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“The best decision I ever made”

— Arsalan

Arsalan’s Story

Let me start by saying that I used to weigh a little more than 350 lbs. This was back in 2002. Most of my weight gain was a result of bad eating habits. Then a minor bicycle accident caused a permanent injury in my knee that discouraged me from working out. A combination of stress and stress-induced eating is probably what contributed to my weight gain.

Fast forward to 2016 — I was 332 lbs and a wake-up call from my doctor convinced me to develop some healthy eating habits and finally begin my weight loss journey. With these new habits I had lost about 50 lbs but my progress had stalled. I still needed to lose more body fat, build muscle and improve mobility.

At exactly this time, my wife saw an advertisement for the New You challenge at GFSC on Facebook and insisted that we sign-up. This was the best decision I ever made because this class has changed my life. Coach Dan taught me the right techniques to lift weights safely and effectively. One year later I have lost a decent amount of body fat and for the first time I can shop for clothes at regular stores. I have built a lot of muscle, especially in my core and I have the MRI scans to prove it. I have GFSC to thank for all this progress. I especially appreciate that coach Dan is mindful of my chronic and permanent back injuries, modifies the work-outs accordingly and watches me closely so I can continue to derive maximum benefit without hurting myself. The fact that I am seeing results of my hard work and the excellent coaching makes it a lot easier to wake up at 4:30 am every morning and show up for class. I especially look forward to working out in the company of the other 5 am athletes who I am happy to call friends. The sense of community at GFSC makes the work out fun and less intimidating.

My wife and I will continue to be strong advocates and members of the GFSC community. We gladly recommend this program to anyone wanting to make positive changes to their body and develop a new level of confidence

“I quickly achieved, and exceeded, my fitness goals”

— Allan

Allan’s Story: Getting Fit with the Family

The Get Fit Strength and Conditioning Family is so inviting, supportive, and motivating. I call it a “Family” because the staff and fellow members quickly make you feel a level of comfort that I, personally, have only ever felt around family. They are constantly working to improve the facility and the various fitness programs. Thanks to the GFSC Family I quickly achieved, and exceeded, my fitness goals. To understand my fitness journey I must first give some background.

I have always been an athletic person; I played many sports growing up, and I was always in “good shape.” In the summer of 2011 I sustained an injury that derailed my life for many years. Initially, I experienced light-moderate sciatic pain that began at my lower spine, traveled down my right side (posterior), and terminated at knee level. Treatment began with over the counter medication and physical therapy. Over the course of the next six months the pain intensified and traveled further down my leg. The pain now reached all the way down and around my foot, and felt like one LONG charley horse. By this time I was on heavy narcotics and using a cane to help myself get around (considering the use of a wheelchair). Physical therapy was no longer helping and it was time to consider other treatment options.

In March of 2012 I opted to get a cortisone shot in my spine. The shot did very little to ease the pain and actually left me with a “cool” or numb feeling, and dull pain, in areas previously unaffected. April of 2012 I decided to get a discectomy, going under the knife for the first time. The surgery was a success, and I was pain free for the first time in what felt like forever. Less than a month later the pain returned and was just as bad as before. Pain medication and physical therapy were again the course of treatment. In September of 2012 I got a second discectomy. This time the pain didn’t completely go away but was much more manageable. I was able to greatly reduce the use of narcotics to help me through the pain.

I was able to get by for a long time with ibuprofen and the occasional narcotic. I was a lot more carful with my movements, and had retrained my body to avoid certain poor posture habits that were hard on my spine. Unfortunately, the pain was slowly coming back and eventually I was back at square one. This time the doctors were recommending a fusion surgery, where they would sink pins through the vertebrae fusing them together. The issue with this surgery was that without movement in this area the discs above an below the fusion site would experience greater strain and would eventually ware out. This meant that in about ten years I would have to fuse those vertebrae as well. I was highly against the fusion surgery, and in February of 2014 I underwent a third discectomy.

