Few contests lavish prizes upon people who lose, or celebrate defeated players for excelling at the art of trying.
But at Gold’s Gym in Howard Beach Thursday, every participant in the 12-week Body Transformation competition proved a success story. For three months, a diverse group of men and women, who varied in age and fitness level, pledged to themselves — and their personal trainers — they would endure a rigorous, often excruciating, fitness and diet regimen in an effort to build endurance, strength and the tools needed to sustain a healthful lifestyle.
“The contest brings a lot of excitement to the gym,” said Justine Orr, manager of Gold’s Gym. “No one loses because everyone gets in shape.”
In addition to the amount of weight they lost, winners were determined based on a reduction in their percentage of body fat and how much muscle they amassed over the training course. Prizes were given to the top three contestants in both the men’s and women’s division, and certificates and honorable mentions were awarded to those participants who persevered throughout the grueling cardio and weight workout program.
Jerry Calcagnile and Allison Priolo both snagged the first-place prize, a $1,000 check. Second-place victors Chris Guordino and Kelly Pfeiffer received one-year memberships to Gold’s Gym and third- place champs Steve Desimone and Allison Charny were awarded six-month memberships.
“It took a lot of hard work and dedication on their part,” said trainer Anthony Bevilacqua, who was responsible for whipping all of the winning women into shape. Fitness guru Fakhri Mubarak trained all of the men in the competition.
And how did the winners feel after their victories?
“Hungry,” Priolo joked. “I’ve been working out a long time, but I’ve never worked this hard. I’ll definitely keep it up.”