Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Success Story: Jason R. from TN

By: Snap Fitness

In December 2009, Jason R. turned 39 years old. At 305 pounds, he vowed to get in better shape before his 40th birthday. His mother was diagnosed with diabetes at age 36 and had her first heart attack a few years after, so he knew he needed to make a drastic change to avoid following in her footsteps.


Jason joined Snap Fitness in Tullahoma, Tenn., and took full advantage of all the tools his club provided. Once it got a little warmer outdoors, he discovered a passion for cycling and took his exercise outside for the rest of the year. By his 40th birthday, Jason dropped down to 172 pounds.


"This weight loss was purely the product of understanding the difference between what my body needed versus what my stomach wanted and lots and lots of hours of disciplined exercise and training,” Jason said. "No pills, no shots, no fancy shakes. Just hard work and discipline.”


Fast forward to 2013. Jason had maintained his healthy weight for three years. About halfway through 2012, his mother's health condition worsened and she lost her mobility. 


"Given her loss of mobility, combined with her diminished mental acuity, I was put in a position where I managed every aspect of her medical care and finances. After several tough months in a nursing home, she passed away at the end of February,” Jason said.


The death hit Jason hard, and old habits began to kick back in. 


"Grief set in and I coped the only way I had learned for 39 of my 43 years: I ate. And then I ate some more,” Jason said. "I ate like I did when I was 300 pounds."


By the end of 2013, Jason gained 60 pounds and knew he had to take action. He decided to enter a 10-week weight loss competition at a local pharmacy. 


"I was asked by my wife and her friends to join the Winter 2014 contest and lead their team. It didn't take too much deliberation to decide to join the group,” Jason said.


His goal was a 20 percent loss (47 pounds). No one had ever hit the 20 percent mark in prior competitions, which motivated Jason to be the first. 


During the competition, Jason's part of the country experienced a very rough winter. It became very evident that his workouts and trainings would have to be conducted inside. So, that’s what he did.


"Morning, lunch, evening, middle of the night — whenever I could squeeze in a trip to Snap Fitness, I was there,” Jason said."On average, I spent two hours a day at the gym five times a week. Every single machine in that gym, along with a lot of the free weights, had the unfortunate pleasure of being doused in my sweat."  


Jason refused to give up. He was dedicated to his goal every single time he walked into the gym — even when a stress fracture set him back.


"When I experienced a stress fracture in week 2 of the competition and the treadmill and elliptical became unbearable to use, I found a way to adapt using the stationary bikes and Life Strider machines,” Jason said. "Never once, did I walk out of Snap thinking I could have done more than I did."


Jason was proud to report he hit his 20 percent goal during the final competition weigh-in. To be exact, he lost 20.3 percent and 47.6 pounds in 10 weeks! Jason has attained a BMI in the "normal" range and that his resting heart rate is down to 52 beats per minute. Jason fully anticipates being able to maintain his recaptured healthy lifestyle.  


"2013 was a rough year for me, but I fought back and am looking forward to a lifetime of great years going forward,” Jason said. Thank you, Snap Fitness, for helping me get back to me!"


You are more than welcome, Jason! You deserve nothing but the best with your hard work and passionate attitude.

Success Story: Michele W.

By: Snap Fitness

Professional bodybuilder Michele W. always strives to be the best. She used that same mentality a year ago when she took over as Snap Fitness owner in Avon, CT.


“I wanted to do something unique,” Michele said. “I’m passionate about fitness and I’ve always believed that Snap Fitness provides all the tools you need to reach your fitness goals.”


Even before she took over ownership, Michele has always been a leader in the gym.  She was the first member of her Snap Fitness club and has long used the facilities to train for her body building competitions.   


“Members knew I was body builder and would always approach me while I was working out,” she said. “I loved being able to help them and offer them tips.”


The previous owner knew Michele was popular in the club. When he wanted to sell the club, he approached her to take over the helm. Michele had never thought about owning her own club, but believed it was important to have a locally owned gym in town.


“When I took over, it was a challenge, but that’s what happens when (another) gym opens up down the street,” she said. “Thankfully, I had incredible support both from the Snap Fitness corporate support team and my members.”


Michele wanted to try something new to bring people into her club and to have a positive impact on her community. Her idea? To use her experience as bodybuilder and her passion for helping others to make her club the best in town.


“What makes a facility special is the level of support,” Michele said. “I wanted to get creative and offer my members something unique.”


