By Joey Gomez
The goal is to help people be healthy, not just from the outside, but on the inside. Gold’s Gym has embarked on a national effort to help clients start and maintain a routine of eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Through its Gold’s Gym Challenge, a grueling 3-month training program developed to restore confidence and produce real results for participants, gym owners hope it enables people to remain healthy for the rest of their lives.
“What we are hoping to do is at least give them a little kick start and help them get into the rhythm of it,” said Cynthia Garcia, owner of Gold’s Gyms in South Texas and company VP of marketing. “Once they see results, once they start feeling healthy, we are hoping they stick with that healthy lifestyle.”
“It’s a 12 week body transformation challenge, designed to motivate new and existing members who are looking to make a significant lifestyle change,” Garcia said. “The misconception is that it’s a bodybuilding contest, but it’s nothing like that.”
Contestants get judged on their overall body transformation. The weight loss program starts in January to capitalize on the new year resolution goals. Contestants are then separated into categories based on their age and gender.
There are five age groups: ages 18 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, and 60 and above.
“We also separate them into male and female just so it’s fair, because obviously younger people have a faster metabolism,” Garcia says. “We just want to make sure they are categorized accordingly so people don’t have an unfair advantage above others.”
“At the end of the day, we don’t want them to end the program and just go back their old lifestyle. We want them to make a significant lifestyle change. We believe it’s important to stay healthy throughout your life.”
After participants pay their initial $50 entry fee, they submit to three in-body assessments via a machine that measures and analyzes your weight, body fat percentage, and water retention, a $30 value. They are also given a personal training orientation and assigned a personal trainer, who will provide nutritional advice and will mentor participants throughout the challenge.
“I have more energy, my flexibility has increased, and the amount I am able to get done throughout the day has increased,” said James Harris, who is the 2013 winner among Gold’s Gyms in the Rio Grande Valley. “I do it as a form of motivation, to have a goal, and it helps to give me a focus, because when you’re in the gym, you are always looking for a reason to push yourself.”
Harris went from 208 pounds to 175 pounds over the course of 12 weeks.