Meet The Mohegan Sun Fall Back Into Fitness Challenge Winners

November 27, 2018

Each of our winners made changes to their exercise and diet routines and the results reflect their commitment. We are inspired by each of their stories:

Charlotte K


6.3% body fat lost, 3.0lbs of muscle gained

I owe all my success to CP classes – Eugenio, Martha, Kari J, Betsy B. & TJ and some new friends. They motivated me to just do it and not think about it. They inspired me by telling me strong happens when you run out of weak excuses.  Thank you Chelsea for your awesome team of instructors. They help me achieve this goal.

Ellen T


6.0% body fat lost, 3.0lbs of muscle gained

I had been doing a lot of cardio before the Challenge and I was skinny fat...thin without any muscle definition or strength.

My CP trainer Nelson advised me to do weight lifting 3-4 days a week, which I didn’t do, instead I only changed my diet. At the Challenges’ midway assessment I lost weight but my body fat went way up!!!

Nelson advised me again, do weights and machines 3-4 times a week. So I did and now I am hooked!  My body fat went down and I got muscles! So to sum it up listen to your Chelsea Piers trainers, they make a difference!

Taylor N


4.0% body fat lost, 4.0lbs of muscle gained

I just tried to do what Christine, my incredible personal trainer, told me to do. She kept me motivated and accountable. I am just getting back into fitness (and a healthy lifestyle) again, so this challenge was a big motivation for me to get back on track. My goal throughout this challenge was just to establish a habit. I exercised 5-6 days a week, and I tried to make it fun for myself. Christine helped there, for sure. I went to Fresh Start twice a week, and a private training session with Christine (where I can’t get away with anything) once a week.  The other 2-3 days, I built my own exercise circuits or worked on physical therapy for some foot issues I’ve been having. Christine really helped me find low-impact workouts that worked for me that I could do on my own, too.

That was the fun part. I like to feel strong and it’s incredibly satisfying to do exercises with good form and increase your lifting weight every week or two. The rest happened on my own in the kitchen, where I tried to mind my macros. I kept my carbs under 100g most days, and increased my protein to 100g. And I tried not to snack unless I was actually hungry (revolutionary, I know). Changing my eating habits was by far the hardest part of the challenge for me. But when I felt good before or after exercising, I found that I wanted to eat better, too. I’m not perfect now, but I am trying to be more mindful at least.

I had to re-learn how to enjoy exercising and being active, especially since most of my past favorite exercises were too high impact. In the last 8 weeks, I was so glad to learn I can still have fun—and see results, it turns out—doing low impact intervals and eating a little better.

Brandon B.


8.2% body fat lost, 6.0lbs of muscle gained

Gordon R


8.0% body fat lost, 2.2lbs of muscle gained

I wasn't sure I'd "bother" entering the Fall Challenge because my weight was at a milestone low (168lb) and I felt that I was on a steady course to reach some significant goals by the end of the year. I started a serious fitness effort as a New Year's resolution on 01/02/2015. I have been 100% compliant since -- almost 4 years -- which is a personal milestone for consistency and "showing up". When I started, my weight was around 215 and my workouts were sporadic. I'm a foodie/partier and had taken a fitness "break" in 2014 after "plateauing" at a good size. Over the years, I had a done a lot of running, cycling, machines, aerobics, step classes, spin, etc -- either solo athletics, group fitness, and, for a couple of years, worked out with a Personal Trainer at Equinox. All fitness -- no team sports, no competitions. After moving to Stamford, I was spinning "full time" at Exhale, and later added Cardio Barre and TRX classes. At the end of 2017, I transferred over to Chelsea about a year ago to "raise the bar". Ironically, I didn't like the spin classes at CP, and became a regular at Martha's TRX and Smoked Classes, and various Zumbas, a throwback to cardio classes I used to do 20 years ago. I've worn a Polar FT7 heart rate monitor since my spinning days, and always aim to work at 85% or higher during workouts. It was also tracks calories burned. I manually journal food, calorie intake; and, from the watch, my daily workouts, time spent and calories burned. I also usually write a monthly summary (I started doing this before My Fitness Pal came out!) All of this is to create awareness and accountability so that the 3500 calorie deficit required to lose 1 pound actually happens. For me, writing it out helps me stay focused and committed.

Back to the Challenge: I never got an fitness assessment at CP, and had no idea about InBody. I thought the only way to get an accurate BF measurement was by hydrostatic (tank immersion) testing. The body composition analysis was an eye-opener, and in fact, I was incredulous that I measured 21.4 BF! I was sure I was less -- in the teens-- having consulted a visual chart online. I retook the test the next day, and it measured 21.9, (and recommended a 13 lb weight loss). I had gotten a little relaxed over the summer; gone on more of a "maintenance diet", and I had stopped detailed food journaling. Since I had been on a high protein, low refined carb, low fat diet for a long time, and didn't think a calorie deficit was critical while I was "working on my upper body". To get on track, I started daily food journaling again (manually, on 3x5 cards) and again, had to look up calories in order to keep my daily intake around 2000 calories or below. I asked Martha to coach me and we basically decided to keep the same workouts, add more dumbbell chest/arm supersets, and lose 5 lbs. I increased my dumbbell weights from 12 to 15 lbs (less for lateral work), sometimes did a two classes a day (about 30 classes per month during the Challenge). I honestly was surprised to be in the lead at the Challenge mid-point, but it also motivated me to work very hard during the latter half. Weight loss is a numbers game; gaining lean muscle something else!

In summary, the Challenge re-charged my batteries, sped up progress, and I got turned on to the body composition concept was opposed to pure body weight. I get tons of motivation and intelligence from my instructors, great energy from other CP members, access excellent online resources such as, and there's always "what's next?" in terms of tweaking your goals along with your slow and steady progress. 

Jeff M


4.5% body fat lost, 4.5lbs of muscle gained

I think I finally figured it all out this time yet I did not execute on one aspect that you and I know I should of and that was incorporating more HIIT sessions. My favorite "Most uncomfortable" is the 20 Minute interval on the treadmill where I jog 2 minutes, sprint one until I hit my 20 minute mark. Picture Ivan Drago in Rocky IV on the treadmill although I'd rather be running up to the top of a mountain like Rocky did.

Eating clean with lean proteins and leafy greens. No sugar or simple carbs as best that I could. Lots of water - 2 gallons a day approx.. Sometimes a coffee before the workout. Supplementing with Creatine, Whey Protein right after workout and Casein Protein before bed. Multi-vitamins and antioxidants. Green Tea.

Lifting as heavy as I could for 3-6 reps for 4-5 sets. Personal Milestones include Incline Dumbbell Press on the ball with 115's 5x, 5 reps of skull crushers with 125lbs, and One Arm Bent over Lat Pulls with 125lb dumbbells 5x. I tried to increase my grip strength to handle heavier weights.

8+ hours of sleep to rebuild the Temple that I tore down in the gym.

Kept accountable to my mission with Erik V. who was very inspiring and encouraging to me along the way. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the support and excitement that my family gave me along the way and when I shared my results. In fact, my mother, although not a CPCT Member, joined me in the challenge and came out a winner as well at 72.

My other big mistake that you and Matt brought to light was fasting for the last 3 days in hopes to drop a bit more BF% which I think may have worked negatively toward my muscle mass that I worked so hard to build up.

I was hoping to get into single digits of BF% and gain 6lbs of muscle so I look forward to pressing on and look forward to the next challenge. They are very helpful to me as they help keep me focused and it becomes a vehicle for me to reach new heights.