Fitness at 50 no problem for Lea Kendus

October 29, 2016

On April 13, 2017, Lea Kendus will turn 50 years old. Instead of aging, she's getting better, and her new hobby is working out and getting in shape. This wasn't always the case for the past 20 years. The stress of work, life and raising twin girls left little time for self-improvement. She lacked motivation to go to the gym, but after seeing excellent results from several of her friends that completed my 12-week transformation program, she decided there was no better time than the present to make a lifestyle change. 

"I wasn't happy with myself. I wanted to look and feel better and was afraid I would end up with heart disease, diabetes and other issues that run in my family, so I recruited my friend Nicole and signed up for the 12-week body transformation.”

Lea had already been working out, but she felt stuck, as if she was getting little results for her effort. She was making the common mistake of doing lots of cardio, but she did not lift weights or combine a healthy diet with her regimen. “I was doing cardio five to six days a week at 45 minutes per session, and I only lost 5 pounds in a five-month period. I was killing myself for nothing." As soon as we began training her, we added weightlifting, a sensible diet and cut the cardio back to smaller, more intense sessions.

Lea lives in Wilmington, but commuted to Rehoboth Beach to train with us, getting program upgrades every three weeks and checking in with her weight and progress weekly online so I could monitor results and send new directions. She lost an average of 2 to 3 pounds a week, but instead of just losing pounds, it was all body fat, and this was proven by testing her in the Bod Pod periodically. The results so far have been life changing. Lea has dropped 40 pounds and went from a tight size 12-14 to size 4 petite jeans. Although losing 40 pounds would be great for anyone, it's important to note that Lea stands only 4-feet-11-inches tall, so for her it’s a much bigger accomplishment and a more dramatic change than it would be for the average taller person.

Many people that know Lea have been shocked by her change in appearance and several have been inspired to get in shape too. In fact, her sister-in-law has joined my program and is now doing the program from Virginia. I have received numerous calls from people who wanted to sign up for our program because Lea is a walking billboard that shows anyone can get in shape and it’s never too late to get started. “My doctor said that I look younger than I did 10 years ago, and she can't get over the change in me. She said even my skin looks younger." 

Aside from the physical changes that are apparent on the outside, Lea has experienced huge changes in her confidence and energy. “The fact that I can go into the weight room and lift as hard as anyone else feels great, and I have more endurance for even basic tasks around the house." 

One of the biggest lessons learned from Lea's transformation is it's never too late to make the change. If you are willing to combine proper exercises, a sensible diet and a good work ethic, anything is possible, and Lea Kendus is living proof. Although her results have been great so far, she has six more weeks left in her current transformation. We plan on getting her in much better shape by the time she is finished, and then we will put her in maintenance. “I never want to go back to eating French fries again because I feel great and love the way I look,” said Lea.

  • 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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