How One Man Lost 50 Pounds and Gained Power Over His Mobility Difficulties
Last 12 months’s COVID-19 lockdowns had utterly obliterated any semblance of a health routine that Pete Landry, 46, of Charlotte, NC had developed beforehand. Because he lives with familial spastic paraparesis — a degenerative neurological situation that causes weak spot and stiffness within the legs — he has to cope with sure distinctive points, notably when figuring out.
Due to difficulties together with his steadiness and strolling, it was a wrestle for Pete to search out an excellent exercise that may profit him, even earlier than gyms grew to become principally inaccessible. In the pre-pandemic days, he favored the elliptical at his native YMCA as a result of it was one in every of solely a handful of machines that he was ready to make use of comfortably and confidently. That is, till he found rowing final summer season.
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At the start of Pete’s health journey, he weighed 214 kilos and was greater than able to deal with bettering his well being. In truth, he was so excited to get began together with his rowing exercises that he truly signed up together with his nearest Row House in July of 2020, months earlier than he knew he would have the ability to get inside and get to work. When Pete was lastly capable of get into the Row House studio final September, nonetheless, he discovered an excellent distinction between rowing and his earlier exercises. Compared to his elliptical routine of the previous, rowing provides him a complete physique exercise and, he notes, it is also a hell of much more enjoyable.
“I simply was looking for a way to build up my legs and get a good cardio workout in,” Pete says, referring to his seek for a health routine that may work for his specific wants. “The bonus is that I absolutely love [rowing], am addicted, and it has led to my weight loss. Fifty less pounds on my already weak legs is a terrific benefit!”
Initially, Pete thought that rowing was all about higher physique power, and dealing your arms greater than your legs. However, he in a short time realized that correct rowing method includes studying the way to push along with your legs, which has subsequently allowed him to construct power the place he wants it most (whereas additionally burning fats, as well). He credit the coaches at Row House with serving to him to beat his worry that he would not have the ability to row due to his neurological situation, and for being such motivating forces behind the exercise that he has since discovered to be so rewarding.
“The classes — including the coaching and music and lights — make pushing through a workout an awesome experience,” Pete says. “The elliptical workout at the Y was just me, but at Row House, I have a group of friends who hold me accountable while still having a great time.”
He additionally credit a variety of his success to Row House’s “In Body” scans, particularly within the first few months of his rowing exercises. These scans allowed him to see the entire progress he was making, not simply when it comes to weight reduction, but additionally in the entire leg muscle that he was constructing.
While Pete acknowledges that his mobility might be an impediment, he additionally credit it as his largest motivation. In truth, he is been so motivated on his health journey since becoming a member of Row House that he hit a whopping a million meters rowed this previous March.
Above: Pete earlier than, in the summertime of 2020, and after, together with his million-meter oar in March 2021.
Though rowing is probably not the precise match for everybody, Pete extremely recommends group exercises (like these at Row House) to anybody who could also be in the hunt for the proper health routine.
“While I know everyone is different, I truly believe that having a group workout type of environment has helped me a great deal,” he says. “It makes working out so much more fun and holds me accountable,” noting that his Row House pals present the proper quantity of supportive motivation to assist him obtain his objectives and get again on observe if he occurs to skip a exercise.
He additionally leans on a easy, but highly effective mantra to assist him get by his hardest exercises.
“‘Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up,'” Pete quotes the legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano. “As someone with a degenerative neurological condition, it would be easy for me to ‘throw in the towel’ and claim that things are too hard, but that’s not going to happen!”
In addition to his newfound love for rowing, Pete additionally turned his focus to his weight loss plan, chopping again on issues like beer, wine, and desserts. (You know, principally the entire frequent creature comforts that so many people fell again on within the unusual days of 2020.) He avoids snacking through the week and, as a substitute, drinks extra water to assist himself really feel full. However, he nonetheless enjoys some indulgences on the weekend (and his birthday!) as a result of steadiness is vital.
Above: Pete after his weight reduction, and celebrating his forty sixth birthday in May 2021.
Today, Pete’s weight is right down to 160 kilos — a quantity he says he hasn’t seen on the size since he was 17 years previous. Not solely is he feeling nice and benefitting from an enormous increase in vitality, however his neurologist has even commented that his leg power has improved! And, along with rowing, Pete says he has just lately rejoined the Y to diversify his exercises and deal with constructing extra muscle. His new health aim is to remain lean, however add about ten kilos of muscle to his body for higher power and stability.
“In the middle of the worst global pandemic in over 100 years, I have found a way to drop over fifty pounds, build muscle, and slow the progression of my condition. I won’t stop rowing. I won’t ever give up,” Pete says. “And I am excited about the next leg in my fitness journey!”
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