Healthy Santa sets example for kids and adults alike

December 7, 2019

Local Santa Claus impersonator Dennis Huss never liked going to the gym. In fact, he hated the idea completely. After all, Santa is supposed to be overweight. It’s been part of the folklore of the famous Kris Kringle for centuries. However, after watching his wife and son buy into a healthy lifestyle and completely change their lives, Denny began to warm up to the idea and signed up to train with us to accomplish similar goals.

“When I first started, I hated even walking down the steps to get to the gym,” Denny said. But it wasn’t long before he began to notice some very positive physical changes that motivated him to continue coming.

“The first thing I noticed was the old-age pains were gone. Before when I’d wake up, my legs hurt, my hands hurt, but now that I’m in better shape, all those pains are gone.”

That was just the beginning of the positive benefits that Denny received for his efforts. 

In addition to physical changes, there was also a family-building aspect. Denny’s wife Dawn had previously participated in our 12-week body transformation and had great success. She lost 35 pounds last year and continues to work out regularly to maintain her progress. Now that Denny’s on board, it’s become a team effort.

“I think fitness has become a family focus and has made us closer,” Denny said. “We get up and eat our healthy breakfast. We go about our normal routines. Then we come together again later in the day at the gym as husband and wife for our daily workouts. It’s like we are dating again.”

It’s obvious that the extra support has helped him excel with the program and achieve excellent results.

After several months on the program, Denny lost 35 pounds, and dramatically improved his health and energy levels.

“I feel better than I ever have in my life. I’m 69 years old, but I feel like I’m 40. I have more stamina and can do the things that I want to do,” he said.

After seeing his results with my own eyes, I believe this to be true. Denny did an outstanding job with our body transformation program. In fact, he lost so much weight he had to order a special fat suit to make him look heavier for his Santa Claus appearances this Christmas. But the energy and health he gained in return were well worth the investment.

When I asked what the most difficult part of the program was, Denny said: “The diet is the hardest part. You get used to the workouts after a while, but learning to eat all over again takes some time and preparation.”

There is no doubt Denny has made healthy eating, weight training and cardio a normal part of his weekly regimen.

“Don’t go thinking it’s going to happen just because you go to the gym,” he said. “You have to make it happen.”

In his case, it was more of a family effort that motivated him to get started and change his life for the better.

“My wife and my son caused this to happen. I’ve been out of shape for 40 years, but now I feel great,” said Denny. And who could ask for a better Christmas gift than that?

Congratulations, Denny, you did an excellent job and completely transformed your body from the inside out. This year you will be an excellent example for both children and adults alike, showing that even Santa can benefit from some exercise and a healthy diet.


  • 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

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter