May 2012

 

The year was rapidly drawing to a close and I was not closer to achieving my "New Years Resolution" than I had been nearly a year ago. My goal was simple, or so I thought, I wanted to be able to do 1 chin up or pull up. I had bought a chin up bar in January '11 and googled how I could go about conditioning myself to do one, but I never really consistently trained. 
I don't normally believe in New Year's resolutions, and whenever I've made them, I always tried to keep them simple and achievable, like "Drink More Water." The only time I failed to uphold my resolution was the year I tried to give up swearing. That didn't last more than 24 hours.

Anyway, I started working out pretty regularly at the "J" and I thought maybe I should get some professional assistance with reaching my goal. The JCC has many good trainers, but one trainer caught my attention because he led a group fitness program and over the weeks I noticed that the people who were participating definitely seemed to be getting in better shape and becoming more toned. I found out the trainer's name was Harold Harris, and after a bit of procrastinating, I finally approached him about working with me to attain my goal. I thought he was going to think I was crazy, trying to do a chin up in less than a month. 


Together we worked up a plan, and initially I trained with him 3 times a week. Harold was patient, but not afraid to push me to my limits. He even overlooked my occasional cuss words (Thank you for that). Out of consideration I've learned to make substitutions such as "Oh Fudge!" and "Crap!" when I feel particularly challenged.
After about 2 weeks I started to notice a little bit of muscle definition, and felt confident that I was well on my way to doing a chin up. January came and went and, although I was not able to do an unassisted chin up, I was able to do an assisted chin up using less and less weight. 

And I was starting to enjoy weight training, something I had always found grueling in the past.
Harold's voice was always in the back of my head saying, "Extra effort." "Every ounce counts." Finally on March 4th I did what I had set out to do, my very first unassisted chin up! I felt ecstatic! And the next week I ran a 5K race, my first race in 28 years. I finished the race in under 30 minutes and it felt great. Not only do I feel physically stronger, I feel more confident about facing daily challenges. I owe a big thanks to Harold for that. I continue to train with him at least once a week and he continues to push me to my limit or, maybe not my limit, but push me towards excellence. Either way, after 30 minutes I'm usually sweating bullets and looking forward to the fist bump that signifies the end of the session.

 

                              

                              Nancy S.  

 

June 2011

    I worked with Harold the summer before my senior year as a Division 1 collegiate swimmer He really took the time to understand exactly what I needed to work on as far as strength and conditioning, focusing on exercises that engaged the core muscles.  This is extremely important for swimmers.  He really listened to what I told him I needed help with and he took that advice and translated that into numerous exercises to specifically target my weak points. 
        Harold is always open to new ideas and other perspectives on workouts and that really helped cater towards my needs as a swimmer.  While he hasn't had the same background as me, his knowledge of human physiology and the musculoskeletal system allowed him to adapt to a different type of athlete than he is used to.  I believe his skills and knowledge make him useful to each individual athlete he works with, regardless of skill level or choice of exercise.

 

                 

                       Kate B.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Former University of Connecticut Swimmer

 

November 2010

I began training with Harold mid-November.  At first it was extremely hard to stay to the regiment in which he suggested, which was cardio everyday and eating right.  After the first few sessions I wasn't really seeing any improvements so I began to "kick it up a notch".  Harold had a way that he would to motivate and encourage you.  This method stuck and I was on the losing track.  Meeting with Harold two days a week as well as regular cardio and eating right was the blueprint for my success.  Do to high school sports I had to begin working out on my own.  Though at first this was quite difficult I learned many new exercises and techniques which would help to create my own personal workouts.  Four months later I am regularly working out as well as eating right, and is a direct reflection of Harold's teachings and life lessons.  I am currently down 24 pounds and am feeling better than ever, though it sometimes is hard to maintain a healthy diet, I persevere and think of the long term goal which is to look my best before I go off to college in August

Taylor S.

 

October 2010

As physical therapist with low back injuries, I was hesitant to sign on with just any trainer. After observing Harold with his clients, I sought his training advice and services to aid me with my fitness goal of participating in a mini-triathlon. Throughout my training sessions with Harold, I have been impressed with his breadth of knowledge, motivating attitude, and safe techniques. Harold consistently challenges me to accomplish more than I think is possible and these efforts have paid off - I am stronger, have greater endurance, and more confidence. Harold is an excellent trainer, his broad experience and infectious energy propel me toward greater fitness with each training session.

Kelly R.
 

 

June 2010

At 62 years of age and actively engaged in tennis, golf, exercising, biking and hiking, I started to feel my core was weakening as I was having problems with chronic low back pain which was muscular in nature.  When I was unable to lift my one year old grandson and hold his 23 lbs for any length of time, I decided it was time to get back into the gym.  As luck had it, there was promotion to have several training sessions with a certified trainer.  That was where I met Harold.

Since that initial session I have learned the appreciation of working with a true professional.  His sessions are rigorous and challenging and have exceeded my expectations.  My core has really improved over the last four months as my back pain has subsided.  My friends have noticed a change in my physique and my tennis game has improved as my agility, strength and condition, has improved.  His workouts are challenging, never repeating the same routine,  but he keeps the workouts fun with his engaging personality.

I never realized how important proper training was until now and realized that you can improve all areas of your physical shape at any age.

Stanley Amernick, MD

 

June 2010

Dear Harold,

Just a note to say thank you so much for your training and guidance over the last two months.  Your help in preparing me for my first triathlon in 20 years was wonderful.  Your many years of experience, your patience and your motivation have made a huge difference.  Without your help, I would not feel ready for my competition.  Videotaping me in training was extremely helpful, allowing me to see areas in most need of improvement.  You are an amazing trainer and coach.  Your swimming instruction was the best it really made a huge difference.

Thank you again and I will keep you posted on the race results.

Best regards,                                                                                                                                                    Steven S.

                               

May 2010
 
 
I have been training with Harold about two and a half months now, and I have to say it's been great!  I have trained with a few other trainers over the years, and they have been really good.  I work out myself typically five to six days a week, and consider myself fairly fit, and then came Harold....
His work-outs are the most difficult and challenging that I've ever had.  Saying that, I love the variety, I love the intensity, and I feel so satisfied and accomplished when I'm done.
Harold is a great guy, always smiling, always motivating, and a truly fabulous trainer!
I would recommend him highly to anyone.

Sincerely,                                                                                                                                M.G.                                      

 

March 2010

"Harold's training covers the gamut -- time enough for detailed direction, strength conditioning, cardio, attention to nutrition...most thorough personal training I have experienced to date." 
 

Sincerely,

Nancy P.