Merritt Clubs Blog


"Body by Steve"- Maria's Weightloss Story

Posted by Heather Blake

Jul 5, 2013


My name is Maria and I’m 46 years old with hypertension, a strong family history of heart disease and no longer overweight. It’s been 3 months since I began my quest.I had been putting on weight slowly but steadily for the previous 8 years. I was a good 63 pounds above my ideal weight of 145lbs.The weight was easy to put on and hard to take off - I knew I had to do something and finding someone skilled to work with was my first big step in my journey. That’s where my personal trainer, Steve, came in.I’m truly very thankful that I found him!Steve is very observant, easy going and knowledgeable.Steve takes “personal trainer” to a whole new level providing me with the fitness and nutritional tools that I need to succeed and holds me accountable every week. Communication with my trainer is almost daily!

With Steve’s help & support, I made some serious lifestyle changes since I began this journey. Live healthier and lose weight – that has become my mantra. With Steve’s help, I’ve adapted to a new way of eating, thinking and exercise.I’m realizing my goals through these changes with the support of Gary, my better half, and Steve, my trainer. I won’t lie; at first it was very scary as there were a lot of people at the gym. These people were beautiful and fit but I was determined that I was going to be one of them!!!Steve gave me the confidence I needed to get started.The beginning was painful not to mention slow going.Whenever Steve said “time for planks” I wanted to run to the nearest Exit door and/or scream “UNCLE!!!”- I’m pretty sure that there were, at times, tears. I hadn’t exercised consistently since Moby Dick was a minnow…. It was rough but I was determined.

Every week, Steve custom designs workout routines that are tailored to my needs and he always reminds me “remember your goals Maria”.Whenever I feel like I want to give up I hear Steve’s words and I stand firm. After the first 3 weeks - I no longer felt as if I needed to carry an oxygen tank around with me or feel as if I needed to go to the nearest Emergency Room. I could do this… was doing it!I had become “one of those people” at the gym. I have the support of both, Gary, my biggest cheerleader and the support of my trainer.

Steve has found ways to mix up my routine to ensure that I got the most out of every session – even going so far as to mix up my planks so that I don’t“get bored”. Steve has provided me with nutritional guidance, switching this with that, journal writing and educating me with web site tools to utilize. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I want to cave, but Steve won’t let me.Support and encouragement is there every step of the way. Steve knows when I push myself.He provides me with the encouragement to continue and will pull me back when he knows I’m pushing too hard. I now look at gym equipment and exercise in general with excitement - no longer with fear.With the nutritional, lifestyle changes and my training sessions with Steve, I’ve lost 23 pounds.My blood pressure has been normal for the past 2 months!I look in the mirror now and say to myself….. “Not bad!”I’ve gotten lots of compliments lately; I just smile and say “Body by Steve!”

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Topics: Merritt Athletics, Personal Training, lose weight, fitness success, Weight Loss Success Story, lower blood pressure, motivation, baltimore personal training, Awareness and Support, weightloss, inspiration, Member Success Stories

Best Way to Burn 500+ Calories

Posted by RaySa

Jun 25, 2013

Photo Courtesy: Ray Salas, Trainer

Tired of your current workout?

Not sure how to lose those unwanted inches or having trouble toning muscles?

Always feel fatigued, never have enough energy, or need help staying motivated?

If you answered Yes to any of the questions, then bootcamp is for You!

“All you have to do is show up and let me take care of the rest” –Ray Salas, Trainer

Each week Ray’s got a new playlist that’s bound to get your body moving. No matter what your fitness level is, this class is made to do one thing, Burn Calories and have fun doing it!

Challenge yourself and try a class!

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Topics: Merritt Athletics, Personal Training, Merritt blog, best gyms in maryland, lose weight, Fitness Tips, best ways to burn fat, merritt bootcamp, how to tone muscles, best gyms in baltimore, build muscle lose fat, Baltimore fitness, Member Success Stories, group fitness

How Lynell Tobler Broke The 120 Pound Barrier

Posted by RaySa

Jul 13, 2012


The Beginning
As a young adult, I had always been proud of my figure, but as I grew older, my weight slowly grew too. At the age of 54, I had reached a weight of 190 pounds on my five foot, three inch frame. In 2008, I joined Owings Mills Merritt Athletic Club. I didn't go regularly and when I did go, I didn't push myself to exceed my comfort zone.

Portion Control
In the summer of 2010, I had extensive dental work done. I lost about four pounds from not being able to chew. The weight loss motivated me to ask a girlfriend about dieting. I had never been on a diet in my life -I wasn't particularly interested in following a bunch of rules about calories. After all, I consoled myself, I was actually a very healthy eater. My problem was portion control. I loved to cook and I loved to eat my own cooking! I ate to comfort myself. But, I did some research and found a diet I could live with. I started counting calories and tweaking my beloved gourmet recipes to lower the fat.

Group Fitness Camaraderie
I worked up the courage to try a yoga class with Charlie Beall at Merritt in hopes of easing the stress caused by my chronic dental pain. It changed my life. I loved Charlie's low-key attitude and relaxed style of instruction - no intimidation. I loved it when Charlie brought out his flute at the end of every session and played softly, elegantly, while we meditated. I was so out of shape that I could barely do any of the moves. But, I loved the camaraderie of the group. Seeing the friendly faces of the same people every week motivated me to keep coming. I stuck with my diet and maintained a steady weight loss.

The Lifestyle Change
I loved my yoga class so much that I added BodyStep, BodyPump, and BodyFlow classes to my weekly evening routine. My weight-loss accelerated. This June of 2011 I actually “broke the 120 pound barrier,” so I feel as if my goal is finally, completely achieved. I’ve never felt better in my entire life. Thank you all, so very much, for accompanying me and supporting me on this journey to fitness over the past eight months. If you had told me last summer that I would be greeting this summer with a slim, strong body, I would never have believed it. And as an added benefit, when I visited my doctor this week, my blood pressure was down to 100 over 70, so I may be able to go off my blood pressure medicine soon, one of my original goals for losing weight. Dreams do come true! I am living proof.

Lynell Tobler, Merritt Athletic Clubs member since 2008

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Topics: healthy living, Merritt athletic clubs review, health, Weight Loss, goals, lose weight, portion control, success stories, best weight loss plans, lynell tobler, before and after, best workout plans, Baltimore fitness, Member Success Stories, group fitness