By JOHN STREIT
By John Streit
At 250 pounds, Bart Morrison faced a myriad of health challenges when he walked into Great Neck’s Anytime Fitness for the first time last winter.
His high blood pressure required two medications , his cholesterol was high and he suffered from sleep apnea.
“I tried a bunch of different things to lose weight, because the doctor kept saying, ‘You got to lose weight,'” said Morrison, 44, of Alanton. “Nothing really seemed to work: starving yourself, seven- day diets.”
But under the guidance of Anytime’s personal trainer Chad “CJ” Havunen, Morrison faced a new set of challenges to rid him of the health problems .
Through the gym’s Total Body Challenge, a contest designed to inspire Anytime clients to shed pounds and tone muscles by pitting them against each other, Morrison lost more than 40 pounds, and reversed his health fortunes in short order.
After the three-month recent contest, Morrison no longer needed blood-pressure medication , his cholesterol numbers dropped into a healthy range and his sleep apnea disappeared.
The icing on the cake: He took first place in the contest, which rewarded him with a free year’s membership to Anytime.
Anytime’s Total Body Challenge judged contestants on overall body change from start to finish, not just weight loss percentage.
Morrison weighed in at 196 pounds at the final weigh-in and sported larger, toned muscles. He estimated that from the start of his workouts at Anytime (a month before the contest began), he’s lost about 60 pounds in fat-weight and gained 10 pounds in lean muscle.
The formula for Morrison’s success was simple: alternating cardiovascular and weightlifting exercises while eating a measured, high-protein, low-fat diet, he said.
It’s a professional approach to weight-cutting and bodybuilding concocted by Havunen, a World Natural Bodybuilding Federation professional.
“Both of those aspects, diet and exercise, have to work together, they can’t work alone,” Havunen said. “Especially in competitive bodybuilding. It’s like a fine-tuned recipe: If you remove or change the amount of something, it’s no surprise that the food will taste bad.”
By the end of the contest, Morrison was exercising daily, putting in as many as 15 hours per week of gym time. He’s scaled back his routine since completing the contest, exercising twice a day four times a week while still logging cardio hours six days a week.
He says the resulting health benefits have been worth every drop of sweat.
“My doctor always said that if I lost 40 to 50 pounds that this would happen,” Morrison said. “But I could never imagine it being like this.”
John Streit, 639-4805, [email protected]
Originally published by BY JOHN STREIT.
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