Philadelphia Magazine’s Fitness Challenge 2010: Jim Schindler

A 39-year-old sign-equipment salesman and self-proclaimed fast-food junkie. “The only thing I like better than bacon is cheese-covered bacon.”

Jim’s Sweat Trainer: Chris Connors and Meghan Anderson

Initial assessment: "Jim’s core is very weak. He also needs to work on his cardiovascular and his technique and form needs work."

[sidebar]The goal: Get Jim comfortable with basic moves and workouts—pushups, squats, Spinning, treadmill sprints—to develop his muscle memory, strengthen his core, and up his cardiovascular strength.

The plan: Weight-and-treadmill intervals (five minutes of weights, five minutes of sprinting on the treadmill, repeat for 60 minutes) three times a week, with either Spinning or treadmill sprints on alternate days. Sunday rest.

Check Out Jim’s 1800-calorie plan here, created by Sweat’s Brittany Lucchetto, RD, LDN.

Starting stats
Age: 39
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 208

Why we picked him
“My baggy wardrobe hides the fact that I’m forty pounds overweight right now. I eat poorly because I am on the road every day, never eat anything that does not come in a bag or wrapper. I’ve eaten as many as eight fast-food meals in one five-day workweek. I measure my soda consumption by the gallon. The only thing I like better than bacon is cheese-covered bacon. I don’t know how to exercise effectively. I haven’t done a sit-up in 24 years and I lack the energy to get through the day. I need a push. I need to change.”

Why he thinks he’s gonna win
"I believe that I can win because I am determined to change. I want to radically alter my habits so that I have the energy to reach my goals. I live life on ‘fast-forward’ and I need a body that can keep pace with my lifestyle."


Week 1
January 25th-31st
Today was my first day at the gym. My trainer Chris spent a few minutes talking to me about what to eat and portion control. We talked about my goals and how to achieve them by trading fat for muscle. He mentioned that a healthy lifestyle would give me more energy. We spent about 20 minutes working on upper body lifting and then about 20 minutes on the treadmill.

I made it to the gym at 8:30. Did a routine where I would lift for ten minutes and then walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes. After 50 minutes of this I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes. I’m always hungry right now. I’ve been eating more fruits and vegetables and trying to stay away from bread. Today is the first day in over 20 years that I did not drink a soda.

I am very sore today. Arms and shoulders are killing me and I did not get much sleep last night because of the soreness. If I put my arms straight down my biceps hurt. If I lift them up, my shoulders hurt. I’m eating more small meals so I am not as hungry. I did not go to the gym today. I walked on my home treadmill for 35 minutes and then did a light jog for 10 minutes.