I began working with Dan at my home over three years ago to address an acute neck problem – quickly resolved, but I stayed with him. Or, more truthfully, Dan stayed with me as I was not the most committed pupil. Over time, though, as I worked through various physical issues we moved on to hand weights and kettlebells, and I now have a pretty vigorous early morning workout. I’m in better shape – stronger, more limber – and equally valuable to me is enjoying the work as much as I appreciate the gains I’ve made. We have funny and interesting conversations, I get great tips on movies and music – all for no extra charge. I can’t recommend Dan enough, especially for the reluctant trainee.”
—David Wagner, age 57
During this past year with Dan, I lost 25 pounds, and reversed my osteoporosis to the point where my physician and has taken me off the medications for it. Believe me, I never would have stuck with this process if it wasn’t fun at the same time. Dan has an uncanny intuitive sense for what I need to work on — he totally knows his stuff and although i tend to argue with him constantly……….he is always right!! Our sessions are filled with laughter and conversation– and miraculously that never gets in the way of the work. I have recommended Dan to everybody I know– he is really more than a trainer to me– he has become a friend and mentor. I call him my fitness guru!!”
—Claudia Arioli, 58 years old………(but I look 48 if I look a day)
When I turned 53, the stars finally aligned for me. I decided that I did not want to be the typical middle-aged woman resigned to a growing waistline and the health problems that come along with it. I am proud of my many accomplishments and I wanted to add feeling and looking good to that list.
Around the time that I had shed 40 pounds, my colleagues at The JCC in Manhattan encouraged me to revisit personal training. The experts in the Health Club recommended that I work with Dan because he brings a special level of intelligence and personalization to his expert training regimens.
They were not kidding! When we began working together, Dan took the time to understand my goals and my physical strengths and weaknesses. My sense of intimidation disappeared due entirely to Dan’s kind nature and sense of fun. He keeps my workouts interesting by mixing things up while building my strength and endurance. He has introduced me to MELT, Kettlebells and other weight training techniques.
I especially love the fact that even after more than two years of working with Dan, I am always learning new things from him. Thanks to Dan’s encouragement, I now consider myself a runner – sometimes enjoying a 3-mile run with my husband or my 20-something-year-old children. Who knows? Maybe I have a mini-marathon in my future.
I am happy to report, 50 pounds later, that I am in the best shape of my life. Of course, shedding the extra weight is a huge accomplishment. But it is the personal training that has me standing taller and walking with a lighter step. I credit Dan with being an important part of this journey.”
—Joan Linder (56 years old)
Okay, specifics forthcoming. But first, I want to highlight a crucial issue that comes ahead of any physical rehabilitation. It’s overcoming all the barriers to getting started on a systematic workout program.
Like so many of my friends and colleagues, I sampled yoga, cardio workshops, weight lifting , even spinning. Nothing stuck. I wanted a trainer, but never found the right match. And without a trainer, no rehabilitation program has ever survived my first gung-ho months.
The JCC’s client-trainer matching expertise saved the day. With canny insight, the JCC’s front office out-flanked my succession of ‘yes, buts’ and steered me to Dan Marks. And I’m now in my third year of training with him.
Working with a trainer is not unlike working with a shrink. You might start out with a list of fixes to work on, only to encounter radical and unforeseen changes and benefits along the way.
When starting with Dan, my goal was to slow down the ravages of time. (I‘m already ten years in the red, beyond mankind’s three score & ten allotted spell). I didn’t have any particular ambition in mind. In fact, nothing crossed my mind as being feasible. However, shortly after signing up with Dan, I saw individuals, and even a young girl, execute effortless push ups. Thus was an ambition was born—and fulfilled. I did my first push-up over a year ago.
Other unforeseen benefits? Well, as a British military veteran, I always thought I stood up strait. Not so it turns out. But now I slide into an erect posture that I didn’t know existed. I can now kvetch at my grandson for his slouch, and feel self righteous about it.
The ability to pull my socks on while sitting in the kitchen chair might not seem a major triumph to a whipper- snapper under 75. But that’s what I can do now. It never occurred to me that I might be able to eliminate the pretzel-like maneuvers this regular morning ritual required. Who knew!
My point-and-shoot camera requires me to squat down when shooting daffodils and other low lying targets. The trick is getting back up. Once more: thank you Dan. I can impress my daughter’s equally ancient in-laws with repeated crouch-and-rise exercises..
About that facetious ‘Massive Shoulders’ thank-you card I sent to Dan. Hyperbole aside, I actually gave a newish jacket to Housing Works because it began to pinch around the shoulders. See: Dan really does walk on water!
Okay, now for the piece-de-resistance. It’s only a mild exaggeration to say that Dan has saved my life. But without his cure, my worsening neck pain and accompanying headaches would have turned future years into increasing deterioration and intolerable misery.
For 15 years, increasingly frequent chiropractic adjustments kept my neck pain under control — until about three years ago, when a final adjustment made the problem worse. After that, I’d wake up every morning with immobilizing neck pain and an agonizing headache. It took half an hour in my special ‘repair armchair’ to achieve a manageable state of shaky fragility.
I consulted two neurologist (one at $600 a pop), had MRI scans and X-rays, wore neck braces, experimented with therapeutic pillows, and spend weeks in the hands of a physical therapist, all to no avail.
Now I wake up with no neck pain and no headache, all thanks to Dan and his treatments. It is unlikely that any specific exercise solved the problem. Instead, his overall program of core strengthening, neck massage, neck exercises, and overall muscle development, conspired to achieve what prior years of striving never managed.
And boy! Am I thankful!
So here’s my new ambition. Joe Esposito, Dan’s trainer colleague, with 30 years of workouts under his belt, has a true kick-sand-in-your-face physique. And I want to look like Joe. With dedicated workouts, I think I’ll be able to make it by my 110th birthday. That’s if Dan can stand the pace.”
—Stan Froud, age 81