Thao Nguyen – December Client Spotlight

                                  THAO NGUYEN

In May, 2018, after deciding she needed motivation, Thao began personal training  with Lisa at Pro Fitness.  “Pro Fitness is only minutes from my house.  I saw it on a regular basis and thought I should check it out.”

Thao’s main goal at the start was to improve her cardio capabilities through a program of exercise and diet designed by Lisa.  “If my muscles got toned and I lost a little weight, that was okay, too.”

Thao has not only reached her initial goals, but her confidence level has increased at the gym.  “I want to continue to improve my cardio and get stronger.  I’ve also started to attend group classes where I’m meeting new friends.  Pro Fitness and its employees and members are such a great community.  I am so happy I met you all!”

Everybody knows James!

            JAMES COUNIHAN

Our clients have referred to Pro Fitness as the “Cheers” of gyms, a place where everybody knows your name.  If you’ve been to Pro Fitness during the last year or two, you’ve probably met James (or Jim), our November client spotlight.  James is one of our most dedicated members, visiting the gym several times a week and always willing to share a good story.

James started at Pro Fitness in July, 2017, transferring from Bellin wellness following open heart surgery.  “I have improved both physically and mentally over the last two years with the guidance of the staff at Pro Fitness.”  James is very generous, often donating office supplies and bringing treats for everyone to share at the gym.  Homegrown cherry tomatoes from his garden are a client favorite during summer!

James was also the first Pro Fitness client to enroll in SilverSneakers, a free program for those who qualify, encouraging older adults to participate in physical activities that will help them to maintain greater control of their health.  SilverSneakers sponsors activities and social events designed to keep seniors healthy while encouraging social interaction.

In closing, James has solid advice when asked what his future goals are…”To live each day one day at a time and enjoy life!” We truly enjoy having you as a client, James!

Training with Lisa helped Jodie make better decisions about food and diet.

                          JODIE OLEJNICZAK

Jodie started personal training at Pro Fitness after her husband surprised her with personal training sessions for her birthday.  “I wanted to get healthy and make exercise a part of my life.”

That was more than three years ago and the changes have not only made Jodie feel better about herself, but training with Lisa has helped her make better decisions about food and diet.

Moving forward Jodie’s goals include running more consistently and keeping her weekly appointments with Lisa.

“Pro Fitness has been wonderful.  Everybody is so friendly and helpful!  I always recommend Pro Fitness when somebody I know is interested in personal training.”

Diane completed the Inca Trail Marathon in Machu Picchu, Peru, this Summer!

                             DIANE CLEMENS

I started training with Doug at Pro Fitness because Laurie Walters and Sarah Stumpf had worked with him for years and recommended I join their group.

My initial goal at Pro Fitness was to add weight training to my daily cardio program. I am over 50 and want to maintain my muscle mass and current cardio lifestyle.  By adding a weight program into my weekly workout program, I have been able to continue doing lifestyle exercise (gardening, cutting wood, leaf raking, yard work) without any pain or injury.

This past July, a girlfriend from Colorado and I ran Machu Picchu.  This turned out to be an extremely tough 7 hours.  Both mental and physical effort was put forth.  Every detail had to be planned out including extreme temperature changes, overnight stay if we missed cutoff time, food, and water purification.  Once we started we were on our own and the quickest way off the mountain was to finish.  When asked why I did the hike, my only answer is because I was offered the opportunity.  The opportunity to spend time with a friend, working through life’s issues, creating new memories, and challenging ourselves physically.  The country is beautiful, the mountains are rugged, and the people are amazing.  I had the opportunity to see the most amazing country with rugged landscape and hardworking, happy people.

My next physical event is October, 2019.  I am hiking the Tennessee portion of the Appalachian Trail.  The Hike is 70+ miles through the Smokey Mountains.

Julie lost over 100 pounds during the past year!

                                      JULIE BIRR

Julie started training at Pro Fitness in March after a fellow client recommended Pro Fitness.  “My friend Dan has worked with Pro Fitness for years and he highly recommended the staff!  I was losing weight and needed to tone my body.  I needed the expertise of someone who knows how to target the areas I needed help with the most.”

