Berens wins Schell Brothers corporate fitness challenge

Celebrating their results in the Schell Brothers corporate fitness challenge are (l-r) runner-up Jill Burton, trainer Chris Antonio and first-place winner Dianne Berens. SOURCE SUBMITTED
June 16, 2012

For the fourth year in a row, Schell Brothers companies teamed up with Antonio’s Personal Training Systems to offer their employees a chance to get in great shape while competing against each other for bragging rights and prize money. During the last 12 weeks, participants willingly submitted themselves to my rigorous 12-week body transformation program to help reshape their bodies and achieve their personal goals.

The incentive was a bonus of $500 per month for the next year and a half courtesy of Schell Brothers, awarded to the employee who lost the largest percentage of body weight, with one small catch. In order for the winners to continue receiving the prize money, they have to keep their new bodies within 1 percent of their final weight. If they fail to do so, the next runner-up will assume the payments and they get nothing.

This year’s first-place winner was Dianne Berens with a total loss of 24.8 pounds, 16.14 percent body weight and 23 inches of body fat. Dianne had a rough start, but she remained focused and gained momentum with each passing week. Halfway through the contest, it became apparent that she had a very good chance of finishing in the top three, but that wasn’t good enough for her. On Friday afternoons, when most people were on their way home to start the weekend, Dianne could be seen relentlessly pounding out her workouts, and she bulldozed her way into the winning spot.

Jill Burton finished a close second with 21 pounds, 13.65 percent body weight, and 21 1/2 inches. Jill did an excellent job and has since lost an additional three pounds and will continue to follow the program until she reaches her personal goals. Jill competed in the Milton Mud Run during the transformation and will do her first 5K in July. Look for her to accomplish great things in the near future as I’m sure she will complete the program with an excellent transformation.

Sue Raeuber won last year and was barred from placing again, but her accomplishments were well worth mentioning. Last year Sue lost 32 pounds, 16.67 percent body weight and then rejoined the contest this year and lost another 20 pounds and 12.60 percent body weight for a grand total of 52 pounds and 37 1/2 inches. Needless to say, Sue is in need of a whole new wardrobe, and she’s still going strong.

Megan Spangler pulled off an excellent transformation last year and decided to compete in a new category called the Ironman award. The Ironman is awarded to the male or female employee who can satisfactorily complete a series of physical tests designed to make sure they reach a very high level of fitness. Megan accomplished this goal, winning full reimbursement by benching 65 percent of her body weight 12 times, running a 6:27 mile, completing the dot drill agility test in 60 seconds, holding the long lever plank for two minutes and doing 12 Australian pull-ups.

In closing, I’d like to congratulate everyone who competed in the contest. To date, more than 50 members of Schell Brothers companies have participated in my program, and the results have been nothing short of amazing.

  • Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from All-American athletes to the average person trying to get into shape. To send a question to the Ask the Trainer column, email Chris at or check out

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