DALLAS, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In January 2014, thousands of Gold's Gym members from across the nation made a commitment to lead a healthier life and join the annual Gold's Gym Challenge – an event that gives individuals the ability and support to transform their lives (and their waistlines) in just 12 short weeks.
As part of the three-month Challenge, participants were incentivized to lose weight by competing with members throughout the country to win incredible cash prizes totaling $75,000 – provided in part by sponsors Omni Hotels & Resorts, BodyBuilding.com, Met-RX and Xbox One. Working with local Gold's Gym trainers and in many cases, on their own, the results were unbelievable, with Challenge contestants changing their bodies and lives by taking off an estimated total of 180,186 pounds and 165,181 inches combined.
"The Gold's Gym Challenge has become one of the world's largest body transformation programs and is synonymous with transforming lives," said Aaron Watkins, president of Gold's Gym. "Whether participants entered to become healthier to take control of their health or just for their own personal satisfaction, the results they achieved were both impressive and inspiring."
Following the conclusion of the 12-week Challenge, Gold's Gym locations from around the nation were given the task of submitting their most inspirational male and female success stories in the following age categories: 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60-plus. Once selected, a national panel was assembled to review hundreds of local winners – with the goal of finding the best total-body transformations. Criteria included before and after photos, amount of weight lost, muscle tone, inches lost, percentage of body weight lost and personal testimonials.
After much debate, hundreds of local winners were narrowed down to 10, including a male and female winner in each category and two overall champions. Those selected for their dynamic transformations and awe-inspiring stories were awarded a cash prize, as well as national recognition. These winners include:
- Frances Young (18-29) – from Killeen, TX (Gold's Gym Killeen)
- Alex Miller (18-29) – from Silicon Valley, CA (Gold's Gym Silicon Valley)
- Julie Waymire (30-39) – from Broken Arrow, OK (Gold's Gym Broken Arrow)
- Samuel Young (30-39) – from Washington, D.C. (Gold's Gym Van Ness)
- Darna Magpayo (40-49) – from Los Angeles, CA (Gold's Gym of Los Angeles)
- Tony Shingleton (40-49) – from Clifton, CO (Gold's Gym Clifton)
- Darlene Shuman (50-59) – from Tampa, FL (Gold's Gym Tampa)
- Mike DePrado (50-59) – from Bridgewater, NJ (Gold's Gym Bridgewater)
- Judy Grover (60-plus) – from Wenatchee, WA (Gold's Gym Wenatchee)
- Victor Ornelas (60-plus) – from Dallas, TX (Gold's Gym Dallas Uptown)
The overall female winner, Darna Magpayo from Los Angeles, lost more than 41 pounds – slimming down to 120 pounds from a starting point of 162 lbs. Darna also lost 9.9 percent body fat and 22.75 inches overall in just 12 weeks.
"Before starting the Gold's Gym Challenge, it was hard for me to play with my children or climb stairs without stopping to take a breath. My doctors repeatedly told me that my ailments would disappear if I just lost the weight, yet every time I attempted a diet or to go to the gym, I failed," said Magpayo. "The final straw came after attending a wedding and realizing that I was the biggest guest there. I couldn't even dance with my husband because my feet hurt from the extra weight. The next day, I went to Gold's Gym and signed up for the Challenge – and thanks to them, I just completed the most amazing transformation journey."
Overall male winner Samuel Young from Washington, D.C., shed 46 pounds – down from 233 to 187 lbs. – 13.2 percent body fat and 14.75 inches overall in the same time period.
"Cancer stole my dad last year, six months before his 65th birthday. He'd done so little to maintain his health – hardly exercising, regularly overeating and smoking his entire life. While I told myself I'd be more active, he died so young and I had to acknowledge how far I had fallen since my daily high school soccer practice and size 32 jeans," said Young. "A friend had previously mentioned the Gold's Gym Challenge and I rushed to sign up. The day before I got weighed, my mom got sick. It would have been so easy to use that as an excuse, but I stuck with it while taking care of my mom. Twelve weeks later, my mom is almost fully recovered and Gold's Gym gave me my body back!"
"Every year, thousands of members sign up to be part of the Gold's Gym Challenge and every year, we hear some of the most incredible stories of participants who changed their lives in just 12 weeks," said Mike Epstein, President of the Gold's Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA). "We at Gold's Gym are so honored to know that we're making a difference in the fight against obesity by offering this life-changing opportunity to our members across the nation. To see the results of all their hard work and know that we and our dedicated staff played a part in their journey to lead a fitter life, is the best reward anyone could receive."
About Gold's Gym
Established in Venice, Calif. in 1965, Gold's Gym is the most recognized gym chain in the world with more than 650 locations in 37 states and 28 countries. The iconic brand ranks in the top 15 percent of Entrepreneur magazine's 2011 "Franchise 500." Gold's Gym offers the latest equipment and services, including group exercise, personal training, cardiovascular equipment, group cycle, Pilates and yoga. With nearly 3 million members worldwide, Gold's Gym helps all kinds of people achieve their individual potential through fitness. For more information please visit www.goldsgym.com, www.facebook.com/goldsgym or www.twitter.com/goldsgym.
SOURCE Gold's Gym