Julie’s initial goal was toning but now includes strength training, cardio, and working on a balance of all of these. “My energy level has gone through the roof!  I have lost 110.2 pounds since August, 2018, and training at Pro Fitness has helped me gain muscle and keep losing weight.” Going forward, my goals include losing another 35 pounds and increasing muscle mass”.

Cindy is the best to work with.  She is encouraging, motivational, and supportive.  I couldn’t have made it this far without her.” 

“I loved Chrystal’s energy so early in the morning. That’s where it all changed.”


Jamie Taylor

When did you start training at Pro Fitness?

I started some trial classes back in the 2015-2016 school year when I moved up here. I had heard about the gym from Liz and Chrystal, who I worked with, but wasn’t sure I was ready to commit.

Why did you decide to begin working with a Trainer?

I had been involved in sports my entire life, even playing basketball in college. Once out of college I decided to take a break from exercise. I had been going to practices and had a set schedule for so long that it was nice to have my time back. After a couple year break, I found myself tired and unhappy with how I felt. I knew I needed to get back into some type of routine and it started by sharing a membership at a gym. This lasted a couple of months because I had no one keeping me accountable, as I had had with coaches and teammates my entire life. I had heard from Liz and Chrystal that there were some fun classes at Pro Fitness. I had been interested in Chrystal’s TRX class and thought it would be a fun new workout to try. After going to her class I was discouraged. I felt that all the strength I had built up over the years wasn’t there anymore. Something inside me told me I had to get back to working out on a regular basis to feel good again.

What were your initial goals when you started?

I knew I had to get into some type of routine. Once in a routine I knew I’d be able to keep going and start feeling better about my overall health. My initial goal was to just get to the gym 1 or 2 times a week after school. I had been out to eat with Liz and Jenny and they were talking about a 5:30 am class that Chrystal led and I laughed at them because sleep was so much more important to me and how could I get up before work to get a workout in?! They convinced me to try it and the following week I rolled out of bed to make it to Chrystal’s 5:30 class. I loved Chrystal’s energy so early in the morning. That’s where it all changed.

How has the changes you’ve made impacted your lifestyle?

Ever since starting the morning classes with Chrystal and Doug, I find I look forward to working out more than I ever had. I have finally found a group that makes working out fun and not something I feel I have to do. We have a group chat that helps hold us accountable to get to the gym 3-4 times a week. I feel like if I miss a class, I let my team down. I look back and laugh at the younger me who thought working out after work was a good idea and that sleeping in an extra hour was more important. I find working out first thing in the morning motivates me for the rest of the day and even gives me the energy to go for a walk with my husband in the evening. Working out has also made me more aware of the food I put into my body and my husband and I have been working hard on making healthier meals together.

Last summer my family and I decided to sign up for the Disney 10K race. I was determined to run the race instead of walking it. Mind you, I was never one to find running fun. I told the girls about it and they helped me train for it by coming in on Friday mornings to run. In December, a few of us decided to sign up for the Seroogy’s run. This was the first time I had ever run in a race and I knew it would help get me ready for the 10K. Jess and I ran it together and having a running buddy made the time fly, even if it was negative temperatures and our eyelashes froze! I felt like I was getting stronger each week we ran and looked forward to our conversations on the treadmill as well as the energy I had when the workout was over.

Going forward what are your new goals?

The week of the Disney 10K I found out I was pregnant with my husband, John, and my first child. I was ecstatic and also worried that all of my training had been for nothing. Chrystal and Doug were a couple of the first to know of the pregnancy because I wanted to continue to workout safely. They were both super encouraging and reassured me that running in the race would be fine! After completing the 10K I felt so good! I knew all of the work outs had helped me finish the race. Going forward I hope to continue working out as long as I can in my pregnancy. Chrystal and Doug have been really good at modifying the exercises I can do to stay safe, but still active. I find that on days I don’t workout I am more lethargic, even if I got a little extra sleep.

Any extra thoughts you would like us to add?

Not only has the gym helped me get back into the routine of working out that I was searching for, but I have also made some good friends who share the same values of exercise that help make working out a fun part of my day that I look forward to!

