The Fitness Friend Challenge: Summer Update


Rob and Dave keeping at their wellness challenge.

We caught up with personal trainer John Perez and Friends Fitness Challenge participants Rob and Dave to see how things are coming along. It’s been almost eight months since the guys—Dave Liebman and Rob Perez—embarked on the Friends Fitness Challenge: their journey of creating better health, fitness, and diet habits. (To read earlier reports about this journey, scroll down.) As a reminder, these two friends were looking to make some major life adjustments in the realms of health and fitness, so joined forces under the watchful eye of John and massage therapist and nutrition coach Kristi Reed. To add fun inspiration and competition to the endeavor, they put a wager on the line based on who loses, combined, the most weight, body fat, and inches by the end of the challenge.

To date, each time we’ve checked in, although both Dave and Rob have seen improvements in all measurements every time, it’s been Dave who’s led in the numbers. While he does still lead overall, over the summer months, that began to slip as Dave’s progress slowed, and Rob’s has not. Between mid-June and mid-July, Rob lost 5 more pounds and 4% body fat, while Dave lost 1.5 and saw no change in body fat.

For Dave, the stall was a result of his amazing month-long European vacation, which included more than one rich and delicious French meal. Certainly this is something most people can relate to.
Dave did consistently stick to a movement regime, and it almost exclusively consisted of walking five to seven miles a day. But that just wasn’t enough to combat an uptick in calories. Also missing were his high intensity gym workouts. The valuable takeaway—exercise and movement are excellent, but to see notable weight and fat loss, exercise intensity and diet are critical.

Back home, Dave is back to the gym with a vengeance and back to the healthier eating habits he’d cultivated before his time away. His renewed efforts and enthusiasm are contagious. In particular, a fellow participant in John’s Saturday small group HIIT class, Jason, was so inspired by Dave he decided to stop eating fast food and exercise more.

One person who consistently enjoys Dave’s exercise company is Rob, who says he is motivated both by having a workout partner as well as the ever-changing workouts provided by John. In addition to gym time, Rob is incorporating more movement activities into his life.

The aspects of the program Rob continues to tinker are food portion control and meal planning. He remains very enthusiastic about creating healthier habits in this realm. One area of his diet that he’s greatly improved is reducing sugar intake and incorporating more greens and lean meats.

Rob notes that he’s continues to see an increase in his energy and flexibility. He also recognizes that he’s better able to deal with stresses that used to have a strong negative impact on him, and he says he is thinking more clearly. Overall he feels that he’s more balance. He attributes this the months-long consistency of creating healthier habits.

John is thrilled to see the guys are sticking to their commitment and by how accountable they are. All of us at Body Balance are cheering Rob and Dave on and love seeing the ever-increasing improvements in their lives.

Cherie Turner

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