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FIT BODY, STRONG MIND
By: Rochelle Marapao
Paul Wagner, 46, Papillion, NE
Max Muscle Home Base: Papillion
Max Muscle Supplements of Choice: MaxPro Protein, FBX, ARM, Pro BCAA, CLA, CX3, 2TX, Cleanse & Lean
Special Achievement: Winner of Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping’s 2011 $10K 12-Month Challenge
Paul Wagner describes himself as driven, ambitious and goal-oriented. But it was only two years ago, that the happily married father of two had reached a low point in his life. As a former high school athlete, he once worked out regularly and knew what it felt like to be healthy and strong. But over the years, as the responsibilities that come with adulthood took over, taking care of himself no longer seemed to be a priority and knowing that took a toll on him mentally.
Only 44 years old at the time, Wagner was by no means fat, but just did not feel fit and this made him unhappy. He explains, “I was feeling old in my body, but not my mind. I knew I was not even close to fit. I had made several half-hearted attempts, but realized I needed to make a serious change.”
Wagner thought about his father who had passed away from cancer at the age of 58. “My father led an unhealthy, inactive lifestyle that made his ability to fight the cancer that much harder,” he says. “At 58, that was only 14 years older than I was at the time and I began to think about my two young, beautiful daughters and what their lives would be like if I was gone and not able to guide them through life. I suddenly realized there are so many people who count on me and I wanted to be here.”
Taking the first step toward change is always the most difficult. Wagner joined different gyms and tried different exercise programs like P90X, but quickly lost interest and motivation. He needed something different. “My goal was to find a program and stick with it,” Wagner says. “I needed to find something that was challenging and not tedious.” That’s when he found Farrells eXtreme Bodyshaping, a fitness facility in nearby LaVista, Nebraska.
Farrell’s has a results-based fitness program for participants of any age, lifestyle, sex or athletic ability. The program was developed by Lance Farrell, a longtime taekwondo competitor and teacher, specifically to combat obesity and to help people develop healthy lifestyle habits by incorporating the fat-burning, strengthening and endurance building aspects of competitive martial arts training into a course for regular people who aren’t interested in sparring or contact drills. Wagner was also drawn to Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping’s mission statement: “We want to inspire you to live your life with power and purpose.” This statement embodied the strength and power that Wagner hoped to achieve through a fit body and mind.
Carol Wisecarver, was Wagner’s head coach and guided him through the physical and mental challenge of his life. In Wisecarver, he says, “I didn’t have a personal trainer, I had a coach and a mentor. She knew how to motivate and push me to the next level.” The structure of their training sessions helped Wagner gain confidence to believe in himself.
Wagner works out six days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are dedicated to all-out power cardio sessions utilizing gloves and bags for 45 minutes non-stop. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are committed to a combination of weights and working out with resistance bands. Adds Wagner, “My coach always makes the workouts challenging and changes things up so they’re never the same. The guidance, accountability and motivation are all part of the program.”
With Wagner on his way to achieving the physical condition he’d envisioned, he knew that he could only improve by educating himself on proper nutrition. Wagner decided to visit his local Max Muscle store in Papillion, Nebraska where he met with Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach Bryan Heller. Heller took the time to answer Wagner’s many questions and offered suggestions to help him reach his fitness goals. “Bryan became my ‘go-to’ guy. He adjusted my diet and really educated me on supplements and nutrition. He is a great instructor and has changed my life,” says Wagner.
Last year proved to be a pinnacle year for the hardworking Wagner. Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping hosts an annual $10K 12-Month Challenge where $10,000 is awarded to the member who has made the most extreme body transformation over the course of one year. After losing 21 pounds and going from 19.6 percent to 8.9 percent in body fat, Wagner was named the 2011 winner.
He admits that it wasn’t easy, but one of the best rewards is that friends, family and people who’ve only heard about him have been inspired to start their own journey to better fitness. Wagner remains humbled by his achievements and feels that he’s in the best shape of his life and plans to continue his healthy lifestyle. “I am definitely happier, more focused and relaxed,” Wagner says. “I feel better about myself and proud about what I am continuing to accomplish. Honestly, I look forward to and relish physical activity now.” MS&F