at the gym and we joked she was the “mayor”. She knew everyone and took a genuine interest in what was going on in their lives. Over the years, she nudged and encouraged me to become actively involved with the gym but I was “too busy”. I work full-time; my son was born and then came youth and high school sports. Who has time for the gym with all that going on? The truth was, I just wasn’t ready. On March 8, 2019, my family and I were devastated when after a brief and unexpected illness my mom passed away.

My sister-in-law, Jennifer, came to me approximately six months later and suggested we honor my mom by working on our fitness. While I agreed, I wasn’t sure where my head was at. I remember the conversation with Gil as we took our first steps clearly. We talked about how tangible my mom’s spirit
was around the gym. I could feel her everywhere. Through my emotions, which were barely contained, Gil heard me – not just my words, but my thoughts and feelings behind them. He was patient and supportive and in that thought about who would be the right trainer for us as we started this journey.

Enter Jonas…poor Jonas had no idea what he was walking into the day of our consultation. I was raw. I found myself sharing incredibly personal information with him about my grief, fears, insecurities, and dreams. There was no holding back the tears and from that first encounter, I knew there would be no judgment. Then we got started. I’m not always in the mood for a workout after a long day at work, but being committed to my workout partner, Jen, Jonas, and the process has been so positive for me. I can’t let them down and not show up, but more importantly, I can’t let myself down. My competitive nature comes out during the workouts and inevitably, I am glad I made the turn into the parking lot. Jonas keeps us doing new – more challenging things in each session. He motivates, pushes, listens and supports this journey, and for the first time, I really feel connected.

It’s been a few months now and the changes I’ve seen in myself surprise me. I feel better physically; the weight loss has been great – in the last 4 months, I’ve lost close to 40 lbs.; but more importantly, I feel better mentally and emotionally. A while into this, I realized that it is not only ok but also necessary that I’m a priority in my own life. I need to take time and energy and put that into myself. This is all very different and I’m a better person for having started this.

I still feel my mom’s presence in the gym every time I’m there but instead of being overwhelming, it lifts me up.g

Deb Magarrell wins USTA Award!

USTA Junior Team Tennis Coordinator of the Year


The USTA has named Elevate Fitness Tennis Pro Deb Magarrell the Eastern Junior Team Tennis Coordinator of the Year. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States. Deb, who is receiving this honor for the second time (the first was in 2007), is the Director of Youth Tennis for Elevate Fitness in Dewitt.

Deb was joined by one of her sons and Elevate Fitness Tennis Director, Naveen Singh, when she was presented with the honor.

Learn more about Junior Team Tennis here. Learn more about tennis at Elevate Fitness here.































Elevate Fitness Gyms aren’t your typical health club. We’re a community of like-minded people with aspirations and goals. We work together to motivate, education and inspire each other in the pursuit of those goals. Additionally, we celebrate each other’s accomplishments and contributions to the community. Elevate Fitness introduced the Athlete of the Month and the Coach of the Month features as a way to shine a light on the people who make the Elevate community what it is.

What Members Are Saying About Mace Training

Steel Mace Training at Elevate Fitness in Dewitt

Guest Post by Elevate Fitness Member Meenu B.

When I first heard about the mace I was attracted to the idea of it being a powerful weapon but to control it you first control your movements and to control your movements, you control your mind. Something I realized in myself years ago when I was 10 or 11 is that I always wanted to fight what was happening whether a situation or struggle in life or pushing myself to stay awake all nights to get a higher grade on an exam or physically prepare myself to stand up to other girls who were looking to push you down. I knew I was a Sikh and that Sikhs were warriors who fought for freedom for all but the fact that my internal fight was called something is what I realized after I read about the mace. I now know it’s the warrior spirit.

We all have that spirit in us. We just do not realize it or do not know how to use it so we can push past our limits to see. Every time I lift the mace I am overcome by this force that tells me to push past the pain, the fatigue and remain steady. It also brings out the honesty cause when we are fatigued we want to avoid the push or pull for each movement but the mind is at such a high level of focus and intensity that you want to embrace the pain with honesty and push through. This is true of life too. So many daily struggles, situations require that we understand that “the only way to get out is by going through it”.