She ramped up her facilities personal training efforts and started offering members detailed nutrition tips. Taking it one step further, she started collaborating with local restaurants to place her own “Michele Approved” menus at their establishments. She also worked with the local grocery store to give customers personal “Michele Approved” grocery lists.


“I wanted to keep it fresh, keep it new,” she said. “In the end, it’s all about getting it out to the community and exposure; the more, the better.”


The exposure worked. She’s seen a steady increase in members each month, but the ultimate reward for Michele is seeing her community taking active steps to get fit and eat right.


“Am I proud? Absolutely!” she said. “I’ve worked hard, and it’s amazing to see the impact we’re having on our community.”


Want to inspire your community like Michele? Own your very own Snap Fitness today. Get started here.

Success Story: Tiffany D. from MI

By: Snap Fitness

We had the opportunity to chat with Club Manager Tiffany Duffield from Greenville, MI, about her recent weight loss. Tiffany has a passion for health and fitness and believes that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Not only is she a sensation in the news, she was recently nominated for the Governor’s Fitness Award. We are proud of Tiffany! Her dedication, determination, and passion for helping others is infectious.

How has losing weight changed your life?
TD: In every way imaginable. I am a whole different person. The struggles of being morbidly obese make doing simple daily activities almost unbearable. Now walking a flight of stairs, playing with my children, and even going to the movies are enjoyable.

What do you think helped you the most in your weight loss?
TD: Choosing to surround myself with motivating active people and having my whole family eat healthy.

What was your turning point in wanting to lose weight?
TD: Fear. I was scared that I was going to die from complications brought on by my weight. I had three girls and a loving husband to live for and I really wanted to live.

What is one thing you can do now that you never thought possible?
TD: I can race bicycles, run 10 miles, and lift massive weights, but honestly I am happy being able to tie my shoes.

If you could thank one person for your success in losing weight, who would it be?
TD: My husband. Losing over 200 pounds is an emotional experience. My husband has always been a fit, competitive athlete, never blinked an eye when I flipped my life upside down. I needed to take control of my health, and he has been there every step of the way. From bike rides, 5Ks, 10Ks, every new jean size, and every struggle, he has been right by my side.

How long have you worked at Snap Fitness?
TD: I have been at Snap Fitness in Greenville for two and a half years.

How do you motivate members at your gym?
TD: I am just me: 100 percent unfiltered, work my butt off, sweat all over the place me. I talk to them like I would my friends. I weigh them and celebrate every loss and every non-scale victory. I work hard, and people respect that. I think in a small way, they want to make me proud.

What sparked your interest in Snap Fitness?
TD: I needed a career in the health and fitness field. There wasn’t even a second guess about it. I have a gift for motivating people and I knew that I was able to transform my life. I wanted to do my best to pay that forward. I heard Snap Fitness was coming to town and instantly applied. It was an instant perfect fit for me.

What’s the best part about working at Snap Fitness?
TD: Everything! I love our members. They inspire me every day – from the beginner who can barely walk on the treadmill to the elite athlete spending 10 miles running. Every pound they lose, every weight they lift, every extra mile they are able to do makes me smile. To know I was a tiny little part of that gives me purpose. I am here to live my life to the fullest and have this amazing opportunity to help others live theirs.

What is one piece of advice you have for those who are starting out their weight loss journey?
TD: Give it time and clean up your diet. All of the exercise in the world will not work if your diet still isn’t clean.

What will 2014 look like for Tiffany?
TD: 2014 is starting off to be an exciting year. I have road races and mountain bike races lined up throughout the year, motivational speaking engagements and a strong focus on keeping my gym rocking and rolling with new boot camps, cycling classes, and weight loss challenges.

My Snap Fitness Success Story: Raya K. from South Dakota

By: Snap Fitness

Raya K. is a 28-year-old woman who struggled with diet and exercise her whole life. She joined Snap Fitness in Sioux Falls, S.D., more than five years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that she found her passion for a healthy lifestyle – thanks to the support from her club’s staff members and owner.


“It makes a world of a difference when the staff is approachable and call you by your name,” Raya said. “They go out of their way to get to know you personally, and I think that’s exactly what I needed to start my journey."


Raya lost 100 pounds in a little over a year. She went to the gym almost every day for at least one hour. Her workouts consisted of cardio on the ARC trainer (her favorite machine!) every day and weight training every other day. 


Working out at Snap Fitness has been a rewarding experience for Raya. She said her club has all the necessary equipment needed to get in shape, and the 24/7 access makes it easy to fit her workouts in her busy schedule. The small club size was also a perk. 


"I'm very self conscious so just having that smaller gym atmosphere helps me,” Raya said. "It’s not like other gyms where I would walk in and feel extremely overwhelmed; my anxiety would kick in right away."


At her Snap Fitness club, Raya said she walks in with confidence and doesn’t have to worry about the other people. Not only does Raya feel better physically, she’s emotionally in a better place.


“Ask any of my friends or family … they will tell you that I'm a totally different person. I’m truly happy now that I've got my health on the right track,” Raya said.


The hardest part for Raya on her fitness journey was to understand and accept that this has to be a complete lifestyle change and a total commitment. She admits the only way to achieve permanent success is both a healthy diet and exercise.


Her journey isn’t over yet, though.


"I have about 70 more pounds to lose before I reach my goal weight,” Raya said. "I look forward to the day that I accomplish that goal with Snap Fitness.” 


Thanks for sharing, Raya! Keep up the good work. Do you have a Snap Fitness success story? Send it to

Why I Work Out: George H. from Illinois

By: Snap Fitness

As you’ve seen on our social media accounts, one question we’ll often ask our audience is what motivates and inspires them to work out. It can be a range of motives: health, family, friends, and so on. One of our members, George H. from Illinois, sent us a letter that touched our hearts. We love hearing these stories and sharing them with our Snap Fitness community. Here’s what George sent us:


"There are many reasons why people exercise. Whether it is for weight loss, improved health, or increased performance, every exercise (just like life) should be driven by motivation and inspiration.



I primarily exercise to compete and perform well in a wide variety of activities.  I have two main sources of inspiration that I use to push myself as hard as I can. The first source is from the energy of the people around me. This comes from the racers excitingly waiting for the gun to go off, from the 75-year-old grandmother relentlessly making her way up Mt. Fuji, and from the commitment and camaraderie I see in my fellow Snap Fitness members and staff at every visit. These people inspire me to push myself to my limits, to know that age has no meaning, and to perform to the best of my abilities. 


The second source of my inspiration comes from those who cannot.  In the few years I had with my father, he had showed me that adventures bring a whole new meaning to the word “life." When I do events for the American Lung Association, I feel myself continuing the battle against lung disease that my sister fought against so bravely for so many years. 



Of course, my biggest inspiration comes from my girlfriend who suffers from a muscular disease which leaves her incapacitated most of the time. Even so, she had found the strength to attend (and volunteer) many of my events and is always my biggest cheerleader. It is sobering during events when I remind myself that the fatigue or pain I feel is only temporary and will quickly recover. Not everyone is so lucky.



I want to thank Snap Fitness for being an integral part of my life these many years. I proudly wore (or waved) the Snap Fitness shirt throughout the world.”


Thank you so much for sharing, George.

My Snap Fitness Success Story: Jeff B. from Minnesota

By: Snap Fitness

Jeff B. joined Snap Fitness in the middle of October last year. “During the summer, I did long-distance bike riding to get in shape. Once bike season was over, I needed something to do to stay in shape,” Jeff said. After trying his neighborhood Snap Fitness one day, the 42-year-old dad was hooked.


While Jeff’s primary club is in Litchfield, Minn., he’s made a point to frequent other Minnesota clubs – 23 to be exact. Including Litchfield, he’s worked out at the Arlington, Paynesville, Glencoe, Victoria, St. Augusta, St. Joseph, Willmar, Norwood-Young America, Dassel, Cokato, Cold Spring, Victoria, Spicer, Annandale, Mayer, Eden Prairie, Maple Lake, Waconia, St. Bonifacious, Waite Park, and Hutchinson clubs.


“I decided to go to different locations to see what equipment they have,” Jeff said. “It’s fun to see how I can challenge myself at each location.”


A typical workout for Jeff consists of cardio on the treadmill or bike then dumbbell lifting. “I enjoy working out, and Snap Fitness has good equipment,” Jeff said.


It’s no surprise that Jeff’s health has improved. Last March, he was a heavy Mountain Dew drinker. After a doctor visit, he knew he had to change his lifestyle if he wanted to avoid developing type II diabetes or heart problems. Since joining Snap Fitness, he’s lost 24 pounds and quit drinking Mountain Dew, allowing his blood sugar and cholesterol levels to drop. “All my coworkers, family, and friends say I’m looking great,” Jeff said.


Jeff said he’d recommend Snap Fitness to anyone looking for a great gym membership. “It’s really worth it,” he said.


Keep up the great work, Jeff! We are proud of you.

You Can #BeTheFirst!

By: Snap Fitness

What is #BeTheFirst?


