I am very excited to introduce all of you to my man, Dave Weilhammer. Dave was one of my first clients and has consistently been one of my favorites to train. He is a great guy – always makes me in a better mood when he comes in – and works extremely hard. I was initially concerned about training him and the results he could achieve because of the challenges he presented with (cerebral palsy), which I will let him discuss, but I soon learned that Dave would go on to achieve more than I could have imagined. He has made huge strides and never backs down from a challenge I present to him.
So here is Dave.
What brought you to IFAST?
When I first came to IFAST almost 2 years ago, it was because I felt like the right and left sides of my body were out of balance and fighting with each other. My overall goal has always been to improve my balance/flexibility and increase my strength. I was born with a mild case of cerebral palsy which causes my hips to be tight and impacts my gait. Though having my condition is luckily not something I have to focus on every day, I am very proactive about being strong and healthy. No doctor has been able to tell me how my body will age other than saying “come back when it hurts”, which is an unacceptable answer to me. To my benefit, Zach and everyone at IFAST have become my partners in creating the most functional and strong body that I’ve had in my life so far.
How has your experience been so far?
Positive, challenging, humbling, informative, and fun. Kind of like high school, minus the acne and social awkwardness. My programs at IFAST are not easy and often the exercises I’m doing are not intuitive to me. I realized quickly that I needed to just give in to the process and defer to the IFAST experts. For example, I assumed that my initial programs would focus on my hips and legs, but actually 90% of my first 3-4 months were centered on shoulder flexibility and core strength, which helped give my body balance so that then hips and legs could be targeted. I can honestly say that I look forward to my IFAST appointments, and the results I see from month to month are beyond my initial expectations.
What makes IFAST different from other gyms you have been to?
Night and day… it’s as simple as that. What sets IFAST apart is the expertise of the coaches and staff, and their ability to share their knowledge in a way that is supportive, positive, and respectful. It’s also a very fun environment. Everyone needs at least one good laugh every day, and I laugh every time I come to IFAST (interpret this however you want… you all know who you are). I get bored easily, so having a new program every 4 weeks is great for me because just when I feel like I’m mastering one program, a new one arrives and I start over. It is true that IFAST is not an inexpensive gym and keeping my membership does require a financial commitment, but I view it as a larger commitment toward my long-term health. Knowing that I’m making an investment is a motivator for me to make my appointments every week, even when the weather is bad or I am busy at work.
Finally, what do you feel like has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
At this point, I think it has been a series of accomplishments that show the progress I’ve made over the past months. I can do battling ropes and kettle bell presses standing up now when I used to be seated; I can do push-ups with chains on my back and keep good form; I can do glute crushers with 110 lb of weight added to the bar when initially I couldn’t do 5 of them with no bar and no weight at all. These are just some examples, but definitely show what can happen when commitment and focus partner with knowledge and support at IFAST.