Steve Singer

John Oliver is a truly remarkable fitness expert and motivational trainer!

During the summer of 2006, my physical health had reached an all time low. I had just relocated to Tampa from South Florida. I had great difficulty in moving in carrying to my new apartment. I remember trying to carry a TV and having to stop at each step for rest. Also, I went to donate blood and I was rejected because my blood pressure was too elevated.

I weighed 234 pounds and had 36% body fat. Really through a purely random occurrence, I stopped at the Lifestyle Family Fitness Center and spoke to a sales person about gym membership.

I had not done any type of weight or cardio training since the mid 1980s.I told the sales representative that I was in my mid 50s severely out of shape and wanted to have a trainer that would be vigilant about preventing injury. I knew that a hernia, back injury or ruptured Achilles tendon would sabotage any program– no matter how dedicated I was to it. I met John and set up a schedule and my life has changed for the better in many facets. John’s approach to my life style change was on three major fronts:

1) Diet changes– I had been a trans-fat and carb junkie and a ravenous glutton on top of that. John had me keep a daily food diary. He told me about watching Na+ intake, and about the advantages of grilled chicken breasts and other high protein, low fat foods. Every Monday he would inquire about my weekend transgressions and in a non judgemental kind of way– he would coach me as to how to make wiser choices next time. Even with my #1 weakness– pizza– he would focus on trying to eat less amount rather than scold me for eating it in the first place.

2) Weight Training: John obviously is a well trained, extremely knowledgeable physical trainer. He knows how to combine use of the
machines, the cords, BOSU balls, and then free exercises such as push ups and pull ups in a very strenuous routine.He is great about getting me to finish the (always impossible) third set of 15–even if he has to give passive assistance with his hands.

Right from the very first session, I was amazed as to how John could get me to do things with my body that I had never done in my entire life–even when I was 18 years
old. John always showed incredible patience with me. He is the best coach/mentor/teacher I have ever encountered in any field–academic or sports related. John invariably asks me at the beginning of a session how I feel.

At first, I would get muscle/ligament injuries in my shoulders, neck, thighs, etc. John would have me stretch those out– or he might alter a regimen to give rest to an inflamed joint. When someone is terribly out of shape, and then enters into an exercise program, it is easy to get discouraged with results and quite. I have done that before.

3) Cardio fitness: When I began training in July of 2005, I could not run at all! I could not traverse any flight of stairs. John started me off slowly on the elliptical and treadmill. I then learned the importance of varying my cardio routine. I used the stairmaster, the cycle, and even jump roping– which I am still trying to master. Now I can handle 2 hours of cardio at the gym in one session– For me that is beyond comprehension. My blood pressure is totally normal off any medication

At this point in time, I have lost 60 lbs. My percent body fat is down to 20%. I definitely have some muscle definition especially in my legs. I still have some goals to reach and I know with continuing to train with John I can attain those goals.

John– so they well know how important he has been in my lifestyle changes and how important he will continue to be what I have achieved. John is not only my trainer, but also a good friend who I can share thoughts and ideas with. He knows a lot of about college and pro sports–something I know something about also.