Yesterday while working with the 15 lb weight I realized that conquering our ego helps us become stronger…always! I strive to be humble as much as I can and that mindset goes hand in hand with the mace. In order to do the dragon lunge with extension, I knew I had to master the 10 lb first to get stronger. So it was humbling and fulfilling because I was able to do the extension fully and feel my shoulder working hard to get stronger.

Everything we do starts with our intentions. Our intent each morning should be to better ourselves as we see ourselves in our minds. And to do that discipline has to take precedence. The discipline to commit ourselves to make small goals and to work toward them. Yesterday I listened to this woman say instead of committing 1 hour to your morning routine, start with something doable like 10 mins of a good morning routine. Maybe just meditate or just yoga or just a walk. It’s not about the next person on social media or the athlete or millionaire we think achieved great things, it is about our own achievements no matter how small they may be.

Learning to Walk Again

Learning to Walk Again at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

Elevate Fitness Liverpool member Paul initially started working with his personal trainer, Michael Meola but then training sessions were stalled when Michael had a freak accident during a workout breaking both his legs.

By the time Michael had recovered enough to return to work this past April, Paul had no motor control and couldn’t walk with the help of a walker and cane.

“Do you think it’s realistic for someone my age to be able to do this again?” Paul asked his trainer.

“Absolutely,” Michael replied, knowing first hand how to train the body to perform essential functions again after losing them.

Paul and Michael met twice a week for an hour doing a lot of corrective exercise drills and strength training on the machines.

After just a couple of months like this, Paul discarded the walker entirely and increased the intensity of his drills. “You’re wearing me out” he’d always say while continuing to put in the hard work and effort.

But it paid off and just last week he took his first walk without the walker or the cane. He described the moment as being overcome with emotion because back in April he didn’t think he was ever going to walk on his own again. He walked from the pool to the front door of Elevate Fitness all on his own.

It was a touching moment for all who were lucky enough to witness it. Touching, but not surprising. After all, if anyone knows how to learn to walk again its the trainer who broke both his legs.

Want to try a complimentary session with an Elevate Fitness Personal Trainer? (Some restrictions apply.)

The Weight Loss Challenge Results are IN!

The inaugural Elevate Fitness Weight Loss Challenge has ended, and the results were spectacular! Our Liverpool winner, Nicholas, lost 32 pounds during the six-week challenge, and our Dewitt winner, Tim, lost 20 pounds!

While the winner’s results are obviously not typical, all the participants happily reported seeing results. The most common feedback, though, wasn’t about pounds lost. It was about the friendships built during the challenge. The bonds that formed are lasting beyond the challenge with many of the participants continuing to workout together and with many of them even opting to participate in another challenge together!

Here’s the Liverpool winner, Nicholas, shortly after finding out he’d won:

We’re looking forward to another challenge (starting March 18th with a kick-off event on March 16th) and if you’re interested in being a part of our next cycle, stop by the Member Service Center in the club, or visit this page to learn more. Not a member? Not a problem – the Elevate Fitness Weight Loss Challenge is open to members and non-members alike!

Meet Husna, of The Kumon Math and Reading Center

Husna Lapidus, who has been a member of Elevate Fitness for over a year now, is the owner of The Kumon Math and Reading Center in Dewitt.

Husna Lupidus, Member of Elevate Fitness in Dewitt

Husna Lapidus, Member of Elevate Fitness in Dewitt, photo by Laura Marino

We asked Husna to tell us about the center:

60 years ago, the Kumon Method was created by a dad who wanted to help his son develop a love of learning and do better in school. Today, Kumon is the world’s largest after-school math and reading program, helping millions of children reach their full academic potential. My center, Kumon of DeWitt, serves the CNY area.

