by Dennis Dalman
As a weight-loss trainer, J.R. Burgess doesn’t sugar-coat anything; he combines brutal honesty with compassionate care.
But, apparently, his clients like his approach. They don’t want to be babied and coddled. And the proof is in the pudding. After a three-month weight-loss programs, a total of 35 clients lost a grand total of 662 pounds.
Burgess is a fitness director for Rejuv Medical of Sartell/St. Cloud. The 33 clients were all participants in Rejuv Medical’s specialized weight-loss program, an intensive effort that combines exercise, nutritional knowledge, one-to-one advice and many other aids and knowledge paths to weight loss.
The winner (or “biggest loser”) was a woman named Tina, who lost 41.2 pounds, which was 22.22 percent of her total body weight when she’d started the program.
The 35 participants were divided into nine names, each named for a color.
Burgess, who said he has a passion for weight loss, was astonished at the success of the three-month, 24-session program, never imagining it would be so successful or that his clients would have so much fun, despite the hard work.
Rejuv Medical’s approach to weight loss is quite scientific. First, every client in the program gets weighed and then undergoes other testing to establish their metabolic rates and other base data. They then take part in team and individual exercises at least three days a week. Being part of a team helps boost their confidence and a keen competitive edge, not to mention a lot of social fun and camaraderie. In addition, clients learn about healthy nutritional foods, including a guided tour of Coborn’s Super Store in Sartell. They receive online programs and a lo-cal but delicious collection of recipes. Through all phases of the program, most of all they learn weight loss depends upon lifestyle changes that include different eating habits, an exercise schedule and even in some cases choosing some new friends and/or acquaintances who are on the same wave length.
Most diets fail, Burgess said, because people are looking for convenient, easy solutions such as those that can be found in “fad” diet books. Such diets are doomed to fail, he noted, because a successful, long-term diet is comprised of much more than just eating fewer calories. People’s eating habits can be deeply embedded, engrained since childhood. It takes a lot of thought, self-examination and willingness to work to break out of those patterns, he said.
There are four steps to the Rejuv Medical program.
1. Learning proper nutrition and exercise is the foundation. The trouble with most diet doctors is they simply don’t have the time to spend one-on-one with their clients. Each dieting client is different, with different needs. A specialized trainer is vital to helping them work out a program that will spell success, not just short-term but long-term, which requires the all-important lifestyle changes, Burgess noted.
2. The right exercise program is important, as it should combine cardiovascular workouts with resistance training for building muscle mass. Most people have no idea how or where to begin without the encouragement of trainers.
3. A proper support system is essential, and that, Burgess said, can be the most difficult aspect. A support system includes weight-loss teammates, family members, friends and trainers. Even those who lose weight can easily slip back to old habits if their support system is not a strong one, Burgess advises.
4. A new commitment to a new lifestyle is also vital because old habits die hard, and without encouraging support, long-term, dieters tend to become inconsistent, and it’s a matter of time before they slip back to old habits and start putting all that weight on again.
“We had four to five success stories each week of the training,” Burgess said. “We were amazed how successful the program was, and we already have people waiting to be included in the next one, which will start in a couple of weeks.”
Burgess grew up in Keewatin on Minnesota’s Iron Range. He studied physical education and related subjects at St. Cloud State University. While working at Gold’s Gym in Sartell, he met his wife-to-be, Kyla.
They are now married, live in Sauk Rapids and have a 7-month-old baby girl, Tenley. Kyla works as a counselor at North Junior High School in St. Cloud. She and her husband are both physically active and dedicated to a lifetstyle that will keep the weight off.
“I allow myself two ‘cheat meals’ a week,” Burgess said. “That could be pizza or a big cheeseburger. But once you understand dieting and exercise and the entire weight-loss program, a couple cheat meals are perfectly fine.
Anyone interested in Burgess’s dieting program should call him at 217-8480.