Liz Kershek

I started training at Pro Fitness in 2015. I originally chose to go there because I had gotten to know Chrystal Zank and found out she had classes there. Before starting at Pro Fitness, I belonged to Planet Fitness. This was super cheap and convenient simply because they were everywhere, so even when I was out of town, I could find one to go to. I was getting bored. I would always do the same things when I went and it wasn’t effective. My go to was to always run on the treadmill. When I came to Pro Fitness, I joined all of Chrystal’s group classes. I found that working out in a group really motivated me to push myself and to try new things. I have done so many different workouts I never would have tried if I didn’t come to Pro Fitness. After getting more comfortable at the gym, I even branched out with different trainers. Training with Doug and training with Chrystal is very different, but also very necessary, in order to keep challenging myself. 

My initial goals when I started was to tone up, become more fit, and just keep myself motivated. Then, after I got engaged, I was working super hard to get fit for my wedding day and not have jiggly arms!! As Chrystal would always say, “You are sweating for the wedding!” It was exciting to see my body transform and become stronger. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I was worried that I would have to stop working out. I didn’t want all of my hard work to be for nothing. Both Chrystal and Doug reminded me how important it is to keep my body healthy so that the baby will be healthy. I also read about how childbirth is one of the hardest things for your body, so all the more reason to keep training for it. Both Doug and Chrystal have been awesome at changing up workouts so that I am still able to take part in group classes. Going forward, my new goals are going to be to keep working out so that after the baby is born, my body will hopefully be able to bounce back a little faster and I will be able to continue with my regular routine at the gym. 

I am so glad that I have found a gym where I feel like I belong and everyone is always encouraging you to be the best version of yourself!

“Life is never dull if Heather And Holly are in the gym!”

     HEATHER VAN VONDEREN  &                           HOLLY PANURE

Heather and Holly began their health journey at Pro Fitness more than a decade ago.  Holly remembers…”My husband talked me into joining him and a friend.  After the workout I could barely walk and raise my arms but I continued to attend.  Working with a personal trainer gives you the ability to target specific areas and if any issues arise, the trainer is able to address them.”

When Holly’s husband was no longer able to work out, she found a new workout partner who is a go getter, fun loving, and the perfect  workhorse she needed to get motivated.  “Heather and I have pushed, encouraged, and laughed with each other for years!”

Both Heather and Holly wanted to lose weight and improve their overall health and wellness.  For Heather, recent changes have made a significant impact. “I feel so much better and have so much more energy.  I am still dealing with nagging orthopedic issues, but every pound I lose and every workout is making them better.  I am also walking more than twice as many steps as I had in the past.  Along with weight loss, I have also dropped my BMI by 10 points and am down 31 inches!”  For Holly, a visit to her doctor made her realize she needed to get her weight under control.  “My doctor was going to increase my blood pressure medication but with the help of a diet program through Ideal Weight, the motivation of my workout partner who encouraged me, and a personal trainer, my medication dose has dropped from 200mg to 25mg in just 6 months!  I have dropped 6 pants sizes and have lost more than 34 inches in my waist!”

“I want to give a huge shout out to the team at Pro Fitness.  They have always been an amazing support.  When things got crazy in my life and I had to step away for a bit, they always checked in and made sure I knew they were available when I needed them.  I especially need to thank Cindy and Chrystal who seem to always have my back, especially in tough times.  I can’t tell you what it has meant to have them show up not just to help me with training, but to support me through all aspects of my life.  They are both strong women who inspire me!  Holly (aka Elmo)…thank you for making fitness fun!  Life is never dull if Heather and Holly are in the gym!”

We agree and are so happy to have you both as clients!  Congratulations!

“The people at Pro Fitness make working out enjoyable and keep me coming back!”


I began my weight-loss journey seven years ago after having my second child.  I joined weight watchers and then developed a workout routine at home with videos and running.  I lost 75 pounds over three years but came to a plateau in my weight loss, and started looking for workouts that were challenging.  My co-worker introduced me to Insanity classes with Chrystal and I was hooked.  Her classes were challenging and fun but after a few years the classes ended.  I joined the YMCA but the fitness classes were not for me.  I was at a plateau and wanted to find a gym that suited my individual needs.

I found Chrystal and joined Pro Fitness about two years ago.  I regularly attend Chrystal’s Core and More, Super Strong, and Doug’s Boot Camp classes.  I LOVE them all!  The routines are always different and challenging, and Chrystal and Doug push me past my limits.  Not only has my strength increased, but I’ve noticed physical changes to my body.  I’ve also met so many wonderful people and have gained a lot of new friendships.

