“A Lifelong Slug – Into a Gym Addict!”

As a Master Trainer in NYC, I worked closely with the corporate sales department for New York Sports Clubs as their “fitness expert” visiting companies, on-site, to talk about membership and the personal training programs that we offered.  Members of the corporate sales department and I became quite friendly, so it didn’t come as a surprise to me, one afternoon, when Dave (a man in corporate sales) called to tell me that he had just signed up a gentleman for a membership at the man’s law firm and he was interested in personal training. Dave explained to me that the lawyer was 51 and had never been a member of a gym, was a bit intimidated and was looking for a friendly, non-intimidating personal trainer.

I emailed the lawyer and his reply was as follows:

“You are dealing with a total novice here.   Better know that up front.  I’m 51 years old and I haven’t been inside a gym except to meet friends after their workout, since 1974.  So I need to know everything.”

Tuesday April 14, 2008: In walks, Norman, the 51 year-old novice - weak, tight and shaky muscles, a die hard foodie and wine lover, a true New Yorker, an optimistic, humble and gentle soul. The first day of a long journey, a blossoming friendship and the beginning of some major body transformations!

He bought 20 sessions after our first meeting and sent me this the next day:

“Hi Emily.

I want to tell you just how much I enjoyed the session.  It made me almost want to kick myself for waiting so long to get back into the gym. Thirty years.  WAY TOO LONG.  So I’m looking forward to more productive work.  Thank you again for the jump start.  I really appreciated your patience and how attentive you were.

That first session was an eleven on a ten point scale and I really appreciated it.”


By the end of April he was writing, “the scale is giving me the lowest number I have seen since 1994!!!!  And I’m also wearing a shirt that I haven’t worn in two years.  Something is going on and it’s something good.”

And, by the end of July, I received this note from the corporate office of New York Sports Clubs:

“Dear Dave:

One of my life rules is that if you reserve the right to complain, you have an obligation to compliment. This is a compliment. A BIG one.

I joined NYSC back in April – you may remember – through my company’s corporate plan. You suggested Emily Lorandeau as a personal trainer.

It’s been a PERFECT match from day one. I LOVE her, and I believe she’s turned me – a lifelong slug – into a gym addict. I go at least six times a week. And it shows. Putting aside the things that you can’t ‘see,’ what I CAN see is 25 pounds less of me. And we got much more to go. What I CAN see is that every single time I have a session with Emily, the weights go up, the reps go up, and I’m not afraid to press.

As it happens, I’m going in for some minor surgery tomorrow that is going to keep me away from the gym for about two weeks. Emily has been very firm ‘I want to know what the progress is, because I want you back here as soon as possible. We can’t lose momentum now.’ She’s right. This has been a complete success.”

Norman and I trained together until I moved out of NYC in January, 2010.  In that time, he learned how to run and push himself beyond his limits. He started running on his own in the gym and outside, he would meet with me twice per week, religiously, and eventually entered his first corporate challenge and finished! Norman lost over 50 lbs during our time together and continues to train with a trainer I set him up with in NYC.

I miss him dearly, but fortunately for me, he loves San Francisco and visits at least once/year so I get to see him when he comes into town! :)


See Norman’s testimonial on the testimonial page!



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