Health and Wellness
December 2016

Why 12 Weeks? A Look at the Gold’s Gym Challenge

Past winners give us their perspective as to why 12 weeks worked for them.

Lose-Weight Boost-Performance Build-MuscleImprove-Health

Sometimes, to be the best version of yourself, you need a little nudge. Consider the Gold’s Gym Challenge as a push in the right direction. This 12-week body transformation contest whips participants into better shape physically and mentally, and tracks results by taking before and after weigh-ins and measurements. 12 weeks is the achievable amount of time to build a leaner, stronger body and jumpstart your metabolism. “Weeks sound more doable than months,” said Mike Rogers, one of the 2016 winners. “In your head, it sounds like a shorter period of time. The first part of it flew by.” Others agree. “12 weeks allowed me to count down and take it week by week,” said Maribel Contreras, who also triumphed in the 2015 challenge.

In case you need any more motivation, for the 2017 Challenge, Gold’s is giving away cash prizes totaling over $100,000 to their top male and female success stories in five age categories: 18-29 years, 30-39 years, 40-49 years, 50-59 years and 60 plus years.  Once local winners are selected, a national panel of judges then reviews thousands of entries to ultimately select the cash prize overall winners.

To join, head to your local Gold’s Gym and tell the front desk you’re interested in participating in the challenge. Still not convinced? Check out the success stories of four past Challenge winners, below:

Maribel Contreras, 2015 overall female winner, lose weight

Challenge stats: before weight, after weight, and current weight:
195 lbs before, 147.5 lbs after, 150 lbs currently.

What was your physical transformation?
“During the Challenge, I was able to lose 47.2 lbs and 16.75 percent of my body fat—it was something that I thought was impossible. I have yo-yoed all my life, I was the fat, unathletic kid that became the sedentary adult who worked full time, had kids and wasn't that motivated before the Challenge.”

What was your mental transformation?
“The Challenge helped me in so many ways. Mentally sticking to something and actually completing my goals only motivated me to keep going. What I call ‘the mindset’ had to kick in—I had to believe that I could do it. When I didn't believe, my trainer and the people who joined the Challenge, my teammates, pushed me along. There's no way that I could have done this all by myself."

How did the Challenge help you lose weight?
“The belief that I could accomplish my weight loss goals had to be greater than that chocolate cake staring at me. I used all of the tools they gave me—the Microsoft Band to track my activity levels, food planning as well as supplements. Most of us can't commit to anything more than a month so taking it day by day was more appealing. I signed up for personal training and started with three days but eventually did five days a week at 5 a.m. I loved the way I felt when I trained and I loved the increase in my energy and productivity. Now that I've reached my goals, I'm always fine tuning and increasing my muscle and getting rid of that fat I've carried for more than 30 years.”

Why do you recommend the Gold's Gym Challenge?
“I liked that it had a start date and an end date, I liked that my trainer and the gym would hold me accountable, I liked that they offered a variety of classes.”

Robyn Glasgow, 2016 winner, boost performance

Challenge stats: before weight, after weight, and current weight:
160 lbs before, 142 lbs after, 140 currently.

What was your physical transformation?
“I have a pretty athletic build with broad shoulders, and I was able to lose weight by losing fat and gaining muscle.”

What was your mental transformation?
“I have more confidence to push through everyday situations and set the example for my children of how I want them to believe in themselves. I am constantly setting exercise and life goals. I don’t always reach them but I am trying my hardest. I also completed my personal training certification and plan on using that to motivate others.”

How did the Challenge boost your performance?
“One of the biggest rewards of the Challenge, for me, is the ability to use the strength both mentally and physically, and being able to use my body in ways I never thought I could, especially at fitness competitions. I competed in the September GOLD'SFIT team competition and will be competing again December 3."

Robyn continued, "I am a married 35 year old woman with three children and have only been driving for two-and-a-half years due to an eye condition and a lack of confidence to do so. I have ocular albinism, it's a rare genetic eye condition. Because of the Challenge, I've worked up the courage to drive on the highway, something I could not do before. The Challenge has truly changed the landscape of my family and the things I can independently do.”

Why do you recommend the Gold's Gym Challenge?
“The challenge is about your goals and what you need to change about yourself to make you a happier and healthier person. Before I started the Challenge, I kind of lost myself in being a stay at home mother of three and I had no energy because I was so out of shape. I believe I was depressed and I needed the challenge to remind myself that I can be a strong mom. I want my kids to look up to me and to challenge themselves to be the best. I was always very athletic growing up and it feels great to have that part of my life back again. I have a new nickname that I only hope I can live up to: Beast Mom!”

Mike Rogers, 2016 winner, build muscle

Challenge stats: before weight, after weight, and current weight:
206 lbs before, 180 lbs after, 210 lbs currently - “I'm bulking up over the winter. I'm going to try to get lean again during the spring to see if I can do it again.”

What was your physical transformation?
“My physical transformation was phenomenal. I went from being soft and chubby to a lean, athletic looking person.”

What was your mental transformation?
“Mentally, the Challenge was tough. The hard part wasn't the gym so much as the diet. I was on a very strict diet with no cheat meals. It taught me to push through. As much as I wanted to cheat some days, I had to keep reminding myself of the big picture and what I wanted the final result to be.”

How did the Challenge help you build muscle?
“My workout program combined with my diet during the challenge really helped me build some muscle but also lose the fat that was covering up my already existing muscle. I trained with weights five days a week and did cardio seven days a week. Monday would be lower body, Tuesday upper, Wednesday would be some sort of conditioning day, then I’d start again on Thursday with lower body. I definitely got stronger over the Challenge period.”

Why do you recommend the Gold's Gym Challenge?
“I recommend the Gold’s Challenge to anybody looking to turn their life around, fitness-wise. It will teach you discipline and how to stick to a goal and reach it. Also, if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and need that little push, the Challenge is great. I enjoyed participating in it and would recommend it to everybody.”

Todd McFarland, 2016 winner, improve health

Challenge stats: before weight, after weight, and current weight:
206 lbs before, 155 lbs after, 172 lbs currently (“I'm bulking for the Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness show in April.”)

What was your physical transformation?
“Before the Challenge, I was tired all the time. I do hardwood flooring for a living and I would suffer from a lot of headaches as well back pain. Since the Challenge, I have a lot more energy, almost never get headaches and my body isn't sore from work. I look and feel better than I ever have—I feel 20 years younger.”

What was your mental transformation?
“I’m happier, I seem to enjoy life more. I think before the Challenge, I was grumpy and unhappy because of the way I looked. I was unhappy with myself. Something had to change.”

How did the challenge improve your health?
“The Challenge put me in the best shape I have been in since my early twenties. I'm stronger than I have ever been, and because of the way I look and feel, I think I’m a happier person. In my experience, when you’re happy with yourself, it’s easier to be happy with others. I find myself more likely to talk to strangers and joke around."

Todd continued, "During the Challenge, my fiancée, my daughters and I all worked out together. It brought us closer together and gave us a special bond. My fiancée and I continue to work out together, pushing each other to new goals.”

Why do you recommend the Gold's Gym Challenge?
“If you are unhappy with yourself or want to improve yourself, it gives you goals, a time frame, and a great support group. You make a lot of friends along the way. Whether you win or lose, everyone who sticks to the program and puts in effort will come out a stronger, healthier and happier person. You learn things about health and fitness that you can use for the rest of your life. There is no negative.”