Throughout the course of this rollercoaster ride of physical health, my mental health was rapidly declining. Trying to juggle being a full-time student, a father of two young children, a husband, a part-time employee, and dealing with my back issues was no easy task. Being in constant pain is draining, both physically and mentally. I was sinking deeper into depression, quick to anger, and retreating from my family. Not being able to easily get around and unhealthy eating habits had left me roughly twenty pounds overweight, and easily winded. I began developing self-image issues. I transferred to UC Davis and began biking around town, as we only had one car and my wife needed it to get the kids to and from school. Regular biking helped bring back some of my stamina, but long nights and continued poor eating habits kept my weight about the same. I started working in my field of study two days after graduating; a year later, I had reached 200 lbs. At 5’-7”, an athletic build, my ideal weight is about 170 lbs. So, I decided to begin my on and off relationship with the gym.

Remaining consistent with the gym was a hard thing to do. I would lose some weight, plateau, and give up. I tried different workout regiments, diets, and cleanses. This cycle went on for another year or so until I was tired of trying. I had reached the heaviest weight of my life, just over 215lbs. My wife thought it was time to try something new. We both tried a month long keto diet. The keto diet and light exercise got me back down to about 200 lbs. She suggested we take it a step further and signed us up for the Sizzling Summer Fitness Challenge at GFSC. I was reluctant at first, but decided to participate in the challenge.

I have never been a fan of personal or group training; I always felt like I could do it on my own. Once, before all my back issues, I had talked to a trainer at the gym I attended about my fitness goals; he laughed a little and basically told me to aim a little lower. This past experience and my newly developed image issues made personal/group training a lot less appealing, and left me entering the challenge with really low expectations. At the pre-challenge weight-in Coach Elizabeth asked me what my fitness goals were. I simply told her that I wanted to loss about 20 lbs. She said, “that’s it?” I was too afraid to reveal any more than that. In actuality, I wanted to lose 20 lbs., 5% body fat, and gain back some of the muscle I had lost since my back injury.
I was nervous and unsure of what to expect the first day of the challenge. I was worried about feeling isolated, even in a group setting, because I was a new member. I was afraid I would do things incorrectly and get called out in front of the others. I was nervous about meeting the other challengers and feeling like I wouldn’t stand a chance, which would ultimately lead to me dropping out. There were so many thoughts and feelings that were stirring up anxiety from deep within. All of the uneasy feelings went away pretty quickly after the first block of that first workout.

From the very beginning of the challenge not only were the coaches so inviting and supportive, I was surprised to find that the other challengers/members were just as inviting and supportive. Everything was explained in detail and demonstrated. So, it was relatively easy to pick up on proper form and technique. I never felt so comfortable, so quickly, around a group of people I’ve never met before. I immediately realized that I was not competing against others, I was competing against myself. With all of the camaraderie and encouragement from the coaches, other members, and my family it was easy to see the challenge through.
Don’t get me wrong, the workouts were in no way easy…but the hardest part was changing my eating habits. Get Fit made it a lot easier to change my eating habits by providing everyone a nutrition and paleo diet guide. The guide detailed a 12 week meal plan, complete with shopping lists and recipes. I didn’t fully stick to the paleo diet because I love cheese too much. So, my diet was a mixture of keto and paleo. With regular workouts and my new healthy eating habits my lifestyle change was well underway. Before I knew it the challenge was over. The winner of the 8 week long summer fitness challenge was to be the person that lost the highest body fat percentage; I ended up winning the challenge! Not only did I meet my goals for the challenge, I exceeded them. I lost 21.8 lbs., 8.9% body fat, and have never felt stronger. It was such a rewarding feeling to have blown my fitness goals out of the water. I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my newly expanded family.

I do and will continue to recommend GFSC to any and every one. Their schedules are packed with group training activities leaving very few breaks in the day/week/month. They have regular 6 week fitness challenges. The coaches and fellow members are all really nice and welcoming. Again, I feel like we are all one big family. If you made it all the way through this, I hope that you will consider joining…maybe ease into it by joining a 6 week challenge. I look forward to seeing you around the gym.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story!

– Allan Perotti


“GFSC is the best of the best!”

— Ray

No matter what your fitness level is, your age, weight, experience, etc., GFSC is the program that can take you to the next level and further. Not only do you get an incredible workout, but it’s both educational and sets a strong foundation for an overall better lifestyle. All of the coaches are personable, experienced, and genuinely care about your goals and growth within the program. GFSC is the best of the best!



Are you ready to be part of a great team?