While Next Level Training has gained recognition in the athletic community for its highly specialized equipment and the caliber of its training services, it has also been critical to the success of countless personal training clients. Next Level caters its personal training services to the personal and professional lives of its client base: its clients train at their convenience—in the mornings before work, on lunch breaks, or at other times equally suitable for their busy schedules.

To aid personal training clients in attaining their health- and fitness-related goals, Next Level has a goal incentive-based program in place. Clients meet with Next Level’s trainers to determine short-term and long-term fitness goals, which they work toward in manageable increments, under the guidance of Next Level’s training staff. With Next Level’s goal-focused approach, clients are motivated to push themselves to hit those benchmarks—and they become healthier and more fit in the process.

During the course of the past two years alone, approximately 20 of Next Level’s personal training clients have hit at least one of the milestones they have set. Clients set a broad range of goals, all of which are motivated by specific personal reasons and circumstances. The majority of individuals seek to lose weight, whether in excess of 50 pounds or fewer than 15 pounds. Some clients, often dubbed “weekend warriors,” are exercise-focused individuals: they spend their free time on a host of physically challenging activities, including marathons, cycling races, trail races, and tough mudders, and they train rigorously at Next Level to prepare. Others seek to become better in their adult recreational sports leagues. Yet others simply want to improve their stamina so they can keep up with their children—or, in many cases, their grandchildren.

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Next Level’s trainers guide clients in developing reasonable time frames for accomplishing results. The trainers help clients better understand their bodies and recognize many signs of progress other than weight loss—including increased muscle mass and lower body fat percentage. 

As gratifying as it is for personal training clients to hit their benchmarks, it is similarly rewarding for trainers to play a role in their clients’ success and wellbeing. Next Level’s trainers gain satisfaction when clients see positive results, feel pleased with their progress, and find themselves in the best shape of their lives.

The success stories of four Next Level personal training clients give a closer look at the benefits of goal incentive-based training.

Profile: Jerry Taylor

An avid cyclist and tennis player, Jerry Taylor came to Next Level approximately two years ago when he was recovering from a wrist injury. After having spent four to five months during his recuperation not exercising—but still eating—Jerry was motivated not only to strengthen his wrist, but also to lose the weight he had gained.

“I used to [do] both tennis and cycling,” said Jerry. “When I broke my wrist, it was a double whammy. At Next Level, when I was recovering, the staff did a nice job of doing the right exercises—at the right time. Now, I’ve got full use of my wrist again.”

“I’ve met my goals both with my weight loss and my wrist,” added Jerry, who at one point post-injury could not do pushups. “The training has made a big difference in gaining back my strength.”

Aside from having recovered from his injury, Jerry has dropped over 25 pounds since he began training at Next Level. Very happy with his progress, Jerry has gone down three inches in size and is thrilled that he needs a new wardrobe of clothes and suits in smaller sizes.

Admitting that he needs someone to push him and motivate him, Jerry is very grateful to Next Level’s head trainer, Bill Katinsky, for the part Bill has played in Jerry’s progress. According to Jerry, Bill keeps him focused on eating well and exercising properly.

The exercises Bill gives him, combined with the specialized equipment at Next Level, have enabled Jerry to progress at an accelerated rate. Under Bill’s direction, Jerry uses the Airdyne bike, lifts weights, and does specific leg and upper body exercises. Doing sprints at Next Level has helped Jerry’s cycling tremendously. Bill also gives Jerry a lot of cardio work and has him use the rowing machine to increase his heart rate. According to Jerry, he “wouldn’t necessarily be doing these types of exercises” on his own; the customized exercises, elite-level equipment, and knowledgeable trainers work together to benefit Jerry and contribute to his progress.

“Working with Bill is great,” said Jerry. “If you went somewhere else, you’d never know what you’re going to get. I know [Next Level has] quality staff. There’s a great group of trainers who all really work well together. No matter who I get, I get a solid, excellent workout. It’s well-run, and I’m very happy with my experience [at Next Level].”

Jerry has enjoyed the various signs of his progress, especially his increased stamina and muscle strength. Recently, when Jerry was climbing flights of stairs at work, a 25-year-old who works in his building—and who wants to be a police officer—was having trouble keeping up with Jerry on the stairs. After the struggles Jerry has faced with his injury and his post-injury recovery, Jerry admitted that, at age 57, it was gratifying to feel that in-shape in comparison to a 25-year-old.

“I don’t fatigue at all,” said Jerry. “Even doing 50-mile rides, I don’t fatigue at all. I have more energy in the tank when I need it.”

A businessman by day, Jerry trains at Next Level two evenings per week after work. Going forward, Jerry’s goals are to maintain his weight loss and drop additional pounds; he also hopes to continue acquiring strength in his wrist—and to not lose the strength he’s already gained.

