Client Spotlight: Ray W.

by Rich Malloy

Ray Weaver came to The Training Room in March of 2015 with two specific goals – to lose weight and manage his back pain.  At the start of his training with me, Ray weighed 245 lbs. With a true belief that a healthy lifestyle will lead to success, Ray stayed the course, and is now 195 lbs while living pain free.  Not only is Ray’s story inspiring, but it can remind us all that real change is possible through hard work, dedication and positivity.

Finding your course correction
The first step toward success in the gym is your personal mindset.  Ray understood that a healthy lifestyle did not have to be all sacrifice and no fun. Wishing for a quick fix or directing too much attention to the past could have easily sidelined Ray’s future goals. As a team we remained focused on the positive while embracing the challenges that lie ahead. Results are not a given, they are earned.

Focus on progress not perfection
If you’re dreading your gym time because it’s challenging, uncomfortable or boring, you may find it hard to stay committed to your goals. With a positive mindset, Ray committed to a training program two times a week at the TR in addition to improving his eating habits.  In the gym, Ray followed a simple, straightforward weight loss program including total body strength work, core work, and metabolic circuits.

Moving more often and becoming stronger not only helped Ray meet his weight loss goals, but also helped eliminate his back pain.  Like most new clients at the TR, Ray had a specific goal when he walked in, and it is my job as his coach to keep these goals at the forefront of his training program while creating a safe, fun and effective workout.  Keeping the sessions focused on what he could do, rather than what he could not do, helped Ray maintain a positive mindset and dedication to his training plan.

Coach, listen, improve, and get strong
Ray loves to deadlift, so we deadlift.  A lot. The first session of every week is our deadlift day, and Ray consistently lifts weights over 225lbs. Some people reading this might think, “What about Ray’s back pain?”

Deadlifting will not hurt your back….deadlifting incorrectly will hurt your back. We made sure to progress slowly and safely, building a solid foundation through core work, prior to using heavy loads. Building Ray’s confidence in the deadlift gave him something to look forward to at the beginning of every training week.


Here are some other simple exercises we continue to do on a consistent basis to help Ray meet his goals:

  • KB Squats
  • KB Carry Variations
  • Planks
  • Deadbugs

In addition to getting stronger on the deadlift, Ray also went from not being able to do a single chin up to now doing 20 reps a week!

Eat Real Food
Ray understands the importance of eating healthy, nutrient-rich meals in order to maintain his life-long health and wellness goals. At the start of 2016, he made the decision to go “mostly paleo” after his daughters convinced him to give it a try.  Ray keeps his “mostly paleo” diet simple, by treating grains and sugars the same way as dessert – not never, but rarely.

Some fitness and nutrition professionals might cringe at the thought of paleo, while others might swear by it.  As a coach, I understand that a “one-size fits all” approach may not work for all clients. Working with Ray to outline his own version of healthy and sustainable eating habits has put him in control of the choices he makes.

What the future holds
Ray now has his sights set on losing 20 more pounds and eventually training for a marathon.  He has inspired me to continue my daily healthy habits, and I thank him for that.


Here are just a few of the questions I asked Ray, and his answers, in his own words:
What’s your favorite exercise?
My favorite exercise is the deadlift. When I started at The Training Room, I probably couldn’t have safely done any deadlift at all. This week, I deadlifted 245 pounds. That’s not any kind of record, but personally it’s a big achievement, and it feels great because it’s such a technical exercise. Rich has helped me tons along the way.
My second favorite exercise is pull-ups. When I started at The Training Room, I could not do a single pull-up. Now I can do three sets of 6. It feels bad-ass.
What’s your least favorite exercise?
Anything involving lunges. My balance is horrible haha. But the positive thing is feeling like I’ve gotten better at it. When I started, I couldn’t even do a single lunge without weight. Now, I’m way stronger. And I almost never fall over ;-).
Did your past weight or current weight affect your job?
Actually, one of the biggest reasons I got serious about my health is my career. In the last year I’ve started a new business, and I’ve had dozens of meetings with potential partners and employees. They want to know that you’re serious and dependable, and frankly it’s easier to convince them if you look healthy and fit.
Is there anything else you’d like to add or share?
The main thing I’d like to add is how positive The Training Room has been for me. I’ve been talking about how hard it is, and how much sacrifice I’ve made. But seriously: it’s fun to go there, I love my trainer Rich, I’ve gotten to know some of the other trainers and clients, and I really really love it.
Beyond that, it would be hard to overstate what an impact it’s had on my life in the past year and a half. I feel better, my back pain is totally gone, I sleep better, and people tell me all the time how much better I look. I have way more confidence and I feel like I’m making my daughters proud.

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