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Interview: Weightlifting Champs and L.A. Trainers Jerzy and Aniela Gregorek

Aniela and Jerzy Gregorek, of The Happy Body in L.A.
Aniela and Jerzy Gregorek, of The Happy Body in L.A.

I had a chance to talk with world weightlifting champions and famous LA trainers Jerzy and Aniela Gregorek, coauthors of the award-winning book The Happy Body: The Simple Science of Nutrition, Exercise and Relaxation. With their newly released Happy Body Exercise Program DVD set, which I recently reviewed on this site, these fitness gurus are transforming the lives of hundreds of people.

What makes the Happy Body program more effective than other diet and exercise programs?

The Happy Body program teaches people how to bring a new mindfulness to their diet and exercise. Our program also ensures people lose fat instead of muscle. Most people don’t realize that endurance exercise, or exercise lasting longer than a minute without a break, burns muscle. People can lose weight with endurance workouts, but they retain fat. No one wants to achieve a certain weight and still feel flabby and lethargic.

The Happy Body diet plan prevents muscle loss through a 30-minute daily workout using hand weights and floor exercises. The workout includes 18 exercises, each with five levels of difficulty, so anyone, even someone who’s never worked out, can find a comfortable starting point. Moving through each level gradually to allow the body to build strength and flexibility ensures the program is both safe and effective.

You claim that people following your program feel like they’re 20 again. How do you reverse the aging process?

We know that the body, without exercise, begins to lose strength after age 35. But we can reverse that trend.

People have enormous reserves of strength – whether they’re an accomplished athlete or sedentary with a desk job. By working at a constant and gradual pace, anyone can eventually lift his or her body weight. The Happy Body program lays out a strategy to achieve this.

You are both world weightlifting champions. What did you bring to the Happy Body program from your training regimen?

Competitive weightlifting taught us how to attain an optimal weight, build strength incrementally, and rest so the body could recover. We incorporate these principles into our work with people who come to us wanting to lose or gain weight, rid themselves of pain and medications, and achieve youthfulness.

How does The Happy Body lifestyle help people develop a new relationship with food?

The Happy Body food plan is simple: Daily eating revolves around three snacks and two meals, each spaced three hours apart. Snacks are made up of eight choices, and meals follow a simple guideline of one part protein to two parts vegetables by weight. The simplicity of this approach takes the stress out of daily meal planning. Food becomes a means of healing and rejuvenating the body instead of a crutch for boredom or depression.

For those who haven’t worked out with weights before, what’s the best way to begin?

Anyone new to lifting weights should start with one-pound weights and build from that as they gain strength. We have clients who started out lifting one-pound weights and progressed to 100 pounds!

Why is relaxation integral to your program?

The body needs to rejuvenate in order to prevent muscle loss, and to help it we need to switch from the sympathetic nervous system (action) to the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation). Our interval strength program incorporates regulated breathing, inhaling before each exercise, and exhaling at the end. This helps people stay in their parasympathetic system and slows the heart rate in order to burn fat as fuel.

An added benefit to this approach is that we slow down and become more mindful, calm, and content.

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About Patricia Gale

Patricia Gale has written and ghostwritten hundreds of blogs and articles that have appeared on sites such as Psychology Today, Forbes, and Huffington Post, and in countless national newspapers and magazines. Her "beat" is health, business, career, self-help, parenting, and relationships.

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DVD Review ‘The Happy Body Exercise Program’ by World Weightlifting Champs – The Gregoreks

The Happy Body Exercise Program enables us to maximize the benefits of the exercise program: youthfulness: flexibility, speed, strength, good posture, leanness, and ideal body weight.