September 9, 2009
The Apple’s Ultimate Losers
Fitness challenge results
By Steve Smede
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When it comes to fitness training, mutual support is a key factor—especially when you’re getting it from the people closest to you. On that score, it should come as no surprise that Kurt Carpenter and Kimberly Martinez came out on top of Apple Athletic’s “Ultimate Loser Challenge,” held earlier this year in Idaho Falls. Not only are they teammates; these two fierce competitors also happen to be siblings.
“We really kept each other going—that was definitely a factor,” Kim told us. “We were each other’s inspiration. We could encourage each other every step of the way, and that really helped.”
There was plenty of support to go around, adds Kurt, but the quest was still grueling.
“This was a major challenge—a lot of work. It has been totally worth it but it hasn’t been easy… Just a matter of keeping your eyes on the prize.”
For Kurt, the latest prize is one of a few important milestones on his road to fitness. “A while back I weighed [a lot more] than when this challenge started. It’s a long process and the competition aspect certainly helps.”
As the challenge came down to its closing days, Kurt began paying close attention to his closest competitor in the men’s division. “I kept asking [my trainer] where things stood. He just kept telling me, ‘It’s close.’”
While Kurt thrived more on the pressure of competition, Kimberly chalked up her role in the program as one of personal growth and self betterment.
“It was always about improving my own fitness,” she said. “Then there came that moment when I seriously thought—I can win this!” That epiphany gave her the extra edge she needed to go the distance, she said.
By the numbers, Kurt lost a total of 61 pounds and a ## percent drop in body fat. On the women’s side, Kimberly dropped 36 pounds and ## percent body fat. For their triumphs, each received 12 one-on-one sessions with their trainer and a full year’s membership at the Apple.
Both winners credit their certified personal trainers—Steve Gardener and Mike Taylor—as key figures in their transformations.
“This is our third time doing it, and we have another planned for this fall,”
“On average, people tend to take in more calories these days because we lead lives sitting down in an office,” he says. “Changing that is hard. It requires a lot of lifestyle and behavior modification, and it can be tricky.”
The dynamics of group training are interesting to behold, notes
According to Gardener, now in his seventh year at the Apple, it is a trainer’s job to teach and to inspire, “but at least as much, they inspire me,” he says. “To make that kind of personal change requires incredible dedication. Kurt is the perfect example—more times than not, he was in here two hours a day.”
What makes Kurt’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he persevered for the length of the competition on a bum knee. He’s now in the healing stages, but has yet to dive into the personal training. Kimberly, however, has just about completed all 12 sessions as of late summer.
The program is group-based, but it is also tailored to individual needs. The guidelines for the challenge are rooted in “really solid science,” Gardener says. And it’s about much more than exercise routines. “It’s also about eating. It stresses healthy diet with a focus on whole grains, water, fruits and veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats.” The regimen is then paired with proper physical activity, a knowledge of calorie intake, diligent record-keeping, stimulus control and support groups, he says.
‘For me, it’s all about good choices,” Kimberly says. “I have my moments, but at work I’ll have an apple or a bag of baby carrots, something nice and filling. It really works. Just cutting the fatty foods has been a big thing. My goal has been to keep losing weight in small increments, and that’s what is happening. I take it one day, one step at a time.”.
Editor’s Note: Round 4 of Apple Athletic’s Ultimate Loser competition is just around the corner, beginning Sept. 14. Call the Apple for details: 529-8600.
© 2013 Idaho Falls® Magazine