I love Allegro Coaching and taking classes there has changed my life. When I started at Allegro, I was just coming off of my 3rd shoulder surgery within 1 year (the last being joint reconstruction…a last ditch effort to fix it), had just finished physical therapy and still had constant pain. I really thought that I was done with all of the things I loved to do (kayaking, bicycling, running) and even that I was going to have to live with constant pain. I certainly NEVER thought I would be doing real pushups. I have to say that I am mostly pain free now and I attribute that to really strengthening the muscles.
I am 17 pounds lighter, much leaner, rode my bike 450 miles across the state, ran my first half marathon, and starting to train next month for my first full marathon. Love the classes, encouragement, and community I experience there.
For 25 years I have wrestled with nagging back pain that won’t go away and has
seriously limited my quality of life. I have sought out every type of medical doctor and
therapeutic approach you can imagine in order to deal with this. I am happy to write this
testimonial today because I can unequivocally say that working with Christian Roberts
at Allegro Coaching has been the most helpful step I have ever taken for my back pain.
His knowledge, care and ability is as good as it gets.
Twelve months ago this month (August), I walked (or more likely waddled) into Allegro Coaching & Fitness and met with Kendra Bylsma to potentially start some basic exercise classes that hopefully would gradually change the course of my overall fitness and wellness. Amazingly, this was not a mandate from a doctor (looking at these older pics maybe it should have been!) But I had just finally had enough of my own excuses. I’m so glad that I stuck with it because it sure hasn’t been easy at times. I’m super grateful to all the coaches at Allegro and all the new friends and classmates I’ve met. There’s just a great bunch of people at Allegro and they make it super easy to get started no matter where you are in your overall fitness level. Trust me, if I can do it starting from the very bottom where I was 12 months ago, anyone can! Special thanks to Christian Roberts and Craig Duncan and Kendra for more or less making me their “special project.”
I remember my first boxing class at Allegro with Coach Christian; taking extra breaks because I was out of breath and at one point sitting down because I felt too dizzy to stand. In that one-hour class I met a coach who told me if I worked hard I would be able to make it through the entire class, and to never give up on myself. He told me as long as I wanted to do this for myself, and make myself healthy, I would reach that goal. Now, 3 years later I still ask Christian when I set a new goal if he thinks I can do it (which of course is always yes – as long as I train correctly).
Since I started training at Allegro I have completed the 25k riverbank, over 20 triathlons, an iron warrior dash (16miles/28 obstacles), the ‘Escaped from Alcatraz triathlon’ (jumped off a boat from Alcatraz and swam to shore), a ½ Ironman (70.3miles), a Full Ironman distance aquabike (114.2miles) and soon to complete a swim across the Mackinaw Straights (5miles).
I also have had guidance in my nutrition along the way. I have lost a significant amount of weight (around 50lbs), no longer pre-diabetic, and my favorite one this year (2016) I could donate blood because my iron levels were high enough, something I have not been able to do in the past 3 years.
Allegro has changed my life, and given me a fitness home where I have amazing coaches & have met amazing friends here in Grand Rapids that push me beyond what I think my limits are.
I decided to DO SOMETHING about my weight and lack of fitness around the time I turned 50, instead of just wishing I could. I’d been on countless diets, only to have limited success and then gain it all back (and then some). It’s incredibly disheartening to fail that many times; I had pretty much given up on ever being able to lose the weight and was resigned to being very overweight the rest of my life. Never wanted to try another diet because all it ever did was discourage me further in the end and leave me heavier than ever. Never lost enough weight (or had enough energy) to even think about getting onto some kind of exercise program, although I’ve always enjoyed walking, at least. But that’s it – that’s all I could do in the way of exercise. But turning 50 it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks – I felt more like 75. It was time to take the reins and make that lifestyle change that I knew all along was the answer but never had the strength and determination to buckle down and do it. Always wanted to find a “magic bullet” or some other easy, short-term remedy that would somehow magically fix the problem. Even the mere thought of exercise was intimidating and downright embarrassing. But after those first couple of classes at work that I struggled through after finally mustering up the courage to “put myself out there” in front of my coworkers and trainer, I was hooked!
I was thinking on my way home from the Riverbank Run (my first 10K at age 52) about all the things I feel brave enough to try now (and have the stamina/strength to actually believe I can do them), that I NEVER in a million years would’ve imagined doing before I first started exercising in earnest. Riverbank Run? No way. G.R. Mud Run? Not on your life! TRX? Boxing? Bootcamp? Couldn’t have done any of it; I was too out of shape and had no desire to even try.
Through this major weight loss (102 lbs. now, kicked to the curb!) and huge fitness improvements, Allegro has helped me get my life back – so many self-imposed limitations; so many enjoyable and rewarding things I’ve missed out on for 20 years! I’ve got so much catching up to do. My “bucket list” has expanded a hundredfold, and so many of the dreams I’d given up on have become realistic and exciting possibilities again! So I just wanted to say thank you to Allegro for all your motivation, encouragement and patience. Never could’ve done it without you guys.
After 12 weeks of personal training and nutrition coaching, I lost 52 pounds, a 71 point reduction in my HDL (cholesterol) score and my blood pressure went from 168/95 to a super healthy 120/68!
Not only have I statistically improved; I have seen dramatic increases in flexibility, endurance, strength, and a zest for life! I feel like I have been raised from the dead and am a NEW man!
Coach Kendra has been a teacher, listening ear, a gentle consistent voice of practical and emotional support, a source of information, and at times, an accountability partner (translate this as butt kicker).” Aside from the joke (but yes, she really will kick your butt), Coach Kendra’s willingness to listen, honor and tailor her approach was instrumental in my journey. Allegro Coaching has been the single best investment I have ever made. If someone ever questions the amount of money it costs to hire a personal trainer, I would challenge you to consider how much your copay is on a triple bypass? Prevention is worth every single penny and will transform your life NOW.
I am a cyclist; a true “roadie” who loves going fast, being on the open road, and participating in the reality and culture that is shaved legs, spandex, beer, and gear. For 20+ seasons, my race training involved one primary concept – time in the saddle. Although a slight variation to that maddening methodology usually involved hill repeats or sprint intervals but still invoked “time” on the bike. It was not until this year, at the urging of my wife who refused to have a “skinny” cyclist husband, that I arrived at Allegro Coaching and the reality of cross-training changed my old school methods permanently. During my traditional fall respite (generally an 8 week break from the bike), I started TRX, as well as other bootcamps, and quickly discovered that my body was weak in a lot of areas including my legs. Over the next couple of months my core, back, arms, shoulders and, to my surprise, legs got much stronger. I lost 5lbs, decreased body fat by two percentage points and added lean muscle. To my biggest surprise, my cross training efforts (thanks to the coaches at Allegro) literally exploded once I got back on the bike. I had more power (I could push a larger gear using the same effort and cadence), increased lactic acid threshold, better lung capacity, and could maintain a 85% maximum effort 28% longer. Admittedly, I was late to the game of cross training for a specific discipline like cycling but I fully embrace it now. The irony is that I had to get off the bike to become a better cyclist.
I started working out with Kendra a year and a half ago. Simply put, ” it has changed my physical life “. I was intolerant to many things in life due to a chronic hip injury and a low-back disc injury. Through patience, persistence, tears, and always moving forward, I have achieved goals in my physical health I never thought possible. Today, I can work long shifts in the hospital on my feet, work outdoor projects without getting sore, fly up 2-3 flights of stairs without being winded, and so much more. The kindness, patience, and personal touch that Allegro weaves into their training programs are essential ingredients to my health and wellness plan…somehow she makes you want to do more!