Wellness | Web Update

Gym program helps former staff member to a healthier lifestyle

Published: March 22, 2013, 5:04 pm ET
Collegian Reporter

Alan DeLorenzo, a former chemistry department staff member, weighed 335 pounds before beginning his weight loss journey at the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness.

When DeLorenzo began working at University of Richmond last year, he attended an employee orientation meeting where he heard about the Weinstein Center’s Working on Wellness (WOW) program, he said. DeLorenzo had wanted to lead a healthier lifestyle after learning he had high blood pressure, and the program had been the perfect opportunity, he said.

The WOW program was initiated in 2006 and is available to full-time faculty and staff, said Tracy Cassalia, manager of health education and wellness at Richmond. The program’s clients meet with personal trainers to develop plans specific to their goals, she said.

The program consists of an assessment session and two personal training sessions where the WOW trainers can work with the participants on any fitness and wellness goals that they may have, said Paul Hagenmueller, DeLorenzo’s personal trainer. There are also follow-up reassessments at approximately four, eight and 12 months, which provide the participants with feedback on any changes that may have occurred during those time periods, he said.

Last May, DeLorenzo started working with Hagenmueller two to three days per week, DeLorenzo said. In addition to exercising, DeLorenzo began eating smaller portions and cutting down on red meat, carbohydrates and alcohol in his diet, he said.

Two months after beginning the program, DeLorenzo began going to the gym every day and completely eliminated red meat and carbohydrates from his diet, he said. At the gym, DeLorenzo and Hagenmueller worked together to create a routine combining aerobics and lifting, he said.

“After a few months, I really started to notice my body changing for the better,” DeLorenzo said. “There is no better motivation than that. I just continued that lifestyle ever since.”

Now, DeLorenzo is almost half the size he was when he began his program less than one year ago. Although he has already lost 110 pounds, his original goal to lose 150 pounds, he said. DeLorenzo recently moved to Boston and therefore no longer participates in the WOW program, but he has joined a fitness center in his new negihborhood and plans to meet his weight loss goals, he said.

“With the help of the Weinstein Center, it has been far and away the most productive year I have ever had,” DeLorenzo said. “I have never felt better in my own skin.”

DeLorenzo has accomplished a great deal, and he has the focus needed to be successful, Hagenmueller said.

Cassalia said that although WOW was not available to students, the Weinstein Center offered a variety of programs to help students meet their weight-loss and lifestyle goals. Free personal training with student trainers, reduced cost programs, fitness classes and sessions with the campus dietician are all available ­resources, she said.

For more information about the WOW program, visit the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness website: recreation.richmond.edu.

Contact reporter Gaby Calabrese at gaby.calabrese@richmond.edu­­­­­

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