Member Success Stories

Inspiring real-life stories of Fitness Incentive members that overcame obstacles to achieve their fitness goals, whether it was to lose weight, improve their health or just look and feel their absolute best.

They did it…so can you!

Fit Happens

Laura Gambino

Laura Gambino, before and after

Trainer: Patty Zebersky

“I starting training Laura Gambino on January 10th 2012,” says FI trainer Patty Zebersky, “after meeting her during a Fit 2 Go in September of 2011. With two young children, she’d only been able to get to the gym a handful of times during those months, and had been unable to lose the weight she’d gained after the births of her two children. Without any prior knowledge of fitness, Laura and her husband, Thomas, decided that they would make a conscious effort to become more fit. They committed to the goal of Making It Happen, not only for the sake of their own health but also for their little ones. Laura set her sights on losing between 40 and 45 pounds.

In addition to the pregnancy-related weight, Laura had two other goals motivating her: a family wedding in October that she and Thomas were in, and a long-time desire to run the Tunnel to Towers 5k in September. Thomas had run the race in years past carrying his father’s flag (to honor his father, a NYC fireman who perished on 9/11), and Laura wanted to run beside him this year. She had never jogged a step but wanted to finish the 3.1 mile race without stopping.

Laura was a dream to work with because she was truly motivated and willing to change. She accepted the fact that the process of replacing her unhealthy habits with healthy ones would take some time—no quick fixes or magic bullets for Laura. She revealed herself as not only hardworking and committed, but also patient—so important in any quest to attain a goal. Although she told me early on she was not the least bit athletic, she had great body awareness and absorbed every bit of information I gave her. By the summer, she was feeling so much better and stronger and her confidence had grown so much that she agreed to join a beach volleyball league with her husband to enjoy as their date night. Laura surprised herself and other family members and friends by her aggressiveness and athleticism on the court.

Laura told Patty how grateful she was…that without everything she was learning, and the weight and body fat she was losing, she’d never have attempted beach volleyball. She and Thomas looked forward to their weekly night out and had a fun-filled summer with the new and old friends.

“Laura continued to chip away at her body weight and body fat percentage, and continued to shed inches every month,” says Patty. She and Thomas cut out unhealthy snacks and take-out that January, replacing them with home-cooked meals of lean sources of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. They began eating smaller, more frequent meals. Laura continued to meet with me twice a week for strength training, and followed my advice on the “off” days. She began a running regimen and within a couple of months she was able to raise her mileage from just a few feet to a mile. Again, her patience and hard work paid off, for by July she was able to run continuously and consistently for 3 miles or more without stopping. In September Laura was confident and excited about completing the Tunnel to Towers 5k, but unfortunately one of her children was ill and she was unable to run. She is positive, however, that she will do a 5k before long, and continues to enjoy running for fitness.

As for Laura’s second goal of looking dynamite for the family wedding, well, she blew the doors off that one! In fact, when she was originally measured for her gown, a size 14 was ordered, but when it arrived she happily paid for alterations . She was down to a size 4!

Laura’s patience and willingness to listen and learn have contributed immeasurably to her success. At our very first meeting I told her that there are no quick fixes and that changing body composition for the better will take just as long as it took to get that way in the first place. She accepted this and made the commitment to change, and has never looked back. She was able to see the “whole picture,” then establish attainable, realistic goals that provided not only herself but her entire family the opportunity to lead active, healthy, happy lives from that day forward. She made it happen and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Adam Hyzdu

TJ Lynch and Adam Hyzdu

Trainer: TJ Lynch

“I’ve always been athletic and have had an athletic build, and have always felt that I looked good in clothing. It occurred to me that, at 45 years old, I wanted to look good out of clothes as well,” says Adam Hyzdu. “I’d been smoking for a long time, and like most smokers, had quit a few times but went back. I came to know that if I had any chance of quitting forever, and getting back my younger body, it would have to happen in a gym. So, back in January I called Fitness Incentive. My wife had trained with T.J. Lynch for nine months, losing 30 pounds, getting in great shape, and gaining strength. T.J. called me back, we sat for an interview, and he basically laid it on the line then and there. “Listen,” he said, “if I take you on as a client, there’s going to be no more smoking, no more drinking, you’re going to follow a good nutrition plan and a consistent workout structure. If you’re not prepared to accept these conditions, I simply don’t want to train you.” Some people might find this overly stern, or too restrictive. But I was committed to making this happen, and TJ’s approach was just what I needed to hear.

