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A total approach helped McHenry County man achieve his goals on reality television fitness show


For McHenry County resident Craig Asbach, the decision to make a commitment and participate in the "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" reality television fitness program as part of the Total-U-Fitness team was the first step. The second step was setting a goal – how much weight would he lose.

The parameters of the program helped to clarify the matter for him. Starting at 306 pounds, in order to compete, Asbach would need to lose 25 percent of his body weight. Translation – Asbach needed to lose 77 pounds.

"I haven't handled commitment in my life as well in the past as I could have," Asbach said. "I was worried whether I would be able to stick to the program the Myatts (fitness trainers and owners of Total-U-Fitness, as well as hosts of Totally Fit Radio Saturday mornings on WIND, AM 560) setup for me."

Asbach did achieve his goal. In 90 days, he lost his 77 pounds and emerged from the program with a mark in the victory column of life – slimmer, healthier and with a fresh level of self confidence.

To what does he attribute his success? Asbach said he had a sense that he wouldn't have another opportunity to get into shape – at least not an opportunity like this and one where he had a chance to win some money in the process (he won $10 for each pound he lost). However, no small measure of credit goes to Ringwood based Total-U-Fitness.

Tony and Michelle Myatt, who also host the Saturday morning Totally Fit Radio program on WIND, 560 AM, created a fitness program specially designed to meet Asbach's needs. That required a tight schedule for achieving such a significant level of weight loss in such a short amount of time.

In keeping with the Myatt's total approach to fitness, they brought in an array of specialists to ensure that Asbach maintained optimal health while working rapidly towards his goal.

Asbach worked with Wellness Coach Roula Crews. Together, they spent time in the grocery store where Asbach learned how to shop for healthy food. Personal Chef Debi Stuckwisch helped Asbach learn how to turn healthy food into tasty meals. pAGG New Health Solutions provided stimulant-free weight-loss supplements that enhanced the benefits of the healthy meals.

Dr. Rachel Northern, a chiropractor, was on hand to ensure that Asbach was aligned and ready to get the most out of each workout session. Massage Therapist Lora Myers was similarly charged with keeping Asbach in the game.

In terms of workouts, the Myatts are experts with an amazing capacity for creative ways to workout. The Total-U-Fitness studio in Ringwood is not lined with workout machines. Instead, it's a wooden floor more akin to a dance floor. Is dancing part of the workout at Total-U-Fitness? It can be.

The tools Asbach used to attain his goal included a large inflated rubber ball, steps, a heavy punching bag, a length of rope as thick as a man's calf. How does someone workout with a thick rope? In Asbach's case, he was required to fling it about in rhythm until his arms begged for relief.

The Myatts kept Asbach moving from one station to another at a rapid pace as they shouted encouragement. They did cardio, interval, circuit, strength training, sports conditioning, martial arts and yoga.

In terms of workouts, Asbach also spent time in a more traditional fitness center – the kind where fitness machines are lined up like soldiers. He also worked with other specialists, such as Kung-Fu Instructor Daniel Schultz.

Of course, bringing all these specialists together as members of the team makes total sense. As the name suggests, Total-U-Fitness offers a total approach to fitness. And the Myatts said that includes someone's state of mind.

"We want to help people get to the point where they look forward to fitness," Michelle Myatt said. "As long as they look at working out as a burden they'll continue to struggle to get fit."

For 90 days, Asbach discovered that, while exercise is taxing, it's also very rewarding. One reward was the success of achieving his goal. In the process, he wiped away a feeling of failure that had dogged Asbach's heals for years.

Now, Asbach is positioned to build on his success. That starts with his new goal of losing another 23 pounds.

"The biggest goal is staying fit," Asbach said. "That's the life changer. That's the big one."

For more information about Total-U-Fitness, call 800-559-UFIT (8348) or visit Additional information is available at

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