Address: Lower Heidelberg Township
Occupation and employer: Owner, LinkTech, West Reading
When and why you began to exercise: When I was a young kid I was overweight from when I was born to 10 years old. From ages 7 to 10 I was 280 pounds. At the age of 10 I started playing baseball and basketball and I also got into martial arts. I grew up in a rough area of the Bronx in New York, so I got involved in sports and learned how to defend myself a little bit. Around the age of 15 when I was interested in dating, I wanted to lose weight to feel better about myself and get fit. I went down to 170 pounds. From there I maintained my weight between 180 and 190. The workouts involved in basketball, baseball and then two hours of martial arts kept me in shape and enabled me to maintain my weight. About eight years ago I retired from martial arts after 32 years and after competing for 27 years to focus more on my business and my family. I’m also very involved in church. Right now my focus is to maintain my weight, and now that I’m older, my health, so that I can be a more energetic parent and hopefully grandparent one day.
Type you do: I do boot-camp classes at Charlie Sarti’s 3rd Element three days a week, and two days a week I lift weights for a total body workout. At the boot-camp classes I always try to push myself and give more than 100 percent. I’ve been this way ever since I started training in sports. What I like about boot camp is that you can push yourself to whatever limit you want and it burns so many calories. You lose and maintain weight, but you also burn so much fat and gain so much muscle. If you do the workout and follow his advice on eating and calories, it works, because last year I was a big man. I was 250 pounds at the beginning of the year last year with more muscle than fat, but my concern now, being older, is being more fit than bigger. Once I started following Charlie’s advice and I started concentrating more on my health and being more fit, I went from 250 to 210 pounds in one year and from 18 percent body fat to 8 percent.
Hardest hurdle to overcome: Right now I have arthritis in my lower back and I have knee problems from the years of doing martial arts. I also have shoulder problems. I continue to push myself to keep going. Right now I have some physical conditions, but I maintain myself and it betters me. Once you get there and the music starts and Charlie motivates you in a certain way, you forget about your aches and pains. You work out and sweat and try to burn as many calories as you can.