Gain lean mus­cle to lose body fat

Gym owner says in­creas­ing lean mus­cle is the key to de­creas­ing body fat

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SUNDAY SELECT - By Michilea Pat­ter­son mpat­ter­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @MichileaP on Twit­ter

I Am Fit Stu­dios owner Ernie Groff spe­cial­izes in trans­for­ma­tions and helps clients to un­der­stand that strength train­ing is an im­por­tant part of the weight-loss equa­tion. The fit­ness gym uses a sys­tem fo­cused on be­fore and after re­sults.

“Our niche mar­ket is peo­ple who are over­weight and obese. That’s 66 per­cent of Amer­i­cans,” Groff said.

More than two in three adults are over­weight or obese, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Di­a­betes and Di­ges­tive and Kid­ney Dis­eases web­site.

The in­sti­tute is un­der the U.S. De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices. In­di­vid­u­als that are over­weight or obese have a higher risk of de­vel­op­ing type 2 di­a­betes, heart dis­ease, high blood pres­sure and other chronic con­di­tions.

The in­sti­tute stated it’s rec­om­mended adults do both aer­o­bic and anaer­o­bic ac­tiv­i­ties. Aer­o­bic ac­tiv­i­ties are less in­ten­sive ex­er­cises that won’t cause peo­ple to run out of oxy­gen quickly like hik­ing and bik­ing. Anaer­o­bic is ba­si­cally the op­po­site where you be­come out of breath in just a few min­utes, for ex­am­ple, by lift­ing weights.

The I Am Fit Studio uses strength train­ing, car­dio ex­er­cises and nutri­tion to help in­di­vid­u­als lose weight and gain mus­cle, Groff said. Fa­bi­enne Daniel started the fit­ness pro­gram last year and has lost about 60 pounds through it. In ad­di­tion to drop­ping pounds, Daniel has gained mus­cle through­out her body. Daniel tried ex­er­cise pro­grams be­fore I Am Fit but said it felt “di­rec­tion­less.” Now she has a sim­ple sys­tem to fol­low to get re­sults.

Groff said it’s com­mon for peo­ple to quit a new fit­ness pro­gram just after three months.

“That’s hor­ri­ble be­cause ex­er­cise is so con­ducive to qual­ity of life,” he said.

He said I Am Fit is help­ing mem­bers not only to lose body fat but also to main­tain a healthy weight with a per­sonal trainer ap­proach. Ev­ery time some­one comes in for a ses­sion at the gym, they are work­ing one-on-one with a trainer. Groff said the per­sonal ap­proach is what leads to trans­for­ma­tions and keeps peo­ple mo­ti­vated to con­tinue ex­er­cis­ing.

Groff has a long re­la­tion­ship with fit­ness and used to sneak in the gym as a child when he wasn’t al­lowed. He’s done box­ing, power lift­ing, marathon run­ning and more. He said fit­ness has helped him build con­fi­dence in him­self dur­ing try­ing times in his life.

“It’s al­lowed me to go back to it al­most spir­i­tu­ally no mat­ter where I was at in life … No mat­ter how beat up, no mat­ter how iso­lated I was in life, I could al­ways go back and start work­ing out and work on me,” Groff said.

Groff is now shar­ing his pas­sion for fit­ness with the I Am Fit Stu­dios. He opened the first I Am Fit Studio last year in Tem­ple. He opened a new lo­ca­tion in Sink­ing Spring just a cou­ple months ago. The stu­dios of­fer free fit­ness as­sess­ment to any­one in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a mem­ber. First, the per­son fills out a ques­tion­naire about them­selves and their fit­ness goals. Then they find out their per­cent­age of body fat us­ing a hand-held mon­i­tor.

Groff said it’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to know their body fat per­cent­age es­pe­cially as they get older when you start to lose mus­cle mass.

“Ev­ery­one’s body fat is in­creas­ing over time be­cause as we age, we lose mus­cle,” he said.

Once the per­son knows their cur­rent weight and body fat then they sit down for a les­son in the sci­ence of weight loss. Groff said the I Am Fit sys­tem in­creases a per­son’s me­tab­o­lism and re­placed body fat with lean mus­cle. Me­tab­o­lism is the process the body uses to con­vert calo­ries into en­ergy. Groff said an in­di­vid­ual with a high basal meta­bolic rate will burn more calo­ries while rest­ing which in­cludes ac­tiv­i­ties such as sleep­ing, talk­ing or stand­ing.

Groff helps his clients to in­crease their me­tab­o­lism by chang­ing their nutri­tion and in­cor­po­rat­ing both strength train­ing and car­dio into the work­outs. Dur­ing the sci­ence les­son of the fit­ness as­sess­ment, peo­ple learn that the I Am Fit work­out uses 30 min­utes of strength train­ing to break down car­bo­hy­drates. Dif­fer­ent mus­cle groups are ex­er­cised on dif­fer­ent days so not to lead to over­train­ing or overuse. After peo­ple work to in­crease their lean mus­cle then they en­ter the fat-burn­ing zone with some car­dio. Groff said clients re­ally start to see a dif­fer­ence in their cloth­ing be­cause mus­cle takes up less space than fat.

Groff helps his clients go be­yond just the ex­er­cise part of be­ing fit but also pro­vides nu­tri­tional meal plans. He said the right amount of nu­tri­ents can do great things for the body. The new­est I Am Fit Studio in Sink­ing Spring has a juice bar where pro­tein shakes and bars are sold. The meal plan for clients in­cludes eat­ing six times a day. Rec­om­mended meals are high in pro­tein while lim­it­ing car­bo­hy­drates and fats.

Groff said he has clients from all over the area and those that don’t live lo­cally can do their work­outs through Face Time and videos.

“No mat­ter where a per­son is, we elim­i­nate all the ex­cuses,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion about I Am Fit Stu­dios, visit the web­site at www.iamfi­ton­ or call 610-816-7753.

“Ev­ery­one’s body fat is in­creas­ing over time be­cause as we age, we lose mus­cle.” — Ernie Groff, I Am Fit Stu­dios owner “Our niche mar­ket is peo­ple who are over­weight and obese. That’s 66 per­cent of Amer­i­cans.” — Ernie Groff, I Am Fit Stu­dios owner


Ernie Groff, owner of I Am Fit Stu­dios, trains Fa­bi­enne Daniel at the Sink­ing Spring lo­ca­tion. Daniel is us­ing a ma­chine to work on her arm strength while Groff holds a medicine ball to her back.

Fa­bi­enne Daniel pulls her­self up and down us­ing arm strength at the I Am Fit Studio in Sink­ing Spring. The fit­ness gym teaches their clients that nutri­tion, car­dio and strength train­ing are the way to lose weight.


Fa­bi­enne Daniel has lost about 60 pounds by gain­ing lean mus­cle with the help of I Am Fit Stu­dios.

Fa­bi­enne Daniel, left, does sit-ups with the help of Ernie Groff, owner of I Am Fit Stu­dios, while at the Sink­ing Spring lo­ca­tion.

I Am Fit Stu­dios em­ploy­ees work be­hind the counter at the Sink­ing Spring lo­ca­tion. The fit­ness gym has a juice bar that sells nu­tri­tional items like pro­tein bars and shakes.

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