Profile: Barbara Maday

At the end of 2015, Barbara Maday began regularly bringing her aunt to physical therapy at Dr. James O’Rourke Physical Therapy, adjacent to Next Level. As Barbara waited in the common area for her aunt’s physical therapy to end, Barbara observed several Next Level training sessions. Watching the trainers and clients in action, Barbara quickly became “impressed with the training” and started training at Next Level herself in January 2016.

Convenient for her schedule, Barbara trained for an hour with Bill three days a week on the days her aunt worked with Dr. O’Rourke. Although her aunt’s physical therapy has since ended, Barbara has continued to train with Bill. Her training sessions are still built into her schedule at the most suitable times: she prefers early sessions on her days off from work, so she trains in the mornings and then goes from Next Level to check on her mother or aunt.

When she first began training, Barbara had a clear goal in mind: to lose weight for her daughter’s wedding this past May. By the time her daughter’s wedding day arrived, Barbara had lost 17 pounds, and her body fat percentage had decreased from 32 percent to 21 percent. It meant a lot to Barbara personally that she had successfully achieved that milestone before such a special day in both her life and her daughter’s life.

“I wanted to look beautiful for myself,” said Barbara. “You want to shine and build self-esteem. The mother of the bride has got to shine.”

She has kept training post-wedding and has changed her eating and exercise habits.

Barbara appreciates that her morning training sessions “jumpstart” her day. Barbara works in retail, and, at age 55, Barbara estimates that she is on her feet about 12 hours per day. Describing herself as “hyper,” Barbara is constantly active—a person with seemingly endless energy, she likes to be doing something at all times.

“Barbara is a very intense person, and she brings her A-game to every workout,” said Bill.  “I am very happy for Barbara that she hit her goal for her daughter’s wedding and even happier that she has continued with her new healthier lifestyle!”

Barbara is pleased that her eating habits have improved, and that she is now more conscious of what she eats. Salad and protein have increasingly become part of her diet, and she has tried to cut out excessive amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and anything else not beneficial to her health.

“Bill pushes me,” said Barbara. “We have a really good relationship. He knows when to push me and when not to push me. He has never pushed me over the limit. He’s very good at what he does.”

Delighted with her progress, Barbara has lost 20 pounds thus far. Barbara senses her progress in many ways, including her lack of back fat, her toned biceps and quads, and the way her clothes fit her better now. Barbara has attended three or four weddings since she began training at Next Level, and, while there, she received countless compliments on her weight loss and muscle tone. She loves the attention she’s gotten: people have been impressed by her success story and have asked where she’s been working out.

As Barbara’s training continues, Barbara aims to maintain the progress she has made. While Barbara’s focus first and foremost is to not take any backward steps, she also hopes to lose a few more pounds and become even more toned going forward. Eventually, she would love to have a “flat belly”!

“Everything is made very easy [at Next Level],” said Barbara. “The staff is very well-trained, and the equipment is great. Bill has my workouts laid out before I get there. He’s very knowledgeable. I’m very happy with Bill—he’s a great, great trainer.”

Profile: Monica Smith

A highly successful business owner who was recently featured in The Huffington Post, Monica joined Next Level approximately one year ago with the desire to completely transform her life. Hoping to make a positive life change, in particular by losing weight and becoming healthier, Monica sought out Next Level.

Having been an athlete her entire life, Monica understood that what she needed, above all, was a “challenge to get back on track.” That realization ignited Monica’s efforts to improve her health and wellbeing.

“Working with Bill, we have short and long-term goals set,” said Monica. “Weight is only a part of the goals that we set. The main goal is feeling good about myself to be able to keep up with my demanding work schedule and my family. We are still currently working towards our long-term goal. I have a [weight loss] number picked out long-term that I know I can achieve. Being able to be active with my family and feel good about myself with my peers is the ultimate goal.”

Monica has set an ambitious weight loss goal for herself, and she is already more than halfway to meeting it. Monica trains two to three days a week with Bill. Monica’s office is close to Next Level, and, with her busy work schedule and virtual lack of free time, the convenience of her training sessions at Next Level has been key: it has enabled her to continue to work out regularly and, therefore, make the progress she has.

Thanks to her diligence, as well as her incredible work ethic, Monica has met with substantial success over the past year.

“Since the time she began training with us at Next Level, she has made significant progress towards her ultimate goal,” said Bill. “She always leaves everything she has here in the gym. As a trainer, it is a pleasure to see people giving their all and hitting their goals.”

“The workouts are intense and are always changing,” said Monica. “[Bill’s] knowledge and personality have played a major role in helping [me] get in shape. He’s always pushing for that last rep, next set, etcetera.”

Monica enjoys taking on challenges, which is why lifting heavy weights is her favorite part of her training sessions. According to Monica, she experiences “a feeling of accomplishment” whenever she completes a set. Above all, cardio-related exercises, such as rope exercises and sled pushes, are the most difficult for her. While Monica admits that cardio exercises drain her energy, they also are greatly beneficial for her overall fitness, endurance, and conditioning.

