While many view cardio as the go-to for weight loss, MAC member Thad Ramsey is taking a road less traveled. Lifting. While lifting is often associated with mass gains, strength training can be a phenomenal way to increase lean muscle mass (and your basal metabolic rate!) and decrease body fat. And Thad is our resident expert! As the male winner of the MAC’s annual Transformation Challenge, Thad lost a total of 18.6 lb, is down 7% body fat, gained 0.3lb in muscle AND increased the number of pullups he can complete over a mere 8 weeks. Thad contributes his success in the Transformation Challenge to multiple areas. “Hannah (Thad’s trainer) keeps me accountable and focused on my goals. I also enjoy the team environment of the downtown XFITT group, we push each other to finish the workout. During the 8 week challenge, I met with Hannah once a week in addition to attending 1-2 XFitt sessions per week. Having multiple locations also helps provide options to get in and workout.” For those of you curious about the rest of Thad’s routine, you’re not alone! With such amazing results, we wanted to know his secrets too. “I do a 5-10min warm up either running, on the elliptical or rowing, depending on what muscle groups I’m training. Then I focus on strength training and lifting heavy. I still use traditional splits of chest/triceps, back/biceps and legs/shoulders. My goal is to workout 6 days a week; I also limited my calories, ate clean and removed most bread from my diet.” Phew! Three days of lifting on his own, and 3 days of trainer-led exercise?! How does he keep up with it? “You need the right motivation. A positive reason is more sustainable than a negative one; such as ‘I feel better when I eat and workout’ vs ‘I’m fat and not happy with myself.’… If you have a long-term goal, break it up into multiple smaller ones and celebrate when you meet them! Also, find someone that will hold you accountable. This will help on the days you want to quit or don’t want to push as hard.” Sounds like Thad knows a thing or two about how to change perspective on a situation… “Three years ago, I started the journey to get back into shape. It was due to the fact that I was looking at long-term health concerns (high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetic trends) …My last physical, all of those health concerns are now gone. Ultimately, I want to be here for my family long-term, and didn’t want health concerns that I have some control over, to affect my life.” Thad, we are so proud of the hard work you have accomplished, and the positive attitude and perspective you continue to share. From all of us here at The MAC, congratulations on being the male 2018 Transformation Challenge winner!