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,
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.
Kate B. Former University of Connecticut Swimmer
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
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
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.