When most people think of time at the lake, they picture relaxation: lying out on a tube, maybe a book in one hand and a cold beverage in the other. But, for Todd Benson, time at the lake this summer looked quite different.
“I would tread water with a 20-pound weight vest, and walk up and down the sandy beach in hunting boots with a weighted backpack,” explains Todd.
This was part of his regular workout routine. With guidance from experts at Altru’s Sports Advantage powered by EXOS, Todd has now lost over 40 pounds to get in shape for elk hunting.
“It definitely caught me off-guard when Todd walked into my office the first week of March and said, ‘I need to lose 40 pounds before hunting season,’” explains Danielle Rancourt, performance dietitian. She continues, “I’ve had clients come to me for weight loss advice for various reasons, such as weddings, abnormal lab values or athletics, but never for hunting specifically. I was excited to be a part of this unique journey.”
An Enjoyable Experience
Todd holding a 40-pound weight to represent the amount of weight he lost with the help of Danielle Rancourt, performance dietitian.
This month, Todd’s headed out to Wyoming to surprise an old high school friend. The two plan to go elk hunting in the mountains, and Todd is looking forward to a more enjoyable hunting experience at a lighter weight and improved fitness level.
“Hunting may seem like a pretty recreational activity; however, being in better shape can change the game,” says Danielle. “Hunting requires a respectable aerobic base, as you are typically walking on uneven, obstacle-packed grounds for hours. You’re carrying extra weight in gear, and if you’re lucky enough to hit your target, getting that 200-pound animal back to your truck can be quite the strength and conditioning workout.”
Jordan McIntyre, chiropractor
, adds, “Hunting, like any other sport, can be physically demanding. Expecting to be able to handle the physical demand without training beforehand can have consequences that will keep you on the sideline and out of the field. It’s always good to come in and get checked out by your primary care provider and chiropractor before increasing your physical activity.”
“The best part about Sports Advantage is the accountability,” shares Todd, who started going this spring after his teenage son and daughter had been working out there. “Because I travel often for my work in medical sales, every week looks a little different. But, I like to work out at 5:30 a.m., noon or 5:45 p.m.” Todd trains at Sports Advantage about two times per week, and also meets with Danielle every Friday morning for a weigh-in and nutrition consult. He also enjoys using the VersaClimber at Sports Advantage and Haute Yogis
in East Grand Forks.
Something Different Every Day
Prior to joining Altru’s Sports Advantage powered by EXOS, Todd used to do his own thing at the gym, usually including time on the elliptical, stair stepper and weights. “I was in a workout rut. This really breaks up the routine, and that’s why it works for me,” explains Todd. “My body never knows what to expect, so I’m working my muscles in new ways. Every day it’s something different.”
At one point during the last six months, Todd hit a plateau in his weight loss. “I went through a three-week stretch where I just couldn’t lose.” With Danielle’s guidance, Todd realized how many extra calories he was consuming during frequent work trips and eating at restaurants. Todd started cutting out alcohol and skipping appetizers and desserts, and it worked.
“I can text Danielle photos of menu options, and she’ll reply with the best pick for me,” explains Todd. “I know the right kind of sushi to get, the right salad, even the right lean cut of steak.”
Danielle shares, “It has been such a treat to work with Todd and watch him transform. Todd has a new liveliness and confidence to him, which is just as, if not more, rewarding than seeing the numbers fall off the scale.”
Todd’s next goal is to lose twenty additional pounds by Christmas. In the meantime, he’s looking forward to enjoying hunting more, and overall, enjoying life more.
Celebrate Sports Advantage powered by EXOS’ fall open house by enjoying a free week of Rally adult training classes, September 26 through October 1. You'll experience how our performance team can help you elevate your physical fitness and reach your goals. See the full schedule >>