Kumon’s mission is to unlock the potential of children, from preschool through high school, so they can achieve more on their own. The learning method uses an individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Kumon assignments build solid study habits and help students progress their academic skills through daily practice.”

Q: What led you to this career?

A: I am fascinated by human motivation and brain plasticity, and I’m constantly faced with opportunities to motivate young people and to elevate their skills. What I do truly develops a child’s confidence, character, and attitude toward learning. There’s nothing more satisfying than that.

Q: Your business has a lot in common with Elevate, you promote intellectual fitness. Tell us about that. 

A: That’s true – at Kumon we even use the word “elevate” a lot when referring to training the minds and attitudes of our students. Just like at the gym, my students come “as they are,” seeking to become better versions of themselves. My job and my passion is to provide students and their families an avenue for elevating their skills and abilities, to feel better about themselves and gain confidence. What you’d notice about Kumon students is that these young people have incredibly strong character in addition to a solid academic prowess.

Q: The Kumon Center isn’t a tutoring center, in fact, what you do has a further reaching benefit than tutoring. Can you tell us why?

A: Tutoring certainly has its place, but what sets Kumon apart is our time-tested methodology for developing self-learners. We don’t teach or tutor in the traditional sense; rather we focus on the development of habits and skills for life-long learning. Our math and reading curriculums are the catalysts for achieving that. We want our students to leave the center feeling accomplished and successful every time. It takes patience and humility to put aside my own ego and abilities to allow the students to realize their own potential and feel they are responsible for and capable of their own learning. When a child has a question or they feel stuck, we absolutely do help them, but instead of teaching them step-by-step how to solve the problem, we tap into the skills s/he has already mastered to draw out the correct answer. This way, the child – not anyone else – is the one who deserves the credit for his or her own learning. That feeling of pride in one’s self is what drives these kids to want to keep achieving more and more.

Q: Who are your services intended for?

A: Our students range from age 3 through high school. Some families seek our service because they have children who are struggling in school, some start early so their child never experiences struggle in school, and others want to provide an additional challenge for their child who is already advanced. We don’t limit our students to their age or grade level; in fact, most of our students begin working one-grade level ahead within 6-12 months, and many reach 3 or more grade levels ahead of their school grade.

Q: How can families benefit from Kumon?

A: Families benefit from having confident kids. Confidence does so much for a child. We all know that kids who are bullies lack confidence in themselves. With self-confidence kids become kinder and more compassionate toward others. They become leaders in their classrooms, and they tend to not need tutors down the line. They start being able to finish homework super-fast, which frees them up to do other activities like tennis or swimming lessons. My kids and so many of my Kumon students participate in these services at Elevate Fitness. It’s so important. These days the top colleges and universities look for more than just good grades – they want a well-rounded student. If you’re struggling academically, or if you lack confidence, you’re less able to pursue extracurricular activities that give you that competitive edge.

Q: You’re also a parent, tell us how you’re able to balance everything without sacrificing taking care of yourself. 

A: In my first year of business ownership, I unexpectedly got pregnant with my third child. I was so busy, overworked and exhausted that my health really suffered. I gained too much weight in my pregnancy, and although I was working harder than ever before, I beat myself up for “letting myself go.” I knew I needed to do something to get back on track but managed to find every excuse to delay or avoid the work necessary to find health and fitness again. Finally, I decided that I deserved better than how I was treating myself and my body. My husband and kids deserve healthy wife and mom, my students deserve an energetic instructor, and my community needs strong leaders. When I got my priorities and goals aligned, I could start manifesting those rewards. I can’t say my balance is perfect, but it is something I feel good about. Now I’d recommend to anyone struggling with work-life-balance — lay out your priorities and goals on paper. Come back to those daily, weekly, monthly, and you’ll soon find it effortless to act in pursuit of your goals wholeheartedly.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s considering entrepreneurship in Syracuse?

A: Do what you are passionate about. If you truly are passionate about your field, the copious amounts of work will fill you up rather than drain you. If you can finish your day’s work and be simultaneously exhausted and blissful, you’ll know you’re doing it right.

