August 1, 2014

From the Editor

What can a smart, committed trainer at a good gym really do for you? Case No. 1—this is a 63-year-old former baseball player from Marco Island, a man who had suffered three heart attacks and couldn’t drive a car or even walk to the mailbox. Three months later, his trainer had him walking four mph every day and able to dance all night.

Case No. 2—A gentleman with a bad back and a big belly came in and told his trainer that he’d give him a $500 bonus if he could fix the back … and get him swinging his golf club freely again. In six months, the man had dropped 55 pounds, lost 11 inches off his waist and had lowered his golf score by 15 strokes. He had paid the bonus at three weeks.

Case No. 3—An unhappy 40-something woman, once a tennis star and now 25 pounds overweight, appealed to the trainer for help. Within six months, she was being stopped everywhere by people telling her how beautiful she looks—and she was back to beating people on the tennis court again.

Meet the trainer in all three cases … Alan Bialeck, 6 feet tall, 240 pounds and, at 47, still in single digits in percent of body fat. In this Feel Good Issue, we’ve put together a guide to the area’s top gyms and trainers (see "Health Resource Guide" on p. 59) for all of us who want to upgrade or maintain our fitness. Bialeck, who works out of the Lifestyle Family Fitness center on Golden Gate Parkway in Naples, certainly represents the kind of help that can get people looking and feeling a lot better.

He’s high-energy, fast-talking and, yes, charismatic. "Every time I train with Alan, it’s a new adventure," one of his clients told me. ("I’ve often got to be a psychologist and marriage counselor, too," he says.) He’s got the creds—a B.S. degree from the University of Florida in exercise and sports sciences—and the results. "My clients," he says, "have lost 3,000 pounds of body fat in the last three-and-a-half years." What are his secrets?

There’s the exercise plan, of course: three one-hour resistance workouts a week plus four to five cardiovascular sessions as well. He pushes for seven to nine hours of sleep at night ("You lose fat and gain muscle when you sleep," he says).

And then there’s his lifetime nutrition program. To him, it’s all about high calories, high protein, moderate carbohydrates, very low fat, very little wheat and no sugars. He recommends eating three meals a day plus two snacks. The good things: fish, egg whites, chicken, lean red meat, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, white rice and fruits. Once a week, you can eat anything you like all day long. His aim is to increase digestive metabolism; the more you put in, the more you have to burn off the calories. "You’ll never go hungry with my program," he promises.

We at Gulfshore Life have convincing evidence of the Bialeck Effect. Our Production Services Manager Natalie Sarracino, 28, has perhaps been the most fit person in our office. She teaches some classes at Bialeck’s gym and one day saw another instructor there, Katie, walking to the beach and "looking unbelievably ripped. What have you been doing?" Natalie inquired. "Training with Alan," Katie replied. So Natalie decided to do likewise. Fourteen weeks later, her body fat dropped from 19 percent to 12.8 percent, and her dress size went from six to two. "I’m much, much more confident now and far more eager to wear my bikini when my fiancé and I go out on his boat," Natalie confesses.

She who had appeared so fit before looks even better now. Natalie’s getting married in November, and the wedding dress makers told her that they’re fine with the one downsizing she ordered, but no more after that.

She’s now training harder than ever and even entering formal body competition contests in the area. No question she’ll look great in competition and coming down the aisle in November. No question her smart, committed trainer deserves some credit, too.

 

Correction

In the June issue’s "Top Doctors" story, Dr. Nicholas Lekas was omitted. His listing should have appeared as:

Infectious Disease

Nicholas Lekas, M.D.

Physicians Regional Medical Center

Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System

8340 Collier Blvd., Suite 302, Naples, FL 34114

(239) 354-6425

Special expertise: Internal medicine, bone and joint infections, heart infections, travel medicine

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