Success Story from

JD Stenger

In 2014 I had a level-three disc herniation in my cervical spine with radiculopathy (including high levels of pain, weakness, and numbness) of my right shoulder, arm, and fingers. Afterward, I was very limited in what I could do physically for more than two years while I healed. Before my injury, I weighed 135 pounds, had an active lifestyle, and was in good physical shape. After my injury, my physical fitness and my emotional well-being slowly spiraled downward in a relentless cycle – fed by the fear of re-injuring myself and resulting in a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits.

I joined a gym in the late fall of 2016; the membership included two sessions with a trainer who personalized a workout routine for me. Due to my spinal injury, the trainer limited me to low-impact cardio equipment and weight machines. I was able to consistently go to the gym 2-3 times a week for several months. During that time, I experienced an improvement in my endurance and flexibility, but there was no change in my strength or pain levels. Like many people, my responsibilities distracted me from going to the gym and eventually became an excuse not to go. The relentless cycle continued to spiral downward.

By the time I reached out to Dennis in the spring of 2018, I had gained 55 pounds, experienced consistent pain from my injury and lack of physical activity, and was deeply depressed.

During the initial consultation and throughout our time working together, Dennis was professional and forthright about his expectations for clients. He took the initiative to inquire about and actively listen to my expectations, goals, concerns, and physical restrictions. He was always respectful of my time by being punctual and communicating with me about changes to our regular schedule long in advance.

Dennis’ style is a healthy balance between good-natured and stern. He created exercise routines that worked around and with my spinal injury. His approach was methodical, systematically strengthening muscle groups to eliminate the risk of injury while creating overall base strength to build upon in future sessions.

Working one-on-one with him provided me a sense of accountability to maintain a regular exercise routine. I experienced noticeable results in my weight, posture, strength, endurance, emotional well-being, and pain level in a matter of weeks – something I didn’t get from a gym membership.

I genuinely looked forward to the workouts with Dennis. The routines were fun and different every time. If an exercise triggered my spinal injury, he modified it on the spot. I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment after every session, especially on the days when I wasn’t feeling motivated to exercise at all.

Today, with the help of Dennis,  I have lost over 35 pounds; I feel happy, healthy, resilient, and strong.

Having Dennis as a personal trainer is not a walk in the park. He will push your limitations a little further in each session, with the full expectation that you will do your part in between sessions to maintain a healthy activity level and diet. He is your guide and cheerleader on this journey to wellness, but *you* are the sole person responsible for taking the steps.

JD Stenger
Fort Collins, Colorado