Schell Brothers fitness contest a huge success

Team Antonio is (l-r) Dianne Berens, Gary Desch, Tony Forrest, Jill Burton, Chris Antonio, Jocelyn Harper, Carmen Marinelli and Sue Raeuber. Not shown are Lance Manlove and Lyn Mox. BY CHRIS ANTONIO
September 14, 2013

Aug. 15 marked the end of one of the most interesting corporate fitness contests I’ve ever participated in. Due to the late completion date of the new Schell Brothers office, the contest started in April instead of January, and participants were forced to endure grueling workouts and eat healthy food while summer was in full swing and everyone else was taking advantage of the finer things this area has to offer. But as usual, company members didn’t disappoint, and many achieved great results despite the late start and summer temptations.

This year we upped the ante by using the Bod Pod to determine the winners. The Bod Pod is the most accurate and technologically advanced way to measure body fat and determine who reached their goals by measuring and charting overall body composition. It also told us who made the most improvement and how much their body changed in a 12-week time frame. This same machine is used at the NFL combine, major universities and the Mayo Clinic, and was a great addition to this year’s event. This meant the contest was not only about weight loss, but who could lose weight and preserve lean tissue, making their transformations that much more valuable.

This information is usually lost with most contests because everything is about total weight loss, and even though the scale may show progress, you could be losing valuable muscle mass, becoming less healthy and setting yourself up for major weight gain in the near future.

To reach their goals and be reimbursed by Schell Brothers for half the cost of my training fees, participants had to lose 11 percent of their body fat, and to win full reimbursement they were required to lose 16 percent. There were participants at all different levels, and the results were very impressive.

Company members like Tony Forrest and Gary Desch who were not overweight ended the contest with results that were nothing less than spectacular. Gary lost 31 percent of his overall body fat while putting on six pounds of ripped muscle. Tony lost 38 percent of his body fat and gained three pounds of muscle, dropping his body fat to 11 percent, which is equivalent to the average body fat of all the pro running backs tested at the NFL combine.

Jill Burton, Sue Raeuber, Dianne Berens and Jocelyn Harper led the pack for female contestants achieving reimbursement for accomplishing their goals and putting up some impressive numbers. Jill Burton, who placed in last year’s challenge, took things to the next level, losing 17 percent of her body fat this year alone and 40 total pounds since she started training with me. Sue Raeuber put in another impressive performance with 22 percent of her body fat lost. Reigning champ Dianne Berens and newcomer Jocelyn Harper lost 13 percent each and looked fantastic.

One of the most positive results of the program is that many of the same employees join each year, maintain their fitness levels from the previous contest and get in better shape each time they do the program, promoting long-term results and better health all year long, which is a huge perk for employees and well worth the work they put into it. The bottom line is, if you look, feel and perform better while at work it’s a win-win for everyone involved. In closing, I’d like to congratulate all participants on another great event and look forward to next year's contest.

  • 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