Initially my goal was to lose 15 pounds.  Now my goal now is to strengthen, tone, and then try to lose a few more pounds, but not obsess over the number on the scale.  The changes I have made have given me more energy for my kids and I feel comfortable in my clothes.

Moving forward I want to continue to strengthen, tone, and maintain a healthy weight.  The people at Pro Fitness make working out enjoyable and keep me coming back!

Persistence and hard work pay off! Heidi has been a Pro Fitness Client for 10 years and has never given up on her quest toward a healthy lifestyle!

                                  HEIDI BIMMEL

My fitness journey is an ever evolving roller coaster, and I’m *mostly* ok with that.

I began training at Pro Fitness in 2009 and haven’t stopped (with the exception of being on bed rest while pregnant and post pregnancies). I began working with a trainer because I easily get lost and overwhelmed in the gym. I also need to have appointments or I will stop showing up after about a month.

When I started at Pro Fitness a decade ago, I wanted to lose some weight and within 9 months, I had met that goal. That was nice while it lasted, but in the past 10 years, including two pregnancies, I’ve gained that weight back and then some.

This past fall, I recommit myself to getting healthier. I continue to work out with Cindy twice a week and also ride a stationary bike at home 6 days a week. I am also working hard to find balance in my relationship with food. I am working on moderation, especially of sweets. I have always had a sweet tooth and while I have completely cut them out in the past, it doesn’t last and then I overindulge. Through doing this, I have lost about 25 pounds since fall.

My new goals are to continue with my workout program and continuing to chip away at my weight loss while moderating my sweet tooth.

March 2019 Client Spotlight

                     STEVE RUKAMP

Pro Fitness is excited to put the spotlight on Steve Rukamp this month!  Congratulations from staff and friends at Pro Fitness!

I have been coming to Pro Fitness for about 2 years.  I ran into Chrystal teaching Group Fitness class at the YMCA.  I had met her and Rich many years ago and reconnected.  After a few weeks of taking her classes at the YMCA, I heard about her Core class at Pro Fitness.  With some gentle ribbing, I was convinced to give the Core class a try and have not looked back.

The Core class quickly turned into attending multiple classes per week.  I was introduced to Cindy and decided to try some personal training.  I was welcomed into her small Group Training sessions where I enjoy the unique and challenging workouts she creates.  These workouts have continued to push and challenge me beyond the Group Fitness classes.  The Personal Training and Group Fitness sessions has allowed me to meet many new people and create some lasting friendships.

I initially I got into fitness about 10 years ago.  I turned 40 and was very unhappy with my weight and lack of fitness discipline.  I joined the YMCA and began working out with the goal of losing some weight and improving my overall health.  I was about 50 pounds over my weight goal, had extremely high cholesterol, and my triglycerides were off the chart.  The journey was a long, slow process that had many highs and lows.

As I began losing weight, I realized that my diet also needed to change.  It forced me to prioritize and look at many parts of my daily life differently.  I now make time to work out almost every day.  Sometimes I will even drive 4 hours to get back to Green Bay in time for Chrystal’s Core class on Thursday Nights.  I have also learned to make different & better choices of what goes into my body.  Both the fitness and diet get challenged regularly as I travel for work and spend many nights in hotels and eating at restaurants.  In 2018 I was asked to co-lead a project that required me to be out of town 5 days per week, every week.  Once this project was completed in the fall of 2018, I found myself again over weight and not feeling healthy.  With the help of Group Fitness and Group Training, I was able to refocus and get my weight and health back under control.

My goal moving forward is to maintain a healthy, fit lifestyle.  I will continue to participate in as many Group Fitness and small Group Training sessions as I can each week.  I have also joined a gym near our Corporate Office that allows me to continue working out regularly.  I have signed up to participate in a Terrain Race this fall and want to be prepared physically for this challenge

I want to thank the staff at Pro Fitness.  I have been able to meet many new people and develop some great friendships while being challenged and pushed.  Everyone at Pro Fitness has always made me feel welcome and included.  I especially want to thank Chrystal and Cindy for their energy and dedication to my fitness and health journey.