This press release was provided by Gold's Gym. The Club Industry editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content.
In January 2013, thousands of Gold's Gym members from across the country enrolled in the 12-week Gold's Gym Challenge, which has evolved into one of the world's largest body transformation programs – giving individuals the ability to change their lives in just 12 weeks. Today, these members are leading healthier, happier lifestyles through proper exercise and nutrition, losing 50-60 pounds in some cases!
Throughout the three month span of the Challenge, participants worked with local Gold's Gym trainers and/or on their own to transform their lives, while also competing to win cash prizes totaling $75,000 – provided in part by sponsors Met-RX, Matrix Fitness and ABC Financial. With thousands of members participating at hundreds of gyms nationwide, the results were astounding with contestants shedding estimated totals of 188,288 pounds and 122,899 inches.
"The Gold's Gym 12-Week Challenge is about changing lives and arming people with the knowledge, hope and support they need to overcome whatever challenges they are facing and finally make the switch to a healthy lifestyle," said Jim Snow, president of Gold's Gym. "Watching these incredible people transform before our eyes, and hearing their inspirational stories of success, is one of the greatest joys a brand can experience. If you know nothing else about the Gold's Gym Challenge, just know this – if you give us 12 weeks, we will change your life."
Following the conclusion of the 12-week Challenge, Gold's Gym locations from around the country submitted their best male and female success stories in the following age categories: 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60-plus. A national panel then convened for several days to review hundreds of local winners. National winners were chosen based on total body transformations including the following criteria: before and after photos, amount of weight lost, muscle tone, inches lost, percentage of body weight lost and personal testimonials.
Of the more than 15,000 individuals that competed, a group of 10, which includes two age category winners and two overall champions, were then selected for their dramatic transformations and inspirational stories and awarded a cash prize, as well as national recognition. These winners include:
The overall female winner, Paula Castano, from St. Peters, MO, lost 41.2 pounds (from 184.2 to 143 lbs.), 10.5 percent body fat and nearly 21 inches overall in just 12 weeks.
"Going into the Challenge, I had just lost my mother and had been forced to relocate to another state due to my husband's job. Being away from my family and friends during the time I needed them most put me in one of the darkest times of my life," said Castano. "Having just turned 40, I decided I needed to do something positive in my mother's memory, and with the help of my neighbor, I joined the Gold's Gym Challenge – and in just 12 weeks, Gold's Gym, and my trainer Lindsey, changed my life. I think of them as angels sent from above."
Overall male winner Michael Blaue, from Broken Arrow, OK, lost more than 62 pounds (from 241 to 179 lbs.), 18.3 percent body fat and 26 inches overall in the same time period.
"After hearing my son tell me that when he grows up, he wants to be fat, just like his dad, I knew I had to make a change in my life," said Blaue. "As a former athlete, I went into the Gold's Gym 12-Week Challenge thinking that I knew all there was about fitness and nutrition, but after a few days, I realized I had no idea how off balance I was. Thankfully, Gold's Gym aligned me with the perfect trainer, who was not only patient, but was also able to push me to new heights and set me on a healthy path that has continued well beyond the Challenge. Now when my sons imitate me, they don't rub their bellies, they do push-ups!"
"This annual Gold's Gym Challenge continues to prove what a life-changing opportunity this can be for our millions of members across the country," said Mike Epstein, president of the Gold's Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA). "Each and every participant shows amazing willpower and work ethic for the entire duration of the Challenge as they work towards their individual fitness and nutrition goals hand in hand with our dedicated staff and trainers. The amazing result of all of our Challengers is continued proof of the wonderful relationships between our staff and members around the country."
About Gold's Gym
Established in Venice, Calif. in 1965, Gold's Gym is the most recognized gym chain in the world with more than 650 locations in 37 states and 28 countries. The iconic brand ranks in the top 15 percent of Entrepreneur magazine's 2011 "Franchise 500." Gold's Gym offers the latest equipment and services, including group exercise, personal training, cardiovascular equipment, group cycle, Pilates and yoga. With nearly 3 million members worldwide, Gold's Gym helps all kinds of people achieve their individual potential through fitness. For more information please visit www.goldsgym.com, www.facebook.com/goldsgym or www.twitter.com/goldsgym.