Shaping up physically, emotionally

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When she began a fitness program at a Chelsea gym, said Denise Sierra, she knew no one there and was concerned that she “would not be able to keep up with a bunch of twenty-somethings with six pack abs.”

But, said the 50-year-old, “Ten weeks later I was in second place (in the Snap Fitness Biggest Loser contest), had made some friends and felt better physically and emotionally than I could have imagined when I walked through the door 10 weeks earlier.”

Sierra was a close second to top winner Beth Hamric, sales and marketing manager Valerie Davis said. Hamric lost “14 inches and 7 percent of body fat.”

And she’s not stopping there. Sierra began Snap Fitness’ new “Boot Camp” program on June 14.

“Boot Camp is a full body workout that works on the three key aspects of physical fitness: strength, cardio and flexibility,” Davis said.

Hamric, top “Biggest Loser” winner, accomplished much more than she expected when joining the program.

“My goal was to lose 10 pounds,” she said. “After I did that, I thought, ‘Umm, I believe I could lose ten more.’ ”

Aiming for 10 pounds at a time, Hamric lost around 20 pounds, she said.

Chelsea High senior, John Michael Lawley, who works out at the Snap Fitness gym every night, said doing so strengthens his heart while giving him more muscle and that extra edge, which he needs as a linebacker on the Hornet’s football team.

Davis cited low rates and no contract, along with Head Trainer/Fitness Professional Will Lantrip, and other staff as a few of the benefits that draw members.

“Our staff motivates our members and wants to help each individual any way we can,” she said.

Sierra said she has screws and plates in her left leg from a severe break 10 years ago, and had been unable to run since that time.

“Will started me out slowly, often doubling back when I was not able to keep up with the others,” she said. “His continued encouragement kept me at it. I am now able to run again and am gaining in distance and stamina weekly.”

People at Snap Fitness helped to change her life in 10 short weeks, Sierra said. “I am healthier, happier and in better shape than I have been in years.”

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at