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“We wanted to do it together again and try to top our Second Place finish from last time, having learned so much about what works to win.”
  • Kelly Rapoport

The 2022 Spring Dynamic Duo Beach Body Challenge is in the books, and it was another success…though not the first taste of success for the First Place team. This same team of Kelly Rapoport and Christina Thayer, trained by Liz Keller, captured Second Place a year ago in the Spring 2021 Challenge. We spoke to the dynamic duo (triumphant trio?) themselves to learn more about their experiences this year.

PS: When did you become a Fitness Incentive member, and what prompted you to choose Fitness Incentive?
Kelly Rapoport: I moved to Babylon 12 years ago and won a gift certificate to FI for three free months shortly after. I have been a member ever since.
Christina Thayer: I became a member after entering the Dynamic Duo challenge last spring. Kelly had been a member forever, and the Challenge got me into the regular habit of coming to the gym. The Challenge is also what motivated me to take strength training classes, along with Pilates and yoga.
Liz Keller: I was a member before joining the staff. I would come at 5:00 am every day before going to a job that I hated, and I would see Cor. She would beg me to take one of her classes. I told her I wasn’t a “class person,” but she finally convinced me. After that class, I told her I liked it, having thought it would be a dance-y style class like the ones at a gym where I used to work. Through our talks, Cor learned that I was a nutritionist. Coincidentally, Fitness Incentive was about to launch a search for a new nutritionist, and, fast forward two years later, I now am FI’s nutritionist, a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor, and sometimes work at the Front Desk. Oh, and I also teach those dance classes I used to mock when Linda needs coverage.

PS: This team and its trainer have participated in past contests with mixed success, having placed as high as second in the Spring 2021 Dynamic Duo Challenge. Was your experience this time around different? What was your motivation for this Dynamic Duo Challenge?
KR: I realized that you have to follow the weight work and the meal plans. You have to eat the carbs to build muscle. Last time around, if I wasn’t hungry, the first foods I would omit were rice, beans, sweet potatoes, etc. It took a while to realize it, but you need that fuel to see the results. And cardio is not always the answer!
CT: I also learned that adjusting certain aspects of nutrition contributed to better muscle gain and that working out too much can impact that process. Kelly is more knowledgeable about this, and once she and Liz figured out that perfect formula, I just followed along.
LK: I’ve focused on more heavy lifting with all my teams. In past contests, I really wanted my teams to get sweaty, so I would focus more on circuit-style training. While we did do a few workouts like that for this contest, they were far less frequent than in earlier contests. Kelly and Christina had also worked with me in-between contest seasons, so we could spend less time on perfecting form and technique and more time on increasing the weight and building muscle.
KR: I always do better when I have a clear focus. I have no problem getting myself to the gym for classes or training, but a challenge always focuses my mind.

PS: The team dynamic is always consequential, especially so, I’d think, for a team that has worked together before.
KR: Christina and I are good friends and work well together. We wanted to do it together again and try to top our Second Place finish from last time, having learned so much about what works to win.
CT: Kelly is always challenging me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I don’t think about winning the contest; I just want to push myself and do well for the team effort.
LK: I’d worked with Kelly with the Eat Smart program before becoming her trainer. She convinced Christina to join the contest the first time around, and they’ve been stuck with me ever since.

PS: Clearly, Liz, both as trainer and nutritionist, has been able to draw the best out of these teammates.
KR: Having Liz makes all the difference. I entered the challenge in 2019 with another trainer and was happy with my results, but I didn’t do well in the context of the Challenge. I was making my own food choices, and the scale was going down, but I was losing muscle at the same time. With Liz, I knew what to eat to fuel my body, to lose the fat, but still put on the muscle. Her meal plans helped me understand what foods worked for me and how much I should be eating to achieve my goals.
CT: Liz was motivating and really listened when we discussed how nutrition made us feel, and she adjusted accordingly. Liz humored all our food dislikes and our back-and-forth with recipes we thought of as ‘too complicated’ or ‘too simple.’
LK: I would say that being a nutritionist gives me an advantage in the competition, but as you can see with past results, it’s really about what the individual contestants decide to do with their diets. Getting some clients to understand the science behind eating complex carbohydrates to build muscle can be a challenge. Kelly and Christina fell into this category initially, but it’s easier to trust the science when you start seeing results. Believe it or not, getting contestants to eat enough seems to be a common theme in these contests, as corroborated by other trainers I’ve spoken to. Eight weeks is a short period of time, and all of the participants in the contest should be proud of the progress they make during these challenges. With all my clients, I try to make my meal plans realistic so that the weight doesn’t come back on when the contest is over. One of the things I’m most proud of is seeing members with whom I have worked sustain their success after the contest. Kelly and Christina come into each contest fitter and in better shape than they were at the previous starting point, and with the same mindset: winning can be a powerful motivator, but ultimately, it is not the main objective. While they are happy at the end with their progress, they know there is always more to be done!

About The Winners

Christina and Kelly
  • Christina Thayer & Kelly Rapoport

Christina Thayer and Kelly Rapoport finished in First Place in the Spring 2022 Dynamic Duo Challenge. Their combined score of 68.28 was more than 24 points ahead of their closest competitors! Individually, Christina finished 2nd and Kelly 3rd. Amazing results! Congratulations!

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