More than 80 people who completed a 12-week fitness challenge have lost 601 pounds combined.
Brandy Cook, a certified personal trainer from Whitesburg, created the “New Year New You” challenge as a way to pay it forward and help others in her community get healthier in 2018.
Briana Profitt, 28, of Neon, had the highest weight loss percentage of 12.69 percent and lost 25 pounds during the 12-week challenge. As the mom of nine-month-old Meredith, Profitt started attending Cook’s classes to lose weight gained during pregnancy.
“It wasn’t easy but it is so worth it,” said Profitt. “Twelve weeks is a long time to keep doing something. I am so thankful for Brandy and everything she has helped me accomplish since January 1.”
In addition to exercising, Profitt changed her eating habits. She gave up bread and ate lots of fruits, vegetables, fish and chicken.
Autumn Bunch came in second place with a weight loss percentage of 11.23 percent and down 20 pounds.
Profitt and Bunch both received trophies Saturday at a fitness challenge celebration held at Pine Mountain Grill.
Profitt also earned $410 as a result of $5 collected in January from everyone who entered the fitness challenge. Profitt was given a basket of workout essentials from East Kentucky Physical Therapy.
On Jan. 1, 130 signed up for the fitness challenge and an average of 80 people ranging from teens to age 60 attended Cook’s classes each week at the Letcher County Recreation Center. Cook said she watched people grow in strength, endurance, confidence as well as meet personal goals.
“It’s every trainer’s wish come true for their clients,” said Cook. “This is so much more than what size pants you wear or what the number on the scale says. We have watched our strength grow with the amount of weights we can now lift to doing lots of sit-ups when we couldn’t do one. We have seen accomplishments of what once seemed like a long way around the track to run become easy, holding a weight over our heads around that track become possible and just how many Burpees we can do.”
Cook’s classes follow the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) format in order for attendees to burn the highest amount of calories in the shortest amount of time along with decreasing body fat.
“All classes are modified to fit a beginner so no need to be afraid to try any or all classes that are offered,” said Cook.
Classes are held at the rec center in Whitesburg at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays, 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays. Beginning May 14, Cook will add morning classes at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Water aerobics at the Whitesburg Municipal Swimming Pool and outdoor boot camps at the Whitesburg city park will also begin mid May.
A new fitness challenge will begin April 14 with sign ups at 10 a.m. at the Letcher County Recreation Center.