Q: What’s one thing you wish you knew before you opened your own business?

A: I was happy to open a business where I didn’t have to report to anyone other than myself. I wish I had known how tough a boss I would be. I expect a lot of myself, I always seek ways to improve, and that means I work very hard. Knowing that before I opened the business, I wouldn’t have chosen not to do it, but it would have been nice to be prepared.

Q: You work with a personal trainer, Jeff, how has that helped you get more out of your Elevate membership. 

A: Jeff keeps me accountable. When I have “training with Jeff” on my calendar, I always show up. The best part is that he takes the thinking out of my training. Knowing he has the perfect workout planned just for me, to help me reach my goals – that’s one less thing I have to plan out for myself. I always feel great after my training sessions with him because I know I made the best use out of that hour that I possibly could. For someone as busy as I am, efficiency is absolutely key.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share with Elevate Fitness members?

A: I love seeing so many of my students and their parents at Elevate. When I’m training, I really do keep them in mind. It feels great knowing that I follow the very same advice I give them by trying to better myself, and to work hard to achieve my goals. I think when my students see me there, all sweaty and breathless, they realize I’m a regular person just like everyone else out there struggling to improve, and that’s just one more thing I can connect with them about.

Q: Final question: what are your favorite and least favorite exercises?

A: I’ve learned that my least-favorite exercises were the ones I felt least confident doing. Now I’ve adopted the attitude I expect of my own students – we have to work to get good at things, and when we get good at them, we start to love them. For that reason, I don’t have a least-favorite, but my absolute most favorite is unequivocally the Turkish Get Up. 


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Member Success Story: Alicia Whitmore

Elevate Fitness Personal Trainer David Cruz Trains Client Alicia Whitmore

Elevate Fitness Personal Trainer David Cruz Trains Client Alicia Whitmore

Alicia is a member of Elevate Fitness Club in Dewitt, who trains with world-class Personal Trainer, David Cruz. She’s also the kind of person who’s always on the lookout for the next friend or family member she can motivate to change their lives, having referred multiple new members to Elevate Fitness (thanks, Alicia!).

So, why listen to us, when Alicia can so easily articulate what she loves about training with David and training at Elevate Fitness. Here’s her story in her own words:

“Hi! I’m pumped to finally be training with someone so dedicated to his work. Each training session that I have with David I learn something new. I’ve been working alongside other trainers for the past 2 years, but David is great! Currently, I am training for a figure competition in Rochester. I told him on day one that my goal was to win the Northeast Showdown. After our first session, I told him trusted what he had in store for me and it’s been nothing but awesome since. When I’m not with David I use the gym, and it’s never too packed, I almost always can find a stair stepper, and the people at the front desk are always welcoming. This is a great place to work out and I try to tell all my teacher friends about how great it is!”

Elevate Fitness Member Alicia Whitmore trains as her personal trainer, David Cruz, looks on

Elevate Fitness Member Alicia Whitmore trains as her personal trainer, David Cruz, looks on

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The Liverpool Lob-sters win Sectionals!

The Liverpool Lobsters Tennis Team from Elevate Fitness

The Liverpool Lobsters Tennis Team from Elevate Fitness

The Liverpool Lob-sters, a junior tennis team made up of nine local high-school students, and coached by Lisa Pento at Elevate Fitness Club in Liverpool, have won their sectional championship in Central Park in Schenectady, New York last weekend. This win for the intermediate, eighteen and under group follows regional and local wins and means the Lob-sters will be heading to Nationals at the USTA Tennis Center in Lake Nona, Florida this November 8th through 11th.

The Lob-sters are Antonio Marsallo (Baldwinsville), Matthew Manara (West Genesee), James Plunkett (West Genesee), Brandon Davis (Liverpool), Brooke Tutor (Baldwinsville), Justine Stanejko (Solvay), Grace Delpino (Christian Brothers Academy), Mikayla Manara (West Genesee) and Katie Viau (West Genesee).