Throughout these past several months TJ held me accountable and guided me every step of the way. Since training with him, I’ve quit drinking, quit smoking, and learned how to fuel my body properly.  And here I sit, having lost 42 pounds while  getting leaner and stronger every day. When I first started the training, I couldn’t jog 1/2 mile.  Today I do 9 miles a day.

One of the things I really like about training with T.J. is his no-nonsense approach.  He pushes me and pushes me, and I look forward to it!  These days, we’re down to once a week, but in the early going it was 3 -4 times a week and I was just as eager as I am today.  Even when I train by myself, his voice is in my ear.  I can hear him urging me on: “Go, go, go, go!”

In terms of weight, I’ve gone from 282 lbs. to 240.  T.J. wants me to get down to a lean 225, which I haven’t seen since I was in high school. This will take time, but I know I am going about it the right way.

My training has become such an important part of my daily routine. I’ve gone through periods in my life – stressful periods were I experienced a lot of anxiety—and can honestly say that since I began training with TJ this has completely vanished.  For me, mentally the training has helped me so much.  Before, I felt older than I actually was.  Today I feel 25 years old. I feel like a different person.  I’ve changed my life 100%.  I have now been training with TJ Lynch for the past 11 months in the Ultra Fit program and he has changed my entire life … He is an unbelievable trainer and 100 percent dedicated to you and your goals. If you are thinking about transforming your body TJ is definitely your man.”

Jennifer Sorice


Trainer: Jim Cordova

“Jennifer Sorice came to me in mid-May of 2011 and weighed 210 pounds,” says UltraFit trainer Jim Cordova. “We set her up on a program geared around weight loss, establishing a weekly goal of losing one pound per week. Jen also wanted to improve muscle tone and increase her strength. She was extremely determined, and we worked together for nearly 15 months. Initially, she had a bit of difficulty with bodyweight squats, but she eventually surpassed even my own expectations for her in terms of strength gains. As of May 2012, she was squatting a jaw-dropping 185 pounds for 12 deep reps on a free-weight squat. She also was able to deadlift nearly 200 pounds for 12 reps. This is an extraordinary amount of weight for anyone, let alone the mother of two children who had never lifted weights before! Jen also demonstrated what I have been preaching for years, that intense weightlifting would not cause her to bulk up.

As of late June 2012, Jen weighed in at 134.6 pounds, having lost over 75 pounds. She transformed her entire physique!  I cannot say enough good things about Jennifer Sorice. Never once did she complain or resist my recommendations, losing at a perfect pace of 1-1.5 pounds each week for over a year. Working with her stands out as one of the most enjoyable experiences that I’ve ever had as a trainer. Through determination and perseverance—the sheer will she brought to bear in her drive to transform herself—Jennifer came to epitomize the ‘Make it Happen’ attitude!”

Kelly Quirk

Kelly Quirk

Trainer: TJ Lynch

After getting engaged in Ireland to my best friend a little over a year ago the next logical step was to think about the most important dress I’d ever wear. Our wedding day was one of the most beautiful days of this summer and our lives. I owe a lot of the way I felt then and feel today to TJ Lynch and his training methodology.

I thought that people who drank protein shakes were weird and really didn’t get the whole lifting weights thing. I had always been active and thought that I was in good enough shape but when I stepped on the scale and saw 161 at 5’6” I knew I had let myself go a bit. I thought that I would just get it together go to the gym more and the weight would just come off, and get that body I always wanted. When that didn’t happen I started with TJ and the Ultra Fit program.

It was here I learned what “getting after it” really meant. In this year long journey I learned how to eat, work out properly, and was even part of a winning fantastic four team trained by Amy Lynch. At some point I started to really buy into what TJ was saying every session, speak positively to yourself, your body is capable of more than you think because it’s true. I had thought that maybe the kind of change I wanted wasn’t possible in the beginning but that soon changed. With the hard work I put in with the skillful training of TJ & Amy I feel that my life has changed in profound ways that can’t be measured just by the scale.

I thank the Lynch’s from the bottom of my heart for teaching me through positivity and most importantly by example that you can achieve your fitness goals. Like you can reach all other goals you set in your life, it starts by just taking the first step. Once you achieve those goals, continue on strong and create new ones.

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