Transformation is perhaps the best word to describe Josh Wright’s experience with virtual fitness.
He collided with it when he made the decision to change his life, because at 21-years-old, he weighed 340 pounds.
“Being so heavy, I had no idea about fitness, no idea about nutrition and just jumping straight in with a personal trainer was intimidating,” said Wright.
However, Wright overcame the intimidation, and for six months worked with a trainer alongside his best friend, Cassie Jones, losing 80 pounds in the process.
But there came a point when he stagnated. Then he moved to Spring, Texas, with Jones, and they were no longer able to go to their trainer.
In the new city, Wright and Jones began working out at Anytime Fitness. That’s when they came across Wellbeats’ virtual fitness option, which allowed the duo to take Group X classes at any time within the club. “We were looking at the screen to choose a video, and we were like: What the heck is this?” recalled Wright. “We just happened to start doing it and it took off from there.”
With the functions of flexibility, step-by-step instructions and varying degrees of difficulty, Wright and Jones began to workout to the videos three to four times a week. In fact, Wright admitted it got to the point they only wanted to do the workout videos — if he got to the gym and found the virtual fitness room in use, he’d hop on an elliptical until it opened up. It was during this time that Wright lost the most weight, hitting 190 pounds.
The Kinetics class videos were Wright’s favorite, led by one of Wellbeats’ founders, Sara Jespersen.
Jespersen explained how Wright “friend requested” her on Facebook and shared his story with her. “[Josh] was as cute as a button,” she said. “I of course immediately wanted to learn about his success, and so I asked him questions about what he’s been doing and who he works out with and how he was able to get his results, and the more he shared, of course the more I asked.”
Jespersen was so enthralled with Wright’s story she passed it on to the head of marketing at Wellbeats. “They actually ended up flying us out to Minnesota to the Wellbeats headquarters and we got to meet all the trainers,” said Wright. “It was amazing.”
Between skydiving and working out with the trainers in the room where the videos are shot, Wright said he and Jones were completely star struck. Plus, they got to share their story with the company. “[Josh and Cassie] gave us all the opportunity to actually meet and intimately get to know someone who does what we do everyday and is impacted by it,” said Jespersen.
Virtual fitness has changed Wright’s life in more than just his weight loss. He said he can now rattle off information about nutrition and fitness when questions are posed.
At his current job, a weight loss competition is being held, and Wright has put together workout plans for several people.
“These videos completely changed the way I look at exercise and working out,” said Wright. “Being able to go into a gym — going from someone who knew absolutely nothing about working out to being able to train other people — I credit most of it to these videos and everything they’ve taught me.”
By Heather Hartmann