Paul Roberts — Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach

Paul talks about Obesity

I lost my Father to obesity when I was only 17, and so I know full well the reality of what obesity can do to a family.  My father wasn’t even that overweight (maybe 50 pounds), but that’s all it took.  He tried for about two years to get his weight under control before his untimely death at 45 (heart attack while scuba diving).  If someone had reached out to him and given him a concrete plan to lose weight that was realistic with his schedule, his death could have been prevented.

Paul 28 percent bodyfat
Paul 28 percent bodyfat
Paul 14 Percent Bodyfat
Paul 14 Percent Bodyfat

Many people are shocked to hear that I have a biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins, a computer science degree, and a juris doctorate.  “Why open a fitness studio?”  The answer is simple because I want to help families avoid the pain and suffering that mine went through.  Twenty years later, I still miss my father.  But now I have a chance to help people through Sand & Steel.

And that started with me.  On the left, you’ll see my picture in 2013 when I resigned my post at Foley and Lardner.  At the time, my total cholesterol was 276 and my LDL was 191.  I saw two physicians and they both told me the same thing: you’re going to have a stroke or a heart attack by age 45 if you don’t lower your cholesterol.   Well as it turns out, my body can’t properly metabolize statins like Lipitor, and taking statins causes me to have kidney damage and severe, relentless cramps.  That put me between the Scylla and Charybdis, either live on dialysis or suffer an early heart attack.  It doesn’t have to end this way.

Suffice it to say, I do know what it feels like to be fat.  I know what it feels like to fail at diets, to make excuses that you don’t have enough time.

Origin Sports Nutrition

Well my Mother is a dietitian and so I knew what her patients went through, and I certainly didn’t want to die at 45 like my father, so I began researching natural methods to reduce cholesterol and lose weight.  Relying on my education in biomedical engineering, I starting reading hundreds of studies on the natural ways to lose weight and lower cholesterol.  What I discovered was that certain combinations of clean eating and exercise can and do lower cholesterol and body fat.  But not all people respond to the same methods.  So I began researching all the popular dieting methods (Precision Nutrition, Zone, South Beach, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Atkins, etc.)  Armed with that information, I started trying different diets.  Ultimately for me, a combination of Precision Nutrition and the South Beach diet worked, and I started losing weight.

My research on current diets ultimately led me to create about 50 rules which we call the Origin System.  We help clients follow them through utilizing shared compliance journals and food journals.  Every two weeks, we determine what changes clients need to make first, and provide them with a shared compliance sheet so that we can help them stay motivated when they are at home.

Origin Nutrition applies over 50 clean eating rules to your diet, determines what your biggest mistakes are, and one by one we start changing them.

Why you can’t run your way to thin.

Running is a great fat burning exercise, but it has several key problems: the rate injury is really high (combination of shock, desk jobs, and biomechanics), it doesn’t build muscle, and it can be very time to consume (running twelve miles can take 3 hours).  So what you have to do is make the runs longer, which adds more shock and takes more time.  There had to be a better way… which was where I began studying how the body actually creates the energy used for exercise.  There are three distinct pathways, and manipulation of these pathways forms a big piece of Sand & Steel’s strength training methodology today.  Through creating environments where the body has to generate energy from different pathways in one exercise program, the body can be worked much more efficiently and much faster.  The average Sand & Steel workout lasts only 30-40 minutes, but that more than enough time to get solid results.

Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding encyclopedia
There is so much More to Strength Training than this simple book

The energy system discovery along with the principles of muscle confusion promoted by Arnold Schwarzenegger and CrossFit eventually became the foundation for the fitness program at Sand & Steel.  The body adapts to exercises after a while (this is known as plateauing.)  To avoid plateauing, one either has to maintain the exercises for a specific amount of time or they have to vary them.  Do either too much and improvement is stunted.   But how much variation is needed depends on the specific person, so we needed to measure progress, and update personal training programs as soon as we began seeing plateaus.  That’s why there is no single best fitness method (contrary to anything you might read… certain fitness regimens work better for certain people.)  This discovery was earthshattering to me.  I, like so many Americans, was looking for the world’s best fitness system to get me in shape the quickest, but what I needed to do was to try several of them, and carefully log the improvements to find out which ones work for me.

So now measure everyone’s fitness through a two-day Functional Movements Screen and Energy Systems Benchmark.  We test everyone’s bodyfat, muscle mass, and inflammation with our InBody 570 Body Composition Scale, and we track progress to make sure our nutrition and fitness systems work.  We leave nothing to chance.  Our XT60 personal training system gets better with every client, as we improve and refine the over 200 workouts.

These three systems: Origin Nutrition, XT60 Personal Training, and our Assessment System are the three pillars of the Get Steel Strong System.  Our clients lose on average 20-30 pounds on the system.

I lost about 20 pounds of fat in six months, added ten pounds of muscle, but most importantly lowered my cholesterol from 276 total cholesterol 191 LDL to 217 total and 131 LDL.

And I am happy to show you the lab tests to prove it.  It of course also inspired me to open Sand & Steel Fitness, a studio designed to help busy professionals, develop a physique that’s healthy while always appreciating the limited amount of time people have to spend.  The Get Steel Strong Program requires only 3 hours per week, and when your health is on the line, even the busiest professionals can find that much time.  Almost everyone that is overweight spends a good three hours a week miring about how bad they feel — I know I did.  Turn that negative energy into a positive force.  Give us 90 days on the Get Steel Strong program, and we will change your life around.  And you’ll have your assessment and body composition scores to prove it.  It’s worked for every single client that has walked into Sand & Steel’s doors.

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