It's a movement to encourage people to break out and be different from their norm. We want you to follow your own unique fitness lifestyle.


What are you the first in your family to do? Go to college, buy a home, get a brand new car? How about being the first in your family to get a gym membership? In your group of friends, were you the first to get a job after college, save money for your first apartment, change your diet and eat healthy, get a gym membership and start taking care of your health? Dedicating yourself to new, healthy choices is a big deal; you should be proud of your accomplishments, big or small!


There are many ways you can #BeTheFirst at accomplishing something. If you put your mind and heart into it, you can do great things. You'll also be an inspirational example to those around you.


This is an interactive campaign we'll be doing for the next month. Share your #BeTheFirst moments with us on our Facebook and Twitter accounts! We look forward to hearing your stories.

My Snap Fitness Success Story: Tom G. from Lower Burrell, PA

By: Snap Fitness

Tom G. battled weight problems for most of his life. He put on a lot of weight during and after high school. His eating habits were horrible; he ate fast food sometimes twice a day. Although Tom tried several times to lose weight, he couldn't stay motivated and would put the weight back on—plus more.


A divorce in 2009 and a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2010 sent Tom into a depressive state. His comfort? More food. At this time, he weighed close to 400 pounds. In 2011, Tom met his future wife and the following year, she gave birth to their daughter. Despite this newfound happiness, Tom wasn't pleased with the way he looked.


On Jan. 2, 2013, he went to his doctor for an issue with his shoulder. They discovered his blood pressure was 155/120, and he weighed 450 pounds. Tom finally vowed to change his lifestyle for his wife and daughter.


He joined Snap Fitness in Lower Burrell, PA, shortly after. Although he could barely manage 15 minutes on the treadmill, he stuck with it. "I was embarrassed at first when I started, but then I realized that everyone was there for the same reason I was: to get healthy," Tom said. He also gave up fast food, pop, junk food, processed sugars, and most red meat.


Soon after, Tom's hard work and dedication started paying off. He went from 450 to 370 pounds, dropped several pants and shirt sizes, and didn't need to take his blood pressure medication anymore.


"I'm 50 weeks into my weight loss journey," Tom said. "I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I will never give up. This isn't a diet; it's a permanent change."


Keep up the hard work, Tom! We believe in you.

My Snap Fitness Success Story: Loretta D. of Franksville, WI

By: Snap Fitness

When Loretta D. first joined the Snap Fitness in Franksville, WI, last January, she weighed 222 pounds and liked working out in the middle of the day when nobody else was around.

On March 1, she signed up for her club's "Weight Loss Challenge," which included weighing in during staffed hours. That's how she met her location's manager, Laurie.

Laurie's encouragement and enthusiam gave Loretta the extra motivation she needed. Loretta started doing new exercise routines and working out with fellow gym members.

Six weeks later, Loretta lost 32 pounds and won the "Weight Loss Challenge." She says she exercises four times weekly; cardio all four days and strength training on three. In addition, Loretta's eating habits have improved. She eats healthy three or four times daily with snacks in between. She gets one "free day" each week to eat whatever she wants, but after that, it's back to the healthy choices!

Loretta is now down to 145 pounds and went from a size 16 to a size 8. She says she has less body aches and enjoys her new life.

Way to go, Loretta!

My Snap Fitness Success Story: Bethany R. gets her college body back

By: Snap Fitness

Bethany R. in Tupelo, MS was always an active person, playing sports all through college. After graduation, however, her health and fitness took a backseat to her professional life.

”I was starting to gain weight and not really taking care of myself,” she says. “Playing soccer wasn’t really an option for me anymore so I decided I needed to start working out.”

Bethany joined the Snap Fitness in Tupelo six months ago, and has already seen dramatic results.

”I started running on the treadmill, then I incorporated the arc trainer. After about a month of that I worked my way up to being able to run 30 to 50 minutes without stopping.”

In addition to building up her fitness level, Bethany also started to see big improvements in her body.

”I started out weighing 142 pounds and now I’m down to 121,” she says proudly. “I lost three inches in my waist, and my BMI has had a dramatic decrease. It feels great.”

These days, Bethany makes fitness a regular part of her life.

”I do 30 to 45 minutes of cardio four or five days a week, and lift weights about three times each week. Snap Fitness is awesome because they have tons of classes and trainers to help me mix up my workouts, and I started taking yoga classes to help me strengthen and tone my body. For me, working out isn’t just a way of staying healthy and keeping a good weight; it’s a way of life.”

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