When I first met Duane, he told me about how he wanted to complete the 20km+ Spartan BEAST obstacle course race, which, in addition to being super long, also has 26 challenging obstacles.
Duane’s biggest barrier to achieving his fitness goal was his knee injury, which resulted in weight gain and a decreased level of cardiovascular fitness.
Now, as a runner, all I can think about is how important it is to take care of the knees.
Above: Duane’s before picture, side shot.
I made it my mission to help him complete the obstacle course race. I knew that weight loss would be a by-product of the training rather than the sole focus. This ensures he enjoys the process, which will in turn lead to results.
Above: Another before photo. Front shot.
First, we did a lot of rowing and elliptical training. Both rowing and elliptical training help improve cardio while minimizing impact on the knee joint. Man, those were tough. I kept on pushing him to go faster and week after week he continuously set new records for himself.
After a while, we were primarily focusing on improving upper body, glute and core strength. All of the aforementioned would help him perform better in the Spartan Beast race.
Additionally, we worked on pushups and pullups. When he first started training with me, he managed to do 34 pushups in 3 minutes. By the time he completed his training program with me, he was doing over 100 pushups in 3 minutes. Not only that, but he also learned how to properly do pullups.
Duane’s glute and core strength improved significantly and his knee also started to feel better. We also worked on stretching his tight muscles, particularly the hip flexors and hamstrings.
When he completed the Spartan Beast Obstacle course race, I was so happy to get the good news.
Above: Duane post-race proudly showing his finisher medal and Spartan Beast swag package. He sent me this photo along with a text that said “Thank you, Yana! I couldn’t have done it without you.” It truly meant a lot to me.
When we first met, it was overwhelming to think that doing a 20km+ obstacle course is possible, especially because he hasn’t done any running due to his knee injury.
I was overwhelmed with joy when he overcame his challenge and not just survived that obstacle course, but thrived.
Here is what Duane had to say about his fitness journey with me:
“About 6 months ago, a friend of mine told me about Yana and how Yana had helped her reach her goals. I had seen Yana at the gym on numerous occasions and took notice, not only of her chiseled physique, her smiling face and contagious laughter, but more importantly, to me, I noticed how focused Yana was on her clients. I met with Yana and we struck a deal to work on my physique and prepare me for a 20km+ Spartan Beast Obstacle Course in September 2015. Due to a knee injury, I had stopped exercising and managed to gain a few pounds around my midsection as well as deteriorated my cardio fitness. Yana provided me with various exercises and techniques which allowed me to exercise without aggravating or causing further injury to my knee. After 12 sessions with Yana, although gruelling and limit pushing, not only did I lose weight and inches, my cardio increased an amazing amount and I felt FANTASTIC!! I had so much fun with Yana that I looked forward to every session and completed the Sun Peaks Beast Spartan Race with loads of energy and pep leftover afterwards. I continued my training with Yana until I had to relocate for work in January. Thank you, Yana, for your inspiration, motivation and for inviting me and your other clients to your ab-aliscious and stair-aliscious fitness parties!!”
I thoroughly enjoyed watching him achieve various milestones throughout his fitness journey. He was able to do all the things that he didn’t think were possible. Most importantly, he had fun during the entire process.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Duane for allowing me to be a part of his journey and for giving me permission to share this story.
Wishing Duane continued success, health and wellness as he embarks on a new journey in a new city.
If Duane’s story inspired you, I can help you achieve your goals too.