A family-oriented individual, Monica is particularly enthusiastic about the degree to which her improved health has benefited her family life. Her training has enabled her to become better conditioned, to increase her overall energy level, and, in short, to boost her health as a whole. After all, a mother of five children—with a demanding career—definitely needs to have a lot of stamina.

“Being on this journey back to my goal weight has been filled with ups and downs, and, when I hit my lowest weight in years, it was a great feeling,” said Monica. “However, it's not the final goal, and I don't want to slip. I felt great on my last vacation with my family, but know that I still have some work to do. My day-to-day life has become much easier. I feel like I have more energy to tackle my day with both work and family.”

“Training with Bill has been a life-changing experience for me,” added Monica. “I was headed in a direction that I no longer wanted to be going in, and starting to work out again has changed mindset for much more than just working out. My family, business, and health have all been positively changed because of training.”

Profile: Manjula Bathini-Fisher

Eager to “be active, be fit, and be challenged,” Manjula Bathini-Fisher has been training at Next Level since 2012—the same year the facility opened. She had trained previously with Bill and followed him to Next Level, where she quickly became a regular. Manjula typically trains three times per week; even during her busiest weeks, she strives to come at least twice.

A mother of three, Manjula first became motivated to begin personal training when her children started to get older.

“It was time for me to have time for myself and get back in shape,” said Manjula.

With a desire to lose weight and get fitter for health reasons, Manjula made it a priority to begin training regularly. Finding that, as a woman, it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep her weight in check, it ended up being a perfectly timed decision for her.

“As you get older, it becomes more of a challenge to keep your weight stable,” said Manjula. “My goal was to go down in weight and size. In one year, I achieved those goals. In addition, I increased my stamina, strength, and endurance. I have more energy to get everything accomplished in my busy day as a wife, mom, and professional.”

Thinking ahead to the future, Manjula also had a secondary motivation for beginning an exercise and training regimen: to give her body the best conditioning possible against future diseases and injuries. Knowing that, with age, the body naturally becomes more susceptible to injury and illness, Manjula elected to take proactive steps to help her health down the line. Because training and conditioning aid in injury prevention, Manjula started exercising in order to lower her risk of issues such as broken bones and osteoporosis.

After her hour-long personal training sessions, Manjula tends to stay at Next Level for an additional 30 minutes to do cardio, usually the treadmill, elliptical, or stairmaster.

“Manjula is extremely dedicated to her goals,” said Bill. “After each session, she stays at the gym—it’s truly impressive how motivated she is.”

According to Manjula, this is time she can dedicate to herself without being interrupted. As a mother of three, distractions are easy to come by at home, so it’s important that she sets aside this time to focus on what she needs. Manjula needs to keep her energy level high and maintain her stamina in order to meet the demands of her busy schedule and day-to-day life.

When Manjula first began searching for personal trainers, it was crucial for her trainer to have an extensive background and education in the field. She was pleased to find Bill, who has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Movement Science and who is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer. According to Manjula, she respects that Bill has training and qualifications that set him apart, and that his wealth of knowledge of the body informs the training choices he makes—not only for Manjula, but for all of his clients.

“Not everyone is the same,” said Manjula. “Bill understands what each person needs. His breadth of knowledge is impressive. He’s not just someone who took a six-month personal training course. It’s not one size fits all. He doesn’t give everyone the same workout. It makes Next Level different from other places.”

“You need a trainer who challenges you,” added Manjula. “You don’t want to just be going through the motions.”

Bill pushes Manjula, with her favorite and least favorite exercises alike. Manjula always takes it as a good sign when she feels slightly sore after each workout: she knows it means she is getting a great workout and working on a variety of muscle groups.

Training at Next Level has also become something of a family affair for Manjula’s family: two of her sons train at Next Level as well. Both boys are multisport athletes who play baseball plus one additional sport. Manjula’s sons understood the benefits of multisport athleticism on overall conditioning, but, to further excel on the field, they also decided to take it one step farther: with athletic training. According to Manjula, after the boys began at Next Level, they were quickly “shocked” at how hard it was to train with Next Level’s trainers—having never trained at a level so high and so intense, they could not believe that was what Manjula did on a regular basis with Bill.

As Manjula stated, her sons were quickly impressed with Next Level—trainers and exercises alike. During just their first few months of training, the boys’ improvement was significant, with noticeable results. In fact, Manjula’s son, Jake, was named Next Level Athlete of the Month last year. After the boys’ initial training packages expired, they both wanted to sign up for new packages and continue training.

As both a client of Next Level and the parent of Next Level athletes, Manjula has a unique perspective on the training services offered by Next Level. She had words of advice for parents who drop off their children for athletic training: sign up for personal training at Next Level.

“Parents should take advantage of it—it’s to their benefit to train with Bill and the other trainers at Next Level,” said Manjula. “It’s helpful to keep fit [and] stay in shape….It’s a resource available to them.”