Kwabena Miller’s world changed when another driver ran a stop sign and ran crashed into the side of his van. The door crumpled into his arm and shoulder; the 44-year-old transit driver from Knoxville, Tenn., would need three months of recovery, as well as medical leave from his job.
“Those three months were tough!” he says. “I previously had been a regular gym-goer, but I became a couch potato, fell into bad eating habits and lost a sense of structure in my life.” His motivation vanished. His weight hit 234 pounds; his body fat percentage reached 24 percent. He even had to start taking blood pressure medication. He felt like he was in a rut, just counting down the days until he could get back in the gym.
Finally his doctor cleared him to begin working out—which just happened to coincide with a Gold’s Gym 12-Week Challenge. He figured it was just the motivation he needed to get back into shape. He started taking bootcamp classes and found them unexpectedly challenging. “I got my butt kicked,” he says. “I realized that I couldn’t have trained this hard on my own.” His trainer took into account his age, designing an over-40 regimen that split his workouts, kept him from getting injured, and provided longer recovery periods.
He worked out twice a day, and in 12 weeks, he lost 52 pounds. His body fat dropped from 24 percent down to 10.5 percent. “I haven’t been able to have a six-pack in a while, even before my accident and working out,” he says. “However, through the challenge and my road to working out again, I finally have a six-pack.”
He’s able to do sprints and no longer has to take blood pressure meds. In June, he was named the overall national winner of the Gold’s Gym Challenge, winning a trip to Las Vegas with his friends. He’s even encouraged his co-workers, who noticed his transformation, to work on their own lifestyle changes. “I’ve even inspired one of my coworkers to start working out and he has lost 10 pounds so far,” he says. He’s begun competing in physique contests; his next move is natural bodybuilding competitions.
For anyone looking to get back into shape (or for the first time), he says the key is to create a vision of who you want to become. “Grab a pen and a pad of paper and write down what you want to achieve within the next twelve months,” he says. Write down what you need to do to get there; perhaps more difficult, write down what you have to stop doing to get there. “Put this somewhere in your room where you can read every morning so you can start off every day mindful of the vision you have for yourself,” he says. Keep it in mind every day as you work to make it real.
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