Photos courtesy of team Coach, Lisa Pento. For more information about our Junior Tennis programs click here.

Interesting in learning more about the tennis programs at Elevate Fitness? Fill out the form below!

My Tennis Journey at Elevate Fitness by Scott Friedberg

My Tennis Journey at Elevate Fitness

by Guest Blogger, Scott Friedberg of Gilded Social

Sports were a big part of my life growing up, but once I graduated high school and entered college, my athletic days seemed to be a thing of the past. I always enjoyed competition but I struggled to find an opportunity to enjoy the thrill of sports again. Thankfully, a few years after graduating college, I found a solution…

My company, Gilded Social, works closely with the Elevate Fitness team on digital and in club marketing efforts. Tennis, in particular, caught my eye. I had played a handful of times growing up but never was able to play at an enjoyable level. Tennis can be challenging and I admittedly was not very good!

I decided it was time to start taking Tennis lessons! I was matched up with Naveen, a Tennis Pro at Elevate. After just a few minutes into my first lesson, I knew I was in good hands. Naveen was able to teach me fundamentals without overwhelming me. He made me feel confident in my play and knew exactly how to communicate in areas that could use improvement.

After my 3rd lesson, Naveen suggested I take a break from lessons and play some real matches! I thought to my self: “Wow! After 3 lessons, I’m ready to play?”. Seemed to good to be true, but, he was right. It was time for me to take the fundamentals that I learned and apply them in a real match situation.

The first match I played was tough, but about halfway through, the fundamentals I learned suddenly came together. Every move I made on the court, I was able to think back to the advice from Naveen. I’m by no means an advanced player yet, but after just a few lessons, I can hold my own in a match, and most importantly have a great time doing it!

I now have a great sport to play, and an opportunity to be competitive again – with myself and with friends. I’m excited to continue my Tennis journey at Elevate and to make new friends along the way. I highly recommend you consider picking up Tennis. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends and a sport that can be played all year round (Hello, Syracuse winter!).

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Member Success Story: Megan Bushneck

Megan shared the following photos with us, with this explanation: “Picture on the left is from January 2017 and picture on the right is from September 2017.” Megan credits Personal Trainer and Stott Certified Pilates Instructor, Raelynn Baumann for her results.

In Megan’s words:

I first joined Elevate fitness in 2007 when my parents told me they were concerned about my health.  Having gone from being a competitive horseback rider in college to a lazy office worker my weight gain was starting to show.  I wasn’t overweight but was quickly approaching what is considered overweight for my height.  In addition to my gym membership at Elevate, I signed up for personal training sessions.  My personal training sessions with Raelynn helped me learn how to properly use the equipment. She also helped me devise a plan to lose the weight I had gained.  We kicked my workouts into high gear prior to my wedding in 2012 and I looked fabulous (at the low end of the scale for my height and fit!) on my wedding day.  Due to a change in circumstances, I canceled my membership in 2013.  

When an injury sidelined me in late 2016, I was again inactive and watched the scale climb to a weight I had never seen before.  After being cleared to workout in early 2017, I reached out to Raelynn again because I had seen videos of her workouts on the Pilates Reformer and I wanted in on those workouts.  I came back to Elevate as a personal training client and have lost all the weight I had gained following my injury. It hasn’t been easy!  There’s been ups and downs and setbacks, but I’ve been encouraged and supported by Raelynn the entire time.  Raelynn asks me what I want to focus on prior to our workouts and then tailors them to fit my needs.  Workouts on the Pilates Reformer have greatly improved my flexibility, posture, and strength.  Even the smallest movements have a big impact.  I’m now in the best shape of my life, am the strongest I have ever been, and I feel great!

Although I’ve worked out at other local gyms, I feel at home here at Elevate.  The staff is welcoming and helpful and the members are friendly and courteous.  There’s no place I would rather be as I continue my fitness journey.      

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, tone up, or increase your athletic conditioning, the personal trainers at Elevate Fitness are ready to help you reach your fitness goals.

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