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28 to Life + MAD training: Dar’s Transformation

You may have heard that there is a new mayor in MADville, and her name is Dar.   We’ve shared Dar’s overly certified background before, and the collective excitement to have her and her knowledge on our team as a franchise owner and true fitness professional, but we are yet to get into the story of her amazing transformation over the last year.   Here’s her story – it’s no joke:

‘Growing up I was always ‘athletic,’ but it wasn’t until I got to college that I started lifting and really learned the fundamentals of strength and conditioning.   I’ll never forget sitting at dinner one summer night in college, and having my brother an law ask me how long I was planning on lifting, as if it were something that I ‘got into’ in college and would certainly get over in time.  Well, that was 28 years ago, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

I’ve watched the fitness landscape change, several times over, throughout the last few decades. I’ve sought out and earned my credentials and certifications from some of the most renowned institutions and programs available.

What I love about the MAD programming is how it incorporates all of the smartest and most effective aspects of each of those methods. It combines the most cutting edge and innovative movements with fundamental basics to provide the most effective and well rounded programming that I’ve found in all my years of training, teaching, and learning.

I came to the first workout that Brandon offered in the original space, a pre-opening VIP class for fitness professionals in Charlotte and immediately knew it was something special.   That was the beginning for me.  It changed some of my thoughts about how to train  — or really just filled in the gaps that I was already finding in available fitness programs, and had the single most important component required: effectiveness.

Before Picture

Before Picture (circa May 2012)

The training style has increased my strength, my endurance, and my physical appearance more in the last year than any training program I have found to date.  There is no denying it – I look and feel stronger than I have felt in years – and that is just one piece of the puzzle.

Last April I attended Cristina’s 28toLife seminar and it has complimented my training perfectly.  It is the most effective, and most sustainable, nutrition program and methodology that I have come across and I can say is what most substantially changed my body both internally and externally.  In case you haven’t already done the math I’ll be blunt – I’m 47.  Combine that with the fact that I’m a woman and I LOVE to eat and you’ve got a triple threat against weight loss and fitness goals.

This isn’t some gimmicky program, it doesn’t focus on eliminating fats or counting calories.  It is truly about real food, and how best to fuel any body, whether it’s for training or not.   I have followed other mainstream plans in the past, and even just developed my own, but never with consideration to insulin levels, how to pair foods, and what may or may not be processed by my body.  I’ll be honest, I was totally fine with the idea of cutting out processed foods; throw in legumes, sugar, grains, dairy – no problem.  It was living in a state of beer deprivation that I most feared.   But guess what – I made it.  I not only made it, but I felt amazing.

After 28 to Life

After 28 to Life

The hardest part was having ingredients prepped for cooking, and meals packaged for quick eating.  Once it became routine, and my grocery list was officially memorized, it was so much easier.  I never counted calories – in fact I was constantly eating and not thinking about it.   I fueled my body when I was hungry, and balanced my meals.   I fed myself only real food – organic, local, and grassfed (when it came to meat).  I didn’t change anything about my training, but my training changed organically as a result.  After years of training and eating what I would have termed a ‘healthy’ diet, seeing zero change in my body, I followed the 28toLife plan and dropped over 12lbs in three weeks.

For me, 12lbs was a lot, but it really wasn’t about the weight.  It was about the change in my body, and my energy.  My clothes fit completely differently, my body felt stronger, and my training became more effective.  It was the trigger for the noticeable change I was looking for, and the compliment to my training and lifestyle that balanced out the whole.  It still is.

After the 28 days I let back in two things to my ‘regular’ diet: beer and creamer (I would die without my morning coffee).    Aside from those two things, I have continued to eat as close to the program as I can, about 95% of the time.  The other 5%, well, it’s just a part of life.  If I want to have pizza once in a while, I’ll have pizza.  If I’m in the mood for popcorn, I’ll have some – just not every day.  It’s all about keeping that balance, and finding a new norm of what quality of food I have to fuel my body.    In the past 4 months since completing the challenge I have continued to see changes – I have leaned out more, gotten stronger, and I have slept better.  I’m at the point now where it is just a routine – it’s part of my lifestyle, and the partner to my training.


If you ask my friends, the most impressive part has actually been that I have learned how to cook (relatively speaking).  I have graduated from grilling chicken and boiling rice to actually cooking full meals without guidance, and can typically be found in the kitchen prepping meals at least once a day.  That’s if you ask my friends.  If you ask me, the most impressive (and motivating) part is two fold: how strong and healthy my body feels, and how my body is able to perform when I line up next to twenty-somethings or the best male athletes in the MADville location.  At 47 I feel better than I did at 27, and that is just on reward from the MADlifestyle I live every day.’




One Response to “28 to Life + MAD training: Dar’s Transformation”

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