A Trainer's Trainer

Paul Mandella

(54-year-old fitness and nutritional consultant)

After working in the sports field for many years and experiencing different training systems for being in excellent shape, I feel I have been exposed to almost everything. I have been a professional kickboxer and have trained many successful professional athletes, including two world champion kickboxers (Duke Rufus and Nate Daldee) and one middleweight boxing champion (Gerald McCullen).

However, at the age of 54, I noticed that although I was putting a lot of time into training, I was getting slightly weaker, tired, and less flexible. As a professional, the hardest thing for me to accept was that I wasn't training properly and that I had to find a new way to stop my decline.

Then my wife told me about an article she had read in W magazine about two coaches in California, Jerzy and Aniela Gregorek. When I read the article, and looked at the Gregoreks' web page, the common sense, ease, and practicality of the program immediately appealed to me. I called the Gregoreks and made a special trip from Wisconsin to California to learn more about The Happy Body philosophy of training, eating, and well-being.

Until I met Jerzy and Aniela, I thought I was in pretty good shape for a 54-year-old man. At 5'-9" and 190 pounds, I could clean and jerk 170 pounds and run 100 yards in 10.5 seconds. But when Jerzy, who is my age, told me that at 5'-6" and 136 pounds he can clean and jerk 240 pounds, I knew there was plenty of room for me to improve. To match Jerzy, at my size and age, I would have to clean and jerk 320 pounds, almost doubling my strength!

After taking my measurements, Jerzy told me that I needed to lose some fat and gain some muscle. Although I was strong, he said, what was keeping me from lifting more weight was mainly my body's inflexibility. Therefore, flexibility became my main focus.

I am now just a month into the program, but I can already see that I am getting far more out of my workouts, even though they are shorter than they used to be. The program works whether you are overweight or an athlete.

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